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Mary Jenkins, who was played by the actress Marla Gibbs, was the main actress in a NBC sitcom show which aired for approximately 5 years. It was centered around a quick wit, down to earth, middle-class housewife, her family, and the tenants in a Washington D.C. apartment building. Most of the time the women in the building would sit around and gossip a lot, and in those gossipy conversations is how got to know and come to love the characters of the sitcom.

The husband, Lester Jenkins, who was played by actor Hal Williams, supported his family by working hard and usually at the end of his work day, he would come home just to get a run down of everything that had happened in their apartment building throughout the day. Mary made sure that she kept him up to date with everything that went on. She stayed in the daughters business all of the time. Her daughters name was Brenda, who was played by Regina King.

Some of the neighbors ranged from a sultry Sandra Clark, who was played by Jackee, to the single mother Rose Halloway, played by Alaina Reed who ended up being the landlord of theses DC apartments where they resided. We surely can't leave out the feisty, humorous, elderly single grandmother Rose Shay, played by Helen Martin. She loved to sit in her window all day just so that she could get a birds-eye view of everything that happened, and not just concerning the tenants in the building.

But she loved to see what everyone in the streets were doing also. She kept tabs on everyone in the neighborhood and was determined to let anyone who was listening know what was going on in the neighborhood. She also was the single grandmother of who was raising her grandson Calvin Dobbs, played by Curtis Baldwin. Of course he could not get away with much because whatever he attempted to do his grandmother would find out about it. This show dealt with real life topics that happened to everyone, everywhere.

5 Seasons, 116 Episodes
October 26, 1985
Cast: Marla Gibbs, Alaina Reed Hall, Jackée Harry, Helen Martin, Regina King
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227 Full Episode Guide

  • Mary dreams that she's homeless after misinterpreting a plea for help from a street person as a threat to her safety.

  • Just before Brenda gets ready to graduate high school, Mary is rushed to the hospital with appendicitis. Mary gets a lesson in plastic surgery from her roommate (guest star Phyllis Diller); and Lester gives low marks to his father's girlfriend.

  • Mary gets the part of a slasher in a movie, but has an unscheduled rehearsal with an NYU dean.

  • Julian recruits Mary to help him keep 227 out of the hands of his soon-to-be ex-wife (Rosalind Cash).

  • While helping Eva straighten up the gallery, Mary inadvertently creates a pop-art sensation, and spends some of her 15 minutes of fame on The Joan Rivers Show.

  • Travis finds $250,000 left in his limo, and is convinced by Mary & Lester to turn the money in. If the money isn't claimed within 30 days, Travis may keep it. The next day, a woman named Eartha Kitten (Iman) comes to the door and claims the money belongs to her boss, and is furious when he learns he turned the money in. Meanwhile, Mary & Lester are heading to Hawaii and have a Bon Voyage party the night before, but the party is interrupted when Eartha's boss, a mob boss (Gary Coleman), holds everyone hostage. Warren saves the day when he returns disguised as a woman, and pretends to romance Mr Big. Before Travis can return with Mr Big's money, Warren turns the tables on Mr Big and has him arrested.

  • While working as a deejay, Lester gets suggestive requests from a caller named Christy, who he believes to be Mary in disguise, asking him to play "Stardust". Lester flirts with the caller and invites her to spend a romantic evening with him at his apartment. When the night comes, Mary goes out with Rose and Pearl and Lester finds that Christy really isn't Mary at all! Afraid of Mary catching the woman in their home he runs her out but she shows up the next morning and it's revealed that Mary was playing a joke on him, and testing his loyalty, as Christy is one of her friends.

  • Lester falls asleep during church and dreams that he and Mary visit both Heaven and Hell. While in both places, they return to earth to see what has happened to their family and friends. While in Heaven: Brenda inherits Lester's construction company and is a success when Calvin, her husband takes over. Pearl has moved in with them. Rose still hasn't come to terms with Mary's death. While in hell: Calvin becomes a failure and sells the business to Julian for $500. Brenda is pregnant and the family is in poverty. Rose has married Julian and they have raised the rent of the building big time. Della Reese and Richard Moll guest star.

  • When Brenda buys a revealing dress to wear to her party, Mary and Lester make her return it. When she refuses to return it, her parents won't allow her to have the party. Brenda decides to throw the party in Julian's penthouse when she discovers that he will be away. Wearing her dress, Dylan and Travis discover that Brenda is having a party when they come upstairs. Instead of stopping the party, Travis winds up engaging in a dance contest with Calvin. Mary and Lester find out about the party when Rose and Pearl come to the apartment talking about the loud music and the numerous teenagers who have come into the apartment building that night. Julian comes home to discover the mess in his apartment right when Mary and Lester end the party.

  • Mary dons clown garb to erase a nasty message she left on the answering machine of Lester's business contact, an eccentric novelties magnate.

  • When everybody skips out on Mary's Christmas Eve party, she decides to invite her landlord Julian in hopes of livening things up. Also, everybody gets to meet Rose's new boyfriend Warren.

