ePUB The Way We All Became The Brady Bunch Author Kimberly Potts – Intimatenights.co.uk
Author Kimberly Potts provides insight into one of television s most beloved programs of all time The Brady Bunch never garnered top ratings during its five seasons, but it remains popular 50 years after the first show aired in syndication Several other programs featuring the Brady Bunch cast appeared throughout the years, sometimes with a fake Jan or fake Marcia We learn about the show s casting, about Robert Reed s hatred for the program, and in the pages Comparisons to other shows of the time and influence upon shows that appeared later are covered The show s fans will want to own or read a copy of this book The book provided a trip down memory lane as the author mentioned things I read on the pages of popular teen magazines of the 70s such as Tiger Beat The book covers the recent HGTV renovation of the home used for exterior house shots I received an electronic advance review copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review The publisher classified this book under Art Photography at NetGalley so I expected a little text with a lot of photos Instead I got a lot of text and no photos In spite of the disappointment, I still enjoyed the book 3.5 stars Of you love the Brady s, and honestly who doesn t, you will love this book Comprehensive book on EVERYTHING Brady Bunch Spans 50 years, and it s worth a trip down memory lane Loved itThanks to author,publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this While I got the book for free,it had no bearing on the rating I gave it. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for my digital copy in exchange for an honest opinion I will admit that I grew up a Brady Bunch fan so when I saw this as available on Netgalley, I automatically requested it Don t get me wrong, I was never the obsessed fan that many many people are I haven t even watched an episode in too many years to count but back when I was youngish, I watched every single episode and I did watch the variety show and the movies and anything else that came out This was a very interesting read for me There was so much information that I had no clue about and it was a constant learning process That being said, there were a couple of times where it started to read too much like a textbook and that is when I had to put it down Once that starts happening, my mind just doesn t want to play any and I have to read it in smaller time increments Other than that, I really enjoyed the book and yes, I know I can be a bit of a nerd.Once I was finished, I had to add a couple of the Brady Kid books into my Goodreads list to be read I am not really sure why I never read them before. I m not the biggest Brady fan in the world, but I was totally won over by the author s enthusiasm for the topic You feel like you have a really excited friend telling you all these details, some of which you might have heard before but not remembered Marcia Brady almost played Jan Brady Mama Partridge almost played Mama Brady The author tells of Sherwood Schwartz s viewpoint, which makes many of the show s stylistic choices make sense he believed that any group of people, whether stranded on Gilligan s Island or forming a blended family like the Bradys, could learn to get along and be happy This leads him on a long, winding journey to produce five seasons and endless spinoffs of the iconic sitcom I found myself making mental notes to re watch certain episodes, which I hadn t expected Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the digital ARC. In Celebration Of The Brady Bunch S Th Anniversary, TV Writer Kimberly Potts Writes A Seinfeldia Like Definitive History Of The Show That Changed The Family Sitcom And Made An Indelible Impact On Pop CultureThere Isn T A Person In This Country Who Hasn T Heard Of The Brady Bunch Whether It S The Show They Watched Growing Up, Or The One Their Parents Did Whether Adored, Or Great To Poke Fun At The Brady Bunch Is Unarguably One Of The Most Enduring And Inspiring TV Shows Of Our Time It S Lived A Dozen Lives, From Its Original Comedy Debut And Big Screen Movies, To The Emmy Winning TV Auteurs It Has Inspired Everyone From Vince Gilligan To Jill Soloway And Promises To Live ManyIn The Way We All Became The Brady Bunch, TV And Pop Culture Writer Kimberly Potts Will Draw Upon Her Deep Knowledge Of And Appreciation For The Brady Bunch And Television And Pop Culture History, As Well As Her Contacts, Connections, And Experience, To Provide An Industry Insider Narrative Of The Brady Bunch With Fresh Interviews, The Way We All Became The Brady Bunch Will Examine The Show S Lasting Effects On Its Audience And Take Readers Behind The Scenes And Into The Lives Of Our Most Beloved Characters, All To Document Why The Brady Bunch Was One Of The Most Groundbreaking Shows Of Its Time And Why It Remains To This Day, Unforgettable Three and a half stars.I appreciate it when a book makes me think about things in a broader sense than the book