Welcome to Family Affair Friday! You know, one of these days I might just change the title of this series to Family Affair Saturday. Hate to lose the alliteration, though.
Today’s episode gives us lots of Buffy cuteness and a look at a very lucky lady–Brian Keith’s real-life wife.
Written by: Edmund Beloin & Henry Garson. Directed by: William D. Russell.
Our opening teaser finds Uncle Bill working high above a completely realistic Manhattan skyline.
Now we know we’re in for a ballet-themed episode, so it’s no surprise that our next scene opens in typical ballet studio, complete with Russianish instructor.
After class, the instructor talks about an upcoming Little Red Riding Hood recital.
(Melissa’s family lives in the Davis building–we’ve seen them before in Episode 7.)
The ballet teacher introduces a famous ballerina, Margo Dunbar, who will direct the recital and who has cast the roles.
She cast Buffy as Little Red Riding Hood and Melissa as the wolf.
French talks to Miss Dunbar after class, and she discovers that Buffy’s Uncle Bill is the same Bill Davis she once dated in Venice (he tipped over the gondola they were riding in, which somehow kept her from performing Swan Lake that night).
They are quickly on “honey” and “dear” terms, a situation not lost on Melissa’s mother.
Margo visits the Davis home and tells Buffy how much potential she has as a dancer.
Buffy assumes they mean that she’ll have to start touring right away, which triggers her well-founded separation anxiety. Commiserating with Jody, she suddenly realizes the answer to her dilemma.
And she does.
And after many other mishaps…
Here are the Davis family reactions:
At home, the family commiserates, while an exultant Buffy confides in Mrs. Beasley.
It’s time for a sweet one-on-one talk with Uncle Bill, who assures her that she is home to stay. (After last week, you can’t blame her for needing reassurance.)
This is a cute episode. Buffy’s separation anxiety makes sense, and her bad ballet performance is fun.
Margo: Judith Landon. Mr. Nelson: Frank Maxwell. Clara: Ann McCrea. Madam Leonton: Lili Valenty. Melissa Nelson: Cindy Eilbacher. Seegar: John Lawrence. Judith Landon appeared as a background dancer in several 1950s movies. She would play a ballet teacher in a 1973 Brady Bunch episode–the one where Jan tries desperately to find a talent. Okay, one of the ones where Jan tries desperately to find a talent.
Cindy Eilbacher was a fairly prolific child and young adult actress. She was the daughter in My Mother the Car (Randy Whipple, who played her brother in that series, is a Family Affair standby) and appeared in many TV movies. She played April, Paul Williams’ first wife, on The Young and the Restless in the early 1980s and again in the early 1990s. Her sister, Lisa Eilbacher, was also an actress.
French says he enrolled Buffy in ballet as part of an “anti-clomping about the house campaign.” But Buffy began ballet in Episode 9, before Nigel French’s arrival.
Uncle Bill: “Can you name me one other uncle who’s got a Little Red Riding Hood who always falls down?”
Today’s Bonus Feature
Movie Mirror, January 1968