Episode 14: Love And The Older Man

Greetings fellow fans, readers and friends.  Thank you for joining me today to review “Love And The Older Man”.  This was the first episode aired in 1973.  I stated last week that this was one I recalled little of.  I now know why.  It’s kind of a dull episode.  It’s boring factor ranks right up there with “Career Fever”.   The subject matter might have been a tad risqué for 1973.  If this story aired in today’s sitcoms, every boundary would be pushed and the entire story would be filled with sexual innuendo.  So, while this episode is not very entertaining, I do appreciate it as a time capsule to show us the way TV was once upon a time.  Let us begin reviewing “Love And The Older Man”.

 

The story begins with a love struck Marcia arriving home.  She is riding a blue beach cruiser complete with a bike horn.  Can you imagine Marcia giving that thing a squeeze when she sees friends out and about or to notify some jogger or walker to her presence?  I sure can’t.  It just seems so out of place on a teenage girl’s bicycle.  She enters the kitchen where Carol and Alice are.  Marcia shares with them the source of her whimsy.  She has just left the office of Dr. Stanley Vogel, a young dentist.  Marcia describes him as being “far out”.  As she flutters away, Carol says this young dentist may be the greatest thing to happen to dentistry since Novocain.

 

Up in her bedroom, Marcia stares at her teeth and continues dreaming about Dr. Vogel.  Jan is reading a copy of Teentime Romance magazine.  Regular readers will recognize this is the same magazine Jan was reading in “Jan, The Only Child”, but it was just titled Teenager then.  The cover art is the same as is the ad on the back pitching a free ocean voyage on a palatial ship.  Jan shares with Marcia an article titled “Are You An Old Maid At 19?”  Can you imagine many 19 year old girls reading such a magazine?  It seems this magazine’s readership would be younger teenagers.  Perhaps the article was meant to give those teenage girls some advance warning.  The article encourages girls to marry a man 10-12 years older as they are more mature, financially stable and understanding.  What kind of magazine is this?  It’s pitching marriage to teenage girls?  It should be pitching dating tips for the malt shop or balancing boys and studies.  Instead, it is all ready encouraging teenage girls to seek out an older man to marry!  Granted, there was still that mindset in 1973 that limited women to roles as wives and mothers, but still, this magazine’s editing staff was quite reckless in publishing this article.   Marcia now finds Dr. Vogel to be her ideal partner as he meets the older man criteria while also being far out.

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Mike soon finds himself sitting in the far out dentist’s chair.  Mike shares with him how groovy Marcia finds him.  Dr. Vogel asks Mike if Marcia does any babysitting.  He and his wife have plans for Friday night and need a babysitter.  Mike says he will ask Marcia and let him know.  From here, the episode could be a comedy of mistakes and errors, if it were only funny.

gokart1

The episode’s b-plot is introduced in the next scene.  Peter and Bobby are building a go-kart using an old lawn mower engine.  I remember hearing about kids doing this once upon a time, but never knew any who pulled it off.  Greg does make a funny suggestion that when the go-kart is complete, they can mow the street while riding it.  Marcia arrives home and Greg tells her his classmate, Eddie Bryant, would like Marcia to be his date at the bowling alley Friday night.  Marcia supposes that will be okay, even though Eddie is immature.

 

The next scene begins with Alice vacuuming the couch and listening for change being sucked up inside the cleaning machine.  Mike arrives home and concurs with Marcia about the doctor being “charming and groovy”.  He mentions the doctor’s babysitting request.  He goes upstairs and asks Marcia about her availability on Friday night.  Marcia shares that she has a date, so Mike drops the entire thing, but Marcia persists.  Mike shares that Dr. Vogel asked if Marcia was free Friday night, but the matter can be dropped since she isn’t.  Marcia immediately surmises the gentlemanly doctor was wanting to ask her on a date via inquiry with her father.  Jan shares that in the olden times, men asked for a date through the girl’s father.  So, Marcia thinks this hip and groovy doctor ascribes to the manners of olden times.

 

Out in the driveway, the Brady boys have assembled their go-kart.  Man, doesn’t that thing look dangerous?  Child Protective Services would likely be called on parents who permitted their children to pilot such a craft today. Before the boys’ lives can be in peril though, Greg realizes Peter forgot to put gas in the mower.  Marcia comes outside and is leaving for an important appointment dressed to the nines.  She refuses to divulge her destination and leaves the boys to play with their “dumb little toys”.   Again, that horn on Marcia’s bike just screams childish!

