Episode 22: The Hair-Brained Scheme

Hello again friends.  Can you believe that today we review the final episode of the series ?  I am finding it hard to believe.  “The Hair-Brained Scheme” was the last episode of the original series to air.  It is disliked by many fans for many reasons.  Some hate that Robert Reed was not in it.  Some find the plot just ludicrous.  I myself have never hated it and found some parts really funny.  At this point in the series, an orange-haired Greg seemed like a plot believable enough for the show.  It could have been made a tad more realistic with a really bad haircut, outrageous perm or some other beauty mishap.  As always, your own thoughts are most welcome!  Let’s do it one last time as we review “The Hair-Brained Scheme”.

 

 

The episode begins with Greg arriving home with his cap and gown in tow.  He is just a few days away from being a high school graduate.  He brings in his graduation attire and models it for Carol and Alice.  As he ponders his future as a student outside of law mandated schooling, Bobby enters with plans for his own future.  He is seeking to be a millionaire by selling hair tonic.  Carol is none too supportive and Greg just outright laughs at his youngest brother.  Bobby found an ad in the magazine guaranteeing him a product that will double his investment.  The Neat and Natural Hair Tonic company sends out 12 bottles of their product at a cost of $12 to an aspiring dealer with the promise of the bottle selling for $2.  In today’s dollars, Bobby has invested right around $60 for a $120 return.

Check out the chalkboard in the kitchen.  It reads “Jan call Eve.”

Magazine ads offering money making opportunities were before my time.  My only recollection is the back pages of Boys Life magazine where Olympic Sales offered youngsters the chance to sell greeting cards in return for some fabulous prizes.  An entertaining blog about a young man who went as far as ordering the sales kit can be read here.  I myself looked to do so once, but my dad quickly shut it down saying the sales were not easily made.  I am glad I listened to him as he was right.  Another blog about a young man’s enterprising ways can be read here.

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Bobby’s hair tonic millions are a fun glimpse at scams and opportunities of the past.  However, Bobby knows that becoming a millionaire won’t come quickly.  In a funny line he states it could take weeks or maybe even months.  Cindy has business ideas of her own.  She brings home two rabbits for breeding.  Wow, two new living things in the house would certainly require parental approval.  Carol’s actions suggest she knows nothing about this.  Cindy’s original plan is to keep the rodents, Romeo and Juliet, in her room, but Carol nixes this and suggests the service porch.

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Another nice shot of Maureen and Eve.

Upstairs, Cindy is adding up the money she will make as her rabbits multiply.  Marcia shares a funny line as she says the riches will add up until the health department condemns their house for having so many rabbits in it.

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Bobby recruits Oliver to be his sales assistant.  Oliver agrees to work for free as Bobby provides on the job training.  The pair’s first attempt at pitching the product fails miserably as Greg boots them from his room.  During this scene, I could not help but notice the contents of Greg’s desk.  Was he taking apart motors up there?

 

 

The sales efforts that follow are some Brady Bunch scenes I never recall seeing before.  Maybe it has just been too long since I watched this episode or maybe they fell victim to the “syndication knife” and were cut.  The sales efforts here suffer the same fate as they did with Greg.  To an angry looking woman, Bobby gives a pitch that suggests she has dry and brittle hair.  She suggests he buzz off by slamming the door.  The next stop initially appears to be Bobby and Oliver’s own home.  At first I thought they were arriving home from their sales trip.  However, the addition of a sign on the door that reads “No Peddlers or Agents” confirms for the viewer that this is not the same place.  When the man comes to the door, we see the set dressers also took the time to use a backdrop other than the Brady living room.  The exchange gave me a chuckle.  At first, Bobby says he is not a peddler or agent, he is a salesman.  After being told he is not welcome there, he suggests Oliver make the sale.  The man asks if Oliver is not a peddler or an agent and he replies he is just a little boy.  I found this really funny.  The third effort at selling hair tonic is made to a toupee wearing night watchman who is none too interested in buying Bobby’s product.

