Carl Kanisky is chief of police in Glenlawn, California. After the death of his wife, Margaret, he asks her friend, Nell Harper, to come in to keep house and take care of his children, ... See full summary »
This series took place in an apartment building, numbered 227. The cast would frequently be found sitting outside on a large set of stone stairs, in some discussion that would unfold into the weekly plot line.
A greasy-spoon diner in Phoenix, Arizona is the setting for this long-running series. The title character, Alice Hyatt, is an aspiring singer who arrives in Phoenix with her teenaged son, ... See full summary »
A group of girls attending a boarding school experience the joys and the trials of adolescence under the guiding hand of housemother Edna Garrett. Later in the series, Mrs. Garrett is ... See full summary »
This sitcom follows recently divorced mother (Ann Romano) and her two teenage daughters (Barbara and Julie) as they start a new life together in Indianapolis, They are befriended by the ... See full summary »
Pat Harrington Jr.
Thelma Harper and her spinster sister Fran open their home to Thelma's recently divorced son Vinton and his teenage son and daughter. It's quite an adjustment for everyone, especially the ... See full summary »
Deacon Frye, head of the First Community Church of Philadelphia, is trying to keep everything in his church firmly under control. His new assistant, Rev. Reuben Gregory, however, has some ... See full summary »
Anna Maria Horsford
Carl Kanisky is chief of police in Glenlawn, California. After the death of his wife, Margaret, he asks her friend, Nell Harper, to come in to keep house and take care of his children, Katie, Julie, and Samantha, in short, be like a mother to them. Later, Carl's father, Stanley, moves in. Around the same time, Nell takes in young Joey Donovan as her foster son. Written by
Nell and the Kanisky family lived at 2938 Wells Drive. See more »
The front door of the set has a brass mail slot, but exterior shots are of a door with no slot. See more »
Dad, it's hard for Nell to stick to her diet when you're stuffing your face like that.
I'm not stuffing.
Right. He's eating for two in case he gets pregnant.
See what happens? You take away their trough and they get vicious?
It's no problem. I'm eating clean, lean, and healthy. After all, you are what you eat. Another helping of jackass, Chief?
See more »
I was 9 years old in 1981 when this show debuted. Though I watched Gimme a Break from the start, it goes without saying that I lacked the maturity at that age to fully understand the adult humor and social issues being explored.
As Gimme a Break only enjoyed average ratings at the time, it was not a big candidate for syndication. As a result, it has been decades since I last saw the show.
I caught it again recently on YouTube, and I was pleasantly surprised. It was better than I remembered as a kid, perhaps because I could fully understand everything now. It's funny, charming, well-written, and even manages to tackle some serious issues. Most notably, it holds up surprisingly well today, which can't be said for many of the more popular sitcoms at the time.
The show was also fairly unusual in that its strongest episodes were in the first two years. Most successful shows take some time to find themselves, but Gimme a Break hit its stride early. Sadly, the show started to slip starting from season 3. Nell Harper's increased creative control was part of the problem. She was a very talented actress and singer, but not so much on the creative side. The series really took a nosedive in its final season when the girls left and the setting moved to New York.
Even so, this was a good show, and in fact deserved better ratings when it was on the air. Try watching it again, and I bet you'll enjoy it more the second time around.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?