Episode 8: And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor

 

Hello again groovy friends, family and readers!  This week we review “And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor”.  If first aired on November 5th, 1971.  This episode ranks among the least enjoyed for some fans.  While it certainly doesn’t make my top five, it’s not among my bottom five either.  There are a few major credibility strains towards the end, but we will get to that later.  As many fans of the show know, Robert Reed wrote a very scathing memo of this episode that Barry Williams included in his book “Growing Up Brady”.    Time and space prevent me from including it here, but if any fans out there have never read it, it is an interesting look behind the scenes of “The Brady Bunch”.  Let us begin reviewing “And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor”!

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The story opens with the Bradys on location at a supermarket.  The establishing shot shows the parking lot of some supermarket with the name obscured by the camera market1framing.  Man oh man!  Look at all those vintage cars in their prime!  What was a parking lot in 1971 would today be a top-notch car show!  The Brady supply train is shown leaving the supermarket with all the kids either pushing a cart or carrying groceries.  Automatic doors must have still been a technological wonder in 1971 as Bobby seems to be very entertained by those at the supermarket.  Bobby is chided by Carol to get moving and catch up!  Another new innovation from 1971 must have been the 24 hour supermarket.  This place sure is proud that it is open around the clock as there are many signs touting this.

 

 

 

As the Bradys exit the store, the episode’s guest star is introduced very early on.  A mysterious stranger has followed the family all around the supermarket, looking at them through his hands.  Carol has decided to go the nonconfrontational route and just avoid him and leave.  I would agree with this until the man was standing right beside my car!  If some stranger were this close to me and my family, then it would be time to address the issue.  As it turns out, this man is Skip Farnum and he is looking to cast the family in a TV commercial he is producing for Safe Laundry Detergent.  He tells Carol he wants her husband in the commercial, even though he has never seen the man!  The kids are understandably excited at the prospect as the scene concludes.

 

 

 

Before we move on, let’s take a another minute or two to review this on location shot.  One can only hope that real estate broker did not pay much to advertise on that bench!  It lists only that the business being advertised is a real estate broker with exclusive listings.  There is no phone number, address or even the name of the broker!  It can be assumed that was just a generic ad placed over something that might have been objectionable for family television at the time.   Do any readers know the purpose of that water kiosk in front of the supermarket?  I wonder if the “The Bagpipe” was an Irish pub or a bar or a place where people could go for bagpipe lessons?  That Fish and Chips place probably had some really good fried grub.  Seeing how it was 1971, those fish filets and fries were probably fried in 100% butter or lard.  One business who clearly got some national exposure in this episode was Victor’s Liquor.  The delivery van can clearly be seen and a viewer with sharp eyes might have been able to make out the phone number on it.  Maybe Victor noticed the filming for the Brady Bunch taking place across the street and quickly parked his van there in hopes of it being on the show.  Another scenario was the director of this episode asked him to park it there to conceal all the winos and other stumbling patrons leaving The Bagpipe!

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Mike must have agreed quickly to his family doing the commercial as the next scene has Skip Farnum at the Brady home discussing the project.  Not only has Skip found the pussycatperfect family for his commercial, they also live in an ideal filming location.  Instead of using a soundstage inside a studio as would be used for most any other commercial, this advertisement will be filmed inside a suburban home.  Skip sets out to roam freely about the Brady home and size the place up.   As he does so, he encounters Alice leaving the family room.  Upon meeting him, she is perplexed at who this strange man is standing in the kitchen.  Surely Mike and Carol mentioned the TV producer would be stopping by and have not just let some strange man wander into their home!  She quickly realizes he is Skip Farnum.  So entranced is Skip by Alice’s beauty and organic appearance, he immediately casts her in the commercial too.  As he gazes through his hands, Skip appears to be saying something to Alice, but the scene abruptly cuts.

