Posts Tagged With: Bodily Harm

Halloween Special – Fright Night!

“Fright Night,” Season 4, Episode 6

We interrupt this blog to bring you a Brady Bunch Holiday Spectacular. Before Roseanne made Halloween a holiday to celebrate on TV, there were the Bradys. Well, not really. But they did do a couple of “scary” episodes, and today, in the spirit of the season, we bring you “Fright Night.” I didn’t plan on watching this one, but as we flipped through, my son spotted it and got excited, “Ooh! Ooh! Fright Night! I want that one!” He was looking forward to some Brady gore, and I was looking forward to seeing his reaction to a lack of Brady gore.

Fright Night opens with Carol and Mike in the den, or what we in the 2010’s call “the TV room.” In what I view as the only truly scary moment of the episode, Carol is sculpting a bust of Mike. She’s wearing an over-the-top groovy smock, and a ponytail, which is really funny to see with that flip-do of hers. Next we see the girls in bed, fast asleep until creepy noises emanate from the attic, waking Cindy and Jan. They look out of the window to see a ghost in the trees! Both scream in horror, waking Marcia and the parents, who inspect the attic and find the window open. On their way to bed, Mike and Carol hear the boys laughing in their room, and say to each other, “there’s our ghost,” but then choose to do nothing and go to bed instead. And then they’re surprised when there’s shenanegans the next night. Hello! Anyway, Marcia suspects the boys and that night the girls make a bet with the boys that they won’t sleep in the attic all night. The boys are dumb enough not to see through the girls’ fake fright and take them up on this offer. Alice sets them up in the basement, and soon, the boys hear Jan moaning and sobbing from the attic trunk. Soon afterward, a cellophane “ghost” emerges from the trunk and Bobby wets his pants. We don’t see that, but I know he did. Mike and Carol make the kids promise they will not scare each other anymore, saying someone could get hurt (this is a brilliant use of what professional writers call “foreshadowing”). In a conversation with Greg and Marcia, Alice reveals that she isn’t afraid of anything, including the “warewoofs” that Marcia mentions. This is all it takes for Greg to get his trial lawyer on and declare they can terrorize Alice because they only promised not to scare each other and they didn’t say anything about Alice. The kids then hatch a plan to scare Alice, and they’re so mean to the poor woman. All the adults leave the house, and the kids set up a screaming ghost that flies down the stairs by cutting holes in Carol’s bed sheets and nailing fishline to the walls. Yeah, Mom and Dad will never find out. And it would have worked too, except that Mike and Carol return home first and set off the trap. As Mike moves to turn on the lights, Alice returns home and gets spooked at nothing and destroys the bust of Mike that Carol labored over by smashing it with her purse. I want to know what she carries in that thing – her live savings in nickels perhaps? The kids learn a lesson about pranks and hurting people, they get grounded, and everyone has a good laugh. Queue closing theme and individual squares of the Brady’s laughing in front of the blue screen popping up at random as we fade out.

While my boy doesn’t ask to watch the Brady’s, he doesn’t protest either. Once it’s on, he will sit transfixed. I imagine this was me after school in 1978 as well. He, like me back then, seems resigned to it. He seems to get the lame beauty of The Brady Bunch. This pleases me. While we watched the show, my son said he would “punch that ghost” that appeared in the yard. As Alice settled the boys into the attic, my son perked up. He said, “I think the girls might’ve done something!” You could hear the anticipation in his voice. When the cellophane ghost emerged, he looked disappointed and said, “I can totally tell that’s made of plastic.” When the episode ended I asked him, “So, was it scary.” He gave me probably the best eyeroll and “bitchplease” look of his life. I asked if it was funny and he said, “Nope. Can I play Dead Rising 2 now?”

Revelations of Mine:

  • Cindy even sleeps in braids and curls. I imagine hers was the most painful pre-show make-up and wardrobe session of the cast.
  • The girls wear very sensible shoes at all times. Never noticed the shoes before.
  • Hello? Is it me you’re looking for?

Most humiliating moment for Alice in this episode: either being dumb enough to smash a statue in fright, or when Sam called and she said she wanted to see a movie at the drive-in that they’ve already seen. Ugh. I just don’t want to think about that.

Next time, we return to our previously scheduled episode, “The Drummer Boy.”

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The Subject was Noses

“The Subject was Noses.” Season 4, Episode 18

Doug “Big Man on Campus” Simpson asks Marcia to the dance on Saturday, but then she remembers that she already has a date for Saturday night with a ginger boy (and wallpaper store heir) named Charley. She consults with Greg, asking him how he breaks his dates, and Greg advises her to use the line, “something suddenly came up.” Then they share an evil laugh regarding their mutual meanness (this is a family blog so I choose my words carefully). Marcia cancels her plans with Charley, and then we all watch with glee as she gets hit in the face with a football. Her nose is a disaster, and Doug “Big Man on Campus” Simpson then cancels on Marcia, telling her, “something suddenly came up.” Marcia dreams that night about her accident, and we are treated to repeated viewings of her face being smashed. When she wakes up in the morning, her nose has healed, and the Big Man on Campus decides he can be seen with Marcia after all. Marcia, however, turns him down. She then confesses to Charley that she ditched him in favor of the Big Man on Campus, but that she will now make his year by allowing him to take her out on Saturday and spend his hard-earned wallpaper delivery money on her. Lucky Charley! He is so overcome by his good fortune that he ties his shoe to the bench he was sitting on. Meanwhile, Mike and Carol can’t agree on which wallpaper to use for their bedroom. Hilarity ensues.

My son made me proud when he cackled loudly every time they showed Marcia get hit in the face with the football. Also, he would have gone with the striped wallpaper, if forced to choose.

Revelations of mine:

  • As far as Brady Bunch episodes go, this is one of my favorite. Maybe it’s the slow-burning anger that has been residing inside of me lately, but I find the repetition of the football making contact with Marcia’s face cathartic. Whoever edited this episode was a genius and is quite possibly my spirit guide.
  • I could not help but think of the Brady Bunch Movie of the 90’s while watching this episode. The movie displayed the Brady’s in over-the-top fashion, but they prettymuch presented this incident verbatim. There really is no other way. The swollen nose was spectacular, and Marcia is even more narcissistic than I remember. It’s already over-the-top so there was nowhere to go.
  • My first re-viewing of a Brady bicycle repair! I am sure there are many more to come.
  • When Marcia told Charley, “You can take me out Saturday night,” I turned to my son and said, “don’t ever date a girl who treats you like that!” He gave me a disgusted look. He hates girls.
  • Doug “Big Man on Campus” Simpson was not cute. In fact, he was quite ugly. It wasn’t just the awful hair and clothes. He also looked to be about 40 years old. Sorry if you’re reading this, Doug, but you’re not attractive.

Most humiliating moment for Alice in this episode: having paint slapped across her face when she opened the door to Carol and Mike’s bedroom (They couldn’t decide on a wallpaper pattern so they went with paint instead, and made it a fun family event with all the kids paining. I cannot even imagine what would occur if we decided to do that in my house.)

Next Viewing: “The Personality Kid”

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