1 9 9 1 – 1 9 9 3 (USA)
20 x 30 minute episodes
13 x 30 minute episodes
Sensitive teenager Dorothy Jane Torkelson (Olivia Burnette) was mortified by her family in this bittersweet NBC comedy about a working-class family on the ropes.
She just wanted to be thought of as normal, like any 14-year-old, but how could she be when her father Randall (Gregg Henry) had walked out on the family, they were perilously short of money and might even lose their big old rambling house off Route Two in Pyramid Corners, Oklahoma.
Yet her perky, optimistic mother, Millicent (Connie Ray) – outfoxing bill collectors and heroically making clothes from her curtains – saw sunshine everywhere, even as men came to repossess the appliances and her brothers and sisters – athletic 12-year-old Steven (Aaron Metchik), spunky 10-year-old Ruth Ann (Anna Slotky), studious 8-year-old Chuckie Lee (Norris Mary) and huggable little 6-year-old Mary Sue (Rachel Duncan) – acted as if nothing was wrong.
Millicent ran a small business (“Millicent Torkelson – Custom Upholstering and Design”) from her home and was famous for her pickled vegetables.
Each autumn Millicent opened up the Torkelson’s roadside stand and sold “Torkelsons’ Treats” for one dollar a jar (homemade jellies, jams and the famous pickled vegetables).
Helping out at least a little was Mr Wesley Hodges (William Schallert), a kindly older man who had rented a room in their basement for $125 a month.
After a single unsuccessful season, The Torkelsons left the schedule to return in February 1993 with a new name, Almost Home.
Millicent had moved to Seattle to become a nanny working for single dad Brian Morgan (Perry King), who ran a successful catalogue business.
She now had just three kids (Steven and Ruth Ann evidently got left by the roadside) who mixed like oil and water with Brian’s obnoxious offspring, Molly (Brittany Murphy) and Gregory (Jason Marsden).
Dorothy Jane Torkelson
Steven Floyd Torkelson
Ruth Ann Torkelson
Chuckie Lee Torkelson
Mary Sue Torkelson