|Index||9 reviews in total|
One of the more enjoyable family shows of the 80s, this one had a twist. One snowy December night, Englishman Lynn Belvedere shows up at the Owens residence looking for work as a housekeeper. He's heard theyre in need of someone to help out and all take an instant liking to him, except macho head of the household, George (Uecker). The two have their friendly moments over the years, but mostly butt heads most of the run of the show. They had great chemistry over the years, considering we're talking a trained theatrical actor (Hewett) and an ex baseball player (Uecker) playing the parts. But the core of the show was the relationship between Belvedere and the youngest child, Wesley. Played terrificly by Brice Beckham, the two worked so well off each other, the older uptight codger and the rambunctious, wild pre-teen. Together both of them had a lot of great moments over the shows 6 year run, the strongest probably being the final episode of year 5. Belvedere, in a coma after a car crash set in motion by Wesley, lies motionless as Beckham delivers an emotional, expertly acted passage of dialogue of how sorry he is. One of many notable spots from the six seasons. Others featured were Ilene Graff as mother Marsha, Rob Stone as older brother Kevin, and the gorgeous (ok so I had a big crush on her) Tracy Wells as middle child Heather. The show had several tough spots over the years, being yanked a number of times and then brought back to fill the Friday night gaps on ABC. But they managed to crank out over a 100 episodes and have a respectable farewell, with Belvedere ultimately getting married and leaving the family. Some good ones to look for are Wesleys night alone when lies pile up the next day, Belvedere and George delivering a baby, and a great tornado episode set in the family basement. Though not a ratings monster, Mr. Belvedere will always be recognizable and was one of the more underrated shows of recent years.
This was one of the more enjoyable family-oriented shows of the
1980's,and for good reason. This was one of ABC-TV's successful line-up
of family shows that gave the network an very successful track record
on shows from the mid-1980's all the way to the early 1990's. And this
were all family oriented shows. With such shows as "Full House","Head
Of The Class","Growing Pains","Perfect Strangers",as well as "Who's The
Boss","Family Matters",and "America's Funniest Home Videos",the cult
comedy "Mister Belvedere",which ran on ABC-TV from the premiere episode
on March 15,1985 until the final episode of the series on July
8,1990,is still revered by many as a cult classic in the utmost sense
of the word.
It is still a huge favorite within the college circuit who to this day still has a loyal following to the show. The series stars Rob Stone,Brice Beckham,and Tracy Wells as the Owens' children whom Mr.Belvedere looks after while in charge of the house. Clifton Webb's memorably eccentric character from the 1940's films was revived for the 1980's with the late Christopher Hewitt as everybody's favorite British butler,who somehow finds himself in Pittsburgh who gets a job with his latest bosses,the Owens family. The show by the way worked because the chemistry between actors Bob Uecker and Christopher Hewitt was as something as a fish-out-of-water story;a frumpy sportswriter for a major newspaper and a uptight British butler and his three rambunctious kids,including the relationship with Belvedere and the rest of the family,including the friendship with the youngest one-Wesley,who comes to him for needed support and guidance and it shows throughout the entire part of the show's six-year run. The best episode from this series came during the final episode of the show's fifth season. Belvedere in a coma after a devastating car crash,set in motion by Wesley,lies motionless as one of the best performances from a child actor(Brice Beckham)delivers a brilliant passage of dialogue in this emotional episode.
