Welcome to another installment in my weekly Family Affair series. I’m sorry that it’s late. My husband had to use our laptop last night for actual work–the nerve!
Episode 16, “That Was the Dinner That Wasn’t,” 1/9/1967
Written by: Dorothy Cooper Foote. Directed by: William D. Russell.
Something’s bothering Cissy. What could it be?
If being an orphan isn’t bad enough, she has the least tactful group of friends ever. This is only a slight paraphrase:
Friend 1: Is your mother coming to the dinner, Cissy? Oh…right, sorry.”
Friend 2: Don’t worry, we have a father-daughter dance in the spring! Oh…yeah, sorry.”
And, to make matters worse, some of her sketches will be on display at this dinner she can’t attend. Did you know Cissy is an artist? Well, she is, as we’ll see shortly.
She hides the reason for her sadness from Uncle Bill, but he knows something is bothering her and wants to help. He spends a lot of time worrying and lamenting his lack of parenting skills. How concerned is he? On his one evening home between two business trips, he actually cancels a date to spend time with Cissy.
As it turns out, Cissy has a date of her own, so Bill tries to mend fences with an unforgiving Miss Cantelli. God forbid he should spend his evening with Buffy and Jody. Hey, they’re not having a major emotional crisis this week.
The next day, as Bill prepares to head for the airport, he’s still clueless about what’s bothering Cissy. Even his suggestion of retail therapy doesn’t help. Cissy’s response is one that few teenage girls have ever uttered: “I have more clothes than I need.”
At the airport, he meets Miss Cantelli, who’s willing to make nice with him if he apologizes and joins her for dinner.
Just then, however, he runs into Cissy’s friend Gail, who fills him in about the dinner.
Bill quickly enlists French’s help to maneuver Cissy to the airport, where he spends some quality time with her without letting her know that he knows about the banquet.
They have a warm conversation, and at one point Uncle Bill offhandedly refers to her has his daughter, rather than his niece.
This is another nice Cissy-Uncle Bill episode; the part where he calls her his daughter is especially touching. Occasionally, though, Kathy Garver’s admiring-niece portrayal strays uncomfortably close to girl-with-a-crush territory.
Patty: Elizabeth Bader. Maria Cantelli: Jacqueline Bertrand. Miss Lee: Betty Lynn. Gail: Diane Mountford. This is Mountford’s second of five appearances and Lynn’s second of four as Uncle Bill’s secretary.
When Cissy was 12, she wanted to be a nurse.
This episode makes specific reference to the death of the kids’ parents.
Ted Gaynor gets a mention.
“If Cissy marries Freddy, will he be our brother or our uncle?” Buffy
Today’s Bonus Feature
TV Guide, November 16, 1968