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Caroline In The City: series one
cast: Lea Thompson, Eric Lutes, Malcolm Gets, and Amy Pietz

creators: Fred Barron, Dottie Dartland, and Marco Pennette

510 minutes (PG) 1995
Revelation DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 7/10
reviewed by Emily Webb
Caroline Duffy is a lovable New York cartoonist who has a hit cartoon strip 'Caroline in the City'. The strip is based on her own life, and the people in it - her occasional boyfriend Del, and her best friend Annie. Another staple character is Richard Karinsky, her grumpy assistant.

This DVD includes all 23 episodes and the pilot from the first series of this mid-1990s sitcom. The episodes deal mainly with Caroline and Del's relationship, her cartoon strip and its success (greeting cards, a balloon at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, a cereal endorsement), and her relationship with assistant Richard. (The first season slowly builds the romantic tension between the two, which gathers momentum over the following three series.)

Caroline In The City lasted four seasons and was somewhat of a career booster for Lea Thompson, who after films like Some Kind Of Wonderful, Back To The Future II and Back To The Future III, and (unfortunately for her) Howard The Duck, was failing to live up to her potential as an actress.

The show is cute, chirpy and harmless. Lea Thompson proves very competent in the lead as Caroline, who is as good a sitcom character as Monica, Rachel or Phoebe from Friends. (Interestingly, Matthew Perry makes an appearance as Chandler Bing, as do Frasier stars David Hyde Pierce and Jane Leeves in their characters of Daphne and Niles).

The first series features notable guest appearances by actors such as Florence Henderson, Lorna Luft, Jean Stapleton (Edith Bunker from All In The Family), director John Landis, and John Ratzenberger (Cliff from Cheers).

This series is definitely one for the girls. It serves as a forerunner to 'chick' oriented programmes perpetuating the stereotype of city dwelling, successful, neurotic and unsuccessful-in-love women; Caroline Duffy is a sanitised version of Carrie Bradshaw from Sex And The City (or, you could say, Carrie Bradshaw is a sexed-up version of Caroline Duffy).

DVD extras include the pilot episode and a photo gallery.

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