Episode 10: Her Sister’s Shadow

Greetings once again!  Today we review “Her Sister’s Shadow”.  Viewers first heard Jan mutter that immortal Brady Bunch line “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” on November 19th, 1971.  This was yet another installment of the “loser Jan” episodes that have been discussed here before.   Jan’s feeling inferior to Marcia dominates this episode and we get no b-plot.  This episode is well remembered for the aforementioned line and it being among those that defined Jan’s character for the show.  It is light on laughs and played mostly for drama.  The sibling rivalry in this episode is as realistic as one would expect to exist in a typical family, but maybe not vocalized to the point Jan does.  Let us begin our review of “Her Sister’s Shadow”!

opening

The episode begins at the junior high school.  That same establishing shot used in past episodes is used once again.  Rusty must really enjoy talking to the principal because we see him do it on more than one occasion!  The shot quickly moves to the classroom

reused
They sure got their money’s worth with this location shot!

where Jan is turning in her essay.  The teacher, Mrs. Watson, tells Jan she is pleased with the way her school work has been improving.  She tacks on she expects great things from Jan as she is a Brady and further adds that Marcia was one of her best students.  In polite yet irritated reply, Jan lets Mrs. Watson know that has been shared before.  Just then, Mrs. Watson’s prized pupil of yesteryear enters.  Marcia is there to walk Jan home, but Jan snarkily replies she can handle that on her own and leaves.  I have a brother who is five years my senior and I often heard from his former teachers what a good student he was.  None of these comments ever rankled me like they seem to Jan.  He was a more committed student and active participant in school activities (by his own choice) than I was though.

 

awards

Jan arrives home dejected and sad.  In an episode direction method I never recall seeing creditsbefore on The Brady Bunch, the opening episode credits are played after the first scene is complete.  This also the first time I recall there being separate credits for the story and the teleplay.  It may have happened several times before, but this time it just stood out.  Maybe that is because both credits had two names listed for each.  Jan goes up to her bedroom and ruefully looks over all of Marcia’s past accolades.  Past accolades that she tosses into the closet!  Jan is tired of the Wall of Marcia!  I wonder if Marcia is also an accomplished ukulele player as one of those is displayed amongst all her awards.

Marcia arrives home and is quite distressed to find the Wall of Marcia now just a plain and ordinary wall.  She immediately goes about questioning the awards’ disappearance.  Carol suggests that Alice took them down to dust them.  Does Alice typically take the awards elsewhere to shine and polish them?  Does she launder the blue and yellow awardsaskribbons?  We all know that Alice is one awesome housekeeper.  She cleans the entire house, prepares meals and does the laundry for eight people.  While Marcia questions her about the awards, we get a glimpse of her oven cleaning prowess.  Look at how clean that cooking space is!  It looks as though it has never even been used!  Let’s hope Alice has some deserved housekeeper awards in her room! Back to our story, Alice has not taken the awards to the cleaning and polishing room.  She does give us a funny reply when Marcia laments her entire lifetime of achievement is now “gone, gone, gone”.  Alice questions the absence of shirta drama award for Marcia.  Marcia finds no humor in this.  Alice then suggests the boys are playing one of their tricks.  Marcia goes out to confront them and goes as far as taking their basketball to get their attention.  Of course they have no idea what she is talking about.  Mike arrives home and assures Marcia they will find the awards.  Check out that shirt Greg has on.  It just screams 1970s! It certainly could only be worn pre-puberty as a man’s chest hair getting tangled in those strings would be very uncomfortable.

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For the first time in a while, we get a genuinely cute Cindy moment.  As Mike and Carol discuss the missing awards, she enters carrying them in her arms.  She asks if Marcia is through with them, if she can have them. Marcia gives Cindy her apologies and collects her markers of achievement.  As she does, take notice of how the wooden plaques shrunk on their way downstairs!  When we first saw them, they were the size of the framed award.  When Cindy carries them in, they have all shrunk!

