Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The Greatest TV Comedies -The Brady Bunch (1969-1974)
Here's the story: the classic comedy series that almost didn't happen. When this story was pitched to the studio, it was rejected as being too unbelievable. One year later in 1968, thanks to the success of the Lucille Ball/Henry Fonda movie Yours, Mine, and Ours about a blended family with a total of 18 children, The Brady Bunch was green lit, and the rest is history. The early seasons are the best in my opinion, before things got too weird, like the addition of a cousin named Oliver. But before that happened, hi jinks and hilarity were the order of the day. The cast was first rate and all did very well in their roles, remarkable considering most of the child actors had no experience before appearing in this series. The head of the family Mike Brady was played by Robert Reed, who was perfectly cast. I don't think you can picture any other actor at the time pulling off his Mike Brady character. I will give props to actor Gary Cole for nailing his take on Mike Brady in the big screen Brady movies. He had that same sing song delivery that Robert Reed did so very well. It helped that he had the lovely and engaging Florence Henderson as his wife Carol. The eldest son Greg (Barry Williams), the middle son Peter (Christopher Knight) and the young son Bobby (Mike Lookinland) meshed well with the girls. Leading the way of course was Marcia (Maureen McCormick), middle sister Jan (Eve Plumb) who actually gave the series it's biggest spark as her dislike of Marcia drove her to near insanity. And little Cindy (Susan Olsen). To help shepherd all these kids and the dog Tiger was Alice, the maid (played by TV veteran Ann B. Davis, whose resume includes The Bob Cummings Show, Dobie Gillis, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and The Bob Newhart Show). Davis brought her considerable experience to The Bradys and it showed in almost every episode.