Did The CW's Carrie Diaries Sweep You Off Your Manolo Blahniks?

PilotWe couldn’t help but wonder: Could The Carrie Diaries — The CW’s new series about a pre-fancy shoes, pre-Mr. Big teenage Carrie Bradshaw growing up in the ’80s — win over loyal Sex and the City fans and newbies alike?

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Before you respond to that question, a brief refresher of Monday night’s premiere: Based on Candace Bushnell’s novels about the future Manhattanite’s adolescent years, The Carrie Diaries is not a prequel to the HBO series, so there are some notable changes to the brief backstory glimpsed on SatC.

The year is 1984, and this Carrie (Soul Surfer‘s AnnaSophia Robb in a charming, breakout performance) has recently lost her mom; the teen lives with her younger sister (Running Wilde‘s Stefania Owen) and loving father (Scandal’s Matt Letscher) in suburban Connecticut.

She has a trio of friends, including geeky Mouse (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World‘s Ellen Wong), who recently lost her virginity; and the confident Maggie (The Killing‘s Katie Findlay), who’s secretly hooking up with an older police officer; making Carrie the lone virgin among her female pals. (Maggie’s closeted boyfriend Walt (newcomer Brendan Dooling) rounds out the group.) Then there’s the new kid — cool, mysterious transfer student Sebastian (Switched at Birth‘s Austin Butler), who just so happens to have a history with Carrie.

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But the allure of Manhattan proves even more exciting for our heroine than the cute boy at school. To help his daughter get over her grief, Carrie’s dad arranges an internship for her at a law firm in the city. She quickly meets Larissa (Doctor Who‘s Freema Agyeman), a style editor for Interview magazine who draws young Ms. Bradshaw into a world of glamour, art and parties where everyone is free to be “distinctly themselves in a city that celebrated them,” Carrie’s voiceover marvels.

And that’s where Carrie Diaries provides a refreshing twist on the average teen soap. Rather than just being about the hunt for a boyfriend, it’s about “searching for me,” Carrie remarks. “Who I was. Who I wanted to be.”

Now it’s your turn, TVLiners: Hit the poll below to let us know what grade you give The Carrie Diaries, then hit the comments to back up your pick!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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93 Comments
  1. megan says:

    sooooo much better than I anticipated! Will tune in again…

    • Crazyheart says:

      Agreed! Oh my god, I screamed at that last shot of Carrie sitting in front of her window starting to write….really feels like SHE is back in our lives!!!

    • Joline says:

      The promos did this show NO justice whatsoever. It is a thousand times better than what it looked like it was going to be.

    • TV Gord says:

      It was cute and it did capture the spirit and mood of Sex And The City. It was smartly written, which I was hoping for. It reminded me of the time before the movies, when it was okay for heterosexual men to watch it! ;-)

    • greysfan says:

      I went into this expecting to hate it and came out completely the opposite. Its witty and its awesome. I just wish it wasn’t connected to Sex and the City and instead a stand a lone show but it will always have that link. Looking forward to more. Give it an A-. This could be CW’s next big thing.

    • jackie2830 says:

      TOTALLY AGREE………..62 YR OLD SEX/CITY FAN. Very believable as Carrie’s beginning of NY life. Already DVR’d for the series season. Also loved Jane By Design which was cancelled.

  2. Whitewlf says:

    i wish the CW was available on demand unfortunately other shows take precedent on my DVR such as Bones

  3. jess says:

    I tuned in ….because I was bored and nothing was on tv ….and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The lead girl was a great casting choice. I also like how this show takes place in the 80’s …it’s refreshing.

    I’m not going to call it a homerun yet, but I’ll definitely be tuning in next week.

  4. J says:

    it was, honestly, sooooooooo much better than what I was expecting. good start.

  5. AB says:

    That hot dog in a key hole bit was more repulsive than witty. They could have come up with a clever analogy.

  6. I was expecting shallow and silly (and yes, I was an SATC fangirl, but IMO Carrie turned into a shrill, selfish harpy by the end), but I am now noshing on my words. It was very, very good! It has a lot of heart, I liked all the actors, and if it keeps up this level of quality, I’ll be watching every week.

  7. Mark says:

    Shocked by all the praise so far. Will have to watch it.

    • Brooke says:

      Me too! Was expecting a bunch of “meh”s but people are responding in surprising ways. I will have to check out the premiere when CW puts it up on their website.

  8. Amanda says:

    I’m so in love with it 20 minutes in. I really needed this show in my life.

  9. Mike says:

    I know this is not the show for me, but I am a fan of Robb, so I’m happy to hear people like it.

  10. Rrrrrr says:

    I was going to skip this all together, but I’m impressed by all the praise. I’ll have to get it in iTunes later.

  11. kate says:

    I didn’t really have much expectation for this but I really loved it. I can’t wait to see more!!

