The Torkelsons (TV Series 1991–1992) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • As a single mother of five, Mrs. Millicent Torkelson is a do-it-yourselfer with a flair for finding ingenious ways to make ends meet and making the best of bad times. Her oldest daughter Dorothy Jane is a sensitive dreamer who finds solace by talking to the "man in the moon". Dorothy Jane's siblings: Steven Floyd, Ruth Ann, Chuckie Lee, and Mary Sue; easily get themselves in and out of trouble.


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  • The Torkelsons are a family of six -- mother, Millicent (Connie Ray) and her five children -- living in Pyramid Corners, Oklahoma and struggling to make ends meet. The central plot device is the narration, provided by 14-year-old Dorothy Jane Torkelson (Olivia Burnette), as she sits in the window-seat of her upstairs bedroom and talks to her confidante, the Man in the Moon, usually at the opening and closing of each episode. Unlike many television comedies, situations in this show are secondary to the philosophy of life developed by Dorothy Jane, a sensitive reader of poetry; Millicent, a very wise, tolerant mother who, despite her flexibility and humility, has very high standards for how her children view life and treat other people; and the boarder they take in to help pay the bills, Wesley Hodges (William Schallert), whose wisdom in knowing when to get involved in Torkelson family matters -- and when to "butt out" -- gives the show a depth and tenderness usually found only in well-written independent films and shorts. As the show (probably) struggled with ratings, the last season found a reduced version of the family -- with two of the Torkelson children left out -- going to Seattle where Millicent becomes the nanny for a single father and his two children. The new version of the Torkelson brand became known as Almost Home (1993) (1993).

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