June and Ward are concerned that Wally is going steady with a girl when they find the name and telephone number of Alma Hanson in his jacket pocket. They feel he is too young to go steady. Their concern turns to relief and joy when Wally explains that the boys had to draw names of girls to take to a school picnic, and Wally drew Alma's name, who he thinks is OK as a date for a school picnic. After meeting Wally, Mrs. Hanson seems to want to promote a romance between Wally and Alma as she is arranging a series of outings for the two. Not only is Wally concerned, but so is Ward, who believes Wally should be able to make his own dates. Wally, who likes Alma as a friend, doesn't want to hurt Alma's feelings by declining any of Mrs. Hanson's offers. Ward thinks he has a solution to Wally's problem, but Ward's plan goes a little beyond its intended effect, especially between Ward and June and Mrs. Hanson. Written by
This episode is full of the social commentary that made LEAVE IT TO BEAVER so distinctive. Wally takes pretty, high-class Alma Hanson to a dance and pretty soon her mother is acting matchmaker, arranging all sorts of outings between Alma and Wally. June is delighted, Ward less so: he doesn't like the idea of a mother pushing romance, especially on two kids who are so young. It turns out Wally feels similarly. Ward gives him some advice on how to politely "ditch" Alma: just gradually see less and less of her, all the while introducing her to some other guys. This leads to some amusing vignettes as Wally brings a whole series of his classmates over to Alma's to introduce them: first Eddie, then Lumpy, then a guy named Harry Myers who is a math wiz. (Eddie brags about his highfalutin European travel plans.) The plan works - but not quite in the way Ward had intended. Mrs. Hanson marches into the Cleavers' (with a very passive Mr. Hanson in tow) and haughtily tells June and Ward that Wally has been coming over every day and that she wants her daughter to see other boys. June takes this badly, but Ward is pleased as punch.
The accent here is on suburban social satire - something LITB did very well. Even so, there is a note of caricature in the depictions of Mr. and Mrs. Hanson which is uncharacteristic of LITB, and for that reason I knocked off a few stars.
Note: Mrs. Hanson is played by Jean Vanderpyl, Penny's mother in later episodes and also the voice of Wilma Flintstone in cartoons. Alma is played by Carol Sydes (AKA Cindy Carol), one of the interpreters of "Gidget" in the movies.
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