shrunk

Back upstairs, as Marcia returns the awards to their rightful home, Jan enters.  Marcia asks if she is responsible for the awards being tossed into the closet.  With plenty of attitude, Jan asks “What if I did?” and after a few more barb ridden replies lets Marcia know she doesn’t care to discuss it and leaves the room. Marcia gives chase and the attitudeargument continues.  Down in Mike’s den, Carol is helping Mike hang/repair part of a shelving unit and hears the argument.  Mike either doesn’t hear it or does and just doesn’t care.  Mike must have tired of refereeing fights as in the last episode, when Greg and Marcia exchanged words over a shared secret, he bid the kids to “have a nice argument” and was on his way.  Carol is still concerned about childhood squabbles and goes to see what is the matter.  In a funny moment, Jan comes down the stairs and offers Carol the friendliest of greetings and assures her all is well.  Carol isn’t buying it and Jan is brought into the den for the episode’s talking to.

dentalk

Jan explains her removal of the awards to Mike and Carol.  She states Marcia is always being handed awards left and right.  Here she utters that character defining line of “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia”.  Sadly, it followed Eve Plumb a little further than she would have cared for.  Years ago, I was watching one of those afternoon filler talk shows and she was a guest.  She had brought along with her some of her artwork to display and seemingly did not want to discuss “The Brady Bunch” at all, but instead wanted the audience to pay attention to her art.  When the Q&A portion of the show started, an audience member asked Eve if she would quote the famed line and she refused.  The host even commented on how Eve seemed bitter about any talk of “The Brady Bunch” and her sentiment was that the show was a part of the past and it should be left there. Back to our episode!  Carol shares that Marcia is three years older than Jan and has had more time and opportunity to gain fame and recognition.  Mike adds that nobody has smooth sailing all the time.  At the worst possible time, Marcia enters with the good news that she is now editor of the school newspaper.  Jan can add this to her list of Marcia’s irritating accomplishments.  Mike and Carol refer to another never before heard, but always used quote when they tell Jan to find what she does best and do her best at it.  Readers, do any of you have any idea what is hanging on the wall above Carol and Jan, beside the picture, in this scene?  It looks like a random tassel was just hung there for decoration.

 

The next scene has Jan and her friend Katey noticing a posting for pompom girl tryouts.  Jan and her friend decide they will give it a go.  The idea appeals to Jan because it is something Marcia has never done.  Katey shares that she too has an older sister with plenty of awards and praise.  Katey was played by Julie Reese.  This was her second and final appearance per IMDB.  She had previously appeared on “The Doris Day Show”.  Her name is just too common to make any Google search worthwhile.

cutting

The next scene must have been trimmed in syndication, because upon this round of viewing it seemed to just ramble on way past its shelf life.  I remember well the ludicrous idea Alice had of shredding newspaper and tying the shreds to spoons to make pompoms.  While her willingness to help Jan is great, the idea of tying shreds of newspapers to spoons so they can be jostled about just makes no sense.  Let’s forget how tedious of a task it would be to tie multiple newspaper shreds to a spoon without them ripping.  Upon completion of the tying, shaking the completed craft about with the vigor of a pompom would see all that hard word disintegrate in seconds.  Bobby and Greg join the futile cutting effort and Greg shares how his school’s team was lousy the year before, but the pompom girls were great.  He goes as far as demonstrating the cheer.  Bobby does the same for a cheer he heard recently.  Finally it is Alice’s turn to demonstrate a cheer from her day that concludes with “whoop whoopee doo”.  Greg questions the phrase and Alice equates it to the early 1970s vernacular saying “whoop whoopee doo” was as “right on” as “heavy man” is to the boys.  Alice also tries to test her homemade pompoms and finds they only make a mess as they fall apart with the first shake.

limber

Outside, Jan is preparing for pompom girl practice.  She does an impressive stretch to get warmed up.  This led me to wonder why she didn’t try out for gymnastics since Mike and Carol said for her to find what she does best and do her best at it.  That stretch she does is no easy feat!  Alice brings Jan out two mop heads to practice with.  Let’s hope she washed them beforehand!  In what appears to be Mike’s tape recorder, Cindy queues some marching band music for Jan to practice to.  It’s always good to have a recording of a marching band playing on hand.  I have long since misplaced my own copy of it, but thanks to Youtube and the like, that music is more readily accessible today.

