The Carrie Diaries – Recap & Review – Pilot

photo: cw

photo: cw

The Carrie Diaries

Original Air Date: Jan 14, 2013

Dennis – Senior Reviewer

This series, based on the book series of the same name, is set in 1984 and follows a young Carrie Bradshaw (yes, that Carrie Bradshaw) as she gets through her junior year of high school. Following the death of her mother three months ago, Carrie finds comfort in her friends and, thanks to her father, a new internship in Manhattan.

Throughout the pilot, we meet a variable bunch of characters covered in the best 80’s fashion and see the very beginnings of the young columnist. This was probably the best CW pilot I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen most of them). Want to know why? Read on for the recap!

The year is 1984 and the location is Castlebury, Connecticut. Carrie is looking for her mom’ purse and asks her 14 year old sister, Dorrit, if she has it. Dorrit is a bit of a rebellious child and while Carrie’s looking through her room, she finds a bag of pot in her dresser. Dorrit asks Carrie not to tell their father, then the two fight. After their dad breaks up the fight, Carrie admits that she’s so adamant about getting the purse back because it was her mom’s and she needs a piece of her. Her dad takes her to her mom’s closet, a place that hasn’t been touched, to give something to her: a pair of her sunglasses. Carrie arrives to school and no one is talking to her, except the resident mean girl Donna LaDonna. Donna, along with her minions named The Jens, asks her if she’s doing ok and tell her she’s there for her. We then meet Carrie’s best friends, Mouse, Maggie, and Walt. They tell her there’s a new kid in school named Sebastian Kydd. We then see Sebastian come up to her and tell her he’s bummed about her mom. It turns out that Carrie knows Sebastian from a swim club they attended.

Mouse tells the girls that she met a guy over the summer named Seth Glassman at her page program in DC. He’s a freshman at Princeton and she lost her virginity to him, describing it as “putting a hot dog in a key hole”. Maggie then admits that she and Walt have had sex, but tells them not to say anything. The girls tell Carrie to ask Sebastian to go to the New Beginnings dance with her. After Carrie and Sebastian talk on a bench, Carrie begins to ask Sebastian out. She then sees her dad in the hallway. The last time she saw him in school was when he told her about her mom. Carrie faints.

Later, Carrie’s dad tells her he was there to talk to her guidance counselor about Carrie getting a change of scenery. He tells her he got her an internship, for 1 day a week, at a law firm in Manhattan. Carrie’s ecstatic. Carrie goes through Dorrit’s room again to find her mom’s purse. She finds it in a huge teddy, along with many other things, covered in nail polish. Carrie thinks Dorrit was trying to destroy it, but Dorrit just wanted something of her mom’s since Carrie got everything. Carrie realizes that she got a few more years with mom than Dorrit did. She tries to talk to her, but Dorrit tells her she doesn’t need her pity. She also says she’s glad she ruined the purse so Carrie couldn’t have it either. Carrie wants to hang on to something of her moms, so she decides to completely redecorate the purse by putting more nail polish on it and writing “Carrie”.

Carrie’s dad drops her off for her first day at her internship and reminds her to take the 6:00 train to the dance so she can be home by curfew. After her boss sets her up, she sees that her stockings are ripped and tells her to get some new ones at Century 21 during her break. While at Century 21, a woman named Larissa grabs her purse. It turns out that Larissa is a style editor for Interview magazine and wants to use the purse in an upcoming photoshoot. Larissa asks her if she works around here, so Carrie decides to lie and makes herself older by saying she works at the law firm. After Carrie helps Larissa steal a dress (Larissa started stealing when she was a teen and loves the thrill), Larissa asks Carrie if she wants to come to a restaurant with her friends that night. After Carrie calls Mouse to tell her about it, Mouse tells Carrie that Sebastian called her house asking for Carrie’s number. Carrie tries to call home to talk to her dad, but Dorrit left the phone off the hook. We then see Dorrit sneak out. A dress gets dropped off at the firm for Carrie. She lies and says it’s from her dad, but it’s really from Larissa to wear for the dinner. Carrie leaves the office wearing the dress and heads for a cab. She has to decide if she wants to go to the dance, or experience Larissa’s world.

Carrie decides to skip the dance and goes to Larissa’s dinner. While she’s there, Carrie meets a group of artists, musicians, and writers. Over at the dance, Walt decides to drive a drunken Maggie home and Sebastian decides to hang out with Donna. While Carrie tries to call home, Mouse tries to call Seth and keeps on getting no answer. After Carrie dances and meets a gay guy for the first time, she sees it’s almost midnight and leaves. In a voiceover, Carrie says that she’s lost her innocence and virginity to Manhattan. After Walk picks her up, they find Donna and Sebastian smoking in a car. Sebastian says it isn’t what Carrie thinks. Carrie says it’s exactly what she thinks and she’ll see him around. On their way back to Carrie’s, Carrie tells Walt she wonders why she can’t meet someone perfect like Walt did with Maggie. Walt tells her he’s not sure that Maggie’s the one and he hasn’t slept with her. Carrie wonders who Maggie slept with if it wasn’t Walt. The two get to Carrie’s and see police cars. They’re not for Carrie, Dorrit is missing.

The next morning, Dorrit comes home drunk and says she was out with friends. Carrie breaks down and says she’s done. Carrie admits that she doesn’t like being the mature one, and that she would do anything to bring their mom back so she could just be Dorrit’s sister again and not have to worry everyday about her. She storms off to her room and her dad follows her. He tells her she reminded him a lot of her mom today. He also admits that he didn’t want to admit that it’s his job to be tough now because he would have to admit that she’s really gone. After he grounds Carrie, Mouse comes over to talk. She tells Carrie that she thinks Seth is breaking up with her because he hasn’t called in 2 days. Mouse wonders how she could sleep with Seth and get treated like this. Cassie, Dorrit, and their dad then head over to their mom’s closet to pack up her things. Carrie gives Dorrit a green dress of their mom’s because she loved her in green. We then see Mouse sitting in her room with pictures of her & Seth. Next we see Walt looking through guys pictures in an Interview, hinting that he’s gay and in the closet. Carrie decides to keep her mom’s journals. Carrie then begins to write.

When I first heard about this show, I didn’t expect it to be so emotional and touching. The scene where Carrie finally breaks down her motherly wall toward her sister, and the following one where the family packs up her mother’s things, got me a little misty eyed. We haven’t had a good teen drama on the air for a while, and I think/hope that this one could be the next one. AnnaSophia Robb is absolutely wonderful in the role of Carrie. She is truly the star of this show. The writing in the pilot was really great as well, specifically the teen characters. Mouse’s realization that her boyfriend was breaking up with her was heartbreaking. Also, the reveal that Walt is questioning his sexuality was a little predictable, but I’m interested to see how they handle it through the rest of the season. Even though I’m not in the age group for the nostalgia factor (90’s kid here), Sebastian reminded me a lot of all the love interests from the onslaught of teen movies in the 80’s. He told her he would slay a dragon for her, he’s a perfect love interest. I absolutely loved this pilot and am very excited to see if the rest of the season can be as great. What did you think of the episode? Leave your TwoCents in the comments below!

Next Week: Lie With Me

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