Episode 2: The Brady 500 (Part 2)

Original Air Date: February 9th, 1990

Video Link: https://dai.ly/x4jvubl

Hello again readers and friends!  Thank you for joining me as we continue on this journey reviewing The Bradys.  Wikipedia gives the title of “Here We Grow Again” to this episode and “Start Your Engines” for the previous one reviewed.  It is my understanding this also aired as a TV movie titled  “The Brady 500”.  While I found the previous episode a little slow paced and lacking charm, I found this one to be just outright boring with a nice enough conclusion.  Let us begin our review!

help

The story picks right back up to the Bradys all in the living room eyeing a wheelchair bound Bobby.  Bobby encourages his family that it is not the end of the world.  The next scene has Bobby beginning therapy.  Wally is there to help out and tells Bobby the equipment is rented by the week so he best get to improving soon.  This was some lighthearted humor to accompany a grave situation and well written.  It was also nice seeing Wally help Bobby out.  As Bobby struggles to turn around at the end of the bars he tumbles.  His family takes a collective gasp, but he refuses any help getting back up.

sterile

Paralysis is not the only crisis facing the grown Brady children.  Jan and Philip are having trouble conceiving a child.  A call from the fertility specialist lets them know the situation does not look favorable for a Covington offspring.  The couple’s first solution is another round in the sack, but Jan can’t hold back the tears.  She really wants a child.  This scene took me back to The Brady Brides where the newlywed couples always had lovemaking in mind.  It would now seem that Philip is the randier of the two husbands.  We have not seen Wally spontaneously make out with Marcia yet.

fun

Cindy’s story line in this episode is being asked out by her boss.  I am glad they got Susan Olsen to come back for the series, but I wish the writers would have given her something more interesting to do.  Back at the Brady house, Wally and Marcia’s son Mickey has taken to using Carol’s business cards as toys with little admonishment from his father.  Mickey put the business cards on the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair to give it that motorcycle like sound, without Bobby’s approval. Wally dismisses his son’s willful disregard of another’s property and livelihood as “Mickey just being Mickey.”  Upon realizing his son has made a paper hat of the sports page, he is none to happy.  Bobby in a karma like tone tells Wally that is “Mickey, just being Mickey”.  This exchange had the potential to be quite funny, but was filmed with pacing akin to written toast buttering  instructions.

greg

Greg is preparing to deliver a baby and learns he has been accepted into an orthopedic residency.   His wife’s reaction is less than enthusiastic.  The father of the baby Greg is about to bring into the world doesn’t care for the idea either.  This random stranger encourages Greg to stick to obstetrics.  Again, there was potential for some good humor here, but instead it just plods along.  I realize the Bradys was an attempt to bring that fun family starring in a sitcom to a dramatic setting, but it seems there were these subtle attempts at comedy that just fall flat.

lougrant

While I found the end result of The Bradys series lacking, I will give credit to the producers of the series for trying something different.  I can only think of one other time a character successfully moved from a comedy setting to a dramatic one.  I never viewed The Mary Tyler Moore Show regularly and have never seen an episode of Lou Grant.  However, the title character of the latter went from a sitcom to a drama with success.  Readers, if you know of another character that made this transition, please let me know.  If we want to go way back, I’ve heard it argued that Tom Sawyer was a fun novel about a boy’s life and Huckleberry Finn was a deep dramatic novel telling the story of the United States.

petertheplayer

Peter’s character has morphed into a player’s player as he makes dates with two different co-workers.  I suppose his offer to defrost the one lady’s chicken cacciatore might have been some attempt at innuendo.  During his exchange with the ladies, the background music utilized is a saxophone track more fitting one of those RRR rated shorts that used to air on Showtime late at night.   I suppose Peter’s newfound single status allows such playing of the field, but to date among more than one co-worker is just reckless.  Peter was kind of an ass in the latter part of the original series, so it just seems to be carrying over.