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Say pussycat, the meaning of life is–

 

Back in the living room, Greg has come downstairs to speak with Mike and Carol about compensation for the commercial.  Mike shares that there will be a payday for their moneyacting efforts but quickly adds, with a point of the finger, that all that acting dough is going into their savings.  Dang Mike, why do you have to be such a stick in the mud?  This rare and fantastic opportunity at an easy windfall must not be enjoyed except in knowing that money is being saved.  Greg presses that maybe just some of their earnings can be used on something special.  Even Carol is on board with Greg on this as she prods Mike to allow some of the money earned to be used for fun.  Mike agrees that some of the loot can be spent.  I can certainly understand Mike wanting some of the money saved, but to initially say that all of it MUST be saved was overly prudent.

 

 

 

The scenes that follow must have been cut in syndication as I had no recollection of them.  In the boys’ room, Greg shows Pete and Bobby the amplifier he is going to buy with his earnings from the commercial.  From here, the boys dream big of the future acting opportunities and riches they will bring.  In the bathroom, Marcia and Jan perform mock commercials in the bathroom mirrors.  Cindy does one of her own citing her curls get frizzled.  Check out that tube of toothpaste Marcia holds while doing her faux advertisement.  It must be from the same company that made that supermarket bench as the brand is apparently known as “toothpaste”.

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Back in Mike and Carol’s bedroom, Mike is looking over the contract for the commercial and can’t make heads or tails of it.  One must ponder why he didn’t just ask Skip Farnum when the man was at their home earlier in the evening.  Mike says he is going to have the Bradys’ attorney look it over.  Did they have one on retainer?  From here, Mike and Carol’s conversation moves to the history of the family’s laundry detergent.  Carol is all about the dramatics when sharing this with Mike as she feels the need to identify the brand “Help” by practically yelling “Help!” As the seasons progressed, Florence Henderson projected her lines and voice more and more.  This is an early example of that.  Here Mike learns that the family doesn’t even use Safe laundry detergent and is aghast at the idea that they will be saying they do in a commercial.  In a very naïve moment for Carol Brady, she asks Mike if all the other people in TV commercials actually use the products.  At the knowledge of this, Mike decides that the family should not do the commercial as they would be frauds if they did.

 

 

 

A rollercoaster of emotions follows.  Outside the boys stand beside one very unkempt garage and lament the lost riches that were to come from the commercial.  That is the messiest I have ever seen the Brady garage!  Inside, Carol and Alice seem just as downbeat about the news of no commercial.  However, Mike calls with good news!  The product they have been tasked to advertise is a new and improved Safe detergent!  If the family feels it outperforms their current washing powder, the commercial will be back on!  What follows is one of those lines that always annoyed me on “The Brady Bunch”.  Carol says there is going to be a “a Brady wash-a-thon” with a “showdown at the old washing machine” and “may the better soap win”.   I know it is TV and we are supposed to suspend some disbelief, but it is such a stretch to imagine somebody talking like this on the fly.

 

 

 

What follows is one of the major irritation points Robert Reed mentions in his scathing memo.  The Brady kids are allowed to go outside and soil their clothes to levels not experienced in any daily task.  When the clothes are washed, if Safe out performs Best, the commercial can be made!  Peter squirts oil on Greg in a most wasteful fashion.  Peter, Bobby and Cindy engage in a mudfight of epic proportions.  How difficult was it to clean that mud off the Astroturf yard?  Jan and Marcia start out dabbing paint on one another with paintbrushes before going full on and pouring out jars of it on each other.  If either Best or Safe can remove paint from clothes, it’d certainly be a selling point for either brand!

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With the dirtying of clothes and their washing complete, it is time to determine which laundry detergent out performed the other.  Upon deeming one pile of clothes cleaner than the other, it is discovered that Alice made a gaffe and did not name the brand associated with each pile when classifying each.  The winning brand is a mystery and the kids must go out and dirty up their clothes again!  A second round of dirtying, washing and Alice being more prudent in clothes identification sees that Safe is the better detergent.  The commercial will commence!

 

 

 

In the next scene, Mike, Carol and Skip sit at the dining room table and work out the final details.  One will notice here that Mike and Carol enjoy coffee while Skip is drinking a glass of milk.  It was a nice subtle nod to Skip’s eccentric ways.  As he leaves, he tells Mike and Carol that they just need to learn the lines in the script and leave the rehearsing up to him.  As he and his assistant, listed in the credits as Felder, leave Skip is commended on his “natural” angle when shooting commercials.  He wants untrained and unrehearsed actors pitching the products his company advertises.

