Caroline in the City (TV Series 1995–1999) Poster


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A Personal Favourite of Mine
waiching liu20 June 2007
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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Not for everyone, but I loved it
budikavlan30 July 2002
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.
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Oddly Appealing
sminkydink25 April 2003
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.
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Caroline in the City is a great show
fullmoon_tequila11 April 2004
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.
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This is the best television-series ever!
maj0063 January 1999
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.
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One of my all-time favorite shows
CosmicMission11 February 2009
Warning: 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.
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excellent series funny and witty
lei3411 February 2007
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.
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Was great until the third season...
Monika-514 January 2000
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.
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almost the best comedy series ever
adam-10093 November 2006
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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Good One
Rock198424 August 2002
This show is pretty good, I watch it whenever I can find the time. It's not really outstanding, and there are better sitcoms, but the characters are nice and especially Richad has some good lines. Compared to Suddenly Susan this show is, well, a million times better, mainly because the characters aren't as annoying (except Julia).
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It Was Good In The Beginning, Until They Added New Cast Members And Made Some Changes
goleafs8414 June 2004
When "Caroline In The City" first started, the ensemble cast was great, with Caroline, Richard, Del and Annie. They had good chemistry together and the way particularly Richard would trade barbs with Annie was hilarious. Even the minor characters like Remo and Johnny were great. Sometimes I would've like to have seen more of those two. They were a perfect fit for each other. Candy Azzara, who played Annie's mother was good as well.

Another one of my favorites, was "Shelly", played by Lauren Graham. Richard's ultra perky girlfriend. Lauren Graham played that role so well. My favorite memory of her came from the Christmas episode, "Caroline and the Christmas Break". Caroline couldn't get misseltoe, so she used oregano instead. Shelly asks what happens when you stand under oregano instead. Since Annie couldn't stand her, she said, "you say goodbye". After that, every time Shelly was under the oregano, in her perky way would say "goodbye". That was too much.

About midway through the first season, "tinkering" was done to the show. It started with the beginning theme and credits. Gone was the 10 second short of the animated "Caroline", which would give you an idea what was going to happen in the episode to a new beginning, showing different comic strips from "Peanuts" to "Beetle Bailey" and Remo's changing from a restaurant and bar to a small bistro. These were small changes; Although I liked the 10 second animated short; Without it, it changed the show somewhat. In addition, they added Andy Lauer as "Charlie", Del's delivery boy. He fit in the cast well, like he was there from the beginning.

One of my favorite episodes came from the first season, entitled "Caroline and the Watch". You got to see Maury Amsterdam and Rose Marie from "The Dick Van Dyke Show" teamed up one last time (About 8 months after that episode aired, Maury Amsterdam died).

The problems started in the second season, when they added a new love interest for Caroline; Joe DeStefano (Mark Fuerstein). He just didn't seem like he fit in well. I didn't watch too many episodes when he was on, but things really went downhill, when they introduced Richard's new wife, Julia. She was a "square peg" in the cast. I felt like she never fit in and I couldn't stand her. She was the reason why I quit watching the show, which was too bad because it was funny at a time.
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I think it is great
SanteeFats12 August 2012
Warning: 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.
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Very cute show
hope_107_200210 July 2001
This show has to be one of the cutesy-est ones out there. It's perfect to watch when you have nothing else to do or can't sleep. I've gotten into the habit of doing that lately. It's an amusing comedy, though not one of the best out there. All in all, it is a pretty good show and I would recommend it if you like cute comedies.
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A wonderful unappreciated sitcom
studioAT1 December 2017
This is an underrated sitcom that deserves more attention.

With a wonderful performance from the always lovely Lea Thompson this sitcom focuses on cartoonist Caroline Duffy and the oddball characters that make her real life more wacky than her cartoon.

Malcolm Gets, Eric Lutes, Any Lauer and Amy Pietz add so much to their respective roles, to the point where it feels more of an ensemble show rather than just being a star vehicle for Thompson.

