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Series / Hazel

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Hazel was a Dom Com which aired on NBC from 1961 to 1965 and CBS from 1965 to 1966. It was based on a one panel comic strip of the same name by Ted Key that was published in the Saturday Evening Post. It centered on a live in maid named Hazel Burke and the family whom she worked for, the Baxters. Shirley Booth played the title character with Don DeFore as George Baxter, his wife Dorothy and their son Harold. At the end of the fourth season NBC cancelled Hazel, but it made a Channel Hop to CBS which retooled it by replacing George and Dorothy with George's brother Steve and his sister in law along with their daughter. Harold was kept as well as Hazel of course.


Hazel provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Distillation: Since it was based on a single panel comic strip, this was pretty much a given.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: In the comics, Hazel was kind of a bossy nag who tormented the family she worked for. Booth's Hazel is a well-intentioned busybody at worst and a Cool Old Lady the rest of the time.
  • Big Eater: Both George and his client Harvey Griffin.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: Herbert Johnson in "Herbert for Hire", who holds a college degree in dead languages, and has invested in such outdated products as harnesses and saddles, shoe buttonhooks, kerosene lantern, stereopticon slide viewers (the 19th century ancestor of the View-Master), and has 485 tons of whalebone stored in a warehouse, only to discover that modern corsets are made of elastic.
  • Brother Chuck: In the Thanksgiving episode of the first season, George is presented as having another sister named Philyss who only appears in this episode.
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  • Cool Old Lady: Hazel herself, as well as George's mother.
  • Cousin Oliver: While this is a bit of an older example, Steve and Barbara, George's brother and sister in law, and their daughter Susie, Harold's cousin. One of the reasons that Steve and Barbara Baxter were brought in was to appeal to younger demographics. They, also, fit in with the trope by being relatives who were never mentioned before.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first season was filmed in black and white, except for the "What'll We Watch Tonight?" episode, which was filmed in color, with Hazel buying a color TV set.
  • Kindly House Keeper: Hazel clearly loves the Baxter family
  • The Nicknamer: Hazel gives every one in the Baxter family a nickname; George is Mr. B, Dorothy is Missy, and Harold is Sport.
  • Old Retainer: Hazel actually worked for Dorothy's family but stayed with Dorothy when she married George.
  • Only Child Syndrome: Harold was George and Dorothy's only child.
  • Product Placement: The Ford Motor Company was the sponsor, and every character seemed to have a Ford. Many of the opening credits show the family getting ready to take a trip in a Ford car. In one of the closing credits, a Ford Galaxie was featured speeding along the road.
  • Put on a Bus: George and Dorothy after the Channel Hop; the in universe explanation was that George had been assigned by his firm to go to the middle east and Dorothy went with him. Harold stayed so he wouldn't have to be pulled out of school.
  • Remember the New Guy?: When Hazel made the Channel Hop to CBS, George Baxter's younger brother Steve is introduced despite the fact he'd never been mentioned before.
  • Retool: For the fifth and final season, they replaced George and Dorothy Baxter with George's brother Steve and his wife Barbara.
  • Rich Bitch: George and Steve's sister Deidre has shades of this.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Herbert and Harriet Johnson, who have trouble with the simplest cooking tasks, and find themselves nearly broke after Herbert learns that he's invested in such obsolete companies as harnesses and saddles, button hooks, kerosene lanterns, stereopticon slide viewers, and his 485 tons of whalebone are sitting unused in a warehouse because corsets are now made of elastic.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: Harvey Griffin frequently shows up for dinner, often uninvited, because of his love of Hazel's cooking, and he has known to stay well past dinner.


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