speech

With his son newly disabled, Mike Brady is on a crusade to have facilities about town upgraded to accommodate handicapped people.   It’s a noble cause, but I kind of question his efforts at carrying it out.  After giving his upcoming speech, he plans to invite the commissioners to come use the wheelchair to experience how challenging it can be.  Were one of these elected officials going to deny the request and tell Mike then and there, “It’s not that hard to get up a staircase in a wheelchair.”  Mike would reply in that somber and serious tone, “I beg to differ counselor, care to demonstrate?”  “Why sure Mr. Brady!  Nothing to it.”  After finding himself exhausted when only halfway up the stairs, he would say, “Gee Mike, you are right.  Let’s vote those funds in.”  Some humor is attempted here as Alice gives the wheelchair a whirl and has some trouble getting to the top of the ramp, yet does, but barrels back down it to the family’s amusement.

The plots about Jan and Cindy continue with little excitement.  Cindy’s boss is a widower and Jan seeks Greg’s wife’s advice about conceiving, while unknown to her, Philip does the same with Greg.

roll

Bobby’s story continues with a visit from a girl, Tracy, who ended their relationship prior to Bobby being a stock car racer.  Bobby experiences a mix of emotions upon seeing Tracy.  At first he tries to tell her things are over and they won’t be getting back together, only for her to keep interrupting him with how much she cares about him.  After telling her things are kaput, Carol has a heart to heart talk with Bobby.  She makes him realize that Tracy is there because she loves Bobby, regardless if he is disabled or not.  The pair visit their favorite spot at a nearby lake where Bobby pops the question.  Tracy is so happy she jumps on Bobby causing him, her and the wheelchair to crash in the lake.  It seems like the writers were trying to get as many jokes out of the wheelchair prop as they could.

Another wedding will be held in the Brady living room.  I wonder if Greg got married in the living room between The Brady Brides and The Bradys?  Jan calls with great news that she and Philip are adopting a baby since one of their own is not in the cards.  They arrive not with a baby, but a girl who looks to be closer in age to six or seven.  I wonder if this was some kind of black market adoption as this child came into their home quite quickly.  From the time Bobby got engaged and then married, they are traveling with their newly adopted daughter.

The minister performing the wedding is the same one who married Mike and Carol in the original series pilot.  He even touches on this as he performs the ceremony and we are treated to a flashback.  As the wedding party proceeds to their places, Florence Henderson sings a song I am not familiar with.  She has a beautiful voice and I admire her talent, but man this song just seemed to go on and on.  Maybe if I knew the song being sung, I would have enjoyed it more.

Since the Bradys can’t seem to have a wedding without something crazy happening, the writers made sure to keep with traditions.  The matron of honor goes into labor during the ceremony.  Greg arrives a few minutes late and must rush upstairs to deliver the baby.  This gives him the realization he should not be an orthopedic doctor.   Bobby is able to rise to his feet for the final “I do’s” and the episode ends.

Thank you again for reviewing the episode with me.  Please share your own thoughts and observations. It looks there are four more of these to be reviewed.  At some point, we will review Florence Henderson’s book.  I checked it out from the library and I am reading it now.  So far, it is enjoyable and I look forward to sharing it with you.  See you soon!

 

 

 

 

 

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.

23 thoughts on “Episode 2: The Brady 500 (Part 2)”

  1. I am actually wondering whether or not you are going to listen to the albums made by The Brady Bunch Kids.

    For your consideration, here are some playlists of all the songs on each respective album:

    Meet The Brady Bunch:

    The Kids from The Brady Bunch:

    A Phonographic album:

    In my opinion, those albums are as atrocious as everybody says them to be. Everything is just so clean and polished that it starts to sound artificial. This is the epitome of corporate art. In my opinion, I think the scene in “Adios Johnny Bravo” where Greg learns of his “refined” voice was written as a subtle parody of how bad the albums were.

    In my opinion, considering the Funk sound of the album, if The Bradys wanted a good album, they should’ve just gotten George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, and Eddie Hazel to help ’em.

    Otherwise, if I time traveled to the 1970s and became their manager, I would’ve encouraged them to be independent or introduce them to genres or music that hadn’t existed yet like Grunge, Alternative, or Punk and let them plagiarize certain songs from those genres since they never existed.

