Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Television Review: The Carrie Diaries (CW)

Don't write off The Carrie Diaries. It's actually worth a watch. This is coming from someone who expected to hate it, and be bored out of their mind. Instead, there was a bit of excitement waiting for the next episode. There is something intimate about the way the scenes are shot though, and for some reason the characters are either compelling or likable.

Carrie has just lost her mother over the summer to cancer, and she is now left as the oldest female in the house with her dad, and younger sister. Instinctively, it's as if she takes over the role of the lead woman, but this may be more overwhelming than she thought as a new high schooler who is finding out her friends have had sex, and she just took an internship in the big city of Manhattan. While in Manhattan she is finding that it won't just be the job world she'll be getting to know, but diverse characters from all sorts of backgrounds who wear who they are on their sleeves.

For females, especially younger ones, this show can tackle some experiences that many will experience. At first when watching there were "roll your eye at moments". Carrie drools over the new boy, feels pressured to lose her virginity to feel mature, becomes insane when she sees clothes, and has sibling fights galore, but then about midway through the show something really good changes, and we see the very early lessons that hopefully all females will find.

People might feel conflicted about how Carrie seems to become sort of into the idea that she needs to lose her virginity to keep up with her friends in maturing. As a female, this has often weighed on my mind. Even though women aren't males, we still do associate our virginity with adulthood. It isn't just men. It's been associated the more you do the more adult you are, and this show while still definitely being sexual, does make the very good point that virginity in the form of sex shouldn't be our basis for adulthood. When leaving the city for the first time Carrie reflects on how she has lost her virginity to Manhattan. There is a certain bit of her childhood loss after leaving the city, and while this may seem sad, it is a huge step into feeling like she is guide to determining how powerful of a woman she will be with or without a man to make that transition. It's a really beautiful moment of the show, and for being the "Pilot" that is quite awesome.

There are some annoying moments though where the show seems like it trying to be too much of something too soon instead of letting some plot lines naturally develop on it's own. Because of this it is already narrowing it's audience way too soon to only one group. Also, there is some great 80s music playing to back it, but it is way a lot to put into one show. While it is enjoyable music it feels a little over done on trying to tell us what year it is. On one hand it is a lot of fun, and on the other it's a little bit much. Also, Depeche Mode and Joy Division are dark, but it seems someone like Carrie's Sister, who is a tad goth would listen to something like Iron Maiden, or Metallica.

The scenes establish the characters well, and for some reason it pulls you in. You want to see what continues to happen to the characters, especially Carrie. Even though we obviously ultimately know where she goes. It's a nice coming of age tale in a time where we seem to be obsessed with the 80s once again. With the cool setting, and interesting story it has some potential, but there is something about it that makes it a iffy toss up on whether it will be picked up. If there is one piece of advice to give the show it would be to play down the attempts to make a statement, and let the characters speak through their stories.

Rating 4 of 5.

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