The Carrie Diaries series premiere recap: I Heart New York

Carrie Bradshaw attempts to navigate high school and parties in 1980s Manhattan
Ep. 01 | Aired Jan 14, 2013

DON'T WORRY—I PUT ON DEODORANT Carrie (AnnaSophia Robb) proves it is possible to hail a cab and wear a loud print at the same time. 

The CW

Carrie also reconnects with Sebastian Kydd (Austin Butler), who’s an old flame and also looks like Chord Overstreet’s cousin. He’s all lips, abs and floppy blonde hair. The pair met while swimming (cue many scenes where Butler is required to be shirtless) but then drifted apart. Being the hot new guy, though, Sebastian is also targeted by the wonderfully named mean girl Donna Ladonna (Chloe Bridges). Cue many drag queens now renaming themselves Donna Ladonna.

But Sebastian is gonna have to compete with Manhattan for Carrie’s heart. She gets an internship one day a week through a friend of her father’s and instantly is infatuated with the Big Apple. One of the highlights of the pilot is when Carrie first discovers her new place of worship, Century 21. The sequin fanny pack shown at one point makes the scene worthwhile but we also meet the fabulous Larissa (Freema Agyeman), an Interview magazine fashion editor who notices Carrie’s refurbished purse (Dorritt spilled nail polish all over it so Carrie gave it a lil DIY makeover). Seems Larissa also has a bit of a klepto side (Why is everyone stealing things on this show? Is Winona Ryder a producer?) and enlists Carrie to help her walk out with a dress. But the gal pays Carrie back with a really cute pink party dress and a night out at Indochine so I feel like bygones, right?

The night out partying at Indochine (and meeting her first gays) keeps Carrie out too late though and she misses her big school dance where she was hoping to see Sebastian. But she ends up running into the dude at the train station where he’s hanging with Donna Ladonna. Carrie handles it cool, though. And the pair eventually reconnect in, naturally, the swimming pool (see: above note about Butler shirtless scenes).

The pilot ends with Carrie finding some of her mother’s blank diaries -- not a huge shock given this series title. But Carrie Diaries isn’t out to shock like SATC did sometimes -- it’s a coming of age story. I actually found it kinda refreshing that the show feels a little innocent and retro. It feels like something John Hughes would produce for television…just maybe with more sequins.

I'm totally interested in seeing where the show goes (and how many more characters begin stealing things). What about you?

Follow Tim on Twitter: @EWTimStack

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