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22
And the Winner Is ...
1986-04-19
As time is running out, Benson, the Governor, or the crooked senator will soon be out of a job. Which one?

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21
Friends and Enemies
1986-04-12
With Governor Gatling's term about to close and Benson up to run for Governor, the Governor learns that he can run for yet one more term and decides to grab it. This leads to a final competition, hurt, and quarrels between the Governor and Benson.

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20
Three on a Mismatch
1986-03-29
The Governor answers an ad from a personal's column from a magazine.

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19
The Hat and the Ring
1986-03-22
A conservation expert may help Benson and the Governor pass an inportant bill, but when Kraus hears of the strategy, she leaks it out to a friend who turs out to be a columnist and a major gossip to people who can owe her a favor for information.

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18
Hi, Society
1986-03-15
Benson persuades to pardon a man who was wrongfully imprisoned for 25 years.

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17
Pardon Me
1986-03-01
Clayton has his sights on running the family fortune, until he meets his father's new, young, and pretty fiancee. Then he realizes that inheriting the fortune will be pretty challenging.

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16
The Bucks Stop Here
1986-02-22
Benson, convinced that the question Senator Hartford has for him is "the" question, runs quickly to initiate a proposal.

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15
Reel Murder
1986-02-15
With everyone's lives in danger and not much time left, they try to crack the case and survive.

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14
Reel Murder
1986-02-08
Actor George Kennedy's plan to film a movie in the Goveror's mansion runs into deadly problems, and turns into a lethal murder mystery.

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13
Parade Rest
1986-02-01
A veteran is hired to retile the bathroom, but happens to disappear. Benson now has to investigate what happened and where his wherabouts are.

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12
The Last Man on Earth
1986-01-25
Benson and the Governor seek advice from a conservationist in helping them pass some environmental legislation.

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11
Summer of Discontent
1986-01-18
Clayton's nomination of the Governor's budget director has a problem after it is found out that Clayton lives with a Soviet defector.

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10
Secret Love
1986-01-03
After talk about Halley's comet, Karus dreams that she and Benson are the only ones left on earth.

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9
Two Boys and Their Dog
1985-12-13
Benson becomes involved in one of Clayton's wacky investment schemes. This one is investing in a weiner-dog to breed for puppies, but Benson grows too attached to the dog, as does also Clayton.

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8
Flight of the Dodo
1985-12-06
After crash landing the helicopter in the desert, Benson, the Governor, and Clayton all struggle to survive on account of them being stranded.

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7
Flight of the Dodo
1985-11-29
Despite warnings, on their way to fly a helicopter to play golf, Benson, the Governor, and Clayton run into disasterous problems with Clayton as their pilot.

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6
$1 Million an Hour
1985-11-15
Synopsis currently unknown

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5
We Spy
1985-11-08
While Benson and Kraus go to East Germany on official business, the two are accused of being spies and get arrested.

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4
The Stranger
1985-10-25
A mysterious stranger lurks around the Governor's mansion on Haloween night.

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3
Uncle Jack
1985-10-18
Benson tries to bring the Governor and his brother Jack together after 25 years of not seeing each other.

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2
Love and Politics
1985-10-11
When Benson revisits a relationship with Senator Hartford, the Senator changes her position on Clayton's commercial-development-of-state-parks bill. When Benson calls her on it, she flip-flops again and ultimately abstains.

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1
Benson the Hero
1985-10-04
While Governor Gatling is away, Benson and Clayton are depended upon to spend an 8 million dollar budget surplus before the next fiscal year, which is only a matter of several hours away. When the surplus was found out by someone, The Governor and Clayton go through political embarassment.

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Benson is a quintessential American sitcom premiered in 1979, which enjoyed a successful seven-season run till 1986. Produced by the ABC network and featuring the talents of Robert Guillaume in the titular role, James Noble, Inga Swenson, and Missy Gold, the show is widely remembered for its mix of biting political satire, human drama, and comedic relief. The show is a spinoff of the successful TV show, Soap, and managed to carve out a niche for itself due to its remarkable performances and heartwarming storytelling.

