Leave it to Beaver was premiered this month on the 4th here in 1957. The show was created by the writers Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher, who were both veterans of radio and early television. Leave it to Beaver was one of the first shows where in the plot was driven from the children’s point of view.
Leave it to Beaver has always had a special place in the hearts of those who either look fondly back at a time they recall or for those of us who, though never having been there, are inexplicably drawn to it. Certainly, one could argue this show was as accurate to everyday middle class life as any TV show, which is not very close. But, what is quite interesting is that this show is and was both entertaining and also very educational in learning of common sense and good human interaction. The children would often face situations where they would be drawn to try the easy way or the more exciting way, but if it lead to bad decisions or ill treatment of others, they eventually learned their mistakes with consequences from their parents.
It was also interesting that June and Ward, the parents, would often discuss and sometimes not agree on the ways to teach or punish or encourage their children, much like parents often and still do. In a way this show would be a great teaching guide for the masses of youth who are today mostly raised by TV/Computer and over crowded day care: That there are consequences for one’s actions, we should always think of others and of results BEFORE we act, and others feelings are as important as our own. Somewhere along the line, the need to satiate children into believing that they are the most important and special thing in the world over all others. The idea that we have value is a good lesson, but that others also are of equal import and should be considered as well as ourselves seems to be a main element missing in the modern children/TV programming.
Here is the house the Cleavers lived on in the first two seasons. It was meant to be on Mapleton Dr. I always thought it was rather an odd flat roofed affair. The little dog house dormers do make it more interesting and I like the front port has two facing bench seats.
This is the house they ‘moved’ to for the last four seasons. This image is from the 80’s but shows it pretty much as it looked then. I have to say, I rather appreciate the way it looks today. They beefed up the trim work, added a garage with dormers and a side porch and added side lights (the long windows next the door) and a transom (the window over the door) which gives it a much more colonial look. Especially the larger multi-paned window to the left of the door which would have been Ward’s office has a much more Colonial look. Although, I do believe the garage was there during the filming of Beaver.
Here is the first episode of Leave it to Beaver, aired on 4 October 1957. You can watch the entire episode on APRON TV under Classic TV. It is in 3 parts.
Concerning lessons learned from this show, I think this episode from the final season when Eddie Haskell gets a credit card is so telling of what is to come to our economy and way of thinking. We ALL could learn a lesson from this episode. It can be watched HERE on TV land. I couldn’t find it on YouTube, but the entire episode is available just follow the link.
And just for fun, I found this great link HERE where in someone has taken the time to post pictures from each episode. It is an interesting way to view it, rather like looking through an old photo album of old friends or a remembered and treasured childhood, it is work a look.
Today I am off celebrating a friends birthday. We will be biking with a picnic, going into town later for bowling and dinner. It should be fun and the New England weather is giving us a lovely Indian Summer day of sunny weather in the low 80’s. I hope all have a wonderful day and Happy Homemaking.