The Brady Brides On The Newlywed Game

Greetings friends and readers!  Thank you for joining me today to review another episode of The Brady Brides.  This one is aptly titled “The Newlywed Game”.  It first aired on March 20, 1981.  Which is interesting because per Wikipedia and IMDB, the game show, The Newlywed Game, had been cancelled in 1980.   I gave this episode its own blog post with high expectations.  Oftentimes, a short lived series best remembered episode was when it crossed over with some more established or better known series.  We saw this with the Brady Bunch parody on Day By Day.  I was hoping the Brady brides on the Newlywed game might be the crème de la crème of the series.  Dear readers, I am hoping this is not the case.  If it is, the next four episodes are nothing to look forward to.   The episode was viewed using Daily Motion.  This time, the upload was taken from a Fox Family broadcast.  The link is below.  Let us begin our review of “The Newlywed Game”!

Video Link: https://dai.ly/x4jo69p

 

The episode begins with yet another make out session between Marcia and Wally.  The producers of the series wanted to make clear there was a strong physical attraction between the pair.  I bet Maureen McCormick insisted Jerry Houser shave his mustache when she found out how many kissing scenes were involved in the series.  The smooching is interrupted by a knock at the door.

eubanks

The celebrity to grace the doorstep of the Covington/Logan home is Bob Eubanks.  Of all the celebrities that ever came to the Brady home on the original series, none of them ever showed up by accident like Bob Eubanks.  His car has broken down in the neighborhood and he needs to use the phone to summon a tow truck.  Since the previous episode was so keen to make it known important work decisions take place at the home, this episode should have had Tyler Toys releasing  a new and improved Newlywed Game home version or maybe a Bob Eubanks doll.   Either of these could have required Bob Eubanks to visit the house and give his stamp of approval.  Yes, this sounds ridiculous, but at this point I think credulity was no longer a factor in the writing room.

As Bob summons a tow truck, he observes Marcia and Wally and invites them to try out for the show.  I wonder how many newlyweds approached him in public seeking a spot on the show or actually tried to get on the show and never even got a call back.  Here, Marcia and Wally get the invite without lifting a finger.  Why not just have them actually go through the normal channels to get on the the show?

practice

Jan and Philip are soon home and happy to learn about Marcia and Wally’s potentially being contestants on a game show.  Carol is around too and is just excited.  We get some classic Carol Brady antics as she mimics Bob Eubanks in a practice run for Marcia and Wally’s appearance on the dating game. With a “booming” voice and exaggerated gestures she serves as the stand in Bob Eubanks.  Well, it is not long before the man himself is back in the house needing to use the phone again.  The use of his flashers while his car was disabled/being repaired has killed his battery and made necessary another call to the tow company.  Whoever fixed his car (a busted water hose was the problem) didn’t crank it up to make sure the repair was sufficient? Bob could have just asked either Philip or Wally for a jump. So impressed is he with the dining room game play, he wants Philip and Jan to compete on the show too!  Did the writers of The Brady Brides think they had such a commodity in having part of the original cast on hand that no effort was needed when penning the scripts?  It sure seems that way.

host

Well, it is not long before the Logans and the Covingtons are on the show competing against two other couples.  Friends, I will admit that as of the writing of this blog, I have seen more episodes of The Brady Brides than I have The Newlywed Game.  I remember it airing on different networks during my lifetime.  As I flipped the channels as a kid, I would pass it and see images like the one above.  The set design always struck me as looking quite cheap.  Some white lattice and a sign that reads “The Newlywed Game” were the extent of the effort put into dressing the set.  Where the contestants sat was equally humdrum.  Family Feud had that huge spinning device with the survey results and contestants emerging from behind a big sliding wall with their last name on it.  Wheel of Fortune has the giant puzzle board and of course the wheel. We need not even mention the grandiose the Price Is Right gives us.  The Newlywed Game set could be replicated with a single trip to Lowes or Home Depot.

The other contestants on the show were played by actors with some interesting credits.  The Marine Corps contestant was played by Leonard Lightfoot.  He was a regular on She’s The Sheriff and had a recurring role on Silver Spoons.  The lady playing his wife, Renee Jones, had a long run on Days of Our Lives.  The older couple was played by Harvey Vernon and Edith Fellows.  Edith Fellows’ acting resume, while long, listed nothing eye catching for me.  Harvey Vernon stayed busy in Hollywood and had a regular role on Carter Country.  His IMDB page’s profile photo lists a shot of him as the crotchety liquor store owner in the film  “Teen Wolf”.

