The Brady Brides Final Episode

Original Air Date: April 17, 1981

Video Link: https://dai.ly/x4jtcv7

Hello again friends and readers.  Today we end our blogging adventure that has been The Brady Brides.  Thank you for all those who have suffered along with me as we reviewed some weak plots, idiotic scripts and underdeveloped characters.  If you enjoyed these episodes, I want to thank you for joining as well.  I will say that of all The Brady Brides episodes this one, “A Pretty Boy Is Like a Melody”, was probably the best of the lot. I reviewed the writing credits for all of the episodes and they list Lloyd J. Schwartz and Sherwood Schwartz along with another writer or two.  For the painful experience that was “The Siege”, Hope Sherwood was one of the writers.  She played Greg’s date Rachel in the episode with the frogs in the backseat at the drive-in.  The episode we are reviewing today was penned with the assistance of Richard Gurman.  I scanned his other writing credits on IMBD and he wrote scripts for some series I have enjoyed; among them are episodes of The New Leave It to Beaver, Married… with Children and Still Standing.  I am not saying for sure I saw the ones he wrote, but his resume suggests some talent and it shines through in “A Pretty Boy Is Like a Melody”.  IMDB notes Richard Gurman wrote  the script for a well known Happy Days episode that has Fonzie integrating a diner in the south.

open

Something I noticed with The Brady Brides was the Logan/Covington home shares something in common with the childhood home of Marcia and Jan.  The outside doesn’t quite jive with the inside.  The front door appears to be to the far left of the front porch, while interior shots indicate it should be to the right .

kitchen

This time it is Marcia’s turn to have her livelihood threatened.  She arrives home with the fantastic news that some of her designs will be part of a fashion show with a big shot critic in attendance.  The scene plays out in the kitchen.  Before this episode, we only got to see the kitchen through the opening from the dining area.  I hope the production getting the funds for a full kitchen set didn’t get their hopes up that the series would be on a while.

Some genuine humor plays out when some models arrive at the house to be fitted for the fashion show duds.  Wally is expecting some fine looking ladies to grace his living room.  He answers the door to find Harry standing there.  A few seconds later, it is revealed some studly men are modeling Marcia’s clothes.  Wally is dismayed by this and as Harry leaves he laughs at him through the window.  This was quite funny and I still chuckle thinking about the exchange.

models

Jealousy abounds as Wally must share the company of the two hunky dudes and learns they work with Marcia regularly.  The models throw a few barbs at Wally.   The David Hasselhoff looking guy, Brandon, tosses his coat on Wally as he disrobes for a fitting.  As Marcia begins the fitting, Wally asks if they don’t all ready know their own measurements.  The reply from Brandon is he does in fact know them and they get bigger every day.  Wally’s jealous way eventually annoy the pair to the point that they decide to leave.  The guy who looks like Scott Baio, Lance, tells Marcia that Muhammad Wally is a bit much and they are out.   The entire scene had me laughing out loud a few times.   Oh, if only the other episodes could have done that.

Brandon and Lance were played by Tom Gagen and Tom Jordan.  Tom Gagen’s IMDB resume lists little of note and no acting gigs beyond a 1982 appearance on The Powers of Matthew Star.  Tom Jordan’s acting career continued until 2017.  He appeared in 146 episodes of Fair City along with other appearances on TV and in movies.  Tom Jordan died in 2019.

angry

Without models, Marcia’s show can not go on.  She states it is the weekend and the agencies are closed, leaving her with nobody else to hire.  Surely in southern California there were models to be found for work on the weekend!  So her career may not end, the husbands agree to model for the show.   Philip is of course cajoled into it.  The fashion show exhibits the typical nonsense that was to be expected with this show.

Marcia’s designs are all sportswear of some sort, despite her company’s name being Casual Clothes.  A fencing get up, leopard print shorts and a scuba suit are hardly what I would consider casual.   Wally and Philip clumsily model the clothes and Wally is soon stuck in the scuba suit and unable to model “Jungle Fever”.  As Marcia dashes backstage to help, Carol gets on stage and stalls the audience.  Philip’s unwillingness to walk out on stage in the leopard shorts should be the comedic high of the episode, but in my opinion that happened already.  The fashion show concludes with the big shot fashion critic telling Marcia she will do fine as a designer.

There is a scene back at the house, but at this point dear readers, I am done with the Brady Brides.  I welcome your own thoughts on this episode and the series as a whole.  Thanks to all who have shared their thoughts thus far.  I’ve really enjoyed reading your commentary.  My plan is to review the first two of the parody movies next.  However, with two small children and the holidays rapidly approaching, I am not sure when I will have time to sit down and scrutinize a film from start to finish.   So, it may be a while, but I will be back with more Brady blogging!

The Brady Brides Part Two

Hello again!  Thank you for joining me today as we take a look at some more episodes of The Brady Brides.  As a lifelong fan of the Brady Bunch, I am glad I gave these episodes a look, but don’t think I ever will again.  The show never hit any kind of stride that left me wanting to see more of the characters or know what would be happening next.  I know that new programs have to find a groove and get their footing, but The Brady Brides were unique in that the show came with ready made characters viewers all ready knew and would enjoy seeing again.  The problem was the writing staff for the show never seemed to take advantage of that and write any good stories for them.

The Mom Who Came To Dinner

Air Date 3/27/1981

Video Link: https://dai.ly/x4jtcu9

When I first endured watching the earlier episodes, I thought to myself that maybe what was missing from the show was a strong lead character, a voice of reason or an anchor for the rest of the cast.  Well, this episode proved me wrong.  Carol is an overnight guest at her daughters’ home and the show still stunk.   The ever present adult thrown into the mix did nothing to improve the story.

