Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Growing up Brady: I Was a Teenage Greg

1992, first edition, from HarperPerennial
Barry Williams with Chris Kreski
Growing up Brady: I Was a Teenage Greg
Bought new for $10.00
Slightly worn paperback

Let me set up the context for you.  This book came out soon after the last Brady series, the ill-advised dramedy The Bradys.  Not only was this more than 15 years before Maureen McCormick's tell-even-more-than-all Here's the Story, but this was shortly before Robert Reed died of AIDS.  So there's a certain irony to the emphasis that the bunch was wilder than you thought but not that wild.  Each boy/girl pair did date (yes, even little Mike Lookinland and Susan Olsen, getting "married" off-camera in the first season), and yes, Barry had a pretty innocent date with the married and twenty-years-older Florence Henderson.  But the only sex anyone admits to is Robert Reed (who was divorced about a decade earlier) who refers to "boffing secretaries" (presumably female).  The only drug use is Barry's pot use a few times (including on what he thought was a day off from filming, resulting in this: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=764MzeWYn8k), which is out there by Brady standards but mild compared to what Maureen did after the show left the air.

The real juicy stuff is actually Reed's constant battles with producer Sherwood Schwartz and Sherwood's son Lloyd, usually over the scripts.  Williams doesn't take sides but he does reproduce some of Reed's memos.  He generally tries to get all sides (even asking Anissa "Buffy" Jones's Family Affair costars about whether she wore wiglets), and doesn't mind mocking his younger self.  He does overuse the terms "babe" and "geek," but then he was a teenage Greg.

I'm not sure what Kreski's contribution was, maybe he helped with the (often inaccurate) episode synopses.  He was still credited as co-author when the "special collector's edition" came out.  I'll discuss differences in the editions when we get to 1999.

This finishes off this oddly shaped bookcase.  I've shifted the books, to give them more "breathing" space, so now, while the long top shelf is still Lady Oracle (1976) to The Experts Speak (1984), the next shelf ends with 1986's last book, The Silent Twins.  Then it's TV Turkeys and the other 1987 books, with 1988 as far as The Cat Who Sniffed Glue.  Next we go from Gracie: A Love Story to Pauline Kael's 1989 collection, Hooked.  The penultimate shelf is from Leno's "headlines" book to Faludi's Backlash.  And this last shelf now starts with Gimbutas's Civilization of the Goddess.

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