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tv review: the carrie diaries

i couldn't help but wonder: should i tune in to this sex and the city spin-off?

by: rebecca willa davis

January 14 2013

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When it was announced that The CW was turning The Carrie Diaries, the prequel Sex and the City book series penned by Candace Bushnell about a teenage Carrie Bradshaw, I couldn't help but wonder: Is this really be a good idea? After all, this came during the era of Sex and the City movies, which I think we can all agree were an unfortunate stain on the otherwise successful series' run.

But don't let that initial reaction of "Here they go ruining the show even more" stop you from watching The Carrie Diaries, which premieres tonight at 8pm, because guess what? It's actually pretty good. Here's why:

1) It's not trying to pull a Muppet Babies, where it's the exact same characters as in Sex and the City, only younger. Instead, its got its own storylines, its own characters, and its own vibe.

2) That said, it also stays true to the heart and soul of its predecessor, making friendship and personal careers (or, you know, homework) as important, if not more important, than finding a boyfriend.

3) AnnaSophia Robb is perfect as angsty-but-artsy Carrie Bradshaw. Filling Sarah Jessica Parker's very tall shoes is a very tall order, yet Robb totally makes the role her own. I was impressed. The rest of the casting is pretty spot on. Ellen Wong as Carrie's BFF is cute without being annoying, and Austin Butler (aka Vanessa Hudgens' boyfriend) is so '80s preppy heartthrob it hurts.

4) The clothing. The complaint with SATC was always, How did Carrie afford it all? You won't have that with this series: Her wardrobe is cool--in a super '80s way--but also totally believable. Like, this is a teen girl with modest means who finds her own way to make her outfits her own. Spoiler alert: Total bag DIY inspiration in the first episode.

5) The Carrie Diaries perfectly captures what it's like to be a teenager and dream of something bigger and better than what you have in your own little town. As someone who grew up just outside New York City and daydreamed about living there--and finally got the chance, I think they totally nailed the wonder and excitement that makes the fifth SATC character, NYC, so special. Remember: The CW, 8pm EST, Mondays.

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