The season 2 premiere of The Carrie Diaries introduced a young Samantha Jones (Lindsey Gort), who Carrie (AnnaSophia Robb) initially mistakes for a man named Sam Jones until meeting the one and only Sex and the City fave in person.
“Win Some, Lose Some” finds our heroine sharing an apartment in Manhattan with best friend Walt (Brendan Dooling) – who just recently came to terms with his sexuality – and continuing her internship with Interview magazine. She’s still reeling from ex-boyfriend Sebastian (Austin Butler) and ex-best friend Maggie’s (Katie Findlay) betrayal. The two shared a misguided kiss in the season finale episode “Kiss Yesterday Goodbye” while both were feeling hurt by their respective loved ones.
Gort proves a successful Samantha Jones, who’s working as a bouncer at a rock n’ roll club when Carrie first meets her. She’s got Kim Cattrall’s look, voice, and mannerism down pat. And she deliveres some great one-liners, like when Carrie is attempting to lift Samantha up to reach the fire escape – “Just a few more inches – that’s what I always hope for!”
The episode itself was a little lackluster The Carrie Diaries. Part of my disappointment with the episode could be attributed to the amount of screentime given to Carrie’s family. Dorrit – or “Dorito”, as I like to call her – remains the show’s weakest character and her storylines are rarely engaging, if ever. I did find myself feeling somewhat sympathetic towards Maggie, as she lamented to Mouse (Ellen Wong) about her parent’s disinterest in her schoolwork and her inability to afford college. Although, it’s difficult to set aside Maggie’s homophobic rant against Walt in the season one finale when she found out he was gay.
Carrie wasn’t nearly as charming in her first season, either. The back-and-forth between her and Sebastian has been boring and you don’t feel particularly compelled to root for them as a couple, especially since Sebastian by himself is a one-note character (aka a badboy with mommy issues.) Their relationship was already proven to be toxic in the first season, and watching Sebastian pine over Carrie is just repetitive. We’ll probably see the tables turn, eventually, with Carrie pining over Sebastian. And that’s not a storyline I’m looking forward to.
Carrie is at her best when she’s focusing on her burgeoning Manhattan career and lifestyle, or when we’re reminded that she’s still a teenage girl coming of age in the ’80s. Shoehorning this angst-ridden love story with Sebastian into the show isn’t the best move for The Carrie Diaries.