Remember when Carrie Bradshaw’s biggest problem was being banned from New York City because of her secret adventures? That’s small potatoes compared to what Carrie and her friends have endured during the second season of The CW’s The Carrie Diaries, which has dealt with everything from homosexuality to virginity loss to teenage pregnancy. In advance of tonight’s episode, EW talked with executive producer Amy B. Harris about some surprising new friendships, where the rest of the season is headed, and those fun Sex and the City homages.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I really love how the second season has been progressing so far — Carrie discovering herself by living in New York, meeting Samantha, her relationship with Weaver [Chris Wood]. And you recently had her discover her interest in writing about sex, which was so fun.
AMY B. HARRIS: Yes. A little homage!
Are there any other moments this season where we’ll get to see hints of what made this Carrie into the woman we’re so familiar with from Sex and the City?
We have some interesting visual stuff coming up — there’s a painting she gets that I think is sort of an homage to the show. Our most obvious one was the idea that she would never write about sex again.
I love the way you’re choosing to handle Walt’s “coming out” storyline this season, in light of what would actually be realistic during the time period that the show follows. Have you had specific reactions from fans about that?
Things have obviously changed in such amazing and progressive ways, but there are still a lot of people out there who live either in communities that don’t accept them, or have families that don’t accept them, and the idea that this story could touch someone’s heart and make them feel known…we’ve gotten some really amazing emails and letters and texts and tweets from kids who have said, “I feel like I’m Walt and I’m going through all this and I’m so grateful to have this story being told.” And what I love about the way we’ve told the Walt/Bennet story overall is that they’re just a couple. We’re not trying to say, “This is a gay couple’s experience.” Most of the time, they’re just a couple, struggling with the things that couples struggle with — are you dating other people? Are you exclusive?
What about the Donna/Mouse friendship? Will that continue to progress?
The minute we realized if two girls who are pretty focused on their goals — one might be to get into college, but the other is to date hot guys — if they’re releasing that, what does that friendship look like? What can they learn from each other? We really liked that. There’s some surprising stuff coming for Donna in the next few episodes, and learning what all that will mean. But we’re continuing with the Mouse/Donna friendship, which I love, and to me, that’s always the fun of the show — giving people sort of surprising connections to each other.
Donna came onto the scene as the typical spoiled nemesis, the ’80s villain, but she really grew a lot of layers. There was a lot of exploration beyond what you saw on the surface and that was really apparent throughout a lot of different moments this season.
For me, I’ve always loved Donna, because although her truths were often very painful for her own gain, she doesn’t lie. She just uses the truth to service her needs. I think she’s sort of an honest person, so for me, the real beginning of opening up that character was when she dates Walt. And unlike Maggie, who’s so insecure, she immediately thinks, “Oh, you’ve gotta be gay if you’re not attracted to me.” And once we kind of got there and realized she could be someone who could be a good person for Walt to lean on, we knew we could open her up.
Among other things, last season ended with Carrie finally achieving her goal of working at Interview, Walt discovering his sexuality, and Sebastian and Maggie’s hookup. Can we expect more big moments leading up to this season’s finale?
Yes. One of the storylines I’ve always enjoyed writing towards is Carrie’s relationship with her dad, and what he expects and wants from her versus what she expects and wants for herself. I think that’s going to add a lot of drama to the show. I think there’s definitely a lot coming down the pipeline for all of them, and some surprising people leaving the city, and some people staying in the city. I think it’ll be a good ride for the audience.
The Carrie Diaries airs Friday nights at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.