by Natalie Abrams
Lindsey Gort and Freema Agyeman
Samantha Jones will soon meet her match!
The Carrie Diaries‘ newest addition isn’t the only tough-talking young adult in Carrie’s (AnnaSophia Robb) life. Lest we forget, Carrie is only staying in the city because her eccentric and fashionable co-worker Larissa (Freema Agyeman) is out of the country. But what will happen when Larissa meets the equally fierce Samantha (Lindsey Gort)? TVGuide.com turn to executive producer Amy B. Harris to get the scoop:
With Carrie living in New York, what are some of the more adult issues we’ll see this season?
Amy B. Harris: That was part of the fun for us in bringing in Samantha Jones and having Larissa be a piece of the puzzle still. We really get to focus our energy in the city, which was always our goal for the second season. We’ve really gotten to know these kids and the kinds of issues that they’re struggling with. Walt (Brendan Dooling) is now trying to figure out how to be an openly gay man in the city while still being closeted in Castlebury and not telling his parents. It’s a big issue that we’ll hopefully be able to do in a mature and sophisticated way. For Carrie, just from having her purse stolen, going to clubs, alcohol and drugs and what does she lose her virginity, those are all conversations that will be coming up a lot this season. And we’ll be developing her life as a writer as well.
Carrie is still really hurt by Sebastian (Austin Butler), so will we see her move on to other love interests?
Harris: We will. We got very lucky in that we found a pretty special guy to introduce into her world who has a much more Manhattan life, which will also bring Manhattan even more into the forefront of the show. We’ll meet him in Episode 4 and he’s a wunderkind playwright that she is attempting to get an interview from. The fun in telling these stories is how does Carrie respond to someone who has made a mistake and Sebastian very authentically is trying to prove himself as someone who blew it, but still cares about her and wants to make amends. How Carrie addresses that is tricky. What I love about the Carrie-Sebastian relationship is when you’re in high school, you can’t avoid the person, so they’re very much in each other’s lives, but she’s trying to move on. We’ve created a very fun triangle for her.
How does Samantha fit into Carrie’s life moving forward?
Harris: We talked a lot about this in the beginning: What is the difference between a Larissa and a Samantha? They’re both sexually free, outrageous, larger-than-life people. What I really loved when I decided to explore who Samantha Jones was and where she came from — she’s from the panhandle of Florida. Larissa recreated herself when she imagined herself as someone fabulous in New York and getting into all the best parties. She has a very strong work ethic. But Samantha is still somebody who is flitting from place to place. A joke we’re playing through the whole season is that we don’t ever really know where she lives full time and she never has a full-time job because she is someone who is really afraid of commitment and putting down roots. She doesn’t do that in a sad, sappy way, but she’s celebrating her freedom. There’s a joke in the second episode when everyone else is getting violently ill and she says she would eat alligator roadkill for breakfast. She’s a pretty tough cookie who survived on her own. What she brings to Carrie is to stop thinking. If you keep moving forward, you can have a ton of fun. Don’t miss out on it because you’re over-thinking stuff. She’s a great addition. When I looked at Samantha and Carrie in those first two episodes, I realized they both have a lot to learn from each other. Samantha needs to know she can rely on someone. Carrie is someone who continually proves that to Samantha.
What’s Samantha’s first meeting with Larissa like?
Harris: I describe them as the two titans, but we’ll explore in a very fun way how Larissa and Samantha — I would not use the word “embrace” each other. Their journey is going to be an interesting one. They have really strong points of view about the world and they’re very different from each other. They’re the devils on each of Carrie’s shoulders as opposed to an angel. It’s just two devils saying it two different ways.
Carrie has yet to face Maggie (Kate Findlay), though Mouse (Ellen Wong) seems to forgiven her. How is that going to affect the group dynamic?
Harris: It’s going to be tricky. Walt and Maggie really have not figured out their relationship either. That is a very uncomfortable situation. Walt obviously does not want to be outed at high school. For Carrie, it’s twofold: She betrayed her with Sebastian, but it’s also how cruelly she behaved with Walt. I personally understand where Maggie was coming from. She started an affair with the police officer because she could not figure out why Walt didn’t love her and wasn’t attracted to her. She’s a girl who really confuses sex and love, and that’s going to be her journey. It’s a long journey for Carrie and Maggie this season. Maggie has a rough season, at least the first half.
What can you tell us about Walt’s relationship with Bennett (Jake Robinson)?
Harris: That’s what we’re exploring in the second episode, which is Walt’s 18th birthday. For a kid who is desperate to open up his sexual life in a way that feels exciting to him, he’s counting down the days. But Bennet, who is much more comfortable in his own skin, has been out in the gay world and has more opportunity to meet gay men. He hasn’t quite put that same pressure on it, so that’s going to come up for them as an issue.
Any updates on bringing in Stanford Blatch?
Harris: He gets a bunch of mentions this season. We brought him in without bringing him in in some very fun, exciting ways. He lives with Bennett, so we’ll be getting some updates on Stanford, but we won’t necessarily see him. I can’t swear we won’t, but this was a fun one to figure out — how to keep him alive without introducing him quite yet.
As you guys have been writing Samantha this season, have you been thinking about introducing another member of the quartet?
Harris: We talk about it a lot. What I feel like with Samantha is that I knew we could logically bring her in this year. I believe she probably didn’t go to college. She’s older than Carrie as in the series, so she’s in New York, and it felt really right to bring her in. We’re not just going to bring in characters to do so, but if it feels like the right time, then we will. It wasn’t like we had to introduce one a season, but if there is a great way to do that, and I definitely have ideas about how we could bring Miranda and Samantha in, then we’ll definitely go for it.
The Carrie Diaries airs Fridays at 8/7c on The CW.
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