There’s a lot to like about this show — AnnaSophia Robb is very natural, and looks fantastic with her Carrie Bradshaw hair; her friends are all good; the clothing is aptly hilarious in parts and nicely restrained at others; and Austin Butler, who is this decade’s Chad Michael Murray in terms of how hard teen TV wants to make him happen (except Butler is actually pretty good in everything and doesn’t squint)(wait, maybe that’s NOT a good thing; I miss Ol’ Squinty)(so thank God he’s going to be on Southland)(by the way, CHAD MICHAEL MURRAY IS GOING TO BE ON SOUTHLAND)(WITH A MUSTACHE)(!!!!!). But what threw me off during the entire pilot is the realization that I actually don’t care that much about the fact that this girl grows up to be THE Carrie Bradshaw. It’s a nice touch, and it’s a good way to ground the show, but the cast does a nice job making you like them regardless of where they fit in the pantheon. Whenever the show moves to New York City and becomes Jane By Design (internships! A double life! Better dresses! Nobody questioning her age!) and tries to tantalize you with the fact that eventually this is WHERE Carrie will be, it’s way less compelling than when she’s in Connecticut, struggling emotionally to get where we know she ends up. That stuff is better. Hopefully whatever decisions they make, they’ll work out the kinks, because ultimately we can’t be that haunted by the shadow of Future Carrie and where this all ends up, or else the journey becomes too beside the point.
Important note: I was never that obsessed with Sex and the City — watched it, enjoyed some of it, don’t miss it or watch reruns — and I made it through three chapters of The Carrie Diaries, the YA prequel Candace Bushnell wrote a few years ago, before abandoning it on my Kindle. And I think these are good things, because if Carrie Diaries is going to succeed on TV, it has to transcend both of those and stand on its own, so it’s good that I really am not qualified do any obsessive nitpicking. That, Fug Nation, I will leave to you in the comments. Onward!