Just to make sure some hijinks were in store, Philip rigged up some crazy scientist contraption to operate the appliances and alert all emergency personnel should they be needed.  I can’t even see the professor on Gilligan’s Island inventing something this dumb.

There was a funny line when Carol says she will wash the dishes.  Wally assures her she doesn’t have to, she can wait and do them in the morning.  With the tastes of dinner still lingering on their palates, the entire household decides to hit the hay.  What follows is a musical chairs version of sleeping arrangements as different household members swap beds and the guest cot.  Just to keep things wacky, Harry comes over to spend the night since his mom is working late.  Philip serenades him to sleep with an overly long and overly loud version of Moon River.

alice

Another glimpse of the original greatness of The Brady Bunch occurs when Alice comes knocking at the window since she is locked out of her house.  She delivers a line about it being too early for the late show or too late for the early show.  That was some classic Alice there.  The line was a nice reminder of how great the original series was and a bad reminder of how lousy this one was.  Alice’s visit activates Philip’s moronic invention making the appliances go haywire while the police, fire department and paramedics were summoned.  Folks, this was more fitting for the Brady Kids cartoon and even then it might have been one of their worst episodes.

ending2

The Siege

Air Date: 4/3/1981

Video Link https://dai.ly/x4jtcua

Speaking of The Brady Kids cartoon, the plot of The Siege is more fitting of a cartoon than any live action program.  Philip’s next big job as a college professor requires he have a security clearance.  Inspector Mann arrives to initiate it.  Wally, who has racked up hella parking tickets, thinks the inspector is there for him.  So, Wally puts on the guise that he is Philip. Before making his exit, the inspector snags a water glass.  From the fingerprints on it, he learns that the man posing as Philip Covington was Wally Logan.  Wally’s suspicious activity warrants further investigation!

seige2

If this was not contrived enough, the Logan/Covington abode is soon surrounded by a plethora of trench coat and fedora wearing government agents seeking to know more about Wally Logan. Wally thinks all this nonsense is because of his parking tickets.

This episode gives us two more damn make out sessions with Wally and Marcia, a visit from Carol and Harry and virtually nothing of redeeming value.  This episode has to be the worst of the worst of The Brady Brides.

Cool Hand Phil

Air Date: 4/10/1981

Video Link https://dai.ly/x4jtcu8

Philip arrives home disheartened that he got zero votes for favorite professor at the college.  Jan comes home with the great news that she has the opportunity to design a rich lady’s vacation home.  Phil seeks to undo his stuffy and uptight ways via instruction from Wally.  Harry shows up too and gives some lessons in coolness of his own.

visit

For some reason none of the residents of the Logan/Covington home have realized that having potential clients and employers over is a terrible idea.  Jan has the rich lady, Mrs. Richardson, over to look at the model of the home she has built, just as Phil puts his newly learned cool ways to use.  He is way too fresh with Jan’s potential client and an appalled Mrs. Richardson leaves.   Sigh, maybe Jan can pitch that A-Frame design to a KOA.

anger

There was a fun scene with Alice in this episode.  Jan and Marcia are angry at each other and Alice tries to intervene.  A funny line is shared as she asks “Have you forgotten you are sisters?”  Marcia answers, “I’m trying.”  It gave me a chuckle.  In the company of all the other attempts at humor in this episode, it’s gut busting hilarious!  Oh my side, my side….

ending

The cool lesson for Phil continues at a local cowboy bar.  In the company of a drunk bar patron, Phil takes to the bottle.  The party follows Philip home.  Catastrophe awaits as Mrs. Richardson has returned to give the A-Frame house another look.  As a crowd of drunks spills into the living room Mrs. Richardson is aghast.  However, Jan wins her business by stating how all these boozy people are there to suggest a western motif for her potential vacation home.  Mrs. Richardson buys Jan’s ruse and likes the idea of a western design.  Mrs. Richardson must be really gullible.  I wonder if the vacation home Jan is designing is going on Mrs. Richardson’s newly purchased Tennessee beachfront property?

Well friends, we have one more episode to review. “A Pretty Boy Is Like a Melody” was the last one of the series.  I’ve watched it already and it was probably the best of The Brady Brides ever offered.  We will have a look at that one tomorrow.  Please share any thoughts with us on these three or the series as a whole!  See you soon.

 

The Brady Brides On The Newlywed Game

Greetings friends and readers!  Thank you for joining me today to review another episode of The Brady Brides.  This one is aptly titled “The Newlywed Game”.  It first aired on March 20, 1981.  Which is interesting because per Wikipedia and IMDB, the game show, The Newlywed Game, had been cancelled in 1980.   I gave this episode its own blog post with high expectations.  Oftentimes, a short lived series best remembered episode was when it crossed over with some more established or better known series.  We saw this with the Brady Bunch parody on Day By Day.  I was hoping the Brady brides on the Newlywed game might be the crème de la crème of the series.  Dear readers, I am hoping this is not the case.  If it is, the next four episodes are nothing to look forward to.   The episode was viewed using Daily Motion.  This time, the upload was taken from a Fox Family broadcast.  The link is below.  Let us begin our review of “The Newlywed Game”!

Video Link: https://dai.ly/x4jo69p

 

The episode begins with yet another make out session between Marcia and Wally.  The producers of the series wanted to make clear there was a strong physical attraction between the pair.  I bet Maureen McCormick insisted Jerry Houser shave his mustache when she found out how many kissing scenes were involved in the series.  The smooching is interrupted by a knock at the door.

eubanks

The celebrity to grace the doorstep of the Covington/Logan home is Bob Eubanks.  Of all the celebrities that ever came to the Brady home on the original series, none of them ever showed up by accident like Bob Eubanks.  His car has broken down in the neighborhood and he needs to use the phone to summon a tow truck.  Since the previous episode was so keen to make it known important work decisions take place at the home, this episode should have had Tyler Toys releasing  a new and improved Newlywed Game home version or maybe a Bob Eubanks doll.   Either of these could have required Bob Eubanks to visit the house and give his stamp of approval.  Yes, this sounds ridiculous, but at this point I think credulity was no longer a factor in the writing room.

