This is part of my weekly series about the classic CBS sitcom Family Affair
Episode 2, Jody and Cissy, 9/19/66.
Written by: Edmund Hartmann and Henry Garson. Directed by: William D. Russell.
When Uncle Bill calls home from Peru, he is surprised to learn that Cissy has joined the household. Upon his return, he make plans to send her back to Indiana. Overhearing him, Cissy pretends she wants to go. When she says she thinks it’s foolish, at her age, to “believe in the magic of people loving and caring,” Uncle Bill feels guilty and decides she should stay.
Real subtle, Cissy.
This almost leads to another departure–that of French, who believes the three children require a housekeeper/nanny (“a middle-aged, well upholstered, kindly and experience” housekeeper/nanny). When Buffy slips her beloved Mrs. Beasley in French’s suitcase to keep him company, French is touched and returns to the Davis household.
Real subtle, Buffy.
Seriously, these girls have man-management skills that would make Enid Haupt proud. Well, I guess an orphan’s gotta do what an orphan’s gotta do.
Buffy and Jody are adorable again–I especially like Buffy’s description of slippers as “hairy shoes.”
I also like that the kids’ emotional troubles haven’t instantly disappeared. Jody has a nightmare and cries out for his mother, while Buffy mentions crying at night while Uncle Bill was gone. I’m glad that Uncle Bill relents and lets Jody sleep with him after the nightmare.
Continuity Nod: Buffy mentions that Mrs. Beasley now has glasses. Actually, the doll’s whole face has changed since the pilot–thank goodness.
Real-Life Shout Out: Mr. French reads Winnie the Pooh to Buffy and Jody. Sebastian Cabot narrated several animated Winnie the Pooh stories, starting the same year this episode was made, 1966.
Hardcastle: Noel Drayton.
Miss Lee: Betty Lynn. She played Thelma Lou on The Andy Griffith Show. She would return three times as Uncle Bill’s secretary.
Radio Operator: James Victor.
Fun Facts: Uncle Bill has done some big game hunting. Jody doesn’t care for baths, at least those given by women. Uncle Bill smokes. Jody has a turtle. Cissy is 15. Uncle Bill’s secretary, Miss Lee, makes her first appearance.
Vintage Sitcom Cliche: The bouncy instrumental “teenage music” Cissy plays.
This Week’s Bonus Feature: A photo story about Johnny Whitaker and Anissa Jones on the Family Affair set, from TV Guide, June 24, 1967.
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