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Marcia is back at the dentist office and says the drilling of her teeth didn’t hurt.  She also compliments the doctor on the flavor of his mouthwash.  For Dr. Vogel to offer mouthwash instead of water for a rinse does set him apart from other dentists.  He inquires about Friday night, but Marcia shares she has a date with a “youth” from school.  Upon learning that Dr. Vogel has tickets to the ballet, which she is mad about but never attended, she agrees to break her date.  How much of a stretch is it that never once in this conversation was babysitting mentioned?  Surely the doctor would ask something like, “What kind of snacks would you like in the fridge?” or “Have you ever sat for a child only three years old?”   He might should even discuss what he will be paying her before he hires her on as a babysitter!

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Don Brit Reid

Dr. Vogel was played by Don Brit Reid.  This episode of The Brady Bunch is his first acting credit listed on IMBD.  His only recurring role for a TV series was on Dynasty.  He appeared on other popular shows like Police Woman and CHiPs.  His last credited appearance was in 1989 on General Hospital.  A Google search produced no recent information about him.

carolapprove

Back at the house, the boys are painting the go-kart.  Some humor is attempted when they try to decide what number to paint on it.  Marcia arrives home and breaks the Friday night date with Greg’s pal.  Marcia states she has more mature things to do.  Inside, Marcia asks if Mike spoke to her about she and Dr. Vogel.  Carol says he did and she has no problem with it.  She thinks it will be a good experience for Marcia.  Marcia is ecstatic and thanks her mom profusely.  Again, how did babysitting not come into the conversation?

dream1

Upstairs, Marcia shares Carol’s approval with Jan and she envisions a long and romantic future with Dr. Vogel.  We then see the first dream sequence of the episode.  However, this dream sequence does not occur while Marcia sleeps, like so many other Brady dream sequences did.  Here, Marcia is  becoming “Mrs. Marcia Dentist”.  The minister asks all kinds of dental questions in place of those asked during a wedding ceremony.  Instead of kissing the bride, Dr. Vogel inspects her teeth with a mirror.  Friends, I do hope there are some of you out there who enjoy this dream sequence.

dreampriest
Allen Joseph

The minister in the dream sequence was played by Allen Joseph.  In addition to acting, he also wrote plays.  He had a long and busy career with appearances in films like “Eraserhead” and “Raging Bull”.  On television, he appeared on Quincy, M.E., Mission Impossible and Mannix (among many others).  His final appearance was in a 1985 episode of Airwolf.  He died in 2012.

dream2b

Downstairs as dinner preparations are finished, we must endure a second dream sequence.  This one doesn’t even involve Dr. Vogel!  Marcia imagines herself the mother of Bobby and Cindy.  For some reason, they are dressed like they are living in the 1800s and speak with European accents.  To add to the bizarre nature of this scene, Alice enters dressed like a French maid, complete with a French accent.  It is truly the most useless scene we have experienced on The Brady Bunch thus far.  We know Marcia dreams of marrying Dr. Vogel, but is she so distracted and distraught she is imagining strange domestic scenes?

dream3

The third dream sequence we are subjected to is a bit less painful and makes more sense.  Carol seeks to ease Mike’s mind and muscles after a hard day at work.  Marcia envisions the same with Dr. Vogel as her husband.  A dental chair is set up in the Brady living room which Dr. Vogel kicks back in.  Marcia has him rinse and plays the part of the wife existing to make his life easier.  Last week I stated this was an episode I did not remember well.  This scene was really the only one I recalled some three decades after last seeing this episode.

 

The next day, Marcia gets some bad news.  Jan informs Marcia that Dr. Vogel is a married man with a family!  Marcia is distraught at the news.  She seeks the counsel of Alice and asks what she’d do if she were to learn Sam is married.  Alice is initially concerned the man she’s been seeing since season one might be married.  After Marcia confirms this is not the case, Alice delivers one of the few chuckles of the episode.  She states that stopping a romance has never been a problem for her, it was always starting them.  Alice says the romance should end right away.

confront

The next day, Marcia visits Dr. Vogel at his office.   He originally thinks her being there is due to a problem with the filling he gave her.  Marcia lets him know their romance cannot continue.  He plays along with her fantasy and agrees not to date her.  As Marcia leaves, she shares she will be back on Wednesday for a teeth cleaning.  Can you imagine if Marcia let it get around that this dentist wanted to date her?  His playing along with her misguided notion might have seen him in some serious trouble!

