January 14, 2013 6:00pm PT by Philiana Ng
'The Carrie Diaries' Premiere: Meet the New Carrie Bradshaw
[Warning: Do not proceed if you have not watched the series premiere.]
In 1984, Carrie Bradshaw is a fresh-faced Connecticut-based 16-year-old, played by AnnaSophia Robb, on the road to reinvention in The CW's Sex and the City prequel, The Carrie Diaries.
Sure, some details in Carrie's backstory don't quite line up with the HBO series of the late 1990s/early 2000s or the movies, but all of that aside, the first episode of the Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage-produced soap sets up a nostalgic world shaded with brightly-colored denim, big hair and '80s music.
The story starts off with a pretty simple premise: Carrie re-enters the unsettling, gossipy world of junior year in high school just a few months after her mother's death from cancer. There's Carrie's archnemesis, the appropriately-named Donna Ladonna (Chloe Bridges), and then there's her three friends -- precursors to the trio she'd meet later on in life -- Maggie (Katie Findlay), Mouse (Ellen Wong) and the sexually-confused Walt (Brendan Dooling). Unfortunately (or fortunately?), Carrie's one of the only remaining virgins in the group.
Carrie's first foray into a potentially serious romance comes in the form of new kid Sebastian Kydd (Austin Butler), with whom she shared a connection one summer ago. There's an obvious attraction, but the foundation for a deeper connection forms. Turns out, he's also motherless, to which Carrie says: "Nobody's better off without their mom." With that, the seed has been planted.
Maybe it's the guilt of Carrie and her younger, more rebellious sister Dorrit (Stefania Owen), being without a mother, but Carrie's father Tom (Matt Letscher) introduces the curly-haired blonde to the big city (aka Manhattan) -- and we all know where that leads. It's NYC where she meets Interview mag editor/party girl Larissa Loughton (Freema Agyeman), who becomes her Obi-Wan to Carrie's Luke.
But it's not all about Carrie going through her firsts. There's some Bradshaw family tensions and struggles that will likely serve as an undercurrent throughout. It's also Carrie's father who gives Carrie a journal, which kicks off her unofficial writing quest. And as the episode reveals, it's been months since the closet to Carrie's mother's wardrobe has been opened, let alone touched, and by the end of the premiere, it is -- a symbol of what's about to come.
What are your thoughts on The Carrie Diaries premiere?
The Carrie Diaries airs 8 p.m. Mondays on The CW.