The first and third adults the kids try to sell to, played by Brandy Carson and John Wheeler, had appeared on previous episodes of The Brady Bunch.  The second man was played by Bern Hoffman.  He worked for many years in Hollywood and had a recurring role on Bonanza as bartender Sam.  He was also in the feature film “Li’l Abner”.   He passed away in 1979.

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Bobby comes home a broken and beaten boy.  He is ready to give up his enterprising ways.  As he goes upstairs, he and Carol sit down and have a talk.  Carol encourages Bobby not to quit, citing the old adage, “Quitters never win and winners never quit”.  She names off some successful people who never quit and then references Carl Mahakian.  When Bobby questions who that is, she says he is somebody who quit, that’s why Bobby never heard of him.  Feeling encouraged Bobby goes on his way.

 

 

Upstairs, Greg is giving Peter his old letterman’s sweater.  The sweater is Peter’s, but the letter comes off.  I could not help but imagine Peter strutting about campus with a well worn sweater with a bright yellow “W” shape where a letter should be.   Bobby enters and interrupts this brotherly exchange.  He is still down on himself at his lack of salesman skill.  Greg makes a pity purchase of hair tonic from Bobby.  Trying to state this is not so, he asks Bobby if he would be giving up his hard earned cash if he didn’t really want a bottle.  Bobby replies that Greg must be right as he is pretty cheap.  This was another laugh out loud line for me.

 

 

Bobby applies the hair tonic with disastrous results.  He insists that he himself apply it to Greg’s hair.  Still feeling sorry for the boy, Greg agrees to this.  Bobby wants to use a lot of the stuff and does.  He soon finds an orange headed Greg sitting in front of him.  He puts a towel over his oldest brother’s head and vacates the room.  Greg is understandably furious at his hair’s color. The next day is the biggest day of his academic career and his locks are orange.  His younger brother and two older sisters are not sympathetic at all.  They just laugh at his misery.  Marcia even suggests the dress she is holding be worn by Greg to graduation since it matches his hair.

This episode got me curious about hair tonic.  I’ve seen it referenced on old shows, but have never used it or knew anyone who has.  I remember an episode of Dennis The Menace where the second Mr. Wilson was allergic to Dennis’s hair tonic.  A google search stated hair tonic has fallen out of use for the most part today.  Before mousse and hairspray, it was what people used to style and shape their hair.  If one seeks a bottle today, a barber shop or beauty parlor would be the ideal place to find it.

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Down on the service porch, Oliver is recruited to be Cindy’s assistant as Bobby’s business is not going anywhere.  Oliver suggests to Carol that maybe both rabbits will have babies and they will make even more money.  Carol tries to explain how this won’t work and says she and Oliver will have a talk after dinner.  Oliver tells Cindy that her mom has trouble discussing sex.  Some will say this was an iconic first for The Brady Bunch, but the word sex had been muttered in earlier seasons. Greg enters the room searching for Bobby.  Cindy’s reaction to Greg’s orange hairdo was well acted and seems genuine.  At least she did not laugh at him!

 

 

Greg finds Bobby hiding in Mike’s den.  Fortunately, Carol is there to prevent the oldest brother from pouncing on the youngest.  Carol tries to intervene and even calls the Neat and Natural Hair Tonic company; their line has been disconnected.   Bobby tries to lessen Greg’s anger by suggesting things could be worse.  His hair could have turned green.  Carol suggests that maybe the tonic can be washed out and Greg’s hair turned brown again.  This does not work and she has another idea.

 

 

The stock shot of the shopping center that follows included a wig shop.  Carol and Greg going there might have been fun!  Instead they visit a beauty parlor.  1974 was still a time when a man at a beauty parlor was not socially acceptable.  Carol even says Greg won’t like the idea of going there.  Greg asks if they might just get a dye kit and go home and do it, but Carol wisely suggests that this is a job for a pro.  Greg is wearing a ski cap to hide his clownish colored hair.  Carol inquires on having the dye job done privately.  As she does, Greg encounters two classmates, Suzy and Gretchen.  As another testament to the times, they are surprised to see Greg at a beauty parlor.  Greg “explains” to them why he is there and this surprises Carol.  He assures Carol that his two classmates can keep a secret.  With Greg and Carol gone, the two girls lament Carol’s being completely bald.  As a kid, I found Greg telling them this hilarious.  As an adult it is still funny, but has been etched in my memory so long the laughs are not what they once were.