 

Marcia arrives home and lets Greg know she will keep the Friday night date with his school chum.  She realizes a younger fellow offers the opportunity to grow old together.  The next scene has Marcia and Greg leaving en route to the bowling alley.  Jan is going to explain Marcia’s change of heart to Mike and Carol, but stops herself.  She claims Mike and Carol are not young enough to understand.  It was a mildly funny end to a fairly boring episode.

epilogue

This episode does not have the “closing squares” that appear in almost every episode between the story itself and the epilogue.  The epilogue begins right after the previous scene.  Any saving grace that was earned by Jan’s final line of the episode is lost with the absurdity of the story’s conclusion.  While Alice is out in the driveway cleaning the screens, the boys’ go-kart refuses to start.  Greg kicks it in frustration and the trio of brothers walks away.  Somebody with zero knowledge of the internal combustion engine wrote this scene.  As the boys are about to enter the house, the go-kart miraculously starts.  It begins puttering down the driveway to Alice’s horror.

While this episode is not as boring as “Career Fever” it is not far behind on the dullness scale.  There isn’t much aside from the dream sequences that makes this episode memorable and those are not very entertaining.  It would be hard to make this episode anymore entertaining without crossing some boundaries.  Please share your own thoughts for “Love And The Older Man”!  Next week, the episode we will review is “Law and Disorder”.  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.

15 thoughts on “Episode 14: Love And The Older Man”

  1. I enjoyed this episode, at least in some ways. The first BB book pointed out something I noticed, that the episode title looks like a good name for a LOVE, AMERICAN STYLE segment, and I have often enjoyed that show when I’ve had a chance to see it.

    There was little resembling reality in this episode, and I was also puzzled why babysitting was never mentioned to Marcia. I thought the daydream sequences are silly, especially that w/ Bobby & Cindy and their goofy British (?) accents. I was disappointed that the kitchen dream sequence was usually cut from syndication, at least after the 80s. I remember seeing that dream sequence with my parents in an 80s rerun and asking what “s’il vous plait” (which Alice the maid said) meant, because Dad told me it meant “if you please”. He was close, as word-for-word, I think it technically means “if it pleases you”. When I’d watch this episode later in syndication or even on Nick/TV Land, the kitchen dream sequence was missing. I’d love to ask Mike & Susan sometime if possible if they were embarrassed filming that scene. I’m sure Susan was, as she usually hated what Cindy did anyway.

    A programming note, based on my creation of a text file of all the original ABC network primetime episodes in TV Guide: Between this episode and “Everyone Can’t Be George Washington”, ABC reran Season 3’s “My Sister, Benedict Arnold” on Dec. 29, 1972, meaning that ABC ran 2 of the many Brady Bunch episodes referencing Benedict Arnold in consecutive weeks. ABC also had in-season reruns (in between original episodes) on Dec. 25, 1970 (a rerun of Season 1’s “The Voice of Christmas”, which ABC also reran in the heat of Aug. 14, 1970) and on Dec. 28, 1973 (a rerun of Season 5’s “Mail Order Hero”).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Not a lot to say about this episode.
    -Jan ends up marrying an older man in The Brady Brides. Perhaps she was inspired by the Mrs. Marcia Dentist sitaution.
    -Greg: nice incredibly white pants you are wearing to work with a greasy gokart! I guess they would never get dirty in Brady-land, and if they did then just use some Safe detergent.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I agree that this episode is pretty much a dud. Our reviewer is equally adept at reviewing every kind of episode…regardless of whether the episode is good, bad or indifferent. …all the reviews have been great!

    To me, the best thing about this episode when I used to see it in reruns was how nice Marcia looked in the outfits she wore.

    lol great points about the horn on the bike and the writer’s lack of knowledge with regards to the operation of the internal combustion engine! And great point about Teen Time Romance magazine… just ridiculous to be giving girls that age advice on how to meet and marry an older man…Jan hasn’t even started dating yet!

