Hello friends! Thank you for joining me today as we review “Cyrano de Brady”. Today’s review is actually being written by my older brother who is hiding under the table, dictating to me what to write. Only kidding of course, although my brother’s sense of humor and observation is very similar to my own. Older brothers really do come in handy at times and Greg certainly does Peter a solid twice over in this episode. “Cyrano de Brady” is a very fun episode that is very light on drama. There is little to critique in the way of the story as it was intended to be a silly and fun experience all around. Let us begin our review of “Cyrano De Brady”!
The story opens with Jan bringing home a friend, Kerry, who is new to the neighborhood. They first encounter Greg who is working on the family station wagon. What ever happened to Greg’s plans for a ride of his own? After meeting Greg, we see from outside Kerry meeting Alice. Inside, she meets Carol, Bobby and Cindy. The three
are working on a jigsaw puzzle. The puzzle’s placement on the dining room table seems most inconvenient. Assuming it can even be finished before dinner, it would need to be dismantled and moved to make way for the meal. As Jan and Kerry start upstairs, they encounter Peter. Peter is love struck with Kerry. So enamored with her beauty is he that he says to her, “Pleased to meet me” instead of “Pleased to meet you.” Jan and Kerry laugh at him and head upstairs as Peter walks away with his head in the clouds.
Peter requests a private audience with Jan so he may discuss his prospects with Kerry. Marcia is having none of that and insists on listening in. Both of his sisters assure Peter he has plenty to offer the opposite sex. Marcia even says he has a good personality. This remark immediately took my thoughts back to “The Personality Kid” when Peter sampled the personas of an English gentleman and Humphrey Bogart. As they talked, it looked as though Jan had a totally new look going for season four. She has that Bohemian hippy vibe going in this scene, but will look like her regular self for the rest of the episode. Peter decides to call Kerry and ask her out. As he leaves the room, he deems the call he is about to make the most important of his life.
The scene that follows offers the only credibility strain of the episode. Peter calls up Kerry and she has no idea who he is. Upon learning the caller is Jan’s brother, she suggests it was the brother working on the car or the cute boy with the freckles. This should have given Peter pause and had him reconsidering dating a girl with such an awful memory. The way Kerry and Jan laughed at Peter’s love struck ways would surely be remembered a few hours later! How does one so quickly forget somebody saying, “Pleased to meet me”? A more plausible and funny scenario would have been that Peter was helping Greg work on the car and was behind the wheel to operate, at Greg’s instruction, whatever needed fixing. As Peter is awestruck at Kerry’s beauty, he leans on the horn and lets off a deafening honk that angers Greg and sends Kerry and Jan away with their ears ringing. Instead of Peter saying, “We met on the stairs in my home a few hours ago.”, he ends the call.
Kerry’s bad memory is no turn-off for Peter. He will be trying again in person. He enters Mike and Carol’s room adorned in a powder blue suit. This was no doubt high fashion of the day, but not something a kid wore to school unless it was picture day. It seems a prospective date might find Peter’s attire more laughable and out of place than endearing. Peter asks Mike if he might borrow some of his aftershave lotion. Mike questions if Peter shaved, but Peter says he hasn’t and questions if one must shave to wear aftershave lotion. Mike obliges Peter with a green bottle of aftershave. Mike warns Peter not to use too much, but Peter pays little heed. In a very “natural” line, Peter smells his hands and comments, “Hey, that smells good.” This line and its delivery just seemed so real. The aftershave Mike offers Peter appears to be Aqua Velva Frost Lime. The shape of the bottle and the color of the liquid suggest such. Aqua Velva no longer offers this scent.
Peter’s attempt to talk to Kerry in person results in one foul up after another. She apologizes for not knowing who he was the night before when he called her. She takes notice of the aftershave Peter is wearing. He says he shaves all the time and he and his father use the same aftershave. Peter’s gentlemanly efforts fail as he knocks Kerry’s books into the mud. He clumsily attempts to use his handkerchief to clean them up and then hands them to Kerry to hold while he gets some water from the fire hydrant, eh, water fountain. The water pressure on the water fountain could blind a person looking to quench a thirst. Peter muddies up Kerry as he attempts to dry the water from her face. The water splash on the muddy books also dirties up her clothes. This is a very funny scene and one of the best of the series. Before this, we thought Greg ripping the senior girls’ book while dressed like a hippy was embarrassing. Peter’s folly here trumps Greg’s!