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Paul Winchell as Skip Farnum

 

Skip Farnum was played by Paul Winchell.  Before I watched this episode, I had no idea what a larger than life guy Paul Winchell was.  He started his showbiz career as a ventriloquist.  From here, he would go on to act in several roles to include being a regular on “Laugh-In”.  His many voice acting credits include the role of Tigger in “Winnie the Pooh” and Gargamel on “The Smurfs”.  If this impressive acting resume wasn’t enough, he was also an inventor!  He patented an artificial heart among other things!  I was sad to read that he had a contentious relationship with his children later in life.  Typically I would not post a link like this, but the link below gives more details on Paul Winchell’s interesting life.  Paul Winchell died in 2005.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/26/AR2005062601247.html

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The Bradys seek acting direction from the cousin of a friend as Mike doesn’t want to look stupid when the cameras role.  Carol describes the lady who is to help them, Myrna Carter, as “not important or anything”.  Myrna was a very brief but fun character in the Brady universe.  She is the type you’d imagine to live in a house full of cats, crazy art and past due bills piled up on the table.  She is in love with her craft and tries to motivate Mike and Carol to be too.  She keeps encouraging them to do their scenes in a bigger and better fashion.  She wants them to think outside the scene itself and imagine what goes on the rest of the day that makes Safe detergent so special to them.

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Bonnie Boland as Myrna Carter

 

Myrna Carter was portrayed by Bonnie Boland.  After first appearing on “I Dream of Jeannie” in 1968 she enjoyed appearances on hit shows like “Julia” and “The Beverly Hillbillies”.  After having a recurring role as Mabel on “Chico And The Man” her IMDB acting resume stops.  A Google search produced a Facebook page for a singer by the same name, but I can’t be sure it is the same Bonnie Boland we see here.

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When it is time to film the commercial, the shaky ground on which the episode was all ready standing opens into the crater of absurdity.  Apparently Skip and his camera crew set up the commercial without looking over its cast’s wardrobe, hair or makeup.  With a single camera and two lights, Mike and Carol’s scene is filmed much to Skip’s chagrin.  Mike and Carol are as rigid and stiff as any first time actor would be and then give each other a romantic smooch to end the scene.  Did Skip really think they’d be able to just walk in and do the scene without issues?  Even without Myrna’s input and the fallout it caused, such an expectation is ridiculous.

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With just a move of the camera and the lights, Skip is ready to film the kids’ part of the commercial.  Skip summons the kids who enter caked in mud and filth.  With stiff and forced smiles, except for Jan who has a comical gleeful smile, the kids stare at the camera.  Skip questions their level of dirty and when Greg says they were supposed to be out playing, in a laugh out loud moment, Skip asks, “In a swamp?”  My question is if the kids were scripted to just walk in and smile.  They just walk in and stare at the camera.  Was that all they were supposed to do?  Bobby shares that they were motivating.

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With another movement of the camera, the crew is ready to film Alice’s part of the commercial.  She enters from the service porch adorned in a nice dress with well styled hair.  Her entry is overly dramatic as she spins into the room carrying clean clothes.  offWith this Skip has had enough and declares the production off! He says his nice normal family that was to star in his commercial are now a bunch of dingalings.   He then orders everybody to get out of his house.  This was another laugh out loud moment for me.  Mike reminds him that the house is not his.  As the crew leaves, Skip and Felder recall a similar bad experience with an actress named Myrna Carter.  It was a funny conclusion to the scene.

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Art Lewis as Felder

 

Felder was played by Art Lewis.  He enjoyed a long and busy career mostly playing one-off roles on TV shows.  IMDB does not list a recurring role among his acting credits.  His final role was on the TV series “You Again?” in 1986.  He died in 2005.

epilogue

The epilogue has Carol and Alice looking over a special delivery letter from Skip Farnum Film Enterprises regarding payment for their services.  A truck then backs into the Brady driveway with a mysterious delivery.  Here, Carol and Alice learn that the payment referenced in the letter is 2000 boxes of Safe laundry detergent!  The delivery man was played Lennie Bremen.  He previously played the exterminator in “The Impractical Joker”.

