‘The Brady Bunch’: One Actress Called Out Modern Sit-Coms for Portraying ‘Idiot’ Parents

by Suzanne Halliburton
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The youngest child on The Brady Bunch doesn’t think much about today’s TV parents, particularly the mothers. They’re certainly not like Mike and Carol Brady.

That’s according to Susan Olsen, who played pig-tailed Cindy Brady from 1969-74. The Brady Bunch defined a blended family for the American public. A mother of three girls married a father of three boys. They became The Brady Bunch, a show that still is alive today in syndication.

So Olsen, now that she’s old enough for grandchildren, knows she has the credibility to talk about TV parenting. She didn’t hold back in an interview with a former reporter with the Fresno Bee who was doing a story about TV moms. Let’s just say no one can compare to Carol and Mike.

“They are idiots,” Olsen said. “We really have very few, if any, shows that portray parents that one could learn from. Most of TV’s parents are the brunt of jokes. The role of parents in shows has diminished. It’s not a good thing! IF we see mothers, they are the mothers of babies and they are obsessed with over parenting. We rarely see the mothers of teenagers.”

After Brady Bunch, Susan Olsen Had One Son

In real life, i.e., not The Brady Bunch, Olsen had one son. She said she took time off to be a stay-at-home mom.

“I kind of believe in stay-at-home moms,” Olsen told Fox News in 2018. “I know that’s a form of luxury a lot of women can’t afford, so I was incredibly lucky. (Olsen) did things that weren’t in the limelight but allowed me to be a stay-at-home mom and pay the mortgage. But now that he’s 22, I am free. I can work.”

A lot of Olsen’s work still involves The Brady Bunch. She was part of the HGTV special A Very Brady Renovation back in 2019. She also does radio work. She’s an artist. And Olsen is an animal rights activist.

And she still has thoughts on parenting, particularly after watching Mike and Carol Brady, played by Robert Reed and Florence Henderson. Both of her Brady Bunch parents have died. Reed passed away in 1992. Henderson died in 2016.

Olsen told Fox News: “It’s funny, we grew up with Florence’s kids. Robert Reed used to let us stay in his house when we were going to be in the Rose Parade. And when I went to the Academy of Dramatic Arts, he wrote my letter of recommendation. Obviously, this was before I gave up on acting. He even offered to let me stay in his home while I went to school there. He really was like a dad. They taught us to always be professional on set and arrive camera-ready.

Olsen called Carol Brady an “iconic” TV mom.

“She was a little before the liberation age,” Olsen said. “So she was still a stay at home Mom. But you got the feeling she could survive on her own. It was always intended that she was divorced. That would have really set her apart but the network would not allow it!”

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