Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Brady Bunch Book

1990, undated later edition probably from that year, from Warner Books
Andrew J. Edelstein & Frank Lovece
The Brady Bunch Book
Bought new for $8.95
Worn paperback

This is from the same publisher as Joey Green's Gilligan book but not as good.  Green somehow found depth on the Island, analyzing its religion, politics, economics, gender roles, etc.  This is a literally more trivial approach.  (That I scored perfectly on the quiz probably doesn't shock you.)  Not that the co-authors are oblivious to the sociology, especially those gender roles, but they're equally interested in the significance of pizza to the bunch.  Also, well, through no fault of their own, they're victims of chronology.  They published this book with a definitive title (no "unofficial handbook") and the biggest scandal they have is that the original Tiger secretly died.  OK, and that Barry "Greg" Williams smoked pot.  Williams would spill a lot of beans in his 1992 autobiography (very definitely going to be reviewed), although not as many as Maureen "Marcia" McCormick in hers (which will have to wait till 2008). 

The style here is a bit cutesy at times but not bad.  There are some errors that jump out at me, like a quote that's used three times where Mike Brady is "describing his kids to a friend," and he's actually talking to Carol.  Also, as someone who liked the middle kids best, I think they shortchange Peter and Jan.  Still, they do a good job of presenting the show as it was two decades before and how it seemed then.  (They're awfully excited about the "Brady Legacy," when it was rarer than now but becoming increasingly common to catch Brady references, as in Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince's video for "Parents Just Don't Understand.")  They go easy on the spin-offs, including that year's ill-advised dramedy The Bradys.

My favorite feature (and the edgiest) is the "lost" sixth season, which imagines twenty-three episodes that were accidentally never broadcast, including a mid-season shift to "relevancy."  How would they have ended it?

"Greg's Secret":  On the final episode, long-infatuated Greg and Marcia decide to elope, while Mike shocks Carol by announcing he's bisexual.

Like I said, victims of chronology.

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