HBO News Blog

The Carrie Diaries & Sex and The City: The Inconsistencies

By Jacob Klein on Feb 11, 2013 to Sex and the City

Young-CarrieA few weeks ago, The Carrie Diaries, the long-anticipated prequel to Sex and the City, premiered on the CW. The series follows Carrie Bradshaw’s days as a suburban high schooler and the beginnings of her love affair with New York City. And Sex and the City, it is not. The contrast between networks like HBO and the CW should be indication enough – despite sharing a lead character, these shows don’t necessarily correlate. And that’s okay. The two series are meant to connect with separate age groups from separate eras.

However, there are some glaring inconsistencies between Carrie’s life in Sex and the City and her life in The Carrie Diaries. To be fair, I’ve never actually read the book version of The Carrie Diaries, so I can’t speak to whether the show is loyal to that, but what I do know is that the portrayal of our much-beloved columnist’s childhood is a far cry from what most SATC viewers might have envisioned.

CArrie-DiariesFrom the very moment the pilot episode of The Carrie Diaries begins, the tone is set for a story of a strikingly different life than that of the “grown-up” Bradshaw. The camera follows Carrie as she storms into her little sister’s bedroom in their upper-middle-class Connecticut house and her charming father attempts to break up their argument.

In Sex and the City, Carrie mentions in the fourth season that her father walked out on her and her mother when she was five years old. This shapes the way she views her world. Would Carrie have even become the girl she is in Sex and the City without that defining part of her past? It is also implied in SATC that Carrie is an only child – she never once mentions a sibling in the series’ six years. And yet in The Carrie Diaries, she has both a rebellious little sister and a doting, lawyerly father. Instead of growing up without a dad, Diaries Carrie is facing a whole different hardship – dealing with the recent loss of her mom.

I did a little historian work, and in the original series it is revealed that Carrie moved to New York City in 1986, around age 20. In The Carrie Diaries, she is said to be 16 years old in 1984, when in actuality she would have been 16 in 1982. Why alter such a straightforward piece of her chronology?

What doesn’t change from one series to another is Carrie’s trademark insightful nature and her devotion to her friends. In both shows, she is dedicated to her work and ever curious about the way the world (and love) works.

So what’s next for teenage Carrie? Well, if we’re going by ancient history here, in Sex and the City Carrie claims she lost her virginity to someone named Seth Bateman in high school, and before that she dated a boy named Jeremy (who she later reconnects with as an adult). Will either of them make an appearance? The Carrie Diaries seems to be going its own route and rewriting her past. In one of her few recollections of her high school days during Sex and the City’s run, Carrie waxes nostalgic about listening to Styx on vinyl and driving her parents’ Oldsmobile without them knowing. Maybe we can look forward to seeing some of that on The Carrie Diaries.

Have you noticed any other inconsistencies SatC fans?  I know you’re out there.  Please leave your comments below and help us sleuth out the rest of them.

Claire is a writer and actress based in New York City who likes telling peoples’ stories in whatever way she can. She goes to liberal arts college and spends a lot of time taking pictures and dreaming up ways to get Lena Dunham to be her bestie.

  • Lucy Smith

    Not a difference, but why have they used the same actor for Carrie’s dad, that plays Nina Katz in SATC??? So basically Aiden dates her dad’s gf.

  • Oskie

    It looks like 80’s cliche/fashion vomit fun (and I mean that in a great way, because that is my FAVORITE combination of things <33) but I just can't enjoy it because I feel like it doesn't remember what it's supposed to be a prequel to– it's not good when the fans know more about the series you're supposed to be doing than YOU do, creators.

  • Mel

    Well, to be fair, when the Russian called her in that one episode, she did “lie” and say that her sister answered the phone. Maybe that was an indication that she really did have a sister despite that fact that no sister was ever spoken about in the show.

  • Robot

    The shows have so many inconsistencies. The one I watched now Samantha reveals to all her friends that she is a little older than them. In Carrie Diaries Carrie is 16 when she meets Sam whose in her twenties. She would KNOW there’s an age difference. None of the childhood moments Carrie talks about in SatC in the same in Carrie Diaries. If this is the same case in the books than that is absolutely terrible writing.

  • Lili

    In SatC Carrie says that her father quit her mother and her when she was 5, but in the CD that was clearly not the case. I hate the inconsistencies. :(

  • Tânia Lima

    she was supposed to meet charlotte, then miranda and then samantha and in TCD she met samantha first.

  • Kat

    I’m watching SATC right now. Carrie is talking to Samantha about her abortion 13 years earlier. Carrie says if she had the child, she wouldn’t have met Samantha. In The Carrie Diaries, Carrie is still a Virgin when she meets Samantha.

