Caroline Duffy is a successful cartoonist living in Manhattan whose comic strip "Caroline in the City" has become a huge hit. The strip is based on her own life, and the people in it - her ... See full summary »
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Philip S. Goodman
Caroline Duffy is a successful cartoonist living in Manhattan whose comic strip "Caroline in the City" has become a huge hit. The strip is based on her own life, and the people in it - her occasional boyfriend Del and her best friend Annie. Aside from her career, however, Caroline's life is a mess, as is proven when she throws fruit out the window onto the street in a pathetic attempt to meet men. Written by
Michael Silva <email@example.com>
Remo's originally started out as a restaurant in the beginning of the first season, was reduced to a bistro midway through the season. See more »
In season 1 Caroline's mother Margaret Duffy is a slim blond cultured mid-west American lady - but when she returns in Season 3, she has become a short dumpy red-haired German-American woman with a peculiar squeaky little accented voice, and an obsession for collecting tacky knick-knacks. See more »
Caroline in the City was one of those shows that attracted a mixed reception: some loved it like me; some thought it was good but nothing special whilst the rest just slated it harshly. It's interesting to note that the show is more popular outside the US, although I'm sure there are a few Yanks who are keen on CITC as well.
The sitcom revolved around a Wisconsin native, Caroline who applies her trade as a cartoonist in Manhattan, New York. Her career and work life, couldn't be more perfect: her greeting cards and merchandise are selling, her comic strip is a hit in every major newspaper and she couldn't be any more happier as she is. Except she is also on the look out for love and thus after several attempts, by the fourth season she finds solace and love in the form of Richard- her assistant and colourist.
The casting of Lea Thompson, Malcolm Gets, Amy Pietz, Andy Lauer and Eric Lutes was spot-on and they all did a magnificent job as their characters, Caroline Duffy, Richard Karinsky, Annie Spadaro, Charlie and Del Cassidy. Lea is just great as the sweet, caring Caroline, whilst Malcolm is brilliant as the often dour- faced, miserable geek/struggling artist, Richard. The attraction involving the pair felt so real and they made such a convincing sitcom couple. Special mentions also go out to Amy, Eric,Andy and Tom. Most of the show's funniest moments revolved around either Richard's sarcastic banter or Richard and Annie mocking and insulting one another.
The first season was an instant hit in 1995-96 but by the time when Friends, Frasier were at their peak in the late 1990s, by 1998 onwards CITC was suddenly losing ground and ultimately the changes had put the nail in the coffin.
I didn't have a problem with Season 3, as I thought it was very good. The first two were just downright funny and brilliant, but with the fourth whilst there were some wonderful moments involving the pair, I just felt that there was too much pain towards the end, which was totally unnecessary. I was bemused as to why Caroline and Richard argued as much as they did in the fourth season when they were a couple, which I thought was pretty stupid. Particularly as after the 'Big Night' episode where they finally consummated their 4- year relationship, the episodes which had followed afterwards had them arguing, such as the arrival of Caroline's former high school 'friend' Randy and thus, the cracks in their relationship had appeared. What didn't make sense was how could Caroline have feelings for Randy, whilst she was with Richard at the same time, and the guy she had always wanted to be with?
The way the writers had handled the writing was shameful: different writers for different seasons? Now that I don't get. No wonder there was no continuity, no consistency, and no genuine ending. CITC became a silly soap opera towards the end of the final season that the impression that I and many other fans got, based on the changes they made, was that none of the writers cared about the show, any more. They didn't know whether they wanted CITC to be a work place sitcom or a romantic sitcom, although I'd go for the latter. Although it seems to me that they had numerous ideas up their sleeves, in an attempt to keep Caroline and Richard apart for as long as possible and preventing them from getting married to one another. What they mistakenly didn't realise is that as soon as fans sense a sitcom is no longer a sitcom and the ideas become so OTT, then there will be signs indicating that the show is no longer what it stands for- and there were signs throughout that final season, which denoted that CITC no longer stood for what it originally was in the beginning.
For instance, getting rid of Remo and moving Caroline's work environment from the loft was a massive gamble, which was a terrible error and a decision of which backfired completely. In its place, we got a dull office, characters like Plum, Dave and Reg-, who I liked; hence, silly twists in the shape of Richard discovering he has a child by his horrible ex Julia, of him telling Caroline he doesn't want any more children and Randy's appearance also emerged. Eventually, CITC lost its sense of direction and it got canned, which led us fans to ponder how on earth the show started out so brilliantly and perfectly at the beginning only to falter and go downhill in the end, all in the short space of 4 seasons.
I was disappointed and angry when I first read that the show had been cancelled- as much as the fourth season was bad, it was still okay. I still felt that CITC had some life in the series yet to be able to prolong its existence until the very end, as well as there would have been plenty of material for a fifth season. And even though, ratings were falling, I still felt they should have just gone ahead and produced it, rather than to just have an unresolved ending. I will never forgive the writers for concluding it on a cliff hanger. It wasn't the actors, of who were accountable for the show's demise, but the writers of the last season. Because of those errors, which weren't addressed throughout the series, Caroline In The City failed to fulfil its full potential as a show- so therefore despite the early promise, the constant chopping and changing, as well as the absurd ideas later on, had killed it completely.
Nonetheless, CITC is an amusing sitcom, which despite its faults, is a show that is worth watching and one that kept me interested up until the finale.
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