1 9 9 6 – 2 0 0 0 (USA)
93 x 30 minute episodes
This NBC sitcom starred Brooke Shields as 30-something Susan Keane, a writer with trendy San Francisco magazine The Gate, where she wrote a column called ‘Suddenly Susan’ (“It’s about life and what happens to me”).
Susan lived at 3135 Washington Street and enjoyed dinner at Chan’s Restaurant and hanging out with the gang at Bucky’s Tavern (later O’Malley’s Bar, then McMurphy’s Bar).
Food critic Vicki Groener (Kathy Griffin) called herself “The Empress of Hip”, enjoyed other people’s misery, and played with Susan for the Vixens, an all-girl basketball team.
She had a fake handicap parking permit and when she got depressed over a man, she needed “pizza, booze and male strippers to get me over it.”
Boss Jack Richmond (Judd Nelson) had a coffee mug that read “Big Dog” and a rock-climbing wall behind his desk. Jack was a member of the Kingpins bowling team who bowled at Echo Lanes. He played squash on Fridays and spent his weekends climbing mountains, skydiving and racing cars.
Todd Stities (David Strickland) was the magazine’s boyish music critic. He attended baseball games hoping to fulfil his dream of catching a foul ball (he performed “the Foul Ball Dance” before attending every game.) Kids called him “Todd the God” because he set up free video games for them at the arcade.
He attended pottery classes with the magazine’s photographer, Luis (Nestor Carbonell), at Color My World. The two of them also pooled their resources and invested $17,000 in Lemon Legs, a business dealing in yellow bell-bottom pants for women.
David Strickland took his own life in March 1999. The series dealt with his death directly by killing off the character of Todd in the third season finale.
Snobbish new columnist Maddy Piper (Andrea Bendewald) was disliked by all. Vicki called her “Little Blondie Pants” and “Bitchy Spice”.
Maddy had attended the same high school as Susan and constantly teased her with practical jokes.
Susan fantasised about getting back at her – “Like messing with her car or putting her in a wood chipper”.
For the fourth season, new producers tried to retool the series, and Eric Idle joined the cast as Ian Maxtone-Graham, Susan’s new boss at a revamped magazine (he changed the focus to men’s issues). New co-stars were also added.
The show was finally pulled with four episodes remaining, and in the most ignominious burn-off, the remaining episodes aired on NBC’s ‘all night’ block at 2:00 am on Boxing Day.
Helen “Nana” Keane