My Three Sons

Season 9 Episode 8

Tea for Three

0
Aired Unknown Nov 23, 1968 on ABC
7.0
out of 10
User Rating
8 votes
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Episode Summary

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Tea for Three
AIRED:
As the triplets come home from the hospital their names are announced by the happy parents: Robbie Jr, Charley and Steve II. Their father Robbie finds that he is totally unprepared for all of the attention that the infants attract.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • "Tea for Three" is a very good portrayal of some of the joys, mistakes, worries and successes of family life. Fred MacMurray, Tina Cole, Don Grady and William Demarest are great in it.moreless

    9.5
    This episode excels at showing relationships among loving and flawed people. It is much better in its quiet, understated way than much of recent TV, which is so often loud, crude, sentimental and cynical. The story is simple, showing the triplets born to Katie and Rob being brought home, and Rob's concern about the kind of attention that they are getting. With support from family members, Rob eventually gains confidence as a father.



    Fred MacMurray showed that he was a great actor in movies such as "Double Indemnity" and "The Caine Mutiny," and he is excellent here as Steve, the quietly proud and loving grandfather. MacMurray shows a man who is wise but also modest, and that seems to be how MacMurray was in real life. I have also seen real fathers including my own Dad who are that way, and who don't get the credit they deserve in so much of today's culture.



    Tina Cole (Katie) and Don Grady (Rob) are also very good, showing mistakes and successes that are often experienced by new parents and loving couples. In the context of Rob awkwardly trying to do what's right for the newborns, Tina Cole delivers a good line: "I like the sound of my husband talking like a father." And William Demarest does his usual good job as the grouchy Uncle Charlie who deeply cares for others.



    The episode might not be considered high art, but it has many very good, beautiful moments, provided especially by MacMurray, Cole, Grady, Demarest, and the writer. And speaking of art, there are actually a few nice, artistically done shots, including one of three nurses holding the three babies.moreless
Barry Livingston

Barry Livingston

Ernie Thompson Douglas (1963-72)

William Demarest

William Demarest

Uncle Charley O'Casey (1965-72)

Fred MacMurray

Fred MacMurray

Steve Douglas (1960-72)

Don Grady

Don Grady

Robbie Douglas (1960-71)

Stanley Livingston

Stanley Livingston

Chip Douglas (1960-72)

Tina Cole

Tina Cole

Katie Miller Douglas (1967-72)

Mimi Gibson

Mimi Gibson

Sorority Girl

Guest Star

Mittie Lawrence

Mittie Lawrence

Nurse

Guest Star

Margaret Muse

Margaret Muse

Lady

Guest Star

Joan Tompkins

Joan Tompkins

Lorraine Miller

Recurring Role

Joan Vohs

Joan Vohs

Jan Dearing

Recurring Role

Butch Patrick

Butch Patrick

Gordon Dearing

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • NOTES (4)

    • The late black character actress Susie Garrett, who died in 2002 of cancer and who is the sister of actress Marla Gibbs, appears uncredited in this episode as one of the sorority girls.

    • From hereon, there will be so many times in the series during this season, where the triplets are obviously toy dolls wrapped in blankets. Look closely enough and whenever you see one of the show's co-stars holding one, its amazing that you never see a face unless it is an overhead camera shot with the real life babies portraying Robbie and Katie's boys.

    • Having triplets on the set caused real problems for Casting Director Virginia Martindale. The requirements were that they had to be twin boys, of fair complexion, light hair and blue eyes, born between June 17 and June 24. They also had to be California residents. Finally after a long search it was narrowed down to twelve sets of twins. Then they had to pair it down to the final sets of twins who looked as much alike as possible to use three at a time (with the fourth on reserve). Under California law at that time, babies could only be on the set two hours a day. There was always a nurse, a welfare worker and a couple of mothers in attendance. This would change in the next season when the Swanson triplets take over the triple role.

    • Yale Summers and Suzanne Ried (yes her surname was spelt that way) were husband and wife in real life. Suzanne's on screen credit reads "Mrs. Yale Summers".

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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