Friday, January 02, 2009

A Very Brady Christmas

Christmas was made complete by the pleasure of watching A Very Brady Christmas with Sean and my sister and her husband (both of whom had watched it the night before and wanted to watch it again). The AMAZING-ness of this made-for-TV movie is something that can not be explained. I should just tell you to watch it. But instead, I will make some pointed comments, and perhaps post a photo or a youtube video, so that you can enjoy this with me.

For starters, let's talk about the actors. Carol was exactly the same as she was in the series. Mike, however, had since come out of the closet and embraced his more flamboyant tendencies. This allowed for some rather awkward moments where the high level of discomfort during kissing scenes with Carol were very obvious. Greg, Peter, Marcia and Jan were pretty much what you would expect. Cindy was not the original actress (and, therefore, according to my sister, the only semi-good acting talent int he whole show). Bobby was back with reddish blond hair (which apparently is his natural color and it was dyed brown during the series), but he was looking a little worse for wear. Alice was back in all her annoying glory, but they brought in a new actor to play Sam.

Now to the story. First, we spend 20 minutes where Mike and Carol both decide to surprise the other with a big trip over Christmas. They are both planning it, realize that they are double-booking, and cancel the trips, only to decide that they would like to spend the money to bring all the children back home for Christmas.

OK, so let's focus for a moment on the fact that every one of the children has some life problem they are dealing with: Greg's wife wouldn't come home for Christmas because she wanted to be with her family, so he alone with their son; Peter is in a relationship with a woman who is his superior at work, and therefore has a hard time committing to her; Bobby wants to quit business school and become a race car driver instead, but will the family approve?; Marcia's husband got laid off from his job right before Christmas, and they decide to conceal it from the family; Jan and her husband Phillip are on the outs and ready to divorce, but they haven't told the family, so he comes along for Christmas anyway; Cindy realizes that her family still treats her like a child, and they don't ask her what she wants to do, but they tell her what to do. Alice comes back to the Brady household after Sam has left her for a younger woman who wants his help with her "rump roast" (because every joke about Sam has to be about his job as a butcher).

Shockingly, all of these issues are resolved over the course of about 10 minutes of air time over Christmas dinner. Greg's wife shows up because she missed him and the son; Peter and the girlfriend propose simultaneously; Bobby fesses up to his love for racing and the parents agree that he can try it out; Marcia's husband admits to losing his job, but Mike has already figured it out and helped him to get a new one; Jan and Phillip realize they want to be together after she covered him with a blanket in the middle of the night; Cindy confesses her anger about being treated like a child, and Sam shows up to apologize to Alice and ask her to come back, to which a stern finger-pointing and a "don't do that again" suffice for his cheating on her... Hmmm...

So that is good, right? Well, the story gets even more ridiculous and convoluted. I forgot to mention that earlier in the movie, Mike loses an architecture job because he is more concerned with safety and the client wants to go the cheap route. So during Christmas dinner, the phone rings. The former client has had a cave in at his work site. So who do you call in such emergencies? The former architect, of course! Mike goes into the building, which subsequently caves in. The two trapped security guards walk out unarmed, and thank goodness the extras given the job to act as EMTs know how to take a pulse. Because really, they take a pulse on the guys walking out and that is it. But wait! Oh no! Mike is stuck under a beam for hours. No emergency teams go into save him. The family just waits outside the yellow police tape. But let's remember back to an episode where Carol sang O Come All Ye Faithful at church one Christmas. So she stands and sings it at the police tape, and the crowd of onlookers all join in. Miraculously, Mike then walks out of the building. The singing saved him and gave him the strength (I guess...) to life the beam and come out. And Merry Christmas to all!!

Oh, I forgot to mention a couple of odd "grown up" Brady moments. Jan and Phillip and Marcia and Wally both have really awkward make-out sessions. I guess the grown-up Bradys have grown up moments, both good and bad.

I know I am really making fun of this movie, and it really deserves it. But I can't think of another movie in recent memory that is this bad and this good at the same time. I mean, look how much I wrote about it! I couldn't find a lot of pictures, so just watch this video to make up for it. About minute 6 is where it gets good!


Vance said...

I never even really watched the original series but I loved this Christmas special and I've seen it way too many times for something so spectacularly cheesy.

Linz McC said...

I am relieved that it isn't just me that thought this was worth re-watching!

juls said...

matt and i had christmas morning all over again when we discovered that it is now on youtube in its entirety! last christmas after i watched it, i looked obsessively for clips online and found nothing! someone fiiiiinally got a clue! oh, and i didn't see any comments about a certain sandy blonde looking like a "meth addict" or a "hobo". good thing because he might get his feelings hurt!

Yan Naing said...

But it is a cold, lifeless business when you go to the shops to buy something, which does not represent your life and talent, but a goldsmith's. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Gifts," Nice Comment Keep it up!