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Suzy and Gretchen were played by two returning actresses.  Barbara Bernstein and Hope Sherwood had appeared multiple times before.

 

 

Back at home, good fortunes abound for all.  Well, initially not for Cindy.  She found out that both her rabbits are males and won’t be having any babies.  Mr. Kirby at the pet shop refuses to allow Cindy to return them as he has too many rabbits.  I have to wonder if Mr. Kirby is a real jerk selling Cindy two male rabbits for breeding or if Cindy was just too shortsighted to question the rabbits’ gender when making the purchase.  If nothing else, Mr. Kirby could have exchanged one of the boy rabbits for a girl one.  Upon learning that Greg’s hair is back to a natural color, Bobby accidentally pours his hair tonic on Cindy’s rabbits.  This produces orange rabbits that Mr. Kirby buys back along with Bobby’s hair tonic so he can produce more orange rodents.  With the check from Mr. Kirby, the three youngest kids aspire to raise worms.

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Also during the previous scene, it would appear the huge cache of Safe Laundry Soap was used up or discarded as the Bradys are back to using Best.

epilogue

The epilogue has the family arriving home from Greg’s graduation.  Carol laments that Mike was unable to attend as he was out of town.  This point has irked fans many times over.  Mike Brady would never miss his son’s graduation.   Some well known trivia is that Robert Reed refused to take part in this crazy episode and left the set during filming.  Maybe Carol’s line was just a dig at Robert Reed for skipping out on the episode.  It was suggested in a forum that a line such as “Mike had to stop at the store to get the cake” or something like that would have allowed the character to save face.  Another line would have been, “It was so nice of your father to fly home and surprise us” and Greg replying, “I just hate that he had to get right back on a plane and leave again”.  Anyway, the epilogue ends with Oliver suggesting he get Greg’s attic room instead of Marcia or Peter.  Why Peter feels entitled is not clear as an earlier episode made clear that Marcia was next.

Thank you friends for reviewing “The Hair Brained Scheme” with me.  Thank you also for your loyal readership these past few years.  I have thoroughly enjoyed writing each blog and reading your own thoughts and comments. Writing this blog and revisiting The Brady Bunch has been a real joy. Next week, we will revisit our five least favorite episodes and the week after our five favorite.  Please share your thoughts on “The Hair Brained Scheme”!

 

 

 

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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.

55 thoughts on “Episode 22: The Hair-Brained Scheme”

  1. If Bobby had not suggested that Greg use some hair tonic right away, and Greg decided to use it just as he was getting ready to leave for his graduation ceremony, and his hair turned orange, there would definitely have been no time to do anything about it then. In the se one season, when each child missed one episode, except Greg, if the show had continued for at least one more season, with Greg being away at college, who knows how many episodes he would have not been in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mike for doing this wonderful blog! It is a wonderful review by the community of all the Brady Bunch episodes! This is so cool! Now we have a great reference for the show! I don’t hate this episode like Robert Reed does! But I do find the story line abut Bobby and Oliver selling hair tonic and Cindy’s rabbit breading more “strange” than bad.

      The episode really should have focused on Greg’s graduation in a more serious light, with the kids mixed feelings about him leaving for college in the fall and his plans for the future. A flashback episode here with reminiscing would have been awesome here! This would have had a much more positive emotional impact for this episode, than some out of the blue “Hair Tonic, Rabbit Breading” garbage. Not like it’s bad. But that whole subplot is just dumb, and it undermines the value of the great series by going out with such a bizarre story. No father in the world is going to miss his son’s graduation!

      I will be working on my best and worst episode lists for the group! Thanks again to Mike and all!

      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, the last episode. It was indeed sad not have Robert Reed in it, even if we did get Florence and Schwartzy’s daughters. Naturally, I would have preferred that the latter play Rachel again, rather than someone else.

