Gee Whiz, What Just Happened?
I'd had the idea to make a drinking game to The Brady Bunch a while ago. Yeah, not a lot of people watch this show much anymore, but all our parents loved it, and we loved it by association. The MOST improbable family goes on "adventures", in 20 minute episodes that are, as TV Tropes puts it, almost completely devoid of conflict. It could be fun to drink to, I thought. It could be good for a laugh.
I awoke the day after we played this game to enough empty bottles on my floor to make a large sculpture with, a splitting headache, and little memory of the episodes we watched.
I'm sure I can figure out what happened. I just need to retrace my steps...
"The Drunken Brunch": The Rules
We drank a mixture of beer and Mike's hard lemonade. The Fuzzy Masked Man pointed out to me that "Mike" is Mr. Brady's first name. A complete coincidence, unfortunately. I wish I was that clever.
1. Drink for title drops. For easy mode, that's every time they say "The Brady Bunch".
2. Drink when they drink.
3. Drink for daddy issues. Few to be found here; the kids think their dad is awesome.
4. Drink when three or more Brady children are on screen during a scene.
5. Drink when gender norms are upheld. Feel free to get creative.
6. Drink when a Brady faces a moral dilemma
7. Drink when a child says something self-depreciating. It's usually Bobby.
8. Drink when a dated phrase is tossed around. Something like "outta sight!" or "Groovy!"
All of the above rules apply. Also...
1. Title drops: Drink when someone says the word "Brady".
2. Pick a Brady. Drink when his or her name is said.
3. Drink when an instrumental variation of the Brady Bunch theme song plays during the episode.
4. Drink when a love interest appears. Mr. and Mrs. Brady don't count.
5. Drink when a child is put in physical danger.
6. Drink when gender norms are subverted. Again, use your imagination.
All of the above rules apply. Also...
1. Drink when a Brady has a brush with fame. One drink for each Brady.
2. Drink when siblings fight.
3. Drink when someone laughs at something someone else says. Even if their eyes are sad.
4. Drink when someone needs to raise money, or schemes to make money.
5. Drink when two or more Bradys wear clothing in the same color palette.
Pooh Daddy: Knows the theme song by heart (Hard Mode)
Some Guy: Mike's illegitimate child (Easy Mode)
Velma Jinkies: Like Alice, knows his way around a broomstick (Medium)
Princess Penis: Had a broken leg, but not a broken funny bone (Easy)
Look at us. Already very energetic. That never went away, but it was no thanks to the show.
Right away, we were having none of this bland storytelling, so we resorted to an old comedy standby: making fun of children.
"See that?" Fuzzy said as Jan giggled to herself. "That's her poop face."
Princess Penis was unaware that Mr and Mrs. Brady are both on their second marriage, being a widower and divorcee respectively. "So the kids aren't related?"
No, no they're not.
"Oh, then incest is okay."
...I suppose you could draw that conclusion, yes.
Because these kids grew up. Oh, they grew up fast.
(Spoiler alert: We did not watch that episode later that night)
We were also introduced to an older set of Bradys, and the magic of tight pants.
Damn, Greg Brady, I know you probably weren't legal when this episode aired, but MAN you have a fine ass. The subtleties of the episode were lost on most of us, because we were too busy staring.
Greg, we later surmised, wasn't just packing in the trunk, if you know what I'm saying.
"I have so many questions about this," said the Fuzzy Masked Man. The foremost among them being, "This is a prepubescent boy's dream. Where are the titties?"
"All he's doing is hitting balls with a stick," Big Moose pointed out.
Most of us were about three beers in when we started episode 304, "The Wheeler-Dealer". Greg gets his own car after proving himself a competent driver, but the car he gets is terrible. He enslaves his siblings to help clean it up, and then uses his sweet ass...I mean, charms...to pawn off the car on an unsuspecting classmate.
In an early scene, Greg learns that Alice can't drive and tries to teach her some skills. "This," The Fuzzy Masked man triumphantly stated, "is how sex ed happens in the Brady house."
"My parents just threw a book at me," said Big Moose.
"My Dad and I went on a trip alone together and I got suspicious," said Velma. "I asked him, "Dad, are we going to have the sex talk?" He said, "What? No! ...But since you're here.""
"Mine was the worst," chimed in Pooh Daddy. "My Mom just sat me down and said, "What do you wanna know?"
Then The Fuzzy Masked Man won the conversation by telling us the story of his sister forcing him off of their trampoline by telling their mother that he was ready to have the sex talk. During the entire conversation, he had to watch his sister jump smugly on the trampoline outside.
Suddenly that garage chat with Alice sounded pretty good.
All I remember is The Fuzzy Masked Man demonstrating something to Some Guy and Princess Penis. I couldn't tell what exactly, all I caught were the words...
"Duck, fist, Spiderman, duck, swivel."
So What Exactly Happened Here?
"The Brady Bunch is like a piece of classical music you put on in the background while you're writing something else," The Fuzzy Masked Man said later. Maybe we got a bad crop of episodes, but generally it felt like the writers of the episode tried to find the least interesting path for the plot to follow. In this show, people don't stay mad for long. Nothing escalates to beyond a light scolding. Nobody is put out. Everyone gets what they want, unless what they want is considered morally wrong.
Maybe people watched this show because of its idyllic tranquilty. There are so many questions that pop up when you think too hard about this show. How was Mrs. Brady supporting her children when she was single? Why don't Mr. or Mrs. Brady ever bring up their former spouses? Do the girls ever see their father? How is Mr. Brady supporting nine family members and a dog on an architect's salary, especially when he never seems to spend time at the office? Whatever happened to their cat? Endless questions.
The answers distract from the point of the show. THIS, The Brady Bunch seemed to say, is how families should behave. THESE are the problems we should be concerning ourselves with. If your family isn't this devoted to each other, what exactly is your problem? What can you do to fix that?
Please be encouraged to know that this family does NOT EXIST. I'd like to see a revamp of the Brady Bunch filled with constant emotional trauma where the kids just don't like each other, where step-siblings fall in love, where the parents have a hard time making ends meet, where Alice is constantly overworked, where their dog gets run over by a car. Something that shows how dysfunction springs from trying to make everything perfect.
But I'm a child of the 90's. So take everything I say with a grain of salt.
Drink when you see Mr. Brady doing work or holding papers.
Mr. Brady is an architect, kick-starting an entire generation of sensitive leading men who share that profession. Occasionally, he'll be carrying around some rolled up blueprints, or be shown hard at work drafting a building plot. Drink for his industriousness!
Drink whenever the Bradys call in the professionals.
None of the Bradys are skilled at much of anything, so sometimes they need outside help. Drink when they use their "phone a friend" option to move the plot forward.
Drink when you see Mr. and Mrs. Brady in bed together.
The Hayes code was long gone by the time the Brady Bunch premiered, and the writers were eager to show that they were no prudes. Take another drink if at least one member of this power couple is reading a book while they're getting ready for bed.
For Your Inebriation is written by Krissy Pappau (Hollis Beck). Video footage is taken by Pooh Daddy (Vincent Graham) and edited by Seb (Amy Yourd). All "Brady Bunch" images are owned by Paramount.