Donna (Donna Reed) realizes daughter Mary (Shelley Fabares) has a teenage crush, after she forlornly washes the same dish five times. Indeed, Mary wants to go to the "Varsity Prom" with handsome Jimmy Hawkins (as George Haskell), the basketball star who works in the school library. But, Mary thinks she has "all the sex appeal of a wet mop." Donna thinks Mary should be "attractive and desirable." Father Alex (Carl Betz) worries about the "desirable" part, and Jeff (Paul Peterson) thinks his sister's yen for men is dumb. Donna tries to help Mary out, but young Haskell develops a crush on mother Donna, instead
The plot is a sitcom staple. No wonder Mr. Hawkins falls for Donna (a former nurse); she is attractive even when she tries to dress "down" as a haggard housewife. Hawkins and Ms. Fabares are a very cute couple. And, it's easy to see why Hawkins was frequently asked back on "The Donna Reed Show". Hawkins was Reed's son in "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946). Later, he had parts in two of the three movies Fabares did with Elvis Presley, "Girl Happy" (1965) and "Spinout" (1966). Donna's advice to Mary was good, "Build him up and laugh at his jokes."
***** Change Partners and Dance (11/12/58) James V. Kern ~ Donna Reed, Jimmy Hawkins, Shelley Fabares
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