    PS: I made a Brady Bunch tier list

    https://tiermaker.com/list/tv-and-movies/brady-bunch-stuff-ranked-233880/353861

    Like

  2. OMG! It happened again! Wrote this full commentary, about to post, and I hit the back button instead, lost everything 😵.
    Walking away before having to write it again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am actually wondering whether or not you are going to listen to the albums made by The Brady Bunch Kids.

    For your consideration, here are some playlists of all the songs on each respective album:

    Meet The Brady Bunch:

    The Kids from The Brady Bunch:

    A Phonographic album:

    In my opinion, those albums are as atrocious as everybody says them to be. Everything is just so clean and polished that it starts to sound artificial. This is the epitome of corporate art. In my opinion, I think the scene in “Adios Johnny Bravo” where Greg learns of his “refined” voice was written as a subtle parody of how bad the albums were.

    In my opinion, considering the Funk sound of the albums, if The Bradys wanted a good album, they should’ve just gotten George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, and Eddie Hazel to help ’em.

    Otherwise, if I time traveled to the 1970s and became their manager, I would’ve encouraged them to be independent or introduce them to genres or music that hadn’t existed yet like Grunge, Alternative, or Punk and let them plagiarize certain songs from those genres since they never existed.

    PS: I made a Brady Bunch tier list

    https://tiermaker.com/list/tv-and-movies/brady-bunch-stuff-ranked-233880/353861

    Like

  4. I’m going to copy what I write before I hit comment…. Sorry that happened Vincent but looks like you and me are not the only one with that issue.

    I’m starting to warm up to Jan and Philip and like them as a couple but I do have an issue with the adoption thing as it seems to too quick.
    I didn’t like the idea of a pregnant woman who is about to give birth being there then having to give birth upstairs. Ewww..
    Mickey is a brat.

    I have a big issue with ALL the Brady kids who lived out of state suddenly move back home to be near their parents. Since Wally and Marcia had to move back, I can see that after Christmas but
    I think Carol needed to butt out of her kid’s business and Wally is a wuss.
    I liked the chat Jessica had with Bobby but I am trying to figure out where the hell he was? Either, the porch area got renovated big time or the writers forgot what the backyard area looked like.
    So by the end of the movie, the three boys and three girls are all living in town…

    It was nice to see Mike and Carol kiss because I think that is the only time they kiss like that. Their characters seem to change after this but I think RR looks good even though in Barry’s book, RR was said to not be looking good and in the book, ‘The way we became the Brady Bunch,’ it was stated by Leah Ayres and FH that Bob went to his trailer alot for his rest breaks to conserve energy. Also, FH saw him taking medicine that he said was for stomach trouble.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Andrea, it now shows 5 comments but, two are duplicates, one of yours and one of the BRADY songs’ links.

      I missed sonething – where was it stated that all the kids moved back near the parents?
      Bobby for therapy/support;
      Cindy, after college, getting a dj job, in town, I could see (what with all the recording studios within walking distance);
      and Marcia, for monetary reasons.

      Did Peter, after seemingly quitting his job, say he was moving closer?
      With Greg delivering another of the Powells’ kids, that’s going to be quite a commute to now work at the same hospital (if they were moving back near the folks).
      And Jan and Philip and their bmc (black market child) should be on the run from authorities, not getting her folks implicated after the fact.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. None of mine are the links, looks like I have duplicate posts and should have refresh the page..

        In the Christmas movie, the Covingtons appeared to be in a snowy city, Unless it was Denver, Colorado. Peter had to drive a long way with Valarie and I just assumed San Diego or Arizona. Greg and his family had to be picked up at the airport and I assumed they were maybe cross country, Logans were in a snowy climate too, I think but in the movie he got a new job in town.

        I do wished they had done a better job with the Covingtons adopting and not making it so vague.
        It will be clearer on who is living closer to M/C by the end of the series, I’m probably getting ahead of myself.

