Need a break from vampire love triangles, hunky teen wolves and anonymous stalkers named ‘A’? “The Carrie Diaries” is a perfect fix.
This cute new television series features the classic themes of adolescence and coming of age. The show, a prequel to “Sex and the City,” revolves around the life of teenager Carrie Bradshaw in 1984 Connecticut.
Bradshaw, played by AnnaSophia Robb, balances two worlds: her high school life in Connecticut, complete with a protective father, rebellious younger sister and forbidden romance, and the glamour and sophistication of Manhattan. In N.Y.C., she interns for a law firm by day and parties with an editor from her favorite magazine by night.
The new series, which premiered Jan. 14 on the CW, presents a change in Carrie’s story. Carrie lives with her recently widowed father in “The Carrie Diaries,” whereas in “Sex and the City,” her father has abandoned her.
Carrie finds herself assuming the role of her absent mother, feeling responsible for her dark-makeup-wearing, pot-smoking 14-year-old sister. In each episode, Bradshaw’s problems at home parallel those in the city.
The city teaches Carrie life lessons she later takes home. She is often conflicted between the wise, mature and sexually sophisticated adult she strives to be and the innocent teenager she still is. Robb portrays a naïve teenager looking for ways to feel more grown up. Blog critics rave over her cute and confident performance each episode.
Critics from the LA Times argue that the show is too different from “Sex and the City,” and that young Carrie is too soft-featured, blonde and curly-haired to play the same Carrie that sharp-featured Sarah Jessica Parker played.
Critics also comment that the show lacks the true aura of the 80’s and fails to transport viewers into the decade of scrunchies and Madonna. But, the show aims to please female teens and young adults with its stories of growing up, young love—with both a boy and a city—and everything in between. Robb is endearing and brilliant. She conveys the spirit of a typical 16-year-old trying to find herself while remaining unique.
Although the show is set as a prequel to “Sex and the City,” it’s entertaining and charming enough to stand on its own.