Charles In Charge: The Complete First Season

DVD Reviews | Feb 23rd, 2006

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Starring Scott Baio, Willie Aames, Julie Cobb, April Lerman, Michael Pearson, Jennifer Runyon, Jonathan Ward, James Widdoes
Written By:
Directed By:
Studio: Universal
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The new boy, from the neighborhood, lives downstairs..ok i’ll stop. Charles In Charge is now available for the first time on DVD, and this season has all 22 episodes from the 1984-1985 season, plus the pilot episode and a preview episode of the second season. I hope Universal plans on releasing the second season soon because I wasn’t really impressed with the first season.

Charles in Charge is about a college student named Charles (played by Scott Baio) who lives in the NJ area. He lives with the Pembroke family and is hired to watch over them and be their nanny, babysitter, mentor, older brother, whatever and look after everything. The parents are off doing their own thing all the time and working so they can’t manage everything so that’s where Charles comes in. But it’s even hard for Charles who’s trying to balance his job with the Pembrokes and have somewhat of a social life since he’s in college afterall. Charles has a buddy named, well Buddy (Willie Aames). He tries to get Charles to partake in all the college activity and cause trouble with him. Charles ends up dating one of the most popular girls in the college, Gwendolyn, and her and Buddy don’t like each other that much. So Charles has to also balance his friendship and his relationship as well as the job, and college. You can imagine the insanity he has to go through but it’s fun to watch.

I used to watched Charles in Charge all the time. I think it might be on TV still somewhere, but I never know when it’s on. I’m glad the series has finally been released on DVD, it just stinks that it’s the first season. I started liking the show (or at least remember watching it) when the Powells moved in. I’m not a fan of the first season because of the Pembrokes. They just weren’t that good and I can see why the family was changed after this season. The parents were dull, and the Father ended up saying the same thing ALL the time. “Do you know what i’m saying?” “Do you know what i’m trying to tell you?” It was funny in the pilot episode, but then it just kept going on and on and it wasn’t funny anymore. Then Charles starts to talk like him. Thankfully, I don’t remember him talking that way in the other seasons. The two kid actors were funny, but the daughter was annoying and she couldn’t act. I think the kid who played Jason (Michael Pearson) lived in my area because my older brother spotted him at the mall. once I don’t think he has been in anything since then, so he fell off the face of the earth. The other geeky son, Douglas (Jonathan Ward) has been in stuff afterwards like the ET ripoff Mac and Me. I remember he had some TV series that I watched, but didn’t last too long. I think it was called The New Adventures of Bean Baxter..or something like that. ANYWAY, like all first seasons of TV shows, they aren’t always that good. *cough* Seinfeld *cough* I guess the same can be said with Charles In Charge. Charles’ attitude is similar in all the seasons, but he’s not such a shtickler in the other ones. He isn’t wearing a shirt & tie all the damn day. Who wears that shit to college anyway? So i’m glad he loosen up a bit after the first season. Willie Aames and Scott Baio had great chemistry together from the start and I think it’s a good reason why the show lasted 6 seasons or so. I like when Buddy gets dumb, which I think starts around the 3rd season? I don’t really remember but Buddy definitely gets a lot dumber in the later seasons. Also, having Mr. Powell on the show made the series really great too because James T. Callahan was perfect as the miltary grandfather. But as I was watching the first season, it felt awkward in some spots. Parts of the episodes got really sappy, like Full House sappiness. But there are still funny things about the season, it’s just not as good as the other seasons. You can’t forget the freeze frame endings, Charles in Charge did this all the time and I just laugh at this now because it’s so cheesy.

The only extras on this DVD set is the preview episode of Season 2 and some 80’s TV flashback featurette. I’m glad they put the Season 2 episode on here because it reinstates the fact that I DID like this show, and that was the Charles in Charge that I remember. Charles comes back and he has a button down shirt, spikish hair and doesn’t look like a bookworm. You can tell the show took a hiatus to reinvent the show and I think it was the right decision in the end. The 80’s flashback thing was all right, i’d rather watch VH1’s I Love the 80’s instead. Oh, to point out something that Universal might want to do for season 2, is have an option to skip scenes for the episodes instead of having to either sit through the theme song or manually fast forward. It’s annoying.

So should Charles in Charge fans get this DVD? If you actually remember this season and liked the episodes…Sure why not. Me, i’m not a fan of the first season and always whined when the old (and lamer) theme song came on syndication because I knew it was the old Charles in Charge season. So get this season only if you like the first season and all I have to say is, BRING ON SEASON 2!

Preview Episode from Charles in Charge: Season Two!
The “Great 80s” TV Flashback Featurette

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Mono

Standard 1.33:1 Color

English, Spanish, French

Favorite Scenes: Pilot, Slumber Party, Trick or Treat, Snowed In
Rating: NR
Running Time: 546 minutes
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating: