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The Way We All Became The Brady Bunch: How the Canceled Sitcom Became the Beloved Pop Culture Icon We Are Still Talking About Today

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In celebration of the Brady Bunch's 50th anniversary, TV writer Kimberly Potts writes a Seinfeldia-like definitive history of the show that changed the family sitcom and made an indelible impact on pop culture. There isn't a person in this country who hasn't heard of The Brady Bunch. Whether it's the show they watched growing up, or the one their parents did--whether In celebration of the Brady Bunch's 50th anniversary, TV writer Kimberly Potts writes a Seinfeldia-like definitive history of the show that changed the family sitcom and made an indelible impact on pop culture. There isn't a person in this country who hasn't heard of The Brady Bunch. Whether it's the show they watched growing up, or the one their parents did--whether adored, or great to poke fun at--The Brady Bunch is unarguably one of the most enduring and inspiring TV shows of our time. It's lived a dozen lives, from its original comedy debut and big-screen movies, to the Emmy-winning TV auteurs it has inspired--everyone from Vince Gilligan to Jill Soloway--and promises to live many more. In The Way We All Became the Brady Bunch, TV and pop culture writer Kimberly Potts will draw upon her deep knowledge of and appreciation for The Brady Bunch and television and pop culture history, as well as her contacts, connections, and experience, to provide an industry insider narrative of The Brady Bunch. With fresh interviews, The Way We All Became the Brady Bunch will examine the show's lasting effects on its audience and take readers behind-the-scenes and into the lives of our most beloved characters, all to document why The Brady Bunch was one of the most groundbreaking shows of its time--and why it remains to this day, unforgettable.


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In celebration of the Brady Bunch's 50th anniversary, TV writer Kimberly Potts writes a Seinfeldia-like definitive history of the show that changed the family sitcom and made an indelible impact on pop culture. There isn't a person in this country who hasn't heard of The Brady Bunch. Whether it's the show they watched growing up, or the one their parents did--whether In celebration of the Brady Bunch's 50th anniversary, TV writer Kimberly Potts writes a Seinfeldia-like definitive history of the show that changed the family sitcom and made an indelible impact on pop culture. There isn't a person in this country who hasn't heard of The Brady Bunch. Whether it's the show they watched growing up, or the one their parents did--whether adored, or great to poke fun at--The Brady Bunch is unarguably one of the most enduring and inspiring TV shows of our time. It's lived a dozen lives, from its original comedy debut and big-screen movies, to the Emmy-winning TV auteurs it has inspired--everyone from Vince Gilligan to Jill Soloway--and promises to live many more. In The Way We All Became the Brady Bunch, TV and pop culture writer Kimberly Potts will draw upon her deep knowledge of and appreciation for The Brady Bunch and television and pop culture history, as well as her contacts, connections, and experience, to provide an industry insider narrative of The Brady Bunch. With fresh interviews, The Way We All Became the Brady Bunch will examine the show's lasting effects on its audience and take readers behind-the-scenes and into the lives of our most beloved characters, all to document why The Brady Bunch was one of the most groundbreaking shows of its time--and why it remains to this day, unforgettable.

30 review for The Way We All Became The Brady Bunch: How the Canceled Sitcom Became the Beloved Pop Culture Icon We Are Still Talking About Today

