Family Affair Friday(ish): Season 2, Episode 11, “Freddie,” 11/27/1967

Attention Family Affair fans: Be sure you check out two great entries in the recent Me-TV Blogathon. Michael from Michael’s TV Tray wrote a hilarious take on our beloved show and even wrote some theme-song lyrics. And at Silver Scenes, you’ll find a lovely overview of the series, complete with some well-chosen favorite episodes.

“Freddie,” 11/27/1967

Written by: John McGreevey. Directed by: William D. Russell.

Note that first-season director William D. Russell gets credit for this episode. That’s our first clue that we’ve entered a weird Davis family time warp. And since this is a rather low-key–one might even say boring–episode, looking for time warp clues will constitute much of our fun this week.

When we first look in on the Davis family, Buffy and Jody are attempting to make themselves look scary and revolting. (I know some Buffy and Jody haters who would say they do a great job at this, week in and week out.)

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Time warp clue number two: Jody’s hair is closely cropped here. In most season two episodes, it’s a bit more grown out.

The twins explain to Uncle Bill that they are trying to scare off a classmate, Sue Jeannette, who is stalking Jody. (When we last saw Sue Jeannette, eight episodes ago, she was called Sue Evelyn.)

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Good-looking guys just have to put up with that kind of attention, Bill jokes. And Bill is looking good in red, isn’t he?

Soon, there’s knock at the door, and the family is welcoming an old friend of Uncle Bill’s.

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Frederica–Freddie to Uncle Bill–has accompanied her husband on his business trip to the Big Apple.

The kids take an instant liking to Freddie.

Time warp hint number three: Cissy looks younger here than she has in recent episodes.

Time warp hint number three: Cissy looks younger here than she has in recent episodes.

When they learn that Freddie knew Uncle Bill in Terre Haute, the kids pump her for stories from “the olden days.”

From her, we learn that Bill was popular without working at it, that he always took time to talk to people and how an interest in their lives, and that he was always happy to let people and animals have a ride in his broken down car.

From her, we learn that Bill was popular without working at it, that he always took time to talk to people and show an interest in their lives, and that he was always happy to let people and animals have a ride in his broken down car.

Yeah, that sounds about right.

The kids enjoy Freddie’s company so much at dinner that they ask her to tuck them in.

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This is a cute scene–Freddie applies perfume on Buffy and then on Mrs. Beasley.

This episode’s sub-plot involves Cissy accepting a baby-sitting job from some neighbors. (She’s earning 75 cents an hour, increased to one dollar an hour after midnight.) Uncle Bill doesn’t like the idea of her taking on her first job, but she wants to increase her self-sufficiency.

Time warp clue number four: Um, remember that whole dramatic candy striper thing?

Time warp clue number four: Um, remember that whole dramatic candy striper thing?

Meanwhile, Bill has plans to take Freddie to dinner when he realizes that he must attend the twins’ first grade open house. Okay, this is more than a time-warp clue–it’s a big, fat continuity glitch. It’s been established that the twins are in second grade this year.

Freddie ends up accompanying the family to school. While she may seem overdressed in her dead-animal regalia, the kids and most of their classmates are pretty decked out, too. Who knew that NYC public schools were so formal in the 1960s?

Freddie ends up accompanying the family to school. While she may seem overdressed in her dead-animal regalia, the kids and most of their classmates are pretty decked out, too. Who knew that NYC public schools were so formal in the 1960s?

(Speaking of fashion, Buffy’s familiar first-season green suit is another time warp clue.)

Bill gets a chance to see Jody’s nemesis, Sue Jeannette.

She is rather creepy, at that.

She is rather creepy, at that.

He also endures an awkward moment when Sue Jeannette’s mother assumes Freddie is his wife. Actually, if Freddie wasn’t married, she’d make good wife material for Bill–better than those kid-hating bimbos he sometimes brings home.

After the open house, Bill takes Freddie to New York's famed "Restaurant" restaurant.

After the open house, Bill takes Freddie to New York’s famed “Restaurant” restaurant.

Amid the ugliest decor imaginable, Freddie opens up about her mid-life crisis and her loneliness in her marriage to her busy, go-getter husband. She asks Bill if he has ever had to cope with regrets.

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Nope, Bill replies helpfully.

When he returns to his apartment, Bill finds an alarmed French. It’s after 2 a.m., and Cissy hasn’t returned from babysitting.

As a worried Bill prepares to track her down, a police officer escorts her into the apartment.

As a worried Bill prepares to track her down, a police officer escorts Cissy into the apartment.

The officer picked Cissy up for violating curfew. (Does anyone know if New York City really had a curfew for teens in the 1960s? I tried to research it but couldn’t find any answers.)