        Like

  5. Oh my god!! I posted I know I did and it didn’t show up!! Good thing I copied and pasted it.

    I’m going to copy what I write before I hit comment…. Sorry that happened Vincent but looks like you and me are not the only one with that issue.

    I’m starting to warm up to Jan and Philip and like them as a couple but I do have an issue with the adoption thing as it seems to too quick.
    I didn’t like the idea of a pregnant woman who is about to give birth being there then having to give birth upstairs. Ewww..
    Mickey is a brat.

    I have a big issue with ALL the Brady kids who lived out of state suddenly move back home to be near their parents. Since Wally and Marcia had to move back, I can see that after Christmas but
    I think Carol needed to butt out of her kid’s business and Wally is a wuss.
    I liked the chat Jessica had with Bobby but I am trying to figure out where the hell he was? Either, the porch area got renovated big time or the writers forgot what the backyard area looked like.
    So by the end of the movie, the three boys and three girls are all living in town…

    It was nice to see Mike and Carol kiss because I think that is the only time they kiss like that. Their characters seem to change after this but I think RR looks good even though in Barry’s book, RR was said to not be looking good and in the book, ‘The way we became the Brady Bunch,’ it was stated by Leah Ayres and FH that Bob went to his trailer alot for his rest breaks to conserve energy. Also, FH saw him taking medicine that he said was for stomach trouble.

    Like

  6. Okay, round 2 at trying to put my thoughts down (I took Andrea’s suggestion and will cut and paste this from a memo field, so it doesn’t get wiped clean, again).

    Mike – are these THE BRADYS reviews being put under “the spin-off” link? I’m having trouble finding them on non review days.

    Mike – TRAPPER JOHN, MD was a serious drama starring a former comedic Dr. that was pretty successful for years.

    Seems like they are doing where each kid gets a spotlight; last time, it was Bobby. Now, they quickly move onto Jan. I assume Marcia’s drinking won’t be far behind and Mike’s political ambitions may have been the idea for the third parody movie’s plot.

    Wally may not be as randy since he’s not playing those scenes with Maureen any longer. In her book, Maureen wrote that the actor portraying Wally, had a real crush on her.

    Cindy is just as befuddled as ever.

    Besides the aforementioned minister being brought back from the pilot, did you realize the Powells have returned to have Greg deliver their second child? They also provide a timeline of sorts, since the events of THE BRADYS first 2 shows must take place about 9 months after Christmas (when Greg delivered their first child). And Mr. Powell still hasn’t learned he shouldn’t abandon his pregnant wife to stick his nose into Greg and his wife’s personal lives.

    Hope Jesse doesn’t want to be a book critic when she grows up; she ruined the ending of the caterpillar story.

    Bobby’s slashed right cheek magically later appears unscarred.

    Peter double dipping into office perks.

    Cindy’s big boss lunch date is a hotdog cart and a park bench? What does he do for an annual bonus – hand out a coupon to Sizzler’s?

    Hair-do Round-up: Jan’s bob is her best look since the 5th Season; Carol’s hair has yet to look like it does in the opening credit box; glad Mike and Bobby’s have calmed down from their “fluffier” days, while Wally continues the proud perm look on the Brady men; and no one will ever convince me that wooly caterpillar that escaped from Jesse’s story and came to rest on Greg’s upper lip, was ever a good look.

    Tracy is portrayed by Martha Quinn, one of MTV’s original “VJ’s”, back when the cable station actually played music!🎵

    Carol and Bobby’s exchange started sounding like daytime soap opera material, until Bobby gave her that, “Gee, Mom; I never thought of it THAT way, before!”, and I knew we were reassuringly back in Bradyland again.

    Naturally, the old tv trope of the wedding occurring in the family home, holds fast here.
    Tracy must have a lot of family members or Bobby made a lot of friends, in the ensuing years, as there is quite a turnout for the wedding.

    Where’s Sam?

    If there was a Brady kid who went the black market baby route, I could totally see it being Jan!

