‘Brady Bunch’ Star Susan Olsen Explained Why Show Is Still Loved

by Josh Lanier

The Brady Bunch has persisted on cable television for more than 50 years. Grandparents watch it with their grandchildren, who, in all likelihood, will be watching it with their grandkids in another 50 years. That timeless quality is impossible to recreate, but looking back, you can see why the show’s held up for so long. At least, Susan Olsen, who played Cindy Brady, believes so.

She told the TODAY show in 2019 that The Brady Bunch avoided the usual tropes of television. It seems different even today because it’s so far removed from other family sitcoms.

“The love was real,” she said. “I think that people are extremely psychic, and it shows. You had parents and children who respected each other. We didn’t have a stupid dad. We had a wonderful dad, wonderful mom, great housekeeper.”

This echoes what other Brady Bunch cast members have said in the past. The jokes are tame by even 1960s standards, and every storyline is family-friendly. That makes the show a safe starter sitcom for young kids and a nostalgia trap for older adults.

Barry Williams, who played Greg Brady, said the show also got a big boost from changes within the television industry. He said during an interview with WFMZ-TV the show was just there at the “right time and place.”

“Like in life, everything has to do with the timing of things,” Williams said. “Syndication just came into its own right around that period of time, and that’s what has kept it on all these years. And it’s found a new generation of viewers.”

Actors Took Years to Undersetand ‘The Brady Bunch’ Success

The Brady Bunch trapped a simpler, and more idyllic 1960s in amber, it also locked the ambers in there as well. For years after the show ended, they struggled to escape the show’s popularity and their former characters.

Not many of the actors remained in the entertainment business when the show ended, which caused some problems. And those that did also had to live under the weight of always being on TV as another character.

“It was strange for me for the first few years after we stopped filming the show,” Barry Williams said in 2009. “I was done with it and wanted to move on. I only resented the character when it interfered with getting new work.

“I’d become very active and successful in musical theatre, and as time went on and I juggled between theatre and TV and singing, I made my peace. Then I wrote a best-selling book called ‘Growing Up Brady’, and I was grateful again for the show.”

Over time, they’ve all made their peace with the series and are proud of its place in pop-culture history.

“People come up to me and they say a line and it makes them happy,” Maureen McCormick said. “And I’ve heard it a million times, but to see them saying it, and their pure enthusiasm in saying it, makes me happy because they’re happy. It brings them happiness.”