Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Retro Sitcom Classic: The Brady Bunch

I have a case of 'thrifter regret': passing up on this used copy of The Brady Bunch season 2 at Housing Works. It's now on reserve from the library. My library sadly does not own the complete five season set (behold, the sight of the shag carpet covering!)

My big sister and I used to love watching The Brady Bunch in re-runs. We also loved Different Strokes, The Facts of Life, Gilligan's Island, Three's Company, and still one of our favorites: Little House on the Prairie.

People can mock the wood paneling and funky colors all they like: I think their house and their clothes are retro-fabulous!

Were you a Brady fan? Do you remember how you could cut the tension like a knife when they were eating dinner and the vase they broke was leaking? If that wasn't a cautionary tale for "Don't play ball in the house!" I don't know what is. Did you long to go on their trip to Hawaii? Just how did that cousin Oliver get there?

Are you feeling as sentimental as I am for these great sitcom days before bad reality television took over our world? Please feel free to share your favorite childhood sitcoms.

Check out TV Land's The Brady Bunch page for more Brady fun!


  1. I LOVE the Brady Bunch and showed as many episodes as I could to my son (10) before TV Land inexplicably stopped airing it. I've got to see if Netflix has it. We watched all of the Gilligan's Island series from Netflix last fall/winter and it was a blast. Seeing my son laugh at the same pratfalls that amused me after school in 1977 was really great. The best part was, he got indignant at the sexist parts, like one episode where Mrs. Howell says something like "What are we going to do? We're just 3 women!" We had some great conversations about how much the world has changed...

  2. Glad to know a fellow Brady fan! How wonderfully progressive of your son! It's so true that these sitcoms are a mini time capsule of the times and the social customs. I think of I Love Lucy in the 1950s when you couldn't say 'pregnant' or have the Ricardos in the same bed, yet they were smoking in many episodes and even did commercials for Philip Morris.

    I should check out a Gilligan's Island dvd and watch some episodes for old time's sake - and maybe have some coconut cream pie like Mary Ann would make! I don't have it, but can you believe there's a cookbook?

    Mary Ann's Gilligan's Island Cookbook

  3. I enjoyed a lot of those shows as a kid, but when I watch them now there are too many things that bother me that I never noticed before. Like Lilypad said, the small sexist references really date the material and usually makes me feel uncomfortable.

  4. Hi Erica. It's interesting to go back on some of these shows and be grateful for our progresses. There was a "women's lib" episode I watched on my library DVD of Brady Bunch season two where Marcia gave a news interview at her middle school saying she supported women's lib, and wanted to join Greg's Frontier Scouts to prove her point. Peter joined her "Sunshine Girls" group in protest. Marcia proved she could be a Frontier Scout, but in the end asked Carol if the latest fashion magazine arrived! Mike didn't seem so comfortable women's lib either. Are we fully liberated in 2011? I think a lot of women have been enslaved financially by our easy credit, live beyond our means culture. That's a whole other blog post!

    Some things I do like, like when they are all sitting down for a homecooked meal at breakfast and dinner (no McDonald's drive-thru for The Bradys!) Snacks from the fridge - usually an apple. And while the content isn't as progressive, times seemed to be more innocent for youth.

    I do love the seventies style. I was loving their little mustard colored coffee set, their orange kitchen, and Mike and Carol's sky blue bedroom.