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    This was an easy, entertaining read offering insight into the show we all loved, including all its cast members. I had fun with it. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    Serious disclaimer here: I am a serious Bradyphile. Honestly. I know it's not totally groovy to admit that - - or maybe it is now, 50 years after the iconic sitcom debuted to lukewarm (or flat out vicious) reviews -- but there it is. One of my warmest and strongest memories of childhood (and yes, even into and through adolescence) was coming home from school to watch the syndicated episodes of the perfect blended family. No matter how stressed or upset or tired I was from school, catching up Serious disclaimer here: I am a serious Bradyphile. Honestly. I know it's not totally groovy to admit that - - or maybe it is now, 50 years after the iconic sitcom debuted to lukewarm (or flat out vicious) reviews -- but there it is. One of my warmest and strongest memories of childhood (and yes, even into and through adolescence) was coming home from school to watch the syndicated episodes of the perfect blended family. No matter how stressed or upset or tired I was from school, catching up with the Bradys always made me feel good and it didn't matter how many times I had already seen a particular episode (because I had and have seen them all many, many times.) The quintessential Bunch always put a smile on my face, a lift in my heart and could be watched over and over. Joining the library of Brady-themed tomes is Kimberly Potts' telling of (as the cover tells us) "How the Cancelled Sitcom Became the Beloved Pop Culture Icon We Are Still Talking About Today." Truer words, right? I'm sure no one - - creator Sherwood Schwartz, the execs at ABC, nor the stars -- and particularly not star Robert Reed -- would have guessed back in 1968 when the pilot was filmed, or in September of 1969, when the first episode aired, that fifty years on, not only would the show still be airing but would have spawned a massive franchise that included a variety hour, cartoons, reunion-type shows, television movies, theatrical releases, plays and, of course, the ubiquitous merchandise. Yet, here we are with The Brady Bunch not only still a part of America (perhaps more so than back during the 1969-1974 original run of the series) but with the fascination still there, as evidenced by HGTV's September 2019 four-part limited series in which various designers are helped by the six original Brady kids to renovate the home that was used for exterior shots as the Brady residence into the actual Brady residence as seen on our television screens. Far out! I found The Way We All Became the Brady Bunch a quick and enjoyable read (as any true Brady fan would.) Ms. Potts starts from the beginning, long before the lovely lady ever met the man named Brady, with Sherwood Schwartz, who aimed to be a doctor before the entertainment field beckoned. (Can you imagine if Schwartz had not gone to Hollywood? No Bradys, no Gilligan's Island!) She tells the backstory of how Schwartz came up with the concept for the Bunch (a newspaper article) and how our beloved show could have been called The Bradley Brood (horrors!). Maybe not unknown facts for a ride-or-die Bradyphile but Ms. Potts does manage to throw in some facts/gossip/entertainment that was relatively new to me. I won't spoil it for those who haven't read the book yet, other than this one that was a particular fave of mine: At the time that Florence Henderson unexpectedly passed away in 2016, she was in talks with producer Lloyd Schwartz (Sherwood's son) to revive the Bunch, with Carol as a widow who dates and eventually marries a younger man (to the tune of 30 years) who is a friend of one of her children. Scandalous! And so juicy. Sigh. What could have been . . . Ms. Potts interviewed many original Bradys as well as those on the Brady periphery and was able to fashion together a wonderful remembrance of the series, as well as the franchise itself. I'm always pleased when such offerings as The Brady Girls Get Married and its short-lived spinoff, The Brady Brides aren't given short shrift and are acknowledged. They certainly weren't Shakespeare but remain beloved by this writer. I appreciated the pages that were given to Robert Reed, Florence Henderson, and Ann B. Davis, all of whom we have lost. Most of the Brady-realizing public has heard that Reed was difficult on set for a variety of factors (but never in front of the children) so it was nice to read a counterbalance in which his kindness and generosity was highlighted, as well as his post-Brady work. I personally loved hearing that Henderson was vastly different from the prim and proper Brady matron, with a crazy sense of humor, and that Davis was fond of fast sports cars that she would race around L.A. The part of me that welcomes irony found it humorous to read the scathing reviews that were printed after the first episode aired, the authors of which forecast a short shelf life for the Bradys (and Alice!) and did not believe the series would resonate with anyone. Boy, did they have to eat their words! Not only did the series resonate and continues to do so but the Brady formula was the impetus behind many shows that followed. In finishing the book, I was left feeling warm and fuzzy and with a renewed appreciation for the fictional family, as well as the real-life persons (writers, directors, actors, producers) who brought the show to life. It's gratifying to know that the Bradys lived on in people's hearts for decades and will continue to do so. If you're a Brady fan, you simply must pick this book up. Even if you're not one that would choose to visit 4222 Clinton Way and hang out with the Bradys for a good old fashioned potato sack race or a roaring 20s party, you should find the book interesting and enjoyable. Pull up a chair in your orange and green kitchen, fix a plate of pork chops and applesauce and dig in!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Rochester

    Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for my digital copy in exchange for an honest opinion. I will admit that I grew up a Brady Bunch fan so when I saw this as available on Netgalley, I automatically requested it. Don't get me wrong, I was never the obsessed fan that many many people are ( I haven't even watched an episode in too many years to count) but back when I was youngish, I watched every single episode and I did watch the variety show and the movies and anything else that came out. This Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for my digital copy in exchange for an honest opinion. I will admit that I grew up a Brady Bunch fan so when I saw this as available on Netgalley, I automatically requested it. Don't get me wrong, I was never the obsessed fan that many many people are ( I haven't even watched an episode in too many years to count) but back when I was youngish, I watched every single episode and I did watch the variety show and the movies and anything else that came out. This was a very interesting read for me. There was so much information that I had no clue about and it was a constant learning process. That being said, there were a couple of times where it started to read too much like a textbook and that is when I had to put it down. Once that starts happening, my mind just doesn't want to play anymore and I have to read it in smaller time increments. :) Other than that, I really enjoyed the book and yes, I know. I can be a bit of a nerd. Once I was finished, I had to add a couple of the Brady Kid books into my Goodreads list to be read. I am not really sure why I never read them before.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    Author Kimberly Potts provides insight into one of television's most beloved programs of all time. The Brady Bunch never garnered top ratings during its five seasons, but it remains popular 50 years after the first show aired in syndication. Several other programs featuring the Brady Bunch cast appeared throughout the years, sometimes with a "fake Jan" or "fake Marcia." We learn about the show's casting, about Robert Reed's hatred for the program, and more in the pages. Comparisons to other Author Kimberly Potts provides insight into one of television's most beloved programs of all time. The Brady Bunch never garnered top ratings during its five seasons, but it remains popular 50 years after the first show aired in syndication. Several other programs featuring the Brady Bunch cast appeared throughout the years, sometimes with a "fake Jan" or "fake Marcia." We learn about the show's casting, about Robert Reed's hatred for the program, and more in the pages. Comparisons to other shows of the time and influence upon shows that appeared later are covered. The show's fans will want to own or read a copy of this book. The book provided a trip down memory lane as the author mentioned things I read on the pages of popular teen magazines of the 70s such as Tiger Beat. The book covers the recent HGTV renovation of the home used for exterior house shots. I received an electronic advance review copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The publisher classified this book under "Art & Photography" at NetGalley so I expected a little text with a lot of photos. Instead I got a lot of text and no photos. In spite of the disappointment, I still enjoyed the book. (3.5 stars)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sue Seligman

    This is an interesting history of the iconic TV show which premiered 50 years ago, in 1969. Recommend this book to fans of the show. Kimberly Potts describes all the stories from the show’s birth through its final episodes and its reincarnations as variety show, cartoon, movies and live theatre shows. The conflicts behind the scenes and the portrayals of the famous cast members make this book a must read for anyone who watched the show during its five year run or later through syndication. An This is an interesting history of the iconic TV show which premiered 50 years ago, in 1969. Recommend this book to fans of the show. Kimberly Potts describes all the stories from the show’s birth through its final episodes and its reincarnations as variety show, cartoon, movies and live theatre shows. The conflicts behind the scenes and the portrayals of the famous cast members make this book a must read for anyone who watched the show during its five year run or later through syndication. An exciting trip down memory lane.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Three and a half stars. I appreciate it when a book makes me think about things in a broader sense than the book likely intended. For that, I'm giving this book an extra star. Did I watch The Brady Bunch in its original run when I was growing up? Yes. Did I like the show? Yes, lots. Did I continue to watch it in later years in syndication? Sure. Have I seen more than one episode in the past year? Yes. Am I a fan of the show? Yes. Does the show have a fandom? Uh... I'm not so sure about that one. Three and a half stars. I appreciate it when a book makes me think about things in a broader sense than the book likely intended. For that, I'm giving this book an extra star. Did I watch The Brady Bunch in its original run when I was growing up? Yes. Did I like the show? Yes, lots. Did I continue to watch it in later years in syndication? Sure. Have I seen more than one episode in the past year? Yes. Am I a fan of the show? Yes. Does the show have a fandom? Uh... I'm not so sure about that one. The author keeps drawing parallels between the continuing success of Star Trek and The Brady Bunch. On the surface, it's a perfectly valid comparison. She pushes the analogy, though, insisting that The Brady Bunch has a fandom, like Star Trek has. Since I've indulged in fannish activities for Star Trek (and other science fiction and fantasy tv shows) to one degree or another since 1977 or so, I have a definite opinion about what constitutes a tv show with a fandom, as opposed to a tv show with fans. The first Star Trek fanzine was published while the original series was still on the air. The author only mentions one fanzine with Brady Bunch content (and as I understand it, it was not entirely devoted to the Brady Bunch), and it was published well after the series ended. The first Star Trek convention was in 1972, three years after the last first-run episode aired. The first Brady Bunch convention was in 2014. Star Trek is notorious for inspiring countless fan-written stories, while the author doesn't mention any Brady Bunch fanfiction at all. (A quick search of one large multi-fandom website shows that fanfiction.net currently hosts 229 Brady Bunch stories. There are over 7,000 at that site for the original series of Star Trek alone.) Don't get me wrong. The Brady Bunch has thoroughly woven itself into the fabric of modern America. It is an iconic series, with an impressive number of reincarnations over the years. I loved watching HGTV's efforts to remodel the house used as the exterior of the Brady house so that the inside matched the soundstage sets as closely as possible. I just don't think its influence has resulted in a fandom, in the way that I define fandom. The author also brings generational issues into it, insisting that Gen X fans are the real fans, who created the fandom phenomenon when the show was in syndication. She also implies that there are only two reasons to love the show. Either you had a terrible childhood, and the Bradys were the family you wanted, or you had a great two-parent childhood, and the Bradys reminded you of it. I'm not Gen X, and I had a great childhood in a one-parent household which did not reflect Brady life at all. Hmmm. Maybe the fandom is hiding from me because I don't fit the profile. This is the fourth Brady book I have read in my life (Growing Up Brady, Bradymania, and Here's the Story) and I'm pleased to report there was plenty of new information here, including what seems to be a pretty comprehensive list of Brady sequels. The last few chapters are a bit of a muddle, telling stories that can be boiled down to “It's tough being a Brady actor. But it's great being a Brady actor.” The Tom Brady anecdote was cute, and relevant, since it involved Williams, Knight, and Lookinland, but since I'm from Indiana, I am obligated by law to despise the Patriots. The audio reader was mostly competent, but mispronounced a few names, the most egregious error being Scott Bakula. You know him-- he's been in more than one show that actually had a fandom.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Living My Best Book Life

