The long-awaited prequel to Sex And The City, The Carrie Diaries, made its small screen debut on US network The CW last night. And the verdicts are in – not all of them entirely positive.
Rewind to 1984, and Carrie Bradshaw is a 16-year-old girl, navigating school, friendships and teenage life in the shadow of her mother’s recent death. Sound compelling?
Matt Zoller Seitz, of NY Mag’s Vulture, was not convinced.
‘In its deceptively sprightly way, Sex And The City was “about” a lot of things: female friendship; entitlement expressed via clothes, shoes, jewelry, and real estate; writing and living, and living through writing; the New Yorker’s delusion that her city is the center of the world; and the princess fantasy, and the lifelong parade of men that embody it, destroy it, or wear it down. The Carrie Diaries is mostly about one thing: wanting to cash in on Sex And The City.’
Other critics were kinder, noting that, although it’s no Sex And The City, it was never supposed to be – and that it was perfectly pitched for the young, aspirational audience of its new network.
Wrote Robert Lloyd of The LA Times: ‘The situations are stock — John Hughes wrote this playbook pretty thoroughly — and the dialogue does not exactly crackle. But it is all well-staged and believably played and at times it becomes quite lyrical and, even, moving.’
Tim Goodman, writing for The Hollywood Reporter, also seemed to have his initially low expectations surpassed. ‘Now, Carrie Diaries isn’t perfect. Sharing a pedigree with Sex And The City makes for a tough comparison,’ he commented. ‘But it’s certainly a perfect CW show. Everybody looks young and pretty… But at least in The Carrie Diaries, they’re not vampires or comic book characters. They are real people with plausible emotions.’
One thing they did all seem to agree on were the talents of star AnnaSophia Robb, who takes her first steps into stardom with the iconic role of Carrie. One to watch when it hits our screens? Let us know what you think…