This gem of a compilation is chock-full of the kind of television that simultaneously
made TV bizarre and insipid in the Seventies. It includes the opening credits sequences
for shows like Baretta and S.W.A.T., commercials for toys like the
Sno-Cone Snowman (that never worked like it did on the ads), and the Evel Kneivel
play set and tons of clips from long-forgotten cartoons. The worst thing about commercial
compilations, though, is when the awful realization sets in that you've been watching
30 minutes of ads!! The very thing that they invented the mute button on your
Who remembers that bizarre Jetsons hybrid, The Partridge Family 2200
A.D.? Or the cartoon Osmonds? There's The Bugaloos, the Banana Splits
(with a craaaazy musical number), H.R. Pufnstuf, and a weird, druggy installment
of Multiplication Rock with a very Tom Petty-ish character. I had forgotten
that the Hudson Brothers show had such a funky, rockin' theme song! Much more excruciating,
though, are the clips from the Donny and Marie variety hour, with the crapulently
clean-cut Mormon siblings doing some " I'm a little bit country -- I'm a
little bit rock & roll" duets, complete with chorus girls going through
the paces of a third-rate Busby Berkeley routine. Guess it's what you'd call an LSD
flashback. Oh, and Peter Frampton does "Show Me the Way" live, with Elton
John doing "The Bitch Is Back" (both of them object lessons in why punk
rock was inevitable).
Jan Brady (Eve Plumb) refused to participate in The Brady Variety Hour.
But the answer to the question, "How bad could TV really get back then?"
has to lie in the mercifully short-lived Brady Variety Hour. This has to be
one of the most vomit-inducing displays of wretchedness ever committed to videotape.
The whole miserable clan (replete with faux Eve Plumb, after the genuine article
said "No, thank you" to this little venture) stands on risers and halfheartedly
mouths the words to a disco medley, with Florence Henderson in a glittery pink gown
with pink boa, Robert Reed in a pumpkin-colored satin tux, and the rest of the brats
in similarly eye-wrenching polyester. Chorus girls swim, lights flash, synthesizers
warble, mirrored disco balls spin, and the Bradys cut up with each other in a most
appalling fashion among the five-dollar Vegas glitz. Yeesh.
If you're under 25, you'll get a good laugh. If you're over 30, it'll dislodge
a clot of fetid memories like a gas-filled corpse rising to the top of a hog-waste
Film Vault Suggested Links
The Brady Bunch (tv)
The Simpsons (tv)
The Singing Detective (tv)
Search for related videos at Reel.com
Search for more by Jan Brady at Reel.com
Search for related books at Amazon.com
Search for related music at Amazon.com
Rate this Film
If you don't want to vote on a film yet, and would like to know how
others voted, leave the rating selection as "Vote Here" and then click the
Cast Vote button.