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Popular 80s sitcom based on the Gwen Davenport novel, "Belvedere," which in turn was thrice adapted to the big screen. Like its earlier novel and big-screen brethren, "Mr. Belvedere" featured British butler Lynn Belvedere, who takes a job as a live-in nanny for a typical American family and records their everyday experiences in his diary for future use in writing a novel. In the 1985 small-screen version, the Owens family served as that "typical American family" and the source of fodder for Belvedere who had previously worked as a gentry for Winston Churchill and had connections to British royalty. Family patriarch George (played by sports-caster Bob Uecker) was, in an example of art imitating life, a sports writer; the matriarch was Marsha, a law student. The couple, which had settled in suburban Pittsburgh, had three children: Awkward teen-ager Kevin, precocious (and easily embarrassed) Heather and mischievous prankster Wesley. George was initially uncomfortable hiring the worldly ... Written by
Brian Rathjen <email@example.com>
I recently got familiar again with this 1980s sitcom after watching several episodes in the past week. The middle-class Owens family from 'Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania' couldn't have scored a better housekeeper than a former British butler. After all, he served the Queen of England and was the personal valet to Winston Churchill.
While the wife Marsha studies to be a lawyer, Mr. Belvedere cooks, cleans, grocery shops and meddles in family affairs and always, without fail, manages to give the right advice to help set things straight. As cultured and upper crust as he was, he carried the ability to relate to the family and rightfully so. The hilarious conflict and equally hilarious exchanges between him and his nemesis, the youngest child, Wesley Owens, was a treat.
The show, you have to admit, had excellent casting. Bob Uecker as the dad was perfect for locking horns with the 'big guy' and Rob Stone and Brice Beckham have such a strong resemblance to each other that you can't help, but think they're really brothers.
When watching this sitcom, you can easily see that Mr. Belvedere is there to help out and to help out in more ways than he can. He was so perfect that you can't help, but see how much he spoiled the Owens family with his servitude:
Marsha once complained that he didn't bring her the 'right type' of coffee. The family also sits at the table first thing in the morning, expecting to be served right away. Mr. Belvedere also served an elegant Thanksgiving dinner, but after Grace is said, bows out and wishes everyone a 'happy feast'.
They expected service and got it. Not only that, but Mr. Belvedere was a source to turn to whenever they had their troubles and they always got it without fail.
All that clearly shows what a 100% ideal employee he was. I wish I had a Mr.Belvedere in my household. He had the solutions to everything. The most unforgettable moment was when it was time for him to leave and Wesley said, "I'm losing my best friend." He couldn't have been more right.
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