As Bob summons a tow truck, he observes Marcia and Wally and invites them to try out for the show.  I wonder how many newlyweds approached him in public seeking a spot on the show or actually tried to get on the show and never even got a call back.  Here, Marcia and Wally get the invite without lifting a finger.  Why not just have them actually go through the normal channels to get on the the show?

practice

Jan and Philip are soon home and happy to learn about Marcia and Wally’s potentially being contestants on a game show.  Carol is around too and is just excited.  We get some classic Carol Brady antics as she mimics Bob Eubanks in a practice run for Marcia and Wally’s appearance on the dating game. With a “booming” voice and exaggerated gestures she serves as the stand in Bob Eubanks.  Well, it is not long before the man himself is back in the house needing to use the phone again.  The use of his flashers while his car was disabled/being repaired has killed his battery and made necessary another call to the tow company.  Whoever fixed his car (a busted water hose was the problem) didn’t crank it up to make sure the repair was sufficient? Bob could have just asked either Philip or Wally for a jump. So impressed is he with the dining room game play, he wants Philip and Jan to compete on the show too!  Did the writers of The Brady Brides think they had such a commodity in having part of the original cast on hand that no effort was needed when penning the scripts?  It sure seems that way.

host

Well, it is not long before the Logans and the Covingtons are on the show competing against two other couples.  Friends, I will admit that as of the writing of this blog, I have seen more episodes of The Brady Brides than I have The Newlywed Game.  I remember it airing on different networks during my lifetime.  As I flipped the channels as a kid, I would pass it and see images like the one above.  The set design always struck me as looking quite cheap.  Some white lattice and a sign that reads “The Newlywed Game” were the extent of the effort put into dressing the set.  Where the contestants sat was equally humdrum.  Family Feud had that huge spinning device with the survey results and contestants emerging from behind a big sliding wall with their last name on it.  Wheel of Fortune has the giant puzzle board and of course the wheel. We need not even mention the grandiose the Price Is Right gives us.  The Newlywed Game set could be replicated with a single trip to Lowes or Home Depot.

The other contestants on the show were played by actors with some interesting credits.  The Marine Corps contestant was played by Leonard Lightfoot.  He was a regular on She’s The Sheriff and had a recurring role on Silver Spoons.  The lady playing his wife, Renee Jones, had a long run on Days of Our Lives.  The older couple was played by Harvey Vernon and Edith Fellows.  Edith Fellows’ acting resume, while long, listed nothing eye catching for me.  Harvey Vernon stayed busy in Hollywood and had a regular role on Carter Country.  His IMDB page’s profile photo lists a shot of him as the crotchety liquor store owner in the film  “Teen Wolf”.

The games plays out with three of the four couples in a tie at the end.  The other young couple bailed as they had better things to do; or maybe better shows to act in.  The final question of the show that could win it for Jan and Philip is an obvious one Philip should know, but of course he blows it in the most embarrassing way possible.  Earlier in the episode, during the practice round at home, he was too prudish to name breasts and thighs as his favorite part of the chicken; choosing instead to say the face was his favorite part.  One of the multiple choice answers for the winning question is “face” and Jan angrily suggests he answer like he did at home.  To Philip’s humiliation and a fitting nod to the sad attempt at humor in the episode, Philip stands up and yells “breasts and thighs”, despite it not even being an option to the question asked.  This man teaches college?  I will admit, the episodes lone smirk on my part was Jan’s angry “suggestion” towards Philip to answer “face”.

Neither of the couples walk away as winners.  The grand prize was an aquarium, the biggest one offered to non-commercial owners.  It was valued at $1200.  In today’s dollars, that is around $3400.  I wonder what that elderly couple thought of the prize?  Watching shows like The Price Is Right, I used to wonder how underwhelmed some contestants might have been to learn they just won a popcorn cart, a jukebox or new skiing equipment.  I later learned that they are offered a cash equivalent in place of a prize.  If my game show prowess won me a $3500 fish aquarium or top of the line snow shoes, I’d be going home with cash.

lost

They all sit at home and sulk over losing the Newlywed Game and how they really don’t know each other all that well.  Philip suggests that is not bad as getting to know new things about one another makes life grand.  They decide it is time to head to their bedrooms for some more exploration.  With that, the episode ends.

Thank you readers for reviewing this  episode with me.  I would love to hear your thoughts.  Watching this series is not easy for me.  I was not expecting to happen upon some lost comedy gem, but I did expect it to be a bit more entertaining than it has been.  If you happened to enjoy the show/series, please do let us know where you found merit and enjoyment in it.  As I have stated before, the comments are what fuel this blog and make it great.  I’ll be back soon with the review of the remainder of the episodes.

 

 

The Brady Brides – Part One

Greetings again readers, family and friends.  Thank you for joining me today as we begin reviewing The Brady Brides.  Today we review “Living Together” and “Gorilla Of My Dreams”.  The episodes aired on March 6th and March 13th, 1981.  Again, I used Daily Motion to review the episodes and the user who uploaded them recorded them off of TV Land once upon a time.  So dear readers, these are no doubt abridged copies of what many of you have viewed in the past.  If some great part is missing from the prints I viewed, please share.  However, based on the parts that were left for syndication, I shudder at the thought of what might have been deemed disposable.  I sincerely appreciate the efforts to bring our beloved Bradys back to the small screen, but if these two episodes are indicative of the series as a whole, I can see why it was so short lived.