drawing

The next scene begins with another subtle nod to Jan’s talents.  She is sitting on her bed working on a well done sketch when Marcia enters.  Jan’s artistic talent will come into play again on another occasion when she finds herself feeling inept at life. Marcia praises Jan’s skill at handling the mop heads and gives her confidence a huge boost by suggesting she might even be selected as lead pompom girl.  With this, the rivalry seems over and they are loving sisters again.

tryout1

The day of the tryouts arrives and we see the audition of the girl who goes before Jan.  This girl has some moves.  She is working those pompoms like a pro and has the moves to go with it.  The credits list her as Nancy Gillette.  IMDB lists this as her only credit and a Google search produced no results.  At first glance, she resembled Robert Reed’s daughter Karen, but unless she used a stage name this time around, it wasn’t her.

tryout3

Of the two ladies evaluating the potential pompom girls, only one gets a credit at the episode’s end.  I would be very curious to know who the lady pictured above on the left is.  She is one of the most beautiful extras I have ever encountered on TV.  Maybe she was the significant other of one of the producers or crew and happened to visit the set that day.  The lady with a speaking part is listed in the credits only as the teacher.  She was played by Peggy Doyle.  “The Brady Bunch” was her second onscreen role, but certainly not her last.  Through 2001 she enjoyed a steady acting career to include roles on “CHiPs”, “Highway to Heaven” and “Doogie Howser, MD”.  Her final appearance was in 2001 in “The Trouble With Normal”.  She died in 2006.

tryout5

With Jan’s tryout complete, the teacher and that stunning beauty tally the scores and the names of the four new pompom girls are announced.  Among them was Jan’s friend Katey, but not among them was Jan.  While I am sure most viewers were pulling for Jan to make it, the girl before her had far superior talent in waving the pompoms.  We can only assume the other girls did too.  Poor Jan.  At least her losing didn’t bring with it a face slathered with ice cream while wearing a paper crown, while on TV.

lost

Jan’s misery is short lived.  She comes home with the wonderful news that the essay she turned in at the beginning of the episode won the Honor Society contest!  She scored a 98, winning over the next best score of 95.  Marcia gives a fake interview for the school newspaper and Jan acts like a starlet.  However, just like her misery of losing out as pompom girl, he joy is short lived. Jan sits at her desk and kisses her essay before looking it over once again.  Here she relishes in her victory by recounting the points her essay scored, only to realize they total only 93 points.  Jan has lost yet again.

deviljan3
“Oooh Jaaaan.  You don’t have to tell anybody about the incorrect score.  Now go steal a car!”

Here, “The Brady Bunch” takes one of the darkest and strangest turns of the entire series.  Jan’s inner bad self begins talking to her.  It reasons that nobody will ever know the score was tallied incorrectly and her parents would be crushed with disappointment at knowing she did not win.  If this was not bizarre enough, Jan begins verbalizing her own thoughts and arguing with this inner demon.  Mike and Carol heard their own advice and encouragement repeated back to them mentally in “A Fistful of Reasons” and even verbally replied.  On that occasion, it was done strictly for comedy.  Here, Jan is fighting her own conscience which is urging her to do the wrong thing.  Had she broken out a Ouija board, things would have really gotten strange.  Instead, her inner turmoil and the argument it creates is disrupted by the arrival of Alice, her brothers and Cindy.  They are all there to congratulate Jan on a job well done.

celebrate
Recycled audience shot.

Jan’s inner turmoil continues for at least one cycle of sleep as the next scene is of her about to be presented the Honor Society Award at a school assembly.  The scene includes the principal, played by Lindsay Workman making announcements to the assembled student body.  This was Lindsay Workman’s third appearance on the show.  The mundane nature of the announcements being made lead me to believe that an assembly such as this was a weekly occurrence at the school. Sharing there will be a week’s delay of a play and the posting of science lab schedules doesn’t sound worthy of the gathering of a student body.  While my school did have an occasional assembly for whatever reason, announcements such as these were made daily over PA system during the first and final class of the day.  Perhaps the school’s PA system was inoperable or the principal just made them during this assembly in lieu of afternoon announcements over the PA.  We know the  school has a PA because Greg was going to use it as part of his campaign in “Vote For Brady”.

ownup

Mrs. Watson takes the stage to introduce Jan as the winner of the Honor Society Award.  The “good Jan” wins and she rushes out on stage and makes Mrs. Watson aware of the mistake.  Mrs. Watson commends Jan for her honesty and sportsmanship.  She shares with the entire school what a fine example Jan has been and is a model for all to follow.  This leads to a chat backstage with Mike and Carol where Jan shares her inner dilemma.  Carol states that sometimes when we lose, we win.

