AnnaSophia Robb for Watch! magazine, September 2012.
We all know the story of Carrie Bradshaw. We know all of her secrets, the gory details of her failed relationships, and more than anything, we know the ins and outs of her covetable closet. In fact, we feel like we know Carrie herself.
But when it comes to Carrie's backstory, the details are a little murky. That's where the CW's new TV show, The Carrie Diaries, comes in. While it may seem odd that the prequel to a show largely responsible for turning HBO into the economic juggernaut that it is today has relocated to the CW, the network shift is logical once you consider the storyline. When I first got into Sex and the City around the 10th grade, I would have never have been caught dead watching the show with my parents. It would have been mortifying! However, minus a few cringe-worthy references, the high school version starting Anna Sophia Robb as a young Carrie Bradshaw seems almost prudish considering its predecessor. Think of it as PG-13 version of a Disney Channel show.
Carrie is your typical starry-eyed 16-year-old with big-city-dreams living in a small town in Connecticut circa 1984. Her overly eager attitude about everything from boys to Thanksgiving dinner can be borderline nauseating at times, but Robb’s quirky delivery makes for a charming rather than obnoxious character (though at times I admit I’m left thinking, “Seriously? Who wrote these lines?”)
My first run-in with the series was about a year ago when I read that Gossip Girl’s former costume designer, Eric Daman, was tied to the project. Naturally I was extremely excited to see what the prodigious ménage would bring. I didn’t think much more about it until mid-summer when a few publicity shots of Robb, in full Carrie regalia, strutting around the roof of their Brooklyn studios – the perfect backdrop of Manhattan positioned just behind her, were released. Maybe my expectations had been to high; a pairing with such potential may have been doomed at conception. In any case, I was not impressed with the final outcome. Alone, her clothes are cute… in a mall brand sort of way. But when you think of how far it could have gone… Remember that opening scene in the second Sex and the City movie? Where was the shoe porn I was hoping for?
Despite my lack of enthusiasm for the wardrobe and the plot, I can’t seem to stop tuning in. Call it “hate-watching,” but I can’t think of anything more entertaining than Hollywood’s interpret of my life. Sadly I don’t have a gorgeous boyfriend waiting for me at home, nor a somewhat attractive Upper East Side boy inviting me to swanky soirees, but I can make a pretty strong case for similarities in other areas. There’s the fact that both Carrie and I are new to living alone in the city, our fabulous internships in fashion (although I know a couple of people who’ve interned at Interview and they weren’t quite as satisfied with the experience as Ms. Bradshaw seems to have been), and the fact that we’re both slowly being educated in the whole downtown nightlife ‘scene.’ And of course there’s the whole same name thing (carrie/caroline…) Not that it’s anything like it was in the ‘80s, but I can get pretty territorial when it comes to Indochine. I don’t need some subpar TV show bringing in tons of pre-teen tourists taking up all my reservations and I certainly don’t need it mucking up my impression of the immortal Carrie Bradshaw.