Video Links:

Living Together https://dai.ly/x4jo69n

Gorilla of My Dreams https://dai.ly/x4jo69o

house1

“Living Together” sees Marcia and Jan seeking to share an abode.  Since neither couple can afford to purchase a home of their own, the two newlywed couples decide to pool their incomes and purchase a house.  The apartment we saw Jan living in when Philip proposed seemed plenty big for the Covingtons to call home.  We only saw the outside door of Marcia’s old place and it did seem small.    Philip is initially against the idea of sharing a pad with somebody he has so little in common with.  In some writing more fitting of a Bugs Bunny cartoon, he decides to sign the mortgage paperwork just to show the others he can be impractical.  1981 must have been a different time for home financing.  My stepfather had a devil of a time getting a mortgage approved when he and my mom wanted to share a place/mortgage with my sister and her family.   The Logans and the Covingtons have no trouble sharing a loan.  They sure will have trouble sharing a home!  Sorry, I had to put that cheesy line in this blog as it is fitting of the dialogue of this show.

toomuchcrap

Just as virtually no planning or thinking ahead was initially involved with the dual wedding, the same applies when furnishing the home.  All the worldly possessions of each couple are tossed haphazardly into the home.  It is like the movers initially made an effort to bring things into the home in an organized fashion, but eventually said “Screw it!” and just started hurling furniture over the rail by the front door.

neighbor
Barbara Cason

Classic sitcoms were known for having some kind of disapproving or prudish neighbor at some point.  The Brady Brides was no exception.  Miss Fritzinger works her way through the maze of crap that populates the living room to let the newlyweds know that they now live in a respectable neighborhood.  I figured Miss Fritzinger was a regular on this show, but per her IMDB resume, Barbara Cason made only this one appearance.  Along with several one off appearances, she did enjoy recurring roles on Carter Country, Trapper John MD and It’s Garry Shandling’s Show.  The latter is the only one I remember her from and she was great in the role of Garry’s mom.  Barbara Cason died in 1990.

Untitled

The conflict of who’s furniture stays and who’s goes is resolved off camera.  Soon the house is arranged and new problems make themselves known.  Wally enjoys strolling about the house au naturel after hours.  I know the seventies were more liberal in some ways and that probably spilled over to 1981, but him thinking this is okay living with another couple is just weird.  Of course, he did pursue Marcia in some creepy ways, so maybe strutting around in the buff does not give him much pause.  It sure does Philip though.  This generates conflict and the Logan/Covington home is soon a house divided.

tape

Once again the tape down the middle of the room makes an appearance.  Just to add some wackiness, it even divides windows and doors.  Groan.  Folks, I know this was a sitcom, but if any vein of the original series was to be continued here, the story should be halfway believable!  The only other time I recall adults acting this way was an episode of The Munsters when Herman and Grandpa split the house.  Since neither Wally or Philp are ghouls or monsters, their doing this doesn’t work for me.   Also, Philip does some kind of science experiment right smack dab in the middle of the living room.  If you want to devalue your home, handling chemicals in the main living area is a good way to do it.  Even Peter Brady knew to build his volcano outdoors.

resolve

Unity is found in a common enemy.  Miss Fritzinger arrives with a policeman and accuses her new neighbors of brewing up a batch of drugs.  Wally will hear none of this and defends Philip.  Philip shows his support of Wally by dropping his britches.  The newlyweds are all friends again and the episode ends.

This was rough.  I think I might have cracked a smile once.

gorilla

The next episode has Wally bringing home an oversized stuffed Gorilla.  His employer, The Tyler Toy Company, is looking to sell it.  What child would not want that hideously oversized creation in their bedroom?  Speaking of bedroom, some risque jokes about leaving the lights on in the bedroom are attempted here.  For 1981 they might have been funny.  Philip is not happy to see the huge gorilla in his home as his boss is going to visit him there regarding an important research grant.  I know my boss where I work always discusses important stuff with me at my house instead of the workplace.  I guess Philip’s does too.  Heck, maybe Philip does a lot of his work at home based on the living room science experiment we saw earlier.

gorilla2

We also learn in this episode that there have been some burglaries in the neighborhood.  Alice pays a visit and it is suggested she is somehow over the neighborhood watch.  Not even the wonderful acting of Ann B. Davis can do anything for this snooze-fest of an episode.  Her fear of the oversized toy was well acted with some physical comedy thrown in, but the scene still falls flat.  It’s like Adele or Elton John singing a song I wrote; not even the best talent could make something lousy enjoyable.

chairs

There is a scene of the newlyweds at the dining table with mismatched chairs.  Maybe off camera or in a cut scene, some nonsense resolution was reached that saw this hodgepodge seating come to be when the house was overstuffed with furniture in the last episode.  Some more childish squabbling occurs here as Wally balks at washing the dishes.  I will say this scene garnered a chuckle as Wally first praises the food Marcia cooked with a mini make out session, only to learn it was not Marcia that cooked it.  He then gives Jan a peck on the cheek for a fine meal only to learn it was Philip who did the cooking.  He gives him a kiss too.

kid
Keland Love as Harry.

