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!
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!