likely intended For that, I m giving this book an extra star.Did I watch The Brady Bunch in its original run when I was growing up Yes Did I like the show Yes, lots Did I continue to watch it in later years in syndication Sure Have I seen than one episode in the past year Yes Am I a fan of the show Yes Does the show have a fandom Uh I m not so sure about that one The author keeps drawing parallels between the continuing success of Star Trek and The Brady Bunch On the surface, it s a perfectly valid comparison She pushes the analogy, though, insisting that The Brady Bunch has a fandom, like Star Trek has Since I ve indulged in fannish activities for Star Trek and other science fiction and fantasy tv shows to one degree or another since 1977 or so, I have a definite opinion about what constitutes a tv show with a fandom, as opposed to a tv show with fans.The first Star Trek fanzine was published while the original series was still on the air The author only mentions one fanzine with Brady Bunch content and as I understand it, it was not entirely devoted to the Brady Bunch , and it was published well after the series ended The first Star Trek convention was in 1972, three years after the last first run episode aired The first Brady Bunch convention was in 2014 Star Trek is notorious for inspiring countless fan written stories, while the author doesn t mention any Brady Bunch fanfiction at all A quick search of one large multi fandom website shows that fanfiction.net currently hosts 229 Brady Bunch stories There are over 7,000 at that site for the original series of Star Trek alone Don t get me wrong The Brady Bunch has thoroughly woven itself into the fabric of modern America It is an iconic series, with an impressive number of reincarnations over the years I loved watching HGTV s efforts to remodel the house used as the exterior of the Brady house so that the inside matched the soundstage sets as closely as possible I just don t think its influence has resulted in a fandom, in the way that I define fandom.The author also brings generational issues into it, insisting that Gen X fans are the real fans, who created the fandom phenomenon when the show was in syndication She also implies that there are only two reasons to love the show Either you had a terrible childhood, and the Bradys were the family you wanted, or you had a great two parent childhood, and the Bradys reminded you of it I m not Gen X, and I had a great childhood in a one parent household which did not reflect Brady life at all Hmmm Maybe the fandom is hiding from me because I don t fit the profile.This is the fourth Brady book I have read in my life Growing Up Brady, Bradymania, and Here s the Story and I m pleased to report there was plenty of new information here, including what seems to be a pretty comprehensive list of Brady sequels The last few chapters are a bit of a muddle, telling stories that can be boiled down to It s tough being a Brady actor But it s great being a Brady actor The Tom Brady anecdote was cute, and relevant, since it involved Williams, Knight, and Lookinland, but since I m from Indiana, I am obligated by law to despise the Patriots.The audio reader was mostly competent, but mispronounced a few names, the most egregious error being Scott Bakula You know him he s been in than one show that actually had a fandom. More reviews and no fluff on the blog If this is your first foray into Brady biographies, it is an entertaining read The book is easy to follow, a fairly quick read, and provides a lot of background information and tidbits With so many books out there on the subject including tell alls by the actors and producers , there really isn t much to say on the subject With this book, author Potts decides to give perspective and thoughts on why the Brady Bunch remains so beloved over the years and to also give chapters and chapters on its influences As such, this is of a third person removed type of biography with excellent perspective The book is written in chronological order starting with the inception of the story, hiring the actors, and then going to the variety shows, spin off concepts, sequels, and then eventually to influences Details of the actual filming or events during filming are conspicuously missing the book goes from casting, to Robert Reed s tantrums, to the spin offs variety shows I would have loved to read about what happened during filming But other than Greg liking Marcia in than a brotherly way in a certain scene, we don t get much of it.The book doesn t spend much time on the actors portraying the kids after all, most either had a biography written or simply refused to talk about the time spent being a Brady The parents get a bit time, especially a whole chapter or two devoted to Robert Reed s feud with Sherwood Schwartz over the schmaltzy nature of the show I think most interesting were the interviews with Lloyd Schwartz, who often had to act as an intermediary between his father and Reed This book is what I would call a loving tribute