    My father used Vitalis hair tonic. I just checked and it is still available on Amazon. Like so many products, what was once fashionable and widespread is still available as a niche market product. We have many more choices today, so like TV channels, the multitude of options make it inevitable that even a successful product will be used by a smaller percent of the population.

    The paneled walls in the beauty salon appear, as does Mike’s office set in multiple episodes, to come from the family room set.

    In syndication, the scene where Bobby and Oliver try to sell to the woman was cut very early on. The scenes with the night watchman and the other guy survived in most prints, at least for many years.

    Loved the reference to Carl Mahakian, a member of the production staff. His name can be seen in the closing credits.

    Thanks for your efforts with this blog. I came in during the second season, but have enjoyed it greatly. Look forward to the epilogues and then the Beaver and whatever else.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Don’t forget Accrington Stanley.

    Boy 1: “Milk! Urghh!”
    Boy 2: “It’s what Ian Rush drinks.”
    Boy 1: “Ian Rush?”
    Boy 2: “Yeah. And he said if I didn’t drink lots of milk, when I grow up, I’ll only be good enough to play for Accrington Stanley.”
    Boy 1: “Accrington Stanley, who are they?”
    Boy 2: “Exactly.”

    Accrington Stanley was an English soccer team that played in the Football League until financial difficulties forced them to drop out in 1962. The club went bankrupt a few years later.

    Things happen, and some circumstances are unforeseeable, but…IT HAPPENED!! I , too, wish that the writers came up with a better excuse for Mike not to show up at Greg’s graduation. “Oh, why did Mike go skiing last weekend, and have that accident? He missed Greg’s graduation and he’s still in traction. Hurry up, kids, visiting hours are almost over!”

    It bothers me that Greg has his high school diploma in hand (never liked the scroll; the folder is much neat-o) and doesn’t know where he’s going to college in the fall. AND he’s able to hold it over Marcia and Peter so they don’t know if they’ll even be able to move into Greg’s old space! Is this how college placements were handled in the 70’s?

    Following this blog has been a tremendous experience, with a lot of good-natured interaction between the blogger and the readers. It’s been run better and cleaner than other blogs of this type I’ve seen. Thank you for your diligence, and best wishes for your next venture!

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  4. Sigh. With “The Hair Brained Scheme”, Brady Bunch limped to a close. Yeah, there were a few funny lines (the ones you mentioned), but otherwise it just plods along. It was kinda cool that Florence Henderson actually had some lines with her real life daughter (none of that was in “The Slumber Caper”). And much ballyhooed mention of “sex” was there. That pitiful excuse about Mike not making it to his own son’s graduation was an unmistakable middle finger to Robert Reed on the part of the scriptwriters. But it didn’t matter anymore. Sanford and Son was KILLING the Bunch ratings wise. And poor Partridge Family was unceremoniously dumped that season opposite the top show on TV at the time: All In the Family. The Brady Bunch was a great series that got middling viewership during its first run. But now its iconic status is cemented via reruns in syndication and ’70s nostalgia. Not every show can leave on top like the Mary Tyler Moore show.

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    1. Thanks for that bit of TV history. I hate to admit that Sanford and Son would’ve stolen my viewership had I been around. It’s in my top 5 favorites (at least the first four seasons are) while The Brady Bunch only makes my top 10.

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  5. -In the opening scene when Greg drives up, there appears to be a huge messy oil stain in the driveway that Greg drives over. I have never noticed oil stains on their driveway before.
    -Same scene when Greg drives up… You can clearly see a neighbor’s house in the background…of course this is a painted backdrop. I don’t remember seeing houses from that vantage point in any other episode.
    -Am I mistaken or did Bobby’s package not have a shipping label? They may not have used shipping labels as much in those days but I didn’t see anything written as a shipping address either. At least we didn’t see those same two guys on the truck backing in with his package of hair tonic. I guess they only deliver pool tables and gum.
    -During the scenes where Bobby and Oliver are knocking on doors…it appears that the first door with insulted lady and the last door with toupee guy are the same door.. same color.. same door knocker.. only the other pieces of the set to the side of the door are different.
    -The sign about no peddlers or agents actually reads no peddlers NOR agents. Was the awkward word NOR used more in the 70s?
    -Greg’s graduation suit is so overpoweringly 1970s!
    -Oliver has the very last dialogue of the series

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    1. “Nor” is an awkward word? That’s news to me. It was used then, just as it is now—as a bosom buddy word with neither. It’s generally not used without that word.

