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The Byrds of Paradise
Format Drama
Created by Charles H. Eglee
Starring Timothy Busfield
Seth Green
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Ryan O'Donohue
Arlo Guthrie
Elizabeth Lindsey
Bruce Weitz
Country of origin  United States
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13 (1 unaired)
Production
Executive producer(s) Charles H. Eglee
Running time 60 min.
Broadcast
Original channel ABC
Original run March 3, 1994 – June 23, 1994

The Byrds of Paradise is an American television series that ran during the 1993-94 season on the ABC television network. The hour-long drama centering on a father and his three children, abruptly relocated to Hawaii from New Haven after the sudden death of the children's mother. Much of the show dealt with the titular Byrd family adjusting to their lives in an entirely new environment as they recovered from their loss, similar to the premise of the later Everwood.

Filmed on location in the state of Hawaii, The Byrds of Paradise was unique in the inclusion of the local culture of Hawaii in the lives of the originally mainland Byrd family, rather than their maintaining a lifestyle nearly indistinguishable from that on the mainland with Hawaii's tropical scenery serving primarily as an attractive background.

Plot

Sam Byrd, the family's father, accepts a headmaster's position at a private school in Hawaii, which his children attend along with local students. All of the Byrds interact with local characters, some of whom speak pidgin (performed with varying degrees of authenticity) and reflect a far more realistic portrait of Hawaii's culture than usually shown in film and television depictions of Hawaii. This tendency includes the romantic interests of the Byrds, who are local characters (played by local actors) rather than mainland transplants. Topics such as teenage pregnancy and underage drinking featured as usually presented in a television show with teens as central characters.

One of the more distinctive aspects of the The Byrds of Paradise was the role of Dr. Murray Rubinstein, an unpretentious beachside psychiatrist. Originally doctor to Franny, the temperamental middle child who is the most obviously traumatized by her mother's death, Murray eventually treats Sam, the children's father, also suffering from the loss of his wife. A voice of reason who counsels his patients with an unconventional bedside manner, the doctor makes significant progress with Franny and Sam.

Again in a more realistic rather than idealized representation of Hawaii, a tsunami strikes mid-season, threatening the lives of several characters. The doctor's residence is destroyed, prompting him to continue his practice on chairs in the sand while he is rebuilding his house.

While the finished episodes were not aired in their entirety on the mainland, one of the sole season's last episodes, entitled Twelfth Night o' Whatevah, featuring a school production of Shakespeare presented entirely in pidgin, was aired in Hawaii.

Cast

Actor Role
Timothy Busfield Sam Byrd
Seth Green Harry Byrd
Jennifer Love Hewitt Franny Byrd
Ryan O'Donohue Zeke Byrd
Arlo Guthrie Alan Moon
Elizabeth Lindsey Healani Douglas
Bruce Weitz Dr. Murray Rubinstein

External links

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