This is tougher than it sounds. A lot of people would say “all of them” I am sure, but there were a lot of good episodes that were funny and told a decent story. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few that just didn’t work for me.
#6.The Hair-Brained Scheme (Season 5)
This may strike everyone as an odd choice for the #6 slot. I mean, this was the final episode and so dumb Robert Reed was so angry about it he ended up being written out of it! But to be fair, if you accept the ludicrous plot the episode isn’t the abosloute worst. In fact the worst thing is that Robert Reed is not in it, which makes no sense since the story is Greg’s graduation and Mike would never miss that! In fact the episode right before it about Bobby thinking Sam was a spy was much more stupid. Don’t get me wrong I get what happened and even respect Robert Reed for how he handled it, but his absence is what really hurts this episode. So yeah while it is bad, I can’t say it’s the worst ever.
#5.And Now a Word from our Sponsor (Season 3)
It seems like everytime a show does an episode where the characters appear on TV the characters have to turn into idiots. So, The Brady’s are selected for a commercial and long story short, they learn from a horrible actress to overact and ruin the commercial. This was so stupid Robert Reed wrote a four page letter about it. Why is it stupid? Because the director does not rehearse with the family at all, and rather than just telling them to start again he loses his temper and fires them. Just dumb. To be fair the first half isn’t all bad, as they test the detergent they will be selling. But when The Brady’s take lessons from the actress it’s all downhill. Even as amateurs they should know better. Even for a Brady episode it’s just to silly. Maybe if they learned what “Motivating” meant.
#4.”Mike’s Horror-Scope” (Season 1)
The episode is an example of two huge problems. One is the dreck of season one. I don’t know what it was with the over somber tone of those early shows. Glad they lightened up a bit. The other problem is that this is the one time Mike gets the focus. This doesn’t work because this show is done from the child’s point of view. It’s why the stories are so light. So to have this episode where Mike meets a new client who monopolizes his time justy feels out of place. The ending is kind of funny, but the kids are barely in it and the episode is a bore. Also while it’s never said flat out the insinuation that Carol is worried that another woman would cause Mike to cheat on her just feels out of place. I realize that they were still newleyweds at this time, but still.
#3.Kelly’s kids (Season 5)
I hate backdoor pilots, in fact one of my very first articles was on that very subject, and that’s what we have here. The whole episode is a pilot for another Sherwood Schwartz show that never went anywhere. Which means, of course, THE BRADY’S ARE NOT IN THE EPISODE! Well, they do appear but barely and are sure not the focus. Now I may not mind if the pilot is interesting. For instance “Assignment:Earth” on Star Trek was a backdoor pilot but it’s not an unwatchable episode. This is, because the kids are so bland we just can’t get invested. If you don’t know the story is about the Brady’s neighbors adopting three kids who happen to be three different races.Â Ok, not the worst idea I have ever heard but I WANT TO WATCH THE BRADY’S! This episode is just a dull bore.
#2.”Eenie, Meenie, Mommy, Daddy” (Season 1)
This was a Cindy episode but it’s not her fault it was awful. It’s another horrible season one episode. To be fair, it is well acted on Susan Olsen’s part but say what you want about Season 5, some of these early shows were terrible. In this one Cindy is in a school play and all excited about her parents seeing her. However, there is a problem-there isn’t enough seating for all the childrens parents so each child will have to pick one.This is dumb, has this school NEVER held a play before? It gets better because Cindy can only invite one parent and she has to decide which. Ok, WHAT SCHOOL WOULD MAKE A SIX OR SEVEN YEAR OLD DECIDE SOMETHING LIKE THAT?? Of course Cindy is beside herself, she wants both of her parents there. She even fakes an injury to get out of it, So what’s the solution? The school stages a private showing JUST for the Brady’s. Not just Mike and Carol, all of them…..AND ONLY THEM! Wait a minute, if you could do that then why not add a second show so all the kids can invite whoever they want???? Are you telling me the other kids wouldn’t want some of their family at the “special showing”, why is Cindy so special? AWFUL script. The problem is forced, the solution is contived, and the whole thing just falls apart.
#1.”Tell it Like it is” (Season 2)
Remember what I said about #4, that making it a Mike episode was a mistake because the series is supposed to be focused on the kids. Well this episode takes it a step further, and it’s worst! Carol is writing an article for a magazine on a typical family. Her first story is rejected for being unrealistic (sure). The second time she tries by sugarcoating everything and it’s a hit and she’s published. Carol feels out of character this whole show, suddenly showing this ambition. Now here is where it gets really dumb. The magazine is sending people to meet her family. Carol for no reason mistakes the time they are arriving. When the magazine people get there she is not dressed, and then the kids walk in fighting with each other. The girls are fighting, Cindy has the hiccups, Bobby has wrecked his clothes, Pete has a black eye and Greg has poison oak. What?? Then Mike enters through the backdoor, for no reason, and crashes into Alice who had the snacks for the guests. The whole thing doesn’t even feel like an episode of the Brady Bunch and that ending isn’t funny, it’s slapstick which is wrong on this show. Yes I said before that the characters weren’t always perfect and happy on this show, but this seemed really forced,as if they were determined to prove that the family is not perfect no matter how contrived it is. If you have to take the characters out of character to make the scene work…you did something wrong. Oh and then the idiot magazine editor decides to go with the first article he originally rejected. Good thing Carol’s a good sport.
Well there you have it, six episodes that I don’t like. Tomorrow Brady Week continues with a look at five, odd things on this show.