Suddenly Susan is an American television sitcom. Shields plays Susan Keane, a glamorous San Francisco magazine writer who begins to adjust to being single, and who learns to be independent-minded, after being taken care of all her life.
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Susan and co-workers Vicki and Luis find their work life disrupted by their new boss, Ian Maxtone-Graham, who buys The Gate and transforms it into an upscale men's magazine. He brings with him his fiercely loyal executive assistant, Miranda Charles, and hires star sportswriter Nate Neborsky, who immediately annoys Susan with his belittling attitude. However, she is amply distracted by the arrival of charming and highly prized celebrity photographer Oliver Brown. Ian fawns over Oliver to convince him to work free-lance for the magazine. Investigative reporter Maddy quits after Ian insults her talent, and ends her relationship with Luis because his love has made her complacent. When Ian offers Maddy the job of managing editor--which she later rejects--Susan thinks that quitting is the way to get his respect. To protest being assigned to write a salacious article, she quits. Although Nana enjoys Susan's full attention for two weeks, she encourages Susan to find another job rather than wai
Susan and Nate vie to be the one responsible for helping Luis to overcome his melancholy following Maddy's departure.
To impress Ian, Susan claims to speak Russian. However, when he asks her to be an interpreter for a dinner-party guest, she's at a loss for words.
When Oliver suggests taking pictures of the staff to put in their columns, Susan objects because she never looks good in photographs. But Oliver puts Susan at ease and gets a beautiful portrait of her. Ian likes it so much that he makes a huge billboard out of it. Susan is initially mortified, but she soon enjoys the adulation. However, Vicki rejects Susan's new self-centered attitude. While trying to force Vicki to look at the billboard, Susan crashes her car, causing Vicki to need bandages on her face. Meanwhile, Nate tries to secure an interview with baseball great Reggie Jackson. After seeing Susan on the billboard, Reggie demands a date with her in return for the interview. Nate tricks Susan into meeting him and Reggie for dinner. Susan learns the truth and is outraged. When Vicki interrupts the meal, she and Susan bicker so much that Nate does not get any good quotes from Reggie for the magazine article. Later, Susan writes a column about how men cannot view women as both sexy an
Susan isn't sure if she should put out a welcome mat when Vicki wants to move into the newly renovated apartment upstairs.
At Halloween time, rumors abound when Oliver invites Susan to pick pumpkins with him up the coast. Susan is excited about the romantic outing, but she soon becomes uncomfortable with the realization that Oliver has had dozens of short-term lovers all over the world. Susan resolves to thwart any relationship that might develop with Oliver. After he suggests that they carve pumpkins together at Susan's apartment, Susan invites Vicki to make the evening less like a date. But Susan cannot resist Oliver's sex appeal. She sends him away--and he stays all night with Vicki. Susan is furious until she learns that he only slept on Vicki's couch after becoming drunk. Later, Susan admits to Oliver that, despite her attraction to him, she does not want to be another of his flings.
An assignment to do an article on a cheerleaders' competition doesn't make Susan jump for joy, but her attitude changes when she's asked to audition.
After realizing that she's not achieved any of the goals that she set in the sixth grade, Susan tries to fulfill one: to kiss former teen idol Leif Garrett.
Oliver freaks out when Susan calls him her ""boyfriend""; Ian thwarts Vicki's plot to party on company time.
When Ian rejects Susan's column the night before the magazine is to be printed, Susan is unable to think of another topic. To help inspire herself, she writes a long parody of Nate's negative attitude towards gay people and circulates it among the office staff. Unfortunately, Ian gets a copy of the offensive article and, bored by the mundane replacement that Susan stayed up all night to write, prints the parody as Susan's opinion. Soon, gay people picket the magazine's offices, and powerful gay-owned businesses refuse to advertise in The Gate. Susan is vilified. When a gay activist smashes a pie in Susan's face, she develops an allergic rash and must withdraw from a trip with Oliver, who plans to travel to a Caribbean island to photograph models. Since Susan also cancelled a date with Oliver due to the article deadline, he thinks that she is jittery about her relationship with him. Angry, he takes Luis with him instead. Later, Ian orders Susan to reconcile with the gay community before
A frumpy coworker guilt trips Susan into attending her birthday party---on the night Susan has romantic plans with Oliver.
Susan's ex thwarts her plan to join the ""mile high club"" with Oliver; Vicki cons the gang into painting her apartment.
Inspired by her romantic bliss with Oliver, Susan hosts a dinner party to play matchmaker for her single co-workers.
Susan is depressed because Oliver always pays for their dates, and she is in debt. When she offers to take him on a ski vacation that she cannot really afford, she desperately tries Internet stock trading, hoping to earn money quickly. After overhearing Ian talking about a supposedly promising stock, she buys some shares that soon gain value, prompting her to buy more. Unfortunately, the stock then plummets in value, and Ian informs Susan that he was talking to his insane cousin whom he doesn't take seriously. Susan loses a lot of money. Now desperate, she takes a second job as a dance partner for lonely, middle-aged men. When Ian finds out, he feels guilty. He sneaks into the dance studio and secretly bribes men to give Susan big tips. Susan is grateful, but she rebuffs the gesture. Finally, Oliver arrives and dances with her. She admits that she doesn't want to be dependent on him and that she cannot pay for the Tahoe trip. Oliver is happy--he confesses that he can't ski anyway; he j
While Susan believes that she and Oliver love each other, she obsesses over his apparent inability or lack of desire to say the three magic words -- ""I love you"" -- despite his grand attempts to express his feelings in other ways. Elsewhere, Ian is deflated when the first bottles of wine from his vineyard yield nothing more than a thick intoxicating syrup. And no one knows this more than Miranda and Luis, whose unlikely flirtation is further complicated when they sample Ian's vintage.
Susan worries that she might be pregnant, but her fear eases when boyfriend Oliver suggests that they move in together -- and then unloads a bombshell that has Susan still reeling the day after. At the same time, Ian exults when he learns that his money-grubbing ex-wife plans to re-marry and spare him of his financial commitment.
Ian and Nate have romantic designs on Susan, who is suddenly single after dumping Oliver. Meanwhile, Susan and the girls get rowdy at a male strip club.
As Susan and Oliver go through withdrawals in the wake of their aborted romance, he offers her a parting gift -- a talking cockatoo -- who soon flies the coop and gets haplessly stuck in The Gate's venting system, where he creates a squawking uproar. Meanwhile, a vengeful Vicki and Luis conspire to embarrass Ian at his lavish party by inviting his former British band mates from his 1960s stint as a lead singer of a one hit wonder pop group.
Oliver and Susan are still not dating. After an embarrassing incident at her college alma mater, Susan becomes enamored with her handsome former English professor, Evan, who lovingly critiques her writing. Susan's burgeoning relationship with Evan makes Oliver jealous. Although he has his own sexy date, Oliver becomes obsessed with Susan both at work and elsewhere.
To sow the seeds of reconciliation with Susan, Oliver has his vasectomy reversed. Meanwhile, Ian seeks Miranda's advice about dating black women.
In Part 1 of the series finale, Susan feels torn between Oliver's marriage proposal and a glamorous New York job offer.
In the conclusion of the series finale, Susan may leave a man at the altar---again---when Oliver stands in the way of her career.