Family Affair Friday(ish): Season 2, Episode 4, “Arthur the Invisible Bear,” 10/2/1967

Written by: John McGreevey. Directed by: Charles Barton.

Synopsis

Uh-oh! Jody’s delusional again!

Uncle Bill returns from a one-night trip out of town to learn that Jody has acquired an invisible companion–Arthur the bear. Bill figures Jody will forget about the bear by breakfast time the next morning.

Not exactly.

Not exactly. Arthur is a guest at the Davis table.

French is annoyed with this new addition to the family, but he hasn’t seen anything yet. Arthur is a rather disruptive bear.

Jody uses a whole bottle of Cissy's hair spray on Arthur's fur. She's rightfully annoyed--she probably goes through a bottle a day herself shellacking that flip into position.

Jody uses a whole bottle of Cissy’s hair spray on Arthur’s fur. She’s rightfully annoyed–she probably goes through a bottle a day herself shellacking that flip into position.

Buffy suffers, too. She feels left out when Jody is playing with Arthur.

Arthur even violates the sanctity of French’s bedroom.

I'm feeling his pain, here.

I’m feeling his pain here.

Most alarmingly, Arthur invades the twins’ classroom and causes a major disruption.

The teacher ends up sending the twins home early. (I understand her frustration, but that seems like a drastic solution.)

The teacher ends up sending the twins home early.

I understand her frustration, but that seems like a drastic solution.

Imagine how that would go over today–sending kids home early for misbehaving.

Bill, who initially saw Arthur as Jody’s equivalent to Mrs. Beasley, grows concerned. Jody ends up in a place where I suspect he’ll be spending a lot of time later in life–a psychologist’s office.

She says the well-behaved Jody is using Arthur to act out his hatreds and hostilities. She encourages the rest of the family to accept Arthur.

She says the well-behaved Jody is using Arthur to act out his hatreds and hostilities. She encourages the rest of the family to accept Arthur. (Her office is Family Affair green! Everyone take a drink!)

The family tries to follow her advice, but everyone finds it taxing. Eventually, Bill has a heart-to-heart talk with Jody and comes to the conclusion that the boy is well-adjusted.

Our first "awww..." moment of the Season 2.

Our first “‘Awww…” moment of the Season 2.

Bill drives the whole family out to a barren hellscape, where Arthur is released.

Arthur, we hardly knew ye.

Arthur, we hardly knew ye.

We end with one of those sitcom “Could it be?” moments, as French believes he sees a bear running away.

Commentary

On old radio and TV shows, child psychologists are buffoons who fail to realize that parenting just requires good old-fashioned common sense. I think I’m with the psychologist here, though. An imaginary friend carried to the point of disrupting the classroom would worry me.

Guest Cast

Dr. Dorothy Cramer: Adrienne Marden. Miss Ainsley: Mitzi Hoag. Sue Evelyn: Susan Marie Benjamin. Howard: Kevin Cooper. Hoag had regular roles on the series Hawaii Five-O and Here Come the Brides.

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5 thoughts on “Family Affair Friday(ish): Season 2, Episode 4, “Arthur the Invisible Bear,” 10/2/1967

  1. I am fascinated with that blue lamp in the psychiatrist’s office. I think I really want it.

  2. Orschel52 says:

    I’m not really worried about Jody. He just uses his vivid imagination to invent a game which – admittedly – he carries to extremes. But, after all, this is TV.

    Uncle Bill can’t possibly be serious: a hamburger and a milk shake??? What a combination!!! Yuck!

    • Amy says:

      Lol, that’s a pretty typical American fast food choice. That’s why we’re so fit and healthy. : )

      • Orschel52 says:

        Guess that would turn my stomach. I have the occasional hamburger (though made of FRESH meat) myself, but a milk shake to go with it ….

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