"Leave It to Beaver" Beaver's Freckles (TV Episode 1960) Poster

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Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah!
pensman27 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Beaver and his friends Larry and Whitey are going over to wash Lumpy's car, for free this time. Last time Beaver had to pay Lumpy a quarter. Lumpy doesn't like it when Beaver calls him Lumpy, so he calls Beaver freckles. Then he bullies Larry and Whitey into calling Beaver freckles. Beaver goes home and asks Wally if he can see anything on his face. Wally says he can see a nose, eyes, dirt, and some freckles. Next Wally asks Ward about freckles and Ward tells him about a kid in the old gang comedies who had so many freckles that everyone laughed when he appeared on screen. Beaver goes up to his room and spends the day looking at himself in the mirror and complaining about the ugly freckle faced kid looking back at him.

Wally is downstairs setting the table for supper when June tells him to bring Beaver down to eat. Wally finds Beaver in the bathroom but the door is locked. Beaver is inside trying to sandpaper the freckles off of his face. Everyone is at the table but Beaver and when he walks in his cheeks and nose are covered with caked on makeup. Ward and June figure out that for some reason Beaver is embarrassed about his freckles, but they won't say anything right away.

Everyone is trying to have a normal conversation when Beaver asks if anyone can see anything different about him. When Wally says for one thing, he can't see Beaver's freckles with all that glop on his face, Beaver runs upstairs. Ward tries to explain it's what a person is like on the inside that counts, that their appearance doesn't matter.

Next day Beaver goes over to see Clyde Appelby. Clyde is a big kid who beat Beaver up last year. Beavers asks him how he stands it having so many freckles. Clyde says he likes it. Even if no one knows his name they say freckles and he knows they mean him. Clyde believes it's great having something, in this case freckles, that makes him a stand out where ever he goes. Suddenly Beaver sees freckles as an asset, now Beaver wishes he had more freckles.

Beaver gets self-conscious over his freckles after he gets heckled from of all people Clarence "Lumpy" Rutherford. But back in the 50's it didn't take much to destroy a kid's self-confidence. I'm not sure that has changed. I notice that today more and more commercials are featuring more and more kids (and younger adults) who normally are marginalized in our culture. The emphasis—subtle and sometimes hit-you-over-the head subtle—is that it's OK to be yourself, or be fat. Sorry, but you really can't miss the spots.

I thought it was the saddest to watch Beaver attempt to sandpaper his freckles off. Seeing him come down to dinner with makeup plastered over his face, had to make you chuckle. How could he look in a mirror and possibly believe what he did was an improvement? All of us find something about our bodies we don't like. I am sure a lot of people can remember agonizing over the acne that hit so many of us in adolescence. And no doubt we all heard our parents telling us it wasn't important what we or anyone else looked like; it was just important to see what the person was like on the inside. Yeah, sure.

Nonetheless, the problem gets resolved and Beaver not only makes peace with his freckles; he adds a new friend, Clyde Appleby, who had been an old enemy.

Who knows, maybe those commercials will work, but the cynic in me doesn't think so. But wouldn't it be nice?
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It's What's Inside That Counts
MichaelMartinDeSapio30 July 2016
Beaver becomes self-conscious about his freckles and wants to get rid of them. Ward explains to him that it's what's inside, not what's outside, that counts.

Although the plot may be a little childlike at this point, this is still a good episode. Watch for three quality scenes in particular. The first occurs as Beaver, Larry and Whitey polish Lumpy Rutherford's convertible (a privilege for which he charges them a quarter!) Lumpy sits atop the car like some Oriental potentate while his three "serfs" do his bidding; he barks orders and uses intimidation tactics on them. And he repeatedly and tauntingly calls Beaver "Freckles," much to his embarrassment. Larry and Whitey kowtow to Lumpy at first, but at the very end of the scene Larry gives Lumpy a jab in the ribs by calling him by HIS ignominious nickname instead of the preferred "Clarence."

The second funny scene is when Beaver arrives at the dinner table sporting some very conspicuous cosmetic cream in an attempt to cover up his freckles. Wally's struggles to keep from laughing, or calling attention to the situation, are hysterical.

And then there's the concluding scene involving the extremely freckle-faced Clyde Appleby, who offers Beaver some wisdom from personal experience.

On a final note: am I mistaken, or did the makeup department add more freckles to Jerry Mathers' face?
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