American soaps and comedy series usually portrait their characters as extremely beautiful. The characters in City Life is more average looking, but they compensate this by getting involved in extraordinary situations. Maybe it's because I'm not from New Zealand (or the southern hemisphere for that matter), but nobody I know writes top secret reports for the government, gets stalked by co-workers or dates crazy women they meet in their best friends funeral.
The pilot sets the standard from the first minute. We meet ten friends getting ready for their best friends wedding. The car with the groom stops on their way to church, because the groom - a doctor - wants to help in a car accident. Just as he is crossing the street back to the waiting car, the other car comes, and he is killed. Utterly tragic, but then also utterly funny. The remaining friends struggle with their grief and the not so mourning bride, who wants her share of the estate they all live in.
It is just as confusing as it sounds. Dealing with ten main characters is difficult at first, but I was surprised at how fast I got used to the concept. Like every other series you tend to get hooked on one storyline, but when that situation is solved, you have swallowed hook and bate, and have to watch on.
As before mentioned, the characters are not extremely pretty. pretty yes, but more average than, let's say, the Friends-characters. The City Life gang is more sophisticated than Rachel, Joey and Monica though. Two siblings with a fortune so big they don't really have to work, a consultant for the government, a stand-up comedian and so on. They befriend models, actresses, and the super-rich and famous of Auckland. Even the "ordinary" characters seems to be somewhat sophisticated!
But my overall impression of the show is good. I like the characters, I sympathise with Wiki, the rape wictim, I want Stephanie to get out of her rotten job, I want Josh and Kristen to get together, and I really want to see Aaron behind bars. I'm not sure whether Hugh and Bronwyn desreve eachother, and don't really care about Gideon's illegal affairs. I'm definitely sure of one thing though: I don't think Angela and Ryan ever will hook up, but then again: You never really can tell in soapworld...
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