Episode 6: The Party Girls

Original Air Date: March 9th, 1990

Video Link: https://dai.ly/x4jx9x2

Hello again readers, family and friends.  Today we review the final episode of The Bradys.  It was the first plot that heavily involved Greg’s and Bobby’s wives.  Leah Ayres was also given a lot of screen time in this episode.  She was featured prominently in the previous episode as well.  While she was a fine actress, I can sense some disappointment on the part of fans in that they weren’t seeing the original Bradys.  However, I am sure by episode six, a great number of fans of the original series had checked out anyway.  I know if I had my choice back then, even as a huge Brady Bunch fan, I’d have been watching Full House and Perfect Strangers on a Friday night.  I really wish our beloved characters had a better send off than the hi-jinks of a catering startup.  However, that is what we got and that is what we will be reviewing.  We do have a subplot of a brotherly conflict between Peter and Greg that was well done.  Let us do it one last time with a review featuring (most of) the original cast and start our review of “The Party Girls”!

lickingenvelopes

The episode begins with Alice paying a visit to Carol.  Sam is on the verge of retiring and will be putting his old butcher shop up for lease.  Alice would like Carol’s help putting it on the market.  Carol seeks Alice’s help licking envelopes.  Both ladies complain of tongue strain as the envelope glue is hard on their palates.  Through this entire scene I kept thinking “Get a damn sponge or a wet paper towel!  You don’t have to lick the envelopes!”  Surely between the smarts of these two ladies, one of them would have thought of this.

Wally decides to apply for a job he can’t be fired from; he wants to run his own company.  He so enjoyed working for Councilman Brady that he now wants to start his own public relations firm.  Mike makes the ever wise suggestion that maybe Wally should work for a PR firm before trying to start his own.  Wally will hear none of that and wants a loan to start his business.  The fact that Wally had no interest in being employed by a PR firm before starting his own would have nixed any willingness to give a loan from me.  Mike says he will give it some thought.  Maybe guilt motivated Mike to do this, as I can see no good reason to loan somebody money for an endeavor they have so little experience with.  Wally proved himself apt at handling PR, but that doesn’t make him fit to run a business doing it.  The finest mechanic could fail miserably at running his own auto repair shop.

Marcia, Nora and Tracy (Bobby’s wife) have business aspirations of their own.  They want to open a catering business.  They too seek a loan from the Bank of Brady as they hit up Mike and Carol for $30,000 that can be repaid in a year.  Good grief,  a $30K loan is still nothing to take lightly in 2020!  The ladies’ is akin to asking for $60,000 in today’s dollars.  It is not made clear as to whether or not Mike and Carol had this much moula on hand or if they would be taking a loan of their own.  In a resolution similar to what we’d have seen on The Brady Bunch, the girls are granted their loan with the condition that Wally work PR for the catering service.    This is the last episode, so we never know how this worked out in the long run.  But man, can you imagine if Wally wound up getting fired by Marcia?

conflict

The episode’s other story involves Greg and Peter.  The pair had planned to attend a basketball game together.  However, the night of, Greg must bail on his younger brother and attend a parents event at his son’s school.  Peter is none too happy about this.  Peter claims Greg’s family responsibilities have made his brother less available to pal around.    Peter says Greg being a family man makes him a boring stiff.  Man, Peter gets more unlikable with each episode.  Yes, Greg should have at least given Pete a heads up about not being able to make it to the game, but Peter should not shame his brother for being a responsible dad.

With the wives’ new catering enterprise, we get to see Sam’s butcher shop one last time.  Sam was still using the same style of signage since we last saw it.  Things don’t begin well for the catering business.  Day one ends without the ladies being booked up for catering jobs.  Carol suggests the catering business have a motif for each party to get things rolling.  It does!

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Flashback to a better show.

Later in the episode, Greg and Peter’s dilemma is revisited as Greg and Nora discuss the brotherly bond that is crumbling.  We are treated to a flashback from Cyrano De Brady as Greg remembers better times among him and Peter.   This was a nice opportunity to give Greg’s wife a little more screen time and see a husband and wife exchange between them.

