Here's the Story

Friday, May 8, 2009

First I want to welcome the new followers who have shown up in the last 24 hours. Four new followers in one day, I think that's some kind of record for me. I'm breathing down 200's neck - well okay, not really, but I've spent that last week saying that about 100 and now I'm going to kind of miss saying it. Maybe you decided to become a follower because you saw how much fun we were having with the 100 followers celebration and you wanted to be part of the magic, or maybe you're just curious to see if I can actually find a book with 200 in the title so you thought you'd help me get closer to that number, or maybe you actually like the blog. . . whatever the reason, I'm glad you're here (Although I like to think it's the 2nd one, because I like to imagine that that's just the kind of zany followers that you are).

Only 96 followers to go until I get to 200, and if the thought of me making another speech doesn't terrify every person here then please tell everyone you know about my blog. . . so that I can stop forcing complete strangers in public to take the business card that "I just happen to have right here." I'm just kidding. . . I'm still going to hand out cards and act like a used car salesman, no matter what. I'm trying to get the numbers up as high as I can because I've begun working on turning my year-long project into a book and I think my chances of getting it published will be higher if I have a lot of followers/readers. My sister has gone a bit further with this and is insisting this whole thing is going to end up being a movie - she's even gone so far as to force everyone she knows to tell her who would play them in the movie. Do you see now dear readers why she's the V.P. of the blog? Only a sister would be convinced that something that isn't even a book yet will go on to become a movie.

Today's book: "In Here's the Story, Maureen takes us behind the scenes of America's favorite television family, the Bradys. With poignancy and candor, she reveals the lifelong friendships, the hurtful jealousies, the off screen romance, the loving support her television family provided during a life-or-death moment, and the inconsolable loss of a man who had been a second father. But The Brady Bunch was only the beginning. Haunted by the perfection of her television alter ego, Maureen landed on the dark side, caught up in a fast-paced, drug-fueled, star-studded Hollywood existence that ultimately led to the biggest battle of her life."

Shallow thoughts (what other kind of thoughts do you expect me to have after reading a celebrity autobiography) -

I just want to apologize in advance to anyone who gets The Brady Bunch's theme song stuck in their head because of today's entry. I feel your pain dear readers because I've had the theme song to The Jefferson's stuck in my head while writing this post.

I've been in a celebrity autobiography kind of mood lately - but I'm going to try to pace myself from now on so you won't show up to read my blog and get confused and think you're at But I just had to read today's because I love The Brady Bunch and I'm not ashamed to admit it (although I probably should be). I'm a loud and proud Brady Bunch fan.

I enjoyed parts of today's book. The non-drug related parts were interesting - but the part of the book that dealt with Maureen's drug habit was a bit dull. After reading a couple of celebrity autobiographies about this kind of thing the drug chapters all start to sound the same - they all blur together into one monotonous chapter and they all seem to follow the same pattern: girl become famous, girl meets boy who is so obviously wrong for her and he gets her hooked on drugs, boy breaks up with girl but girl can't stop doing drugs, girl gets sober and then writes a tell-all book where it makes it sound like the drug habit it all boy's fault. . . blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. If you've read one of those chapters you've read them all.

I was a bit nervous about reading today's book because there's always that fear that reading about behind-the-scenes shenanigans will ruin the enjoyment of watching the show - but I figured there was no chance of that happening in this case. If I can suspend reality enough to pretend like AstroTurf is real grass, Cindy's lisp is totally believable, and Carol's hair makes perfect sense, then I'm sure I can pretend like I never read anything unsavory in this book. But, as it turns out, there wasn't anything too bad in those book about Brady Bunch (other than the fact that Robert Reed hated the show, but I already knew that). Instead I learned that one of my favorite old movies, Yours, Mine & Ours (not the crappy remake, but the original with Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda) helped to get Brady Bunch on the air. The shows creator, Sherman Schwartz, had written the pilot two years before he got the green light to go ahead with the series, but he was turned down by all the networks. Apparently they considered a story about a blended family too edgy. Sherman should have just told them, "Don't worry, by the end of season one we'll be pretending like the family isn't even blended at all. The audience will never hear about the dead spouses, and that picture of Mike's first wife that appears in the pilot is going into the prop room and never coming out again." When Your, Mine & Ours became a hit movie, ABC decided to go forward with the show. Other things I learned: Maureen was originally supposed to play Jan, Barry really did date Florence once, Gene Hackman was originally supposed to play Mike Brady, and Maureen and Barry almost had sex four or five times (Whoops, I guess I spoke too soon, that last piece of information is going to be hard to get out of my mind the next time I'm watching a brother-sister moment between Greg and Marcia. And honestly, what possesses a person to share that kind of information about themselves in a book).

Here are my favorite Brady Bunch episodes -

  • The Voice of Christmas (because I'm sappy)

  • To Move or Not To Move (Where the Brady's contemplate moving to another house. Oh no, they can't, it would suck at least half of the fun out of watching the show if I couldn't spend the whole episode griping about how ridiculous it is that we're supposed to believe that the outside of the house matches up to the inside).

  • The Babysitters (This episode contains a scene in what seems to be the most hideous restaurant I've ever seen).

  • The Slumber Caper (Because it's always fun to get to experience the excitement of a slumber party without the accompanying anxiety of worrying about waking up with frozen underwear).

  • And Now, a Word from Our Sponsor (Because it's one of the few episodes that features an outdoor scene that doesn't involve AstroTurf).

  • The Teeter-Toter Caper (Because it gives me a chance to work the words Teeter-Toter into the next conversation I have with my Dad, so I can whine again about how he never built me that Teeter-Toter I was promised when I was six. I mean come on, the man dug a basement out from under a house we were living in, would it have killed him to built me one little Teeter-Toter. . . not that I'm still bitter about it or anything).

Tell me dear readers, what are your favorite episodes? Or if you're too cool to watch Brady Bunch then feel free to mock me in the comments section. . . I don't mind.