      Neither you nor I are aware of the real story.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. To me it seems like “nor’ is one of those words that people avoid. Such as “whom”, because people either don’t know how to use it correctly or they sound pretentious when they do use it. I just don’t recall in my everyday life that a lot of people use the word “nor” and I’ve never seen it on a sign. But that’s just my point of view and I could of course be wrong.

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      2. I didn’t notice it on the sign. The use of “nor” on a sign like that is unusual. Using “nor” when “or” will get the job done seems somewhat presumptuous. Maybe there was a prize given to the salesman whom sold the most letters when selling signs for front doors.

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      3. Most people have signs that say “No Soliciting” when they don’t want door-to-door salespeople or political campaigners coming to their homes. I have never seen the phrase “No Peddlers Nor Agents” on such signs. “No Soliciting” works much better.

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      4. “No Soliciting” doesn’t work if you don’t know what the word means. I didn’t once when I was taking a pet census for my Boy Scout troop as an 11-year-old boy, and a nasty old man came to his door when I rang his doorbell and screamed at me for not knowing what the word meant, and I was terribly upset. I wasn’t even trying to sell anything!

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      5. Neither goes with “nor,” either goes with “or.”

        One would not say “Either peddlers or agents not allowed.” You would say “Neither peddler nor agents,” so nor is correct.

        Whom has fallen out of use for most, but it’s easily remember by answering your question. If the answer is “him” use whom, if the answer is “he” use who.

        For instance “Who are you talking to?” You would not say “I am talking to he,” you would say “I am talking to him.” So the question should be rewritten as “Whom are you talking to.”

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    2. Maybe the oil stain was left by the truck delivering the chewing gum last week. 😉

      My favorite moment of this episode (There aren’t many such moments here.) was when Greg let out a funny squeal when Peter started laughing at his orange hair. Unfortunately it’s cut from the Me-TV rerun version. BW had great little moments like this and the face he made when smelling Alice’s stinky tonic that was supposed to help Carol get her voice back at Christmas.

      I took the authors of “The Brady Bunch Book” at their word when they stated that Oliver was the only one to mention “sex” on this series. Can anyone here remember when else it was mentioned, at least in context of a sexual act and not male vs. female?

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    3. Great comments Marty. I too noticed the neighbor’s house and questioned if I’d seen it before. Great observation about that suit of Greg’s. It is definitively 1970s attire.

      Maybe Bobby’s package came via a courier, hence the lack of a shipping label. I’ve heard of shady outfits using those instead of regular mail.

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  6. Some accounts say Robert Reed did appear on the set to watch the filming, and Sherwood Schwartz refused to have security throw him off. I could imagine him as Mike sitting on the stairs with Bobby, telling him not to give up, or that he shouldn’t have wasted his money in the first place!

    While hair tonic may have been going out of style at the time, the notion of making quick riches wasn’t, and seeing Bobby, Cindy and Oliver wrapped up in this while learning a lesson was entertaining. Over the five seasons, we’ve gone from the growing pains of a blended family to wind up with sitcom hijinks in these last bunch of episodes. Along with the eldest son headed to college and the lead actor on the verge of being fired, it looked like the show had run it’s course.

    I’m looking forward to the five least & most favorite lists coming up on this great blog, both in reading what the other contributors think and tossing in my own two cents!

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    1. I think I remember reading that they just gave Mike Brady’s lines to both Carol and Alice. I totally see your point that Mike could have been the one sitting on the stairs lecturing Bobby about trying again and not giving up.

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  7. There were a few things I didn’t get about this episode. Not just the abstinence of Dad Brady, but, when Cindy couldn’t tell which rabbit was female. That may have been understandable, for she was still a little kid. But Carol, please, all she had to do was pick them up and check which one had the penis and which one had the vagina. However, if she picked one up and she saw he was the male, she’d automatically assume that the other was female. Also, the part about Mr. Kirby buying back the newly colored rabbits and Bobby’s hair tonic to make more orange rabbits was absolutely ridiculous. If I were him, I’d tell them to get the hell outta my store and never come back. I also couldn’t see how a kid Greg’s age would come home from graduation nd have ice cream and cake with his family. Most kids his age would go out and party.

