Family Affair Friday(ish): Season 1, Episode 10, Beware the Other Woman

I’m sorry that this week’s installment of my Family Affair series is late. Yesterday was my birthday, and I was caught up in a mad whirl of festivity. (Actually, I was so exhausted from my work week that I fell asleep at 9 p.m.)

Season 1, Episode 10, Beware the Other Woman, 11/21/1966
Written by: Elroy Schwartz. Directed by: William D. Russell.

Synopsis

An old friend–Louise Marshall–re-enters Uncle Bill’s life. Meanwhile, Cissy finds a new friend, Sharon.You can tell that Sharon is sophisticated because she describes herself as “between mothers,” with the third one having left recently. She’s also a total you-know-what stirrer, who convinces Cissy that Uncle Bill will marry Louise and ship the kids back to Terre Haute.

Sure, Sharon looks sweet here, but she sets a total Davis weep-fest in motion.

Cissy’s first impulse is to make sure that she and the twins are meeting Uncle Bill’s every need, so that he has no wish to marry. At her age, she should be able to see the fatal flaw in this plan.

The kids “help” Uncle Bill prepare for an evening out.

When that doesn’t work, she shares her fears with the twins–way to go, Cissy! Soon, everyone is bawling.

These tears aren’t terribly convincing.

Uncle Bill is able to set things right, of course. He says he has no immediate plans to marry, and marriage wouldn’t mean separation for their family anyway. He also reveals that Louise’s husband with killed in the Korean War, a few feet from where Bill was standing. (Then, he switched their dog tags and headed for Manhattan…Whoops. Right city and decade. Wrong show.)

Commentary

This episode gets way too maudlin, but it has a few nice moments.

Cute horseplay-with-Uncle-Bill scene.

Elroy Schwartz is the brother of Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island creator Sherwood Schwartz and a prolific TV writer in his own right. His Brady Bunch writing credits include the one where Marcia and Greg run against each other for student body president and the one where Tiger gets lost.

Guest Cast

Ted Gaynor: John Hubbard. Sharon James: Sherry Alberoni. Louise Marshall: Rita Gam.
Sherry Alberoni was a Mousketeer in 1956-57.

Source: Wikipedia

She worked frequently in TV in the 1960s and would appear in several more Family Affair episodes. In the 1970s and 1980s, she provided many cartoon voices, such as Wendy in Superfriends.

Rita Gam won a Golden Globe as Most Promising Female Newcomer in 1952. She’s best known for serving as a bridesmaid for Grace Kelly, a subject on which she’s given many interviews.

Rita Gam must have been very tall or worn mega heels to achieve a height so close to Brian Keith’s.

Fun Facts

Cissy is good at chemistry. Sharon lives in apartment 12B. Uncle Bill is a Korean War veteran.

Continuity Notes

This episode is filled with poignant references to abandonment and separation in Terre Haute.

Notable Quote

“It just happens that I love you so much I’m not ever gonna let you down, you got that through your head?”–Uncle Bill

Read my whole Family Affair series!

Family Affair Friday: Season 1, Episode 9, “A Matter for Experts,” 11/14/1966

I’m back this week with a full installment of my Family Affair Friday series.

Season 1, Episode 9, “A Matter for Experts,” 11/14/1966

Aired: 11/14/66. Teleplay by: Joseph Hoffman and John McGreevey. Story by: Joseph Hoffman. Directed by: William D. Russell.

Synopsis

The school vice principal, Miss Bryant, tells Uncle Bill that Buffy and Jody are completely dependent on each other and should be placed in separate classrooms. Uncle Bill resists at first, saying that being orphaned, separated for a year, and then shipped to a new home in strange city might be enough adjustment for the time being. Ya think?

All the stress drives Uncle Bill to his cigarettes, and sets him to whining about the challenges of sudden parenthood.

He takes the twins to child psychologist Edith Morse, who agrees that the twins need to develop individual interests.

If Dr. Morse was so smart, would she really choose the ugly Family Affair green for her office walls?

