Epilogue Part 1: The Bottom Five

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).

fever

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.

love

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”.

winner

 

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.

dough

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.

boy

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.

old

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.

lurch
Ughhhhuhh.

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!

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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.

17 thoughts on “Epilogue Part 1: The Bottom Five”

  1. Okay, here’s my bottom of the Bunch; the episodes that I never cared for when I first saw them and revisit the least on DVD:

    5) “Mike’s Horror-Scope” – Carol foresees Mike with a strange woman thru reading the horoscope. Beebe Gallini turns out to be an eccentric and hard-to-please client, the likes of which I’m sure Mike would never encounter during his career as an architect. During an unexpected stop at his home, some unruly and unpunished behavior by the kids causes her to cancel her contract.

    4) “Going, Going… Steady” – Marcia develops a phony interest in insects to win over Harvey Klinger’s affections, which all parties want out of almost as fast as they want in.

    3) “Tell It Like It Is” – Carol writes a magazine article about her family, then does a sanitized rewrite which is ultimately rejected when the magazine’s staff catches them off guard at home, due to Carol getting the time wrong. Along with Bobby tearing his pants and Cindy having hiccups, the Bradys are revealed to be imperfect and realistic people.

    2) “The Elopement” – Ann B. Davis appeared in a Love American Style segment, “Love And The Trip”, and Robert Reed was in one called “Love And The Vampire”. Both these segments had the same structural flaw; the twist endings were given away in the middle of the episodes, so you already knew where things weren’t headed. Here, the Bradys spend the majority of the episode believing Alice and Sam are going to get married, when we know they aren’t. If the viewers were thrown off the trail until their return from bowling, this might have been a funny episode. Speaking of “Love”…

    1) “Love And The Older Man” – Marcia is under the dreamy impression that her married dentist has a romantic interest in her, without ever realizing that she and Jan are making a wild assumption.

    As for BBR’s list, the scene where Carol meets Bobby at the foot of the steps was a high point during the first season; too bad the rest of that particular episode was a downer. And I’ve also wondered where Greg got the money to pay the session musicians for his studio recording. Perhaps he worked out a deal with the band members from “Where There’s Smoke”!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Not counting “Kelly’s Kids”, which I don’t hate anyway, I’ll go with these boring and laughless episodes:

    Alice’s September Song
    Double Parked
    My Fair Opponent
    Tell It Like It Is
    You’re Never Too Old

    Runners-up:
    The Dropout
    Going Going Steady
    Love and the Older Man
    Top Secret
    How to Succeed in Business

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Mine, in no real order:

    “What Goes Up” Bobby’s fear of heights. Stupid bird.
    “The Impractical Joker” out of character for Jan
    “Tell it Like it Is” Yawn.
    “Fright Night” sounds good in theory, but not practice.
    “The Elopement” more yawn

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My Worst Brady Bunch Episode List!

      The Worst Brady Bunch Episodes (In Descending Order)

      5.) Is there a Doctor in the House?- I have never seen such healthy “sick” kids in my life! Alice and Carol making multiple lunches for them and catering to their every whim is ridiculous! The stupid Scrabble board that Alice and Carol make for the doctors is idiotic and an obvious-time filler. “Adding Tiger’s column for “Distemper” (Rumored that Robert Reed says “Rabies”, but changed post-production.) Just have each side of the family continue to use their own doctor.

      4.) Mike’s Horror Scope- Beebe Gallini? UGGH? If someone can explain the point of this episode other than to waste time. She demands the impossible that Mike design a pink factor in the shape of a Powder-Puff. As Robert Reed points out, but not until the end of this crap. “The whole project is impossible from an engineering standpoint.” This seems to be an episode that might have worked better on Bewitched with Darrin asked to design a pink factory for Beebe, and Samantha user her witches’ magic to help

      3.) Double Parked- Mike is asked to design the new courthouse on the grounds of Woodland Park, where all the kids play. I hate the Buch turning into environmentalist nuts in this episode. Marcia, “No more flowers, no more green grass, no more place for us to play.” And then they start picketing and campaigning against City Hall, who has the contract with Mike’s firm? Please! No family would threaten a patriarch’s job in that way. Kids, find another park, or go hang out at a mall. There’s plenty of them in LA county where the Brady’s lived!

