The Father Knows Best Reunion (1977)

TV Movie   |    |  Family

The Father Knows Best Reunion (1977) Poster

First of two reunion movies starring the original cast of the popular 1950's series "Father Knows Best." Jim and Margaret Anderson invite their children and grandchildren for a visit to celebrate their wedding anniversary.

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23 March 2016 | rooster_davis
| Lacking something - it feels like a soap opera
I'm a big fan of the original Father Knows Best TV series, I know all the episodes... what I like in the original is a sense of letting things take their course. If the kids have a weird idea, let them try it out. Give them enough rope to hang themselves but pull them back just in time. Everyone in the show had a good sense of humor, too. The kids knew how to deliver a punch line like seasoned professionals and the comedy was not blatant but real. That's it - this was a family of very real people.

They've all gotten back together for this FKB reunion movie. I'm glad they came to the same house they always lived in. (I was very disappointed when a Dick Van Dyke reunion show found Laura and Rob living in some fancy apartment where Laura gave dancing lessons... I wanted to see the inside of that neat house they had on Bonnie Meadow Road in New Rochelle.) But something is wrong. The sparkle is missing. The show has the feeling of Marcus Welby, not the Anderson family. The laugh track is missing - or maybe the guy adding laughs just didn't have the nerve to add any. This movie has no sense of fun. There are a few things that are supposed to be funny, but really they're pretty lame.

There's too much soap opera in this movie. Betty is a widow. Bud has marital problems. Kathy isn't married yet (!). Too many troubles, too much sadness bubbling just under the surface. It wouldn't have surprised me to see Jim or Margaret end up in the hospital at some point. The sparkle and fun of the TV series just is not there anymore.

I'm glad they got together again, it was good to see them and know that in the TV stratosphere they're still alive and well somewhere, but I guess I wasn't ready for them to get so serious on us. I know you can't go back, the 'kids' aren't kids anymore but even the kids' kids are not much fun; they're not even very likable. And why are Jim and Margaret, who've been empty-nesters for many years, now driving a station wagon? They didn't have one when they had kids at home, and now they have one?

I don't know... it's almost like 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' got the Andersons. What's left has minimal emotion and no fun.

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