One of my newest obsessions (or at least for now) is DVRing and watching Mr. Belvedere. I feel like I’m reliving a part of my childhood all over again. I remember watching it with my Mom way back when the show aired on ABC from 1985-1990. AntennaTV picked up the repeats with a programming change in 2015. Believe it or not, you can also view the show on Amazon Prime and find the full series on Youtube!
I never realized at the time at the age of 5 or 6, but the series supposedly took place in Pittsburgh! There are several references to Pennsylvania in the series and it cracks me up.
In episode six of season one, George and Marsha on a team banquet/business trip while Mr. Belvedere baby-sits the kids. The kids act like brats while George & Marsha have a crappy time on this trip. They were trapped in a hotel due to the fact a major hurricane is hitting Florida. That’s when it happens….George remembers a good time he had at a dumpy hotel in HARRISBURG. After rewatching this episode, I nearly did a spit take. For those of you who never watch the show, George (the Dad) was a sports reporter. He started out at a newspaper in Pittsburgh and then ended up at a TV station. Of course the paper and TV station mentioned on the show are fictional. In my mind, they are the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and KDKA, but I digress. Anyway, Marsha realizes the story he’s telling her (which included a woman) wasn’t about her. Aka, he was remembering it incorrectly and was with another woman. Marsha was none too pleased, but I was. Harrisburg IS dumpy. Or it was, at least was the last time I went there for work in 2011. The person who was my guide for the work trip treated me to lunch. She told me that she always carried cigarettes with her even though she never smoked. When I asked why, she told me it was because she gave them to the city’s homeless people…so they’d watch out for her…so she wouldn’t get robbed or shived.
Yikes. Again, I digress.
Meanwhile, back at the Owen’s ranch, Heather is trying to sneak out because it’s the only time Prince would be in Pittsburgh. Wesley called a “massage specialist” to help Mr. Belvedere’s stress headache and Kevin called all of the girls in his little (*ahem* BIG) black book and I need an advil to comprehend all of what just happened, but really, at any given day or time during the week, I swear this type of shit goes on in my own life. RAISING KIDS IS OVERWHELMING.
A few episodes later, in season 2, episode 3; Heather is pouting because she can’t go on a skiing trip to the Poconos.A few episodes after that she name drops Hershey Park. Then she sulked when she couldn’t go on a European trip when her father’s company was on strike (hence why I figured it was Post Gazette/KDKA (both union shops). I want to slap that rich bitch in the face and tell her that the Poconos are overrated and Hershey Park is overpriced. Go to Ricketts Glen hiking and Knoebels for amusement. You’ll have a better time, you little shit.
To be fair, Wesley isn’t much better. He’s essentially a six year old con-artist. He only gets away with his shit (save for Mr. Belvedere) because his parents are too busy ripping their hair out with Kevin “the player” and Heather “the rich bitch.” He can take advantage AND HE WILL. BECAUSE HE’S THE BABY AND CAN. Based on my evaluation, Kevin may be the only kid that has a chance at having a normal adulthood of the 3. While I know the actor who plays Mr. Belvedere has passed away, I’d love to see a reunion special. Maybe it ends up being that the kids are in an Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode for some next level twisted cross over shit.
I’m going to keep an eye and ear on upcoming episodes to see if there are any further references to Northeast PA (meaning Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area, NOT ERIE).
That awkward moment when you’ve written a 3 page essay on a cheesy 80’s sitcom. What is my life?
SIGH. I’ll try harder to let you down next time, folks.