      2.) And Now a World from Our Sponsor- One of the single worst performances contaminates the cancer of this episode. A spaced out 60’s hippie film director named Skip Farnum. It is awful in every department. Agree with Robert Reed to allow the kids to dirty their clothes unsupervised is ludicrous! Everybody over-reacts and over-acts terribly. The competitor soap names, and Carol being overly sappy happy about them is awful. And we never actual see the finished product. Episode would have been better if a normal producer had taken rein of the commercial. But Farnum makes it suck!

      1.) Your Never Too Old- Carol and Mike dressed up in Junior High production type make-up as grandparents is cringeworthy enough. But the whole plot about the kids matching up their family grandparents with the other side serves no cause or purpose. This episode also sucks because it doesn’t put the focus on the kids, and that is when the Brady Bunch is awesome. You will see that in my Best episode list!

      Jack

      Liked by 3 people

  4. -You’re Never Too Old. Absolute worst ever.
    -Sargeant Emma. This episode never appealed to me…Emma was too annoying.
    -Mike’s Horror-Scope. Many of the adult-focus episodes are being mentioned by commenters for this bottom 5 list. The producers got wise in the later years by not focusing on the adults any longer…except for one or two Alice episodes.
    -Top Secret. It’s just boring.
    -The Elopement. Boring and predictable and had been done before. Too many back and forth quips about Alice and Sam getting married in previous episodes. too much to have an entire episode around. Just like on Three’s Company where The Ropers we’re good secondary players but they didn’t have enough substance to support an entire series sequel.

    Interesting how nobody yet has mentioned The SnooperStar.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I have really enjoyed this blog and the walks down Brady Bunch Memory Lane. I watched the show obsessively after school and used to cry when it would periodically go off the air (not understanding the concepts of “reruns” and “syndication”).

    I am really surprised to find that Love and The Older Man is such a disliked episode, as it has always been one of my favorites. I don’t know why, but “Mrs. Marcia Dentist” and that stupid dentist’s chair crack me up every time. I’m giggling just thinking about then right now. And “Dough Re Mi” will always rank up toward the top of my list if for no other reason than I desperately coveted Cindy’s white go-go boots in the studio scene at the end (and the song, though ridiculous, is kind of catchy…”

    But the Bobby woe-is-me epidodes, yeah, meh. He was always my least favorite Brady kid, and looking back through this blog, maybe it’s because he spent so much time feeling sorry for himself, from his wicked stepmother ridiculousness, to his lack of a trophy, to his resenting being short, to his safety monitor blues, etc., etc., etc.

    Thanks so much for all of the great recaps!!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I think there are a couple of approaches to putting together a “Bottom Five” list:

    Make a list of the five shows you consider to be the most unwatchable out of general principle; orMake a list of the five shows that contain plots that are so ridiculous that you know such things would NEVER happen in real life.

    These two ways are not necessarily the same thing… there are episodes that I can still watch today even though the plots/scripts are ridiculous; for example, I can watch the episode in which Greg is “Chairman” of the “Committee” to pick the Head Cheerleader (“Greg’s Triangle”), even though I know such a thing would never happen, even in those days.

    It’s possible that a majority of BB fans might agree that a handful of episodes would probably fit both approaches.

    Both ways of picking a bottom five are correct; like all top 5/bottom 5 lists, it’s a matter of opinion. And there’s no pre-defined criteria.

    I see that some of our friends have included episodes in their Bottom 5 because a particular plot/storyline was ridiculous… while I suspect other episodes were included because they’re downright unwatchable today (for a host of reasons).

    Might be interesting to see if there’s more agreement about the Top Five episodes or the Bottom Five. 

    Final Bottom Five (no particular order)

    1)      Snow White and the Seven Bradys – It doesn’t occur to them until all six kids draw names that there are only six of them, as opposed to seven dwarves.  They should have known that going in. And the idea of each kid threatening to not be in the show unless he/she gets to play “Dopey”… oh, please…

    2)      Out of This World – I well understand the UFO craze of the time; and I probably didn’t mind the episode at all when it first aired…but Greg is too old to “get back” at his brothers for “snitching” on him, especially with such an elaborate set up.

