The CW’s The Carrie Diaries gets sexy in its Season 2 premiere (airing Friday, 8/7c) when Samantha Jones (played by new addition Lindsey Gort) struts into the young Ms. Bradshaw’s life and opens up her Bambi eyes.
The titular writer-to-be isn’t the only one going through a personal shake-up, as Walt comes to terms with being gay in suburbia.
So will the teen and crush Bennet finally make a go of it? Executive producer Amy B. Harris weighs in on that and reveals how Carrie will move on from Sebastian.
TVLINE | We know that Samantha becomes a big part of Carrie’s life, but what is her relationship like with Carrie’s circle of friends and family?
For us, the really fun thing was, “How does she click in to these people?” After the first episode, we know that she will be living with Walt, so she’ll definitely have a connection to that. And whether or not Walt enjoys living with Samantha is yet to be seen. He likes her, personally, but I’m not sure he wants to live with her. Mostly, there’s going to be a lot of positive experiences. Mouse is going to be eager to hear her more-experienced point of view about sex, but it’s probably not much of a surprise that [Samantha] and Larissa are not going to enjoy each other. I like to describe them as the two devils on Carrie’s shoulders. They have different points of views about how to take it to the next level.
TVLINE | Samantha was one of the more scandalous characters on Sex and the City. How much are you able to push the envelope with this younger version of her?
Obviously, we’re not going to be showing boobs and butts. But in a really fun, outrageous way, we’ve been able to push the envelope on how we talk about sex, how Carrie is starting to think about sex [and] realizing she may have some issues around sex. Samantha is very much going to be a part of helping Carrie open herself up in many different ways. It’s not just about being more open sexually, but also expressing your feelings when it’s hard to do that, or worrying less and getting out of your head. She’s going to have a big impact on Carrie’s point of view.
TVLINE | Was there anything that surprised you as you were writing this young iteration of Samantha?
I had very strong ideas about where Samantha was from. I loved that in the Sex and the City series, Samantha was someone who really celebrated her sexuality and being uninhibited, but she didn’t seem to really want a committed relationship with a man. Yet she was happy to have female friendships that were very strong. So that’s where I was starting from. Where do you come from that you feel like men aren’t a person you rely on, but women are? I started to think she didn’t know her dad very well, while her mom was probably someone who dated a lot of different guys and put them first. So we’re exploring a lot of vulnerability in her [before] Sex and the City‘s Samantha fully armored herself with her fabulousity.
TVLINE | Carrie’s coming off a broken heart. Will she get back out there?
We have a love interest coming [played by Chris Wood], which I’m very excited about. What I love about high school as a world is that you can’t get away from your exes — they’re actually standing in the hallways and your classrooms with you. So Sebastian is very much in the picture in terms of just actually being there, which we’re excited to explore, but Carrie is going to get out there and date other people. We found a very exciting actor and character to really challenge Sebastian’s place in her heart. He’s a much more Manhattan character. He lives in the city. He’s a playwright. He starts as someone she’s interested in maybe interviewing and then it, of course, becomes something else. The idea is that he’s kind of a wunderkind, so he’s not in his twenties. He’s 19 and taking New York’s literary circles by storm with this very tragic play he’s written.
TVLINE | Walt is going to turn 18 soon, so what’s ahead for him and Bennet?
Because [Walt] doesn’t have very many gay friends and is not experienced in the gay world, that looming birthday is a big day for him. The issue is it might not be a day that is looming as big for Bennet, because Bennet is in a world where he’s comfortable and is dating and is out there. So that’s going to create some conflict between the two of them right off the bat.
For Walt, it’s a twofold struggle this year. In Castleberry, [with] his parents, he is not going to be out of the closet. Although he’s coming to terms with being gay, it’s not a safe enough environment for him to be openly gay. There are no communities or clubs to join that will make you feel safe in 1985, so that’s going to be a big issue throughout the season. And then as homophobia is running rampant throughout the suburbs, the AIDS epidemic is running rampant through Manhattan.
TVLINE | How will Maggie be dealing with the aftermath of the finale? Is she an outcast?
This is going to be a very challenging time for Maggie. She’s realizing she’s not 100 percent sure of what a future looks like for her and she doesn’t have the ambition and drive that Carrie and Mouse have to know what they want to do next in the world. I find Maggie to be a very relatable character in that there are many girls and women out there who confuse sex and someone being attracted to you with love. It becomes a vicious cycle for someone like Maggie. She’s going to have a rough go of it. … She wants more for herself. She just doesn’t know how to get it.
TVLINE | Most of what we saw of Sebastian last season was through his storyline with Carrie. Now that they’re not together, where is that character going to go? And how will Molly Sims’ character play into his storyline?
One of the things I loved exploring with Sebastian is how he has all the money in the world and great looks, but he really has two parents who couldn’t be less invested in his happiness and well-being. We’re going to have a lot of fun exploring those challenges for him, and sometimes that will bring him into Carrie’s orbit in strange ways. We’re very excited about bringing in a love interest for him, and when we really started thinking about who that would be, it didn’t feel like he would necessarily start dating someone at the high school because I do think he is in love with Carrie and he would like to make that work. So finding someone who is equally invested in a quiet, behind-the-scenes, no-strings-attached relationship is a good [idea], and Molly’s character is very much in that vein.