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    1. I must have lived on another planet. I graduated high school several years after Greg Brady did, and after the commencement ceremony, my family (including grandparents) came home, had a little reception, then all went to dinner. To be fair, my girlfriend and my buddy (she was two years younger, and he a year older) were part of these festivities, but if they hadn’t been, the family celebration wouldn’t have been any different. Many people where I live and teach still do this. I realize that family life in this country isn’t what it used to be, sadly, but to look back at a seventies sitcom and express such surprise that a graduate would celebrate with his family, blows my mind.

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      1. When I graduated in the eighties, I had immediate family that lived right down the street from my high school, which is where my household and I went afterwards to celebrate. I couldn’t have imagined going anywhere else.

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      2. Greg had a night time graduation. All of my graduations and all that I’ve heard of from my friends have usually been daytime graduations. What about the rest of you bloggers…. Did you generally have daytime graduations from high school?

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      3. True. My commencement was at 2PM, though there were other schools that had morning and evening ceremonies, as well. We killed a little time at home before dinner. I had been required to attend class that morning, so I was pretty tired and suggested that we just stay home and order pizza. My parents nixed that idea because as I later found out, they had made a reservation and special arrangements.

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      4. My college graduations were in the afternoon, high school at 7pm. Obviously you hold the college ones earlier, as there are so many more people to get through.

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  8. The intended subplot was for Marcia and Peter to argue over who’d get the attic when Greg went off to college. Peter was starting high school that fall so maybe he wanted privacy. Only thing was, he and Bobby would have their own rooms and the girls would all be crammed in one room. Robert Reed’s refusal to star in the episode must’ve changed it somehow. It was still included in the tag. As Marcia and Peter made a bet over where Greg went to college, and whichever won the bet would get the attic. It did seem strange that Greg still didn’t know what college to go to.

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  9. Similar storylines to this one were later used on other series. “Diff’rent Strokes” had an episode where Kimberly’s hair turned green. i Seem to recall she was suing some natural rain-water shampoo that her Aunt Sophia brought over. This is as much as I can recall of this one. Anyone remember? (The scene where she pulls off the towel and sees her hair is green was later used in the scene montage in the opening credits).

    On “Family Matters,” Laura bought some hair-care product that was advertised in a rap music magazine. She, her mother, aunt and grandmother all used the stuff and they went bald. Carl tells her, “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Exactly what Carol was trying to tell Bobby, but with different words.

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  10. Do you agree that the producers went a bit overboard with the orange wig that Barry Williams wore? Not only was the hair orange, but Greg’s sort of curly hair changed to the most overly-permed stringy style after using Bobby’s hair tonic. And it wasn’t due to Bobby and Greg washing and towel drying the hair. I guess this effect helped get the most laughs. This alone probably became a three-page memo from Robert Reed.

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  11. Wow, last episode!

    1) Re: Marty McFly’s point about the stains on the driveway… I definitely never noticed that before, there does seem to be something there… but Greg makes no effort to step around any of it and appears to step in one of the stains after he walk around the car to get to the passenger side door. There are quite a lot of these spots on the driveway, almost like a bunch of puddles. But I don’t know that it ever rained on the Brady Bunch, did it?

    2) lol, Greg is graduating and he hasn’t even gotten into a college yet?? I graduated four years after this show aired, things couldn’t have changed that much. You started applying to colleges very early on in your senior year or maybe even over the summer between junior and senior year. I knew a couple of kids who got early admission to college and already had been accepted by the time school started in our senior year. But for Greg to be graduating and still not know where he’s going? He’d probably have to wait another year and apply with the next graduating class. Colleges fill spots pretty quickly.

