With that being said, I actually really liked the premiere episode of the prequel series The Carrie Diaries. I saw it on accident one night, or really, I watched it because I only have 10 channels and I absolutely hate Everybody Loves Raymond.
The show features AnnaSophia Robb, the brilliant young child actor, as Carrie in high school.
Things I liked about the show:
1. There is some diversity of characters, beyond just the token ethnic friend in the group.
2. Carrie generally takes her setbacks and makes them work for her, such as the incident with her mom's purse.
3. Carrie does have a teenage crush on the cute boy, but it's because she has previously spent time with him and gotten to know him, and not just because he's hot, new, and instantly popular.
4. When Carrie's friend (I forget her name) reveals that she had sex for the first time this summer, she describes it as "trying to fit a hot dog in a keyhole." I like that realistic depiction of young, first-time sex A LOT. I hate Hollywood glamorization of the first time you have sex with someone when it's really more like this:
5. When Carrie has the choice between a new, exciting adventure (that we know leads to her eventual career) and going to a high school dance where her crush will be waiting for her, she chooses the adventure over the boy. She knows that things with Sebastian (her crush) will work out later if they are meant to. When she sees Sebastian with the popular girl later that night, she does not regret her decision, nor feel like this is a tragedy akin to the apocalypse.
6. Carrie is a good friend, sister, and daughter.
7. Even when she makes the reckless decision, she still is responsible enough to go home on time. She cares about her grades and swimming, and is excited about a new internship.
8. When her dude best friend who is dating her other girl best friend (I know, it's confusing, but whatever) reveals that her girl best friend was lying when she said that they had had sex, Carrie does not act all gossipy about it. Carrie also respects her dude best friend when he confides that he wants sex to be something special (I forget what he actually said), a sentiment stereotypical of women, not men.
9. Carrie, her family, and her friends have real problems, not just stupid high school problems.
10. Awesome '80s clothes and music. Come on, who can resist that?
You can watch the full episode here for free (at least for now. Sometimes they change that later. Sorry if things have changed!): CW's The Carrie Diaries.