So, I have been starting my mornings watching channel 196 instead, MeTV. Renee wakes up at 5am, and I wander in and out of consciousness, depending on when I have to be at work, starting with The Loves of Dobie Gillis at five (quite good, actually, especially the episodes with Tuesday Weld and/or Warren Beatty); Make Room for Daddy (also quite good, if a little too much like old showbiz ham); The Beverly Hillbillies (not the worst thing on earth); Petticoat Junction (maybe the worst thing on earth, though the three girls -- a redhead, a blonde, and a brunette, natch --are pretty to look at); My Three Sons (really awful, I will share the great old Spy Magazine article on that show w/ you someday); The Donna Reed Show (fantastic: shot well, written well, directed well, with great actors and performers); and That Girl (another terrible program.)
|Candy Moore was dating a member of the band when she posed for the cover.|
Anyroad, here is the plot line from today's Donna Reed episode, entitled New Girl in Town:
(Note: Back in the day, back in Austim, I used to watch Donna Reed on Nick at Nite, and I would do plot precis, or synopses, over the intercom at my place of work, Martin Bros, which was a deli restaurant inside the Food Hole Mother Store on Lamar Street. Those were the days.)
Donna Reed and her daughter, Mary (Shelley Fabares) have taken a particular shine to the new family in the neighborhood. Mary prefers the hunky older brother, natch, but Donna sees a diamond in the rough in the tom boy younger sister, Angie (played by Candy Moore, who was later in Raging Bull, and perhaps even more famous for being the model for the Vargas painting on the cover of The Cars' album, Candy-O. True story!) Angie's brother asks Mary to the pictures, Mary accepts, and then finagles Mary's younger brother Jeff to make a double date by asking Angie along, too. Jeff is reluctant. Everyone at school makes fun of Angie, cause she is always wearing sweatshirts and pants, and would rather hang out with the boys than the girls. Angie and her older brother show up at the Stone house, the older brother looking very fit in his letter jacket. Mary is suitably impressed. Jeff, less so, because Angie is still out on the patio, and she did not dress up, at all. Jeff goes out on to the patio as Donna and Dad listen in on Jeff and Angie's conversation. The next scene is a fantastically blocked sequence where Angie and Jeff trade places along the patio railing, away from the front door, as Jeff gives Angie an out forget the date, and back towards the door the same way, as Angie and Jeff decide they should go out, as long as they get some burgers instead of going to the movies. The kids all head off and Alex gently chides Donna about playing matchmaker.
Surprisingly, Mary gets home from the date before Jeff. When Jeff does arrive, Donna asks him why they did not go to the pictures. Jeff says, Angie does not like the movies, they got some burgers, and then went to the baseball game instead. Then, we notice that Jeff has a black eye. His Dad asks him about that. Jeff says, that Bobo Whittaker was sitting behind them at the ballgame, and was razzing Angie. Jeff stuck up for her, and Bobo punched him. Jeff, then, says, "You should see Bobo's eye!" Dad: "You punched him back?" "No," says Jeff, "Angie socked him good!"
Angie and Jeff become attached at the hip in the coming weeks, as the big school dance approaches. One of the best scenes is of Angie and Jeff playing catch in Jeff's backyard. Angie throws so hard as to blow Jeff through the fence.
Of course, when the big dance happens, Angie the tomboy becomes Angie the glamour girl. She cleans up spectacularly and the kids head off to the dance.
This time Jeff comes home early. Angie the glamour girl was a big hit at the party and attracted a significant amount of attention, dancing with a score of boys (including Bobo Whittaker!), and pretty much ignoring Jeff the whole time. Jeff is crushed. He runs upstairs, and Donna follows him, in her smart heels, fetching frock, and twinset of pearls. She tries to console Jeff, and offers him milk and cake, but it is no use. Jeff says, "All I want from the world is to be left alone."
Then, the doorbell rings. Donna runs to answer. It is Angie. She is distraught, too. She feels terrible about ignoring Jeff, and she tells Donna she hopes Jeff can forgive her. Jeff recognizes Angie's voice from upstairs and joins the conversation. And, folks, here is my favorite part of this great episode of The Donna Reed Show: Instead of Angie pleading for forgiveness, she (rightly) chastises Jeff for ditching her at the dance! She does not like dances, and he was her date, dangit! Angie, then, insists that Jeff walk her home. Jeff asks if maybe they can get some burgers on the way.
When Jeff returns, Dad has just gotten back from the department store (what department store would be open this late?) with a present, a camera, for his heartbroken son. Jeff is excited about the present, and runs off to bed.
Donna wins again. She is not so bad at this matchmaking thing, after all.
|Jeff and Angie from The Donna Reed Show|