Benson (TV Series 1979–1986) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • Jessica Tate's sharp-tongued former butler, Benson DuBois, moves up in the world, becoming first the governor's "director of household affairs," then the state's budget director, then lieutenant governor and candidate for the executive mansion.

  • In this spinoff of "Soap," Benson DuBois is sent out West to serve as butler to widowed state governor Gene Gatling, an honest but bumbling servant of the people. Although he has his rivals in German maid Kraus and persnickety aides Clayton and Taylor, Benson, armed with an acerbic wit and plenty of smarts, becomes the Governor's close friend and helper, and eventually is elected Lieutenant Governor.

  • Benson, the butler from SOAP, was sent by his employer to her cousin, Gene Gatling, a lovable idiot who somehow got to be elected governor, to help him out. Benson began running the household and got opposition from Taylor, who didn't like Benson's meddling. Gretchen Kraus, the housekeeper, is constantly butting heads with Benson. But he does have an ally in Marcy, the governor's secretary, and he is like a second father to the Governor's daughter, Katie. The next season, Clayton Endicott, the Governor's speechwriter, becomes another thorn in Benson's side. Pete Downy, yet another staff member, gets Benson's goat but only because he's an idiot. Benson would eventually become the Governor's new budget director and acquire a new secretary, Denise, who's a bit ditsy but would prove to be helpful to Benson. Benson eventually becomes the Lieutenant Governor.

  • Though technically only in charge of Governor Gatling's household, Benson (the only sane person on hand) solves everyone else's problems. One nemesis is Gretchen, the German housekeeper; another is the Governor's intelligent daughter Katie. The Governor's aides mostly get in the way.

  • Benson DuBois, a sharp-tongued and fiendishly intelligent man, is assigned to serve as butler to Governor Eugene Gatling, a well-meaning but ineffectual public servant. Benson's seemingly lowly role, however, allows him to observe and involve himself with Governor Gatling's staff, with whom he frequently clashes due to their serial ineptitude or arrogance - among his most frequent adversaries are Gatling's aide-de-camp Clayton Endicott III and the German woman in charge of the mansion's kitchen, Gretchen Kraus. Benson's wit and intelligence allow him to help his adversaries and the Governor, and these twin qualities result in a steady stream of promotions, to budgetary director and eventually to serve as Gatling's lieutenant governor. However, eventually Benson finds himself running for governor against Gatling, a race that strains the two men's friendship; both men, however, realize how much more important friendship is, and their relationship is healed as they await the final tally of the election.


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