October 25, 2013 8:00am PT by Philiana Ng
'Carrie Diaries' Season 2 Preview: Samantha's Origin Story, 'SATC' Nods and 'Carefree' Carrie
It's summertime on The Carrie Diaries and Carrie Bradshaw is living life in Manhattan to the fullest.
Following Maggie (Katie Findlay) and Sebastian's (Austin Butler) drunken kiss in the finale, a distraught Carrie (AnnaSophia Robb) -- with Walt (Brendan Dooling) in tow -- moves into Larissa's loft in the Big Apple for a change of scenery. When season two kicks off, Carrie encounters someone who will become one of her closest friends, Samantha Jones (Lindsey Gort).
The Hollywood Reporter previews the sophomore season with executive producer Amy B. Harris, who talks about Carrie's awkward encounters with Sebastian, Maggie's hardships and more.
What was your goal in season two, now that you had 13 episodes under your belt?
Last year was a coming-of-age story, the age of innocence and the last episode being that innocence lost -- what are the consequences of that? The fallout being our second season. In a way, that launched all the journeys for all the characters. For Dorrit (Stefania Owen), who loses her virginity, it's a wonderful thing that launches her into a relationship with someone who seems very good for her. But for Carrie, she's trying to dull the pain and party. She's a little bit the Carrie we start to know in Sex and the City, who's struggling to find ways to be OK even when she's not.
How much does Carrie change this season because of Samantha's presence?
Both of them have a lot to learn from each other. Samantha is a wild child. She doesn't have a place to live, a job comes and a job goes. Our joke with her this whole season is we never know where she's living and how she makes money, but she seems to be surviving. For Carrie, who's always worrying about the future and what comes next, it's important for her to be experiencing an uninhibited, carefree attitude about the world. For Samantha, who we learn early on has a family she can't rely on (a mom who picked boyfriends over her), she has someone to rely on in Carrie.
How much thought went into Samantha's origin story?
The Samantha Jones we knew celebrated her freedom and was uninhibited about sex. She didn't seem to want to have a man as someone she relied on or committed to, but she very much wanted that in her girlfriends. It was fun to figure out why that was and how Carrie could be a part of that exploration.
Samantha first meets Walt and Carrie in the premiere, but it's only a matter of time before other characters will meet her, too. Who has the most difficult time adjusting to her wild ways?
It's not a surprise that Larissa (Freema Agyeman) may have some opinions about Samantha. (Laughs.) In many ways, these are characters who are similar. They're very outrageous, they say what they feel, they're sexually free. But Larissa is invested in the nightlife of Manhattan and in the literati circles and all the right places. Samantha's very "That's bullshit," "Nobody cares about that" and she'll have a very different attitude. Larissa's ambitious about work and her place in the city and to Samantha, at this age, it all seems ridiculous.
How much has being in Manhattan for a significant amount of time affected Carrie and Walt?
They'll be different. Having them still in high school, you don't get to step away from all of who you are. Walt will still pretend not to be gay in Castlebury. He's not telling his parents and in 1985 that was certainly not a safe environment to come out in a high school. That is going to be his very uncomfortable journey this season: how to be authentically himself in the city as a gay man and how to live in a universe where that isn't accepted. Carrie is starting to know there is this other world out there that she very much wants to be a part of but she still has to apply to college and figure out where she's going to school and she still has to see Sebastian in the hallways of the high school. She's changed and yet she's still in pain and in hiding and uncomfortable.
Sebastian and Maggie are on the outs with Carrie at the start of the season after they committed the ultimate betrayal. Who has to deal with the repercussions of their actions the most?
They all are. Maggie feels isolated from the group, but she's also betrayed Walt. In a way, because she has a future that is really uncertain -- she doesn't have enough money to go to college, she's lost a very important friend -- she hides how painful that is but she's going to be making some bad choices that will make this a tough season for her.
How awkward will things get between Sebastian and Carrie?
To some degree, Carrie would like to pretend he doesn't exist and Sebastian very much wants to get in her face and ask for forgiveness. It's going to create some problems for them. They really are trying to deal with it in two very different ways but underneath it all, they both still have feelings for each other. But I don't think she can forgive and forget what happened. It's not going to be comfortable for them, but they are still in each other's lives. That's the best part of having a show that's set in high school: just put them in the hallways.
Will their romance be revisited later in the season?
They're both going to be exploring other options, but I do feel they were each other's first loves. It's always a person who looms large in someone's history and how they view their next relationships. They're big in each other's lives even when they're not together.
Dorrit and Miller's (Evan Crooks) relationship becomes a big part of the season, and her father, Tom (Matt Letscher), plays into it significantly. How does that affect them moving forward?
That may actually end up causing some problems for Dorrit in surprising ways. She dates more like a guy than a woman. She falls in love, she likes the person, she's into it, great! She's not afraid to say it like it is.
Are there any pivotal moments coming up in the season?
Carrie's going to have a big first this year, sort of the last of the firsts, and that's one I've been waiting for. She's going to take the last big first step.
Should we expect more Sex and the City Easter eggs?
They're going to go to a Paris party, which actually did take place in 1985 in the fall, where everyone put in $50 and somebody got their name picked out of a hat and won a trip to Paris, all expenses paid. That's something Carrie is very eager to win because Paris is a place she very much wants to go. Some of them will be Samantha Easter eggs, which I think will be fun for the audience.
Will you be throwing in more names of characters who were on Sex and City?
We mentioned that Bennet (Jake Robinson) was living with Stanford [Blatch] and they're still roommates. We'll definitely start to follow Stanford's travels as the season goes on. Whether we meet him, we haven't quite finalized.
The Carrie Diaries premieres Oct. 25 at 8 p.m. on The CW.