Cissy explains that the couple she was sitting for arrived home late and made no effort to help her get home. What jerks!

Bill brings a swift end to Cissy's babysitting career and vows to trust his parenting instincts from now on.

Bill brings a swift end to Cissy’s babysitting career and vows to trust his parenting instincts from now on.

The next night he does let her do some babysitting, though–he hires her to entertain Buffy and Jody while he has dinner with Freddie and her husband.

Freddie arrives with gifts for the kids. Buffy and Jody get bubbles. Freddie's not a big spender, apparently.

Freddie arrives with gifts for the kids. Buffy and Jody get bubbles. Freddie’s not a big spender, apparently.

Freddie’s husband, Boring McStuffypants, arrives in time to see his wife playing happily with the kids.

When they have a quiet moment alone, he suggests to a delighted Freddie that they look into adoption when they return home.

When they have a quiet moment alone, he suggests to a delighted Freddie that they look into adoption when they return home.

Well, Freddie’s problem is solved, which is nice I guess, considering that we hardly know her and don’t have any real reason to care about her.

Meanwhile, Cissy learns that the twins are harder on sitters than they are on sisters.

Meanwhile, Cissy learns that the twins are harder on sitters than they are on sisters.

(It looks like she’s reading them Whitman Tell-a-Tale books. That makes sense, since Whitman published Family Affair books, coloring books, paper dolls, and more.)

Our episode ends with Cissy frazzled, Uncle Bill bemused, and the laws of time and space righting themselves in preparation for next week's episode.

The episode ends with Cissy frazzled, Bill bemused, and the laws of time and space apparently righting themselves in preparation for next week’s episode.

Commentary

I’d love to know why this episode, which was obviously filmed earlier, didn’t air until the second season.

Guest Cast

Freddie: Diane Brewster. Greg: Willard Sage. Ruth: Barbara Collentine. Sue Jeannette: Susan Benjamin.

As I watched this episode, my daughter said, “That lady looks familiar–like she was Beaver’s teacher or something.” Kid’s got a good eye. Brewster was indeed Miss Canfield on Leave It to Beaver. She also appeared in the film The Young Philadelphians, in which Brian Keith (and John Williams) had roles. She was the murdered wife on The Fugitive and appeared in many TV westerns. This appearance on Family Affair was her last acting job. She died in 1991.

Sage had film roles in The Tender Trap and That Touch of Mink.

Susan Benjamin had a regular role on a short-lived Jerry Van Dyke comedy called Accidental Family. Like this episode, that show aired during the 1967-68 TV season.

Harris often appeared on The Big Valley as the sheriff.

Notable Quotes

“Guys got different ways of goin’ and gettin’.”–Bill, in reaction to Freddie’s surprise that such a laid-back guy had built a career as a go-getting engineer.

Continuity Notes

We get lots of Terre Haute references, including a reference to the kids’ parents. Jody’s turtle gets a shout-out.

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8 thoughts on “Family Affair Friday(ish): Season 2, Episode 11, “Freddie,” 11/27/1967

  1. Boring McStuffypants = great moniker. I hope you don’t mind if I steal it.

  2. Madison says:

    Hi! You have a really great site! I’m glad to have stumbled upon it! I’m trying to find an email address to contact you on to ask if you would please consider adding a link. Thanks and have a great day!

  3. […] Buffy and Jody, firing off a series of questions that embarrass French, learn that Stanley is new to the building and getting ready to attend his first day at their school. They are pleased to learn that Stanley, like them, is in second grade. (Whew! We’ve emerged safely from last week’s time warp.) […]

  4. Mary says:

    Hi, I have been enjoying your site and wanted to comment on the curfew issue. Here in Canada, in my city, there apparently WAS a curfew for teens ..in fact there was a horn which would sound at 9 pm, ( this was in the 60’s so the same time frame as family affair…)
    So it is very possible that there would have been a curfew in New York City too…

    • Amy says:

      Thanks for commenting! I’m always excited to hear from another Family Affair fan. It does make sense that New York City might have had a curfew.

  5. Mary says:

    Oh you are so welcome! I am such a fan, that I ended up buying the complete series because the station that had been airing it, cut back dramatically…so now I can watch any episode……:)
    Yes it does make sense. Ironically it was a local BREWERY that had the horn, so go figure;..lol

  6. myscoutster says:

    According Kathy Garver in her Family Affair cookbook, a few episodes in Season 1 were pre-empted due to special events. This episode was left out of Season 1 because they didn’t want to extend the season. So they just banked it for Season 2. I guess they didn’t think anyone would notice. They should have put it at the beginning of the season for continuity.

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