Is the new series “The Carrie Diaries” (7 p.m., CW) awfully fascinating or fascinatingly awful? “Diaries” covers the teen years of Carrie Bradshaw, a character whose explicit newspaper column about her sexual conquests was previously featured on the soft-porny shopaholic HBO comedy “Sex and the City.” Turning the story of this sexibitionist into a series for impressionable tweens (“Lil’ Carrie”!) is almost a sick joke, the kind of wicked parody that might have filled the pages of “National Lampoon” or “Spy” magazine back when their savage brand of satire still existed — or mattered.
AnnaSophia Robb plays 16-year-old Carrie Bradshaw, a Connecticut prep school student still grieving the loss of her mother. The trauma has all but ruined her relationship with her rebellious little sister, Dorrit (Stefania Owen), and has left her solid commuter dad, Tom (Matt Letscher), shell-shocked.
Set in 1984, “Diaries” makes the most of an early MTV soundtrack and fashion statements straight out of a John Hughes comedy. Like “City,” this show is driven, if not drowned, by Carrie’s insipid voice-overs. But at least this Carrie has her youth to explain the trite nature of her observations. Sarah Jessica Parker’s character had only “City” creator Darren Star’s scripts to blame.
Much like a two-headed dog, “Diaries” is a ghastly abomination that has to be seen to be believed. Is it dreadful enough to become an instant cult classic? Or fade away like Lindsay Lohan’s “Liz and Dick”?
Tonight’s other highlights
• A dancer’s fatal step on a two-hour helping of “Bones” (7 p.m., Fox).
• Oliver Stone’s “Untold History of the United States” (7 p.m., Showtime) concludes with a look at the war on terror under George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
• Truly loses her shop on “Bunheads” (8 p.m., ABC Family).
• n a twist, CBS invites online voters to select the culprit in tonight’s episode of “Hawaii Five-0” (9 p.m., CBS).
• Joanna suspects Edward on “Deception” (9 p.m., NBC).
• A DJ’s death sparks a music industry mystery on “Castle” (9 p.m., ABC).