    1) When Marcia and Greg are talking in the beginning and Marcia gets her parting shot in by calling Greg immature, it was funny when Greg says to Bobby and Peter “Let’s get this go-cart working so I can run her over” (thereby proving Marcia’s point, I guess). He practically says it under his breath, it’s easy to miss that line, but it was one of the better lines in the episode.

    2) I don’t think this episode was considered risqué in 1973… I know it’s easy to assume that it would have been, given the way things are today, but people didn’t make those kind of connections in those days. The “wedding ceremony” between Marcia and Dr. Vogel was just silly. And when Dr. Vogel came home, he and Marcia just shared a quick hug and that was it. Him sitting down to relax in the dental chair was pretty funny.

    3) Jon H made a good point about the title of this episode being similar to sketch titles used in “Love American Style”. In fact, both L.A.S. and the B.B. aired on ABC on Friday nights (although I think L.A.S. started as a Monday night series).

    4) The dream sequence with Alice, Bobby and Cindy is probably just meant to simulate the “olden days” like Jan describe to Marcia earlier. It was a strange way for Marcia to picture things though, especially having Bobby and Cindy as her “children”

    5) Marcia told Dr. Vogel that she reads Teen Time Romance magazine, but in the beginning of the episode, she scoffed at Jan’s reading it

    6) In the scene late in the show when Marcia tells Greg that she’s decided to go on the bowling date, the horn is gone from her bicycle!!

    7) Jan’s line to Mike and Carol about them being “not young enough to know” just came out really weird. I think she should have said “you’re not young enough to understand”

    8) Why was Alice trying to outrun the go-kart? Why not just take a couple of steps to the side to get out of the way? Both that and the fact that the engine started all by itself is the kind of stuff we normally only saw in cartoons.

    The mis-communication between Marcia and Carol about “Friday night” had a lot of potential, but it was kind of messed up because babysitting was never brought up. Carol’s line about “It’ll be a good experience for you” is a good line, but the fact that Dr. Vogel never explained to Marcia what it was all about was what made it unbelievable.

    In my exploration of the internet, I came across some sites that have downloadable mp3’s of old radio shows. One of these shows, “A Date With Judy” has a great example of a mother and daughter’s miscommunication leading to a funny dialog exchange. Here is a link to the mp3 itself. It can be played without downloading it:

    [audio src="http://www.oldradioworld.com/media/A%20Date%20with%20Judy%201945-01-23%20Judy%20s%20Party.mp3" /]

    This episode is entitled “Judy’s Party”.

    In this episode, Judy Foster (a teenager) and her friend Mitzi are going to give a teenage party at Judy’s house the following evening, since neither of them have been on a date for several days (an eternity to them). Meanwhile, we find out that Judy’s mother, Mrs. Foster, is also planning a party for the same night. The purpose of Mrs. Foster’s party is to have friends over for an elegant dinner party, in order to reciprocate invitations to parties that Mr and Mrs Foster had previously attended.

    The dialog that Judy and her mother have about “the party” is very funny, especially since

    a) Mrs. Foster is talking about the elegant dinner party for the adults, while
    b) Judy is talking about the party she and Mitzi planned for their teenage friends, and
    c) Neither Judy nor her Mother are aware of the party plans the other has made

    Good stuff. There are a lot of funny episodes of that series that are available for download.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “EDIT”…i’m not sure what that “audio src ” stuff was at the beginning of the radio link, that’s not part of the url… here is the link..

    [audio src="http://www.oldradioworld.com/media/A%20Date%20with%20Judy%201945-01-23%20Judy%20s%20Party.mp3" /]

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Do you think the Prop People creating the magazine probably wanted to poke fun at the expectations of women around that time? Thankfully I like to think those attitudes were already looking more and more dated by the time this episode premiered.
    Though I don’t think I would have wanted to read a teen magazine from that era (feels like a breeding ground for eating disorders).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Definitely one of my least favorite episodes, at least Marcia’s crush with bug boy Harvey Klinger was more or less grounded in reality.
    One genuinely funny moment from this episode: Carol giving Mike a phone message using a sexy breathy voice… “Tell Mr. Brady he has an appointment… tomorrow… with the dentist!” (sticking her tongue out at Mike).

    Liked by 2 people

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