“And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor” was intended to be just a fun episode and it succeeded in that.  It was a strange follow up to last week’s dramedy “Juliet Is The Sun”.  While I know many did not, I enjoyed the character of Skip Farnum.  He is one of the few outsiders on the show to acknowledge the level of crazy the Bradys could ascend to at times.  He was also fed up to the point that the Bradys did not get a happy ending.  No commercial and no big payday was the fate of the Bradys this time around.  In a friendlier sitcom world, the owner of Safe would have been on hand during filming and found the Myrna Carter acting methods employed by the Brady family to be fantastic and different and just what the Safe Laundry Detergent company wants!  Instead, Skip Farnum fired them all!  Readers, your own thoughts on the episode, love it or hate it, are most welcome!  Next week, we review “The Private Ear”.  See you then!

 

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Author: bradybunchreviewed

I am a lifelong fan of the Brady Bunch. I love it for it's wholesomeness, it's absurdity and how it serves as a time capsule for a time that really never existed, but so many of us wish it did. The show was off the air by the time I was born, but I enjoyed it daily at 4:35 PM for years on Atlanta's Superstation 17, TBS. Through the years I've enjoyed the Brady Bunch spinoffs (however short lived), revivals in pop culture, books, reunions, movies and spoofs. Now, I am excited to be revisiting the show after nearly a decade's hiatus from viewing. I am a parent now, so there may be some new perspectives never before experienced. I hope my fellow fans, lovers and haters alike of the Brady Bunch will join me on this blogging adventure and share your own thoughts and observations.

19 thoughts on “Episode 8: And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor”

  1. I must say Paramount is able to produce some nasty-looking mud, looking at this episode, back at “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”, and to a certain Season 4 episode.
    Back in the 1940s, Art Lewis was briefly a comedy partner of Dick Martin, who had the idea to bill them as “The Real Martin & Lewis” (as opposed to Crocetti & Levitch). Dick Martin was playing straight-man back then (Dan Rowan, his later and much more enduring partner, said he wasn’t very good as a straight-man since he couldn’t remember lines that weren’t funny.), and they were heckled out of their partnership in just a few weeks.

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  2. As an avid fan of the Brady Bunch and someone who watched the Waltons regularly with his parents, there was interesting thing that I noticed. Safe the laundry detergent, the exact same box, was often seen on shelves of Ike Godsey’s store. I never saw anyone purchase it but being that the Brady Bunch and the Waltons were both produced by CBS, it is obvious that some of the same prop people worked both store. You can see this exact same prop in some episodes of the Waltons in scenes that take place in Godsey’s general store. If you pay attention.

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    1. I like your observation that you saw the same box of Safe on The Waltons. But neither series was produced by CBS. The Waltons was produced by Lorimar if I remember and The Brady Bunch was produced by Paramount. The Waltons aired on CBS while the Brady Bunch aired on ABC for first run.

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  3. That green dress Alice wears for the commercial is obviously worn for special occasions. I think it is the same dress which she wore on her big date with conman Makr (sic) Millard.

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  4. I wonder what the heck the Bradys did with two thousand boxes of laundry soap? Anybody care to take a guess? Lol. And Mike supposably being a smart businessman didn’t realize they were going to be paid in soap and not cash?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comments Marty! I wondered the same about storing all that detergent. As far as payment, I surmised that since the commercial was not finished, the payment was laundry soap instead of cash. Mike stated he was going to have their attorney look at the contract, so surely he/she would have caught that.