Another classic sitcom trope plays out in The Brady Brides.  A wisecracking and back talking neighborhood kid, Harry, pays the newlyweds a visit.  Wally consults Harry about toys his company is considering selling.  Harry doesn’t ooze the cuteness of an Arnold Jackson or Webster, but he gets the job done.  Harry was played by Keland Love.  This was one of five appearances on The Brady Brides.  He appeared on a few other shows and did voice work in cartoons from 1984-1986.  A Google search did not produce any more current information about him.

karate

The story plods along as we see another make out session between Marcia and Wally, the giant gorilla toy spook Philip’s boss and cost him the grant and Carol, Marcia and Jan practice karate to fend off potential burglars.

robber

The episode ends with a burglar striking the Logan/Covington home.  I will admit, I fully expected that large toy to so scare the burglar so that he flees the home and doesn’t rob the newlyweds.  So, I will give credit that the writers did not mix in that predictable bit with all the other ones.  The robber holds Marcia, Wally and Philip at gunpoint while he decides what to steal.  An attempt at humorous banter plays out, but it’s just dumb.  I know the show was taking a lighthearted approach to felonious activity, but seeing robbery victims debate robbery versus burglary with an armed thug just didn’t make for funny TV.  Only when his tropical fish are threatened does Philip take action and disarm the robber.  Jan then exits the bedroom and uses her newly learned karate moves to take the bad guy down.

I know the original Brady Bunch series took an equally lighthearted attempt at kidnapping and false imprisonment (Ghost Town, U.S.A and The Tiki Caves), so maybe I am being a bit tough on The Brady Brides here.  Maybe we knew Vincent Price and Jim Backus meant no harm, just wanted their interests protected.  An armed man entering an occupied dwelling is not quite the same caliber of sitcom material and it shows here.

Well folks, my opinion of The Brady Brides thus far is that the honeymoon is over.  The enjoyment their marriage brought us in the past episodes/tv movie seems to be over now.  Let’s hope better things lay ahead.  Please share your own thoughts with us!

gorilla3

The gorilla reminds me of those animatronic creatures that used to be at Showbiz Pizza.

 

The Brady Girls Get Married

Hello again friends and readers!  Thank you for joining me today to review “The Brady Girls Get Married”.  The world first saw Marcia and Jan get married (not to each other) on February 6th, 1981.  By this time, the original series had ended seven years before.  The Variety Hour had brought the family back to TV in 1976, but was short lived.  This TV movie was the first and last time the entire original cast reprized their roles at the same time.  Future reunions had at least one character being portrayed by another actress.  I’ve heard this “movie” was originally a few episodes of The Brady Brides series constructed into a TV movie or maybe it was the reverse. I am sure some dedicated fan out there can share the truth with us.  I am sure by 1981, fans of the original show were happy to see the Brady family together again.  I remember seeing this movie air on some now extinct cable channel in the late 80s or early 90s.  This time around, I had to rely on Daily Motion to view the film.  The video link is below.  So dear readers, if this upload excluded some iconic or fabulous scene, forgive me for not knowing about it.  Please share with us something the link below may have excluded.  Let’s begin reviewing “The Brady Girls Get Married”!

Video Link: https://dai.ly/x6lu4go

The movie begins with some guy we have never seen before entering an apartment building.  Can you imagine viewers chomping at the bit to see the Bradys again, only to see this stranger enter the scene?  It turns out the fellow is Philip Convington, Jan’s boyfriend and soon to be fiance.  The classic trope of a nervous husband to be fumbling about with the engagement ring as he pops the question is played out here.  I will say the years continued to be very kind to Eve Plumb.  She looks fantastic in this movie.  Maureen McCormick certainly looked nice too, but there is something about Eve….

values

The engaged pair pay a visit to Mike and Carol.  They are relaxing on the couch when Jan and Philip arrive. As they turn off the TV, we learn they were watching Gilligan’s Island.  It was a fun nod to Sherwood Schwartz other iconic creation.  Jan and Philip share their good news and Philip asks Mike for Jan’s hand in marriage.  I thought this was supposed to be done before the groom pops the question, but will admit the practice now seems so outdated that my knowledge of it could be off.  Mike and Carol give a lukewarm response to Jan and Philip’s news.  The reason for this was quite absurd.  They feel Marcia should be getting married before Jan.  What?  This was 1981!  I assume Jan has her own career by now.  She definitely has her own place and has been seeing Philip for a while.  She is expected to put her own nuptials on hold until Marcia gets married?  We soon learn that Marcia isn’t even seeing anyone!  I’m surprised Jan was even allowed to move out of Mike and Carol’s home if such archaic mindsets are in place with Mike and Carol.  The newly engaged pair leave disheartened at Mike and Carol’s response; and rightfully so!

mikeandcarol

Here is a nice shot of a 1980s Mike and Carol Brady.   Carol fondly remembers her father catching her and Mike in the backseat of a car making out.  Mike informs her that the memory is not about him.  If Mike and Carol had dated as teenagers, this would have been funny.  All regular viewers and fans know that Mike and Carol were grown adults with children while they dated.  The gag just falls flat here.

The courtship of Marcia and Wally soon commences.  A chance meeting at a cafeteria sows the seeds of love between the pair.  Well, not at first.   The man who has just met her can tell something is wrong and Marcia opens up about her not being hitched and Jan wanting to be and the problems it has caused.  Wally must have a thing for troubled women so willing to share as he asks Marcia to get married after knowing her only a few minutes.  He says he has been looking for her all of his life.  Shivers!  I suppose what passed for comedy in 1981 is considered creepy by today’s standards.   Marcia arrives home that night to flowers on her doorstep from Wally.  How did he know where to send them?  He went to Marcia’s workplace where they gave him her address.  Shivers again!

Maybe I can be a tad forgiving of Wally’s efforts.  A man my mom dated for a while in the late 90s contacted her workplace in hopes of getting her phone number.  Thankfully, the lady working the desk refused to give it to him, but did pass his number along to my mom. It turns out my mom was interested and they dated a long time.  Wally’s creepiness and contacting Marcia’s workplace are excessive, but Marcia’s employer handing over her address is unacceptable in any day and age.

