Hello again readers, family and friends. I hope those of you in the USA had a great Thanksgiving. It seems fitting that we would review the five episodes we are most thankful for today, those that are our favorites, but we are not. Today we pay heed to our five least favorite episodes. I look forward to everyone’s feedback! Let us begin.
From bad to worst, here are my bottom five (well bottom six as number five was a tie).
5.5) Career Fever – Season Four, Episode 9: This episode was a real snoozer. When I tune into the Brady Bunch, my primary reason is to laugh. Yes, there are some dramatic scenes that offer up some great episode points and move the story along. Career Fever offers 90% drama and 10% comedy. The comedy is not very good either. Peter thinking he is about to die could have been a funny episode in itself. In Career Fever it is a minor part of the b-plot and is executed poorly. The story itself is annoying as Mike expects architect quality work out of a novice like Greg.
5.5) Love and The Older Man – Season Four, Episode 14: This episode duked it out with Career Fever for the bottom five list. I found it to be nearly as boring as Career Fever, but the silly imagined scene with Marcia’s dentist husband coming home to a dental chair in the Brady living room saw it share fifth place with “Career Fever”.
4.) The Winner – Season Two, Episode 21: This was an annoying “woe is me” episode. Bobby is so dejected that he has no trophy of his own to display. It all starts when Cindy arrives home and has won a jack playing contest at school. The rest of the episode is Bobby feeling sorry for himself while he futilely attempts to win a trophy. He tries to sell magazines, but quits the contest in disgust when he finds out Mike and Carol asked their friends to buy magazines from the boy. Then he loses and ice cream eating contest that is broadcast on TV. The “happy ending” comes when he arrives home from the TV studio feeling more looserly than ever. Inside his family greets him with a party and a trophy. It is just a trophy one of the other kids earned with a piece of paper taped over the name with a commendation for trying hard written on it. Bobby hands it back to Greg and says, “Wow. A phony trophy for not being successful, but for trying to be, from my brothers and sisters. Big deal.” No, Bobby doesn’t say this, but for a kid so down on himself for having accomplished nothing, I don’t see how that trophy would mean much. Yes, the efforts of the other Brady kids here are a nice thought, but Bobby’s reaction doesn’t seem realistic. Yes, watching TV is in part a means of escaping reality, but this effort did not work for me.
3.) Dough Re Mi– Season Three, Episode 16: Season three introduced us to the singing Brady kids. Fortunately, the show did not morph into a Partridge Family clone that saw the kids become singers by profession. Many fans like this episode and I would too if it weren’t for the absurd conclusion. When faced with a member whose voice is in no condition for singing, the Brady kids don’t know what to do. Well, one of them did. Jan says Peter should still get his share of the profits from the album, even though he is not singing on it. Peter’s legwork in getting the other kids to invest in the album saw he should have been entitled to some of the money the kids earn from the album anyway. Instead of this ideal resolution, the episode just goes off the rails. Greg pens another song, in just a short time, that will accommodate a singing voice that would hurt the ears of a deaf man. The poor Brady kids invested all their money in this groovy tune that is totally marred by Peter’s “SHA-na-NA-na”. I am willing to forgo the questions of the background music used in the studio and who would promote, distribute and market the Brady kids’ single for the rationalization of “It’s just a TV show”. But the idea that Peter’s unpredictably changing voice would be on a professionally recorded song is just too much of a stretch for me.
2.) Every Boy Does It Once – Season One, Episode 10: This was the most annoying of the “Woe is me” stories. Like “The Winner” it features Bobby. This episode was just Bobby moping around the house feeling unloved. At one point, he has reason to feel such as his sisters are incredibly rude to him when they leave for the movies. Mike and Carol sit by and do absolutely nothing to chide the rude girls. So, this and Bobby’s whiny and mopey ways make this episode my second least favorite of the series. Carol’s waiting with her own suitcase to accompany a runaway Bobby was a very powerful scene. She says the only steps are the ones they are sitting on. This nice scene doesn’t salvage what is otherwise an episode long pity party.
1.) You’re Never Too Old – Season Four, Episode 21: It should come as no surprise that this stinker of an episode found its way to the bottom of the pile. Florence Henderson and Robert Reed playing elderly grandparents, and not very charming ones, just did not make for a good episode. Had Great Grandma Hutchins not had that screechy voice and acted more high strung than a power line, it might have been okay. Great Grandpa Brady was as much fun to be around as a pile of discarded milk jugs. The episode focused on Marcia and Jan’s efforts at matchmaking this most incompatible pair. Just to make sure the episode’s resolution sucked as well, they are successful. The curmudgeonly old man and the spry old woman set off to “get hitched” at the episode’s end. As I think about this episode, the common expression of angst expressed by another classic TV character comes to mind.
Thank you friends for joining me in this blog today. I am excited to learn what episodes made your bottom five and your own thoughts on my least favorites. There are many that just barely missed making my list. “Kelly’s Kids” would be a pick for many, but since I don’t really consider it a Brady Bunch episode, I gave it a pass. “Dear Libby” and “The Show Must Go On??” fall somewhere in my bottom ten. Please share your own thoughts! Next week, we will review our five favorites and just for fun, the five funniest moments of the series. See you then!