GwenVanDam
Gwen Van Dam as Mrs. Watson

Mrs. Watson was played by Gwen Van Dam.  While I’d never heard of her, she certainly hasn’t lacked for work during her long acting career.  Her acting career began in 1955 and she continues to work today!  While most of her acting resume lists TV movies, she has appeared in feature films, TV dramas and several well known sitcoms.  IMDB lists four 2017 acting credits!

janjanjan

The next scene takes place in the girls’ bedroom.  No offense to fans of “Her Sister’s Shadow”, but man this episode just seemed to drag on and on.  There sure was a lot packed into it.  Marcia shares how Jan’s actions were still the buzz among her classmates that day.  Cindy comes in complaining that Jan’s heroics in honesty saw another teacher request Cindy be moved to her class.   Cindy quotes the lesser known Brady quote of “Jan, Jan, Jan” as she deals with being in Jan’s shadow.

epilogue

With epilogue finally arriving, we get another dose of the Barry Williams and Ann B. Davis chemistry.  Alice is delighted that her housework now moves along more quickly and is more fun as she has taken to dusting the shelves while enacting the moves of a pompom girl.  It’d have been funny if she knocked something off the shelf while demonstrating this to Greg, but instead we just get Greg finding it amusing.

“Her Sister’s Shadow” is a very believable and solid episode.  It is light on laughs and heavy on drama.  While Jan is unhappy with herself, it doesn’t quite fit the mold of one of the “woe is me” plots.  Jan actively pursues trying to better herself through the episode instead of just feeling sorry for herself. While her efforts did not include a black wig or bad celebrity impressions, the episode itself wasn’t bad to be primarily non-comedic.  Like I stated before, with all of the content, it just seemed to drag on.  As always readers, your own thoughts are most welcome.  Next week we will review “Click”.   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.

26 thoughts on “Episode 10: Her Sister’s Shadow”

  1. This is my #1 Brady Bunch episode of all time! The acting is realistic, the conflicts are believable, and the powerful inner-feelings of accepting an award with a mistake that no one will ever know, or honorably giving it away is powerful. Mrs. Watson’s speech after Jan has told her about the scoring error, moves me to tears, and look at the great close-up of Eve as Mrs. Watson is talking, she is crying.

    “Her Sister’s Shadow” is one of the most powerful moments in The Brady Bunch, ranking right up there with Bobby’s Hero and the powerful communication between Mr. Collins and Bobby. A stunning episode about kids, guns, and connecting with an inappropriate “Hero.” That episode is #1b. to me. I can’t even place it second, because both of this episodes have so much emotional power to them, The Brady Bunch doesn’t get better than this! Both episodes are so amazing, that you feel like you are watching a true family documentary and not a sit-com.

    The only critique I have about “Her Sister’s Shadow” is the cheap stock pile footage of the audience clapping, is the same footage that was used in “Vote For Brady.” Fortunately, because the emotional intensity of this episode is so strong, it does not ruin the moment. Mrs. Watson’s speech, and Jan struggling with whether or not to accept her Honor Society award is not only one of the best Brady Bunch moments, but one of the most memorable scenes from any sitcom! This is timeless!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Jack for sharing your admiration for this episode. Of all the Brady episodes played mostly for drama, this episode is the best in its realism and the quality of the acting. As I have worked on this blog and revisited this show as an adult, I would say that Eve Plumb’s acting talents are the best among the kids. That certainly isn’t to say the others lacked, but Eve seemed to have the skill mastered.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Regarding Eve Plumb post-Brady Bunch, several years ago she was interviewed by (I think) Ellen. Ellen called her “Jan”, and then started asking a question. Ellen was quickly interrupted with “Eve – my name is Eve”.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for sharing that Jefferson. I can’t blame Eve for that, especially since that was the character’s name she played as a child. At the same time, the interviewer’s gaff is a testament to the timeless character she created while on the show.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That makes no sense. The election is decided by the number of races not totals.

