'The Carrie Diaries' recap: Sweet little lies

Sarah D. Bunting
Yahoo! TV
"The Carrie Diaries" -- "Lie With Me"

The theme of "Lie With Me" is -- surprise! -- lying, and every storyline and word of voice-over hammers it home, much in the style of the labored puns and tortured thematic tie-ins of "Sex & the City."

But the variations on the theme in the second episode of "The Carrie Diaries" seem much more childish, even PSA-like, despite the clear depiction of oral sex in the 8 PM timeslot. …Well, the attempt, anyway, because Maggie and Walt's relationship is one of the lies on offer: Walt is lying to himself and Maggie about his reasons for not wanting to have sex with her, and Maggie is therefore lying to Walt about continuing her affair with the police officer (her father, we find out, is the town's police chief…yikes). Maggie also lies to Carrie that she lied about having had sex with Walt (say that five times fast!), not specifying that she has in fact lost her virginity, just not with her closeted BF.

At episode's end, after marching over to Maggie's house to Do It with her after school, only to get stood up while Maggie is getting it on with Deputy Dillweed in the back seat of his cruiser, Walt breaks things off. He loves Maggie, just "not that way." Uh duh.

Meanwhile, Sebastian lies about Donna LaDonna hitting on him at his dad's country club. The ensuing pouting from Carrie about how she's "grounded, and not fun" seems like giving Sebastian reasons to think she's a wet end, but he keeps turning Donna and her LaMarijuana down in pursuit of Carrie. Mouse is cynical about her breakup with Seth, and advises Carrie to give it up to Sebastian pronto -- even if it means sneaking out and breaking her grounding. "And lie to my dad again?" Carrie pearl-clutches, as though no teenage girl has ever fudged the truth in the service of boy-chasing.

Of course, when Larissa calls to say that the photo shoot starring Carrie's purse has gotten rescheduled for that very day, Carrie has no problem lying to her internship boss -- about going on an errand to the file room, and about buying her a Dior scarf for her date that night (Larissa actually gave it to her at the photo shoot). Then Carrie does lie to her dad so she can meet Sebastian at the swim club -- but that means dissing Dorrit, who she was supposed to be hanging out with (nice bit of offended acting by Stefania Owen here), so of course Dorrit tattles on her and Dad busts her, and even though Sebastian is pretty rad, introducing himself with a strong handshake and taking the blame, Dad forbids her to date him: "I know a little bit about him and his family, and I'm telling you to stay away." Yeah, that strategy did gangbusters for Jim Walsh when he pulled it on Brenda and Dylan, Mr. Bradshaw. Good luck with that.

…Actually, it might work this time, as Carrie has a lot of boo-boo-kitty VO lines like "Doing the right thing is hard, maybe because lying is often easier than the truth and "I would need to choose between Sebastian and my dad!" Please give AnnaSophia Robb less "Goofus & Gallant" character beats to work with, show, because she's getting on our nerves.

Finally, after many many many clonky lines about honesty and references to Pinocchio, we end in the Bradshaw kitchen with Mouse, Dorrit, and Carrie comforting Maggie about the break-up and bonding over PB-and-saltine sandwiches. The more you know! [rainbow]

Totally awesome '80s

Music cues include Duran Duran, the Violent Femmes, the Go-Gos, and Madness ("Our House," which, as much as we love the song, is now in that "I Feel Good"-in-movie-trailers overuse zone).

At the photo shoot, Larissa -- talking on a cordless phone the size of a Mini Cooper -- cites the reason for the schedule change as one of the Coreys being "so bloody hungover, we can't get him out of bed." (Carrie: "He's thirteen!")

Sebastian invites Carrie to a Blue Oyster Cult concert.

Characters refer to watching "The Love Boat."

Dorrit provides the girls'-night entertainment: A bootleg copy of "Purple Rain."

Total anachronisms

Larissa also refers to "emaciated models," which at the time were 1) not the norm or 2) a cause for concern.

Acid-wash garments appear on many of the extras. Sadly, we can report firsthand that acid wash didn't make a regular appearance in malls until a few years later.

Twitter was focused on the scenery in last night's ep:

AnnaSophia Robb gets investigated by the Fashion Police:

"The Carrie Diaries" airs Mondays at 8 PM on The CW.