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  5. Some comments about the Supermarket parking lot scene which Sherwood devoted a small chapter to in his book “Brady, Brady,Brady”. The first two comments are from his book.
    1. One August day in 1971, the Schwartzes wanted to film general scenes of the supermarket parking lot, where the first scene – Skip Farnum scouting the supermarket to find a family to hire for his latest project, a laundry soap commercial, and eventually meeting the Bradys – is to take place. The filming crew arrived at the supermarket the day of the shooting … only to see an ambulance tending to a dead body: a Brady Bunch production security guard had died of a heart attack while at the supermarket, and was lying beneath a blanket, putting a stop to shooting until the body was taken away and the cast was then allowed to enter the parking lot to film.
    2. Fans who play their DVDs in slow motion during the opening scene in the supermarket parking lot may notice what appears to be a man and a woman talking and exchanging money. In his autobiography and retrospective of the series, Lloyd Schwartz says this was very likely a prostitute making a deal with a client. This was not noticed until after the show aired.
    I played this scene numerous times and do not see this man/woman interaction. I am assuming that they somehow edited it out for the DVDs..as this would not have been very groovy behavior. I have Sherwood’s book and he plainly states these people unintentionally were in the scene and it aired. Can anybody else see this and I just missed it? Anybody else hear this story before?
    3. Reflection of production lights and crew is at times visible In Skip Farnum’s sunglasses and also the supermarket windows. This is very rare to see in any Brady Bunch episode.
    4. Continuity blooper I have never noticed until I watched this episode again tonight. Watch Bobby go through the supermarket doors. To the right of the doors is an old-fashioned phone booth like in the 70s…and not much else. But then the scene changes to Skip looking through his fingers and that same Supermarket door now has two bikes and some gumball machines to the right and the phone booth has mysteriously moved to the left of the doors.. all within five seconds of continuous time on screen.
    5. In the background of the parking lot you can clearly see a restaurant called Pizza Man. This was a pizza chain in Southern California in the 1970s.. before Domino’s exploded and probably put them out of business.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d never heard about that exchange taking place on camera and certainly didn’t catch that when reviewing the episode. Great bit of trivia!
      As for the continuity with Bobby by the doors, I recall the supermarket having to entrance/exits and the one with phone booth to the left was seen after Bobby’s scene with the doors.
      I bet a pie from The Pizza Man was a great way to end a night of drinking at The Bagpipe.
      Please continue sharing your thoughts. They are a great addition to this blog!

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    2. I took a second look today and saw nothing suggesting a lewd exchange taking place. I wonder if the crew did see something like that going down and then noticed either the patron or the prostitute or maybe his vehicle in a shot in the final cut. Talk of this might have ballooned into the exchange appearing in the episode.

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  6. I loved all of your comments about the Bagpipe. It made for good comedic recall.

    Part of the fun of this episode was that it featured Paul Winchell in a role so unlike his ventriloquist act that most people were accustomed to seeing. On kids’ shows in the fifties, then on cartoons, variety and game shows in the sixties and seventies made the ventriloquist Winchell a popular TV personality. Skip Farnum was sooooo different from all of that, plus he was a middle-aged guy dressing and acting as a hippie. It was surreal. Bonnie Boland was great as Myrna, a typical Bohemian method actress, with her oddly pronounced name.

    As for the generic bench ad, it was surely a cover-up. Through the seventies, it was considered inappropriate to use actual product names in TV shows, so such things were usually covered up, though sometimes not well, and we nerds would look to see if we could identify poorly-concealed national brand names, especially in kitchen scenes. This practice began to fade in the late seventies, and in the eighties it was realized that this could be a great revenue source, and behold, product placement was born.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing that trivia and TV history. I remember looking for those altered products on TV. I believe it was on Roseanne when I saw characters drinking Mountain Do in place of Mountain Dew. Once on Good Times, James picked up his beer and the paper sleeve came off and he quickly replaced it. Somehow this made the episode’s final cut.

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  7. Carol couldn’t say, “May the BEST soap win,” because if it did, the Bradys wouldn’t get to do the commercial.

    I question Alice using one envelope to reveal which pile of clothes was washed with which detergent. Was naming a specific pile supposed to be a tiebreaker, in case Mike and Carol could not agree on which was the cleaner pile? Alice should have used two envelopes, one on each pile, so that if one pile was picked, Alice could open the envelope and reveal which detergent was used. It would resemble the way these types of commercials were staged.

