A Sex And The City prequel about the teenage Carrie Bradshaw’s life in smalltown America has divided the States – and now it’s on the way here
ex And The City fans will know all about the idiosyncrasies that made Carrie Bradshaw one of the quirkier female characters on TV. What they might not know is that before Mr Big and Manolo Blahniks came along, our barelegged heroine occasionally wore tights, enjoyed a close relationship with her family and, most surprisingly of all, even used the oven for its intended purpose rather than as storage for her sweaters.
So says The Carrie Diaries, the muchanticipated prequel to the phenomenally successful Sex And The City, a series that ran for six years and turned its four female leads — Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie, Kim Cattrall as Samantha, Cynthia Nixon as Miranda and Kristin Davis as Charlotte — into worldwide stars. But when the series ended in 2004, later spawning two commercially (if not critically) successful films, it left a Sex And The City-shaped void — one the makers of The Carrie Diaries are hoping to fill.
The new show, which stars 19-year- old AnnaSophia Robb as a teenage Carrie, has just finished its 13-episode run in the States and has strongly divided audiences, not least two of the women most invested in the Carrie Bradshaw character — Sarah Jessica Parker and Candace Bushnell, an executive producer on The Carrie Diaries and author of the novels on which both Sex And The City and The Carrie Diaries are based.
In an interview this month, Sarah Jessica poured cold water on The Carrie Diaries, saying, ‘I’m not sure... AnnaSophia is a lovely girl, but it’s... odd.’ In response, Bushnell urged viewers to give the show a chance, remarking that if anyone should understand the difficulties of stepping into the shoes of an iconic character previously played by someone else, it should be Sarah Jessica. ‘Her first part had been somebody else’s. She played Annie on Broadway. She knows how these things work.’ Candace also used the opportunity to make it clear she wasn’t a fan of how Carrie had evolved, saying, ‘Sarah Jessica Parker is 48. Carrie Bradshaw couldn’t be an ingénue any more. But I think they were stuck doing what the audience wanted. Realistically, a middleaged woman who was married without children would be much more focused on her career and less focused on Mr Big.’
But even if SJP is lukewarm about the new show, she did manage to send AnnaSophia Robb a note before its launch. ‘It was a lovely letter,’ says AnnaSophia, ‘giving me her