The very minor b-plot begins in the next scene. Mike arrives home from work, sans the tie he had on that morning, and is irked to learn that Carol bought tickets for an art show. Mike doesn’t appreciate modern art and doesn’t want to look at crushed soup cans posing as art. Peter arrives home bummed about his failed attempts to woo Kerry. Mike recalls a crush he had and his own folly with her. He suggests Peter write a letter to Kerry to share how he feels.
With Alice’s help, Peter completes a love letter for Kerry and drops it in her locker. That day at school, he approaches Jan to find out Kerry’s thoughts on his letter. Jan asks if it was a “gooey love letter”. She says Kerry found it well written and poetic. Kerry also found that Peter forgot to sign his name to it. As a kid and even today, I question why this was such a big deal. Peter could have easily written a second note or letter revealing his feelings and his being the author of the first letter. Why not have Jan tell Kerry it was her brother who wrote it? However friends, one must question anybody writing a girl a “gooey love letter” after having only met her two days before and hardly knowing her. How much “love” could be communicated so quickly?
Peter’s next plan to win Kerry’s affection gives the episode its title. Using the methods from the play “Cyrano de Bergerac”, Peter will win Kerry’s affection. He seeks Greg’s assistance in feeding him the words of love that will win Kerry over. Greg is initially resistant to assist his younger brother, until Peter shares that Greg’s suave ways have earned him the moniker “Old Silver Tongue”. Whether this is true or not is not made clear, but the flattery offered by Peter inspires Greg to help his brother out.
Peter’s efforts at imitating Cyrano give us a set never before seen on the Brady bunch. It does appears to be some alteration of the Brady abode, but with a country fence and some bushes added. Fortunately for Peter, Kerry is in her room when he tosses some pebbles at the window to alert her of his presence. She is understandably curious as to why Peter is outside her window and not at her door and why things seem a bit strange. Greg’s delivery to Peter goes well at first. However, when Greg attempts to have Peter deliver a longer line, he fouls it up and the moment is lost. It would appear Kerry is too as she leaves the window.
When Peter thinks things can’t get any worse, they do. Kerry comes outside and finds Greg hiding behind a bush and the source of Peter’s words of love. Kerry thinks that Peter was there on Greg’s behalf and that Greg is interested in her. Writing this blog led me to research the original “Cyrano de Bergerac” more and found that in the original play, both the guy delivering the love lines (Cyrano) and the guy speaking them were in love with Roxanne. Kerry seems familiar with this play and even states it is “just like Cyrano”. If she was going to let Peter know she wasn’t interested in his affections, this was a harsh way to do it. If the boys were imitating Cyrano, she’d have known of Peter’s affections too. Ouch. Poor Peter.
We will now pause to review the episode’s guest star. Kerry Hathaway was played by Kym Karath. She did a fantastic job in this episode. She is quite the beauty and if Peter was going to be awestruck at first sight, the producers picked a very good actress for the part. Her most notable role was in the film “The Sound of Music”. She was the youngest of the Von Trapp children in the film. She also appeared on several hit series to include Dr. Kildare, Family Affair and The Waltons. Her last acting credit was in 1988 on All My Children. However, she continues to appear as herself in reflections of “The Sound of Music” and was a judge on Cake Wars in 2015.
Peter returns home angry that Greg stole Kerry’s heart. He calls his brother the ultimate sitcom of old insult; he calls Greg a rat. Peter explains what happened and Mike gives an odd query of “What did you do about it?” Maybe he thought Peter would say, “I left him lying there moaning in the grass after I…” or “Nothing yet, I am heading upstairs for my baseball bat.” Instead, Peter flashes some attitude and says, “I left. What should I do, take pictures?” Greg then arrives explains what happened and how Kerry would not listen to his explanation of things. He then goes upstairs. Mike suggest Peter forget about Kerry for now. Carol adds there are a lot of other fish in the sea. Peter replies, “I know, but I got Moby Dick for a brother”. This line just screams of a subtle insult snuck past the censors. I don’t see how Greg’s “stealing” Peter’s girl can be compared to an elusive albino whale. Readers, perhaps one of you are more familiar with the book and can provide some additional insight.
