A Very Brady Renovation Review

Fifty years ago, a little family show premiered. It told the story of the marriage of a widower, a widow, their combined family of six children and their maid. It was only on the air for five years, but this show is as iconic as it gets.

The show is The Brady Bunch.

Monday night, A Very Brady Renovation premiered on HGTV. Last summer, the house was used as the exterior shots The Brady Bunch was put on the market. Purchased by HGTV, the house is being renovated to match the set. Led by HGTV stars The Property Brothers and advised by the actors who played the Brady kids, each episode focuses on the renovation of a specific portion of the house. At the end of the season, the home will look like it came straight out of the Hollywood sound stage.

I really like this show. It is unique, entertaining and full of nostalgia with just enough of the home renovation process to easily ensnare home renovation show addicts.

I recommend it.

A Very Brady Renovation airs on Monday nights at 9pm on HGTV.


Flashback Friday-My Fair Brady (2005-2008)

Sometimes, we meet our significant others in the most usual of places. That includes the set of a reality television show.

On the 4th season of the VH1 reality show, The Surreal LifeChristopher Knight (best known as Peter Brady in The Brady Bunch) met Adrianne Curry, the winner of the first season of America’s Next Top Model.  He was nearly fifty, she was in her early twenties. That meeting led to a relationship, a marriage and the reality television show My Fair Brady (2005-2008).

To say that this relationship and marriage was tumultuous is an understatement. While their marriage ended in divorce in 2013, it was one of those reality shows that was somehow mind numbing entertainment.

Do I recommend it? Why not, it’s harmless.

RIP Florence Henderson

There is no one like Mom. She smells of home cooking, fresh laundry and reminds us of home.

Florence Henderson passed away yesterday. Best remembered for playing Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch (1969-1974), Florence was seen as America’s mother.

In 1969, America was changing. While The Brady Bunch was wholesome, unaffected and unabashedly simple at times, it was also charming and reminded us of the love and the chaos of family. Carol Brady is a widow with three little girls. Mike Brady is a widower with three little boys. The Brady Bunch lasted five years, but lives on in reruns. What makes The Brady Bunch interesting from a television perspective is that while it was not the domestic comedies of the early 1950’s, it was represented the changes in the world. There wouldn’t be a Cosby Show, Family Ties or Modern Family without The Brady Bunch. Inspired by the feminist movement, more women were entering the working world, marrying later, divorcing their husbands and were more educated than their mothers and grandmothers.

Betty Freidan, Carol Brady was not. But she was a single mother who saw the possibilities in her daughters. She was also a wife who was a very happily married woman with a very active sex life.

RIP Florence Henderson.

Throwback Thursday-The Brady Bunch Movie (1995) & A Very Brady Sequel (1996)

The Brady Bunch is without a doubt classic television. It was the gateway between the surgery sweet predictable domestic/families comedies that came before it and the programs that came after it that was closer to real life.

After several decades of reruns, the television show was brought to the big screen. In 1995, The Brady Bunch Movie premiered. A satirical take on the television series, the movie places the sugary sweet 1960’s/1970’s  Brady Bunch characters into a mid 1990’s cynical world. Mike (Gary Cole) and Carol (Shelley Long) need to raise $20,000 within a week. If they don’t, they will loose their house to their scheming neighbor Larry Dittmeyer (Michael McKean). As usual, it is up the Brady kids to save the day.

This movie is dated, but in a good way. For fans of the original series, the in jokes and wink, wink, nudge, nudge nuances are built in. For those looking to skewer The Brady Bunch in a satirical way, that is also built into the script.

A year later, the sequel premiered.

A Very Brady Sequel (1996) answered the question that The Brady Bunch never seemed answer: What happened to Mike and Carol’s previous spouses? Roy Martin (Tim Matheson) arrives on the doorsteps of the Brady’s house claiming to be Carol’s first husband.  Roy is easily embraced by the family, but he may have more in mind than reuniting with his supposed ex-wife and daughters.

Riding on the satirical wave from the first film, this film dives even further in the Brady lore. While it is not as good as the first film, it still holds up as a decent entertainment.

I recommend them both.

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