    3) Re: Mike’s lines split up for Carol and Alice… this definitely had to happen. When Bobby reveals his plans to make a million dollars, Carol scoffs at the idea and lectures Bobby on how hard it is to make a million dollars. She’s extremely skeptical. A few minutes later, she’s having a heart to heart with him while sitting on the stairs and talking about not quitting. I would think Carol would be overjoyed at the idea of Bobby not annoying all of the neighbors trying to sell “hair tonic” that they know nothing about.

    4) Carol allows Cindy to just bring home rabbits to raise? Cindy’s never really shown any sense of responsibility. No concern from Carol about the cost of raising animals, I guess she thinks Cindy will pay for everything out of her allowance?

    5) People in that neighborhood sure hung around a lot near their front doors…they answer almost instantly when Bobby and Oliver knock or ring the doorbell!

    6) When Peter says Greg’s hair was so brittle it was practically a fire hazard, that was a funny line! That’s Peter’s funniest line in a long time.

    7) Re: Greg’s diploma. We didn’t get our diplomas in a scroll like that. In fact, we didn’t get them on graduation night. What we were handed when we walked across the stage was an empty leather folder (they were nice folders, intended to hold the diplomas and display them if you wanted to). I think we actually received our actual diplomas either just before or right after graduation…we could pick them up in the school office… the folders they handed us were all empty, I think they just wanted to keep the ceremony moving and not accidentally give someone the wrong folder. So we got our diplomas separately and placed them in the folder ourselves.

    8) I always heard that Robert Reed had a number of objections to this story, but what he objected to most was the very idea of Bobby selling something as vague as “hair tonic”. Reed thought that sounded like something from the “Our Gang” days (i.e. 20s, 30s or early 40s). Comic books that I grew up with (Superman, Action, Adventure mostly) had ads in them not only to buy stuff, but to go into business for yourself (mostly, by selling flower seeds). I don’t remember even seeing any ads for hair tonic… there were ads to buy “X Ray Glassses” (boy, did I want THOSE!) or “Sea Monkeys” (advertised as animals that came to life when you put them in water, but later on I found out that they were simply some kind of shrimp), or all kinds of cheap toys (e.g. magnets that will amaze your friends!). Robert Reed thought that the idea of “hair tonic” was way too vague and that its time had come and gone.

    9) I’ve also heard about Reed being there during the filming of this episode, and even being somewhat unruly, but Schwarz refused to have security haul him away for fear of traumatizing the kids.

    10) One thing I thought of though, re: Greg graduating and not knowing where he’s going to school… we should keep in mind that, at the time, they did not know that this would be the final season for the show. They didn’t find out about the cancellation until that summer. So maybe it was something the writers didn’t think needed to be addressed (or resolved) at the time.

    11) Re: Robert Reed’s absence… we now know that most of the characters in the show missed being in at least one episode. I believe Barry Williams was the only kid to appear in every episode, I think that Carol and Alice also appeared in each episode. But I’m quite sure that, while watching the show during its original run in prime time, I never noticed if a character was missing. And even in this episode, I remember watching the epilogue and when Carol mentioned Mike being “out of town” I remember thinking “wow, that’s right, Mike wasn’t in this episode”. I guess if a regular cast is large enough, a lot of people wouldn’t notice a cast member missing. Although if 5th season Jan had missed an episode, I probably would have noticed that at the time, but other than that…

    This was so much fun, going through this series. It’s been great fun reading the reviews as well as everyone’s comments over the last few years! Thanks so much to everyone who participated, it’s been great!

    Special thanks to BBR for his dedication to this blog; and special thanks to fellow commenter “Jack” for introducing me to this blog (Jack posted about it in a “Sitcoms Online” thread, not long after the blog started).