Kerry refuses to believe that Greg is not interested in her. She is planning to knit him a sweater and dropped off some homemade fudge. Again, this was a good chance for Peter to question wanting to date this girl. She is quite obsessive and can’t face reality. Upstairs, Peter is still lamenting the loss of Kerry. He tells Bobby to be happy he is still young. We do get a look at a neat vintage slot car set. Greg enters and shares with Peter a plan he and Jan have conspired. Jan is going to tell Kerry that Greg is a no good, two-timing, double-crossing rat. In a funny line Peter states that Jan will be telling Kerry the truth. After sharing with Kerry how awful Greg is, she will share with her how wonderful Peter is.
Jan’s dogging of Greg does nothing to change Kerry’s opinion of Greg. It only makes Kerry determined to save Greg from his awful self. With this knowledge, Greg decides to take things to the next level. He is going to show Kerry firsthand what a bad dude he is. He enlists Marcia’s help to play Debbie, his ex-girlfriend. She will adorn a brown wig in her role of the broken hearted woman. I could not help but wonder why Carol has a brown wig in her closet. It would have been funny if they still had Jan’s old wig laying around and used it and even referenced the past episode.
The next scene is one of the best of the entire series. It really does push credibility in some ways, but the idea of teenagers trying to pull off a stunt like this is believable and fun. Greg has set the mood in the living room with lighting and music when Kerry arrives. She compliments his attire and in a very funny reply, Greg tells her his clothes are his “working threads”. Greg then goes over the rules for dating him. Kerry is allowed to date only him. He however may date whoever he wants. Kerry states how that doesn’t sound fair. Greg asks, “What do you want? Fair or me?” Kerry only replies, “Well-” What if she was okay with this? Greg would have been in a huge jam then! Greg begins to explain rule three and moves in on Kerry for a kiss. She pulls away and just then the doorbell rings.
Greg answers the door to find Marcia disguised as Debbie. She says she must talk to him and then is upset she has found another woman there. The hilarity continues as Greg says, “You caught me at a bad time, I usually have three or four.” During this time, Alice enters the kitchen and observes what is taking place. Greg gives Debbie the boot with “Come on loser.” About this time, Mike and Carol arrive home and observe the shenanigans with Alice. Kerry tries to intervene on Debbie’s behalf and call out Greg’s deplorable treatment of her. Greg says Kerry can leave with Debbie if she doesn’t like it. Just then, Peter arrives home and the jig is up. He immediately identifies something phony going on and identifies Debbie as Marcia. He even pulls off her wig. He chides his brother and sister for putting one over on Kerry like this and adds if she were his girl, she’d be treated like a queen. With this, Kerry finally sees Peter’s true affection for her and invites him to walk her home. If one takes a closer look, maybe he should be walking her to Denny’s or Howard Johnson’s as it would appear by the dress she has on that she is late for her waitressing shift. Mike and Carol are surprisingly chill about Greg and Marcia’s efforts and have a laugh about it. I would expect Mike to say, “Just because this had a happy ending….”
Here is one good look at Marcia as a brunette. Blond hair certainly suits her better in my opinion.
The epilogue has Bobby and Cindy trying some Cryano action of their own. Cindy, with Bobby’s coaching, touts the merits of being allowed to have two donuts. Carol agrees with Cindy’s (Bobby’s) reasoning and gives one donut to Cindy and one to Bobby. It’s a cute scene with the two youngest Bradys.
“Cyrano de Brady” is a classic Brady Bunch episode that includes that fun level of crazy mixed with comedy. Surprisingly there was no real talking-to or moral of the story scene. Mike telling Peter to just move on and find another girl was about as close as this episode got as far as a lesson. Please share your own thoughts and observations! Next week, we will review “Fright Night”. This one will be fun for me as aside from a bust of Mike’s head scaring Alice, I remember very little of it. See you then!