While fans of vintage TV wait forlornly for additional seasons of Leave It to Beaver, Hazel and other shows to turn up, take heart — we now have My Three Sons.
The long-running family sitcom debuts today with Volume One of its first season, which means there are only 18 episodes so far. But after two weeks without electricity in my house following Hurricane Ike, those shows are lighting up my home with their warmth, wit and style.
Fred MacMurray wasn’t just a respected film actor (The Apartment) and a Disney icon (for The Shaggy Dog) when My Three Sons hit CBS in the fall of 1960. He then became a fixture in America’s living rooms, by playing patient papa Steve Douglas, a widower with three rambunctious boys and a feisty father-in-law (William Frawley, late of I Love Lucy).
Their gentle adventures are often less about knee-slapping humor than wry chuckles, along with the decency and compassion that the Douglas boys were taught. And those qualities mean a lot in these too often coarse times in the entertainment world.
BTW, Don Grady, who played middle son Robby, was in a band called The Yellow Balloon, which has a CD on the Sundazed label. It’s light and frothy, but you could do far worse for sunshiny mid-’60s California pop.
At any rate, My Three Sons is a true treasure, and let’s hope Paramount gets around to releasing all 300-plus episodes (with rotating members of the cast, of course). Until then, enjoy. It’s a steady source of life and light for the TV hearth.
Tags: My Three Sons