Arriving to televisions tonight is the series premiere of The Carrie Diaries, the CW's take on the Sex and the City myth — a prequel, of sorts, about a young Carrie Bradshaw finding her footing in the world of sex, New York... and Connecticut. Also someone called Mouse. So let's face it, you're probably at least a little bit interested. (And, hey, The A.V. Club compared it to My So-Called Life, which is confusing, but still pretty intriguing.) So let's break down where this new thing stands in relation to the HBO show you've probably memorized by now.
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Sex and the City: Late-1990s and early 2000s New York (with occasional jaunts to the Hamptons and stops in Paris and Los Angeles). The Carrie Diaries: Mid-1980s New York and Connecticut.
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Sex and the City: One-time child actor (Annie) and teen sensation Sarah Jessica Parker (Square Pegs). The Carrie Diaries: One-time child actor (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and current teen sensation (we think?) AnnaSophia Robb.
Sex and the City: Carrie Bradshaw, sex columnist and shoe aficionado. As Vulture points out, we don't know much about Carrie's upbringing except that she got an abortion in 1988 and her father abandoned her and her mother. Wears tutus.
The Carrie Diaries: Carrie Bradshaw, high-school student, law-firm intern. Lives in Connecticut with her dad and sister. Her mom has recently died. Wears tutus.
Sex and the City: Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda. (If you don't know this, where have you been since 1998?) Samantha is a promiscuous publicist, Charlotte is a prim gallerist, and Samantha is a tough lawyer.
The Carrie Diaries: Maggie, Mouse, and Walt. According to showrunner and Sex and the City veteran Amy B. Harris, speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Maggie is "funny, ballsy and more id than anything else," but is "almost the opposite side of the coin of Samantha. If Samantha was using sex for her own empowerment, Maggie is that friend who uses sex as a form of intimacy." Mouse is "is intense, hyper-intellectual and living her life that way." Walt is "potentially figuring out his sexuality." Carrie also has Larissa, an Interview editor who she meets in New York.
Sex and the City: Mr. Big. Though Carrie had many relationships (both long and short) Big is the one she keeps coming back to. Plus, there were so many puns to be made!
The Carrie Diaries: Sebastian Kydd, a new kid at school, with a reputation for getting kicked out of tony private schools. His name is also ripe for punning. See here.
Sex and the City: Costume designer Patricia Field served up high fashion with a flair for the wacky. Made Manolo a household name. The Carrie Diaries: Gossip Girl designer Eric Daman cultivates a polished 80s throwback look. Has Century 21 product placement.
Sex and the City: Prone to puns and rhetorical questions:
The Carrie Diaries: A little less knowing and world weary, but also prone to rhetorical questions:
The Original: HBO (Sex) The Carrie Diaries: The CW (Implied sex)