Welcome back to Family Affair Friday! In this week’s episode, Cissy tries to fix second-grader Buffy up with a boy in sixth grade, while Uncle Bill sexually harrasses a work associate.
Yeah, this is a pretty weird episode.
“First Love.” Aired: 9/18/1967. Written by: Austin and Irma Kalish. Directed by: Charles Barton.
Our episode opens in the park, where Jody is playing football with a group of boys.
The Barry Williamsish lad on the right is Andy, the charismatic leader of the football crowd. Andy makes a big impression on Jody–and on someone else.
While retrieving an errant football from Buffy, Andy remarks that she is “cute.” That’s a strange thing for a sixth-grade boy to say about a doll-clutching second-grade girl, so I’m going to assume he meant “cute” like a kitten or a puppy or a baby.
Buffy takes the remark differently, however. That evening, with Andy in mind, she indulges in a Cissy-style primping session.
Then things get weird: Despite knowing that her sister’s crush is in sixth grade, Cissy actively encourages Buffy to pursue this “romance.”
Meanwhile, Uncle Bill is wooing a geological consultant who just wants to discuss soil samples.
Back at home, Buffy and Cissy convince Jody to invite Andy over to the apartment. Cissy then helps Buffy get ready for the big meeting.
When Andy arrives, Buffy almost chickens out of trying to impress him–until Cissy chides her.
Luckily, Andy can tell the difference between a woman and a little girl, and he quickly takes an interest in the nearest thing to a woman in the Davis household–Cissy.
Buffy doesn’t take this well.
Uncle Bill soon has to deal with his own disappointment.
Chagrined, Bill realizes that he should have listened to her earlier protests that she wasn’t interested. Ya think?
(Now, personally, I wouldn’t fight too hard to discourage Uncle Bill’s advances. But, then again, I’m not Catwoman or Miss America 1955.)
After taking Miss Lowell home, Uncle Bill returns to the darkened apartment and finds a distressed Buffy on the couch. She fills him in on her crush, and they commiserate about heartache.
The dialogue in this episode is good. The Uncle Bill story is dated, but you have to expect such things in a show that’s almost 50 years old. The idea of Buffy having a crush is cute. The problem with this episode is the bizarre role Cissy plays. The writers could have avoided this problem so easily, too. If Cissy didn’t know Andy’s age until he showed up at the apartment, everything would make a lot more sense.
Anissa Jones gives a good performance here–being older than her character might have been an advantage to her, considering the subject matter. And I always love scenes where we get to see her hair down.
Lise Lowell: Lee Meriwether. Andy: Joel Davison. Nanny: Towyna Thomas.
Lee Meriwether, Miss America 1955, is well known for parts on TV series like Batman and Barnaby Jones. She played Catwoman in the 1966 Batman movie. More recently, she played Ruth Martin on All My Children. And, hey–she’s on Twitter! I’m totally following her now.