    I remember watching The Brady Bunch with my sisters and loving the show. I wasn't a huge fan of the show but I do know that I watched most of the important episodes. When I read the blurb for this book, I thought it would be a cool look into the history behind the show and it sure was. Kimberly Potts did a good job and being informative about the history of the show. I did learn a lot about the creation of the show, the actors, and more about their personal lives. It is a good and entertaining I remember watching The Brady Bunch with my sisters and loving the show. I wasn't a huge fan of the show but I do know that I watched most of the important episodes. When I read the blurb for this book, I thought it would be a cool look into the history behind the show and it sure was. Kimberly Potts did a good job and being informative about the history of the show. I did learn a lot about the creation of the show, the actors, and more about their personal lives. It is a good and entertaining read that I know many people will enjoy. If you are a fan of the show, this book is for you! I give The Way We All Became The Brady Bunch is a cool book that acts as it's own wikipedia page for everything The Brady Bunch. There are awesome insights and interviews that make you understand The Brady Bunch's greatness. Every TV junkie can appreciate this book!

  8. 4 out of 5

    June

    I'm not the biggest Brady fan in the world, but I was totally won over by the author's enthusiasm for the topic. You feel like you have a really excited friend telling you all these details, some of which you might have heard before but not remembered: "Marcia Brady almost played Jan Brady! Mama Partridge almost played Mama Brady!" The author tells more of Sherwood Schwartz's viewpoint, which makes many of the show's stylistic choices make more sense: he believed that any group of people, I'm not the biggest Brady fan in the world, but I was totally won over by the author's enthusiasm for the topic. You feel like you have a really excited friend telling you all these details, some of which you might have heard before but not remembered: "Marcia Brady almost played Jan Brady! Mama Partridge almost played Mama Brady!" The author tells more of Sherwood Schwartz's viewpoint, which makes many of the show's stylistic choices make more sense: he believed that any group of people, whether stranded on Gilligan's Island or forming a blended family like the Bradys, could learn to get along and be happy. This leads him on a long, winding journey to produce five seasons (and endless spinoffs) of the iconic sitcom. I found myself making mental notes to re-watch certain episodes, which I hadn't expected! Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the digital ARC.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kayo

    Of you love the Brady's, and honestly who doesn't, you will love this book. Comprehensive book on EVERYTHING Brady Bunch. Spans 50 years, and it's worth a trip down memory lane. Loved it Thanks to author,publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this. While I got the book for free,it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Online Eccentric Librarian