Mrs. Greg Brady was played by Caryn Richman.    Notable acting credits include the soap opera Texas and the starring role on The New Gidget.  Readers, if any of you watched either show and can share some more about her roles, please do!  She has several other TV credits on her resume and a few films.  The internet offers little information about her outside of acting and endorsing products.

privatetalk

Carol attempts to intervene in the brotherly feud.  She encourages Peter to give Greg a call and mend fences.  Peter does, but Greg is a total ass on the phone, refreezing potentially thawing relations between the pair.  The coldness between them befits the next encounter they have.  They enter Sam’s meat locker to try and hash out differences.  As they do, Peter closes the shop door and traps them both in there!  This time there is no window to break out and they risk freezing to death.  No friends, my mind is going back to the more entertaining show of old again.  Inside the freezer, Greg attempts to make things right with Celtics/Lakers tickets.  Peter declines as he has plans to attend party that same night where twin sisters he has his eye(s) on will be.  Greg is none to happy to be declined. Things almost come to blows inside the freezer.  This encounter ends with Greg saying Peter no longer exists to him!   While this seems extreme, it was nice to have some conflict and interaction among siblings.  A reader made the observation not too long ago how this show was sorely missing that.

Marcia and the wives conspire to heal the familial rift by having Greg and Peter at the same place at the same time.  The girls are hosting an Austrian themed party to accommodate Mike’s hosting an international dignitary.   The party is going well until Peter starts choking!  Fortunately, Greg is there to administer the Heimlich Maneuver and save his brother’s life.  I wonder if Nora secretly added a choking agent in the delicacies, knowing Peter would nearly die and his brother would be there to save him.  After all, she probably had heard about how Peter indentured himself to Bobby when the younger brother saved his life.  Now Peter can claim both brothers helped him skirt death. Some reference to being a slave for life would have been funny here.  Mike enters with an Australian dignitary, not an Austrian one!  In some writing akin to the show of old, the Australian man is happy to take a break from references to “shrimp on the barbie” and hearing “G’Day Mate”.

Well friends, with this meh episode, the Bradys left our screens for good.  Yes, there have been parodies and cast reunions, but Florence Henderson, Robert Reed and Ann B. Davis would never again play Carol, Mike and Alice alongside each other.  The actors playing the Brady siblings have also never resurrected their roles of old.  There is still some glimmer of hope that at least one more story awaits us.  As each attempt to bring the family back to the small screen withered and died, I kept thinking the same thing.  The original series was very entertaining and brought smiles and joy to so many.  We all enjoyed seeing the cast back together again in their TV movies.  However, that momentum and fun could not be carried over to a successful series.  It’s nice to go back and visit, but you can’t go home again.

Please share your own thoughts!  While this is the final blog post regarding an episode, there will be a few more posted on some other corners of the Brady universe we’ve yet to explore.  Dear readers, thank you so much for revisiting these shows with me.  I have loved every minute watching them, writing these blogs and reading your comments!

house1b

 

 

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.

40 thoughts on “Episode 6: The Party Girls”

  1. Honestly, If I can rank the Brady Series from worst to best, then here it is:

    1. Season 3
    2. Season 4
    3. Season 2
    4. A Very Brady Christmas
    5. Season 1
    6. The Bradys
    7. Season 5
    8. The Brady Brides
    9. Variety Sketch show

    What would be your ranking?

    PS: Can’t wait for the possible album reviews

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Thank you for your reviews, Mike. Its nice to know I’m not the only one who feels this way about ‘The Bradys’ show.

    Its strange to know that when the original show was canceled, Schwartes were going to kill off Mike Brady and this time around, they were going to kill off Mike Brady and it gets canceled. I bet it didn’t matter what Barry or even Susan said, the producers were just not going to listen. It probably didn’t help that RR was going off a bit much.

    The video you watched, where did it end? its not working well for me. YouTube has it ending right where Mike and the dignitaries are in the house and thats it. When I saw that, I was so mad. There is another scene like a screen shot at the end but you wouldn’t know that was the ending scene.
    The DVD shows the Marcia and the girls telling Alice they need to sell the shop back because its too small and Alice is happy because Sam is driving her crazy. I do not understand the plot with Sam and Alice, so dumb.

    Peter no longer works for Mike then?
    Um… Mike, don’t you have staffers who are in contact with the dignitaries so you don’t have to rely on your grandson who can’t seem to do anything right? C’mon man!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mike, it’s scenes like the one you led off with, that make me miss Maureen all the more. Despite it being a picture of three attractive ladies in togas, Caryn Richman is the prettiest of them all. Had Maureen been in a toga, or later some Bavarian garb, Caryn’d have some stiff competition.
    I recall seeing Ms. Richman in a scene from “The New Gidget”, and thinking she had that Sally Field quality about her. Looking at recent pictures of her (if they are to be believed), for a women in her sixties, she has aged very little.

