The news this week: Ann B. Davis, aka Alice from the Brady Bunch, has gone on to the big kitchen in the sky. All the Alice news this week has brought back childhood memories of the Brady Bunch, and there are plenty.
My sister and I spent many happy hours watching the Brady Bunch. It didn’t matter if the episode was a rerun; in fact, sometimes reruns were even better than original episodes — they were familiar and felt like old friends. Jill had a super Brady skill: within probably 2 seconds of the show’s beginning, she could identify the episode. “This is the one where Jan breaks her nose!” “This is the one where the boys find a lost wallet!” etc.
I don’t know that I ever related much to any of the Brady kids — of course I wouldn’t relate to the boys, and among the girls Marsha was too popular, Jan too whiny, and Cindy too young. Still, it was so reassuring to watch all six kids get along so well together (at least by the end of the 22 minute show), and wrap up life’s difficulties so smoothly.
And Alice — who wouldn’t want an Alice? (reportedly, even Alice wanted an Alice. She’s quoted as saying, “I wish I had an Alice.”) She held the family together, as you can see symbolically in the opening collage: Alice is in the middle! I didn’t know anyone who had a housekeeper like Alice. She cleaned the house, cooked, and soothed all life’s problems for the kids — even wearing a uniform to do it! Talk about the lap of luxuries; it was enough to make me wish my dad was an architect like Mike Brady. Apparently, he was really raking in the dough.
Of course, if you lived through that era, you must remember the Brady theme song (“Here’s the story … of a lovely lady …”). But did you ever notice this? The theme song was played in bits throughout the show, in ways that reflected the mood of the moment. During poignant moments, we got a slow, violin version. When the family headed out to vacation, it was the upbeat, staccato theme. I can hear them in my head even now …
The Bradys still make their way into my consciousness now and then. About 5 years ago, when I first visited the Grand Canyon, my first thought was to compare it with how it had looked when the Bradys visited — that was my strongest concept of the place.
What Brady Bunch memories do you have?