Before she was a style icon and newspaper columnist living in the Upper East Side, Carrie Bradshaw was a fresh-faced, wide-eyed teenager living in suburban Connecticut. Based on a book by author Candace Bushnell, The Carrie Diaries follows a 16-year-old Carrie Bradshaw (AnnaSophia Robb) as she balances high school and an internship in Manhattan during the 1980s. The funny, light-hearted, coming-of-age Sex and the City prequel captures Carrie’s total love affair with NYC, fashion and the opposite sex.
Paying Homage to SJP’s Carrie Bradshaw
Not many people could fill Sarah Jessica Parker's Manolo Blahniks, Jimmy Choos and Louboutins, but AnnaSophia Robb is a nice fit. There are several instances where AnnaSophia pays homage to the Sex and the City character we all know and love. In the second episode, Carrie spends a Saturday night laughing over PB&J saltine sandwiches with her girlfriends - "I like to make a stack of saltines. I put grape jelly on them. I eat them standing up in the kitchen reading fashion magazines." She tells this same thing to Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha in season 4 of Sex and the City. Speaking of fashion magazines, the teenage Carrie Bradshaw can often be found reading them while lying down just like her older counterpart. In the final scene of The Carrie Diaries premiere, Carrie sits in front of her window, pulls her hair into a ponytail and handwrites her feelings in her journal. Thirty-something Carrie sits in front of her window, pulls her hair into a ponytail and types her columns on a MacBook throughout the course of Sex and the City.
The Carrie Diaries is full of references to the '80s - from then teen heartthrob Rob Lowe, to the young and controversial Madonna, to the never-ending Corey Feldmann vs. Corey Haim debate. Not surprisingly, the soundtrack to the show is basically a who's who of '80s music. In the first two episodes, we've heard Violent Femmes, Duran Duran, The Cars, The Talking Heads, Madness, New Order, Billy Idol, Depeche Mode, Cyndi Lauper and more. And what would a show about a future style icon be without a little '80s fashion? From neon to popped collars to acid-wash denim to Carrie's late mother's purse splattered in neon green and hot pink nail polish, the trends are right on point.
Carrie lives in suburban Connecticut with her father and sister. Matt Letscher (Brothers and Sisters, Entourage) portrays Tom Bradshaw, a father overwhelmed when his wife passes away left to care for Carrie and her younger sister on his own. Stefania Owen (Running Wilde, The Lovely Bones) tackles the role of Dorrit Bradshaw, Carrie's 14-year-old rebellious sister who despises Carrie for having more time with their mother. Carrie's best friends consist of Mouse played by Ellen Wong (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), Maggie Landers played by Katie Findlay (The Killing) and Walt Reynolds played by Brendan Dooling (An Elf's Story: The Elf on the Shelf). Each is faced with their own challenges - the quiet and reserved Mouse lost her virginity over the summer and then got dumped and Maggie is sleeping with an older police officer while dating Walt. Meanwhile, Walt is secretly gay and struggling with his own identity. Carrie's love interest is the sexy transfer student with a bad boy reputation Sebastian Kydd played by Austin Butler (Switched at Birth). Donna LaDonna played by Chloe Bridges (90210) is the popular girl doing everything in her power to come in between Carrie and her man. Freema Agyeman (Doctor Who) is Larissa Loughin, a cutting-edge style editor at Interview Magazine that takes Carrie under her wing in Manhattan.
School without Technology
It’s 1984 and oh so refreshing to revisit high school in an era without cell phones, texting, computers, iPads, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, etc. It's a simpler time where teenagers passed notes in class, listened to Walkmans, watched MTV and frequented video game arcades. The only way to stay connected with the latest gossip is via rotary phones and payphones. Of course, if you’re an international fashion editor like Larissa Loughton, you can just use your massive Zach Morris cell phone.