  • Eleanor

    In SATC she says she lost her virginity to Seth Bateman, but in then arrow diaries she loses it to adam wever, a writer that she meets in new york

  • laurie

    I wish it blended better to the sex and the city series, still a fun show.

    • Michele Nichols

      Does no one realize that they are staying true to the book written by Bushnell? All the stuff in SATC was made up by the writers. TCD was written in 2010.

  • Chelsea

    I was really looking forward to this show bringing to life a young Carrie that would show us Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carries life and how she met the girls and how she became the woman she is in SATC. But other than a few little comments they really don’t connect at all, its like they just wrote a script and never actually watched SATC at all! So I guess we don’t get the back story we were looking forward too. I do like The Carrie Diaries but its no SATC, SEX AND THE CITY ALL THE WAY!

  • Her

    The CW gets pretty messy with plot and continuation when they “adapt” novels and other stuff. There’s this nice article about it (among other things), check it out.

  • Neyris

    She refers to a younger sister the first time Alexandr calls her !

    • Oskie

      It’s implied that she’s making it up, JS.

  • haaggus

    Sex and the City is unwatchable. There’s no way fugly Carrie would ever find a man in new york city where all the girls are 5x hotter than average.

    • Oskie

      AHAHAHA. HAHA. HAAAAA, oh wow. You have NEVER been to NYC, have you?
      Seriously, it’s nothing like the movies. The only time you’ll see pretty people is when super models (or ‘gazelles’ as some of us call them when they strut across crosswalks) are off to shoots.
      You also obviously have no taste and don’t realize why people get invested in the show. I could go on forever about how there is something to appeal to every audience, but idiots like you are pretty superficial and probably don’t know how to read big paragraphs.
      Hmmph, you probably think Silence of the Lambs sucks because Jodie Foster isn’t a model for Gucci. (different things completely, but just making a point)

  • Júnior Batista

    I agree with Amy. I do really love SATC and The Carrie Diaries is so cut, but it’s better do not link the two together. Just enjoy :)

  • Amy Burgess

    I love SATC so was really looking forward to the Carrie Diaries. I do really like the Carrie Diaries, but it’s better to try and not link the two together. Just enjoy them both as separate shows. SATC wins every time.

  • Cristina


  • Cristina

    I’m a huge fan of SATC so I really which the Carrie diaries hadn’t even started as the show telling the before of SATC because it’s ruining the image I had in my mind. They don’t match enough so why not just make a new show and leave something so perfectly done alone. And now I hear that there will be a SATC3 movie with new characters….why!!?? Just stop screwing with it. Take the good that’s come form SATC and leave it alone…you don’t see people making new titanic movies or trying to give the background stories of those characters… Ok,so that was dramatic, but seriously it’s really annoying all the messing with such an Awesome story.

  • coco

    I love the show satc and also the carrie diaries but Carrie is a lefty ans in the show she’s a righty , I’m reading the Carrie diaries now and I hope not to find too many more inconsistencies

  • choprchick

    i loved satc and now that that’s over, love the carrie diaries. i think everyones being way to critical with exactly what should or is happening here. they’re suppose to be related in a round about way, but no two shows are going to be that spot on with characters, etc. that would be impossible. they would need alot of look alikes which is insane. there wasn’t an asian girl as one of the three best friends on satc. i think everyone has to corralate the jist of the two instead of thinking that the carrie diaries is an actual preshow leading to satc. so relax, enjoy the carrie diaries for what it is. the inconsistencies you’re all talking about is to be expected. i think they’ve personally, done a great job and i enjoy every week of watching it. you all should too. enjoy!!!

  • Blake Ashley Freedom

    Thank you for posting this. It is so annoying how inconsistent they are. I still love it, but these things drive me crazy.

  • Icouldnt HelpbutWonder

    And SATC Carrie has a mannerism of licking her upper lip from right to left with one eye brow up while thinking. But Carrie in Carrie Diaries doesn’t. And also the eyes and nose are not resembling

  • Icouldnt HelpbutWonder

    And by the way, One of the most inconsistent was that, CD uses an actress that has already appeared on SATC. The girlfriend of Carrie’s Father already played a role in SATC as the girl who which Aiden (Carrie’s Ex-boyfriend, the one she saw in middle-east at the movie) replaces to her as his girlfriend. I think her name from SATC was Nina Katz a.k.a “THE FACE GIRL” (if you SATC viewers remeber :)

    • Blake Ashley Freedom

      OMG THAT’S RIGHT!!!!

