I was looking at an old episode from the Brady Bunch (Yes I admit it is a guilty pleasure it makes me laugh.) and I started looking at the family dynamics and values. One of the problems with being a therapist is I have to examine everything, I just can’t let it sit, it must be analized. As I was watching this show, it struck me as it always strikes me each time I watch it, which for the most part the Brady’s lied to us and it got me thinking…
The Brady Bunch was one of the few series that took its viewers back to the traditional family values. They steered clear of the political and social issues, rarely were non-white characters introduced so there was no racism, and real issues such as money, abuse, crime, war, and government did not exist. They were blissful and ignorant of anything that was happening around them.
They ate at the table for each and every meal. Mom and dad never fought much, the housekeeper Alice never asked for a raise or mentioned money for having to do all the work in the house and take care of six kids, several whom suffered from apparent mental health issues. There was never any sexual misconduct, the kids never got in any real trouble with the law, and real everyday issues just did not exist. I was sort of the Brady’s through the looking glass.
Indeed, The Brady Bunch taught America that everyone gets along just fine and each and every problem can resolved in less than 20 minutes even blended family issues. Mike and Carol Brady doled out love and affection for each child and no partiality what’s so ever. Carols kids were Mikes kids and vice versa. There was never an adjustment period for the family to be blended and if there was, it only took twenty minutes to get past it.
Mike once said on an episode, “We’ve got a wonderful bunch of kids, I mean really marvelous. They don’t play hookey, they don’t lie, and they’re not fresh. But they just won’t stay off of that phone.” This was the worse Mike could say about his children. I have to wonder what he would have said if cell phones were invented back then?
Carol Brady was not a housekeeper Alice was, so no one knows what Carol did all day while the kids were in school. She did not work, nor take care of the kids, nor do housework, so what was that woman doing? When the kids got home, she was always gleeful and happy and smiling. It is very possible that Carol was a prescription pill user. Mike was always in his study working at night leaving poor Carol and Alice to deal with the kids.
No matter how we look at it we have to come to terms that the Brady Bunch lied to America. That’s right folks, I hate to bust your Brady bubble, but there was not one thing on that show that even resembled real life. Still, we watched that show, and we watch the reruns, and we will continue to laugh at the antics of the Brady Bunch perhaps because they were so unreal.