80's Trivia - Charles in Charge — 1. What are the names of the Powell children? A: Jamie, Sarah, Adam — 2. What is Buddy Lembeck's full character name? A: Buddins Lembeck — 3. What is the name of the college that Charles atte... more »nded? A: Copeland
4. What was Charles' last name? A: He doesn't have one.
5. What was the name of the FIRST family Charles took care of? A: Pembroke
6. What was the name of the SECOND family Charles took care of? A: Powell
7. What was Charles' mother's name? A: Lillian
8. Where did the show take place? A: New jersey (New Brunswick)« less
"Well before metrosexual became common term, networks had `macho' Italian American men taking up domestic work such as house cleaning---or child care. Resurrecting the careers of both Scott Baio (`Happy Days', `Joannie Loves Chachie') and Willie Aames (`Eight is Enough') this season is classic camp television with some genuinely good surprises tucked away
Nineteen-year old Charles is hired by Jill (Julie Cobb) and Stan Pembroke (James Widdoes) to watch over their very rambunctious kids: Lila, 14 (April Lerhman); Douglas, 12 (Jonathan Ward); and Jason, 10 (Michael Pearlman). We never learn Charles's last name, but I remain convinced that Charles's last name is `Arcola'-because `Charles' also was the birth name of Baio's character on both `Happy Days' and `Joannie Loves Chachi'!
In this 22-episode 1984-1985 first season (the only one on NBC), Charles is very clean-cut, and his best friend Buddy Lembeck (Aames) is quite the devious schemer. When the Pembrokes really leave Charles in charge for the night, he and Lila discover the dates they both subsequently invited over ultimately feel objectified. We see Charles's date Gwendolyn Pierce (Jennifer Runyon) throughout the rest of this season.
Coming to think of his extra curricular activity AS taking care of the Pembroke kids ("Extracurricular Activity") Charles clearly is very special. Very few college students want to spend time as a live-in-nanny, regardless of how obviously angelic the kids and/or parents are. The type of stuff Charles handles is really mild though; none of the kids EVER take drugs...etc.
I developed a new and totally unexpected appreciation for this series after going through both college and graduate school's many stresses. The writers more or less accurately captured college student's struggle trying to balance everything out in their own lives while having enough money to live that life. `Charles' subsequently was much more realistic in its depictions than the `college years' of many other TV shows (90210, Saved By The Bell...etc)..
Episodes like "Another Saturday Night" clearly set the series in the 1980's. All of the kids AND Charles are home watching election return results on a Saturday night because Michael Jackson is rumored to make a special appearance at a campaign headquarters. The kids sincerely feel down when Jackson's appearance ultimately gets cancelled due to unfavorable election returns. Contrasting with today, Jackson genuinely was a big entertainment draw in the 1980s.
Meg Ryan makes a special guest star as "Jane" a college student thinking of becoming a nanny for the neighboring Wilson's. However, after spending time with Charles, she realizes that working with kids and their problems are not HER strong point; she subsequently gets another job. Being a nanny is not for everybody.
The production team genuinely did a good job with the extras. Extras for this season include "The great 80's TV flashback" "
Charles has arrived on DVD
Dorrie Wheeler | 02/16/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Gwendolyn Pierce! Gwendolyn Pierce! Gwendolyn Pierce ! Gwendolyn Pierce was a recurring theme of many of the Charles in Charge Season One episodes. Charles in Charge Season One, is very different than Charles in Charge Season Two. Scott Baio stars as Charles. He is a college student living in the Pembroke family home while he attends college and hangs out with his best friend Buddy. The Pembroke family are not quite as exciting or interesting to watch as the Powell family who were featured on the show starting with the second season until the show ended it's run. An easy way to tell the two families apart is the Powell family had blonde hair for the most part and the Pembroke's were darker haired.
So season one is a fun season to watch primarily because of the antics of Charles and Buddy. There are also a lot of up and coming stars featured in season one. Meg Ryan appears in one episode as a young woman wanting to hire a nanny or all in one like Charles. It's a fun season where Charles primarily crushes on Gwendolyn, dates Gwendolyn or pursues other girls.
The box set is nice. The color discs are not dual sided as many Universal releases have been. The set also includes a half hour feature titled "The Great 80's TV Flashbacks," and a bonus episode from Charles in Charge season 2.
The bottom line is pick up this set and buy it. Hopefully brisk sales will quicken the release of Charles in Charge Season 2. The show really picked up with the addition of the Powell family who were much more interesting than the Pembrokes.
5 stars for the set itself, 4 stars for the season. "
Great 80's T.V. on DVD!!!
Shane | Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A. | 11/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fianlly Charles IS in Charge of DVD!!! I have been waiting for this great show to come to DVD. It was one of my favorite week night shows. It was always funny and a great time to spend with my brothers. Charles in Charge was a good show in the fact that it was a show you could watch with your parents in the room and not worry about something said on the show that would make your mom make you turn it off. Can't wait for Charles to be in Charge of my DVD player!! Way Cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Great show. Season 2 please.
Bryan Holwerda | Muskegon, Michigan United States | 08/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first season of Charles in Charge is great, but it gets much better throughout season 2. I really hope Universal releases season 2 soon."
Kelly | Colorado Springs, Colorado United States | 12/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"i am so happy this is coming out on DVD. I use to watch the show all the time. It is a great 80's show. It may be cheesy and people may talk bad about the show but you know they were watching it in the 80's."