Sunday, August 4, 2013

"The Brady Bunch" Season 5, Episode 22. My Take

It's graduation time in the Brady household! Everyone is excited to see the oldest Brady son enter that next phase of life: nailing college chicks! 

One of my all time favorite people, Alice looks on proudly. She's thinking of the sunrises, sunsets, how it all goes round and round in the circle game, etc. Oh Alice! But that's not all . . .

In an unsuccessful attempt to wrest focus from Greg, Bobby needs cash!! He's got dollar signs in his eyes and proves he never saw Opie peddle Miracle Salve in Mayberry by buying up a bushel of hair tonic! It's his only way out of suburbia! 

This season featured the character Cousin Oliver. There were only two ways you could feel about Cousin Oliver. You could hate him or you could go insane from the rage inspired by your hatred of him. 

Interesting note, Cousin Oliver was an alien that at first only the Bradys could see. After some of Alice's home cooking though, he was visible to others. The Bradys, being true at heart, decided to raise him with the rest of the bunch. The world could never know his true origins. Also, whenever humans were near Cousin Oliver they felt a powerful nausea and sudden urge to squash him like a cockroach. In the shot above, Bobby is resisting the urge to kill. 

Problem: Bobby is selling that hair shit but no one's buying! In desperation he makes a pitch to Greg. Greg didn't even need to be a high school graduate to know that was a bad investment. 

Also he was repulsed by Cousin Oliver. He was a Brady and didn't want to be rude, but Cousin Oliver just had that effect on people. 

A 34 year old Cindy Brady steps in to set up the B-story. She needs money too! Maybe the Bradys needed cash in this episode? How long has Alice been working only for room and board? Is Mike working overnight shifts at the 7-11? (In reality Mike wasn't there this week because he'd asked to be written out because it was too stupid. Or something- at any rate he made up with everyone later because he played Mike many times after this episode- which was actually the final episode of the regular series).

Bobby's sales are so low that he's pulled aside on stairs for an emergency heart-to-heart with Carol. Doesn't he know that as a salesman he should Always Be Closing?

Greg generously gives his old high school sweater to middle brother Peter. Too bad Peter is wrong in his assumption that the sweater will get him girls. Greg got girls because he was Greg Brady! The magic was never in the sweater Peter! 

Greg continues his charitable giving by buying some hair tonic from Bobby. He even tries to convince Bobby he wants to buy it. What a trooper! 

Would anybody really believe Greg Brady needed beauty products of any type!?!?


The deal goes down and Bobby's eager to see the product in action. If Bobby was thinking the whole hair-tonic-application process would be easier with Greg's shirt off, he was right! 

Greg stayed clothed, but we did see Bobby reenact the world's collective fantasy of rubbing hair tonic all through Greg Brady's hair. I've heard the brain doesn't realize it's not actually you doing things sometimes. So in a way, we all have run our fingers through Greg Brady's hair. 

1) Denial

2) Anger

3) Bargaining

4) Depression

5) Acceptance

Peter gets a kick out of Greg's new hair. Poor Peter- he thinks this makes him the hottest Brady brother. Poor Peter!! 

The girls are no help! 

Greg is looking for Bobby so he can kill him for turning his hair orange right before graduation

Carol catches Greg about to murder Bobby in the Mike-free den. She has an idea! 

Greg risks his dignity by going to a wood-panelled Beauty Shop. I'm sure he didn't mind when he saw how he was rocking that red hat. This is the problem: I see people like Greg Brady look so awesome in red hats like that and then I get one and I look like Kris Kringle's fatter more horrible brother! 

Greg can try to hide but . . . 

. . . he puts out such a powerful pheromone that teenage girls are invariably drawn to him! 

Greg plays it cool by blaming his presence in the Beauty Shop on Carol's secret baldness. The girls bought it, but who wouldn't buy whatever Greg Brady was selling!?! He should have sold the damn hair tonic! 

Cindy (who just sat on a Valentine) is working with the rabbits in the laundry room. Cousin Oliver is there because that's where his spaceship is stored. He just likes to be near something from his home planet. 

Greg comes in and shows the kids that hair dye has saved his graduation reputation! This causes Bobby to suddenly go through puberty and realize he has some unorthodox feelings about his oldest brother. Bobby is so thrown by his sudden attraction for Greg Brady, that he . . . 

. . . pours hair-tonic all over the rabbits! 

It's okay they just turn orange which actually makes the Brady kids rich beyond their dreams! 

Graduation comes and everyone is proud. Greg tests the limits of his other-worldly sex appeal by wearing that suit. 

Turns out, Greg Brady is the only one that ever looked so hot in that suit. No one else should ever attempt to wear that outfit. 

The older kids are laughing at something Cousin Oliver just said. He said . . 

. . . "I'm going back to my home planet. Thanks for your hospitality Brady family. I enjoyed being your  'Cousin Oliver." Then the rocket ship took off and headed for the stars. 

Final Fun Fact: Cousin Oliver died on the way back to his home planet

Final Fun Fact #2: Though this was the last episode of "The Brady Bunch," the Bradys had many more exploits in the form of variety shows, Christmas reunions, and beyond. This episode works as a "series finale" because (save for the absence of Mike) we get the feeling that the wacky happenings at the Brady compound aren't in danger of stopping even if we don't get to see them anymore. 

1 comment:

Ben Massey said...

I love getting your take on classic television. It brings all of these great characters, story lines, and theme songs back to life. Please keep up the great work!