They are separated at school and shepherded into separate past-times, but they remain united in their imaginative play.

At recess, Jody pretends he’s traveling in a spaceship.

During her separate recess, Buffy pretends she’s part of ground control. Gender difference?

Jody does find a friend, Peter.

It’s surprising that Jody found a friend first. He’s usually portrayed as the less competent twin, in every way.

Buffy’s attempts at friendship fail, however, and she’s morose.

Buffy haz a sad.

Finally, the kids concoct a case of the measles to avoid school altogether.

Busted!

Uncle Bill decides to trust his instincts and reunite them.

Random Thoughts

At the beginning of this episode, I was indignant at the experts who wanted to split up twins. By the end, Buffy’s complete inability to function without Jody did seem worrisome.

Guest Cast

Miss Bryant: Sarah Selby. Dr. Edith Morse: Jean Engstrom. Barbara: Kym Karath. Peter: Randy Whipple. Mrs. Hughes: Susan Davis. Kym Karath was Gretl in The Sound of Music and Pattie-Cake in Spencer’s Mountain. On The Brady Bunch, she appeared as Kerry in “Cyrano de Brady.”

Kym Karath

She would appear on one more episode of Family Affair. Randy Whipple appeared in no less than 11 episodes. He also played one of Jerry Van Dyke’s kids in My Mother the Car.

Fun Facts

The twins attend PS 724. Cissy frequents The Gourmet Hamburger and doesn’t “dig” geometry. Buffy begins ballet lessons.

PS 724 has a really crappy playground.

Continuity Notes

Jody’s turtle gets another mention.

Extraordinary Event

Uncle Bill actually takes the kids to the park himself–twice!

Today’s Bonus Feature

In honor of the U.S. presidential election this week, I present a photo that unites Family Affair and the American presidency. This Associated Press photo shows Anissa Jones getting up close and personal with President Lyndon B. Johnson during a Christmas Seals event on November 12, 1968. I can’t decide if this photo is sweet or creepy.

The caption reads: KISS FOR TV STAR–President Johnson kisses Anissa (Buffy) Jones, 10-year-old television star, after receiving the first sheet of Christmas Seals today at the White House. The President who is holding the Seals in his hand, also received from Buffy a rag doll which the junior actress named “Mrs. Beasley.”

Read the whole Family Affair Friday series.

Family Affair Friday: TV Radio Show, November 1967

I’m on vacation this weekend, so I can’t bring you a complete installment of Family Affair Friday. Instead, I’m offering this cute photo feature on Anissa Jones and Johnny Whitaker from the November 1967 issue of TV Radio Show. (Does anyone recognize this amusement park? The signage looks pretty rinky-dink, even by 1967 standards.)

Family Affair Friday(ish): Season 1, Episode 8, Who’s Afraid of Nural Shpeni?, 11/7/1966

I apologize for my lateness in bringing you this installment of my weekly Family Affair series.

Season 1, Episode 8, “Who’s Afraid of Nural Shpeni?”

Written by: Cynthia Lindsay. Directed by: William D. Russell.

Synopsis

A Middle Eastern theme pervades this episode, which begins with French reading to the twins about Sinbad the Sailor.

Jody seems pretty excited about this story.

With Uncle Bill soon to return from a project in Beirut, French decides to brush up on his Lebanese culinary skills. But a trip to Fuad’s Middle Eastern Delicacies leads to cooking lessons from Nural Shpeni and then to her family’s demands that French marry her.

The prospective bride. French could do a lot worse.

Dr. Sarkis, an associate of Uncle Bill, reminds Nural’s brothers that the traditions they are relying upon to force French into marriage also demand a large dowry from them.

When Buffy and Jody open the door and see this group, they scream and run. It’s kind of funny, if politically incorrect.

French is thrilled when Nural finally announces she’d rather marry Officer Chamas, the local cop on the beat.

Vic Tayback as the cop. Hmm, Mr. French or Mel Sharples? Tough call.