        That is like if the Cubs and the White Sox were in the World Series and the Cubs won 4 games, 2-1, 2-1, 2-1 and 2-1 and the White Sox won a single game 20-0, that the Sox really won because they got the most home runs.

        No by no measure did the Sox win, just by getting the most runs, because it’s the number you get in the most races that counts. That’s the way the US election for president works..

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ll have to admit, this episode has got to be the strongest of the Season 3 episodes of The Brady Bunch. In fact, any episode that focuses on Jan (such as this one, “Will the Real Jan Brady Please Stand Up?” and “The Not-So-Ugly Duckling”) tends to be the strongest episode of the entire show. And yes, that establishing shot at the beginning of the episode was the same one being used for “Vote for Brady”, “The Liberation of Marcia Brady” and “Lights Out”. In all honesty, like it said in the “Not-So-Ugly-Duckling” review, I can understand why Eve Plumb didn’t hold “The Brady Bunch” in so high regard and probably would have regretted it. She played a character who was often branded not good enough or falling short in some way. In fact, I remember reading the article “‘Brady Bunch’ star Eve Plumb on being recognized as Jan Brady: ‘I can do other things'” on Fox News that Eve Plumb is best recognized for her iconic role as middle child Jan Brady in the 1970s sitcom “The Brady Bunch,” but she still hopes fans will remember her other work as an actress. “I’ll always be Jan Brady to so many people,” she said. “I can’t escape it, but I can do other things.” She then joked, “Isn’t [Jan] dead yet?” Since The Brady Bunch, Plumb has gone on to pursue other roles over the years and admitted that she still gets recognized as Jan Brady at auditions. Not even a long-going rift between her and Maureen McCormick could save a Brady Bunch reunion back in 2010 from being cancelled. Plus, Eve Plumb has become very bitter about The Brady Bunch as evidenced in a clip from “The Jenny Jones Show” from 1995: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t58bVuos3Hk.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Maxwell! That clip is the one I remember and referenced in this week’s review. I can’t imagine she expected to go on the show and not be expected to field questions about The Brady Bunch. The audience didn’t seem to be picking up on her ire at discussing it either.

      Like

    2. Charlotte Rae though commented that Eve Plumb was upset, that the producers made her audition for the role of Blair’s step-sister, on the Facts of Life. So she had real diva moments in real life too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Eve Plumb herself was quoted in TV GUIDE about how she found the FoL auditioning process “anguishing” as compared to her LOVE BOAT appearances, where she was pretty much called and asked if she wanted to do an episode. I didn’t take that as a “diva” moment from Ms. Plumb as much as comparing how easy it was for her to appear on LB as compared to FoL. It was probably wise of FoL to audition her, as it was a tough 2-part episode for her, as compared to her typical LB appearances. I thought she did a good job playing Blair’s sister who decided to become a “sister” aka nun.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. -Hey, BradyBunchReviewed, great overall review! You point out some great stuff. Never noticed before how the awards seem to shrink when Cindy has them!
    -Cannot stop laughing every time you point out the Rusty/school scene. LOL
    -Eve Plumb was extremely emotional in the Marcia,Marcia,Marcia scene. She even tripped over her words twice, which I have noticed since I was a kid. Shows you what a professional actress Eve Plumb is.
    -Besides the famous “Marcia,Marcia,Marcia” statement, the 1995 Brady Bunch movie made fun of two other items that are prominent in this episode. The first is Jan’s devilish conscience speaking to her. The second is the way Marcia/Maureen McCormick pronounces the word “school” – throughout the series she tends to pronounce it with two syllables, as in “skew-el”, as she does several times in this episode.
    -The production crew added an inside joke to this episode. For the closeup of the “Marcia Brady Class President Award” right before Jan removes them, notice that above Mrs. Watson’s signature is the signature of “Ralph Nelson”. During the end credits, Ralph Nelson is the Unit Production Manager.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Marty,

    Where do you see Jan flub her Marcia, Marcia Marcia” line? I notice no stuttering or mistakes here. To my ears, says them perfectly. I think that Ralph Nelson would be one of the people mentioned in the “Teeter-Totter Caper” episode! Great trivia above-Thank You!

