Anthony's Film Review
The Brady Bunch
(TV Series, 1969-1974)
Not the funniest sitcom ever, but it's still a nice family show...
Whenever I think of the fictional family on The Brady Bunch, I always consider them an idealized portrayal of the American family. Not that it's a bad thing. I'm just pointing out a notable period in television history in relation to the same time in American history. If you think about it, the 1960s and 1970s were turbulent years with the issues of civil rights and the Vietnam War. Yet, here is a show from 1969 to 1974 that deals with family values.
As the title suggests, the show centers on a large family. It's formed by Carol (Florence Henderson), a widowed mother of three girls - Marcia (Maureen McCormick), Jan (Eve Plumb), and Cindy (Susan Olsen) - who marries Mike Brady (Robert Reed), a widowed father of three boys named Greg (Barry Williams), Peter (Christopher Knight), and Bobby (Mike Lookinland). While you're at it, throw in the housekeeper named Alice (Ann B. Davis). Now you have a total of nine people in the Brady household, all filling in the tic-tac-toe grid in the opening of each episode.
If you try to look for unique personality traits for each of the characters, you probably won't find much. The focus seems to be more on having each character represent a certain age group and family role. That way, the episodes deal with situations that adults, teenagers, and young kids go through as mothers, father, sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters. At least the show can explore many things in life.
After watching the show, I can recall several episode plots, including Marcia getting hit in the nose with a football, Bobby participating in a swimming competition because he wants a trophy, Jan's concern about looking as ugly as her aunt, and Greg's punishment for not watching the road while driving. In some episodes, the whole Brady family take a trip somewhere away from home. As you can see, they're mostly ordinary occurrences in life, even though it's fine because the purpose of the show is not to be out of the ordinary.
The last thing I'll mention may be off topic and arguably should not be mentioned here anyway. It's interesting how there were behind-the-scene scandals during and after the show. Robert Reed was gay and his sexual orientation had to be kept secret. There has also been revelations about possible romance between Barry Williams and Florence Henderson and Maureen McCormick's use of drugs. Looking back, all of this seems to argue that idealistic TV family portrayals should be a thing of the past.
In any event, The Brady Bunch is interesting enough as a family sitcom and a moment in television history.
For more information about The Brady Bunch, visit the Internet Movie Database.