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This show became an (undeserved) critical punching-bag during its too-brief run on NBC. It was similar to several shows which ran during the same period: female centered, urban, based in arts/media. All of them were lumped together and sniffed at by sour old critics. This was by far the best of the group, however. The degree to which the viewer identified with and appreciated "Caroline" depended on the degree to which one found Richard, and by extension Richard's budding romance with Caroline, appealing. I don't know if that was always the direction planned for the show's plot, but that had become the overarching direction it followed by the end of the first season. All the performances were excellent, though some of the characterizations were not designed to be warm and cuddly. Oddly, though I completely bought the Caroline/Richard relationship, the funniest episodes were often the ones which concentrated on other things (such as the one in which Caroline got in a public feud with JoAnn Worley over a deli sandwich). Unfortunately, the show was cancelled before the final cliffhanger was resolved, so we'll never know the outcome.
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.
I started to watch this a little about 3 years ago when it played on a
satellite station here. I was not expecting to like it because it has been
slated by various critics across the US. However, I found myself enjoying it
more and more as it went along. The characters were well portrayed and
likeable and the writing was at least average.
Lea Thompson is gorgeous and her 'chirpiness' as Caroline was endearing, as was her attachment to Richard. He seems to have been something of a sore point in the show but I took to him straight away. He's fab because he's different and quirky. I think it's great that he didn't have to be an amazingly attractive, built guy, it gives more realism.
All in all, 'Caroline in the City' is fun and watchable, though not Emmy-worthy its certainly worth a look.
I was really annoyed to see all those comments about Richard's character and Malcolm Gets playing his part. Richard's character is performed perfectly by Malcolm Gets, no one would have done it better! This show is not some stupid show that makes u laugh on silly things, you actually laugh because this show links you to reality. Caroline is the perfect confused woman who needs love in her life and Richard is the perfect struggling artist who is only satisfied by working as one, not a cartoonist assistant. If you look at the real world, you will find that the show makes perfect sense and has been a success from A to Z. As for Spadaro's character, well she's the comic relief of the show, she and Charlie's character. but the show is a realistic Drama with the right amount of real life comedy and tragedy in it and it's a shame seeing it unappreciated like that.
Caroline draw cartoons to a newspaper and her boss is her former fiance Del. Caroline has got an assistant, named Richard, who is in love with her, but he won't admit to anyone, not even himself. Normally Richard is very quiet, boring and ironic, but sometimes he shows his real I. Maybe this "tag-line" sounds very boring, but don't let this stop you. Caroline in the series is the best television-series ever! It is very funny and it has great acting.
i only ever watched the 1st series of CitC on TV in the UK but i remembered how much i liked it. So when the 1st series came out on DVD for a very reasonable £4.95 GBP i snapped it up & now have bought the lot. The characters of Del and Richard are especially honest. I like especially the vain and superficial Del, and i can see a lot of myself in the character of the grumpy and acerbic Richard (probably why i like it). The character of Annie is a bit of a caricature but what really makes her character for me is the cynical antagonism between herself and Richard. Charlie is superbly played and while the slow delivery of his lines is sometimes annoying, Charlie's daftness offers an off-the-wall perspective on what's going on. Caroline is the fulcrum around which this mad world revolves. It is a sitcom that makes me laugh out loud (not many do). The frustrated love between Richard and Caroline gives the series pathos and another twist of realism, since many of us have experienced that. The plot is a little daft but that really doesn't matter, it's the characters i watch it for.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I first saw Caroline in the City during the 1996 Summer Olympics. NBC
had a few hours when there weren't any sporting events to air, so they
plugged the afternoon with some of their sitcoms, one of them being an
episode of Caroline in the City. I don't remember exactly which episode
it was, but it was from the first season and it really got my attention
(I do remember a Seinfeld episode about George buying defective condoms
being on earlier).
I wasn't in the target demographics this show was aiming for, but I loved the humor and especially the uptight character of Richard, but Caroline was probably the cutest female character in the history of television, and Annie was pretty funny too. Del and Charlie were the weakest point of the show, but they had their moments. As described in the first episode, Caroline and the City really was "witty and carefree." The show peaked during the cliffhanger from the first to second season, when Richard left Caroline a love letter and left for Paris thinking that she had rejected him. She never found it, and after he had to return to Manhattan because of financial troubles he tried to retrieve it. Annie managed to get her hands on it, and used it to blackmail him.
The show jumped the shark after Caroline appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Shortly afterward, the character of Julia was introduced, which didn't take too long to ruin everything. I don't believe I was a regular viewer after the second season. If I did watch the third season, I remember very little of it, and I didn't watch the fourth except for a couple of episodes which happened to be on.
From what I've read, Richard had a baby with Julia and showed up at Caroline's wedding to another man, and this cliffhanger was never resolved. I'm sad that the writers let it get to that point, and didn't end the series with Caroline and Richard together.
Still, I'll always think of first two seasons fondly and am glad they were released on DVD, and if seasons 3 and 4 ever come out I'll be sure to buy them to see what I missed.
Lea Thompson was adorable as cheerful cartoonist Caroline Duffy, and Malcolm Gets got off the best lines as artist Richard. The other main characters, Del, Annie, and Charlie were fun to watch too. Then Julia came into the picture and the show went downhill fast, never to recover. Then again, you could never even FIND the show, it changed timeslots so much it didn't help. But thanks to the cast, the show was a joy to watch for 2 seasons.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I love this series!!!! I have every season and I find it extremely funny and entertaining. The unrequited love between Richard, the emotionally repressed, sarcastic,neurotic assistant,and Caroline is fantastically hilarious and Amy Pietz as the somewhat slutty neighbor who also is in the play "Cats" plus the on again off again boyfriend/almost husband Del makes this a great show in my opinion. The main character, Caroline, is played by Lea Thompson who I think is really hot and funny. The interplay between Salty, Caroline's cat and Richard has moments of real humor is you are one of those who either does not like cats or are ambivalent abut them.
When I first saw Caroline in the City it was only one of many comedy
series on TV and I didn't really noticed if it was or wasn't good. But
few years later when they were showing some random episodes I began to
watch it and couldn't really stop... After while I began to regret that
I missed so many episodes so far.
The plot isn't really new or original - secret love, two people spending much time together at work, but afraid to tell each other what they really feel, but CITC had something that too many comedy series were missing - great writers!!!!!! Each episode has 2 or even 3 separate stories, sometimes those stories mixed up, sometimes go separate through whole episode, but they are always funny, intelligent and entertaining.
I don't actually recall a single episode that I would find boring or really disappointing. Of course, the 4th season wasn't as good as others, mostly because they've dropped too many characters (like Charlie or Remo and Johnny) and skipped rule of 2 separate stories in one episode, but still it kept rather good quality.
I really love this series (mostly thanks to great part of Lea Thompson, but without Amy Pietz or Malcolm Gets this series wouldn't be the same) and I would love to call it THE best comedy series ever if... there wouldn't be "Fawlty Towers" which for me holds that title forever.
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