The plot revolves around the character of Benson DuBois, elegantly portrayed by Robert Guillaume, originally the acerbic butler from Soap. An unpredictable series of events sees Benson moving from his previous employer's mansion to the state Governor's mansion, where he initially starts as the head of household affairs. His no-nonsense demeanor, coupled with his sharp wit, easily steals the spotlight, transforming him into the show's moral compass.

Governor Eugene Gatling, played by James Noble, is a well-intentioned but often out-of-touch politician who relies on Benson's insights and grounded perspective. Here Noble's depiction of the Governor as a naïve, yet a loveable character balances the wisecracking cynicism of Guillaume's character, leading to several memorable exchanges that set the comic tone of the show.

Inga Swenson plays the role of Gretchen Kraus, the headstrong German housekeeper, who has a love-hate relationship with Benson. Her strict demeanor contrasts sharply with Benson’s more laid back approach, leading to a lot of humor and rivalry played out on screen. Yet, beneath all the bickering and rivalry, there's a mutual respect and almost familial affection shared between them.

The series also introduces viewers to the character of Katie Gatling, Governor Gatling's young, precocious daughter, played adorably by Missy Gold. Her relationship with Benson adds a different, tender layer to the show, as he becomes a sort of mentor and father-figure to her, teaching her valuable life lessons whilst navigating the complexities of politics and governance.

One of the show's most remarkable dimensions is how it charts the character growth of Benson from a head of household affairs to eventually becoming the state budget director. The humor is cleverly woven into the script, using the eccentricities of the mansion's residents, the political machinations of the state, and the inherent comedy in Benson's unique challenges and adventures.

Rather than relying on cheap laughs or slapstick humor, Benson differentiates itself by its thoughtful blending of comedy with socio-political commentary. The show often broach upon various pressing issues of its time like politics, race, class-divide and it doesn’t shy away from delivering subtle social and political messages while simultaneously maintaining its comedic undertone.

Guillaume’s performance of Benson is absolutely iconic as he seamlessly shifts gears from delivering hilarious one-liners to showcasing intense dramatic prowess. Both his charisma and delivery stand testament to his talent and is largely credited for the enduring popularity of the show. Besides, the supporting cast members delivered exceptional performances adding depth to their respective characters while complementing the comedic dynamics of the show.

The beauty of Benson lies in its ability to strike a balance between humor and heart. Amid all the laughter and often ridiculous situations, the show managed to authentically capture the intricacies of interpersonal relationships and the nuanced complexities of politics in a relatable manner. It excelled at offering moments of respite and laughter without ever losing sight of its inherent humanity.

In conclusion, Benson is a show that beautifully encapsulates the era it was produced in. It stands tall as a testament to nuanced characterization, masterful performances, clever storylines and a knack for delivering considerable social commentary infused with humor. Even after all these years, Benson continues to bring smiles to the faces of its audience, making it a classic sitcom that is remembered fondly. Besides its fun and laughter, it continues to be an exemplary portrayal of a powerful African-American leading character, which was quite impactful during its time.

In a world where sitcoms came and went, Benson claimed its spot in television history offering a dose of laughter, moral lessons, and an insightful glimpse into American society and politics of the era. American television wouldn't be the same without Benson, a show that excelled in presenting life's most egregious follies in a wonderfully entertaining and heartwarming manner.

Benson is a series categorized as a canceled. Spanning 7 seasons with a total of 159 episodes, the show debuted on 1979. The series has earned a moderate reviews from both critics and viewers. The IMDb score stands at 7.1.

Genres
Comedy
Channel
Sony
Rating
7.1/10
Cast
Robert Guillaume, Ethan Phillips, Didi Conn, Missy Gold, Rene Auberjonois, James Noble, Inga Swenson, Billie Bird, Bob Fraser, Caroline McWilliams, Lewis J. Stadlen
Benson is available on .