With a love story runing throughout the series, and some wickedly funny lines this show is a joy. I must just say too that the first series in particular is fabulous, rarely hitting a wrong note throughout.

I think it went on a series too long, but that aside there is so much to like about this warm and charming series.
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Funny but one scene almost out of place now
Parker Lewis10 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Caroline in the City was likable and you would possibly put it in the same league as Suddenly Susan, another feminist 90s empowering show in the Clinton era and pre-9/11. We all expected Gore to win in 2000, but alas not to be.

One scene was very uncomfortable and was really out of place. Caroline's mother suggested going out to a Vietnamese restaurant for lunch, and Caroline slyly said something like, "As long as the food doesn't have a face". Cue audience laughter. Oh dear. How crazily offensive, and really, which writer was responsible for that genius of a line? High fives in the writers' room for sure.
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Lovely romance
jupiterlark12 May 2004
Caroline in the City is not stale. The only reason the series died out was because Caroline and Richard got together. The whole show was about the little things that could add up to something MAYBE happening between the two, or some chance encounter or such like a glance shared, "a moment" or something. It leaves you on the edge of your seat wondering. That was what was good about the show. Caroline in the City can be related to Lois and Clark, the New Adventures of Superman in that they both had characters that were always on the verge of getting together and that both shows ended after the characters got together. The allure was then depleted and the shows slipped away.
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Caroline a CARTOONIST??? Don't make me laugh!
Becca-3712 January 2001
I happen to be an aspiring cartoonist and I've submitted my work to several different newspaper syndicates and I've been rejected many times. But what I know from my personal experience is that cartooning just ISN'T a very cushy job and that it WOULD require LOTS AND LOTS of HARD WORK AS WELL AS STRICTLY DEVOUT ATTENTION!!! Not to mention all those deadlines that you would have to race against every time! So what's wrong with this little TV show here??? I don't see Caroline bent over her drawing board, hard at work, nervously drinking mug after mug of strong coffee to stay awake and fretting over every little detail and dialogue that she would make her characters emit, and so on forth. All those little things that we cartoonists usually face. Not to mention the fact all those shoddy drawings that Caroline seems to "borrow" are really nothing to sneeze at. Instead, we see Caroline dressing up, gossiping, drinking, flirting, going out on the night with her friends, going on fun vacations, aching her well-maintained body like a lovesick kitty over the graying Richard, anything at all that isn't anywhere near her very neat, obviously unused drawing board and art equipment. Sheesh...still another snobbish TV fairy-tale all about glamorous single people who live among the dazzling city lights.
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Worst thing on TV right now (cept for "Suddenly Susan")
Gustave23 March 1999
Due to a recent wave of nostalgia for the seventies, "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" has become recognized by many critics, historians and viewers of Nick at Nite as a landmark TV series that captured perhaps better than anything else on TV at the time the social changes that took place in the US following the turbulent sixties and women's liberation. The series focused on a single woman (Mary Tyler Moore previously known to America as the perfect embodiment of domestic femininity playing Dick Van Dyke's wife) whose job and friendships gave her life meaning at a time when most women

were only beginning to realize that there was more to life than being a wife and mother. Mary Richards was the perfect seventies heroine in that she was a woman nearing middle age stylishly with the domestic social values of fifties/sixties behind her and the sexual liberation of the seventies in front of her. A woman who has been trained her whole life to be subservient to men is now working amongst them, standing up to them and gaining their professional and social respect.

Lately there have been a plethora of shows that attempt to do what MTM did in the seventies. "Caroline in the City" is one of them, "Suddenly Susan" is another. Unfortunately these shows are taking place in the wrong time period because neither "Caroline" or "Susan," female characters who grew up during the sexual revolution and the AIDS crisis, have any adequate justification to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of being a working woman without a husband. A woman who choses work over marriage is no longer an edgy premise for a sit-com.

