Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Classic Reborn (again): The Brady Brides (1981)

4 years after an ill-advised variety show co-produced with the Kroffts, Sherwood Schwartz decided to return to the Brady Bunch franchise. But this time, it wouldn't be on ABC.

The Brady Brides focused on Marcia (Maureen McCormick) and Jan (Eve Plumb), who'd gotten hitched in the TV-movie, "The Brady Girls Get Married", which, like the series, aired on NBC. Schwartz had successfully re-established his other franchise, Gilligan's Island, at the network with a trio of TV-movies, and he was also responsible for a Bob Denver solo flick, also for NBC, "The Invisible Woman", which I think either has or will one day air on Me-TV. I digress.

Schwartz and Frank DeVol wrote new lyrics to the classic theme song, which I believe may have been sung by McCormick (uncredited). Sadly, that's about the best thing that can be said about Brides, as its shelf life was worse than 1977's Brady Bunch Variety Hour. The only other regular to return was Ann B. Davis (Alice), but Florence Henderson (Carol) guest-stars in "The Mom Who Came to Dinner":

Henderson would return at least one more time, as I recall seeing a clip of her, McCormick, & Plumb, all in leotards, doing some exercising, I guess for a self-defense course in a story about the girls getting robbed or some such. Unfortunately, Brady Brides, while it aired on Fridays, lasted barely a month. By 1981, CBS owned the night with Incredible Hulk, Dukes of Hazzard, & Dallas. As you can tell from the above clip, the Family Channel had the rights for reruns years later, and today, I think TV Land was the last network to air the series. Since Me-TV owns the rights currently to Brady Bunch, could they be persuaded to do Brides, at least in a 1-day block? We'll see.

Rating: C.


magicdog said...

Trouble is - we wanted to like this show, but we didn't get enough cameos from the rest of the Bradys!

Plus, I never liked Marcia nor Jan's husbands! Jan's was too stuffy to be likeable (although the character of Jan herself could be a stiff at times, she was still likeable). Marcia just plain married beneath herself with Wally! Even the story of their courtship was just plain nuts! If you have ever read that part of the story, you'd think he was a stalker and all the things he did to get Marcia's attention wasn't cute!

hobbyfan said...

Wally was always presented as being a bumbling boob, that's just the way it is.

NBC simply thought, as CBS later would that the Bradys on Fridays still meant big ratings. Not by then.