    Alice habitually continues to call Carol, “Mrs. Brady”, and Carol habitually continues to not correct her.

    The front door view now looks like a flat painting of a house across the way; guess they did move…the scenery that is!

    This plot reminds me of Greg and Marcia, each asking a different parent, to move into the attic which, they resolved here in a similar way that they did in the 2nd parody movie: they combined the original ideas.

    Why on (Brady)Earth did they make RR do sit ups, when he’s already so rundown and sick?

    Won’t Carol’s commission come from her own loan money, to the girls?

    I get Peter missing what life was like before his sibling got married and had a kid. As the youngest, watching everyone move away after getting married, I often wished we could go back to just my nuclear family, all watching a movie together and sharing one big, bowl of popcorn.

    Mickey asking why his grandpa didn’t like him, was the closest to a real exchange, on the whole show.

    While Mike told Micky how to answer the phone, Micky looked like he had problems with his contact lenses; he’s constantly blinking during the scene.

    If Marcia let Carol cover all her mom duties again, she’d be completely free to work at the catering place.

    Cindy doesn’t show up until nearly 20 minutes in. I can’t even recall if she is wearing a flouncy sweater.

    Another plot where one Brady brother saves another.

    “They kissed and made up.” Micky delivered the best lines.

    One gig and they think they need to expand the business into another building? Good luck with that!

    Ha! The reader with that wise observation (the show was missing the richness of the interaction between the siblings), was yours truly ☺.

    For as bland as it was, I’m kinda sad to know that there will be no more episodes of this series, with the original cast.

    With that in mind, let’s play, “What Happened Next?”
    I’ll go first:
    Mike serves his term then returns to his firm, now run by Jan, to help create a legacy business, that he hopes one of the grandkids will continue.

    Maureen *I mean, Marcia*, caters a fashion show, befriends the client, and splits off from The Party Girls, to start a successful resurrected career in fashion, mentored by her new friend.

    Greg and Nora have fraternal twins, a boy and a girl (naturally), as he becomes head of the trauma unit but, in a predictable twist, ends up delivering his own kids, when the ambulance to the hospital, becomes stuck in one of the many (reported by Cindy) CA traffic jams.

    Peter dates the new hire of The Party Girls, who tames his wild ways and (although he has a dream sequence where he marries the winner of America’s Next Top Model, and gets his own reality series), settles quickly down and marries her, at a ceremony in the Brady living room, where Carol sings.

    Unseen Sam, passes away, and Alice contentedly lives out her days, having moved back into the Brady’s home, and her old, dinky room.

    Carol continues to pester Mike every anniversary, birthday, St Valentine’s, Christmas, and Younameit Day, to learn what he got her, ahead of time.

    Jan and Philip excel in their chosen careers, with their daughter being joined by adopted children, one each from Africa and Norway; Ken Berry plays the adoption agency agent.

    While Bobby’s wife continues to prosper with Nora in the catering business, Wally finds himself splitting his time being both a promotions man for The Party Girls while continuing to coach Bobby in physical therapy.

    The season culminates at Pete’s wedding where a) Cindy’s boss, caught up in the wedding festivities, proposes to Cindy, while his two children are aghast at this sudden turn of events. When Cindy agrees, Carol immediately sensing a huge cost cutting opportunity, suggests they hold a double ceremony; Marcia and Jan look at each other, experiencing deja vu;
    b) The Party Girls are shown scurrying together to split the catering bill, now between two couples; and
    c) Bobby, lifted by all the love the room is now imbued by (not to mention a quick flashback to the ending of “A Very Brady Christmas”) and, being the best man, stands by his brother’s side both figuratively and literally, when he finally leaves his braces behind and once again walks on his own!
    (And Wally finally proves he can see a job through.)

    The End

    I’d like to see what other readers come up with!😀

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Good ideas. I think your plot could’ve made a nice final Brady tv movie. I hate that the Bradys ceased to exist in new plots after this lame finale, but I’m glad they didn’t come back later for Mike’s funeral, as a fan suggested once to Barry Wiliams, who liked the idea. As Audrey Meadows stated in her bio, when a network Honeymooners special wanted to have a scene where Alice comes home from Ralph’s funeral (after Jackie Gleason’s passing), she said “Ralph didn’t die, Jackie did.”. I don’t think characters have to die w/ their actors.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I admit, I know sometimes characters don’t die with the actor but I think sometimes the character needs to die. Not in RR’s case since he died after the show but like two cases I can think of.
        7th Heaven episode where Annie’s dad dies, the actor died and his last episode, you could tell death was near for him.
        John Ritter in 8 simple rules and that show went down hill after he died.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. On The Andy Griffith show it was stated that Floyd moved away when Howard McNear’s declining health no longer allowed him to play the role. Joseph Kearns death saw that Mr Wilson on Dennis The Menace was also said to just be away.

