‘The Carrie Diaries’ takes SATC fans to where it all began
For anyone who’s grown up watching ‘Sex and the City,’ it’s hard not to be curious about the lives of the four women we’ve come to know and love before they became New Yorkers walking around in tutu skirts and getting splashed by buses –– especially the show’s main character, Carrie Bradshaw.
Aside from a few passing references to an absent father and a suburban upbringing, we know surprisingly little about her past.
Enter ‘The Carrie Diaries,’ a new CW series based on Candace Bushnell’s prequel to ‘Sex and the City’ that’s scheduled to air next January. The premiere of the pilot took place Monday night at the School of Visual Arts’ theatre in Chelsea.
It was part of the New York Television Festival, which takes place all of this week. Making her first appearance on the red carpet was AnnaSophia Robb, who stars as young Carrie, alongside Bushnell herself and SATC writer Amy Harris. Also in attendance were co-stars Austin Butler, Ellen Wong, Katie Findlay, Brendan Dooling, Chloe Bridges, Freema Agyeman, and Matt Mescher.
The show takes place in 1980s Connecticut, where Carrie grew up, and begins just after the death of her mother. Carrie fans in the audience were immediately confused by this, as there had been no mention of her mother’s passing in the original series.
Even more surprising was her father, who is — well, present, for one thing — portrayed as caring and concerned about his two daughters and the year ahead.
But this is just one of the many twists that the show holds for viewers. With a new school year starting, Carrie is anything but excited to assume the role of “the girl whose mom just died.”
But just as she starts to think she’s got it all figured out, she lands an internship at a law firm once week in the city of her dreams: New York. Before she knows it, she’s thrown into a balancing act of juggling two lives on opposite sides of the bridge.
Filled with all the “firsts” we never saw her experience — love, sex, heartbreak, and discovery of herself as a writer –– the show takes on the challenge of building a believable background story to grown-up Carrie’s character, hoping to explain how she came to be the person she is. That’s not to say the writers aren’t taking a few creative liberties of their own.
“We didn’t want to get ‘Baby Muppets Syndrome,’” said Harris. “So there’s not going to be a mini-Miranda or mini-Charlotte. It is about bringing Carrie back, but also about telling an original story.
One thing I love about Carrie is her ability to take the Greater Path when you least expect it, and we want to show how she gets to be that way.”
The last scene certainly alludes to that, as she struts down a New York street in a very “Carrie” outfit of a sequined dress and neon heels, ready to take on the city. Needless to say, it should be interesting to see how she fares.
The New York Television Festival is taking place in Manhattan through Sat., Oct. 27. For more information, click here. Look out for the premiere of the ‘Carrie Diaries’ in January 2013 on the CW Network.
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