Friday, October 24, 2008

Caroline in the City Review

History of the sitcom:
Show Life: September 21, 1995 - April 1999
Running Time: 30 minutes

Background about the series:
Caroline in the City was the #1 new primetime series when it made its premiere on NBC in the 1995-1996 season. It has since then become one of the top-selling U.S. comedies worldwide, airing on leading foreign broadcast and cable networks.

Lea Thompson, Eric Lutes, Malcolm Gets, Amy Pietz

Characters in a nutshell:
Lea Thompson as Caroline Duffy
Eric Lutes as Del Cassidy, Caroline’s ex-boyfriend and fiancĂ©
Malcolm Gets as Richard Karinsky, Caroline’s new colorist
Amy Pietz as Annie, Caroline’s best friend and neighbor
Andy Lauer as Charlie, Del’s really funny messenger person
Tom LaGrua as Remo, proprietor of the neighborhood restaurant which all the other characters frequent

About the story:
Caroline in the City is a comedy based on the life of Caroline Duffy, a young cartoonist living in a neighborhood of New York City. ’’Caroline in the City,’’ the strip she has created, is a huge hit spawning an array of products. The strip is based on her own life, and the people in it. At the beginning of the show Caroline has just split up with Del; her boyfriend who has commitment problems. She has an on-off romance with Del that confuses her further. Her personal life is a mess but that does not stop Annie(her best friend who has an amusing dating life of her own) from arranging all kinds of dates for Caroline. The next important character is that of Richard a struggling, brooding artist who pays his rent by working as her cartoon colorist. Initially he views the going ons in her life in a very cynical, detached way but he slowly gets involved as he gets attracted to Caroline. He is the best part of the show for me thanks to his sarcasm. It’s a situational comedy and every episode deals with the personal problems and eccentricities of these characters.

A little more info about the characters:
Caroline in the City is all about Caroline Duffy (Lea Thompson, Back to the Future) and her oddball friends. Caroline plays the part of a naive girl trying to make some sense of the world around her. She is constantly searching for true love, happiness and some material for her comic strip (not necessarily in the same order).

Caroline’s employee Richard Karinsky(Malcolm Gets) colors the cartoons for her and is at loggerheads with everyone around him (including her cat!). On the surface he appears to be cold and indifferent which is just a pretense to avoid too much contact with the world. His sarcastic remarks are the funniest points of the show. He works in Caroline’s in-house office and is easily irritated by the different characters who walk in to meet Caroline. His shy, cynical nature makes it difficult for him to profess his love to Caroline. She is unaware of his love and in the episodes that ensue there develops a romantic triangle between Caroline, Del and Richard.

Del Cassidy
Del Cassidy (Eric Lutes) is the president of the company that makes the Caroline in the City greeting cards. He is kinda self-centered and thinks that women find him irresistible (which isn’t so). Although his relation with Caroline has ended, he still hangs around her apartment all the time. Del has an assistant Charlie who is totally berserk and strangely travels everywhere on roller-skates.

Amy Pietz is Annie, Caroline’s best friend and next-door neighbor. She is a professional dancer who works in the stage musical ’’Cats’’. She is extremely blunt and often makes Richard the target of her acid tongue albeit in a very humorous manner. Although it seems as if she is looking for her ideal man, she often finds herself in temporary relationships. A very confident woman, she is quite the opposite of Caroline.

Charlie is Del’s bizarre messenger/delivery person enacted by Andy Lauer. He is Del’s assistant who has a penchant for stupid comments and observations.

Reason you should watch it:
This is a very humorous and pleasant sitcom with sharp and witty dialogues. Take a sampling of these:
Annie (trying on shoes): They fit fine! All I need is a shoe horn.
Caroline: You need more than the horn, you need the entire brass section.
Del: What do you mean? You’re going to give up 200 dollars just because you’re a little embarrassed? I’d walk down the street naked for 200 dollars.
Caroline: You’d do that for 15, we already determined that last Halloween.
Charlie: ’’I thought I saw God for a second, but it was just the light from the bathroom.’’
Caroline: And for my next trick I’m going to make my boyfriend disappear. I say the magic words. Opera.
Caroline: I’m fine.
Richard: Oh, please. You don’t have to be proud in front of me. I’ve seen you eat M&Ms off the floor.

When can you catch this show :
In India you can watch the series at 11 on Zee English. I have spoken to several people and they seem to be unaware of this good sitcom. I hope my review convinces you to give this series a try.

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