Basically this was a show that relied on dry British humor with family sitcom situations. In each episode,Belvedere would solve the family crisis around the house,when the father figure couldn't do it himself. There was also the wife,Marsha Owens(Ilene Graff) of the house,who was a law student(who received her degree during the 1987-1988 season and begun her first job as a lawyer a major firm),and the youngest daughter Heather,played by Tracy Wells. Each episode dealt with growing up along the way and getting along with each other. Not only was Belvedere the butler but everything else while the father figure constantly whined all the time. The family dog was Spot. At the end of the each episode,Belvedere would begin writing the lessons in his diary for the day. One notable guest star was Robert Goulet,who turned up among other things as well. However,the series produced over a 100 episodes and have a respectable farewell,when the final episode of this series ended on July 8,1990. In the final episode of the show, Mister Belvedere finally gets married and says farewell to the Owens'. This was a show that was underrated for years and when will we see this show finally on DVD?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Mr. Belvedere (1985-1989): Starring Christopher Hewett, Bob Uecker, Ilene Graff, Brice Beckham, Rob Stone, Tracy Wells, Creator Alan Bergman DEAR GOD! Rumagging through old sitcoms through the internet, I was flooded with memories of this show. When I saw this, they were most likely the final seasons (1988-1989). British actor Christopher Hewett (now deceased) played Mr. Belvedere, a proper British émigré who on a snow December evening in Philadelphia or Boston or some East Coast America city, knocks on the door of the suburban middle class family the Owen's residence, seeking job as a housekeeper and nanny. A male nanny ? He was like a male version of Mary Poppins with a lot of attitude, a modern ideology, wit and great humor! Most of all, he was always there to loyally help the Owens and provide them with great advice. He was a good man and an example of fatherly masculinity mixed with a touch of a balanced cultured/artsy/sophisticated feminine side. He often clashed with the more macho, no-nonsense Mr. George Owens (Baseball star and later sports commentator Bob Uecker). I liked when these two matched wits and butted heads! Mrs. Owens was played by Ilene Graff, though quite frankly I don't recollect much of her part. She was a typical 80's housewife/mother which meant she probably had long hair, 80's sun dresses and "book club" clothes. She was, however, a very modern mother and quite liberal. I remember one particular episode in which her eldest son Kevin (Rob Stone) was in drag as he was going to attend a fun costume party. MARSHA OWENS: Where are you going ? KEVIN: To the costume party. I'm going as a hot babe. MARSHA: Not like that you aren't. And she tears off a piece of his skirt so that his thighs are showing!!! In another episode: PHONE RINGS. BELVEDERE PICKS UP. "Owens residence. Mary Poppins speaking." Their youngest son Wesley (Brice Beckham) was a troublemaker and prankster, a lot like a human version of Bart Simpson before Bart Simpson ever made it on TV. He was a hellraiser with a heart of gold and ultimately, he is a good kid whose life is changed by Mr. Belvedere. He always learned valuable lessons. Tracy Wells was the middle child Heather, who was stuck in her high school worries of being popular and attractive. This show had a lot of heart. At the end of every episode, Mr. Belvedere would write about his day in his diary. The credits would end with a mixture of a tinkling piano melody to depict Belvedere's character and then plunges into the jazzy, party spirit of the main theme. I will always remember this show.
After a whirlwind period of two years where the American Broadcasting
Company went from riding "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" in being the top
network overall in the Nielsen's for 1999-2000 to having their worst season
ever in 2001-02 where everything fell apart, ABC has decided that
family-oriented T.V. will be their focus over the "mild raunch" (to us
Canadians) of NBC and FOX and the reality-T.V. obsessed CBS. They've had a
track record in the mid to late 80's and early 90's with Perfect Strangers,
Head Of The Class, Full House, America's Funniest Home Videos, Growing
Pains, and this cult comedy, still revered by many.
Mr. Belvedere is still a big favorite of the college crowd who have set up websites for it, and many people believed that Rob Stone, who played the oldest son, was the man who'd later become the infamous Marilyn Manson.
The late Christopher Hewitt is the title character, a very British butler who has served for many people over the years, including Queen Elizabeth II, who somehow finds himself lost in Pittsburgh. He gets a job with his latest bosses, the Owens family. The show worked because of its fish-out-of-water situation and the fact that the wacky Bob Uecker was in it. Although not a classic sit-com, it was decent enough, the acting was very good, and it relied on dry British comedy as well as family sit-com situations. Hey, any show where Uecker has to try to keep himself under control is enough reason to watch. I'd love to check this show out again someday, maybe when I go digital.
