Because of Gilligan's Island
and The Brady Bunch
, writer-producer Sherwood Schwartz will forever be a TV hall-of-famer. They were his only real hits, but they were both grand slams in their prime times and have remained syndicated favourites ever since. Following closely on the Gilligan's Island
season 2 release, The Brady Bunch
is ready for home theaters with a nicely designed, 4-disc set of 25 first-season episodes. The pilot episode, "The Honeymoon" sets up the story we all know from the theme song (lyrics by Schwartz) by giving us the marriage of Mike and Carol and the coming together of the six kids. Schwartz provides commentary for just this first show, but he fondly recalls his intention of sweet, subdued, and often corny gags the pre-fab family encountered as a precise format each week. Two other episodes include commentary by Barry Williams (Greg), Christopher Knight (Peter), and Susan Olson (Cindy), and their reminiscences are equally affectionate about time on the show and everyone's surprise at its enormous success.
Every Brady episode is a classic in some sense, and this first of five seasons (those kids did grow up fast) includes some real charmers when the six Brady kids still seemed impossibly young. It's hard to say the show was ever hip, even though it became slightly more attuned to a pop sensibility as the Bradys moved into the '70s. But man, is this 1969 everyfamily ever square. Even so, it's hard to resist the way each one gets their own screen time with shows devoted to simple childhood joys and traumas--Jan's missing locket, Cindy's missing baby doll, Greg's crush on his math teacher, Peter's swelled head when he gets his picture in the paper, etc. As it was during its TV run, The Brady Bunch on DVD is clearly meant for a specific generation--yours. --Ted Fry
All 25 episodes from the first season of the hugely popular '70s U.S. sitcom. When widower Mike Brady (Robert Reed) marries lone parent Carol Martin (Florence Henderson), their respective children, three boys and three girls, combine to make one big happy family. Adjusting to married life together is never easy, but with two parents, six children, a housekeeper, and a dog, things are bound to get a little fraught. Episodes comprise: 'The Honeymoon', 'Dear Libby', 'Eenie, Meenie, Mommy, Daddy', 'Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore', 'Katchoo', 'A Clubhouse Is Not A Home', 'Kitty-Karry All Is Missing', 'A-Camping We Will Go', 'Sorry, Right Number', 'Every Boy Does it Once', 'Vote For Brady', 'The Voice Of Christmas', 'Is There a Doctor In The House', 'Father Of The Year', '54-40 And Fight', 'Mike's Horror-Scope', 'The Undergraduate', 'Tiger, Tiger', 'The Big Sprain', 'Brace Yourself', 'The Hero', 'The Possible Dream', 'To Move Or Not to Move', 'The Grass Is Always Greener' and 'Lost Locket, Found Locket'.