Sunday, 19 January 2014

Love to Love you Bradys, by Ted Nichelson, Susan Olson and Lisa Sutton

Why I read it: Salon Review

Podcasts: Amazingly, yes, there is a podcast for this book, but not for Robertson Davies.

Brow: Low, but like, hipster-cool lowbrow.

Summary: In 1976, television hit its nadir. Not only were variety shows all the rage, it looked like variety shows starring large families were about to take off, since The Donny and Marie Show was a hit. So superproducers Sid and Marty Krofft cast about for another large TV family that might possibly be trained to sing and dance and came up with The Brady Bunch, which had gone off the air a few years before. They reassembled most of the cast and set about turning them into vaudevillians. Somehow, this managed to stay on the air for 10 episodes. Like I said, nadir. Anyway, more than 30 years later, fans were still so curious to know the answers to such questions as 'Why didn't Eve Plumb participate?' that the authors were able to generate a 338-page book stuffed with fun facts and trivia, such as that Maureen McCormick, who played Marcia Marcia Marcia! was too stoned out of her mind to appear in several segments, which of course is never explained.

What I liked about it: As a child growing up in the 80s and 90s, I watched The Brady Bunch pretty much every day between 3:30 and dinner time, as there was always an episode on at least one channel. I even took Barry Williams' book Growing Up Brady out of the library and made my dad photocopy the episode-by-episode trivia out of the back of it so I could note all the ridiculous moments as I was watching. I also watched the TV movies and the commercial films, but in the days before the internet, I never saw this show. I wasn't totally obsessed, but I was interested enough to buy this book and find all the episodes on YouTube.

What I didn't like about it: As I said, I'm not totally obsessed, so an entire chapter on the women who played the dancers/synchronised swimmers and where they are today wasn't exactly scintillating. I was much more interested in reading about Florence Henderson's hissy fits or the ways the producers would try to keep the underage actors working overtime without getting fined by the California Labor Board.

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