- The Carrie Diaries
- Mondays, 8 p.m., The CW
A few years ago, the producers of Gossip Girl attempted (and failed) to launch a prequel spinoff set during the 1980s, showcasing the younger versions of the show’s grown-up Manhattan socialites. The CW must have liked the general concept, because now we’ve got The Carrie Diaries, a Sex and the City spinoff from the producers of Gossip Girl, set in the 1980s and featuring the younger version of Sex and the City heroine Carrie Bradshaw.
Diaries has more in common with Gossip Girl than it does with Sex and the City, despite being created by former Sex and the City writer Amy B. Harris. For starters, it’s an hour-long drama rather than a half-hour comedy, and it seriously tones down Carrie’s signature wordplay, although her ever-present voiceover remains. The teenage Carrie (AnnaSophia Robb) has a father and younger sister who were never part of Sex and the City continuity, and a whole different circle of friends not named Samantha, Miranda or Charlotte.
Diaries might have been better off without any Sex and the City connection, because while it’s a serviceable CW teen drama set in the ’80s (albeit oversaturated with garish fashions and obvious music cues), it pales in comparison to its legendary predecessor. Continuity issues aside, Diaries lacks the wit and vibrancy of Sex and the City, and its PG-13 antics, while sometimes racy for the CW, are nothing compared to what the older version of Carrie got into. Fans of the original series will likely find Diaries sanitized and dull, while the CW’s core teen audience has probably never heard of Carrie Bradshaw anyway.