    • Christina Andrade

      Also Bigs ex wife is Sabastions mother

    • Lili

      the face girl was also Carrie’s dad’s gf in CD

  • Icouldnt HelpbutWonder

    Carrie Diaries was based from the booked which Candice Bushnell wrote. SATC was adapted from Candice although the whole script and story line was done by Michael Patrick King and Darren Starr. They shouldn’t have allowed Carrie diaries to air because it ruins the TV adaptation of SATC which i believe is more known and original. Whatever was published in the booked, they should have leave it there. And whatever is aired on TV could be aired again.

  • Kaylee Hafer

    In the movie, Sex and the City 2, Carrie chronicles how she met each of her SATC friends. It goes Charlotte, Miranda, and then Samantha. It does say that she met Sam in a bar so that corresponds, but the rest is already out of whack.

    • Kaylee Hafer

      But I suppose if the series is based off of the books, which I have never read, maybe I’m wrong? Or maybe I shouldn’t care so much about fictional characters lives…

      • VJ

        The books are completely diff from Cw’s carrie diaries.. she gets into brown, not nyu. she has two sisters, not 1. Book projects sebastian kydd as a jerk, there s no larissa character in the book. I cud jus go on and on, the book is completely different

  • Anonymous

    I don’t understand why Samantha is the only friend Carrie kept from high school. What happened to Maggie and Mouse and Larissa? What about Walt? Also, where did these new girls come in? Plus, what ever happened to Sebastian?

    • Paige

      I want to know this too! I found out they cancelled it before revealing Miranda and Charlotte. But remember Charlotte is preppy as hell so she probably went to school at that time somewhere rich people go. And I found that miranda was mouse’s roommate at harvard. law school. lol. So disappointing that they cancelled before we could see how miranda looked super young lol. also larissa wouldve been hella old since carried is going into her 40s later on. and what happened to bennet? Sebastian is Bennet’s roommate in college also

  • M

    Uh, yea Carrie told Aidan that she had an abortion in high school, right?? Or was it her early 20’s?

    • elena

      she said she was 22 I believe :)

  • M

    Uh, yea Carrie told Aidan that she had an abortion in high school, right?? Or was it her early 20’s?

  • Anon

    Samantha has her first lesbian relationship in sex in the city and yet she hooked up with Larissa in Carrie diaries

  • kaychamb

    I love sex and the city and have recently started watching the carrie diaries, i love both shows but i think they work better if you treat the carrie diaries as its own show. there are too many inconsistencies and it can be frustrating to watch

  • Scott

    Honestly, I didn’t want to see this show happen. But I really like it. Just because it’s set in the 80s. I just don’t consider or think of these two shows being related haha

  • Raven

    I’ve watched Sex and the City many a time before and started watching the Carrie Diaries as a result of my adornment of the character, Carrie Bradshaw. I have indeed noticed these inconsistencies. I most recently noticed the dis-correlation between the subplots and characters. I find it interesting that Carrie still is the same Carrie we know, personality wise, but her background and environment has changed. There is no way the Carrie we know on the CW Series would grow up to be the HBO’s Carrie. Likely, if the CW series were to continue into Carrie’s more adult life, we’d have to see her Dad and sister Dorit, yet. Whereas, in Sex and the City Carrie mentions she had a mother and her father left them, as said. Still, Carrie has lost a parent, which perhaps shapes her character in a different way that is just as adjacent to her Sex and the City persona. I guess, to be fair, they are different networks and that’s why they’re different. They were, indeed, meant to appeal to different age groups. I suppose I am just bias to Sex and the City, because that egg came first, after all.

  • jhanette

    Is sebastian jeremy? Or is seth? Why don’t they connect to the original story pilot? It would be so much better

  • RP

    I actual read the books and even though they change a lot in the series. The inconsistencies you notice are cannon with the Carrie Diaries books, in the books she has not one but two sisters and one of them is way more rebellious than the one portrayed in the series, and she has in fact a single dad and lost her mother to cancer. I never read the Sex and the City book just the Carrie Diaries and Summer in the City so I don’t know if SATC differs more from the book or if the author is the one responsible for those inconsistencies and the writers and producers from TCD decided to go book canon instead of tv series

  • Lili

    One weird inconsistency is also that the girlfriend of the father in Carrie diaries is played by the same actress who plays the girlfriend of Carrie in SATC (“Nina Cats”). Aren’t there any other actresses they could get? She shouldn’t have a father to begin with.

