Saturday, January 9, 2021

Book Review: "The Way We All Became The Brady Bunch" by Kimberly Potts

If simply reading the title of this book, The Way We All Became The Brady Bunch: How the Canceled Sitcom Became the Beloved Pop Culture Icon We Are Still Talking about Today, made you sing (or at least hum) the show's theme song, Kimberly Potts' book is definitely for you!!

This was a fun, informative look at a television series that was a huge part of my childhood and one I still talk about today. Amazingly, while I never watched the show when it originally aired (I wasn’t even born when it started in 1969), thanks to the magic of syndication, I watched every episode so many times through the years that I used to be able to identify the episode within the first 15-20 seconds. (I don't know how good I'd be now, but I could probably do it within a minute or two.)

But before you think I’m crazy (at least about this), understand that this show has been a cultural phenomenon in the US for 50 years or so. And that’s one of the things Potts looks at in this book—the many ways this show has weaved its way into popular culture, and the way so many people can still quote random episodes. (If you’re one of those people, I’m a kindred spirit.) She looks at the various spinoffs of the show through the years, the movies, the spoofs, even the porn movie!

The book also looks at the show’s history, the effort it took to get it on television in the first place, the casting process, and the critical drubbing it took from start to finish. (Amazingly, the show was never among the top 30 highest-rated shows any of the years it aired, but how many people remember all of those shows?)

While some of the information was familiar to me because I’ve read a lot about this show through the years, a lot was new, and really fascinating. I’ve got lots of new trivia to stump my fellow Brady fans with now!! All in all, this was a really good read.

I won a copy of The Way We All Became The Brady Bunch over a year ago in a giveaway on Bookstagram, so belated thanks to Grand Central Publishing for a free copy!!

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