    More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ If this is your first foray into Brady biographies, it is an entertaining read. The book is easy-to-follow, a fairly quick read, and provides a lot of background information and tidbits. With so many books out there on the subject (including tell-alls by the actors and producers), there really isn't much more to say on the subject. With this book, author Potts decides to give perspective and thoughts on why the Brady More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ If this is your first foray into Brady biographies, it is an entertaining read. The book is easy-to-follow, a fairly quick read, and provides a lot of background information and tidbits. With so many books out there on the subject (including tell-alls by the actors and producers), there really isn't much more to say on the subject. With this book, author Potts decides to give perspective and thoughts on why the Brady Bunch remains so beloved over the years and to also give chapters and chapters on its influences. As such, this is more of a 'third person removed' type of biography with excellent perspective. The book is written in chronological order - starting with the inception of the story, hiring the actors, and then going to the variety shows, spin off concepts, sequels, and then eventually to influences. Details of the actual filming or events during filming are conspicuously missing; the book goes from casting, to Robert Reed's tantrums, to the spin offs/variety shows. I would have loved to read more about what happened during filming. But other than "Greg" liking "Marcia" in more than a brotherly way in a certain scene, we don't get much of it. The book doesn't spend much time on the actors portraying the kids - after all, most either had a biography written or simply refused to talk about the time spent being a Brady. The parents get a bit more time, especially a whole chapter or two devoted to Robert Reed's feud with Sherwood Schwartz over the schmaltzy nature of the show. I think most interesting were the interviews with Lloyd Schwartz, who often had to act as an intermediary between his father and Reed. This book is what I would call a "loving" tribute; meaning, bad things are glossed over or softened. E.g., Reed's temper tantrums were offset with the cast respecting that he was fatherly to all of them, cared deeply for the kids, and was frustrated about being in the closet and being a Shakespearean actor forced to do broad comedy in a sitcom for a paycheck. As well, there are no discussions about drugs, alcohol, or any 'scandals' that the actors got into after the show. You'd think they were more annoyed by the lingering Brady associations than limited in the rest of their careers and lives by it. Perhaps the reason I am rating this a 3 out of 5 is because I watched an E True Hollywood Story on the show right after reading the book and it pretty much said the same thing, word for word in many instances, as the book. But with that show, I could at least get visuals. The book simply cannot do the variety's show's eye burning polyester outfits justice. There are no images, stills, or pictures. In all, the book is well written and informative. I greatly missed having anecdotes about the filming and any issues or amusing asides that arose during that time. I also felt this is a highly sanitized biography that avoids any of the negative aspects of being a Brady. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Diane Hernandez

    Baby boomers loved the original show and Gen Xers loved the reruns as children and teens. Adults not so much. For a relatively low-rated show, how does everyone still remember every characters’ name? The Way We All Became the Brady Bunch attempts to explain the show’s enduring popularity. Every American has perfected the middle girl Jan’s jealous whine of “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.” Who doesn’t remember Marcia’s football to the nose, Bobby’s experience with laundry soap, and Peter’s cracking voice? Baby boomers loved the original show and Gen Xers loved the reruns as children and teens. Adults not so much. For a relatively low-rated show, how does everyone still remember every characters’ name? The Way We All Became the Brady Bunch attempts to explain the show’s enduring popularity. Every American has perfected the middle girl Jan’s jealous whine of “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.” Who doesn’t remember Marcia’s football to the nose, Bobby’s experience with laundry soap, and Peter’s cracking voice? The moments all seem iconic to me as a watcher at the same age as the youngest son, Bobby during the show’s original run. The Brady Bunch is still relevant today through memes, SNL skits, and the recent HGTV rehab of the home used for the exterior shots of the Brady house. In addition, all five seasons of the show are on Hulu and all but season five are on Amazon Prime. The Way We All Became the Brady Bunch is an excellent outsider look into the Brady enterprise. Secrets I haven’t heard before are included. For example, the show’s producer originally wanted Gene Hackman to play the father but the studio rejected him as being too inexperienced. Gene would go on to win two Best Actor Academy Awards for the French Connection and Unforgiven. Instead, Robert Reed was hired. A closeted Shakespearean actor seems like a strange choice for a father on a goofy sitcom. Indeed, Reed himself often battled unsuccessfully over the scripts with the showrunners. Overall, if you are a fan, you should pick up The Way We All Became the Brady Bunch. Due to its outsider perspective, it doesn’t have an agenda to push like some of the actor’s memoirs. However, I am taking one star off for the complete absence of photographs. A televised show is by its nature visual. It seems strange to have a book about one not be visual too. 4 stars! Thanks to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Teena in Toronto