  12. Joline says:

    The supporting cast needs A LOT of work. I didn’t really care about any of them, except maybe the Sebatian guy from her school. Otherwise, I was shocked at how much I liked the girl playing Carrie. She did a great job and was very believable. Never thought I would say this, but the show definitely has potential….

  13. Patricia says:

    Wow i didn’t watch it but based on these comments I think I’ll check it out during the week. Sounds like it was a good

  14. Emanda says:

    Annasophia Robb is winsome. She made Carrie a heroine the audience can root for. It was a good start.

  15. Jared says:

    I did not think I would have liked The Carrie Diaries considering I wasn’t really a big fan of SATC but I have to admit that it was a solid pilot. From the music..clothes and the overall story I’ll definitely start watching this.

  16. Joe says:

    Definitely a great start. I wasn’t expecting much from it but it’s super cute. Started off slow and a bit weird but you could definitely hear Carrie’s voice coming through by the end. Will be tuning in next week!

  17. mia says:

    I really liked it. I like that its about Carrie finding who she is, and not so boyfriend focused. Romance has a place, but it doesn’t seem to be the driving force and I find that really refreshing.
    .
    Plus the fashion is AWESOME. And having Freema back on tv is the best!
    .
    I’ll be sticking around for sure

    • Sarah says:

      I too loved seeing Freema again! Although, would this prevent Martha Jones from reappearing for Who’s 50th anniversary should the opportunity come?

      • mia says:

        Oh goodness I hope not! I really want her in the 50th. And Billie and Barrowman!!

        • erik says:

          Billy Piper has already said she’s not a part of the 50th anniversary, as they never asked her. There are rumors that they are casting a younger Captain Jack because John Barrowman can’t be a part of the episode because of Arrow…

  18. Vivian says:

    Since I’m a huge SATC fan, I wasn’t even going to watch it. But after reading some comments here, I think I’ll give it a try.

  19. Jared says:

    AnnaSophia Robb shined as Carrie Bradshaw. She not only managed to make the character her own but stayed true to the character on SATC. Pleasantly surprised with this one. The previews did this show absolutely no justice. I’ll definitely keep watching.

  20. Steve Z says:

    When she sat down to write and did her hair up, I had a very SATC moment. I LOVE THE MUSIC!!

  21. Mick says:

    It was an enjoyable hour.

  22. anil says:

    it should definitely do well, its a perfect fit for the CW network. i can see it getting a stable 0.7 – 0.8 demo throughout its run which is good for CW.

  23. Amelia says:

    Anna Sophia Robb is so likable in this role.

  24. Kristoffer says:

    I already have WAY too much tv to watch and 2 other shows were DVR’ing, so I skipped it…. but based on what folks are saying above I might have to watch it online.

    • Joline says:

      I seriously don’t know what I’m going to do Monday nights. Already have HIMYM and the Bachelor on the DVR. Then DWTS starts in March! Ugh….too many good shows is a good problem to have. (I know the Bachelor is trashy but I still love it!)

  25. Kayla says:

    AnnaSophia is absolutely perfect for this role. It pays homage to the real show in many ways: the love of the city, new experiences, supporting friends, self-discovery, and fashion. Young Carrie has a perfect amount of innocence, anything can happen, world at her fingertips type of appeal, and I can imagine that this is just what Carrie Bradshaw was like on the brink of womanhood.

    I love her father, but the rest of the supporting characters were a bit bland. However, this show isn’t necessarily about them, so it makes sense that the pilot focuses on getting to know Carrie.

  26. guest says:

    while I like the actress, I was bored and turned off.

  27. Fabian says:

    I really liked it. I loved all of the music and it just really made you feel “good” by the end. I thought that AnnaSophia Robb did a great job; she was very relatable and charming.

  28. CW Fan says:

    Is this show meant to be for 10year olds? So boring and lame! The only good thing: Austin Butler. He can’t save this confused snorefest.

  29. Billy Bob says:

    Is the show still worth checking out for people who never watched and no nothing about Sex and the City?

    • Joline says:

      First – you should go out immediately and watch SATC because it will change your life. Second – if you decide not to do that, then I still think you will like this show if you like 80’s movies and coming of age stories with a certain amount of innocence (not cynical or controversial like some of the other teen based shows…)

    • Linda F says:

      I think so, Billy Bob. You’d get a couple of the little in-jokes if you’d watched it, but nothing that would take away your enjoyment of the movie. I think it stands on its own.

    • soundscene says:

      I didn’t watch SaTC and I loved it. Honestly, given this is on The CW and their target audience is a bit younger, I’m sure the show expected a lot of viewers that hadn’t seen SaTC because they were too young when it aired.

  30. Allyson says:

    I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, but I recorded it and found out that I did like it. I was impressed! So it is worth watching more episodes of this much hyped prequel. I always wondered why Carrie on the SATC never talked talked about her family. It is good to get a glimpse of what Carrie was like in the 80s.

