short-lived sitcom wins the Trivia Award both for the most outrageous premise of
1987, and for the most bizarre final episode. The idea was that busy Los Angeles
architect and single dad Peter was faced with the loss of his efficient young
housekeeper, a Central American refugee named Dora. The feds had discovered that
she was an illegal alien and were about to deport her. So Peter, ever the
practical type, married her – so that she could continue to be his maid. “No
love,” he kept reassuring her, “this is just a formality.” Dora, a feisty young
woman who assumed she would be shot if she were sent back to her native country,
When it was
pointed out to ABC that marrying an alien for the purpose of avoiding
deportation was a direct violation of U.S. law, the network nonchalantly
inserted a full-screen announcement in the premiere episode; it stated that what
the series was depicting constituted a federal offense, and then helpfully added
"You should not try this in your own home"! Peter (who apparently did not see
the notice) then proceeded to marry Dora, while the laugh track roared. So much
for love and legality.
were Peter’s young kids Kate and Will, who really liked Dora and thought it was
all a neat idea, legal or not. Mr. Lennox was Peter's doddering boss at the
office, and Marisol was Dora's occasionally seen sister.
had a short run, and one of TV history’s most surprising final episodes. In the
last original telecast, Peter received a lucrative offer for a two-year job in
Bahrain, packed his bags, and prepared to leave Dora and the family. Dora
pleaded with him not to go and couldn't believe he’d actually get on the plane,
but he did. Then, to everyone's surprise, he got off again.
then pulled back, revealing the stage and crew as everyone waved goodbye to the
few remaining viewers. Now that’s how a failed sitcom should end!