Random Thoughts

This is the episode the Cleveland Amory mocked in his TV Guide review of Family Affair. It is pretty bad, actually. It’s always fun to see Mr. French in a state of extreme discomfort, however. And it has some other compensations.

Compensation 1: French using a hookah!

Compensation 2: Uncle Bill buys Mrs. Beasley this cute outfit in Lebanon.

Here she is later wearing the outfit.

Guest Cast

Fuad: Nestor Paiva. Nural: Magda Harout. Alam: Henry Corden. Mohad: Peter Manahos. Policeman Chamas: Vic Tayback. Old woman: Kay Koury. Dr. Sarkis: Abraham Sofaer. Most familiar is Vic Tayback, who played Mel in the 1974 movie Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, as well as the subsequent TV series Alice. Nestor Paiva, who had a long career in movies, died before this episode aired. Magda Harout, on the other hand, is still alive and continued to act as recently as 2010, with an appearance on Fringe. Attention Seinfeld fans: she appeared as Stella in the 1991 episode “The Pen.” Henry Corden voiced many cartoon characters, including Fred Flintstone. He was Marcia’s boss, Mr. Haskell, in the ice cream parlor episode of The Brady Bunch.

Fun Facts

Mr. French speaks Arabic and once worked for the Shah of Morocco. Jody is five minutes older than Buffy.

Read my whole Family Affair series!

Today’s Bonus Feature

An article from TV Radio Mirror, July 1967. These fan magazine articles are not to be trusted completely, but the photos are nice. Here, you can see Johnny Whitaker’s real family.

Family Affair Friday: Season 1, Episode 7, Mrs. Beasley, Where Are You?, 10/24/1966

My 10-inch Buffy doll with her Mrs. Beasley. They’ve never been removed from the box, but Mrs. Beasley has plummeted to the ground–hey, just like in this episode.

This week, the latest installment of my Family Affair series features a classic Mrs. Beasley episode–and some dolly digressions.

Season 1, Episode 7, Mrs. Beasley, Where Are You?, 10/24/1966

Teleplay by: Phil Davis and John McGreevey. Story by: Phil Davis. Directed by: William D. Russell.

Synopsis

A seeming tragedy occurs when Mr. French accidently knocks Mrs. Beasley off the terrace, and the doll is nowhere to be found below.

What could go wrong here?

Yeah. That.

Meanwhile, a related subplot finds Uncle Bill’s weekend plans to “sleep, play golf and do a little mild socializing” thwarted by conflict with a neighbor–a neighbor whose little girl suddenly owns a doll (Effie Boots) the spitting image of Mrs. Beasley.

Effie Boots’ owner is the spitting image of Pamelyn Ferdin.

A despondent Buffy, however, testifies that the doll isn’t hers.  The whole Davis family suffers along with Buffy.

See the clothes these two are wearing while Cissy makes the scrunched-face-of-concern at Uncle BIll? Well, keep them in mind. We’ll get back to them later.

Jody offers to let Buffy sleep with his turtle. Awww.

A sweet sisterly moment. Double Awww.

When all seems lost, Uncle Bill and his girlfriend du jour find Buffy’s doll in the apartment building’s garbage cans.

“Competition is the lifeblood of free enterprise,” the ragpicker notes approvingly when he sees Bill and his date rifling through the trash. Aren’t ragpickers amusing?

The happy reunion.

Random Thoughts

It would take a cold heart to remain unmoved by Buffy’s suffering. As a Barbie collector, though, I enjoy the toy store scene the most: drool-worthy Mattel dolls as far as the eye can see. I don’t know if Mattel had released the Mrs. Beasley doll yet, but obviously the show had forged its relationship with the toy company.

The mid-1960s was a golden era in Barbie history. In this scene, you can see several “American Girl” Barbie dolls. These were only made for two years and are highly sought after today. The long-haired doll in the background is Barbie’s cousin Francie. The Barbie clothes of that era were especially glamorous. The doll in the foreground is wearing Fabulous Fashion. You can spot other dolls wearing Fashion Luncheon and Pan American Airways Stewardess. One price guide I own values the latter at $900 if it’s still in the box! The little dolls on the shelf above the saleslady are Barbie’s brother and sister, Tutti and Todd, along with their friend Chris. Mattel made a Buffy and Mrs. Beasley doll in that same size.