    Hard to believe but The Brady Bunch recently their 50th anniversary! I was seven to eleven years old when the original The Brady Bunch aired from September 26, 1969, to March 8, 1974, and I can't remember watching it. Maybe we didn't get it on our local stations (there was no cable back then) or maybe my parents didn't like it so we didn't know about it. I do remember watching The Partridge Family when it was originally on, though (it originally aired from September 25, 1970, until March 23, Hard to believe but The Brady Bunch recently their 50th anniversary! I was seven to eleven years old when the original The Brady Bunch aired from September 26, 1969, to March 8, 1974, and I can't remember watching it. Maybe we didn't get it on our local stations (there was no cable back then) or maybe my parents didn't like it so we didn't know about it. I do remember watching The Partridge Family when it was originally on, though (it originally aired from September 25, 1970, until March 23, 1974). But I have since watched The Brady Bunch and I can't say I'm a fan. I didn't think the acting was all that great and the stories were dumb. But I'm looking at it from an adult's perspective and that's not how Sherwood Schwartz, the creator and producer, envisioned it ... he wanted it to be from the children's perspective. But I like reading and learning about the behind-the-scenes scoops of different shows that I've watched and their stars. The book starts with letting us know who Sherwood Schwartz was. We learn how the actors were chosen for their parts, how the theme song came about, being on the show, why Robert Reed was so cranky, The Brady Bunch vs The Partridge Family "rival", the sequels, the effect of The Brady Bunch on today's culture (TV, music, plays/musicals, etc.) and more. There are colour pictures in the end. It was an interesting book to read. I kind of skimmed over the chapters that detailed some of the shows that have included bits and parodies because I've never seen some of those shows or plays/musicals. Blog review post: http://www.teenaintoronto.com/2020/01...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    More reviews and book-ish content @ Club Book Mobile on FB, Club Book Mobile on IG & Andrea RBK The Way We All Became the Brady Bunch: How the Canceled Sitcom Became the Beloved Pop Culture Icon We Are Still Talking About Today by Kimberly Potts was a deep-dive into all things Brady. This isn't the first time I've read a book about the Bradys, and they will always be a love of mine. I mean, y'all, have I told you about the time I MET GREG BRADY!?!? (See my blog for photographic proof.) This More reviews and book-ish content @ Club Book Mobile on FB, Club Book Mobile on IG & Andrea RBK The Way We All Became the Brady Bunch: How the Canceled Sitcom Became the Beloved Pop Culture Icon We Are Still Talking About Today by Kimberly Potts was a deep-dive into all things Brady. This isn't the first time I've read a book about the Bradys, and they will always be a love of mine. I mean, y'all, have I told you about the time I MET GREG BRADY!?!? (See my blog for photographic proof.) This book really looks at how a show that was on for just five seasons has come to be this incredibly resounding pop culture behemoth. I used to watch the show every morning before school, and I can still get sucked into an episode (or five) today, so I'm obviously the book's target audience. What was different about this book was that it talked about the show itself, both its up and (somewhat well-known) downs/drama. However, it does examine the spin-offs and continued storylines. While I'm very familiar with the original material, I definitely knew little to nothing about these other pieces. This is a well-researched piece on a family that will forever (and I meant that quite literally) be one of America's favorites. I learned some new stuff and also got those nostalgic Brady feels.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    If you love The Brady Bunch, you will love this book. If you love trivia, you will love this book. If you think you know just about everything there is to know about the Bradys. you will love how much more this book will show to prove you wrong. Everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING possible to discover about the Bradys can be found here. What was Robert Reed's problems that kept his tirades going? Which US nationally known politician was such an obsessed fan that he asked his parents to refer to If you love The Brady Bunch, you will love this book. If you love trivia, you will love this book. If you think you know just about everything there is to know about the Bradys. you will love how much more this book will show to prove you wrong. Everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING possible to discover about the Bradys can be found here. What was Robert Reed's problems that kept his tirades going? Which US nationally known politician was such an obsessed fan that he asked his parents to refer to him Bobby so he would have the same name as his favorite Brady character? (He is still known by Bobby!) What happened to the Brady's cat? Why did cousin Oliver show up? Which cast member was not allowed a spot in the last episode of season 5? Which character was to be replaced had there been a season 6? These are merely a quick sample of the type of info you will discover. This is a perfect way to revisit the show we all loved.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Steven Kettering

    An engaging read on the specific and enduring cultural impacts had, by a show that was viewed as a schedule-filler at the time it aired. Potts provides significant insights into the why of this show's continuing influence, over a nearly 5 decade period, when other top 10 shows of the time (Marcus Welby, MD., The Doris Day Show) have been reduced to simply names on a list. The book is well-researched, with significant new content from first person interviews, and leavened by the occasional An engaging read on the specific and enduring cultural impacts had, by a show that was viewed as a schedule-filler at the time it aired. Potts provides significant insights into the why of this show's continuing influence, over a nearly 5 decade period, when other top 10 shows of the time (Marcus Welby, MD., The Doris Day Show) have been reduced to simply names on a list. The book is well-researched, with significant new content from first person interviews, and leavened by the occasional celebrity asides of their Brady Bunch memories (Vince Gilligan and Weird Al share their Brady fan moments). The chapter on Robert Reed is particularly illuminating, fairly representing the struggles of a talented, difficult man, beset by alcoholism and closeted due to the times, and how that impacted everyone on the show - save the kids, who adored him. Well worth a read, just to understand how elements of pop culture and television reverberate down through the decades.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Karenclifford61