    Jack

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She doesn’t flub the “Marcia Marcia Marcia” line, but when Jan is complaining to Mike and Carol, she kind of hesitates when she says “I’m tired of…being… in Marcia’s…shadow all the time”. But I don’t think she actually flubs that line… to me, she delivers it naturally, and “struggles” to get the right words out because she’s so upset…which I think is normal. She’s been holding this in for so long and it’s all coming out at once, she’s trying to tell Mike and Carol how she feels while holding back tears at the same time. A great job by Eve, imo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I share the admiration for the attractive other teacher. I even noticed her as a youth.

    We had weekly assemblies when I was in elementary school. Boys had to wear a shirt and tie, and girls a dress or skirt. We had them the first year of middle school, too, but without dress requirements.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. By logging in you’ll post the following comment to Episode 10: Her Sister’s Shadow:
    1) I’ve always liked this episode. Eve’s acting was excellent throughout.

    2) After Jan let’s Marcia know that she’s capable of walking home all by herself, she exits the classroom. Marcia totally ignores Mrs. Watson and just keeps staring at the door, before saying to herself out loud, “Gee…I wonder what’s bothering her?”. Wonder what Mrs. Watson would have said if Marcia asked HER what might be bothering Jan?

    3) lol, didn’t one of Marcia’s plaques simply say “Marcia Brady Debating Team”. A plaque for just being on the team? I didn’t know they gave participation awards back then.

    4) lol, “Maybe Alice took them down to clean them”. Pretty silly suggestion from Carol!

    5) I thought it was funny when Marcia entered the kitchen to ask Alice about the awards… Alice has her head in the oven while cleaning it, and instead of speaking, Marcia taps the back of Alice’s head. Alice thinks it’s a bug of some kind and tries to shoo it away. I always chuckle at that little moment.

    6) Alice’s suggestion that the boys took the awards makes a lot more sense than Carol’s suggestion that Alice took them to clean them!

    7) I agree that Cindy asking if she can keep the awards she found is a very cute moment. I can see her innocently thinking that Marcia had the awards for long enough and no longer cared about them. But that was a GREAT catch about the size of the awards themselves. Never noticed that at all, never even occurred to me.

    8) After Jan was confronted by Marcia and leaves the girls’ room, she comes down the stairs and suddenly sees Carol watching her… she smiles and says “Oh Hiiiii!”. That was great!

    9) It was telling that Marcia bursts into Mike’s den and blurts out her news without even considering the fact that Mike and Carol are in there with Jan. I would have thought that Mike and Carol’s subdued reaction to Marcia’s news would have prompted an “Is anything wrong?” question from Marcia… but it didn’t. She keep right on with her excitement and said she just had to call one of her friends to tell her about it.

    10) Whenever I see this on TV (not sure if the DVD does this, i haven’t checked), there is always an echo/reverb in the hallway when Jan and Katey are talking about trying out for Pom Pom girl. Both of their voices echo. This is the only scene in this episode that this happens, although it’s happened a couple of other times during the series, both in the Brady’s driveway and in their garage.

    11) I remember as a kid thinking how ridiculous it was for Alice to make pom poms out of cut up paper.

    12) I don’t think Alice says “whoop whoopee doo” at the end of her cheer… I believe she says “Boop boop-a-doop”. This was the title of an animated short from 1932 starring the cartoon character Betty Boop.

    Here’s a link to the Betty Boop cartoon with that title:

    I think Alice was right when she said that this phrase was as “far out” as “Heavy, man” was to the kids “today”.

    13) That was an impressive stretch Jan did to warm up for her pom pom practice. A lot of kids could do that in those days. However, that was way more than she needed to do for what her routine was. All she did was jump up and down a little bit. I did think it was kind of cute to have Jan’s shoe fly off her foot and to have Carol catch it as she comes out onto the patio.

    14) Unless they were brand new out of the package (and I don’t think they were), that was really disgusting of Alice to use mop heads for pom poms. And Carol allowed it??

    15) I too have always noticed how beautiful that other, non-speaking judge was. Very pretty!

    16) On a side note, many years ago I purchased a little paperback book. The title of it was “Life Lessons From the Bradys”. Anyway, it consisted of little “lessons” we learned from the show… one example would be what Bobby learned when he went on Greg’s date to the movies with Rachel… “If you go to a drive in movie in a convertible, never take an umbrella”. Things like that.