Wally crashes Marcia’s workplace under the guise of being a clothing inspector.  He won’t leave until Marcia agrees to date him.  If any man or woman seeking a date are reading this blog, DON’T DO WHAT WALLY DOES!  What made for funny in 1981 could get you in a lot of trouble today.  For whatever reason, Wally’s persistence has worn Marcia down and she hides a smirk at his actions.  What follows is a montage of scenes showing the pair out on dates.  At their conclusion we learn they have been dating for seven days.  Based on the clothing changes, they have had a very active seven days.  It reminds me of the montage of dating scenes in “The Naked Gun” that show Frank Drebin and Jane on all kinds of dates and concludes with Jane sharing they met only yesterday.

Soon we see Mike and Carol lamenting they have not heard from Jan in over a week.  It seems Mike and Carol always encouraged their kids to do the right thing and apologize when they were wrong.  Here, Mike and Carol have not reached out to Jan in a week?  Just as they seek to amend the error of their ways, Jan arrives with apologies.  Mike and Carol share their own.  Seconds later, Marcia and Wally arrive to share the news they are getting married.  However, they won’t do it without the consent of Mike and Carol.  Mike and Carol ponder the matter for a few brief seconds and consent.  This same couple that did not want Jan married until Marcia tied the knot give their marriage blessing to Marcia after a seven day courtship.  Jan learns of this and the two eldest Brady sisters are elated at the idea of sharing a wedding day.  This was a bit of a surprise for me.  I could easily see Jan being dismayed at Marcia stealing her thunder by arranging a marriage of her own so soon after Jan had announced she was getting married.  It seems most any bride would want her wedding day to be all her own.  Jan, who always felt overshadowed by Marcia in the original series, has no problem sharing her big day with her older sister?  Perhaps this was meant to show Jan was older and more mature now, but even a grown woman might be disappointed to learn she was sharing a wedding.

In the next scene, we finally get to see the rest of the Brady kids.  Carol phones them all to share the news of Marcia and Jan getting married.  Greg gets the  call first.  He is now a doctor!  In seven years, he completed his undergraduate degree, medical school and is now practicing medicine.  Based on the timeline, he should still be in medical school.  Peter is serving in the Air Force.  In one of those annoying, but necessary lines, Peter says to Carol “..I enlist in the Air Force a while so I can decide what to do with my life…”.  Yes, the audience needed to know this, but I am certain Carol knew and did not need the reminder.  During their conversation, Peter holds up a general trying to leave the flight line.  It seems Peter would be controlling access to the flight line, not those exiting it.  The phone call to Bobby and Cindy are both at college.  Susan Olsen is looking great even with that 1980s hairstyle.

alice

As wedding preparations begin, we finally see Alice.  She and Sam have been married four years now.  She is there to help with all things wedding.  However, she can’t stop crying at the idea of Jan and Marcia getting married.  She fondly remembers Marcia as a child writing in crayon on the family room walls.   This is another head scratching line for devout fans.  By the time Carol and her daughters moved into the house, even Cindy was well beyond the age where she would be writing on the walls.

The wedding preparations or lack thereof are made evident with Alice’s arrival. Marcia and Jan have completely different visions for their wedding.  Jan wants a traditional event with formal wear, classical music and the like.  Wally and Marcia are imagining a casual BYOB type event that the guests will find not much different than the regular boozy weekend parties.  Oh, except there will be a live rock-n-roll band.

weddingoff

This of course causes conflict.  The two couples’ clash continues into Mike and Carol’s living room where they all meet for the first time.  The obvious solution here would be for each Brady girl to have her own celebration.  Mikes does suggest this.  Well, such a common sense resolution would not make for a good movie.  No resolution is reached; Wally and Philip are now having second thoughts about getting married at all.   I was not quite clear why they felt this way.  Maybe neither guy wants the rest of his life dictated by Jan and Marcia not getting along?

bottle
“Okay, let’s give this a spin and see that this is one of the stupidest ideas we ever have.”

The Brady girls getting married plot line had all ready moved on to a shaky track, but the next plot resolution sends it sailing off the track into the ravine.  The dueling couples meet at a restaurant, down a bottle of wine and decide to course the wedding by spinning the empty bottle on the table.  Yes, they are going to decide what kind of wedding they will have by spinning a wine bottle.  The bottle lands between Marcia and Jan, leaving them to conclude the wedding should be half traditional and half modern.  This is some classic Brady nonsense here.  I could see this having been some kind of resolution on the original show when it came to some song Greg wrote, a play the kids were putting or maybe two girls sharing hostess honors due to the banquet guest of honor being an astronaut.

The wedding is planned in less than a week due to Peter’s Air Force service sending him off on an exercise.  This comes at a great inconvenience to all the Brady kids, but they will be there.  Somehow, all of the other guests coming could rearrange their plans.  Maybe this abrupt change is why we don’t see Aunt Jenny as she was in Washington DC advising a newly elected Ronald Reagan on how to deal with the USSR.

The wedding begins with more lame jokes.  Bobby arrives still wearing his cleats.  How did he “accidentally” put cleats on after changing out of his uniform into a suit?  Greg arrives wearing white doctor shoes and is laughed at as only the bride is supposed to wear white.   I will give kudos to the production of this movie in that they at least make clear the wedding was taking place someplace besides the Brady house.   However, the wedding is moved there as rain soon cancels the outdoor nuptials.

It seems to be such a TV sitcom mainstay that characters get married on the main set of the show.  I remember an episode of Good Times where James’ father was getting married and the ceremony took place in the Evans’ apartment.  When this was mentioned at the Sitcomsonline board for the show, somebody commented to the effect of, “If they would have had Thelma get married in that damned apartment…” and I still laugh thinking about that.  For the Brady brides, at least we have rain to blame for them getting married in the Brady home’s living room.