I caught this show and was a fan for a bit of time. It was one of those sitcom shows of the 80's that was not really a huge success or a big flop. It had limited success and was able to last for six seasons and it was sort of a funny show. It featured an English butler living with an American family and it most certainly had some funny moments. It also had some very disturbing moments in the form of very bad jokes or subject matter. I remember one where the daughter was just about raped or something and another where the youngest child made a completely inappropriate joke about his teacher. Mr. Belvedere for the most part did not really do any of the more off kilter jokes and was the highlight of the show. This show is also a source of the rumor that one of the two male children was Marilyn Manson, but of course those rumors are completely untrue, I am not sure if it was the older boy or younger one that supposedly grew up to be everyone's most favorite satanist. Bob Uecker played the father of he household, I find it bizarre that they got a baseball play by play man to star in their sitcom, but he does an okay job and the man playing Mr. Belvedere did good too, the mother was unmemorable and all the children were very iffy. Still, this show had some funny moments and perhaps could have thrived longer and been more successful with better writers who know what is funny and what isn't.
I saw the re-runs on TV and my whole family love it. I found out how talented Brice Beckham was. He plays Wesley, who always puts his family into trouble. My little sis fancys him. I mostly liked the looks on Mr. Belvedere's face- especially when he was caught by George while dancing in the opera music. I also liked the part that Wesley broke the TV and waving "Hallelujah!" to Mr.Belvedere to hide the smoke. The casts are great and "Mr.Belvedere" is one of the funniest shows in the 80's.
Now days, most people only recognize Mr. Belvedere as a frequent butt
of Family Guy jokes. On the surface, it was just another 80s sitcom,
one of the founding members of ABC's classic TGIF line-up, but for
those of us who have come to love this show, we realize that it was so
Mr. Belvedere is an English butler, who was created in a 1947 novel, starred in a 1948 movie, and modernized for television in 1985. The show centers on Lynn Belvedere (Christopher Hewitt), a British Royal butler, who has been hired to work for a middle class family in suburban Pittsburgh. Most of the time, it's your every day run of the mill sitcom, but what made this show extremely different, was it's very special episodes, which occurred several times a season.
The show ran from 1985-1990, yet it still managed to be the first television show to tackle issues such as AIDS, bullying, stranger danger, elder rights, and even homosexuality. Often times the family would come into conflict and face three choice, Mrs. Owens, who always does the right things, Mr. Owens, who never does the right thing, and Mr. Belvedere the voice of reason that lies somewhere in the middle.
As for the cast, they are as unique and strange a mix as ever seen on television. The main sources of comedy come from Mr. Belvedere (played by Christopher Hewitt, between known for his performances on Broadway than anything else) and his dealings with Wesley T. Owens (Brice Beckham), who is as twisted and psychotic as any sitcom child could ever be. Mr. Belvedere has frequent run-ins' and a contentious relation with head of the household, George (played by Bob Uecker, a former baseball player), which usually lead to some quick one liners, and even more laughs.
Mr. Belvedere was really ahead of it's time and extremely underrated as far as television history is concerned. It may forever be remembered as that show with the butler, that led into Full House, but for it me, it has always been an image of how the not so perfect family should function and work together. It is a mixture of laughter, tears, and life lessons that is as relevant today as it was back then.
This was a really fun show that is a good example of the old school,
very family friendly, situational comedies that ate up most of my
family's TV watching time throughout the wonderful decade of the
The lead character (the title-named Mr. Belvedere) is a stuffy but very wise and very professional, stuck-in-his-ways butler who actually was the butler for the royal family. I forget why he leaves them and moves to the U.s.
Anyway he settles in with this American family of blue collar people in Pittsburgh, PA, where the father is a gruff former baseball player (played by Bob Uecker) and the youngest son Wesley is a trouble maker and a constant thorn in Mr. Belvedere's side but also becomes his best friend.
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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