If you're sick and tired of today's un-funny and truly mean comedies that are billed as "family sitcoms," then this DVD release of Mr. Belvedere from the mid-1980s is for you.
Mr. Belvedere had heart. A Classic TV Family Sitcom that remains vastly underrated, it was based on the Gwen Davenport novel, "Belvedere," which also had spawned two much earlier movie adaptations. The TV series brought a high-brow Englishman to work as a live-in nanny for a middle-class American family. It ran Friday night's on ABC from 1985 to 1990.
It starred Christopher Hewitt, who portrayed Lynn Aloysis Belvedere, a very proper Englishman who had worked for the British gentry, including Winston Churchill and English royalty. The series begins when Belvedere shows up at doorstep of the American residence of George Owens on a very cold and snowy December night. Ownes, played surprisingly well by George Uecker, portrayed exactly what he was in real-life: a former Major League Baseball player and sportscaster.
George's wife on the series, Marsha Cameron Owens, played by Ilene Graff, as well as their three children, immediately fall under the charm of Mr. Belvedere. The same cannot be said of George, who has the exact opposite response to Belvedere, and the feeling is decidedly mutual. Nonetheless, Mr. Belvedere is hired and the rest is Classic TV history.
Much of the series involves the conflict between George and Mr. Belvedere, but also the interaction of the "stuffy" British servant with Marsha, who is also a law student, and the children: Wesley T. Owens, played by Brice Beckham; Kevin Owens, played by Rob Stone; and Heather Owens, played by Tracy Wells. Especially compelling is the relationship that evolves between Belvedere and the spirited and wise-cracking Wesley.
At the end of most episodes, Belvedere is seen relaxing in his room in the evenings after the children are in bed, recording their "everyday" experiences in his diary for future use for a novel he is writing!
A mid-season replacement series that premiered in the middle of March 1985, the first season had only seven episodes. This boxed set includes those episodes and the Complete Second Season, which had 22 episodes.
Season One episodes are: Stranger in the Night, the pilot that introduces the characters; The Outcasts; Gotta Dance; Gorgeous George; What I Did for Love; The Lost Weekend; and Sweet Charity.
Season Two episodes are: The Lion Sleeps Tonight; Tornado; Cheerleader; Requiem; Delivery; The Contract; Vows; Strike; The Letter; Pinball; The Prize; Speechless; The Teacher; The Dropout; Rivals; Wesley's Friend; The Will; Valentine's Day; Heather's Tutor; Amish; Dinner for Two; and The Play.