Some geniuses decided that America’s most beloved blended family, so treasured for their 1969-1974 sitcom, could easily make the transition to drama (or, more appropriately, “dramedy”). And so The Bradys was born. Forget Marcia’s dilemma in having to choose between Doug and Charlie, or getting hit in the nose with a football. Let’s give them all real problems, like substance abuse, infertility (oh, the irony!), and paraplegia. Let’s make it an hour-long lead-in to Dallas, a show about a really fucked-up family (or two).
But no matter how heavy-handed the subject matter, we must preserve the mesmerizing wonder of the opening “Brady Grid” at all costs!
The late 80s/early 90s graphics are particularly nauseating. Of note is that Real Jan (Eve Plumb) is back, but now we have Fake Marcia (Leah Ayres replacing the preggers Maureen McCormick).
The Wiki entry reveals some of the myriad problems the Bradys now faced. It must have really freaked them out, after a decade or two of having absolutely no problems, to suddenly have some really depressing shit happen to them—and all in six episodes. The fates must have been saving it all up since 1969, and like a festering boil, now unloaded the fetid pus of reality on the unwitting brood. To wit:
- Bobby’s budding car-racing career ends abruptly in the first episode after an accident leaves him a paraplegic.
- Peter breaks up with his fiancée, to whom he became engaged in A Very Brady Christmas.
- Jan and Phillip, unable to conceive children of their own, adopt a Korean girl.
- Stay-at-home mother Marcia battles alcoholism while Wally loses yet another in a series of jobs, the latest being Mike’s campaign manager. Wally and Marcia, who along with their two children have been forced to move in with Mike and Carol, eventually decide to open their own catering business to support their family.
- Radio host Cindy begins a romantic interest with her boss, a widower more than 10 years her senior who has two children.
Also disturbing is the closing Brady Grid. Watch them. They can’t stop moving! It’s like they all suffer from Restless Head Syndrome.
Help! We’re trapped in the Tic Tac Dough board!
(Of note: the promos for Dallas and The Pat Sajak Show.)