    Anyway, one of the “Lessons” taught in the books was “If you try out for pom pom girl and just jump up and down and kick your toes into the floor, you probably won’t make the squad”…which is, of course, what happened to Jan.

    Looks like it’s available on Amazon:

    https://www.amazon.com/Lessons-Bradys-Anthony-Rubino-1995-04-01/dp/B01A0C9SAU

    17) I think Jan says “Nora’s Coombs” when she first mentions that Nora had the 2nd highest score.

    18) I guess Jan talking to her inner bad self was kind of like the way all the kids would talk to themselves while looking in a mirror. To me, Jan’s bad self talking to her wasn’t quite as strange as Greg physically picking Jan up and whirling her around like a little five year old when the other kids found out she “won” the essay contest.

    19) I always chuckle at the assembly stock footage of the kids. For some reason, I usually focus on the kid in the front row with the striped shirt. Don’t know why that is, but the kid just seems to stand out from the crowd. I’ve heard other people say the same thing lol.

    20) As a kid in Jr. High, we had assemblies, not sure how often, but I think it was once a week. But as you mentioned, most times, the announcements were made over the school P.A. system. Jan’s school must have had assemblies every week, since Mrs. W announced that Nora would receive her award at the following week’s assembly so that her parents can be present.

    21) After hearing about the scoring error, Mrs. Watson says “I wish I had a special award for Jan Brady”. Well, why not let her into the honor society anyway? So what if she didn’t win… not only did she not accept an award she hadn’t rightfully earned, her letting this be known then allowed Nora to take her rightful place in the society. Jan deserves to be in there just as much as anyone, perhaps even more so after what she did.

    As you mentioned, this is a very watchable show despite the relative lack of comedy. I think it had just enough humorous lines to keep it going, although it wasn’t played for laughs. An enjoyable episode for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You would get the trophy for being on the debating team at year end. Just like if you were on the football team, you’d get a letter for your letterman’s jacket. Of course you didn’t get a letter for debate.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m replying on this episode late because of a MY THREE SONS episode that was just rerun on Me-TV this past week. “Mike’s Brother” was a S1 M3S episode (OAD 12/29/1960) where the 3 sons were Mike, Robbie & Chip, so this made Robbie the middle brother at the time. Robbie seemed a lot more hot-headed at the time than he did later in the color episodes when he was the oldest son. In rhis episode, Robbie is down because he didn’t make the basketball team, when Mike had before him, and Robbie wasn’t doing as well in school either. Mike & Robbie shared a chore that week where they had to build shelves in the garage, and Mike did his part before Saturday so he could work on getting a job at a sporting goods store that day. Robbie was hurrying through his part so he could meet a girl the same day, and his shelves came crashing down later after their dad, Steve, parked his car in the garage, causing the stuff on the shelves to come down on the car. In being confronted by Steve, Robbie yells in his grating angry voice “You should have let Mike do the whole thing!…I give up!…Everything I can do Mike can always do a lot better!…Mike never goofs! I’m always the one who ends up looking like a dope!”. When Steve makes the sensible argument in asking Robbie if he’s saying his mistake are all because he’s Mike’s brother, Robbie says “it seems like all I hear is ‘Mike! Mike! Mike!'”, a lot more quietly than Jan made her exclamation though. Mike ended up experiencing his own failure the same day when he didn’t get the job.

    This episode was written by the show’s story editor, John McGreevey, who never had any connection to THE BRADY BUNCH, but maybe this episode’s 3 combined writers remembered it subconsciously. There was at least 1 M3S/Brady connection though. George Tibbles, M3S creator, who wrote that show’s first & last episodes, and 79 in between {if IMDB is correct), wrote TBB S5 episode, “The Driver’s Seat”, which I think should end up being reviewed in a few weeks on this blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s funny to me that Jan has no trophies in this episode, even though she did in season 2 – The Winner, when Bobby is the only one without one. We did kind of make a big deal about trophies back then – perhaps because you normally had to win to get one (Marcia’s apparent participation award would never have happened IME). My kids and I always repeat the “Marcia!” line, but not Cindy’s “Jan” line.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Another one of my favorite episodes! All of the acting is exceptional and very convincing. As always, Eve knocks it out of the park; boy could that girl act!

    Like

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