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 411mania » Movies » Columns

Ten Deep 6.05.14: Top Ten TV Housekeepers
Posted by Mike Gorman on 06.05.2014

"Top Ten TV Housekeepers"

If you are not aware, sadly this week Ann B. Davis passed away. Davis is best known for playing the housekeeper, Alice, on TV's The Brady Bunch. In her honor I have dedicated this week's Ten Deep to the best TV housekeepers; and yes I loosened the definition of housekeeper to include butlers and maids. So grab yourself a heaping plate of "pork chhhops & apple saurce" and enjoy this countdown.

10. Tony on Who's The Boss

While the show never did really answer it's titular question, Who's The Boss introduced us to Tony Micelli, a single father willing to do anything to give his daughter a better upbringing, and that included putting aside his dreams and becoming a housekeeper. Over the seasons Tony became more than wealthy Angela's housekeeper as they eventually did get married; that is certainly one way to ensure job security! Speaking of job security, it was also nice to see Tony Danza getting work when this show premiered, never mind introducing the world to Alyssa Milano!

9. Mr. Belvedere on Mr. Belvedere

When a proper English butler takes up residence with a typical American family, the result was the much loved sitcom, Mr. Belvedere. In the vein of Mary Poppins without the magical toys & adventures, Mr. Belvedere was a force for change in the family's life, and they were the same in his. The series' moments of culture clash led to lessons learned and many laughs.

8. Rosario on Will & Grace

Will & Grace's Karen Walker is a vodka swilling, pill popping elitist with extra attitude. She dominated every scene she was in until we met Rosario, her maid and sometimes friend. Rosario did more than just clean up Karen's messes, she in the only person who truly could stand up to Karen's crazy rants and actions. Her oft used line "Listen, lady" became a sort of battle cry over the seasons signaling Rosario was not about to back down. And in the future of the series finale, Rosario and Karen ended up together as lovers. It seemed entirely appropriate.

7. Lurch on The Addams Family

While his words were few, Lurch on The Addams Family was an imposing fixture during the series run. Aside from his signature, "You rang?" Lurch did not communicate with the Addams through more than a series of grunts and moans that they always understood. Like most great TV housekeepers Lurch not only took care of the family home but also expressed care and interest in the children's lives. He was Wednesday Addams best friend of sorts, often getting prodded by her into one ridiculous action or another, like the time she wanted him to dance with her. Lurch was never put out by the family's requests but was often on the edge of a serious eye roll.

6. Consuela on Family Guy

No, Consuela no here. You go.

5. Geoffrey on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

On The Fresh Prince of Bel Air Geoffrey was not only the family's proper butler and housekeeper but he was their arbiter of sarcasm. Put plain and simple, Geoffrey was the "First World Problems" hashtag before Twitter even existed. His biting comments often attempted to draw attention to how ridiculous the Banks' complaints and problems were in relation to an average person. He also often swallowed his feelings in order to keep his job, something he did not do in the scene below…

4. Rosie on The Jetsons

Rosie was one of the more popular future amenities audiences hoped for when they watched The Jetsons. She was a full service housekeeper intended to make their lives easier and she was also programmed to be a part of their family. Rosie was characterized by her fierce loyalty to the Jetson family often going above and beyond the call of duty to keep them safe.

3. Florence on The Jeffersons

If we're rating characters simply based of their actual housekeeping skills, I am not so sure how Florence of The Jeffersons would do. But if we were rating housekeepers based on their ability to sling creative insults at their supervisors, Florence would win gold every time. She was never known to hold back her opinion and lived completely without fear of reprimand. The interactions between her and George Jefferson are true television gold.

2. Alice on The Brady Bunch

And now we come to Alice. She was often the glue that held the mixed family of The Brady Bunch together during the series long run; and not just because she managed to get a hot dinner on the table every night for that mammoth clan. She was there to support them no matter what they needed and often provided a down to earth perspective the children and parents needed. My person favorite moment was when she had to help run Mr. Brady's blueprints through the amusement park. She had spirit and spunk, and is a true sitcom icon. Ann B. Davis with surely missed but Alice will live on forever in syndication!

And finally…

1. Alfred on Batman

He can prepare a cup of tea, keep the library dusted, take calls on the Batphone from Commissioner Gordon and keep Batman & Robin's costumes clean; how could any other television housekeeper or butler take the top spot this week? The 1960s Batman series could be quite the groovy psychedelic space at times, but Alfred as was always cool and collected. He was the keeper of the secrets on the series, and not just Batman & Robin's, he also served as a confidant to Batgirl. Alfred knew more than the people her served but never used that information to his own advantage, like most good housekeepers.

Did this week's list clean up your expectations or is here a stain that needs to be addressed? Let me know in the comments section. I have to run, the Batphone is blinking!

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