7 October 2006 | Cheyenne-Bodie
I hope the marvelous Elizabeth Cheshire avoided the child actor curse
"Sunshine" was a delightful 30-minute comedy-drama.
Sam Hayden (Cliff De Young) was a young widower raising his step-daughter Jill (Elizabeth Cheshire) in Vancouver, British Columbia. Sam had a band that included Weaver (Bill Mumy) and Cory (Corey Fischer). Sam dreamed of becoming another John Denver, but the band struggled to get by. Sam had to take on odd jobs to make ends meet. Lovely Nora (Meg Foster) was a close friend and potential love interest for Sam.
The relationship between Sam and Jill was beautifully written and played. There was no laugh track, which was a blessing. The show was somewhat reminiscent of "The Courtship of Eddie's Father", but even more touching.
This film was based on a TV movie called "Sunshine", which I have never seen but would like to.
The producer of the movie and series was George Eckstein ("The Fugitive","Duel", "Banacek"). John Badham directed a couple of episodes.
The series was canceled after 13 episodes, but there was a follow-up movie called "Sunshine Christmas". The movie was written by Carol Sobieski ("The Neon Ceiling") and directed by Glenn Jordan ("One of My Wives is Missing"). Sam turns 30 and realizes he is not going to make the big time as a musician. Nora has married a doctor. A despondent Sam goes back to Texas to visit his parents (Pat Hingle and Eileen Heckert). Sam starts working as a reporter on his father's one man newspaper, which is in a town in the middle of nowhere. Nora visits and asks the parents how Sam can be happy with a life that doesn't include music. Sam's aging parents want to take Jill away from him and raise her in a stable environment.
A beautiful, sentimental finale for this fine series.