So now we’re on to Jan. Where does one even begin with Jan? It’s a gold mine of psycho, and I don’t even know where to start. Do I go with the wigged out Jan? Practical joker Jan? Imaginary boyfriend Jan? In the end, I went with Mrs. Magoo Jan and I’m glad I did. It’s laugh-out-loud funny.
At the beginning of the episode, we see Jan wobbling around aimlessly on her bike. Mike and Carol then receive a phone call from some man who apparently runs a local park? Or he hangs out there all day? Either way, it’s creepy. He tells the Brady parents that Jan has stolen a bike. This is a major deal to everyone, but seriously, I don’t know why. The bike was prettymuch identical to Jan’s bike – there was only a small dent to distinguish hers from another girl’s bike (and why didn’t the Brady boys fix that dent anyway?). Somehow, this is supposed to be evidence that Jan is having problems with her vision, though I don’t see why. Anyway, Mike and Carol then receive some more bad news about Jan – a note from her teacher that she is unfocused in class and her grades are slipping – they discover what the culprit for all these problems with Jan is: borderline personality disorder. No, actually, it’s her eyesight. Jan is horrified that she needs glasses, because she fears they will make her look goofy (nevermind the wig in a near future episode) and she is hot after some boy in her class. Prior to her glasses appointment, Mike takes the kids to a stoner photographer to have their picture taken as an anniversary surprise for Carol. Jan gets her glasses and she does all she can to avoid wearing them. She heads to the park because the guy she’s chasing is there, and she stashes her glasses. Upon her return home, she wobbles her bike right into the aforementioned family photo Mike was hiding up against a wall in the garage. She’s that blind. She could not see the wall in front of her. Greg helps her up, and, rather than alert his parents to Jan’s possible brain tumor, they inspect the photo and realize they need to redo their photo.
Jan comes up with the money to replace the photo without her father’s knowledge, which because of the scatterbrained photographer, requires the six kids to take another photograph, as he lost the negative. When Carol opens her gift on their anniversary, Mike sees Jan wearing her glasses in the photo, and realizes this is a retake. He grounds Jan from her bike, but finds out that’s a moot point when Jan reveals she sold her bike to pay for the retake. Aww.
After this episode, I asked my son, “So, how do you like The Brady Bunch?” His response? “It stinks.” But he watches it every time I put it on, so he can’t think it’s that bad.
Revelations of mine:
- How do they ride those bikes with those short skirts and dresses on?
- I would have loved for Jan to have had her own show after The Brady Bunch was cancelled. Something like “Jan in the City,” and she’s crazy.
- I laughed out loud every time she got on her bike and feigned blindness.
- The photographer was typical of the insulting humor I remember this show providing me in my youth.