Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I love to love "Love to Love You Bradys"

My earliest memory is of watching "The Brady Bunch" on a black-and-white TV while loading my diaper. Now, this may come as a bit of a shock, but I wasn't actually alive when "The Brady Bunch" was originally on the air. Missed it by a few months.

The first Brady incarnation in my lifetime was the immortal "The Brady Bunch Variety Hour." Alas, as I was only 2, I didn't have much power over channel choice, and I didn't get to see any of it until about 20 years later, when I finally got to watch the opening number of the first episode, in which the Bradys, decked out in polyesterrific, spangled outfits, sing a medley of "Baby Face" and (naturally) Donna Summer's "Love to Love You Baby."

My brain is still recovering.

If you've seen any bit of "The Brady Bunch Variety Hour," you probably have the same questions that I had, most of which are permutations of OMGWTFBBQ?! How did this get on the air? Why did this get on the air? What happened to Jan? And if you haven't, check out this montage:

Luckily for you (and Brady junkies like me), the trio of Ted Nichelson, Lisa Sutton, and Susan Olsen (yes, that Susan Olsen) teamed up to bring the world "Love to Love You Bradys: The Bizarre Story of The Brady Bunch Variety Hour," the most in-depth record of this show that will likely ever exist in this or any other world.

Being the self-centered sort I am, I can't help but feel this was written for me. I mean, it's a 300-plus-page book about a famously awful show that ran for only nine episodes. How could I not want to read this?

Sincerely, I loved this book. As a fan of things deemed unsuccessful, I'm always curious as the story behind these productions. No one sets out to make a giant steaming pile of a movie or TV show. And in this book, you get to hear from all kinds of people involved in the production of this infamous program. Writers, dancers, and of course, actors--there are really no areas missed or stones unturned in this photo-laden delight.

Despite the length, it is a speedy read, and there are lots of juicy insider tidbits. I won't reveal them; you should experience the fun for yourself.

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