Carrie Bradshaw Finds Her Voice In 'The Carrie Diaries'

'Sex and the City' prequel examines writer's small-town roots — before the men and Manolos.

Once upon a time (the year 2000), in a land far, far away (not really; it was Manhattan), a 30-something sex columnist couldn't help but wonder: "No matter how far you travel or how much you run from it, can you ever really escape your past?" Well, if the CW's new series, "The Carrie Diaries" — a prequel to the beloved "Sex and the City" — is any indication, the answer is a resounding "no."

Based on the young-adult series by "SATC" author Candace Bushnell, "The Carrie Diaries" follows Connecticut teen Carrie Bradshaw, whose life has been turned upside down by the death of her mother. In an attempt to ease his daughter's malaise, Carrie's dad lines up an after-school internship at a law firm in — you guessed it! — New York City. But this isn't the world-wise Carrie Bradshaw fans know from the HBO series. Before the men and the Manolos, the diarist was just your run-of-the-mill suburbanite dreaming of the big city.

"This is a younger Carrie. I mean, we're first meeting Carrie in 1984, and she's 16, so she's just getting introduced to New York and her first love and fashion, and she's really finding herself as a writer and trying to find her voice," star AnnaSophia Robb told MTV News at the series' red-carpet premiere in October.

When asked to compare "The Carrie Diaries" Carrie to the "Sex and the City" Carrie, Bushnell (who also serves as the series' executive producer) was at first a bit hesitant, perhaps because both heroines are so dear to her.

"I never know how to answer that question," Bushnell admitted. "Both Carries are really close to me.

"I just really tried to capture being a teenager in a small town, and although your life is perfectly fine, for some reason you want more," she continued. "You want to see the world, and you really want to experience the world. And the Carrie in 'Sex and the City' had that dream, but she's experiencing it, and she's gotten there, whereas the Carrie in 'The Carrie Diaries' is just trying to figure out how to get there."

"The Carrie Diaries" premieres Monday, January 14, at 8/7c on The CW.

Will you be watching "The Carrie Diaries"?