THE CARRIE DIARIES Post-Mortem: Amy B. Harris on the Fallout from Walt’s Decision in ‘Date Expectations,’ and What Comes Next | Give Me My Remote

THE CARRIE DIARIES Post-Mortem: Amy B. Harris on the Fallout from Walt’s Decision in ‘Date Expectations,’ and What Comes Next

January 10, 2014 by  

[This post contains spoilers from THE CARRIE DIARIES episode, “Date Expectations.” If you haven’t watched the episode yet, go watch that, and then come back to see what TCD showrunner Amy B. Harris has to say about what went down.]

Valentine’s Day brought heartbreak for Walt and Bennet after they found out that Bennet’s ex was dying from AIDS. While Bennet was clean, the realities of their situation (and the limitations that being a gay couple in the 1980s might mean for them) got to be too much for Walt, and he broke up with his boyfriend.

I spoke with THE CARRIE DIARIES boss Amy B. Harris about what the show did to properly tackle a very serious subject, and what comes next for Walt, Carrie, Maggie, Larissa, and more…

THE CARRIE DIARIES tackled the AIDS epidemic in a really upfront way. Was there any hesitation from the network or studio about what you were or weren’t allowed to do?
Amy B. Harris: They gave us free reign to really portray the experience the ways we wanted to do it. The writers of the episode, Amy [Rardin] and Jessica — Jessica O’Toole, her uncle that she was unbelievably close to died of AIDS — so I knew this was an episode I wanted them to write. We did a ton of research, we read books about the time period, [Jessica] went back through journals she had been writing in when her uncle was dying, and we had the actors read the books we had read. We wanted to go after it in as real a way as possible, and really explore what that would mean, when at the time, it was a death sentence.

We as writers discussed whether we wanted one of or both of [Walt and Bennet] to be [HIV-]positive and we decided that wasn’t the story we were looking to explore for now — that doesn’t mean season 3 won’t have its own changes. It was really just a discussion within the writers room of what we wanted to say.

For me, to have that open Walt’s eyes to the realization that to be in love with someone [who was the same sex] meant, in 1986, [you’d] be giving up so much more. It’d be like giving up the idea of having a family and having a marriage, and all of those traditional trappings that, I think, Walt still hasn’t given up on.

Where will this take him going forward? After all, we saw him at the end of the episode calling his mother, asking to go home…
AH: I think this is a rough one for Walt, because I don’t know if you can go back into the closet. I don’t think you can ever do that happily once you’ve known what a real, authentic love feels like. I don’t know if you can go back to that. But he’s going to try. I don’t know if it will go well for him! [Laughs] But Walt is struggling and the comfort of his old traditions, at least for the time being, are going to be what he leans on. But I don’t think he’s going to find that to be a happy thing.

Speaking of happy, by the end of the hour, Maggie has seemed the happiest we’ve seen her, possibly ever. What can you say about where she goes from here?
AH: I don’t want to be too Pollyanna about it, but Maggie has made a lot of bad choices because she hasn’t felt particularly loved by the universe. And I think her relationship with her father was always fraught; she was always thinking he thought the worst of her. And I think her honesty about the Simon situation — even though that brought a lot more drama to the table — I think has allowed her to realize she’s worth something. So I think she’s in a better place. So if the right person came along, she would maybe recognize that. And if the wrong person came along, I think she’d be more quick to recognize that as well. I’m hopeful for Maggie.

It seemed for a bit that she had feelings for Sebastian, but that hasn’t really been dealt with since he reunited with Carrie. Is that relationship over, romantically speaking?
AH: My feeling on [them] is because Sebastian was being kind to her at a time when she felt like an outsider, she was putting a lot of emotional elements into that relationship that weren’t really there. And that once she was able to reconcile with Carrie, she was able to find an appropriate friendship with Sebastian, but not make it so it would be an issue between Sebastian and Carrie.

Are Carrie and Sebastian going to have a smoother path in these final two episodes of the year? Or do they have issues coming up that you can tease?
AH: I think for [Carrie], the realization that as things are becoming more challenging for her and she’s having to think about things, she realizes how much she needs him and relies on him; that’s going to be a surprise. That’s [less] an issue in their relationship…but it’s a sudden feeling of, “maybe I want and need this person in my life,” rather than, “I like this person so much.” That sudden realization that you depend on someone can be a scary one. And certainly for someone like Carrie.

Of course. Elsewhere, Larissa, is engaged. Will the show be dealing with whether or not Larissa gets married this season? Or will that be saved for season 3?
AH: We will be dealing with that this season!

I know the shorter-episode orders don’t leave a lot of room for filler-esque things, but will we see Larissa and Samantha or Larissa and Carrie getting to indulge in some ’80s wedding dress possibilities?
AH: You will definitely see some shopping fashion, but it won’t necessarily be connected to Larissa’s wedding. There may be a big event in Larissa’s life or there may not be a big event in Larissa’s life towards the end of the season.

You’ve always seemed relatively certain about a renewal for the show, even as recently as when we spoke on set late last year. What are your thoughts on a potential season 3 right now?
AH: I think I feel the same way I felt at last year at this time, which is: Do I wish our overnight numbers were a guarantee pickup? Of course. Do I think they are those numbers? No. But last year, our streaming numbers, our DVR, our Hulu, etc., when you put it all together, that was why we got the pickup. I don’t think anything has changed. So I hope we get the third season. Those decisions are made by people with pay grades much higher than me. I feel like from what I know from The CW, they love the show, they love the direction of the show, they love the cast. So I have to hope the audience continues to stay with the show and the streaming numbers are great and our overnights stay at a 0.4, and we’ll go from there. I’m hopeful, but I’m also aware there’s always the possibility it won’t come back…fingers crossed!

I do know we’re doing very well streaming. I also have a strange thing: I have a sense — and this is obviously not scientific in any way [Laughs] — but every person I talk to when I say the show I work on, they say their 17-year-old niece watches it, or everyone at their sorority, or their sister watches it…enough young people are watching it, and hopefully that’ll be enough to get the pickup.

So, what did you think of tonight’s episode of THE CARRIE DIARIES? Did Walt break your heart? Did something else stand out to you?

THE CARRIE DIARIES airs Fridays at 8 PM on The CW.

Related:

THE CARRIE DIARIES: Amy B. Harris on Tackling the AIDS Epidemic, Relationship Tension, and More
THE CARRIE DIARIES Exclusive Clip: Carrie Decides to Write About Sex in ‘The Safety Dance’
THE CARRIE DIARIES: Katie Findlay on Maggie’s Search for Stability and Her Complicated Relationship with Sebastian

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Filed under The Carrie Diaries

Comments

One Response to “THE CARRIE DIARIES Post-Mortem: Amy B. Harris on the Fallout from Walt’s Decision in ‘Date Expectations,’ and What Comes Next”

  1. アート on June 28th, 2014 2:59 am

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