So here we go with Season One, presumably before Florence Henderson and Barry Williamswere carrying on behind the scenes (one hopes). Here is the pilot episode (wherein the LovelyLady and the Man Named Brady tie the knot). The first season also has such episodes as theone where the parents switch roles in looking after the kids, the one where Peter’s pride in beinga hero drives everyone else nuts, and the one where the kids try to convince prospective buyersthat their home …s haunted.
I’m astonished that it has taken so long for this series to hit DVD, given its importance toGeneration X (who are certainly being catered to by the nostalgia market these days). I can’tbelieve that it was purely the demand of the marketplace that allowed Punky Brewsterto beat The Brady Bunch to the shelves. Anyway, as for the series itself, let’s just say thatyou can’t go home again. Its position as a pop culture icon is undeniable. But as comedy, it’spretty thin gruel.
The sound is mono, so the series sounds just as mediocre as you remember! There is somebuzz on the dialogue (but not too much). I kid a bit here, but the audio is really as good as onecould reasonably expect, and a stereo remix would have been unnecessary and ill-advised.
The picture isn’t bad, given the age of the series, but it has its flaws. There is some damageto the opening frames of the pilot, and throughout the episodes, some shots are a bit grainier thanothers. The same is true for the level of sharpness. The colours are solid, and the oranges andreds are as garishly bright as they should be.
Not that much here, considering the popularity of the series. Creator Sherwood Schwartzcomments on the pilot episode, and a fair bit of what he says here turns up again on thefeaturette. This extra runs under twenty minutes, and has new interviews with a good chunk ofthe cast. It’s all very good-natured, but not very in-depth. Barry Knight (Greg), ChristopherKnight (Peter) and Susan Olsen (Cindy) provide commentary tracks for two episodes: “A-Camping We Will Go” and “The Hero.” The tone is rather amusingly sardonic, but the talk isn’talways very informative. Disc 1 has some other TV-related previews as well, if you count thatas an extra (I don’t). The menu is basic.
For those who wanted this, it’s more than past time for this release. The package is solidenough, but the extras could be a lot more generous.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentaries
- “The Brady Bunch — Coming Together Under One Roof” Featurette