A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Timmy and Lassie is a collection of Lassie shows featuring the character of young Timmie, but for a review of the entire series, including the canine's time with other characters, check out our review of Lassie. As parents might remember themselves, this show retains all its 1950's values -- good and bad. On the one hand, Timmy is always polite, caring, and happy to spend time with his family. On the other, female characters are generally as helpless as a fly in butter.
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What's the story?
TIMMY AND LASSIE is the old classic Lassie series (renamed for syndication), with Cloris Leachman in her pre-Phyllis, pre-liberation days playing Timmy's clueless farm-wife mom (later replaced by June Lockhart) and Jon Provost as Timmy. This is the second incarnation of Lassie, after runaway orphan Timmy has been adopted by the Millers, who bought the farm from the family at the center of the original show. The show follows a very simple format: Someone is in peril, and Lassie will run to get help.
Is it any good?
Timmy and Lassie presents the same dilemma as so many programs from the early days of television -- the very-dated portrayal of women and, should they chance to appear, minorities. And then there's Timmy's scorn of all things "sissy." Will your son really stop playing with girls just because young Timmy spurns them? Probably not, and what with Timmy's neatly combed hair and formal conversational style, he probably can't really see himself playing with Timmy much, either. But it's tough to let it pass without comment -- and if you comment, you're going to be scrutinizing every episode.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the differences between life now and how it was for Timmy and his family then (with the caveat that this was fiction then, too, and that real farm wives probably didn't cook in a dainty dress and pearl earrings).
There's always room to talk about the role of women and any minority characters, as well as Timmy's scorn for anything "sissy" -- all concepts we might not want our kids to absorb today.
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