Popular 1980s 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 sportscaster Bob Uecker) was, in an example of art imitating life, a sportswriter; the matriarch was Marsha, a law student. The couple, who had settled in suburban Pittsburgh, had three children: awkward teenager Kevin; precocious, easily-embarrassed Heather; and mischievous prankster Wesley. George was initially uncomfortable hiring the worldly Belvedere but eventually came to appreciate the Englishman's friendship (as well as his expert culinary skills). Unlike his older siblings, Wesley never seemed to get along with Belvedere, but even he came to appreciate the British native's regularly-dispensed advice. Each episode ended with Belvedere writing in his journal, giving the show's moral while putting everything into perspective. In later years, Marsha graduated from law school and got her first job, and Kevin and Heather graduated from high school and entered college. The 1985 small-screen adaptation of "Mr. Belvedere" marked the end of a long succession of unsuccessful attempts to bring Davenport's novel to television; the three earlier pilots were made in the 1950s (soon after the final big-screen movie) and 1960s. —Brian Rathjen <email@example.com>
Had its moments and it had its moments.
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.
- Dec 8, 2011
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