Welcome to this delayed edition of Family Affair Friday! I’ve emerged from my camping adventure unscathed, if unrested, and ready for another installment of Davis family fun.
Season 1, Episode 24, “Everybody Needs Somebody,” 3/13/1967
Written by: Ed James and Seaman Jacobs. Directed by: William D. Russell.
As the show opens, the twins are getting on everyone’s nerves.
Jody leaves the girls’ room, but not before swiping Mrs. Beasley. Much running and screaming ensues.
The caper comes to a halt when the kids reach Uncle Bill’s desk, where they knock down his plans for “the longest bridge in Venezuela.”
Mr. French has had it, so he lowers the boom: No TV for two nights.
Almost immediately he begins to doubt his disciplinary actions–was he being too harsh? Nigel is definitely the sensitive French brother. Punishing Buffy and Jody was a favorite activity for Giles French.
The next day, French takes the twins with him as he purchases a wedding present for fellow butler Withers. In response to the kids’ questions, French explains why marriage is such a happy occasion. (French’s real feelings on the subject seem to be less positive, however–he fears Withers is giving up his career for “what may be a matrimonial disaster.”)
The marriage conversation gives the twins a brainstorm–never a good thing. They are determined to find a Mrs. French!
The twins try to play matchmaker between French and Miss Faversham. French, however, jumps to the conclusion that the twins want to replace him with Miss Faversham because he’s been too tough on them.
Suddenly, it’s liberty hall at the Davis apartment.
Uncle Bill steps in and asks the kids why they don’t like French. Shocked, they reply that that they love him and that he’s their best friend besides Uncle Bill himself and Cissy. (Guess they’ve forgotten the other Mr. French–or the Frenches have merged in their childish brains.)
Luckily, Cissy gets wind of their ideas and fills in Uncle Bill, who gets the whole scheme out of them. French is touched to hear how concerned the kids were about his happiness.
Interestingly, Uncle Bill also expresses his own determination to marry one day. Jody, on the other hand, is a budding confirmed bachelor.
The concluding talk is definitely the highlight of this episode. Structurally, the plot is unsatisfying, with an abrupt resolution.
Withers: Richard Peel. Peter: Kevin Cooper. Clerk: Pitt Herbert. Miss Faversham: Heather Angel. Herbert was a frequent TV guest star who played a toy store owner in two Brady Bunch episodes. He also had small parts in such films as Hud, Dear Brigitte (John Williams also appeared) and The North Avenue Irregulars. He had a recurring role on Perry Mason as an autopsy surgeon.
What would Giles French think of the kids’ attempt to fix Miss Faversham up with his brother?
This French has the same day off as his brother–Thursday. Nigel French mentions his brother in this episode. At least he remembers him.
Buffy, who could perform multiplication in the past, cannot subtract 6 from 15.
Jody: “How are we gonna get them married, Buffy? We can’t even get them to play checkers.”
This Week’s Bonus Feature
Another silly Kathy Garver cover–TV Picture Life, September 1967
In addition to the beloved green shade, the store also features the same wall clock bill has in his office.
French just turned up a couple of weeks ago and is already invited to Whithers’ wedding as a long-standing friend? Seems the roles of Nigel and Giles French have been entirely fused together, not only in the kids’ minds.
Good catch on the clock! The French confusion is strange. I suppose the producers were hedging their bets because they weren’t sure if Sebastian Cabot would be able to return.
Each time I read on of your posts, I have an incredible desire to see this show! Thanks for giving us readers such a fun blog.
I appreciate your kind words. It is a fun show to watch–it gives me a cozy feeling.