Father Knows Best : ANYONE ELSE NOT LIKE KATHY?

ANYONE ELSE NOT LIKE KATHY?

There are a couple of threads on this board criticizing the character of Betty, but IMHO, Kathy ("Kitten") was far worse.
I suppose the original idea was for viewers to watch her and think, "Aww, she's so cute."
Well, I feel that she was a grade-A brat who should have been spanked, and often!
And I can't understand how Jim and Margaret tolerate her behaviorthey should both be nominated for sainthood!

Re: ANYONE ELSE NOT LIKE KATHY?

I'm hot and cold about Kathy. Sometimes she could be okay.

One episode that always makes me cringe is "Kathy Grows Up," from Season 5. Kathy whines to everyone that she doesn't want to be treated like a child anymore (she's probably 11 or 12 in the episode). So she starts trying to horn in on Bud's time with his friends and on Betty's dates. Betty actually gives in, but the plans fall through.

Kathy does SO much whining in this episode and, to make matters worse, everyone tries to help "poor Kathy" feel better, but nothing works. She just keeps crying, "everyone's against me!"

My parents and siblings would've said: "you're 11, you ARE a child! You'll get older in due time and, in the meantime, shut up or you're grounded!"

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Re: ANYONE ELSE NOT LIKE KATHY?



She's just like Jerry Mathers. Neither could adjust to getting older. The writers didn't know how to write for them.


Excellent point ron815.

What you're describing has become known as the "Shirley Temple Effect."

Growing up can be difficult enough, but growing up on the screen can be even more arduous.

Children go through different developmental "stages" during childhood, and the writers were trying to bridge the biological and emotional emotional age of the actors with the perceived age of the character.

When you consider filming may end for several months before resuming, a young child may have grown significantly, but then has to act according to where the storyline left off.

Child actors really have it tough and considering Lauren Chapin's horrendous home life, I think she did a remarkably good job, especially for someone so young.

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Re: ANYONE ELSE NOT LIKE KATHY?

I couldn't stand her either

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Re: ANYONE ELSE NOT LIKE KATHY?

I hated the sad music too! I think mentioned this before but I think that Bud's character was the most tolerable. Also his portrayal was never "over the top"

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Re: ANYONE ELSE NOT LIKE KATHY?

Billy Gray did complain about FKB, back in the 1980s, I believe. One of his big complaints was that the show never featured a black person, or dealt with "serious" issues.

But, for a 50s sitcom, FKB did more than other shows from that era. They tackled homelessless, age discrimination, dealt with date rape (or at least, unwanted advances), attacked racism on a few episodes, with the Mexican "Fronk" character (that spelling always slays me!), dealt with bullies/misfits and featured a character from India (admittedly, played by Rita Moreno). There are probably others I'm not recalling at the moment.

Mr. Gray did say how much he loved working with the cast and how close they all were. I think he did soften his opinions regarding the show, in more recent years.

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Re: ANYONE ELSE NOT LIKE KATHY?

I thought Kathy was great. However her character was unique because of her age. When Betty and Bud got older, the change was far less impactful. Kathy on the other hand was chosen because she was a cute 8 year old who could handle lines. As she aged that cuteness, at least for me, disappeared and I found her not all that appealing.

On Leave It To Beaver there was even an episode about being at that awkward age, too old to still seem cute, and too young to begin acquiring adult appeal. Perhaps that is why initially I found Beaver more interesting than Wally. While in the last few years of the show Wally seemed to be a better character.

Also I think looks may have had something to do with it. As I said Kathy was chosen as a very cute, very young girl. And as she aged that cuteness seemed to fad, while Betty and Bud were simply more attractive young people.

That may not be fair and may reflect a widespread shallowness in humans, but I think it was, nonetheless, a factor.

Re: ANYONE ELSE NOT LIKE KATHY?

For the most part, I like Kathy. She can be too much of a baby at times, but that's how the writers wrote for her.

Considering what Lauren Chapin was dealing with in real life, she deserves a pass on the times when Kathy was totally impossible.

Re: ANYONE ELSE NOT LIKE KATHY?

I never have (and never will) blame Lauren Chapin for the fact that her character was a brateven if she had a good, normal home life.
The fault was with the writers and the director, Peter Tewksbury.
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