    Guilty. Viewing. Pleasure. The Brady's were uncool back then and still are, yet I manage to get sucked into an episode whenever I'm channeling on a lay-z Sunday afternoon. Book was terrible as it rehashed episodes, tried to be clever and when it ran out of material attempted to compare it to other family shows (Partridge Family, Modern Family, Full House...). Altho I might have wanted to be a Brady in the early 70's, I would resent being one today. Due to law changes in 1973, earning residuals Guilty. Viewing. Pleasure. The Brady's were uncool back then and still are, yet I manage to get sucked into an episode whenever I'm channeling on a lay-z Sunday afternoon. Book was terrible as it rehashed episodes, tried to be clever and when it ran out of material attempted to compare it to other family shows (Partridge Family, Modern Family, Full House...). Altho I might have wanted to be a Brady in the early 70's, I would resent being one today. Due to law changes in 1973, earning residuals ended after 10 cycles of repeats/syndication. Considering the 117 episodes have run over 100K times '...that's a lot of bread, man' as Greg might say. Fortunately HGTV created some income potential for these checkerboard goody two shoes.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Brady

    Definitely written by a fangirl, but still an enjoyable read. I recently started rewatching Brady Bunch with my kids after we saw the HGTV Very Brady Renovation, and my kids (10 and 7) love it. And I still enjoy it. Then I saw this book and thought it would provide great perspective on why it is that different generations relate to this show. That’s what I thought the book would examine, but it focused much more on historical narrative than sociological explanation. To be fair, she did impart Definitely written by a fangirl, but still an enjoyable read. I recently started rewatching Brady Bunch with my kids after we saw the HGTV Very Brady Renovation, and my kids (10 and 7) love it. And I still enjoy it. Then I saw this book and thought it would provide great perspective on why it is that different generations relate to this show. That’s what I thought the book would examine, but it focused much more on historical narrative than sociological explanation. To be fair, she did impart some broad analysis about why it’s the phenomenon it is, but I think there is room for much more analysis and might be better suited to an academic than a pop culture writer. Still, I’m glad I read it and it brought up a lot of fond memories!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Ford

    The Way We All Became the Brady Bunch is a fun, well researched ode to a slice of Americana that defied all odds to remain a cultural touchstone fifty years after the show premiered. Packed with Brady trivia and cast reminiscences, the book also features a complete accounting of the iconic blended family’s many reincarnations and revivals (both praised and ill-fated). Kimberly’s Potts’ exuberant writing style and the sugary, but tender, subject matter will intensify your longing for shag The Way We All Became the Brady Bunch is a fun, well researched ode to a slice of Americana that defied all odds to remain a cultural touchstone fifty years after the show premiered. Packed with Brady trivia and cast reminiscences, the book also features a complete accounting of the iconic blended family’s many reincarnations and revivals (both praised and ill-fated). Kimberly’s Potts’ exuberant writing style and the sugary, but tender, subject matter will intensify your longing for shag carpeting and morally satisfying life lessons (dispensed neatly within thirty minutes, of course). A perfect pop culture morsel not to be missed.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Schultz

    Read if you: Want a behind-the-scenes look at an iconic sitcom. Here's a story....about a sitcom that never broke the top 30 but has achieved immortality through endless reruns. Dismissed by critics but loved by its young audience who identified with one of the "three very lovely girls" or the three Brady boys. Kimberly Potts has created an affectionate and intriguing look at the sitcom that has spawned numerous reunions, parodies, and even Internet memes. She also paints a sensitive portrayal of Read if you: Want a behind-the-scenes look at an iconic sitcom. Here's a story....about a sitcom that never broke the top 30 but has achieved immortality through endless reruns. Dismissed by critics but loved by its young audience who identified with one of the "three very lovely girls" or the three Brady boys. Kimberly Potts has created an affectionate and intriguing look at the sitcom that has spawned numerous reunions, parodies, and even Internet memes. She also paints a sensitive portrayal of Robert Reed, who openly mocked the show but had great affection for his young co-stars. Get this for your Gen X library patrons or your favorite Gen Xer in your life.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Kernene

    I must first admit that I love the Brady Bunch! I have watched all of the shows, spin-offs, etc. including the house renovation season on HGTV. But this is the first book I have read about the show. I found this book to be fun to read, giving inside scoops on the show and behind the scenes. Now some of it I already knew, but not everything. I really did like reading this book. I found it was well written and easy to read. It did not take me long to read it. If you love the Brady Bunch, I do I must first admit that I love the Brady Bunch! I have watched all of the shows, spin-offs, etc. including the house renovation season on HGTV. But this is the first book I have read about the show. I found this book to be fun to read, giving inside scoops on the show and behind the scenes. Now some of it I already knew, but not everything. I really did like reading this book. I found it was well written and easy to read. It did not take me long to read it. If you love the Brady Bunch, I do recommend it~

