I couldn’t have been more prepared to hate — not love to hate, just hate-hate — the latest addition to the “Sex and the City” brand, “The Carrie Diaries.” The two “SATC” movies were egregious, and unnecessary, and hard evidence of how dummying up and reanimating characters after their stories have ended can stain the original show. Those movies were the walking dead. I’m praying for “Arrested Development”; please don’t let the 14 new episodes, due in May, put a lien on our memories.
But this new CW series, a “Sex and the City” prequel based on Candace Bushnell’s book about Carrie Bradshaw in high school, isn’t bad enough to despise. It’s a sweet, somewhat bland portrait of an Everygirl coming of age in suburban Connecticut in the 1980s, dealing with the class Heathers — here, they’re Donna LaDonna and the two Jens — and crushing on the cutie transfer student with long blond hair. The plot moves swiftly through familiar CW motions, as Carrie hangs with her three semi-nerdy friends in the cafeteria, deals with her bad-girl sister, and makes chic friends in New York. We’ve seen most of it before on other teen romantic comedies, and it’s easy to take.