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