My Three Sons - Season One, Vol. 2 by Paramount

My Three Sons - Season One, Vol. 2 by Paramount
My Three Sons - Season One, Vol. 2 by Paramount (click images to enlarge)

My Three Sons - Season One, Vol. 2 by Paramount

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Description of My Three Sons - Season One, Vol. 2 from Paramount

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Manufacturer Description

MY THREE SONS is a delightful slice-of-life comedy about the American family. The series chronicles the life of the Douglas family; a seemingly simple premise that was a huge hit with audiences and a keystone of the TV family lineup in the '60s. Fred MacMurray delivers a standout portrayal as Steve Douglas, an aeronautical engineer and widower raising his three sons alone.

For Baby Boomers who fondly remember My Three Sons as just your typical quaint '60s family sitcom, there are surprises in store in these 18 episodes that conclude its groundbreaking first season. Credit director Peter Tewksbury, who directed every episode of the first season, with subverting sitcom convention. The clever episode, "Man in a Trench Coat," unfolds in the style of film noir, as middle son Robbie (Don Grady), under the influence of pulp-fiction paperbacks, lets his imagination get the better of him as sneaks around with a flirtatious blonde and tries to elude a stranger who's been tailing him. "Small Adventure" is a Hitchcockian exercise in which the family goes about its business unaware of the danger when romping family dog, Tramp, fetches an unexploded stick of dynamite into the house. In "Fire Watch," the season finale, college-bound son Mike (Tim Considine) gets much more than he bargained for when he takes a job with the Forestry Service and must man his watchtower post during a violent storm. In this first season, My Three Sons was the raucous flipside to the comparatively staid suburban domesticity of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Father Knows Best and Leave It To Beaver. Fred MacMurray's Steve Douglas was a widower raising his boisterous brood with the help of "dear old Bub," his gruff father-in-law (William Frawley). The home "looks like a disaster area... nothing but bottlenecks and traffic jams." And between games of keepaway in the living room, blaring trumpet practice, and squabbles over the phone and lack of privacy, there are few quiet moments. But as a more misguided and regimented parent (future Bewitched star David White) observes in the episode, "Other People’s Houses," "You enjoy living together, sharing everything." While some of the episodes are corny and silly (In one, Steve and Robbie think they've found an abandoned baby, and in another, Bub searches frantically for youngest son Chip's escaped frog), others grapple with real-life issues such as first love, as when Mike and his girlfriend test their feelings for each other by not seeing each other for a week. My Three Sons’ first year holds up well. And who can resist the irresistible invitation of the classic toe-tapping "Chopstickian" theme song? --Donald Liebenson

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