Guest Cast: George Nelson: Frank Maxwell. Diane: Joan Vohs. Clara: Ann McCrea. Saleslady: Cathleen Cordell. Melissa: Pamelyn Ferdin. Scotty: Karl Lukas. Ragpicker: Andy Albin. Maid: Pauline Drake. Pamelyn Ferdin is a familiar face, and voice, from the 1960s and ’70s. Among other roles, she played Edna on The Odd Couple and voiced Lucy in A Boy Named Charlie Brown and Fern in Charlotte’s Web. She also appeared (with Johnnie Whitaker) on Sigmund and the Seamonsters and was in the ’70s version of Lassie. On The Brady Bunch, she appeared in the episode where Jan sports a wig. She also played Francie in a 1972 made-for-TV version of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. She would appear in three more episodes of Family Affair. Joan Vohs appeared in a second-season epidsode as Mrs. Scofield, then appeared in six third-season episodes as Miss Cummings. Andy Albin was a regular performer on Bob Newhart’s short-lived first series in 1961.

Continuity Notes: Cissy explains that after the death of her mother and father and separation from her siblings, Buffy had only Mrs. Beasley left as a friend.

Continuity error–Cissy and Uncle Bill are wearing the same clothes in this scene as they did in the “concerned conversation” scene above, but this scene takes place the next day.

Notable Quotes: “People you love always go away–I know.” Buffy

Well, that quote’s a bummer. So I will close instead with two random Buffy pictures. In Buffy’s happy scenes in this episode, Anissa Jones seems more animated than usual.

Anissa Jones cuteness.

I love that outfit, too. It reminds me of the Gymboree outfits I tried to get my daughter to wear when she was 4 and 5. (No dice.)

Today’s Bonus Feature

An article from Doll World, December 1996, about the small Buffy and Mrs. Beasley doll.

Read my whole Family Affair series!

Family Affair Friday(ish): Season 1, Episode 6, “Room with a Viewpoint,” 10/17/1966

This is the latest installment (and, this week, the late installment) of my weekly series on the TV show Family Affair.

Season 1, Episode 6, “Room With A Viewpoint,” 10/17/1966

Written by: Austin and Irma Kalish. Directed by: William D. Russell.

Synopsis

The arrival of Cissy’s pink princess phone provokes a surly reaction from Buffy.

Every 1960s girl’s dream phone.

Her mood worsens when Uncle Bill’s current girlfriend, Nedra Walcott, redecorates the girls’ room.

This is the woman who designed this living room.

Refusing to do homework or sleep in her own room, Buffy won’t tell anyone what’s bothering her. Things come to a head when a workman arrives with a room divider, and Buffy locks herself in. Finally, she confesses that the changing room is not the problem; it’s the way “the room made Cissy change.” The episode ends with some sisterly bonding.

Random Thoughts

A-ha! Uncle Bill has used Miss Walcott’s decorating services before–so now we know who is responsible for the Festival of Fug that is the Davis apartment. (Seriously, there is so much to admire in mid-century décor—and so little of that made its way onto the Family Affair set.)

Nedra Walcott decorating tip: A bunch of old Funk and Wagnalls encyclopedia sets can make any homeowner seem erudite.

Buffy’s return to deadpan “Yes, sir” and “No, sir” replies keeps the viewer guessing along with everyone else about what the problem is. Personally, I think she just had better taste than the other Davises.

This is the bedroom as Nedra designed it originally. And you’re giving her another chance?!

Nedra Walcott decorating thought process: Let’s keep the green walls and bring out their vomity properties with a gay print.

See the artwork Nedra adds to Buffy’s wall? The poor child is an orphan–hasn’t she suffered enough?!

