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And Then There's Maude: Episode 3

Our tribute to the 35th anniversary of the debut of Maude continues.

*

Season 1, Episode 3
Episode Title: Maude Meets Florida

Original airdate: 25 Sept 1972

Plot: Maude frantically cleans the house in preparation for the arrival of the new housekeeper. Walter's cranky because step-grandson Phillip kept him awake all night practicing swearing into a tape recorder. Maude is hypersensitive about making the black housekeeper feel welcome and above all Equal with a capital E. It seems Maude has a habit of spoiling black maids ("A black maid says hello and you say sorry") to the point where Walter has to fire them.

Enter Esther Rolle as Florida Evans, soon to spin-off in Good Times just as Maude did from All in the Family.

Maude immediately tries to befriend the new housekeeper, encouraging her to call them by their first names and feel like she's one of the family. Florida, wary of Maude's ingratiating behavior, agrees to take the job on a trial basis and leaves. Maude vows she's going to transform Florida from a "pre-liberation Southern black" into a modern Negro with a sense of self-respect and militancy. Right on, Maude!

Of course her plan to "improve" Florida backfires and the housekeeper quits. (Score one for Walter, who believes Maude incapable of keeping a housekeeper for more than two days.) Before Florida gets out the door, Carol and Walter plead Maude's case and Florida reconsiders. She and Maude have a heart-to-heart where Florida puts Maude in her place, Maude agrees to let Florida do her job, and Florida wins the right to come and go through the back door if she darn well pleases.

Maude does the Superior Dance thinking she won the bet, successfully managing to keep Florida from quitting. When Carol tells Maude that she and Walter were responsible for keeping Florida, Maude drowns them out by bursting into song. "Whatever Maudy wants, bum da da dum da dum, Maudy gets . . . "

Hot button social issue: Racial equality and white liberals who try too hard.

Fashion statement: Purple paisley baby!

Neckerchief count: Zero. It's all big collars, long vests, and wiiiide loosely tied scarves.

Cocktail hour: I want to work for Maude. She's serving martinis to the maid in the middle of the day.

Welcome back to 1972 pop culture reference: Wow, the tape recorder Maude bought grandson Phillip cost 49 bucks!

Number of times Maude yells: Once, during a big argument with the housekeeper, but Florida gives as good as she gets.

'70s slang: When Maude asks Carol what she thinks of the new housekeeper, Carol replies, "I love the way she comes on." Florida thinks Carol is "pretty groovy."

Memorable quote: Maude demonstrates tough love by threatening two family members with "I'll rip your heart out."

Times the live audience breaks out into spontaneous applause: 1.

-

Previously:
Season 1, Episode 1: Maude's Problem.
Season 1, Episode 2: Doctor, Doctor.




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Posted on September 4, 2007


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