I do not approve.
I am a purist. These teenage prequels are watering down the brand. “Carrie in high school did not follow the crowd — she led it,” Bushnell explained. While Carrie is a trendy character, I doubt she would be Miss Popular—and honestly, it never once occurred to me she would be. There has never been any evidence in the show that she was that kind of girl, even the few that discussed high school (“Boy, Interrupted”, “Hot Child in the City”). She had her friends, she dated, she liked fashion and most likely already wanted to go to
Executive Producer Michael Patrick King once said that all four ladies are supposed to represent different facets of a woman; they are each archetypes, and together they make up one woman. Carrie is hardly an everywoman, especially with her affinity for high-class fashion and shoes, but she stands for certain kinds of women; none of them scream to me catty, seductive, or Type A; that’s Samantha.
The prequels also raise an important issue: Carrie has to have a family, a background that was previously nonexistent on the television show (and, presumably, the book. I never finished it.). The prequels demand a whole new cast of characters. After all, sometime in her twenties Carrie moved to
That was a deliberate choice. Michael Patrick King has said in one of the show’s commentary that he never wanted to show any of the main characters’ family. The exceptions were in “My Motherboard, My Self” when Miranda’s mother dies, and in “Shortcomings”, but he regretted the latter case. Even when
Carrie: Hey, you think it could really be as simple as my father walked out, therefore I'll always be messed up about men?
Miranda: My father came home every night at seven on the dot and I have no clue about men either.
were meant to illuminate the characters’ present conditions, not to flashback to an earlier era.
Of course, Michael Patrick King is not Candace Bushnell, and while their versions of Carrie Bradshaw may overlap tremendously, they probably each have a certain conception of the character in mind. Who really owns the character? Sarah Jessica Parker embodies Carrie and Bushnell created her, but Michael Patrick King (and Darren Star, and to a lesser extent, all the other writers and producers) brought her to life. They created her stories, formed her life, her personality from the template that Bushnell set up in Sex and the City the book, which is very, very different from the series. Arguably, King owns the screen version, and Bushnell the book version. Each, I suspect, wants to stay true to their own idea of the character.
As much as I don’t like the idea of a prequel for all these reasons, I have to separate the show from the story, Michael Patrick King’s vision from Candace Bushnell’s. They are part of the same universe, but they are not the same.