  31. Patrick says:

    Shockingly impressed

  32. omabin says:

    wow…. this is not my type of show but i don’t remember the last time a pilot generated such a positive and unanimous reaction. maybe it will actually hit for the cw

  33. Hipper says:

    I don’t normally watch CW shows (haven’t committed to anything since ‘Jack & Bobby’ when it was just The WB…. if you don’t count the 90210 cameos when they did that), but tuned in because I’m curious about due to the SATC link.

    I’m not sold on it yet because this can easily slip into something horrid. The supporting cast needs a lot of work (particular the sister… Oy, what a miscast there), but this show is anchored well by AnnaSophia Robb. She’s selling it. Reminding me a bit of Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie portrayal but at the same time adding her own spin on things.

    I’m tuning in next week to where things go before committing, but consider me one of the many who are pleasantly surprised by what they saw tonight.

  34. Tom says:

    I liked it. I’ll echo the “not really my kind of show” sentiment that others have said, but I was pleasantly surprised. I’ll give it another shot next week.

    • Tom says:

      I also have a question about this show. The young Carrie in NYC parts of the pilot were much more interesting than the high school parts. Are they going to quickly move the story line to AnnaSophia Robb’s actual age and focus Carrie on her own? If this show becomes another trials and tribulations of a high school kid kind of show it could get tired very quickly.

  35. Ronald says:

    Feels a bit like ‘Jane by Design’ just set in the 80s

  36. Jason says:

    I really liked it, and I was not a regular viewer of the original SATC. You’re right, AnnaSophia just steals the screen, and the 80s soundtrack is cool, too. Austin Butler never ages, and he’s an ideal HS hottie. Another breakout hit for The CW. That’s 3 already this season (the first after Ms. Ostroff was committed to the Ostroff Center), if anyone’s counting. Cult looks awesome, too.

  37. Shauna says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!! austin butler is just beautiful. annasophia is AMAZING! the whole 80s vibe … i love it all! the episode was a little bit predictable, but maybe thats because i am 17, and can call a lot of these situations…. if i only i could escape to manhatten like carrie <3

  38. soundscene says:

    I thought it was great–better than the average teen show from this pilot. Carrie was charming rather than cloying, which I worried about before I watched. I wasn’t a SaTC viewer–I’ve only seen parts of episodes and the first movie–so I have no comment on the differences or strengths of one versus the other. Really, The Carrie Diaries should be taken on its own, especially since the author obviously means it to be.

  39. martina says:

    I wouldn’t get my hopes up too high. Remember that show called Gossip Girl? It began fantastically and then it turned into a complete snooze-fest. With Stephanie Savage also in charge of this one she’ll ruin it just as fast.

    • soundscene says:

      To be fair, Gossip Girl took a couple years to turn into a snoozefest. There were quite a bit of good episodes. Besides, this show doesn’t really have much in common with Gossip Girl.

  40. Rich says:

    I hate Sex and the City with all my heart, but for some reason, I decided to give this show a chance and I was charmed almost from the beginning. I hope they can keep up the magic that was the pilot.

  41. Name(less) says:

    I would love to know who was covering “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” at the end, the mellow version before Cyndi took over & pumped it up! Any clues?

  42. Ruby says:

    Still absolutely ZERO interest in this, even with all the compliments.

  43. Tee says:

    I have to say, I had absolutely no interest in watching it til everyone on the interwebs seemed to be lavishing praise on it. It was decent, even very good for the last little bit. I’ll keep watching for now, and hopefully it doesn’t plummet in quality or takes a trip to crazytown with painfully forced drama as many decent-starting shows eventually do.

    Personally I liked SATC but this is a completely different show. Anyone that didn’t like or didn’t watch the show would have no problems because of that.

  44. erik says:

    I was really surprised by the show… not a big fan of Sex and the City, but i tuned in cause there was nothing else to watch last night. Really well written and acted. Was really nice to see Freema on my tv again, in a role that is SO far from Martha Jones. Will definitely be watching the show in the future.

  45. Betty says:

    Loved the music, especially the songs from SJP’s teen movies.

  46. jenny says:

    I couldn’t help but wonder: Doesn’t the green mommy dress look a little bit like the dress in the first sex and the city movie, where Carrie & Big find their real estate heaven??

  47. katrina s. says:

    Loved it! Really impressed!! I hope it stays as good as it is..oh how i miss SATC!! would be so cool to meet a young samantha!! And yes i do think that dress looked like the dress from the movie!

  48. adlib19 says:

    I’ll have to watch based on everyone’s feedback. Hmm could this be aired the same night along with my fave Hart of Dixie?

  49. intelliwoman says:

    Freema shows i go. Despise her

  50. lee matters says:

    I loved the music but i don’t think it felt like the 80`s. It felt like modern day. There needs to be a lot more outgoing Carrie then we saw last night. She is a bit too timid to be the Carrie Bradshaw we know and love.

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