  • Kelllie

    I noticed in season 4 episode 11 that carrie said she had an abortion when she feel pregant to a waiter at Tunnel at 17 ,and says to Sam that she is glad she didnt become a mother at that age cos she wouldnt have met Samantha. Number one inconsistancy here in the Carire diaries she says she wouldnt have met Samantha if she had of become a mum there and two, in the Carrie diaries she is a virging when she meet Samantha and loses her virginity to a writer who has a play. Im a fan of both shows but they shouldnt make so many inconsistancies, I notice the ones i have mentioned and now and the one the writer of the article has mentioned,and i wonder how many more will arise.

  • lu

    A different kind of inconsistency: In the 80s pregnancy tests weren’t ”pee sticks” they were little test tubes you had to pour the urine into, and then add the chemical to. Maybe minor, but such a simple research point.

    • Lynne

      Not true. I did a pee stick test in the 80s.

  • Jalunda

    Honestly I hope they don’t go by sex in the city, I mean I love the characters and Sebastian and all of them, just thinking about how in sex in the city she ends up with none of them really sucks! I would rather Carrie Diaries be its on show with its own plot line

  • cindy

    In satc carrie doesn’t have siblings, her dad left her and her mom whe she was 5.

    Oh, and in TCD, her dad’s girlfriend is Aidan new girlfriend after carrie :)) you know, the one that make judgmental face when she met carrie.

  • Nerr Daa

    In carrie diaries sebastian kydds mom is mr.bigs first ex wife in satc haha! Did ya know that? Huh huh

  • jojo

    i don’t think she’s 16. I think Carrie is actually 18. so the chronology would be in fact, correct.

    • Jalonda

      No in the show, she is 16

      • whatever

        she can’t be 16 anymore; 17 maybe since she’s a senior

  • coco

    I’ve noticed that the young carrie is right handed really the older carrie (sjp) is left handed

  • Ale

    What I have noticed that kinda remained the same was how she lost her virginity in a rec room which in the carrie diaries she mentions it the same way as in SATC

  • Alex

    In the book she loses her virginity to a guy named Capote Duncan after a drunken night. I was a fan of SATC first, then the book, and now the show and it equally thrills yet pisses me off…ex. the carrie diaries make a reference to SATC every now and then (sweaters in her stove) but TCD also doesn’t follow the book, and that pisses me off

  • Erin

    Carrie in SATC is left handed!

  • Marie

    Carrie said that she lost her virginity on ping-pong table with guy named Seth :O what about Sebastian ? :(

  • shoegirl8

    Yes, the dads girlfriend is the same lady who played Nina Katts on the original SATC (the face girl AKA Aidens girlfriend after they broke up). I am a huge SATC fan and was excited for the carrie diaries but its inconsistencies really bother me. Charlotte was the first of the girls so wtf did Samantha come from. Also, her dad left Carrie when she was young. Plus if Sebastian was such a main boyfriend for her in high school why was he never talked about in the original. She talked of Jeremy as her high school sweetheart (the xfiles actor). Will we get to see him? Probably not. I read that Stanford will be introduced who is one of my favorites so I hope they pull that off.

    • If HBO would have taken this over I think it could have been good. Though they were in the process of making GIRLS so I don’t think it worked out.

  • Kirstenkd

    Isn’t the lady who is dating Carrie’s dad the same lady who dated Aiden after Carrie & Aiden break up and she meets her in the bathroom? I swear it is

  • Mya

    In Carrie Diaries she meets Samantha at a club that she was promoting for. In SATC she doesn’t meet Samantha right away..and I don’t think Sam’s first job was a promoter right?

  • Alexa

    Yeah, and in the SATC2 movie, she talks about how she met each friend, Charlotte being the first one she meets and Samantha being the last. However, now it is being said that she will meet Samantha first in season 2? Hmm. I think that the different twist is nice, but I do think they should stay consistent with these types of things.

  • Kat LeMaster

    Well season two of Carrie Diaries she is meeting Samantha — wtf?

  • Barbara Palvin

    they can change the whole storyline if they want, I really didn’t like the way they portrayed the typical New York woman in SATC… I think it was too slutty and distasteful at times… I like the new Carrie, she is so much smarter and comes from a decent home.

    • Katie Collins

      We don’t know enough about her home/childhood in SATC to know Carrie wasn’t from a decent home. In both shows, she comes from a single parent home. What’s indecent about that?

      And if enjoying sex makes a woman slutty, I’m a slut and proud of it!

  • elasticprobe

    The thing is, Carrie Diaries is not a spin-off of the HBO series. It’s an adaptation of the prequel (book) to Sex & The City (the book.)

    The executive producers of the HBO show took liberties with the original Sex & The City book.

    It’s a bit like comparing Superman and Smallville… I mean, come on now.

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