The Carrie Diaries review: Sexcapades in the city
On this week's episode of The Carrie Diaries, Bradshaw finally wrote about sex... and the city. But was the rest of the show too much to bear?
Yikes! The Carrie Diaries is quickly turning into Sex and the City Jr., and that might not be a good thing. This wasn't the first week that Season 2 has dived headlong into risqué material. In the second episode, we were already seeing a young Sam (Lindsey Gort) wander around naked. And it wasn't that long ago that Carrie finally swiped her V card with her playwright boyfriend. But how far is too far? The CW seems to be aiming to find out.
This week, Carrie was posed with a big, broad assignment for her class at New School: Write about something — anything. When her playwright boyfriend suggested she write about something that scared her, Carrie almost immediately settled on sex. After all, barely any time had passed since losing her virginity, and in this episode, she even headed to the pharmacist to pick up her first round of birth control pills. However, when she shared her idea with her boyfriend, he was less than enthused and tried to suggest sex wasn't a worthy subject. In the end, Carrie went with her gut: She ditched the boyfriend and got a B+ on a paper in which she dove into how sex and the city combine for an interesting night of events.
This is praiseworthy. After all, Carrie stood her ground and wrote about what she wanted to instead of letting her possibly "more talented" boyfriend sway her. It's nice to see a young girl on TV who is smart, pretty and independent. In fact, this entire storyline was incredibly real and relatable to any girl, whether she is or isn't a virgin any longer.
The CW should get credit for Maggie's storyline, too. After a season and a quarter of fooling around with that stupid lackey cop, Maggie found out she's pregnant. We can try to glorify the past all we want, but there were creeps even in the '80s, and the way he ditched Maggie after getting her into a predicament is a testament to that. It's also a good balance to all the ways The Carrie Diaries makes sex seem fun and safe, even when the latter isn't always true. And the way they avoided the "all guys are creeps" aspect by using Sebastian (Austin Butler) as the good guy who is there to help out Maggie was also a sweet touch.
The three-way might have gone a little too far, though. In the end, we didn't see two young, sexy girls hooking up with an older gentleman. However, we still saw Samantha parading around in bondage and Larissa sauntering through the apartment. Then the two ended up going at it without their third wheel. Technically, we're supposed to keep in mind that Larissa and Samantha are both fairly older than Carrie. The problem is that The CW cast two fairly young and sweet-faced actresses in those roles. Even at their most showy, over-the-top times of being "sexy," it still feels slightly uncomfortable when they sit down with Carrie to talk positions and, ahem, girth. By the time we get to the two of them falling into bed together, it seems like too much.
Admittedly, it's a little hypocritical. As massive fans of Gossip Girl, we rarely flinched at the escapades of Blair or Serena and watched with baited breath as Dan, Olivia and Vanessa hooked up during Dan's freshman year of college. They were only a year older than Carrie is supposed to be at this point. Gossip Girl also started a couple years earlier than Carrie, so we saw kids having sex and being promiscuous far earlier than we're seeing in The Carrie Diaries. Yet, somehow, this feels more uncomfortable.
The most reasonable explanation to offer is Carrie (AnnaSophia Robb) herself. When Gossip Girl began, we were almost immediately thrown into a world where kids in high school behaved (sort of) like adults and dealt with adult topics. We knew they were having sex in the very first episode. They also dressed like chic, modern New York women. When you compare that to going through Carrie's loss of innocence coupled with the flouncy skirts and adorable sweaters, it just doesn't have the same vibe. And, while Carrie's coming of age is easy to relate to and not quite so astounding, when it's surrounded by the escapades of Carrie's grown-up friends and the adults in her life — it all just feels a bit, well, creepy.
Are we being prudes, or do you agree? Is The Carrie Diaries quickly forcing us out of our comfort zone?