Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Season 1, Episode 5 of The CW's "The Carrie Diaries," titled "Dangerous Territory."
Carrie Bradshaw seemed to receive the "Gossip Girl" treatment on tonight's episode of "The Carrie Diaries," which had me somewhat perplexed. When Carrie reconnected with a family friend of the same age named George who invited her to one of his mother's fancy dinner parties, she was seen as an outsider due to her suburban upbringing and unfamiliarity with the term couture. Because the episode featured awfully entitled, ostentatious Upper East Siders in tuxedos and evening gowns, it seemed as though the CW was wondering what the series would be like if Carrie Bradshaw and Blair Waldorf's worlds collided. The answer? Let's keep them separate, please.
With last week's recap, I looked at what was and was not working in this young CW series. This week, let's take a look at the episode's highlights and lowlights.
1. Carrie's Soon-To-Be Flower Pin Obsession
As we learned in the series premiere, Carrie's fashion obsession is deeply rooted in the memory of her mother, who recently died from cancer. In tonight's episode, George's mother Kik dismissed Carrie as a country bumpkin until she realized that she was Grace Bradshaw's daughter. In a touching scene, Kik recalled memories of living in Manhattan with Carrie's mom, and how she always used to wear a flower on her lapel. Any standard "Sex and the City" fan (or obsessed one like yours truly who had this poster in her college dorm room) likely recalled Carrie's flower pin phase in seasons 2 and 3 of the HBO series. This "Sex and the City" throwback was a definite highlight in an otherwise dreary episode.
2. Sebastian's New Girl
We knew it was coming, but that didn't make it easier to handle. Sebastian has chosen to follow up his short-lived Carrie stint with her nemesis, Donna LaDonna. The main difference between Donna's group of friends and Carrie's is basically the former's penchant for neon clothes. Carrie failed her driver's test because she saw Sebastian and Donna making out in her rearview mirror. Sebastian apologized for "throwing it in her face," which caused Carrie to do what Carrie does best: pretend it doesn't bother her in the slightest, thereby convincing herself that she shouldn't be bothered by seeing her ex kiss his new girlfriend. Sarah Jessica Parker's Carrie demonstrated this most effectively when she asked Big to lunch during season 2, episode 18 "Ex and the City." She was eager to begin a friendship with him after their break-up, only to find out that her ex who supposedly had "commitment issues" was engaged to a 25-year-old after mere months of dating.
3. Carrie's New Man
While there's no doubt that Sebastian is young Carrie's Big, it was fun to get introduced to George, the affluent bratty uptowner looking for something else. He and Carrie will likely bond over the fact that they appreciate the worlds they were respectively born into, but yearn for something different. It's also fun to think that "Carrie Diaries" creator Amy B. Harris inverted the Aiden Shaw/Big characters for the young Bradshaw. Sebastian seems like Carrie's main obsession, but is far more grounded (like Aiden). George seems like someone Carrie will easily outgrow (like Aiden), but comes from the kind of world Carrie will one day write her way into (like Big's).
4. NO LARISSA!
Carrie now has more people in New York City than just Interview magazine style editor Larissa, and I am thrilled about it.
1. Carrie Bradshaw Meets Blair Waldorf
I realize that teen dramas are far more interesting when our heroine has a nemesis, but Carrie seems to be racking nemeses up at a record pace. George's ex-girlfriend Blythe showed up at the dinner party his mom was hosting (fresh out of rehab, mind you) and basically called Carrie low class. I did not enjoy watching Carrie operate in such a disgusting atmosphere, mostly because I don't believe people actually behave the way Blythe did.
2. No Dorrit
This CW series needs someone to roll their eyes at other characters on behalf of the audience -- and that person is Dorrit. Let's hope she returns next week.
3. Carrie's Father Hits A Woman With His Car
This was odd, but it appears as though Tom Bradshaw will start dating again because he hit a nice lady with his car at the train station. I want Tom to have some kind of storyline but am far more interested in learning more about Carrie's relationship with her deceased mother than I am about her potentially getting a new one.
4. Mouse and Maggie
Mouse had her boyfriend Seth come over while her parents were away to show off some new sex moves she learned from a sex-ed tape Walt lent her. She also found out that Seth slept with other girls while they were broken up, but stayed with him regardless. Maggie battled Donna for her and Carrie's regular booth at the diner and eventually won. I will admit, Mouse is slowly growing on me. But did we really need to watch Maggie fight over a booth all episode?
"The Carrie Diaries" airs Monday nights at 8:00 p.m. on the CW.