The Brady Bunch has survived in one form or another for more than five decades. The show that began in the later 1960s has seen a score of reboots, reunions, movies, and one-time TV specials, And each incarnation comes with a new set of writers who are trying to interject the adapt the family into the modern world.
And moving the Brady’s out of the idyllic suburbs and into the harsh real world of the late 1980s and early 1990s feels wrong. It would be like trying to write an episode of The Jersey Shore set in an advanced college physics class. But fans still wanted to know what happened to our favorite Bunch over the year.
“It was … anachronistic,” Barry suggests. “When you think of the Bradys, you don’t want the drama, you just want the fun and the silly. I think that was misguided.”
Let’s discuss the sequel no one was asking for called The Bradys.
‘The Brady Bunch’ Becomes ‘The Bradys’
In 1990, CBS was looking to build a block of television shows to rival the popular TGIF line-up, which featured Full House, Step-by-Step, Family Matters, and some others. Those shows were wholesome and family-friendly. So CBS turned to one of the most famous families in its library and resurrected The Brady Bunch. But this time they were just called The Bradys. But this incarnation came with a twist.
The show followed the Brady clan years after the show had ended. They were all adults now with kids of their own. But this version of the show family was — inexplicably — a more gritty reboot. Here are some of the plotlines, according to the show’s Fandom page.
- A lifelong lover of auto racing, Bobby Brady has achieved his dream. But a car crash on the track causes him to become paralyzed in the first episode.
- Peter Brady dumps his fiancee to begin a romance with the daughter of Mike Brady’s political rival. Mike Brady is a politician now.
- Cindy Brady, depressed and unfilled at her job at the radio station begins a lurid affair with her boss, a man 10-years her senior with two children.
The show only lasted six episodes before bad ratings forced CBS to cancel it.
But there was one episode that Barry Williams felt was completely distasteful.
The Transformation of Marcia Brady in One Hour
Marcia Brady has a secret that the audience learns about in The Bradys‘ episode “Bottoms Up.” She’s an alcoholic. Her Willie Loman-like husband Wally can’t keep a salesman job and takes out his frustrations on her. And the rest of her family is no longer about Marcia, Marcia, Marcia. They’ve moved on with their lives and she feels left out.
So she drinks — heavily. But they deal with her problem in classic Brady fashion.
Maureen McCormick, who originally played Marcia, battled drug addiction for years. In the “The Bradys,” McCormick decided to not be a part of the show. However, the storyline still felt off-putting for some given McCormick’s past. She detailed her struggles in her memoir Here’s the Story.
“I struggled with drug addiction for gosh, six, seven years and it was awful. I’ve been sober now for 35 years, and my life has never been so good,” she wrote.
At least that had a happy ending.