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|Index||24 reviews in total|
I've been watching this show all my life, whenever it was on, and it never fails to move me. A good basic story-line, great actors and good scripts made it fun to watch. Brian Keith as Uncle Bill Davis, a confirmed bachelor, suddenly has his life changed when he learns that he is given custody of his 2 nieces and nephew when their parents die in a car crash. Anissa Jones as Buffy is the first to appear in episode 1 and it is so good to watch Sebatian Cabot as Mr. French, Uncle Bill's butler, valet and housekeeper, trying to adjust to this shy, sullen little girl who won't come out of her shell. Episode 2 introduces Buffy's twin brother, Jody,played beautifully by Johnny Whitaker and their older sister, Cissy,played by Kathy Garver. With the three children at last reunited, life begins anew for Uncle Bill and Mr. French as they learn how to deal with children and the children learn how to deal with them. This show started at a time when family television was still on the airwaves and people enjoyed seeing a show that had 'family values". But by 1971, when it was cancelled, people started turning to more "realistic" and irreverent television shows and it was harder for a "family values" program like this to be successful. But there are still re-runs and you can get a look at a different time, a different era and a different kind of family. Well, worth a watch!
Brian Keith proved to be so good working with little kids: he is warm and paternal, tough but never rigid, always bemused by their antics and reassuring everyone with his calming smile when their spirits were down. When Buffy makes friends with some kids from the bad section of town, Uncle Bill buys her hand-me-downs to wear so she'll fit in (and even tags along and makes friends with a parent, Jackie Coogan). Sebastian Cabot made the perfect valet; he too is charmed by these kids and pretends to be surly even though the idea of having a real family suits him and somehow appeals to him. Kathy Garver is a gregarious big sister and Johnny Whitaker a loyal, dependable brother who rarely got mischievous (he's very grounded and sometimes gravely serious). As for Anissa Jones as Buffy, she didn't seem to be just reading lines that an adult wrote for her, she really WAS Buffy. When her doll gets lost, or when she loses her spot in the Scout Troop, or when the Mod Maidens hurt her feelings (in the terrific episode "The Joiners"), Jones works the most tender of childhood emotions in a way that is neither flashy nor incredible. She was a very subtle little actress with a beaming smile that could appear out of nowhere.
This show I grew up with and would love to see again. It was about a
different time when children were much more naive and not nearly as
jaded as they are today.
It taught family values and showed how tragedy (death of the siblings parents in a car accident) brings people together. The show did have moments of being cheesy but I would much rather see that then some of the current garbage being forced on everyone on network television. Anissa Jones, playing Buffy, specifically in the first episode, is the most underrated child actress of her time. She is so natural.
I guess what really bothers me is that whenever you turn on the television today, all you are forced to see are these reality shows with the dog eat dog mentality. Everyone will stomp on everyone else to get what they want no matter what the cost. It seems that a show like The Simple Life (Paris Hilton) or The Surreal Life with C list celebrities gets released on DVD five minutes after it comes out but these truly classic shows, like Family Affair; Alice and One Day At a Time are never shown and haven't been seen for years.
TV Land shows Leave it to Beaver all the time, why not change the lineup and show Family Affair; Alice & One Day at a Time so people can see something that hasn't been on for years?
With the state of television the way it is in this new millennium, now
several years old, there is definitely a need big time for a show like
this. Family, caring, kindness and love are terms that describe this
show in all the best ways. The cast was perfect and Kathy Garver, as
Sissy, gave a teen sweetness with just
enough cool. I wish I would have had a sister like her.
I hope the studio that has the rights to this show releases the DVD soon. And, I hope that someday, Hollywood and the Industry begins to put on more shows
like this. I not only hope this for the future of television, but with the patients running the asylum, we need to retake positive and fun television. Enough of the explicit sex, promotions of bad behavior and value bashing. I'm glad I don't ever listen to critics who these days despise anything with value, sweetness and fun. All they do is look to perpetuate the negative. It proves the statement, "those that can't do, teach and those that can't teach (or do anything), criticize." Need I say more?
