Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Dance Party: Here's The Story

What was the fascination with this show?? I hated it when it first aired, and did not acquire a taste for it during its countless reruns. And there were spin-offs, if you can believe it. This is the sitcom family who would not die. Books have been written, perhaps people have based doctoral dissertations on its impact, who knows? Who cares? Some have said it was a brave depiction of the increasingly common "blended family," but that doesn't hold much water with me. I doubt there were any more than two or three episodes during the total run of the show which actually dealt with the real-life challenges of step-siblings, step-parents, etc.

And didn't you just want to save Ann B. Davis from all that dreck?

I don't know how many further attempts to exploit BradyMania there were, but it seemed like dozens. There were reunion movies, parody movies, cartoon depictions, three-camera sitcoms, and on and on and on. The Bradys Go Hawaiian. Beneath the Planet of the Bradys. Star Wars VII: Attack of the Brady Clones. yuck.

Hey, I went to college with Eve ("Jan Brady") Plumb, during the period of her life when she was trying to escape the thing. It was apparently during this period that someone had the atrocious idea to put these people in a variety show. Eve declined to participate. (She eventually embraced her Bradyness, and appeared in some subsequent attempts to revive the series).

Well, I know who was responsible for the show from which this week's clip is plucked: Sid and Marty Krofft. They were the guys behind the psychedelic kids shows H.R.Pufnstuff, Lidsville, and the like. They were also responsible for bringing us the Donny and Marie Show in prime time. For that, they should have been barred from ever working in television again.

But at least those Osmonds have some musical talent. These people, with one exception, do not. Pity poor Florence Henderson, who had some Broadway cred before signing on to the sitcom which ate her career. The Kroffts had their hands full, getting this group of tone-deaf klutzes to seem like an actual performing troop. Oh, and pity poor Robert Reed, too, whose promising dramatic career was doomed by his participation in this show.

Tomorrow, it will be exactly forty years since this Bunch premiered on television, with one of the most recognizable theme songs ever written. It is so well-known that we don't need to hear it yet again on the Friday Dance Party. Instead, here is a compilation clip from the horrendous variety show starring the Brady Bunch, a clip actually edited by Susan Olsen, who played the smallest Brady (the one with the lisp). I guess she now has a sense of humor about the whole experience.

Happy Anniversary, Bradys! Now leave us alone.