“I didn’t know anyone had a butler anymore,” a woman tells Bill (Gary Cole, “Office Space”). Well, Bill does. Bill is a Manhattan player who lives a carefree playboy life in his swank home in the city. Bill’s butler is Mr. French (portrayed by Tim Curry of “Clue” fame). Mr. French is the finest stuffy butler since Mr. Belvedere left the air. Fortunately, nothing will happen to change that in a comical fashion.
Bill’s sister, Jenny, drops off six-year-old twins Jody and Buffy to live with Bill. The logic behind this is that she and her wife need to get away for a while. So it seems like a good idea. Let’s buy that thin premise.
Buffy is cute. You know this because she carries around a doll named Mrs. Beasley. Just like that girl and her kangaroo from “Chocolat!” Sweet! Jody (a boy) refuses some goat cheese and olives from Mr. French. Oh, the hilarity! Stop.
Did I mention the other rambunctious child, the talkative teenager from hell named Sissy? Yeah, she’s gonna do a lot of crazy stuff soon, like throwing an underwear party when Uncle Bill is gone. Oops, hope conservative Mr. French doesn’t find out!
It would normally be difficult to predict the future on a show like this. Except the future already happened, sort of. See, this show was around from 1966-1971. So really, this remake isn’t treading much familiar ground.
The culture shock of young children on Mr. French is amusing, if a bit predictable. Unsure how long young girls take in the shower or how he should keep them entertained during the day, he is left bewildered – and perhaps a bit embarrassed – at the new situation.
At least Mr. French stands up for the children on the playground when some mean seven-year-olds won’t let the twins on a ride. Apparently Bill is such a minor character it’s not necessary to appear during the day or night. If only the irritating laugh track was similarly absent. Yes, a laugh track.
Mr. French will be educating the twins in upcoming episodes in addition to watching them. Playing the Race Bannon to Bill’s Dr. Quest is a curious move on behalf of the show. Here’s a rhetoricalquestion : What does this say about modern parenthood?
The show definitely needs some work plot-wise. On the plus side, the sneak preview of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” that debuted during the pilot episode was pretty sweet.

Paul Wong
Courtesy of WB
The butler, in the kitchen, with the candlestick. Heh, heh.

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