“Before there was sex; before there was the city, there was Carrie Bradshaw.” Can I be the first to point out how awful this introductory sequence is (though I loved the text-warp titles later)? I might not have been completely blown away by The Carrie Diaries last week, but it’s episode two, ‘Lie With Me’, that’s the real test of whether this series has legs. Judging by this, Carrie Bradshaw Jr. is going to be hard to get along with.
Full disclosure: I watch a lot of teen dramas. Because of my accidental familiarity with the genre, The Carrie Diaries will have to do something new and different in order to keep my attention. As I wrote last week, the possible shenanigans in Manhattan have oodles of potential for scandal, corruption, coming-of-age and excitement, but I’m far from in love with Carrie’s home life. Her family still irritate me in all of their clichés, her friends (apart from Walt) are as selfish and devious as she is, and the race against time to live three separate lives is already starting to tire me out.
Don’t get me wrong, this show is very sweet and charming when it wants to be, but I have absolutely no idea where it’s going or what it’s trying to achieve. AnnaSophia Robb is fabulous in the main role and the show is populated by fun and quirky characters, but watching a high school girl lie to absolutely everyone around her for her own personal gain, while probably being quite realistic, isn’t overly endearing. This week sees her lie to her friends, her father and her boss about where she’s going on her 2-hour lunch-breaks, just so she can continue living the fraudulent NYC lifestyle she so desperately craves.
I actually love the stuff that happens in the city but, in contrast to all of this fabulous excitement, the drama back home comes off slightly lame and juvenile. Walt and Maggie are having trouble connecting because of the former’s reluctance to have sex, Mouse is bitter about her rather cruel breakup last week, and Donna is after Carrie’s man. It’s actually very refreshing to see that Carrie and Sebastian are already making a go of their relationship with no huge obstacles in the way of their attraction to one another. As nice a change as it is, though, it does mean that the storyline lacks the drama of other forbidden romances.
The final scene of the episode suggests that The Carrie Diaries is about friendship and the support you get at the end of a hard day, and this would make a lot of sense considering the ties to Sex and the City. If only the rest of the episode had the same fundamental message, I might be more inclined to come back in future weeks. Will Carrie ever come clean to those she cares about? Or will or of her lies blow up in the season finale?
What did you think of the episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.