This was a family favorite, when I was a child growing up. Uncle Bill played by Brian Keith took in a nephew and two nieces to raise in his New York Penthouse Apartment. However he was a great guardian parent figure as well as Mr. French played by Sebastian Cabot. Kathy Garver, who played Cissy a teenager was a bit wayward. She was made to take responsibility to Buffy and Jodie. Sometimes she neglected her duties. I really like this show better than The Brady Bunch & Partridge Family. Into the 1970's family values changed. Kids wearing long hair, bell bottom jeans and the extreme clothing. I hated to see that happened. I wish we had more shows like Family Affair. I'm very sorry Anissa Jones died of a drug overdose. It's a sad situation to see such a young person end their life. That's what I meant about the change of values. America is in desperate need of change.
There was and still is an endearing quality about this show. You had an
engineer who was suddenly thrust into the role of a bachelor father,
supported by his gentleman's gentleman.
Note: When Sebastian Cabot was written off the show for a few episodes, John Williams stepped in and did an equally credible job of playing Mr. French's brother.
Note 2: It should be noted that two up-and-coming child performers made appearances on this show, Erin Moran and Eve Plumb, and nothing more need be said on the latter.
This is an engaging little series that I grew up with, hearkening back
to a more innocent age of cute family programming. It revolves around a
bachelor engineer, Bill Davis, who has been living a carefree playboy
life in his Fifth Avenue apartment. His household needs are tended to
by his very efficient English butler, Giles French. Suddenly Bill's
life is turned upside down when he inherits three young relatives, who
have been orphaned as the result of a car accident. Both Uncle Bill and
Mr. French must accustom themselves to this trio of newcomers, pretty
15 year old Cissy and her adorable but challenging younger twin
siblings, Buffy and Jodie.
Brian Keith is wonderful as Uncle Bill, the playboy uncle turned surrogate father. The younger stars are also perfect in their roles, especially little Anissa Jones who plays Buffy. Sebastian Cabot is the real jewel of the series in his brilliant portrayal of the butler, Mr. French, who always appears so very proper and gruff but is actually quite charmed by these three kids.
Various amusing and touching scenarios would unfold weekly as the two adults and their three charges grew accustomed to life together. For me, the show was notable (apart from the butler) for Mrs. Beasley, Buffy's bespectacled granny doll. She was a prominent feature in most episodes, always getting lost or whatever, and naturally Buffy was VERY attached to her. All in all, it was a sweet, heartwarming show from nostalgic years of yore when kids were, happily, much less sophisticated than they are today. Pity there aren't more such family programs these days and a demand for them.
I'm watching the first season DVDs right now and it just makes me happy to watch shows like Family Affair. They come from the time that TV was good, rather than today's crap. I'll watch old TV shows over new ones any day. Thank you for putting Family Affair out on DVD ... and I'm really excited that season 1 of Hazel will be available in August. Give me the old shows rather than the reality stuff. I love the relationship between Uncle Bill, Mr. French and the kids. And Buffy & Jody just tug at my heart when they say "Uncle Bill". Man I love this show ... always have but it hasn't been on TV for several years so now I can watch it whenever I want.
The television series "Family Affair" was the created brainchild of
powerhouse producers Don Fedderson and Edmund L. Hartmann(who also
served as executive producers of this series) who were also known for
"My Three Sons",and "The Millionaire" television series along with
producers Fred Henry, Edmund Beloin and Henry Garson that made "Family
Affair" one of the most heartwarming comedy-drama series of the mid-
1960's. The series was one of CBS' most popular shows spanning five
seasons and producing 138 episodes in color that premiered on CBS'
Monday night prime-time schedule on September 12,1966 where it preceded
"The Andy Griffith Show" and went opposite "Peyton Place",and "The
Danny Thomas Comedy Hour". During its first three seasons the series
aired on Monday nights at the 9:30 eastern/8:30 central time slot from
1966 to 1969. By the show's fourth season CBS moved the series from
Monday nights to Thursday nights in an earlier time slot for its final
two seasons(1969-1971) at the 7:30 eastern/6:30 central time slot until
its cancellation on March 4,1971. "Family Affair" became so successful
that CBS put the series on its daytime lineup schedule also known as
"The Family Affair Morning Show" aka "The Brian Keith Show" which
consisted of repeated episodes from various seasons airing from
September 7,1970 until January 12,1973. Repeated episodes from the best
of the series aired from March 11,1971 until September 10,1971.
