Miss Pringle, Tim's old no nonsense high school English teacher, stops by his apartment. She was and is the faculty advisor for the school newspaper, she being the one who got Tim first ...
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Miss Pringle, Tim's old no nonsense high school English teacher, stops by his apartment. She was and is the faculty advisor for the school newspaper, she being the one who got Tim first interested in becoming a journalist. The students have chosen him as this year's alumnus to sit on the committee to choose the teacher of the year. She also announces to Tim that she is retiring this year, but Martin finds out that she is not too happy about it despite her outward appearance of happiness. She has in reality been visiting many old students in an attempt to validate her life work. Martin suggests that Tim try and get Miss Pringle nominated, a difficult task because she is and was such a tough teacher. The current students do see Miss Pringle in the same light, and she realizes it. Her doing the Watusi for them does show a different side of the tough as nails teacher, but it's not enough. But in a discussion with the school Principal, Miss Pringle fights for the rights of the students, ...Written by
Tim (Bill Bixby) mentions that he attended "Cahuenga High" where he "served" under Miss Pringle -- which was actually an in-joke reference to Desilu Production's studios on Cahuenga Boulevard in Los Angeles, where such series as "The Andy Griffith Show" and "The Dick Van Dyke Show" were being filmed at this time. "My Favorite Martian" actually filmed its first 7 episodes at the Cahuenga facilities, too, although it thereafter moved to a different Desilu lot. Bill Bixby actually mentions his real high school (Lowell High School, which is in San Francisco) in the Season 2 episode, "Gone But Not Forgotten." See more »
Miss Pringle, it's been said that all that glitters isn't gold. In this case, we'd like to say that all that's gold doesn't glitter. You're Solid Gold, Miss Pringle.
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Today, "My Favorite Martian" is sometimes belittled as a silly series from the early 1960s when television was supposed to be merely mindless entertainment. This episode belies that notion and, along with a number of other episodes, showed that, far from being merely escapist comedy, this series in fact could provide sophisticated, thoughtful episodes.
Doris Packer, who plays Tim's former English teacher -- the one who inspired him to go into journalism -- had played these kinds of roles before, perhaps most notably as Mrs. Rayburn in more than a dozen episodes of "Leave it to Beaver." So she was a natural choice for a teacher who came across to her students as an iron-fisted martinet yet, nevertheless, had a softer side, and who is facing mandatory retirement -- something that thankfully has since gone away.
This time, unlike in a few other episodes from this season (and, especially, in the third season), Martin's use of his Martian abilities is restrained and helps move the plot along instead of being the complication that creates the plot in the first place. He uses his invisibility as just a tool to show that Miss Pringle had helped many students over the years, but always behind the scenes and without taking credit. Miss Pringle, even as she is being forcibly retired, continues to fight for her students, and fortunately -- thanks to Uncle Martin -- she finally gets recognition.
For a comedy show that usually ended each week with some kind of farcical resolution (typically Martin being cheated out of a return to Mars at the last moment), the poignancy of the ending is surprising but altogether fitting. It's noteworthy in another way, too, as it is probably the first recorded use of "damn" on American television -- something that the censors no doubt allowed precisely because the moment seemed so genuine. In doing so, "We Love You, Miss Pringle" provides the finest moment of the entire series.
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