    Paul Winchell was first known as a ventriloquist; here’s a clip of Winchell from those early days, featuring both of his best-known dummies, Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff:

    At the time of this episode, Winchell also appeared on “Help! It’s the Hair Bear Bunch!”, a cartoon series which ran on CBS from September 11, 1971 to January 8, 1972. I couldn’t stand that show; the zookeeper was too high-strung to run the zoo, Hair Bear was too bossy around the other animals, and Bubi (Winchell’s character) was afreyna dedrayde, that is to say, unintelligible words were a big part of his vocabulary, and it was annoying. It would be better if Bubi went around the amusement park and didn’t open his mouth, but Greg wouldn’t fit in his costume!

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  8. I am going to do a Robert Reed critique of this hideous episode!

    I agree with everything said in Robert Reed’s memo about this episode in Barry’s Growing up Brady Book. Carol acts too happy and “goody-goody” rehearsing her lines. All the Brady’s look and act unnaturally in this episode! The Brady’s over-act terribly, and allowing the kids to dirty their clothes, let alone unsupervised is just plain stupid. Alice forgetting which pile of clothes were washed with which soap is unbelievable. All of this even pales in comparison to Skip Farnam.

    As Robert Reed says, “He wants us natural and gives us scripts to learn.” The guy looks like he never came back from a bad acid trip stuck in a 60’s time warp. This episode could have worked somewhat. My question is:

    WHY COULDN’T SKIP FARNAM HAD TALKED AND ACTED NORMALLY? That is the biggest pitfall. We could have seen the Brady’s actually doing a TV commercial with a normal director. What was the point of making Mr. Farnam so strange? His actions are neither believable nor funny. Just bizarre. I would just get in the car if I saw a nutcase like that in public! Carol and the kids should have done the same thing. Honestly, Tank Gates and Skip Farnam are too characters on The Brady Bunch, who I cannot stand!

    The family friend, Myrna Carter doesn’t make things any better. Like Robert Reed says, “No method actress would use phrases like “Lots of energy.” “Bigger than life.” And Carol with her whole, “Well, we used to use Clear and Bright till we found out it turned our water dim and dark. Than we switched to Champ the Dirt Fighter. But we found out that Champ couldn’t take the Brady dirt, and lost the title.” Oh hahahahaha…………BARF! That whole sequence just makes her look overly happy and a dimwit. Everything that Carol Brady isn’t! Robert Reed was right on the money here. Skip Farnam whole character looks like it was created for the 60’s era. Make him normal instead of a space-cadet, have the family act naturally, give the soaps realistically sounding names, and develop a quality script and we could have had at least a reasonably believable episode.

    Look at Robert Reed when they are rehearsing the commercial with skip for the first time. His face says it all. He looks disgusted and rightfully so. Tam Spiva Reed’s friend was script editor on this episode. One could only image how hideous the original script must have been. This is just BAD!

    Jack

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  9. I hate to admit that Robert Reed was right in his complaints of this episode. But he was. It is a very hard watch. I had a lot of problems with this episode after watching it again recently.

    Mike first of all being unable to read a standard contract? He’s an architect (a very successful one at that) and can’t read a few pages of a commercial contract without contacting his lawyer to figure it out? Really? Mike Brady? Just no.

    And then Mike won’t let his family do the commercial because they don’t actually use Safe? Wow. I heard of being overly honest and goody goody but that’s way over the top. Even by Brady standards. I wonder how many commercials we would actually have on the air if the people in them had to actually like and agree with the statements being said in them. Ridiculous.

    So yes Robert Reed was right about the awful characterization of Mike in this episode. Really over the top stupid.

