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Soleil Moon Frye,
Phillip Drummond, a widowed Manhattan millionaire and president of the mega-firm Trans Allied Inc., adopts two African American orphans from Harlem, 8-year-old Arnold and 12-year-old Willis. Drummond had made a promise to their dying mother, his housekeeper, that he would care for the boys after she passes away; their father had died years earlier. The boys, whom Drummond always introduced as his two sons, went from rags to riches literally overnight. At first, Willis was rather skeptical of their newfound wealth, but eventually, both he and Arnold felt right at home in their newfound surroundings. Also part of the family were Drummond's beautiful daughter, 13-year-old Kimberly; and his no-nonsense housekeeper, Edna Garrett. As the years passed, Mrs. Garrett left to become housemother at the Eastland School for Girls; she was replaced by the cantankerous Adelaide Brubaker and still later, charming Pearl Gallagher. Arnold's friends, Dudley and Robbie (and later, Charlie); Willis' ...Written by
Brian Rathjen <email@example.com>
Like a lot of shows that prominently featured children started out good and faded as they grew older.
I watched this show as a child and I enjoyed it for what it was. However, as the show got older even I could see that Gary Coleman was getting a bit to old for the role and that is of course when they did what every show featuring children who age do. Do they simply end the show gracefully...No! They try to keep the show alive, by interjecting a younger kid to try and bring the cute factor the show once had and lost when the children grew up. They did this on numerous shows, this is one of the few that I actually saw that did it. I watched Brady Bunch a bit when I was a kid, but I have never seen an Oliver episode. This show is about a wealthy guy who takes in the children of a former maid or something. That is about all there is to it. He has a daughter of his own and he raises the children the best he can as they go out in the world and face all of life's little challenges, including a guy who kidnaps young Arnold (Gary Coleman) and Kimberly (Dana Plato) in an episode that was a bit much considering this show was aimed at the family market. I mean you want your child to be safe and all, but you also do not want them becoming fearful and paranoid. They also had one where cute little Sam (the youth interjection) got kidnapped as well. Then they have an episode where they basically try to capitalize on the success of the film "Ghostbusters". So in recap this is a show that should have stayed on four or five years tops, but tried to keep the show going as long as possible and weakening what little did work.
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