"Family Affair" basically was a good series that had a "Disney" type theme to it that had a basic story-line, great actors, and impressive guest stars that made it not only fun to watch but made it one of the most popular heartwarming sitcoms of its era. The series chronicles the trials of a successful civil engineer and bachelor Bill Davis(Brian Keith)who life has suddenly changed when he learns that he is given custody of his brother's orphaned children in his luxury Fifth Avenue apartment in New York City. Davis' English Butler and counterpart Giles French(Sebastian Cabot) also had adjustments to make as well as he became the guardian and the second parent of caring for teenage daughter Cissy(Kathy Garver),and his brother's 6-year-old twins Jody(Johnny Whitaker),and Buffy(Anissa Jones) not to mention Buffy's treasure possession Mrs. Beasley her doll that was the heart of the show. This was a series that had basic "family values" and "morals" that was still on the airwaves that were successful during that era. Out of all the actors associated with the series only actors Brian Keith, Kathy Garver, Anissa Jones and Johnny Whitaker were the only cast members that stayed with the series throughout its entire run. Sebastian Cabot appeared in 130 episodes of the series. When Sebastian Cabot left the series for medical reasons, his brother Nigel French(John Williams) was introduced for nine episodes in 1967. In the show's final season Nancy Walker was added as a part-time housekeeper Mrs. Turner for six episodes for the 1970-1971 season.
Creators Don Fedderson along with Edmund L. Hartmann were writers for all 138 episodes of the series. Other outstanding writers that contribute were Henry Garson, Edmund Beloin, Austin and Irma Kalish, Elroy Schwartz, George Tibbles, Seaman Jacobs, Peggy Chantler Dick, Fred Fox, Joesph Hoffman, Phil Davis, and Phil Leslie among others. Charles Barton directed 106 episodes of the series while William D. Russell directed 31 episodes of the series. James Sheldon directed one episode. Notable guest stars consisted of child actors Eve Plumb, Erin Moran, Veronica Cartwright, Butch Patrick, Kym Karath and Pamelyn Ferdin. Other guest stars were June Lockhart, Robert Reed, Ida Lupino, Jamie Farr, Jackie Coogan, Joan Blondell, Sterling Holloway, James Hong, Brian Donlevy, Martha Hyer, Ann Sothern, Doris Singleton, Vic Tayback, Dana Andrews, Paul Fix and Lee Meriwether among the many who made guest appearances on the show.
As for some of the best episodes of "Family Affair" there were several that were very good if not downright dramatic with a hint of comedy. But I start with the show's pilot episode "Buffy" from Season 1. Other great episodes included "The Joiners"(Season 5,Episode 20), "The Substitute Teacher"(Season 3,Episode 5),"A Member of the Family"(Season 2,Episode 23), "Christmas Came a Little Early"(Season 3,Episode 7), "A Matter of Tonsils"(Season 2,Episode 22), "Oliver"(Season 3, Episode 6), "Mrs. Beasley,Where Are You?(Season 1, Episode 7), "Mr. French's Holiday" (Season 2,Episode 27), "Fat,Fat,The Water Rat"(Season 2, Episode 7),and "The Baby Sitters"(Season 2, Episode 29),and the two-part episode "Lost in Spain"(Season 3, Episodes 18 and 19) to name a few. During its five season run "Family Affair" was nominated for eight Prime-Time Emmys between 1967-1969 for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series,Outstanding Directorial Achievement and Outstanding Writing Achievement. Nominated in 1971 for the Golden Globe for Outstanding Television Series and nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Comedic Role(Brian Keith).
When the series was abruptly canceled in the Spring of 1971 after five seasons and 138 episodes,audiences started turning to more "realistic" and irreverent television shows that were more of a urban and gritter appeal and by that time it was "harder" to find a wholesome family oriented program that was not only family friendly but successful and "Family Affair" exceeding all expectations as a television series. The 2002 remake of this was not successful nor did it do right to the original show. Happy 50th anniversary.
I love this show. The show looks nice and cosy which alone made it
relaxing to watch, and the theme tune is memorable and delightful.
Family Affair also treats us to story lines that are written with taste
and flair with a lot and heart, and the writing is also very funny(not
always hilarious mind) with some poignant parts too particularly with
The acting is marvellous, Brian Keith is great as Uncle Bill with a great sense of comic timing and a warm presence too. Kathy Garver shows herself as a promising young actress as Cissy and Johnny Wittaker is a cute Jody. The real stars though are Anissa Jones who is so heartfelt as Buffy and Sebastian Cabot whose Mr French is just brilliant.
Some might say Family Affair is quite syrupy or sugar coated. Maybe so, but I thought it was a great show and very warm and entertaining. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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