The half and half ceremony plays out onscreen.  Jan and Philip swap traditional vows while Marcia and Wally share some they penned on their own.  Stewart Copeland jams alongside Carlos Santana while a violin players strolls about the event.  The wacky wedding ends the same way Mike and Carol’s did.  However, this time it is Wally who finds himself covered in wedding cake.  It was a nice subtle nod to the original series.

cake

I want to thank you all for reviewing “The Brady Girls Get Married” with me.  Please do share your own thoughts!  My own line of thinking here is that it was nice to see everyone again, but the level of enjoyment is nowhere near what I found with the original series.  A sensible and responsible gal like Marcia agreeing to marry a man after a week’s time was a stretch.  Maybe if it was Desi Arnaz Jr, I might understand, but not some guy who sat beside her at the Piccadilly.  As mentioned before, the willingness to have a half and half wedding might have worked on the original series, but here just rings hokey to me.  In the coming days, I will be seeking episodes of The Brady Brides out and another blog will post before too long with a review of those.  Based on the TV movie, I can’t see reviewing each episode one by one.  Again, I hope you will all share your own thoughts!   See you again soon.

 

A Very Brady Episode

Hello again dear readers!  Thank you for joining me today to look back on a fun spoof of The Brady Bunch.  On February 5th, 1989, an episode of the sitcom Day By Day aired an episode where one of the characters dreams he is a part of the Brady family.  In case you have not seen it, a Youtube link for the episode is below.  It is here that I viewed it for the first time in nearly 30 years.  I also obtained the screenshots from here, so please excuse the lackluster quality of them.   Let’s begin our review!

Video Link: https://youtu.be/gapSLY5Fxbo

I remember seeing this episode when it aired during prime time.  Other than viewing this one particular episode, I had zero recollection of the series as a whole prior to starting this review.   I had to Google it for more information.  To my surprise, it was associated with the long running series Family Ties.  The fathers on each show were college roommates.  So in the same TV world where Steven and Elyse Keaton worried over the conservative era of Reagan clashing with their flower child pasts, another family ran a day care and enjoyed The Brady Bunch.

DBD1

The premise of Day By Day had a husband and wife with successful careers shucking their high paying jobs to run a day care.  Thrown into the mix was their teenage son Ross, a toddler aged daughter, a pre-Seinfeld Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a neighbor and a pre-Melrose Place Courtney Thorne-Smith as a nanny.  The show starred Douglas Sheehan and Linda Kelsey as the parents and Christopher Daniel Barnes as Ross.  Thora Birch played the daughter.   If any readers are more familiar with this series as a whole, please share your thoughts!

DBD3
Christopher Daniel Barnes as Ross Harper

It is a well known bit of Brady trivia that Christopher Daniel Barnes would later play Greg in the Brady movies from the 1990s.  He did not reprise the role for the third Brady film where Mike Brady is elected president.

DBD4

The episode begins with Ross utilizing some vintage 1980s technology to watch a vintage 1970s show.  I remember those little hand held TVs being quite the novelty at one time.  A friend and his dad were utilizing their own to watch Alf one night at church while waiting to have their photo snapped for the directory.  That was advanced technology at the time!

Ross is soon joined by the neighbor, Eileen, and the nanny, Kristin, and they all sing the Brady Bunch theme song together.  It was a nice nod to the show’s longevity that so many knew the words to the theme song by heart.

Along with some vintage 1980s tech, this episode also treats us to some vintage 80s fashion.  Check out that shirt Ross is wearing.  At the time it was current and stylish.  Later in this episode, we will see him wearing some laughable 1970s duds.  Now, this episode gives a glimpse to the dated fashion of two decades!  Eileen’s business attire would still be considered fashionable today or at least it would not catch my eye like a leisure suit or parachute pants would.  Kristin’s outfit does have a 1980s Gap vibe, but probably would only reveal that under scrutiny.

DBD5

The conflict of this Day By Day episode is that Ross has written a lousy history  paper.  The conflict is revealed with some of those classic 80s sitcoms tropes.  The other characters vow their support and then balk moments later.  The issue at hand is rendered more grave by dialogue of the other characters still unaware of the said issue.  In this case, the parents reflect on the teacher that gave Ross the bad grade and how easy it was to pass his class.  These tropes are predictable and heavy handed, but they sure were fun back then.

ba

Ross blames his bad grade on a recent Brady Bunch marathon.  Part of this crappy paper stated that Benedict Arnold was the pig on Green Acres.  Well Ross, if you were watching a Brady Bunch marathon, you should be well aware Benedict Arnold was not the famous swine from Green Acres.  Your parents are so right to be disappointed in you.  You didn’t pay attention in class or while watching The Brady Bunch.  Ross laments that Mike and Carol Brady would not be angry with one of the kids brought home a bad grade.

opening2

Ross must hit the books as part of his punishment for the F paper.  This is where the fun begins as he dozes off and dreams he is a part of The Brady Brunch.  The opening of the original show is altered in that it excludes Susan Olsen from the opening head shots.  I assume the little girl taking her place was the actress who played Ross’s little sister on Day By Day.  Outside of this shot, the child does not appear elsewhere in the episode.  Susan Olsen is also absent from this mini-reunion.  Sadly, we won’t see Eve Plumb or Barry Williams either outside of these opening credits.

carol

Ross finds himself in the Brady home of old and greeted by Carol.  Florence Henderson adorned the lady mullet for this spoof.  Either the studio audience or a well crafted canned excited audience track erupt upon her entrance.  True to the original show, she enjoys one cup of coffee after another.  Missing was that pea green coffee pot Alice always served from.  In this introduction, we learn that Ross is no longer Ross, but Chuck Brady.  We get the only mention of Cindy and Jan here.  Carol gleefully shares that Cindy is at a bake sale and Jan just ran up to her room and slammed the door.