        Like

    2. Thanks Vinny. Your conclusions are in line with what most fans would want to see and expect in the Brady universe. I laughed at “Carol sings” as it seemed like FH would seize most any opportunity. Funny remark about Peter on a reality show too!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Vinny, I like your ideas…

    As a fan fic writer.. here is mine.. Logans move out, Wally is a car salesman. lol (This will be in my fan fics,)
    Mike gets kidnapped and escapes, then finishes his term then decides to drive his grandkids around.
    Cindy dies.

    That’s all I got.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Andrea!
      My wife didn’t appreciate me killing off Sam but hey, he was a never seen adulterer, and Alice needed a reason to live under the Brady roof, again.
      Cindy dies? Yikes!😮

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah, I didn’t care that he was made out to be an adulterer. That makes sense as to why Alice would be under the Brady roof.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. I have one idea; retcon everything that came after Series 5, and just do an animated series picking up from where The Hair Brained Scheme left off. The Brady Bunch: The animated series will show The Bradys coping with living in what the 70s were actually like; dark, gritty, and realistic.

      My ideas:

      After Greg moves out, Marcia gets the attic. After Cousin Oliver is reunited with his family off-screen, and Bobby experiencing the misfortunes of puberty (voice changing and all), Mike and Carol decide that with Greg gone, they have to fill in the void for the youngest male Brady Sibling. They try to conceive but fail. So they decide to adopt a child instead.

      They subsequently adopt a 9-year-old child named Timothy whose character is pretty much the Brady equivalent to Butters from South Park (those who have seen the show will know what I mean).

      After that, the Bradys move to the nitty-gritty urban streets of Queens in New York after failing to pay their taxes.

      Meanwhile, Peter starts rebelling against his parents and considers them overprotective. He takes a job as a night shift taxi driver to cope with his loneliness and depression, driving passengers around the city’s boroughs. He frequents porn theatres and keeps a diary. Later on, in one episode, he attempts to save an underage prostitute from her pimp
      in an effort to clean the city of its corruption (And yes, his character development this season is directly lifted out of Taxi Driver).

      Mike gets carjacked and killed about halfway through the series.

      Cindy also becomes annoyed at everyone treating her as if she’s younger than her age and she’s stupid. So she tries to change her behaviour and appearance by tattling less and abandoning her curls.

      Marcia becomes a teen model, while Jan joins a Rock band loosely inspired by Fleetwood Mac (Jan fills in the Stevie Nicks void). Coincidentally, Greg is also part of the band too.

      And as for Bobby, he has difficulty balancing his schoolwork with his attempts to impress Milicent (who he is often seen writing letters t0). One day, he encounters a drug dealer on the streets who gets him hooked up on steroids. Bobby uses them in secret, but when Milicent comes to visit, she sees right through him and breaks up with him. Bobby breaks down in tears and considers suicide, but Greg (who is visiting the Brady family in their apartment in the same episode) talks him out of it.

      He later reconciles with Milicent, leading into a retconned version of The Towering Inferno where Mike Lookinland’s character is Bobby, who visits the glass tower with Milicent.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is the only episode of THE BRADYS where I missed most of it. I’d have liked to see Sam’s Butcher Shop 1 last time.
    I remember watching from about the point where Peter bails on Greg for the Lakers game, and there’s the flashback to “Cyrano de Brady”. I missed the earlier part where Greg bailed on Peter, so I thought Peter was a sort of slutty jerk here. From what I remember, Greg has to give Peter CPR, including mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and that leads to Mickey’s final line that “They kissed & made up”.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Here is my “ever after” Brady scenario.

    As an honest politician, Mike Brady gets little done for his district and doesn’t even bother trying to get re-elected. He decides it is time to retire altogether. With the catering business flourishing and Wally now gainfully employed, Mike and Carol sell the house to the Logans and move to the fictional hamlet of Sierra South. Carol flourishes as a realtor in this quiet little town. After being there only a short time, the sheriff is arrested for corrupt dealings and Mike “temporarily” takes the office. 20 years later he retires again after serving as sheriff of Sierra South with the lawman like wisdom and ways of Andy Taylor of Mayberry.