    And then we get to the rest of the ‘story’ elements here. We have to test which detergent is the better one so time for a clean contest. It’s such a time wasting, script padding, filler type moment. The kids even looked like not into the whole situation. Grease guns and paint and mud.. it was probably one of those ideas that seemed better on paper but comes off as lame in execution. So they do all that Alice cleans everything and has a pile of each. I looked at both piles, they both seemed just as clean. I don’t know how you tell the difference with such things anyway. That’s not even the problem with the situation. When they go to open the envelope Alice suddenly forgets what she put in the envelope? Umm wouldn’t you put which was Safe as that is the one that you are hoping for? Why is it such a mystery? You wouldn’t put Best in there as you don’t want Best to be the winner. Why wouldn’t Alice just put which pile was Safe in the envelope which I assume is what she did when she wrote “pile A” as the answer. Do it again? Hardy har har. Again not funny. Just stupid.

    The worst part of the episode is the Brady’s worried about their acting abilities. Really? The director told you not to worry and just be yourselves. So you are going to go over the top and get some hack method actress for them to do a 30 second commercial? Have we gone insane in Brady world now? It’s a commercial. Read the lines as they are on the paper and let the director tell you what to do. It was another complaint Mr. Reed had here and he is so right. Really the Brady’s want to get a ‘professional’ (more like crazy) actress Myrna to help them do a 30 second spot after the director clearly told them he wanted them to be natural and themselves for the commercial? He didn’t hire them for their acting abilities he hired them for their innocent and just regular look and abilities. If he wanted professional actors for the ad he would have gone that path. I mean did they all lose their minds here? It is over the top nonsense. This is one of those Brady episodes that is just trying way too hard to be funny and wholesome at the same time. It fails at both. The Brady’s just aren’t this dumb. They can’t be as they are portrayed in this episode.

    The last problem with the episode is Skip Farnum himself. He does the commercial and sees that the family is acting weird after ONE TAKE with each and says “that’s it.. sorry I can’t do this I’m out of here” or something to that effect. Ok so you invest all this time and money, you realize something is strange here. Instead of telling these people to forget all that over acting nonsense and to just be yourselves and listen to my direction. I’m sure they would listen if you told them clearly that you don’t want it that way and you won’t do the commercial with them acting like that. They would snap out of it very quickly with that being the case. But instead, after just one take or one look at the kids or Alice, you wrap up the shoot, decide that it isn’t even worth bothering to try and that’s it. One take Skip I guess they call him. Very unbelievable. I get it, it all leans back to Myrna again with a joke about how she was the worst he worked with.. laugh ensues here (Not really).

    I really hated this episode even when I watched it on TBS or Nick at Nite. I just found it so over the top ridiculous and the Brady’s so out of character it was hard to watch. And the fact that the voice of Gagamel from the Smurfs was the guy directing the commercial was very distracting. He has such a unique and recognizable voice that I couldn’t get all of his cartoon characters he was voicing out of my mind as he was doing his “Groovy” “Pussycat” “Pad” lingo all the while.

    This is just a BAD episode. The storyline is dumb, the situations are forced, the characters are way out of character in this episode and logic just goes out the door too many times. Of course you knew they weren’t getting any money at the end so it’s not really that big a shocker to end on that lame note of a truck load of laundry soap showing up as their pay. Nah just bad. Myrna is creepy and Skip is annoying and the Brady’s were so robotic here. This should have been rewritten and done much better. To many times in Brady Bunch episodes you get that ‘Rushed’ and ‘Half-Fast’ type of episode where you see they just went with it and didn’t care that it had many problems due to time and finances. That’s not how you should do a show and it’s sad that the standards go so low as episodes like this. As it’s actually a fun idea. We got to see the Brady’s out of their house for a bit which was a nice start, a fun situation of them being in a commercial but they don’t execute anything well after that storyline is established. It really went downhill after Mike starts reading the contract and complaining that they don’t use the soap so they can’t do the ad. After that it got worse and worse and worse.

    I honestly don’t usually agree with Robert Reed’s assessments of the show as I think he was a real anal and just hated the show and liked to complain about it, but a lot of what he says here is stuff I thought before I even realized he had a memo saying a lot of the same things. And that Sherwood flat out ignored the problems here, you get one of the worst episodes of the 3rd season right here. Bob Reed’s face when he is holding that box of Safe upside down says it all. I’m with you there Bob. I feel your pain.

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