The Carrie Diaries Review: Welcome to New York

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In the highly anticipated Sex and the City prequel, we meet Carrie Bradshaw as a teenager in 1984. The Carrie Diaries' pilot introduces us to Carrie and her group of friends as they navigate high school life in Castlebury, Connecticut.

It also tells the story of Carrie's ultimate love affair. No not with Mr. Big... with Manhattan!

Carrie and Sebastian

As I already told viewers in my preview of "Five Reasons You Should Watch The Carrie Diaries," don't expect any of the modern day characters just yet. This is an entirely different group of people with their own unique stories. However, that doesn't mean you won't see similar archetypes. That hottie pictured up above with young Carrie is probably one of the key reasons she will end up falling for guys like Mr. Big later in life.

Meet Sebastian Kidd. He's the new kid with the bad boy reputation. Kicked out of three private schools and drives a porsche? No problem, as long as he looks good walking in slow-mo with Wayfarers on. While everyone else is drooling and comparing rumors, Sebastian saunters right up to Carrie and says hello. Turns out they used to hang out at her swim club and shared a really steamy pool kiss.

If you've read any of my other show reviews, you know how I feel about steamy pool kisses. I'm looking at you, 90210.

Sebastian even caught Carrie when she fainted in the hallway, a sweet and very old fashioned gesture considering everything Carrie as gone through. We find out early on in the episode that Carrie's mother passed away in May. When her father approaches her at school to talk to her about an internship, she has a flashback and thinks she's about to hear about horrible news again. Mr. Bradshaw's idea for Carrie to intern in Manhattan was actually really sage. 

Carrie dreams of Manhattan. It's also a great outlet for her to get away from some of her sadness. High school isn't exactly the easiest place to cope with things. She seems to have a great support group of friends with Mouse, Maggie and Walt but they all have their own stuff to deal with. In New York City, Carrie meets Larissa. A woman who is a lot of fun, a little bit of trouble and a writer for Interview magazine. Basically she's Carrie's idol. 

Between these two worlds, the show has a lot of material with which to work. Carrie gets to explore the world of the city with new friends and new adventures while still experiencing normal teenage stuff back home. The show deals with typical young issues, falling in love, losing your virginity, makeups and breakup, figuring out your sexual orientation and just general getting to know yourself as you grow up. There's also the typically graphic and hilarious teenage vernacular on display.

It was like putting a hotdog in a keyhole. | permalink 

So will Sebastian go for Carrie or the fast girl at school, Donna? Will Carrie and her sister Dorritt be able to get along? What will happen with Mouse and Maggie's respective relationships? 

I think this show was adorable and the first episode introduced us to a lot of stuff we can explore down the road. What did you think of the series premiere of The Carrie Diaries? Hit the comments! 


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (222 Votes)

This may be sort of a technicality, but since Sarah Jessica Parker has immortalized Carrie and she is left handed, AnnaSophia should have stuck to that. I don't know why that got so much of my attention!
Loved it though! Anything to do with SATC will always have my full attention!


forgot to add in my prev comment. if the CW was to re-launch One Tree Hill with a fresh cast- Carrie would be the perfect Peyton Sawyer...just saying :)


It was refereshing to see the early 80s but I was kind of hoping to have a glimmer of Gossip Girl in the show. I love how they introduce Manhattan as the protagonist, after all Manhattan will shape Carrie as to who she becomes right? love the sequined dress and the manhattan skyline snow globe- with the carrie diaries written in hot pink. the first few seconds only sweep u in.
And i agree about the steamy pool kiss- Cruel Intentions 1 set the trend for steamy + pool ;)
I love her friend mouse and her wannabe goth sister is a cross between annoying jenny ( from GG) & the various Waldorf Minions :)
What can I say about Sebastian Kidd? control that outta control smirk dude, u have a slight chance of overtaking Damon Salvatore! NO!!!
The mean girls aren't bitchy enough and high school parties suck even in 2013...
Overall, I am going to hang on for a few episodes, and Robb who plays Carrie is so fresh, believable and cute.
Thumbs up to the network & hope they have 10 seasons like SATC!


cont... I actually like the voice overs of Carrie's thoughts, the handbag with her name on it, the little c necklace, and then the end with her initiating her love of writing at the window with her desk. It will be interesting to see how today's teens take to it because like somebody else said... some teens today may find something like 'Girls' far more interesting. Anyway, I think it'll be nice to watch Carrie Bradshaw fall in love with Manhattan in the '80s before the rest of the characters story played out.


I'm in my late 20's and a fan of Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw so I wasn't sure if this show was something I should even tune into... whether it was very much a teen drama and whether it would just butcher everything great about the character Carrie Bradshaw. Honestly... I really didn't hate it. The '80s setting makes me feel okay with tuning in, lol. The 80s music, outfits, and backgrounds are also done quite well and not overly cheesy however; like others, I imagine Carrie's hair being FAR more frizzy in the 80s. I also feel like there were moments where you could see the young girl playing Carrie has taken the time to learn small quirks made known by SJP when creating the adult TV Carrie Bradshaw and as a fan of the SJP Carrie Bradshaw... it's appreciated :)


As a huge SATC fan I was looking forward to this show....but I feel like they lost me early on. In SATC Carrie references that her dad quit her and her mom when she was little and she thinks it shaped how she sees men. That's a pretty big detail to change.


Stbob is right. The teenagers now would probably more incline to watch GIRLS. I am a big SATC fan, only reason why I am watching this. The pilot was average. I think Anna Sophia is good. Having a good lead is important in keeping me interested in the show. I had hope it would be show Carries in her 20s rather than when she is 15. Perhaps if there is a 2nd or 3rd season, they could time jump a few years. I do love 80s music and the show have lots of it even the more obscure White Horse. The more innocent times why handphone and laptops were not common. I did grew up in the 80s.


I really think they should have made it more consistent with sex and the city. I won't even talk about it being consistent with the carrie diaries books because they already changed the story line completely (the way she gets to new york). I wish it was a little less inocent also, i know this is her as a teen ager but its the 80's and kids were already doing all kinds of stuff, they even show it (mentioning sex and pot) but it feels a bit forced seeing how wide eyed she is. I have very high hopes for the show, I am a satc fan and loved the books. I just really hope they don't turn it into your typical unrealistically positive teen series (like jane by design)


Like Tooh-tally (V.0) Inner Dialogue, Why??? Aside from that dreadful device to engage the viewer, I thought it was charming enough. It definitely deserves better ratings. @carrie " I'm glad they chose AnnaSophia. It's so rare (especially in the 'teen' genre) to find a lead that is captivating. Only one in recent memory for me is Ashley Rickards on Awkward." Agree That's why I don't believe she needs the (V.O). Awkward gets away with (V.O) as it's very little ,and it's a comedy. ..


I'm glad they chose AnnaSophia. It's so rare (especially in the 'teen' genre) to find a lead that is captivating. Only one in recent memory for me is Ashley Rickards on Awkward.

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The Carrie Diaries Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

It was like putting a hot dog in a keyhole.


It's always the same dream. I'm in the city and I belong. Manhattan is mine. But then I always wake up. The same old Carrie Bradshaw in Castlebury Connecticut.