Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Five Cents: Just Say No To A 'Sex and the City' Prequel...


I know I watch a lot of TV (hey, it's my job! ...yeah, okay, I'd watch this much even if it wasn't...), but I read more than my share, as well. And one of the books we read not-so-long-ago that we saw giant "Adapt Me" arrows pointing at while doing so was Candace Bushnell's "The Carrie Diaries," the prequel to the fabulous Sex and the City franchise. But just because the young adult novel was written with the air of wanting to be turned into a television show doesn't mean it necessarily should be!

Now it is being reported that The CW, a network notorious for courting the young adult sect through adaptations of The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle, is eyeing The Carrie Diaries as a project for Gossip Girl and Hart of Dixie team Josh Scwartz and Stephanie Savage. Considering come fall the network will already have a two-hour block of programming from that team, and considering two hours of original programming a night is all they usually offer, we're not quite sure what to make of this story. Could the network already be looking to replace one of Schwartz' programs with a brand new one they see more lucrative from its built-in book audience? Or do they just hope to expand this particular brand of creativity onto multiple nights?
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Whatever the case, Deadline has admitted that "no deals [are yet] in place," so we may be getting our Cosabella panties in a bunch for nothing. Of course, because HBO still holds rights to Sex and the City, there is always the chance they might snatch up the project, should they decide to try to tap into a younger demographic.

But our point still remains the same regardless of network: if a series has run its course how the creators wanted it to in its initial run, blink the dollar signs out of your eyes (we know that's tough), and let it go. It doesn't have to live on in sequel after tired, superfluous sequel. Nor do you have to go "back" and explore who these characters were before audiences fell in love with them. Admittedly there may be a few programs that warrant an exception to this rule, but we do not personally think Sex and the City is one of them.

What we always loved about Carrie Bradshaw was how strong and opinionated a woman she was. She wasn't always right, and she didn't always make the best decisions with her money or her love life or even her career, but in many ways, that made us love her more. She had this fantastical-- and let's face it, unattainable!-- apartment, but her screw-ups were so much more grounded and real. With her prequel novel, Bushnell wanted to turn back the clock and offer young girls-- assumedly those who are too young for the HBO version and maybe don't have TBS?-- a role model in a slightly younger Carrie. After all, Michael Patrick King took Carrie Bradshaw from her thirties into her forties, and not only was that almost unheard of in television for the time, but it is a very specific time period to which the young adult audience can't quite relate.

But King did something extraordinary by giving us a glimpse into this Cinderella-esque story, and to step back in time and meet the pre-princess child could be like re-writing the character altogether. Suddenly all we saw her do would be informed by some new details of her youth, and we'd be forced to re-evaluate just how and when and why we connect with her. And this project, titled The Carrie Diaries is much more centered on that one character, whereas the beauty of Sex and the City was always the ensemble. Remember those "I'm A [Blank]" tee-shirts? They didn't just say "I'm a Carrie" because three out of four fans of the show wouldn't actually relate to that one character at all. Having four strong and independent in their own way women was what created such a revolution. Even if Carrie was your least favorite (as she was for a few women we know), it didn't matter because you had three other storylines to keep you deeply invested. The Carrie Diaries does not promise that (read the book).

And then of course with The Carrie Diaries we would also have to get used to seeing a young(er) Carrie with some different friends and dating a bunch of guys with whom we know she will never end up. And that just truly feels completely unnecessary. Especially considering the man that brought Carrie to life on-screen once won't be involved this time around.

1 comment:

amauryons said...

My moms one of the best and top favorite series is Sex and the City. She really love this show.