It’s that time of year again — candy hearts, boxes of chocolates, mushy cards. In honor of Valentine’s Day 2014, Zap2it is penning some “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways” odes to some of our favorite shows.
Dear “The Carrie Diaries”:
When I first heard that we were getting a prequel series to “Sex and the City,” I honestly didn’t care. I didn’t read the books you were based on, and I was never a fan of the Sarah Jessica Parker show. However, I do love any and all things CW, so I figured I’d tune in to your series premiere anyways, just so I could say I gave you a fair shot before purging you from my DVR.
But to my own surprise, I was instantly hooked. The way you dealt with teenage issues in a real way — with nary a supernatural influence in sight — was a breath of fresh air. Carrie Bradshaw (AnnaSophia Robb) was a real girl, with real feelings and real ambitions, and was a character I could truly relate to.
I used to be that high school girl who dreamt of moving to New York City to pursue my passion of writing. I used to be that girl attempting to navigate the complicated social waters of high school, knowing that something bigger out there was waiting for me. I used to be (okay, yes, and still am) that girl who crushed on the bad boy even though I knew he had a dark past and was no good for me. I used to be Carrie.
Finally I had a show that dealt with everything I faced in my day-to-day life without over-dramatizing the problems or glossing over the ugly truths. Yes, sometimes overanalyzing something a guy said was the biggest issue I faced. And yes, sometimes you and your parents can have an argument so big you end up packing your bags, believing there’s no going back to how your relationship used to be. Trivial things can be huge and huge things can be messy. That’s life, take it or leave it.
The last time The CW had a show purely about high school relationships, it was tinged with crazy serial killer teachers and wacky amnesia story lines (“90210”) or a higher power that saw and reported all your dirty secrets (“Gossip Girl”). That’s not to say that I didn’t love and obsess over those shows too, but they weren’t exactly realistic.
Of course, there’s a problem that goes hand-in-hand with realistic TV shows: Why would you watch onscreen what you could live in real life? But you, “The Carrie Diaries,” never encountered that problem. In addition to being real, you were also educational. You introduced the ’90s and ’00s generation to an entire culture that existed in the ’80s. From the music to the fashion to all the tiny little lifestyle details, you opened our eyes to a life that we never got to experience, for better or worse.
The biggest example of this was how you handled Walt’s struggle with his sexuality. As a whole, society today is much more accepting and open with LGBTQ issues, and every day brings us closer and closer to a world with equal rights for everyone no matter how they identify themselves. That was hardly the case in the ’80s, and watching Walt deal with whether or not he could be true to himself and come out to his parents or his friends in such a close-minded society was heartbreaking and eye-opening.
It was story that needed to be told, and also gave us a unique look at the mid-’80s NYC AIDS crisis when Walt’s boyfriend Bennett found out his ex had AIDS and both Bennett and Walt had to get tested. This was some heavy stuff, but you handled it with the right amount of heart and maturity to make it a compelling and important part of the story. You are opening a window into a significant part of our history, and it’s necessary you are kept around.
So I’m not done with you just yet, “The Carrie Diaries.” I need more. Your Season 2 finale can’t be the last episode we ever get. Sure, you tied up most of the loose ends — everyone graduated from high school, Mouse and Maggie and Walt and Donna were heading off to their respective colleges, Bennett had a new job, and Carrie and Sebastian broke up because Sebastian moved to California while Carrie stayed in NYC.
But we still have so many questions: What is Carrie going to do next? She can’t reapply to NYU for at least another semester and she lost her job at Interview Magazine. Her dad kicked her out of the house for deferring college, so she and Samantha got an apartment together and Carrie got a job waitressing at a restaurant. Her future was a blank slate. We know where she ends up decades later, but what about the journey that gets her there? How does she meet Charlotte and Miranda?
These are questions I want to see answered on “The Carrie Diaries” in Season 3, so please, CW, renew this gem of a TV show.