    Looking forward to top 5s and to “Leave it to Beaver”! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the diplomas were handled the same way when I graduated, and at the school where I teach now. Students are given an empty case as they walk across the stage, and they go to a table immediately after the ceremony, where they pick up the real deal. Of course, if they owe money for missing books or other fees, they must pay that first, so they get a statement to that effect, which must be brought to the office with payment the following week, before the diploma is released.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Is there any chance of you reviewing the other Brady series? I know you already reviewed A Very Brady Christmas, but what about The Brady Brides and The Bradys? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Kind of sad.
    Wow Suzy and Gretchens’ hairdos look like something Joan Holloway would style her hair (by that time).
    Alice’s clothes have been looking more dated as the show go on, and the funny thing is that some of her clothes would be considered more attractive than some of the outfits worn by the Brady’s now.
    Kind of wish Bobby would have sold it to Beebee Gallini (to cover up the roots she surely must have).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wonder why Robert Reed skipped out on “Goodbye Alice, Hello”. I’m not aware of any scathing memo that he wrote about this one, and he may have liked the drama involved. Perhaps there was a death in the family. I know Dick York missed his first BEWITCHED episode, “A Gazebo Never Forgets”, in that series’ 3rd season, because his dad had died, and not because of his own medical problems.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. You could be right. He appeared in MANNIX at least once during every season of this show. Usually MANNIX didn’t interfere, as he just had a recurring role there, but maybe it did this once. According to IMDB his last MANNIX appearance originally aired in March 1974, so he stopped playing Lt. Adam Tobias at the same time he stopped playing Mike Brady, even though MANNIX continued for 1 more season.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Welp that’s it for episodes. Just finished watching them all. And honestly, this episode is not as bad as Robert Reed made it out to be. No it’s not good or one of the better Brady Bunch episodes by a long shot. But the worst ever? The one that even Robert Reed couldn’t partake in it is that unbelievable bad? Not really.

    It is really actually better than some of the other Season 5 episodes. Like the Snoopster or Two Petes and that horrible Snow White one I can’t stand.

    I think Robert Reed just finally flipped at the end here and couldn’t take it anymore is what happened. He was on the set the entire time according to the Barry Williams book watching this episode be filmed with a mad expression and folded arms but they didn’t kick him off the set as it would have caused a very uncomfortable situation to have to do that in front of the kids. (As mad as he was here its amazing how fast he signed on again to do every single one of the spin offs including the Variety Hour. Guess he didn’t hate Brady Bunch as much as he would have us believe.)

    Ironically the episode is only really poor due to Mike not being there. It is so strange and weird not to have the character there after he had been in almost every other episode (minus one other). You have the mother giving the prep talk, dealing with the phoning the company that sold the bad tonic and lamenting that Mike wasn’t there. It was just strange. You know that whole “Did Thomas Edison ever give up?” pep talk was written for the Mike character, not Carol. They really should have at least let him do the episode no matter how annoying and bad he was on that day of filming. Especially with it being the last episode of the season. Of course they had no idea there wasn’t going to be another season but still.. that is the only bad thing about the episode. The absence of the Mike character.

    Not really much more to say. The episode is silly and strange and a bit of a stretch but it had its moments. I liked Bobby and Oliver going door to door trying to sell the stuff. Greg in the beauty parlor was a fun situation too. There is nothing really horrible found here. Its more noteworthy for being the last episode and Robert Reed refusing to be in it. Besides that it’s a typical Brady hijinx type of episode for the most part.

    I never hated the episode. Its one of the better ones of this season in my opinion. The situation makes no sense but it makes about as much sense as Cindy thinking she is going to be the next Shirley Temple or Peter going to school with someone who looks and speaks exactly like him. These episodes Robert Reed was ok with but hair tonic is where he drew the line? I don’t get why this was where he drew the line I guess. They are all just as wacky and silly as the other.

    Well thanks for a fun blog sir. It was fun reading your reviews and posting my thoughts here and there as I watched all the episodes again in order. A shame its over. Hopefully you will review some of the other series like the “Brady Brides” (all the episodes are on Youtube I believe) and “The Brady’s “(those episodes easy enough to find too, there is only 6 of them after all) to keep it going for a little bit more. Either way thanks for the fun look back at every episode. It was a blast. I guess the only way to end this is to say..

    And that’s the way they became the Brady Bunch!!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. To be honest, it wasn’t till the years later that I even noticed Robert Reed was missing. The graduation likely took place on a weekday, at night, so it’s logical Mike was at work. A simple ‘don’t start opening your presents Greg, you’re father still around back parking the car,’ would’ve nullified any mystery.

    Liked by 1 person

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