|Eve Plumb as Buffy's friend Eve.|
Bill calls a physician friend and sets up (and pays for) a battery of tests to determine the extent of Eve's illness. The result is that he and Eve's parents learn that the girl will likely die within months. With the parents' blessing, Bill comes up with an excuse to celebrate Christmas early with Eve's family.
|Anissa Jones as Buffy.|
The episode focuses on Buffy and Uncle Bill, with Cissy, Jody, and Mr. French limited to just a handful of short scenes. That works well, since Brian Keith (Bill) and Anissa Jones (Buffy) seem to bring out the best in each other. When Buffy asks her uncle to help Eve get well, it's touching to see the look of worry on Brian Keith's face. He skilfully conveys the feeling experienced by many parents who fear that day when their children realize parents are just normal people.
|Uncle Bill and Buffy.|
As the terminally-ill Eve, ten-year-old Eve Plumb gives a natural, restrained performance. She had already made guest star appearances in shows like The Big Valley, It Takes a Thief, and The Virginian. The year after her Family Affair appearance, she would snag the role that made her famous--Jan Brady in The Brady Bunch.
To learn more about Family Affair, check out our exclusive July 2015 interview with one of its stars: Kathy Garver (shown on right).
MeTV is airing "Christmas Came a Little Early" tonight (Monday, Nov. 16th). This post is part of A Very Merry MeTV Blogathon hosted by the Classic TV Blog Association. Click here to view the entire blogathon schedule.