December 7th, 2012
After my flu-driven fever broke, from my sickbed (the couch on the porch) I’ve been catching up on old TV shows from MeTV that have been collecting on the FiOS DVR. Mostly The Rifleman, because I like half-hour westerns, and The Donna Reed Show, because I like Shelley Fabares.
A lot of the Donna Reeds are as I remember them from childhood — mostly quiet, a little silly, and sometimes boring — so I scan through them, but one episode that I started scanning today seemed interesting once Shelley made her entrance, so I started it over again and watched it all the way through. It’s episode 29 from the second season, and it’s called “Mary’s Growing Pains.”
The plot has the usual comedies of error, but Mary’s crush on a young doctor is fun, and there’s a reference to Ingmar Bergman, along with a delightfully quirky dream where Mary imagines her life as the doctor’s wife. It starts with music that sounds like the dream sequence in Hitchcock’s Vertigo, and at that point I began to wonder who wrote this episode. The dream starts right after the middle commercial break in this Hulu video.
The episode stood out so much compared to the others that were stored on my DVR that I waited for the credits to see the writer’s name. So who wrote it? John Whedon, Joss Whedon’s grandfather.