Although originally conceived as a starring vehicle for Brooke Shields, it quickly became more of an ensemble show very similar to The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
The departure of Judd Nelson and the suicide of David Strickland resulted in an extensive Retool, moving the characters to a grimy warehouse in Chinatown, and Eric Idle joining the cast. This, however, resulted in the ratings dropping off significantly and led to the show's cancellation.
The show is notable for bringing Kathy Griffin to mainstream attention.
Provides Examples Of:
- Actor Allusion: Done when Christopher Atkins guest stars in the episode "Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut." His character, Tony, tells Susan he wouldn't date her "if we were two horny teenagers trapped on a desert island!"
- Amicable Exes: Susan and Jack actually manage this after a few weeks of tension.
- And Starring: Done with all the main cast members not named Brooke Shields in a Running Gag ("Also Starring," "Not to Mention," "And Let's Not Forget," etc.)
- Bookends: The series began and ended with Susan's wedding. She runs out on the first one but completes the second.
- Captain Ersatz: Vicki, the sassy redhead played by Kathy Griffin, was often accused of being a ripoff of Beth, the sassy redhead played by Vicki Lewis on Newsradio. The Newsradio producers sure seemed to think so.
- The Casanova: Luis. It's the accent, of course; when he tries picking up women with a fake American accent ("M'name is Louis.") he spectacularly bombs.
- Celebrity Paradox: One Halloween episode involved Todd dressing as tennis pro (and then-husband of Brooke Shields) Andre Agassi. Susan asks, "Isn't he married to— ooh, what's her name?
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: After Judd Nelson was replaced with Eric Idle at the beginning of Season Four, Nelson's character Jack was never mentioned again, despite having been a very good friend and eventually a pretty important love interest to Susan at one point.
- Date My Avatar: Todd subscribes to a lesbian dating site, having reasoned that his lust for women qualifies him as one. Predictably, his 'date' turns out to be another horny male.
- Hot for Preacher: Vicki falls in love with a rabbi.
- Hotter and Sexier: The later seasons emphasized the main character's sexuality and the theme song was changed to reflect this.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Susan's closest girlfriend is her grandmother.
- Put on a Bus to Hell: Maddy's departure in Season Four. After the writers painstakingly spent most of Season Three Defrosting the Ice Queen and making Maddy into a sympathetic character, in the Season Four premiere, she dumps Luis for no real reason and hastily exits the show, then later is revealed to have married Jerry Springer. Either the writers totally hated the character, or they assumed the fans did.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: After David Strickland committed suicide, his character Todd died with him. This was addressed in the Season Three finale, in which the cast spends the entire episode looking for Todd. Each scene is interspersed with the series regulars addressing the camera Our Town-style and sharing memories of him. The episode ends with the cast sitting in a circle with a telephone between them, still waiting to hear news of Todd's whereabouts. And then the phone rings.
- Retool: The last season sees the magazine going under new management, forcing the cast to move into a seedy warehouse in Chinatown. Jack, Maddy, and Todd are all written out and replaced with a few new characters as well.
- Runaway Bride: The very first scene of the show has Susan standing at the altar, apparently on the brink of a panic attack... and the next scene has her running out of the church, ripping her dress along the way.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: "Girlfriend", rather. While not outright hideous, Jack is still way out of Susan's league.
- The Unfavorite: When Susan essentially begs Jack for a job in the pilot, Jack notes that she left his brother at the altar and deeply embarrassed his parents. Apparently, Jack was this because he then immediately offers Susan a better job and hires her.
- The Un-Reveal: At the end of "A Day in the Life", after Susan spent the whole episode looking for Todd, who's disappeared, the whole main cast sits in a circle, waiting for him, when the phone rings. The episode ends before anybody answers it.