Skyline not quite right in CW’s 1984 New York-set ‘Carrie Diaries’

The new CW drama “The Carrie Diaries” -- a prequel to the HBO hit “Sex and the City” about a teenage Carrie Bradshaw -- goes out of its way to try to get 1980s New York City right.

When Carrie hits the Big Apple, we see a graffiti-covered subway train and gritty neighborhoods. There are Checker cabs roaming the streets. We are taken back to the vibrant post-punk era night life.

There’s only one thing we don’t see: The World Trade Center.

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Despite lots of skyline shots of the city and a setting in downtown New York, where the law firm Carrie is interning at is located, the Twin Towers are nowhere to be found. The omission becomes very apparent to any New Yorker (or ex-New Yorker) in one scene in which Carrie discovers Century 21, the famed discount clothing warehouse that was in the shadows of the World Trade Center.

Whether the lack of at least one shot of the towers was an oversight or a creative decision, it was a bad choice. Yes, seeing the towers in all their majesty could be jarring for many. But not showing them seems like a rewriting of history and an unnecessary removal of what was one of the city’s best known landmarks.

No one is suggesting that the Twin Towers need to be in every episode. One shot in Monday’s premiere would have done the trick to not only remind viewers that this show is set in 1984 but to give a nod to what now seems like a more innocent time.

Perhaps in later episodes the producers will recognize their oversight. If so, there is one other thing the show needs to correct as well. In one scene of Monday’s show, Carrie looks out the window of her Checker cab and gazes hopefully at the present-day skyline of downtown New York. Maybe she’s a time traveler too.


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Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.


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