New year, new show, y’all! I drank enough during the holiday to erase any lingering memories of Gossip Girl, so I’m reenergized and mostly rage blackout free!
I’m completely unversed in the original The Carrie Diaries text. I heard it was terrible, even for my sensibilities and I thought about reading it in preparation over the break but I was too busy drinking and watching Olivia Newton-John holiday movies to find time. I can say with much confidence that I am a Sex and the City scholar (literally, I wrote a paper about it in college), so join me in nitpicking the discrepancies and enjoying all the teen angst.
You knew this was coming. We cannot have a show about a young Carrie Bradshaw that doesn’t tell the majority of the plot through her pun-laden writing. And there are some GOOD ones. In this episode, we learn that in 1984, 16 year old Carrie is living in Connecticut with her father and younger sister, Dorrit. And their mother has very recently died. Even though, we all know that this isn’t actually Carrie Bradshaw’s background, we can let it slide.
Our girl has obviously been having a tough time. On top of losing her mom, she has to go back to school sans new clothes because her mom was her shopping buddy. I know, at this point, too many sads to snark much. In a very Bradshaw way, she describes the gossip in the halls “like mono after a homecoming dance. I realized that I was the virus no one wanted to get near.”
Carrie, at least, has a core group of BFFs to help her get through.
There’s Mouse, who literally wears a mouse pin on her shirt, a nerdy type who just lost her virginity to a guy who goes to Princeton. An experience that Mouse described as “putting a hot dog in a keyhole.” AH virginity loss. She also said he came in like 2 seconds. So I guess The Carrie Diaries won’t be shying away from the sex talk? But in true life fashion, the dude who Mouse got down with, hasn’t called in two days and she has called many, many more times than that.
Maggie appears to have an incredible fuzzy sweater collection and is the police chief’s daughter. She also likes to drink peach wine coolers and then go to the school dance. Maggie also lost her v-card over the summer, allegedly to boyfriend Walt, but we learn that she’s totally sleeping with some hot cop! ESCANDALO. Also, is this Rosewood again? She seems fun.
Maggie is obviously not sleeping with Walt, because he’s clearly gay. Walt rounds out Carrie’s core group and when we first meet, he and Carrie talk about his fabulous sweater. This pretty epic ice blue sweater is the same one Rob Lowe wore in Interview magazine, which is a big deal. Walt’s pretty okay with not sleeping with Maggie, telling Carrie that he told Maggie he didn’t want to. In the closing montage, he’s eyeing pictures of Rob Lowe in the aforementioned Interview and clearly can’t deal with the sexual feelings he’s having.
These are the people who are helping Carrie get through this first day of school and navigating this terrible seeming popular girl group who are looking vaguely alike, wear major eye shadow and lots of neon. Yet another surprise awaits Carrie because there’s a new guy in school. Sebastian Kydd, who Carrie has a past with! He’s obviously been kicked out of multiple boarding schools, is a sad rich boy and wears a leather jacket. So he’s basically my YA ideal. He’s also played by Austin Butler, who I have an extremely inappropriate crush on. He’s also clearly a deep soul when he tells the constantly over thinking Carrie that he thinks it’s “cool that she has so much going on in her head.”
Carrie and Sebastian hung out at the pool for the whole summer a couple years ago. So what else are two, barely clothed teenagers going to do other than eventually make out? Exactly. Except no one’s first kiss is THAT epic. He literally lifts her up in the pool, moves her down and they go for it. My first kiss was with a dude, who had broken his leg skateboarding, in the front seat of his Bronco or something. It was definitely a too much tongue situation.
On the family front, Carrie’s younger sister, Dorrit is the rebellious one–she’s brunette, wears Jenny Humphrey-esque eyeliner, has a stealing problem and hides pot in her sock drawer. She also leaves the phone off the hook so she can go out and get drunk with the rest of her 14 year old friends? The 80s were trouble you guys. Dorrit doesn’t roll back in until morning, after her dad has called the cops. Carrie and Dorrit’s relationship is pretty strained–and in a peacemaking move–while they are finally cleaning out their mother’s amazing closet–Carrie gives Dorrit a beloved dress of their mother’s when their Dad offers it to Carrie first. I’m still hoping for some more Joy Division fueled goth-lite drinking schemes from Dorrit.
Carrie’s dad is pretty boring honestly. He reminds me of a dad on a show like 7th Heaven or some Hallmark channel show. His purpose is served mainly by getting Carrie an internship in Manhattan at a law firm as a way for her to change her surroundings. Carrie’s immediately smitten with the city but finds her internship less than interesting. In a rather classic Carrie moment, she falls on the street and rips her pantyhose (lol). Apparently in the 80s having bare legs is unacceptable, so she goes to Century 21 to buy some new pantyhose.
Larissa, a stylist for Interview magazine (seriously drink every time Interview is mentioned), grabs Carrie’s bag, who Carrie at first thinks is trying to steal her purse. Said purse used to be her mother’s which got nail polish spilled on it after Dorrit stole it. Carrie in the wise words of Tim Gunn made it work and custom painted the bag with more nail polish. You guys! Carrie was always fashionable! Larissa just wants to use Carrie’s bag for a photo shoot that she describes as a combination of “Midsummer Night’s Dream & Scarface.” She also collects people and instantly loves Carrie, who she thinks is older than 16. Carrie doesn’t correct her.
Larissa sends Carrie a pretty incredible dress over to her office and invites her to go to hip club Indochine. But Sebastian called Mouse to see if Carrie was going to the dance. What should she do?! I’m not going to say I’m really sold on this show, but she picks Indochine over Sebastian.
Indochine is supposed to be fabulous. But it looks like this bar I go to sometimes, which kinda sucks, so I had some disbelief on that front. But Carrie is meeting artists and writers and gay men, so life is exotic and new. When she realizes she’s late for the last train, she runs in heels like she does when she’s an old! The Bradshaw genetics must be impeccable. While all her friends were out getting laid during the summer, Carrie realizes she has lost her innocence in another way.
Carrie: “Maybe it was the realization that I had just lost my innocence, my virginity and not to the guy I had hoped but to a different man–MANHATTAN.”
I KNOW I KNOW.
At the end of the episode, Carrie starts writing at her desk! And more importantly, homegirl is wearing a scrunchie and we all know her later feelings on those.
Things of Note/Important/WTF
- There are SO MANY MONTAGES. I’m so into it.
- Sebastian smokes pot with one of the popular girls in his Porsche.
- The eye shadow budget must be ridiculous.
Next week, Carrie starts working with Larissa?
About the Contributor:
Kerensa Cadenas is a writer living in Los Angeles. She grew up on binge reading Sweet Valley High and watching Saved by the Bell at a very young age. Hence, she is now unable to grow out of this life-long phase. She loves terrible teen television, young adult novels and probably listens to One Direction more than she should. She also enjoys more adult things like margaritas on patios and dance parties. A Marcus Flutie/Nate Archibald man-hybrid remains her ideal.