Mama's Family

Season 2 Episode 21

Ask Aunt Fran

Aired Unknown Mar 31, 1984 on NBC

Episode Recap

Naomi is helping Vint with his new model plane as Mama is cleaning. Buzz is about to work on a project, but leaves because of Fran. Fran demands her family be quiet so she can concentrate on her fill-in job, subbing for an advice columnist. She comes downstairs to complain about the noise. Mama tells her that she is overreacting, but Fran takes it seriously. She tells Mama some of her letters, and Mama tells her what she should say. Fran decides to use everything Mama tells her.

It is two weeks later, and Naomi is going crazy because Vint is focusing on building his model plane. Meanwhile, Fran has gained popularity by using Mama's advice, and her editor has taken notice of her. Buzz gives Mama some advice on this. Since using Mama's advice is paying Fran, than Mama should be compensated. Fran refuses to pay her because she says she plans to slowly stop using Mama's "home-spun" advice. Fran is also trying to put in more psychological insight from some of the greats, like Freud and Dr. Joyce Brothers. But when Fran gets the latest copy of the newspaper, she sees that only Mama's advice made the cut and her psychological insight was taken out. Fran just figures this is because it is the Saturday paper, which is shorter than the other papers. Fran starts thinking that she might be asked to be the permanent advice columnist, and since only Mama's advice was used, she might still use her help. Buzz says that if she does so, than Mama should get a cut of the profits, fifty-fifty. But Fran does not agree to this.

Fran editor, Dwight Nettles, than comes to pick her up for a lunch date. He compliments her work on the advice column, but asks why she included the psychological "gibble gabble." He tells her that it isn't needed. While they are at lunch, Nettles asks her for some advice that has to do with his "friend." It seems his friend, who is married, has completely fallen for a new woman he has hired at work. He has become completely smitten with this lovely, mature woman. Nettles asks Fran her advice on the situation, though he believes Fran already knows what he is talking about. Fran tells him she needs to assess the situation, and she needs a dime. She rushes over to call Mama for her advice. Mama tells her the only way she'll continue to give advice is for a share of the profits, and Fran finally agrees to give her half. After being told the problem, Mama realizes that there is no friend, and Nettles is talking about himself and Fran. She tells Fran to wake up and smell the coffee and what is going on. Fran finally realizes her boss has the "hots" for her and goes to confront him. She tells him that she didn't fall for the old friend routine and that she isn't writing the advice; someone else is. Nettles doesn't care and tells her that he still wants her. Fran gets upset and tells him off. Before she leaves, she accidentally slams her hand in her dessert, a chocolate mousse, and rubs it on his face.

Fran gets home and tells the family that she is a new woman – she stood up for herself and quit. And she feels very proud of herself for doing so. Meanwhile, Vint has just finished building his model plane. Naomi is finally glad to have her husband back. He puts the plane down next to him on the couch, where Fran accidentally sits as she is telling the family what happens. Vint and Naomi are horrified because they each lost something with the broken plane.
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