When we personally think of New York City in the 1980s, we think of Jonathan Larson’s version. Maybe we’re just jaded, but that kind of Bohemian, gritty, hard-knock-life style fits the image we have in our heads of Manhattan before Times Square was Disney-fied. The CW’s The Carrie Diaries is out to showcase that time and place through the eyes of a teenage girl (AnnaSophia Robb‘s Carrie Bradshaw) stepping foot in the city for the first time, though. A combination of the insane pops of neon color indicative of that decade and the fact that the story is being seen through the eyes of a newly enamored young woman has made the show (so far) more of a celebration than a cautionary tale. But in order to be completely authentic, the show must show both sides of life. And executive producer Amy B. Harris assured us it would.
“We’re getting to play with those opportunities before New York became the New York of today. There’s early performance artists, kind of doing provocative, outrageous performance pieces. The stars of the ‘80s were rock stars, for all intents and purposes, I think, kind of what reality stars are today. She’s very much going to be a part of this world as its becoming the epicenter of culture and literature,” Harris said.
“I think she’s going to see both the exciting and glamorous aspects of that, but there’s also some danger and cautionary tales within that…I felt like when I was first in New York, I met these women who were, sort of depending on the day, my role models or my cautionary tales.”
Click here for more about The Carrie Diaries as an origin story.
Harris shared that Carrie will certainly see some darker material as episodes unfold and both Carrie and the audience adjust to this new world, but the dial won’t jump so completely to the other side that it becomes one big PSA, either.
“She’ll see some things that will give her some pause on how deeply she’ll jump into that world,” Harris said, noting that key upcoming stories will deal with affairs, “art vs. porn” debate, and drug use– both among the high school side of things and at a city party that “gets out of hand.”
“The thing I’ve loved about the network and how they allow me to tell stories is to [do so] in a way that is authentic to the characters, which I’ve been very happy about. We haven’t sort of had to lay in ‘This person went to jail because of this!’ It’s the reality of it: it’s the reality of ‘this person takes too many drugs, and they have a terrible experience and show their vulnerabilities and have an incredibly difficult time of it.’ You’re definitely going to see some stuff that’s darker, but it still is a romantic coming of age story, so it’s not like you’re going to see someone…die!”
The Carrie Diaries airs on The CW on Monday nights at 8 p.m.
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