    Mike saves on reception hall, music, dj/band and videographer, by having Carol perform in the house, with one keyboardist, while Mike records it all.

    Nice look from Micky, making sure no one saw him break the wedding gift. 😄

    Greg enters through the front door and, behind him, looks like a nursery school room wall, with a sun painted on it.

    I must admit to enjoying this 2nd part of the pilot movie/2nd episode more than I thought I did, 30 years earlier. It was nice to see who Bobby ended up with and makes me wonder if Cindy gets close to marriage, by the last episode.

    With all the books referenced in these comments, I can’t imagine how many Brady books by cast and crew there are, in total; might be worth a trip to the library!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for commenting Vinny! The Bradys episodes will be added to the spin-offs link once they are all reviewed. I might even give The Brady Brides and the Bradys their own links. I had considered Trapper John when trying to think of comedic to serious jumps. I never watched Trapper John, but watched M*A*SH* aplenty. I always thought that the comedy on that show was more about the characters coping with the gravity of war. Trapper was a responsible and serious character who also liked to crack jokes and have fun. I don’t see transferring his character to a drama being too big of a leap. Now, if the show had been Frank Burns, MD, that would have been impressive!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d characterize Lou Grant the same: serious, with a lighter side. If they gave Ted Knight a serious turn, then he and Maj. Burns would be in the same boat!

        Did you recognize the Powells and Martha Quinn and just didn’t mention them?

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I’d characterize Lou Grant the same: serious, with a lighter side. If they gave Ted Knight a serious turn, then he and Maj. Burns would be in the same boat!

    Did you recognize the Powells and Martha Quinn and just didn’t mention them?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bobby’s accident and his road to recovery sounds like the most serious subject the Brady characters ever dealt with. Since the first part featured clips from “The Winner”, perhaps the scene with Bobby standing atop the swing set in “What Goes Up…” could have been used when he’s learning to stand & walk again. Did the remaining episodes of The Bradys often feature footage from The Brady Bunch?

    While I enjoy learning what happened to one of TV’s favorite families, these newer exploits didn’t keep my attention enough to follow this series when it first aired. I’ve read that the Schwartzes originally wanted a series of reunion films, like they did with the Gilligan’s Island bunch.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. If I remember right, there were no more flashbacks in the remaining series.

      I have not seen Gilligan’s Island reunions in a long time so I can’t really remember how it was. I was never into GI anyways cause I thought it was silly. Were the reunions more sillier? I have seen one or two episodes of GI and I admit, its silly for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Andrea, if you thought the original GI was silly, don’t even bother with the reunion movies, as they take it to a whole, nuttier level!

        As in the tradition of BB reunions, one of the ladies (in this case, Tina Louise) does not join in the 3 reunion films, and is replaced by a “fake Ginger”.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve only seen the first reunion movie and enjoyed it. There was a hint of seriousness as Skipper had to face the claim that he was responsible for the Minnow being lost at sea. I never saw any of the others in their entirety. I remember the Harlem Globetrotters playing against robots.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Just as with A Very Brady Christmas, the first Gilligan’s Island reunion rated so well that the network wanted a series. After being marooned again, the second tv film was based on the premise of the Howells turning the island into a vacation resort after their second rescue, with guest stars, hence the Globetrotters’ visit in the third outing. If I recall, since I haven’t seen these films since they first aired, there was a culture clash between the castaway and modern civilization, similar to the Brady Bunch spoof films.

    One of the continuity errors, and there were plenty, had the Skipper seeking the signatures of the other castaways in the first film, stating that is wasn’t his fault they were marooned so he could collect insurance on the Minnow. In the original series, it was already established the shipwreck wasn’t his fault because he’d received the weather report from the previous day.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That may the one thing I could believe about that GG reunion movie – greedy insurance companies trying another angle to keep from paying out.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Before Ann and Florence died, with Robert already gone, I’m surprised Sherwood hadn’t tried to revive the bunch or tried to get a movie going unless the other actors/actresses said no to that.

      When you look at the spoof movies… maybe that’s a good thing..

      Liked by 1 person

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