My friends and I loved "The Brady Bunch" and "The Partridge Family," a fabulous Friday night ABC lineup from the 1970s. We loved it so much, my best friend and I even made up a game called Brady/Partridge. One of us would be Shirley and the other Carol and we would fritter away the afternoon in our make-believe worlds with our make-believe children and our make-believe story lines, where all problems were solved in 30 minutes or less and the worst word you heard was "stinker." But did we love these families equally? Do you?
If you lean toward the Brady's world, you had a maid named Alice, you were one of six siblings, a blended family, and you actually attended your parents' wedding. You got to sing in television talent shows and your family's primary mode of transportation was a wood-paneled station wagon. You got to meet celebrities like Davy Jones and athletes like Don Drysdale. Your mom was blonde and pretty and well-dressed and your dog Tiger started strong but eventually got phased out. Finally, your annoying cousin Oliver joined the family to make up for the fact that the children were (as we all were) growing up.
Your shenanigans included getting trapped in a meat locker; putting itching powder in your sister's sleeping bag; smoking; suffering an identity crisis; losing a locket; getting caught drawing unflattering cartoons of your teacher; turning into Johnny Bravo; suffering from tonsillitis and measles and either winning or losing (depending if you were a boy or girl) a huge green stamp competition where, "Everything counts, even Tiger, (-Jan Brady). And by the way, your family lasted five seasons.
If you lean toward the Partridge's world, you had a manager named Mr. Kincaid. You were one of five siblings and your dad just died, leaving your mom a widow. You were in a band and your family's primary mode of transportation was a psychedelic tour bus, with a warning sign on the back, "Careful, nervous mother driving." You didn't need celebrities appearing as themselves on your show because you were the celebrities. Your mom was blonde and pretty and well-dressed and your dog Simone never did start out strong, but was subsequently phased out anyway. Finally, your annoying neighbor Ricky gets to sing solo, trying to make up for the fact that the children were (as we all were) growing up.
Your shenanigans included getting Mr. Kincaid to sign your newly-formed band by placing a cassette player in his bathroom stall; falling mute at your first live appearance; playing Vegas; shop-lifting; getting a black eye from Jodie Foster; plenty of battles of the sexes; watching your mom date; getting skunked by a skunk; getting caught selling locks of your famous brother's hair (and his toothbrush, too); failing sex education; lots and lots of dating; and "Bolero! On your first date?" (Laurie Partridge). And by the way, your family lasted four seasons.
Brady or Partridge
So, the time has come for me to vote. Am I a Brady or a Partridge? This is very difficult, but here is my final answer. I am now, and forever will be, a Brady. I wonder what my 1970s best friend would say. TP, are you out there? And for that matter, what are you?