  21. 4 out of 5

    Belva

    Growing up in the seventies, I was obsessed with the Brady Bunch and could hardly wait to get off the school bus to watch it in the afternoons. So this book was like a revisit to a lost part of my childhood. It was interesting to read about how the show got it's start and lots of behind the scenes trivia. It inspired me to spend a weekend watching old episodes...boy, they sure don't make tv shows like that anymore. My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a galley of this book and Growing up in the seventies, I was obsessed with the Brady Bunch and could hardly wait to get off the school bus to watch it in the afternoons. So this book was like a revisit to a lost part of my childhood. It was interesting to read about how the show got it's start and lots of behind the scenes trivia. It inspired me to spend a weekend watching old episodes...boy, they sure don't make tv shows like that anymore. My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a galley of this book and for the nostalgic trip down memory lane.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Mcbroom

    Growing up The Brady Bunch was one of my favorite TV Shows, I was a latch key child, and Iloved the togetherness of the show. As dilliusioned with the roleto ,e Robert Reed was the perfect father as my father was cold, distant and moody. Now enough of my angst, the book has trivia and tidbits in the book. The show is one of Spike Lee and Michelle Obama's favorite shows. I even got fashion tips from Maureen McCormick's wardrobe. A love letter to a show that may not have been high in the ratings Growing up The Brady Bunch was one of my favorite TV Shows, I was a latch key child, and Iloved the togetherness of the show. As dilliusioned with the roleto ,e Robert Reed was the perfect father as my father was cold, distant and moody. Now enough of my angst, the book has trivia and tidbits in the book. The show is one of Spike Lee and Michelle Obama's favorite shows. I even got fashion tips from Maureen McCormick's wardrobe. A love letter to a show that may not have been high in the ratings but nevertheless a most beloved TV Show.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Michael Ritchie

    Some interesting stories are told here, but oddly there is very little about the original shows themselves. This is more focused on the ways in which the Brady Bunch has remained in pop culture consciousness for 50 years. Unfortunately, much of the last third of the book amounts to simply rattling off TV shows that have made references to the Brady Bunch. Read this book for the more interesting first half; the rest is either skippable or skimable. (I do give the author points for treating the Some interesting stories are told here, but oddly there is very little about the original shows themselves. This is more focused on the ways in which the Brady Bunch has remained in pop culture consciousness for 50 years. Unfortunately, much of the last third of the book amounts to simply rattling off TV shows that have made references to the Brady Bunch. Read this book for the more interesting first half; the rest is either skippable or skimable. (I do give the author points for treating the story of Robert Reed in a non-sensationalistic way.)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    3.5 stars If you have read anything about the Bradys in the past, I am not sure you would learn anything new when reading this book. But it sure was fun spending some time behind the scenes with a series that was such a big part of my childhood. The Brady Bunch is timeless in so many ways, and I thoroughly enjoyed sharing it with my own daughters when they were young. The book is a wonderful reminder of why it was so important in the lives of so many kids.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Janilyn Kocher

    A fun, nostalgic look at the tv show that became more popular once it was off the air. It reveals what a jerk Reed was during the seasons about inane things and how some of the female cast members were prima donnas about showing up for later year events. The author does tend to extrapolate too much into areas of Brady-esque influence that didn't hold my interest. The funniest thing I learned was how Ann Davis was a lover of fast cars.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    This was a fun, fast read - just right for any fan of the show. Although I loved the show, I didn't know how it came into being, and I'd never heard some of the behind-the-scenes information the author shares. At times, the writing was a little convoluted (and the author apparently loves the word "titular," since she uses it at least a dozen times throughout the book), but it was easy to follow, and the book was fun to read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sue Fernandez

    Thank you to Net Galley and Grand Central Publishing for an e-ARC of this title in exchange for my honest review. I grew up with The Brady Bunch, and I haven't always loved the books that have been written. This one was very good, and I definitely recommend it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rose

    This is a wonderful look at everything Brady Bunch. If you loved the series then you will love this book. I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy free of charge. This is my honest and unbiased opinion of it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Exapno Mapcase

    It always helps when a writer is a fan of the product being written about. Potts writes with unabashed enthusiasm for this beloved sitcom, but isn’t afraid to write about the troubles, like Robert Reed series long disagreements with producer Sherwood Schwartz. Free review copy.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Suzin

    No real new information, no real dirt. However, it was written by an enthusiastic fan of the Brady Bunch, you can't help but get caught up into her love for the show and family. It was a nice read, nothing exciting but I did enjoy

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