    3)      You’re Never Too Old (Hutchins/Brady) – lol, see Jack’s comments

    4)      The Snooperstar – I actually have nothing at all against Shirley Temple personally or her movies, it’s just the idea of Cindy thinking “I’ve got to become Shirley Temple right away!”  When this episode was discussed, I was having trouble posting to the blog (this has since been resolved).  I’ll probably go ahead and complete my comments and post it there soon, even though we’re past that episode. My comments included a brief discussion of Temple’s career.

    5)      The Elopement – wow, are Sam and Alice REALLY GOING TO BE MARRIED???? The suspense is KILLING ME!!!

    I NEVER watch these when they air in reruns, and haven’t in years… I have the entire series on DVD and watched them for the purposes of commenting in this blog, but other than that, it’s pretty safe to say I’ll never watch them again)

    Also, I never watch any of the “vacation” episodes (Grand Canyon, Hawaii or Kings Island). I see  them more as “Specials” or “TV Movies” than actual BB episodes.

    A few honorable mentions:

    Career Fever – what, you mean Mike gave Greg his old tools and Greg is STILL producing CRAP??  How can this BE????

    The Winner; Woe is me (Mike Lookinland was an excellent actor, but was really annoying in his “woe is me” roles).  And will someone PLEASE deck the Kartoon King?

    Eenie Meenie Mommy Daddy; what sort of school IS this??  Alice knows what’s bothering Cindy but doesn’t tell Mike or Carol about it??? Marcia tells Cindy that Dad will be ticked off if he’s not invited; Greg tells Cindy that Carol will cry if she’s not invited?  Whaaat???

    Dear Libby – “Normally I don’t visit my readers personally, but in this case… “

    Vote for Brady – Greg and Marcia, who are not even in the same grade, both run for School President??

    The Voice of Christmas (the vast, vast majority of “Christmas” episodes of sitcoms are just bad)

    The Impractical Joker – “Jan, you’re ALWAYS playing practical jokes!!”  Really, since when?

    The Drummer Boy – dang, your singing really, really sucks… here’s a set of drums.

    Alice’s September Song – wow, Alice REALLY might get married THIS time!!

    The Show Must Go On – LAME. LAME PERFORMANCES. LAME JOKES.LAME EVERYTHING

    Big Little Man – Woe is me, Part IV

    Sgt Emma – annoying for its stereotypical portrayal of ex-military people; they apparently can not communicate with anyone without resorting to military jargon. Oh, and they constantly hum or sing any or all of the anthems of each branch of the armed forces.

    What Goes Up – Gosh, Bobby has a sprained ankle…let’s buy him a parakeet!

    Looking forward to everyone’s TOP FIVE!  

    Liked by 1 person

      1. BBR, good point about Deacon Jones, I actually kind of forget that Bobby’s drumming and Peter being in the glee club is the same episode (even though the reason for getting Bobby the drums is because he bombed out during glee club tryouts)

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I was away last week, so I couldn’t chime in on my 5 worst BB episodes. So here it goes (in no particular order-except for number 1):

    5. Mike’s Horror Scope–the definite clunker of the first season. A building in the shape of a powder puff? Jeez lady, what have YOU been puffing? Only good for a sarcastic line from Mike. Beebe (upon entering the Brady house): “What a charming little cottage! Is this your guest house?” Mike shoots back with dripping sarcasm: “Yes, this is our 9 room guest house.”

    4. Sgt. Emma–all the stereotypes of the rigid personalities of ex-military people are on display here. Yes, we get the fact that Emma was in the military. Did the producers think the audience was so dumb that they had to be reminded of it every minute of the episode? Good only for the tag scene. Robert Reed has been rumored to drop the f-bomb when mentioning that it was 6 o’clock in the morning.

    3. Dough-Re-Mi–for all the reasons you mentioned. And no, “Time To Change” isn’t really a good song. Good only for the kids’ outfits for the recording session. Check out Susan Olsen’s outtasite white go-go- boots.

    2. The Elopement–a boring, time filler of an episode that could’ve been resolved in 5 minutes.

    1. You’re Never Too Old–yep, this absolute disaster of an episode tops a lot of peoples’ list of the worst BB episodes. Ugh!

    Liked by 1 person

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