01-31-2006, 04:30 PM
In all the years I have watched Leave it to Beaver, I have found that the scenes of the Cleavers eating dinner in the dining room definitely show realism of a close family's togetherness. Anyone agree on that? Also, feel free to post your favorite dining room scenes or quotes.
I think the setting does show realism, and of course there is a closeness in the family that 'cleaves,' the Cleavers. What they talk about always concerns the plot of the particular episode, and any jokes are light and dry. It would be more real if they had more disagreements. "Wally's Track Meet" is a better-than-average example of this, where Ward and June and Beaver are talking about their plans to drive to Lindale and see the big meet, but Wally has to tell them he was kicked off the team for a week because the coach caught him throwing towels at Eddie and Lumpy, who of course started it. "Well, it's Wally's own fault!-- the coach has to have discipline," says Ward. Then he adds, "Sit up straight, Beaver!" Beaver says, "Gee Dad, don't yell at me-- I didn't throw any towels." And probably one of the funniest scenes in LITB is in "Beaver the Sheep Dog," where Beaver comes to the table with his hair plastered down and Wally loses it and cracks up. I have wondered if the way they shot that was to keep Tony from seeing Jerry like that until the part where he can't 'hold it in.'
One more thing... though the setting is real, reflecting June's careful preparations and nutritious meals-- they always seem to have a meat dish left in the kitchen, and 2 vegetables and bread on the table-- they don't always do a good job of looking as if they are really eating. Almost every closeup of Ward shows him first taking his napkin and touching his lip with it, then looking solemn. And often they look more as if they are 'playing' with the food rather than eating it. But that's okay, and likely enough, because most scenes are not done in a single take, so they would get really stuffed with meatloaf, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts if they actually ate the food (if it's real :)). Not to mention how much milk the boys must have drank, both at the dining table, at breakfast, and when they came home school.
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