The games plays out with three of the four couples in a tie at the end.  The other young couple bailed as they had better things to do; or maybe better shows to act in.  The final question of the show that could win it for Jan and Philip is an obvious one Philip should know, but of course he blows it in the most embarrassing way possible.  Earlier in the episode, during the practice round at home, he was too prudish to name breasts and thighs as his favorite part of the chicken; choosing instead to say the face was his favorite part.  One of the multiple choice answers for the winning question is “face” and Jan angrily suggests he answer like he did at home.  To Philip’s humiliation and a fitting nod to the sad attempt at humor in the episode, Philip stands up and yells “breasts and thighs”, despite it not even being an option to the question asked.  This man teaches college?  I will admit, the episodes lone smirk on my part was Jan’s angry “suggestion” towards Philip to answer “face”.

Neither of the couples walk away as winners.  The grand prize was an aquarium, the biggest one offered to non-commercial owners.  It was valued at $1200.  In today’s dollars, that is around $3400.  I wonder what that elderly couple thought of the prize?  Watching shows like The Price Is Right, I used to wonder how underwhelmed some contestants might have been to learn they just won a popcorn cart, a jukebox or new skiing equipment.  I later learned that they are offered a cash equivalent in place of a prize.  If my game show prowess won me a $3500 fish aquarium or top of the line snow shoes, I’d be going home with cash.

lost

They all sit at home and sulk over losing the Newlywed Game and how they really don’t know each other all that well.  Philip suggests that is not bad as getting to know new things about one another makes life grand.  They decide it is time to head to their bedrooms for some more exploration.  With that, the episode ends.

Thank you readers for reviewing this  episode with me.  I would love to hear your thoughts.  Watching this series is not easy for me.  I was not expecting to happen upon some lost comedy gem, but I did expect it to be a bit more entertaining than it has been.  If you happened to enjoy the show/series, please do let us know where you found merit and enjoyment in it.  As I have stated before, the comments are what fuel this blog and make it great.  I’ll be back soon with the review of the remainder of the episodes.

 

 

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.

14 thoughts on “The Brady Brides On The Newlywed Game”

  1. Greetings blogger Mike!
    I want to thank you personally for being down in the trenches for us, slogging through the dreck of these episodes, soley because of our love for the source material.

    There must have been a connection between the creators and CARTER COUNTRY, as this makes two main cast members who appeared now. It would have been more interesting had they gotten the actress who played the uptight neighbor in the first episode, and paired her with Harvey Vernon, her castmate from CC (they could claim she was recently married as well).

    When Philip popped up to yell, “breasts and thighs”, they then could have cut to her aghast expression.

    There is no wonder why Mr. Reed couldn’t bring himself to appear.

    I do admit to replaying the last episode, “Gorilla of my Dreams,” when you confirmed that was indeed Eve in the leotard scene.

    If only the original BB had given her that side swept hairdo that she wore in that one scene, how much more flattering it would have been on her.

    Off to Hollywood Studios, and see if we can beat the crowd to the newest Star Wars attractions!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Apart from the debut episodes, this happens to be the only installment of the Brady Brides I ever remember seeing. Back then, and now, I thought the “breasts and thighs” comment and bedroom talk at the end was out of the norm for a Brady program. I imagine Schwartz and company were going for a different audience with the two girls grown up & married.

    I watched The Newlywed Game during its syndicated run, which began in 1977. Besides the questions and competition, there was another aspect of the game show that I found amusing. During breaks, the show’s cursive logo was seen suspended against a backdrop. The announcer would mention additional prizes that were offered and shown, and then they’d cut back to the logo as you’d hear “…now back to The Newlywed Game!” Occasionally, I’d see a stagehand or crewmember walk behind the logo across the screen. In later episodes, they were doing things like ballroom dancing with each other, or carrying stacks of boxes before tripping & falling. When the show would cut back to Bob Eubanks, he made no mention of these goings-on at all! I’ve tried in vain to find reference of all this online, to no avail. Does anyone else out there remember seeing these antics, or was all my youthful tv watching somehow messing with my head?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ernie,
      I’ve watched various versions of The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, The Gong Show and The $1.98 Beauty Pageant and only recall seeing the occasional person passing behind the lattice being no more than a split second of shadow than light.
      Not saying more elaborate background antics didn’t occur in the versions you saw, only that I never saw it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t recall seeing any of the episodes past the marriage, except for the first couple not returning for this episode’s finale so perhaps I did try to give this another try, way back when.

    I gotta confess that, as lame as this version was (and still is), now that I rewatched it, courtesy of Mike including his review link, this probably had more to enjoy than any other (so far) but ONLY because of the comedic talents of the guests.

    Bob Eubanks and Harvey Vernon delivered their lines in a more subdued manner while the main cast continues to chew the scenery to shreds. If this overacting in every scene is what Robert Reed prevented, than I say bless Mr. Reed’s constant interference.

    The only thing I find slightly amusing from the antics of the four newlyweds is Philip’s constant attempts to have everyone call him by his full name, including the announcer of the Newlywed Game.

