Sex and the City and Degrassi

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I just finished Candace Bushnell’s latest book, The Carrie Diaries, which was conveniently tied in with the launch date of the second floppy movie…which I’m putting off seeing. I’ve just heard too many bad things about it (other than lots of “I surprisingly liked it!” facebook statuses) to make me that excited for it. People keep on talking about how ‘hilarious’ it is, but I have a hunch these are the same people who laughed at the line about ‘Charlotte poughkipsed in her pants’ in the first movie, a line I thought was horribly punny and a plot element I thought was totally unnecessary.

I have problems with the first film, too many to list, but there are also things I liked about it that stayed true to the series. I understand that with a 30 minute show it’s easy to tie things together on a centralized little theme, while expanding that timeline to 5x its length makes it more of a challenge – hence the veering off into a bunch of little pointless subplots that sorta only kinda impacted the main story for each character. I fear the second film is more of those subplots and pratfalls than the emotional resonance and genuine humor that emerged with the original show.

Anyway back to reading. CB’s (did you ever notice Candace Bushnell = Carrie Bradshaw?) latest book is an origin story for Carrie in her senior year of high school. Contrary to what little was revealed about Carrie on the show – her mother died when she was a tween and her father is raising her and her two little sisters (on the show her father left her and her mother, no siblings mentioned). She’s a funny, brainy, pretty virgin that’s fixated on her future and defiant of convention, while her friends are running around being typical high schoolers. Basically it sets up a lot about who Carrie will become and why she is the way she is. Some of it is very heavy-handed, some of it is clever nods.

I’m surprised Bushnell wanted to do, or chose to do an origin story. Admittedly the premise was delectable for many – if Bushnell has been blockaded about writing about Carrie’s present (which has been extensively documented on screen), why not open up a new chapter in her past? The book opened up all sorts of questions for me though, ones that would be hard to answer because the show and book present different versions of Carrie’s youth.

That being said, whether Bushnell continues to write the misadventures of a young Carrie or not, I’m curious to see whether this becomes a film, as a way to reboot the franchise (produced by SJP with a cameo of course) on the screen as well. Or for that matter, a TV series of Carrie’s early days…fascinating, although I think it could run away with itself without a clear framework, like what’s laid out here.


If that does happen, I am nominating Degrassi The Next Generation’s Charlotte Arnold, who plays uber-ambitious queen bee Holly J Sinclair – for Carrie. Charlotte Arnold is easily my favourite actress / character on the show right now, she’s been fantastic as a super bitch, mega loser, practical romantic, and ambitious role model. Although it’s a bit hard to picture her with Carrie’s curls, she has enough of a resemblance, suitable voice, and a strong set of acting chops to pull off this iconic role.




I think there might be some outcry if The Carrie Diaries is made into a movie, but I honestly would be curious and happy to see it come to fruition. Again, there are certainly problems to resolve regarding the continuity of the two, but I’m all for it!

Till the day comes when Carrie graces our screens with dignity and interest again…

- Britt’s On

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