Jane Ostler welcomes the latest US import to hit our screens on Friday nights

Jane Ostler welcomes the latest US import to hit our screens on Friday


As the Friends flatmates, Chandler and Joey, sat down in their new

chairs for a 17-hour TV marathon, they must have been watching Caroline

in the City, the latest addition to Friday night Americana on Channel 4.

The pressure of being a female TV character living in Manhattan must be

terrible. You’ve got to be feisty, have strange friends and own a cat

with an attitude. You must aim to be the 90s version of the sassy Holly

Golightly, and combine that with the sweetness of Mary Tyler Moore.

Caroline’s a cartoonist who works from home. She splits up with her

boyfriend, Del, and now faces a sad destiny: to eat alone and have no

social life. Being single is a disaster in New York - the dearth of

available, attractive, straight men means that Caroline and her slutty

next-door neighbour resort to throwing fruit out of the window to hit

men at random.

Her new employee, a cartoon colourist, is miserable, cynical and

sarcastic. But he gets a lot of laughs and is probably really talented.

I think we all know someone like him. And there’s someone else I

recognised, too. The office junior at Del’s office, pressured to come up

with creative ideas, presents a new concept for an untapped market in

the greetings-card industry - the ‘coming out’ card.

Caroline’s not really a ‘character’ at all; she’s a catalyst, and her

apartment is a backdrop against which the antics of her friends are

played out. Deep down she’s conservative, good at heart, a little

risque, but definitely the boss. More like Winnie the Pooh, really.

The first five minutes were confusing, but I did warm to it. I can’t

tell whether I really liked the programme or whether I just like Friday

night television. My boyfriend thought Caroline was funny, but he was

only watching because he was waiting to see those other two from

Friends, Rachel and Ross, get it together later.

Jane Ostler, the digital communications manager at the Network, is

blessed with two cats and a boyfriend


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