The 'Sex and the City' Fan's Two-Minute Guide to 'The Carrie Diaries'

Face it: You're probably at least a little bit interested in the prequel that arrives on the CW tonight. So let's break down where this new thing stands in relation to the HBO show you've probably memorized by now.

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Arriving to televisions tonight is the series premiere of The Carrie Diaries, the CW's take on the Sex and the City myth — a prequel, of sorts, about a young Carrie Bradshaw finding her footing in the world of sex, New York... and Connecticut. Also someone called Mouse. So let's face it, you're probably at least a little bit interested. (And, hey, The A.V. Club compared it to My So-Called Life, which is confusing, but still pretty intriguing.) So let's break down where this new thing stands in relation to the HBO show you've probably memorized by now.

The Origin

Sex and the CityCandace Bushnell's column for the New York Observer.
The Carrie DiariesCandace Bushnell's young-adult Sex and the City prequels.

The Place

Sex and the City: Late-1990s and early 2000s New York (with occasional jaunts to the Hamptons and stops in Paris and Los Angeles).
The Carrie Diaries: Mid-1980s New York and Connecticut.

The Star

Sex and the CityOne-time child actor (Annie) and teen sensation Sarah Jessica Parker (Square Pegs).
The Carrie DiariesOne-time child actor (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and current teen sensation (we think?) AnnaSophia Robb.

The Character

Sex and the CityCarrie Bradshaw, sex columnist and shoe aficionado. As Vulture points out, we don't know much about Carrie's upbringing except that she got an abortion in 1988 and her father abandoned her and her mother. Wears tutus.

The Carrie DiariesCarrie Bradshaw, high-school student, law-firm intern. Lives in Connecticut with her dad and sister. Her mom has recently died. Wears tutus.

The Friends

Sex and the CitySamantha, Charlotte, and Miranda. (If you don't know this, where have you been since 1998?) Samantha is a promiscuous publicist, Charlotte is a prim gallerist, and Samantha is a tough lawyer.

The Carrie DiariesMaggie, Mouse, and Walt. According to showrunner and Sex and the City veteran Amy B. Harris, speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Maggie is "funny, ballsy and more id than anything else," but is "almost the opposite side of the coin of Samantha. If Samantha was using sex for her own empowerment, Maggie is that friend who uses sex as a form of intimacy." Mouse is "is intense, hyper-intellectual and living her life that way." Walt is "potentially figuring out his sexuality." Carrie also has Larissa, an Interview editor who she meets in New York.

The Man

Sex and the CityMr. Big. Though Carrie had many relationships (both long and short) Big is the one she keeps coming back to. Plus, there were so many puns to be made!

The Carrie DiariesSebastian Kydd, a new kid at school, with a reputation for getting kicked out of tony private schools. His name is also ripe for punning. See here.

The Fashion

Sex and the CityCostume designer Patricia Field served up high fashion with a flair for the wacky. Made Manolo a household name. 
The Carrie Diaries: Gossip Girl designer Eric Daman cultivates a polished 80s throwback look. Has Century 21 product placement.

The Voiceover

Sex and the CityProne to puns and rhetorical questions:

The Carrie DiariesA little less knowing and world weary, but also prone to rhetorical questions:

The Network

The Original: HBO (Sex) 
The Carrie DiariesThe CW (Implied sex)

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.