    I just get a cheap feeling from this spin-off, everything from the single room of the house that they never show more of (I understand the live audience is the reason for it), to the aforementioned over the top acting. I never feel like I’m watching Marcia and Jan BRADY; they don’t “act” like themselves and seem just too cartoony.

    From what I read in Maureen’s book, the actor playing Wally really enjoyed his makeout scenes with her (and who wouldn’t!), and wanted to date her in real life but alas Maureen only saw him as a brotherly type (and not the stepbrother/Greg kissing type either). Apparently, he was as frustrated acting in this series as the viewers were in watching it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am glad you mentioned that about Jerry Houser. Per Maureen’s book he was often there for her during her worst times and was a valued friend off camera.
      If a live audience made necessary every freaking event in the couple’s lives happening in the living room, then that must have been one small stage. I recall Goods Time and Sanford and Son also boasting a live audience and they ventured well beyond 15 feet of the sofa into the other rooms of the apartment/home.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Exactly, Mike.
        This stage set is what I mean about the show feeling chintzy, like they had no budget for scenes, beyond the living room. All their work is done there, all meetings, every interaction, etc. It just feels too stagey for its own good.

        As for Mr. Hauser, he appeared on the recent HGTV Brady series as (what else?) a helpful friend willing to lend a hand on the section of the Brady House renovation in which Maureen helped out.
        I believe he may have brought the actor who played Philip along, as a bonus surprise.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I watched this off your link to refamiliarize myself w/ it. I only remember seeing part of this episode back in 1981, the later part where they were on the game show. That’s why I was completely baffled about Phillip’s horror about “breasts & thighs” until (I think) TV Guide’s reviewer mentioned the lead up to that line. I’m sure he ripped the show apart. I would have too. I’m almost certain I heard Bob Eubanks say a line apologizing to the aquarium manufacturers after the winning wife said she was hoping for a pair of dirt bikes, so either it was cut from syndication, or that line was a thought of my own at the time.

    I again got just 1 genuine laugh watching this, Wally’s line “She…can turn hamburgers into Gaines Burgers”. He probably just meant to be funny, as I’m sure Marcia was a competent cook. I see Marcia & Jan resorted to the regular action of Newlywed Game wives clobbering their husbands w/ the cards when the husbands answered wrong. I figured the game always had to wives answer the questions & hold the cards in the later, higher-point questions (The husbands did in the 1st half of the game.) to heighten the tension for that sort of result. I’ve read that in the actual game the couples chose their prize if they won from 3 available prizes, and they were rather “rinky-dink”. As I read NG producer Chuck Barris say once “If we introduced prizes like cars or yachts they’d kill each other!”.

    I saw a promo for “Brady 500” during this show. “Brady 500” was the name of the movie that the producers intended to make instead of THE BRADYS, but CBS insisted on a new comedy-drama series, which ended up lasting just 2 episodes past the 2-hour arcs of Bobby’s paralysis & Mike’s run for city council.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Didn’t care for this episode but some parts are really funny and make you cringe sometimes. I like Wally in this though, in the Christmas movie I thought they made him a bit stupid or like he just can’t do anything right. Nice to see Carol though and she was funny.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. SPOILER ALERT! Phillip’s favorite part of the chicken is the face! I think this is the only legit funny moment of the series. This solid Brady Brides joke worked on three levels. Let us analyze those levels because nothing else I saw on this show is worth any kind of serious analysis whatsoever.

    1) Phillip was so amazingly uptight, merely mentioning suggestive words like breasts, thighs or legs would have sent him over the edge with embarrassment. So as not to offend, he picked what he felt a classic feminist (never mind chicken) would want chosen as her best feature (after brain, of course).

    2) Like the rest of us, I assume Phillip never scarfed down a single chicken face in all his years of consuming food. So just the idea of eating chicken face is humorous all on its own.

    3) Carol asked the question, making the face response even funnier for Phillip not wanting to make himself look like a perverted creep in front of his mother-in-law. Although “wing” would have done the trick, I am very glad he went with “face.”

    People often pick a favorite season of a series or a bunch of episodes they love to watch over and over again. With The Brady Brides, we get ONE JOKE. That’s it! One and done. But this lonely joke was a comedic triumvirate of fun. Perhaps, as younger Jan would say, a “fourple” joke, as it came back around to make us all laugh again as the moment that prevented them from being crowned champions of the game show.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Too bad there isn’t an Emmy for best TV joke of the year. The Brady Brides could have taken home an award for “Face.” Since I was in Spain that year, I mostly missed American TV in 1981. So I don’t know what kind of competition was out there. I was thinking about the classic Jim Ignatowski moment on Taxi with the yellow light question on his driving test but it turns out that was in 1979. That would probably win for that year’s best TV gag. Who can think of a funnier TV moment than “Face” in 1981? Was there a side-splitting Tootie moment I missed on The Facts of Life?

        Like

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