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 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 »
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 »
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.
Jackie and Sarah Rush are two grown sisters who live in half of a duplex. Their parents, Henry and Muriel, live in the other half. Though one might think this proximity may be fun, both ... See full summary »
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
Dolph Sweet's final episode aired on 11 May 1985, three days after his death. 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 »
Nell Carter as an overweight housekeeper, a devout guardian to 3 teenage white girls and a force not to be reckoned with whenever she dealt with the Chief of Police - Carl Kanisky, pretty well sums up what this 1980s sitcom is about.
I found the show hilarious when I was a kid and faithfully tuned in during the first 2 seasons. Nell Carter was unmatched for laughs - I'd always be belly rolling on the floor in laughter, especially the episode where she stays at her friend Angie's and was enraged over Angie's lovable and talking teddy 'Mr. Bear'.
Nell was good friends with Carl's wife and before Mrs. Kanisky died of cancer and went floating up to the Sitcom Heavens above, made Nell promise to look after the family after her ultimate demise. Nell kept that promise, always going above and beyond the call of duty to make sure the Chief and the girls 'behaved themselves'.
It was no easy task. Grandpa Kanisky was a major treat in upsetting the household with his senile wit and slapstick comedy of errors - the moment when he spilled Nell's partially completed jigsaw puzzle off the table was priceless! There was also the moment when Carl said he wanted to have a father and son 'talk', but grandpa said, "You already have 3 children, Carl. There's nothing left for me to tell you."
That was the Gimme A Break! I loved, but it all changed after season 3 and I quit tuning in after that. The theme song I loved was replaced with another tune, Joey Lawrence (and later his brother) was thrown in as the new cute kid and "Nell Harper" wasn't the same anymore.
She was no longer the self conscious, overweight and frumpy housekeeper I adored, but turned into a sassy, well dressed and (by the help of new writers) a totally different woman.
Things got worse later on when the Chief died, the girls went their separate ways and new characters like 'Addy' came into the picture. The setting was EVEN moved from GlenLawn, California to New York City! The show had the most changes I've ever noticed in a sitcom!
To say Nell Carter had an attitude during the show's run makes perfect sense, considering the show's format underwent major changes by Season 3 and became a 'shadow of it's former self'. Allegations from Rosie O'Donnell about Nell's bad behavior during the final seasons adds to the demise of what it once was.
My recommendation: check out Gimme A Break!, but only the first 2 seasons. It all goes downhill from there by the 3rd.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?