Mr. Belvedere (1985–1990)
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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?
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.
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.
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.
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.