    Wally runs for Mike’s former seat and wins easily with his salesman like ways. He is a typical and mostly honest politician who serves in the seat until he retires. Marcia and the Party Girls continue in their success.

    As soon as their son is off to college, Greg and Nora buy a state of the art and then some RV and travel the country providing OB care to rural communities lacking access to medical care and to areas of urban blight.

    Peter gets the tar beat out of him by an angry husband. After being tossed in a dumpster behind a bar, he finds a gospel tract. He turns his life over to the ministry and is head pastor at some generic church whose doctrine is very vague, has no affiliation with any denomination and has lots of parishioners. He marries Mary from 7th Heaven and has nine children.

    Jan and Philip live out their nice conservative existence only to have it rocked when their daughter becomes a punk rocker with a heart of gold.

    Bobby becomes a racing announcer and advocate for the sport. He brings NASCAR to the mainstream place it found in the late 90s. His only blunder career wise was inviting Michelle Obama to start a race. (For the record I thought it was great of her to do that and shameful the way the race fans booed her).
    Cindy’s mix of talk show and music is a total flop. She and her new husband are canned. A few years later they launch Sirius Radio and are millionaires.

    Sam passes away not too long after Mike and Carol have moved. Alice starts attending Peter’s religious themed meetings at “The Community Chapel” and soon finds herself in his employment helping take care of his large family. She is often the voice of wisdom coming through his weekly sermons.

    Thanks again for your loyal readership, thoughts and comments. I hope we continue swapping ideas for years to come!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I assume that “she” in your 2nd-to-last paragraph is Alice. This is a pretty good ending for the family, and only Sam passed away in the timeline.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Well if it’s any consolation, Greg and Peter apparently made up when they appeared together on a Season 8 episode of THAT 70s SHOW, playing a gay couple who were the Forman’s new neighbors (they have a very clever line of dialogue when they say “Who would ever believe that the two of us could be brothers???”). They fall out of favor with Red when he discovers they are Minnesota Vikings fans.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The episode was from Season 8 (“We Will Rock You”). The “new neighbors” are the B story line; the A story line is the gang trying to organize a Disco Sucks party after they find out Jackie and Fez like the Village People.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Hoping I do not have to pop in the disc to check something in ‘The Bradys when I do some more fan fiction…
    Kevin is holding a stuffed animal… why?

    Wished to have seen Mike’s face after Wally leaves…. I bet he was…. 🤦‍♂️ Oh wait… RR has been doing that for years… 🤣

    M/C and the three women, it almost looks dark in the kitchen.

    Wow, Wally….. so mean to Marcia.

    Mickey did deserve to get yelled at but that was the best talk in the show. I like that Mike Brady smile he did with Mickey.

    Nora doesn’t know what is wrong with Peter and Greg? But she was there when Peter showed up… lazy writing.
    How the heck did I miss the kids and Alice playing a game… Too bad it wasn’t Super Mario. lol
    I wonder how many of the cast members besides RR were facepalming during this Bradys series.
    I still can’t believe that Mike doesn’t have any staffers to take messages.
    If you are able to hear the words to ‘The Bradys’ song, what is it? I can’t understand it or maybe we aren’t supposed to?

    Like

    1. Andrea, sorry can’t help with the animal question.

      Thinking back on Marcia’s try at design (the earlier, drinking episode) – she gives up after one guy knocks her stuff? Wouldn’t she try somewhere else before giving up?

      As to the lyrics of THE BRADYS…. they’re pretty lame; if you can’t hear them, consider yourself lucky.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. You can hear the lyrics here, starting at 2:10. They’re really bad, and Florence Henderson sings them almost operatically, making them sound even more ridiculous:

      Like

      1. I just can’t understand it and need the closed captioning but I really hate suggesting this but maybe FH butchered it on purpose so you don’t understand the lyrics? I would image the CC would say ‘Theme Song’ like the subtitles did on the disc even though it was instrumental.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Jon, you pegged it: “even more ridiculous”.
        And the chosen pics of them that goes with it: either a shot of them all lifting their arms, kissing or 1/2 the shots are just of them looking off camera and having an awkward smile.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Do you think that they would put The Bradys series, Brady Girls Get Married and Brady Brides will ever be included in with the Brady Bunch syndication package?

    Liked by 1 person

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