meaning, bad things are glossed over or softened E.g., Reed s temper tantrums were offset with the cast respecting that he was fatherly to all of them, cared deeply for the kids, and was frustrated about being in the closet and being a Shakespearean actor forced to do broad comedy in a sitcom for a paycheck As well, there are no discussions about drugs, alcohol, or any scandals that the actors got into after the show You d think they were annoyed by the lingering Brady associations than limited in the rest of their careers and lives by it.Perhaps the reason I am rating this a 3 out of 5 is because I watched an E True Hollywood Story on the show right after reading the book and it pretty much said the same thing, word for word in many instances, as the book But with that show, I could at least get visuals The book simply cannot do the variety s show s eye burning polyester outfits justice There are no images, stills, or pictures.In all, the book is well written and informative I greatly missed having anecdotes about the filming and any issues or amusing asides that arose during that time I also felt this is a highly sanitized biography that avoids any of the negative aspects of being a Brady Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher. Baby boomers loved the original show and Gen Xers loved the reruns as children and teens Adults not so much For a relatively low rated show, how does everyone still remember every characters name The Way We All Became the Brady Bunch attempts to explain the show s enduring popularity.Every American has perfected the middle girl Jan s jealous whine of Marcia, Marcia, Marcia Who doesn t remember Marcia s football to the nose, Bobby s experience with laundry soap, and Peter s cracking voice The moments all seem iconic to me as a watcher at the same age as the youngest son, Bobby during the show s original run.The Brady Bunch is still relevant today through memes, SNL skits, and the recent HGTV rehab of the home used for the exterior shots of the Brady house In addition, all five seasons of the show are on Hulu and all but season five are on Prime.The Way We All Became the Brady Bunch is an excellent outsider look into the Brady enterprise Secrets I haven t heard before are included For example, the show s producer originally wanted Gene Hackman to play the father but the studio rejected him as being too inexperienced Gene would go on to win two Best Actor Academy Awards for the French Connection and Unforgiven Instead, Robert Reed was hired A closeted Shakespearean actor seems like a strange choice for a father on a goofy sitcom Indeed, Reed himself often battled unsuccessfully over the scripts with the showrunners.Overall, if you are a fan, you should pick up The Way We All Became the Brady Bunch Due to its outsider perspective, it doesn t have an agenda to push like some of the actor s memoirs However, I am taking one star off for the complete absence of photographs A televised show is by its nature visual It seems strange to have a book about one not be visual too 4 stars Thanks to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review. If you love The Brady Bunch, you will love this book If you love trivia, you will love this book If you think you know just about everything there is to know about the Bradys you will love how much this book will show to prove you wrong Everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING possible to discover about the Bradys can be found here What was Robert Reed s problems that kept his tirades going Which US nationally known politician was such an obsessed fan that he asked his parents to refer to him Bobby so he would have the same name as his favorite Brady character He is still known by Bobby What happened to the Brady s cat Why did cousin Oliver show up Which cast member was not allowed a spot in the last episode of season 5 Which character was to be replaced had there been a season 6 These are merely a quick sample of the type of info you will discover This is a perfect way to revisit the show we all loved. An engaging read on the specific and enduring cultural impacts had, by a show that was viewed as a schedule filler at the time it aired Potts provides significant insights into the why of this show s continuing influence, over a nearly 5 decade period, when other top 10 shows of the time Marcus Welby, MD., The Doris Day Show have been reduced to simply names on a list The book is well researched, with significant new content from first person interviews, and leavened by the occasional celebrity asides of their Brady Bunch memories Vince Gilligan and Weird Al share their Brady fan moments The chapter on Robert Reed is particularly illuminating, fairly representing the struggles of a talented, difficult man, beset by alcoholism and closeted due to the times, and how that impacted everyone on the show save the kids, who adored him.Well worth a read, just to understand how elements of pop culture and television reverberate down through the decades.