Guest Cast

Miss Walcott: Kathleen Crowley. Ted Gaynor: John Hubbard. Telephone Man: Wayne Collier. Kathleen Crowley was Miss New Jersey 1949. She made a slew of TV appearances in the ’50s and ’60s on such shows as My Three Sons, Perry Mason, Bonanza , Batman and  Maverick. She would appear in Family Affair again in “A Family Group.” I’m happy to report that she’s still alive.

Remember ladies: Remove one white glove to hold your cigarette. It’s okay to leave your cape on.

Fun Facts

The Davises live on the 27th floor, in apartment 27A. Buffy’s favorite colors are pink and green.

The Davises share a happy moment, despite their hideous surroundings.

Continuity Notes

Another Velvet Vultures reference. Dinky, Jody’s turtle, is mentioned.

Random oddity: Buffy is learning multiplication in first grade. (And she only attends half-day sessions.) Also, she does her homework on a slate.

Notable Quotes

“All this kids’ stuff is new to me, Ted. I don’t know the difference between stomachache and heartache.”—Uncle Bill (He’s also mystified by teenage slang, including “outasight.”)

Today’s Bonus Feature

An article from TV Picture Life, May 1967. It’s best to take these fan magazine articles with a grain of salt. The photos are great, though.

Family Affair Friday: Episode 5, Season 1, “Marmalade”

This is part of my weekly series about the classic CBS sitcom Family Affair.

Season 1, Episode 5, “Marmalade,” 10/10/66

Written by: Henry Garson and Edmund Beloin. Directed by: William D. Russell.

Synopsis

Uncle Bill’s latest love interest, Ellen Latimer, is an advertising firm employee who thinks French would be perfect in a “small” ad for Dunholt Marmalade.

The lovely Miss Latimer

French reluctantly agrees and endures the photo shoot.

“Must I go through with this pitty-patting on my brow?”

When the resulting full-page ad attracts contempt from fellow gentleman’s gentleman Withers but adulation from the ladies, French begins to like and even court the attention.

French and his fan club

He readily agrees to a five-week national promotional tour–until he actually tastes the marmalade.

The taste

Random Thoughts

Sebastian Cabot is very funny as he runs the gamut from disdainful to enthusiastic and back in the world of advertising.

This script seems to have more funny lines than most.

The kids react to the ad:
Buffy: “He’s pretty.”
Jody: “Maybe he’s smiling ‘cause we weren’t there.”

Notable Quotes

“We are not a male model, sir.”—French

“Never let it be said that Bill Davis didn’t do his best to promote a pretty girl.”—Uncle Bill

“It might have been easier with Laurence Olivier”—Uncle Bill

Guest Cast

Ellen Latimer: Mary Murphy. Mr. Hayden: Woodrow Parfrey. Withers: Richard Peel. Miss Reynolds: Nora Marlowe. Miss Peters: Peggy Rea. Miss Howard: Pauline Drake. Woman: Kathryn Minner. Photographer: Lou Krugman. Mary Murphy’s other TV credits from the ’60s include Perry Mason, Outer Limits, Honey West and The Fugitive. She had a memorable movie appearance with Marlon Brando in The Wild One.

Random fashion note–I like hats.

Woodrow Parfrey appeared in many TV shows and movies. Of note are roles in Planet of the Apes and Back to the Planet of the Apes. He also played Ike Godsey in The Homecoming, the original Waltons special that preceded the series.

Woodrow Parfrey plays Miss Latimer’s boss. Hmm, his office sports the same green paint that pervades the Davis apartment and Bill’s office.

Nora Marlowe also had a Waltons connection—she played the recurring role of Mrs. Flossie Brimmer. And Peggy Rea played Rose on The Waltons. Her other TV credits included the role of Lulu Hogg on The Dukes of Hazzard and regular roles in Step by Step and Grace Under Fire. Both Murphy and Rea died last year.

Fun Facts

WXOY is having a Velvet Vultures festival. Mr. French reads Punch.

Continuity Notes

This is the first appearance of the snooty Withers.

A Withers-ing glance

Bonus Feature

Coloring book, Whitman, 1968