The Television Enigma That STILL Puzzles America...
Mark Savary | Seattle, WA | 11/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The weirdness of this 1977 television show defies description. It
lasted less than ten episodes, and no wonder it has been forgotten by
fans and viewers, and conveniently left off of the resumes of all
those involved in making the program.The well-loved Brady Bunch
gathers together for another Brady show, the first after the original
was cancelled. Unfortunately, this one was created by Sid & Marty
Krofft of Saturday morning Super Seven fame. '70s disco-spangled
weirdness is at full power! The Brady kids (especially Greg),
wanted to get into music, like the Partridges. They put out several
albums (some have been re-issued on CD), so naturally the producers
felt this would be a hit show with a built-in audience.All of the
original cast but Jan signed on, leading to the Brady conundrum of
what has become known as the "Fake Jan" character, a
replacement Brady!Of all the Brady cast, only Greg & Carol can
actually sing. Marsha and the Fake Jan can manage. The show
appeared at the peak of television musical variety shows in the
'70s. Donny & Marie, Sonny & Cher, Captain & Tennille,
Tony Orlando & Dawn, The Osmond Family, and others were part of a
genre of television that has largely been forgotten. Every week would
bring a new guest star and/or singing act. Only "Saturday Night
Live" survives the variety show era and is still in production
today.The Brady show boasted two innovations, the Rockette wannabes
known as the "Krofftette Dancers & Water Follies", and a
set that featured a large swimming pool for the underwater ballet
swimmers. Both are just weird when juxtaposed with the Bradys!On
the DVD, two shows are featured, with guest stars Ann B. Davis
(Alice), Tony Randall, Rip Taylor, Vincent Price, Donny & Marie
Osmond, and H.R. Puffnstuff. Randall & Price steal their scenes,
and Davis is the most comfortable with the bad scripts. There is also
a short interview with Bobby & Cindy talking about what it was
like growing up as a Brady, working on the Variety Hour, and other
things about their careers.Although the show has terrible writing,
is horribly dated, and emits 1970's toxically radioactive happiness in
its purest form, the Bradys are still the Bradys, and this is one
television enigma that is not to be missed. The DVD is reasonably
3dgeek | USA | 10/12/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a trip....I was smiling almost all the way through it! The DVD is divided into three parts: The interview with "Bobby" and "Cindy", which is fairly interesting (they talk about their remembrances of the variety show, even though Mike Lookinland seems to have blocked much of it out). The other two parts are the first and second BBVH installments. Guest stars include Tony Randall (what was HE thinking????), Vincent Price, Rip Taylor, H.R. Puffnstuff, and Donnie & Marie.
The first episode has a truly surreal "number" featuring a bunch of clowns jumping around in a swimming pool (some of the clowns being Bradys). Very strange and incoherent! This whole Variety Hour concept seems like something Ed Wood had a hand in! The first episode is also notable because Jan is portrayed as a whining, complaining malcontent...which is surprising because the whole Jan-Brady-angst phenomena didn't really take shape until the last 10 years or so."
Not enough and too much at the same time
Bruce Barker | NC | 11/07/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"When I ordered this, I did it for a number of reasons. First, my wife and I are big fans of 70s kitsch and the Brady shows are the epitome of it. We already own the 5 seasons of the original series, and were looking forward to a fresh dose of camp. We've both read Maureen McCormick's autobiography and it provided a lot of information regarding what was happening behind the scenes in the lives of the cast members.
Well, on the one hand we were deeply satisfied because the show exceeds all expectations in terms of trashy glitz, over-the-top acting, and "what where they THINKING?" moments. The show made Ed Wood's body of work look positively brilliant by comparison. As others have said, it's deliciously bad. The bonus interview really doesn't provide a lot of new information, but it was interesting to learn exactly what mistakes were made post-Brady that derailed most of the careers of the participants. Susan Olsen in particular knowingly discusses the irony in the fact that the last pooch that played "Tiger" on the Brady Bunch went on to have a more successful career than any of the humans on the show.
On the other hand...
The show lasted less than a season and, depending on the source, ran either 9 or 10 episodes. This collection only consists of two episodes. There is no reason given as to what happened with the remaining episodes and apparently there is no plan to release them to the public. Even the most addicted fans of campy trash would likely be unable to handle more than a couple of episodes in a single sitting, but it was quite a letdown to know that this set would only be a teaser and we'd be unable to acquire the remainder of the series.
Caveat Emptor - buyer beware. The two episodes provided are enough to sate your curiosity and interest in just how bad television can get, but we still wound up feeling we got less than half of what we wanted.
The old cliche says that half a loaf is better than none at all, but nonetheless, we thought we were paying for all the episodes, and not just enough to leave us wanting."