Caroline (Leah Thompson) is a cartoon artist who has recently moved to New York having grown up in the midwest. She struggles to preserve her small town values in the fast paced world of the big city. In order to give Caroline's character the innocence that MTM had, the writers keep drawing on her midwestern upbringing as a contrast to her cynical sarcastic native New Yorker friends. I don't know where this woman supposedly grew up but I don't know how she could have been living in NYC for as long as she has and still hasn't gotten over it. While MTM often seemed overwhelmed by the crassness of her female friends and her male colleagues because she was brought up in an era where she just may have been innocent of such behavior, Caroline remains overwhelmed by her New York friends for no other reason than she looks cute when she's overwhelmed.

A typical show goes something like this: Caroline gets really excited about something old fashioned. Her friends "wise cracking" Annie and "cynical-black-wearing" Richard (who is such a closet case and for some reason we are supposed to believe he's in love with her) get annoyed by her pollyanna attitude and make fun of her. She gets upset and gets even and the cynical New York gang sees the importance of Caroline's small town values. The End. There is no character development. There is no plot line that doesn't resolve itself within an episode or two (cept for her on-again-off-again romance with the closet homo Richard). There is no chemistry between her and her friends and Leah Thompson is simply too old to be acting cutsey.
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Is it just me?
--TBone--17 October 2000
Is it just me or does this lame show appeal to people only in Europe? This show is an example of what happens when power is wielded in the wrong hands. Weak premise + Very (and I mean VERY) bad writing = lousy show. So why was this on for four years in the most coveted of all timeslots you ask? Glad you asked, maybe you can help me figure this one out because I DON'T have an answer for you, Sunshine. It's still a mystery. Sorry to be so smug, but some shows just beg smug. T-Bone
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a bit monotonous
EmptyLeo5 May 1999
I've been watching this and Suddenly Susan the past few Mondays, since the end of football season, I believe. Lea Thompson, you're so beautiful, you can do better than this. It seems like every episode I've watched, I've seen a few in past seasons, the same plot. She's in love with one of those guys, they all seem the same to me, and he's in love with her but they're both too scared to pursue it, or something. Even when they're not reruns, they're reruns.
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Lea Thompson gets a show
SnoopyStyle21 August 2013
Caroline Duffy (Lea Thompson) is a cartoonist with a successful character. She hires grumpy starving-artist Richard Karinsky (Malcolm Gets) forced to lower himself as a colorist for her cartoon. Del Cassidy (Eric Lutes) is her ex. Annie Spadaro (Amy Pietz) is her next door neighbor best friend. For wacky physical humor, there is rollerskating deliveryboy Charlie (Andrew Lauer).

This works very well as a standard traditional Successful-Gal-who-Can't-Find-Love show. It lasted 4 seasons. It does ramble a bit with changing work and complications in the lead's relationships. Not all of it worked but Lea Thompson is always likable. It wasn't allowed a proper ending and it ended with a cliffhanger.
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No hint of the potential
Amazing_zeno11 August 2004
The very interesting thing about this show is not the show itself, but its creator. A rather successful writer/producer named Fred Barron, who also created Dave's World. These two shows are thoroughly mediocre, but somehow he actually managed to do something wonderful. Check out the BBC sitcom "My Family" to see what this guy can really do. Funny in the way Caroline never was, which is to say that you will laugh at least once if you watch the whole run of the series, and assuredly more than that.

Sitcoms are the Special Olympics of comedy. It's very rare you find one that isn't retarded. My Family is the exception, Caroline in the City is the norm.
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Predictable, boring show
tex-4224 May 2000
Let me just say that Lea Thompson deserves better than this show. She did a lot of enjoyable acting in teen movies during the 80's and I suppose due to a lack of other offers she chose to do this sitcom. On the show Lea plays a cartoonist surrounded by her "wacky" co-horts who she spends her days with. Ever single character on the show has been done before with more success on other shows. The worst part about the show is that there is NO chemistry between Caroline and her love interest Richard, it almost looks painful for them to be together which of course makes the show even worse.
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