message. Moms and dads were utterly inadequate at raising children; it took an outsider -- a college kid (Charles in Charge), a proper English butler (Mr. Belvedere), a white guy (Webster, Diff'rent Strokes) -- or a hunky working-class schmoo from Brooklyn.
Who's the Boss (1986-92) transformed Taxi hunk Tony Danza into Tony Micelli, housekeeper to uptight Angela Bower (Judith Light) and her blond waif son Jonathan (Danny Pintauro, previously Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream). Tony's daughter Sam (Alyssa Milano) and Angela's horny mother, Mona (Katherine Helmond) filled out the household.
Nope. No gay characters, no gay references. At least Tony is cool with the kids' gender-transgressive interests; Sam's passion for basketball and Jonathan's for gymnastics. But the main plot arc involved everyone trying to set up Tony and Angela, who for some reason denied that they were attracted to each other.
Fortunately, there was a lot of beefcake. Angela kept stumbling across Tony in the shower or wearing only a towel. When Danny Pintauro became a flamboyantl gay adolescent, he got some shirtless and semi-nude shots in teen magazines.
Sam had a series of hunky boyfriends, such as Jesse (Scott Bloom left, with brothers Brian and Mikey). And the super-stud Billy Gallo had a recurring role as "Mr. Al."