mike

Soon, Robert Reed comes from Mike’s den sporting a mustache and some classic Mr. Brady attire.  In a funny bit, he chides Chuck about his long hair.  The boy refuses to have it cut, but Mike Brady isn’t asking that at all.  He asked that Chuck get that long hair permed.  Most devout fans of the show now know the curls of the Brady men came naturally, not chemically, but this was still a really funny line.  It was fantastic that Robert Reed took part in this, despite his misgivings about the original series.  Perhaps this opportunity to poke fun at it could not be resisted by him.

ukelele

It is soon revealed that Mike is carrying a ukulele.  He cracks a silly joke about taking it to a roaring 20s party.  He says that’s where “we all get roaring and act like we’re twenty”.  Carol of course finds this hilarious.  Throughout this entire dream bit, Florence Henderson and Robert Reed look to be having a blast spoofing their old characters. It was great to see them together having so much fun.

alice

Soon Ann B. Davis makes her entrance.  She references the boxing gloves she is wearing as being a gift from Sam The Butcher.  It was nice that her old beau was at least referenced.   As of 1989, Miss Davis did not appear to have lost a step.  She dances around throwing jabs and looks as fit as ever.  I’ve shared before that Ann B. Davis was known to be in excellent health right up until the day she passed.  Her death took those who knew her by surprise.  During this scene, Alice also mentions Buddy Hinton giving Chuck trouble at school.  Whoever crafted this spoof seemed to know the show very well.

bobbypeter

The audience is then treated to the arrival of two of the Brady boys. Christopher Knight and Mike Lookinland enter the scene.  It was funny seeing Bobby with a mustache, still dressed like he was 12 years old.  They introduce the mini-conflict of the episode when they share that Chuck is running for student council president.  Chuck refuses saying he does not do extracurricular activities.  Here Mike pulls aside Chuck and the music is queued that accompanied wisdom being shared on the original series.  The “talking to” lasts all of 15 seconds as Mike shares facing new challenges is part of growing up and closing with “I’m glad we had this talk” as the music stops abruptly.  It was a funny well done parody of the original series.

marcia

The next scene has Maureen McCormick entering the dream sequence.  A very pregnant Marcia rushes over to Chuck to share with him some “wonderful news”.  Chuck is taken aback by a pregnant Marcia.  At the time this episode was filmed, Maureen McCormick was pregnant.  I remember when I watched this years ago, Chuck questioned if Mike and Carol knew Marcia was with child, but this is cut from the version posted on Youtube.  It’s a shame too because it made for a really funny exchange.  The wonderful news Marcia has to share is that she is running for Student Council president.

The remainder of the dream sequence treats viewers to more silliness via the spoof of the original series.  At one point Chuck suggests he and his brothers get on their bikes and go someplace, but is rebuked by Peter saying “we never ride our bikes” followed by Bobby saying “we just fix them”.  While us die hard fans of the show know this not to be true, to a casual viewer it makes for continued hilarity.  Eileen and Kristin appear in the dream as two of Marcia’s cheer leading chums and kind of stand in for Jan and Cindy.  The boys and girls march across a the living room, divided by a white line, in support of the candidate of their gender.  Carol intervenes and Marcia states she wishes she was part of the Partridge Family.  Another super quick “lesson” is shared with the music queued.

The dream sequence comes to an end with a laugh.  Mike again shares the roaring 20s joke.  When questioned about this by Chuck, Mike states he knows the joke was shared all ready.  Carol states they are now in a rerun.  Alice reenters throwing jabs and belts Chuck Brady, returning him to reality as Ross.  Well, almost returning him.  Ross awakens from the dream only to find his actual parents dressed like Mike and Carol Brady.  This lasts only a few seconds as he awakens again to his own reality.  The bit concludes with his own parents becoming enraptured with an episode of The Brady Bunch.

Thank you for reviewing this episode of Day By Day with me.  I chose to review it as it is a testament to that lasting legacy in pop culture the Bradys left us.  At the time this episode aired, the original show had been off the air almost 15 years.  This episode is but one of many examples of how the Bradys have remained such a powerful mainstay in pop culture.  We just saw the original house used only in establishing shots undergo a major renovation as the nostalgia associated with it was so great, so many did not want to see it razed.  There a few classic TV shows with such staying power.  Please share your own thoughts with us on this episode/spoof.  The plan for the next review is The Brady Brides.  See you soon.

 

 

Let Us Explore A Little More.

Hello again readers, family and friends.   I am returning to review some more corners of the Brady universe.  For those who visited the Leave It To Beaver blog, thank you!  The decision to end it was not an easy one, but one I felt to be best.  The show will always have a special place in my heart, but the blog just wasn’t attracting readership like I had hoped.  The upcoming reviews will not be on any set schedule.  I will be posting them as time and family obligations allow.   So, if you have not signed up for notifications when a new blog posts, now would be a good time!

Please note, I will not be reviewing The Brady Bunch Variety Hour.  I know there are some out there who would like to see it revisited, but I just can’t do it.  I saw the first episode and can’t imagine suffering through any more.  If some reader wishes to share with us a review of the show, please feel free.  WordPress offers a free blogging website.  I will happily link your review or reviews of The Brady Bunch Variety Hour on this site if you choose to pursue reviewing it.

ukelele

Our first review of the post-Brady Bunch era will be an episode of the 1980s sitcom “Day By Day” that reunited some of the original cast.  It is aptly titled “A Very Brady Episode”.   The episode is a fun spoof of the original show and it was a pleasure seeing some of the original cast together again.  More on that later!  Look for the next blog to be posted in the coming days.

It’s great to be back!  Let’s have some fun!