  • After seeing that college is more difficult than he imagined, Calvin wants to quit school and join the Army. Lester tries to put him through his paces at a mock boot camp, but Calvin exceeds his expectations. However, military life becomes a frightening experience when the camp comes under attack for real.

  • Sandra comes up with a slogan for a new perfume, but she thinks it stinks when her ad-agency boss steals her idea.

  • Dylan's mother moves in with him after leaving his father, who she found out is cheating on her. While talking to Mary and the ladies, she gets her confidence back and begins spending a lot of time with Julian, to everyone's surprise. When Mr. McMillan comes to 227 to apologize, he finds her on a "date" in Julian's penthouse.

  • When Lester is unable to attend his birthday party due to being stuck on a construction job, Mary and Sandra fly up to join him. En route, they get stranded at a diner and run into gang members who want them as their biker chicks.

  • Conclusion. Lester puts together a posse to find the womenfolk when the water rustlers take them hostage.

  • The Jenkins and their friends vacation at a dude ranch, where the owner's mineral water supply is being stolen by rustlers. Meanwhile, Mary lassos Rose and Sandra into a treasure hunt, and Dylan takes a liking to a filly.

  • When Mary causes Lester to miss a prizefight, they have a bout that could deliver a knockout punch to their marriage, so Lester stays with swinging bachelors Dylan and Travis.

  • The women head to a spa to prepare for a beauty contest. Meanwhile, Travis and Dylan care for a baby left in Travis' limo. Later, Lester & Julian help out until the baby's mother returns.

  • Mary and the gang try to draw a bead on new landlord Julian Barlow (Paul Winfield), who's been ducking them. Meanwhile, Dylan hunts for a new roommate, and settles for Travis Fillmore.

  • Mary's organized a charity benefit featuring diva Beverly Morris (Nell Carter). Now she's a prima donna and Mary's worried that if she finds out that Sandra's dating her former boyfriend, Armand she'll back out. So she tries to keep her from finding out, but when they end up in the powder room together, things get hairy.

  • Rose moves ahead with the sale of the building. The new company wants to tear down the building but it is saved when Eva finds something that gets the building on the Historical Societies protection list.

  • Sandra moves to New York City and has to find new employment.

  • Pearl, Rose, Sandra, and Mary get locked in the laundry room at the same time and find themselves reflecting on what brought each of them to 227.

  • Lester takes a chance and gives an ex con a job. He is doing good work, but Mary and Lester start to wonder when he asks Brenda on a date.

  • Sandra, Mary, and Rose make a bet with each other. Can Sandra stay away from men or can Mary and Rose stick to their diet?

  • Mary and Sandra are placed on the same jury for a murder trial. Things get sticky when Sandra is the one vote that holds things up.

  • Mary tells the kids that she has a connection to Run DMC to play at their prom. They loose all the money they had and have to have their prom as a street party. Mary and Dylan find a way to convince Run DMC to show up and play at the street prom.

  • Sandra's new boyfriend spoils her, but when everyone meets him they find that he is the same age as Pearl.

  • Mary's cookie recipe is making money and a local baker wants to buy her recipe. She backs out of the deal in the hopes of getting more money. She then discovers that her grandma's recipe is really just Famous Amos'.

  • Sandra goes on The Love Connection and choses Gary. Things get a little crazy when Sandra's date with Gary turns into an accidental run in with Gary's ex.

  • Things get a little exciting when Mary takes Alexandria on a Buttercups hike. Sandra comes along to flirt with the leader.

  • Sandra is set up on a blind date, but asks Rose to attend instead. Little do they know that he is a prince that falls for Brenda.

  • While Mary and Lester are on their way to the airport a thief nabs their plane tickets. As Lester peruses the thief with the cops, Mary imagines them in Casablanca.

  • Pearl's purse is snatched. Rose, Mary and Sandra put a plan in place to try to snatch the mugger.

  • Sandra tries to help Alexandria feel the spirit of Christmas by bringing a Santa in off the street. Things go wrong when Santa steals all the gifts.

  • Mary cleans out her photos and Mary, Sandra, and Rose spend time remembering the past.

  • Mary and Sandra end up on a special episode of Family Feud, a neighbors special. Sandra's team wins, but they split the winnings in the end.

  • Brenda is excelling in track at school. Her coach comes by for a visit and brings an African track star hoping to stay in the US to train. The neighborhood rallies and decides to hold a fundraiser race.

  • Sandra's cousin Conchita comes for a visit and things get complicated when her fiancé follows Conchita on vacation.

  • Sandra convinces Mary to enter Brenda into a beauty pageant. They soon become upset when the pageant adds a bikini aerobics portion to the televised competition. When the contestants become uncomfortable, and the producer won't budge, Mary, Sandra, Rose and Pearl intervene.

  • Lester goes into business with Marvelous Marvin Hagler. Due to Hagler's fame this partnership must remain a secret. Mary's neighbors get suspicious about her current house guest and when word gets out the Jenkins are swarmed with fans.

  • The Jenkins agree to host a college student and are surprised to meet an 11yr old know-it-all girl. The girl tries too hard to seek the acceptance of others.