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am 23. Mai 2000
If it were up to me, Barry Williams would never have another door slammed in his face, Maureen McCormick would see her country album sell like hotcakes, Robert Reed would still be alive and getting roles worthy of his talents, and the world would be a lot more like The Brady Bunch than it is. But, alas, it's not up to me, so we have to deal with the bitter reality that our entertainment industry uses people - particularly children - then discards them. It's not fair, and I wish something could be done about it, but, for the life of me, I don't know what that would be. How painful it must be to be forever judged by what you did and how you looked as a teenager. How hard it must be as an actor to have doors slammed in your face because you accepted a role on a sitcom as a child, all the while receiving no residuals for your work. How difficult it must be to reflect on your entire adult life and see one professional embarrassment after another, all traced back to the good work you did as a kid. How disheartening it must be to look into your future and see nothing but cheap movies, TV guest appearances, and reading children's books at Target on the horizon. It isn't fair, and we should look deep down inside ourselves as a culture for both the blame and the solution.
The world is sometimes a place of harsh realities. For Barry Williams and the other cast regulars, playing on the show brought with it the harsh reality that their careers as actors all but ended when the show ended. As the fate of the series went, so went the fate of its stars, particularly its child stars. Oh, sure, there have been numerous sequels, spin-offs, etc., but, in reality, the sausage machine that is Hollywood all but ended these kids' careers before they began. Forever typecast as their TV characters, they are caught in an entertainer's purgatory: they are inherently disadvantaged when seeking new roles, while, at the same time, receiving no compensation for the original role. All people are interested in are those five brief years when they were doing their best to grow up on a soundstage in between rehearsals and shooting a TV show. Their lives and work since the show are not terribly interesting to the masses. Indeed, if people had it their way, the kids would never grow up. Barry would always be Greg, and Maureen would always be Marcia.
We make fun of the clothes, but they were normal for the time. We make fun of the lingo, but it, too, was commonplace. We make fun of the idealistic manner in which the show portrayed family situations, but we all know it's just a TV show. I mean, why watch TV if all you want is realism? Look around you, or look out your window if all you want is real life. Isn't there a place for the idyllic? Don't we sometimes tune into programs to get *away* from reality - for their inherent escapism? Why, then, should we take this show to task for portraying life optimistically? Are any of us naïve enough to believe that real life always works out as we'd like? What's wrong with wishing?
Barry and Maureen, Robert and Florence, and the others were and are real people. They deserved better than this. If Williams' book makes any lasting impression, it is this one: these are real people who had real lives that were stolen by "the business." They do not want or need pity; they only want opportunities. If this book proves anything, it proves that they deserve them.
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am 7. April 2000
What a lot of memories this book brought back, not only of one of the most famous TV families, but also the terrible clothes! I really enjoyed reading this book because it is written in such a humorous style and was actually shocked to discover that when reading the synopsis of each episode at the end of the book I actually remembered each one - and I haven't seen the programme in years! However, I laughed all the way through the descriptions and am so pleased that Barry Williams wrote the book in way that made it such a pleasure to read. If you are a Brady fan, or if you were one as a child and have fond memories of the programme, I suggest you check this book out because it will certainly bring back a lot of memories and the humour of the author is priceless. I was also pleased that included in the book is an update on what the other actors/actresses are doing and that there were quotes included from them, and that the book also included details about the creator not restricting the book to the cast. Apart from the written content there is a good selection of photos although it is a shame they are all in black and white.
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am 26. Mai 2000
I wouldn't mind seeing this book turned into a regular television series. Both the book and the TV movie based on it were surprisingly entertaining. A continual look behind the scenes at this undeniable slice of Americana would be entertaining, as well, methinks, and a whole new generation could meet the Bradys.
FWIW, I think Williams' recollections are humorous and informative. He is humble, centered, and comes across as neither embittered nor vengeful. It would seem that he's made the best of a situation that is at times unfair and unfortunate, and you have to respect him for that.
One tidbit that surprised me was his relationship with Maureen McCormick. I guess I'm not up on all the Brady trivia, but I'd never heard this. Such a shame that they let what they had slip away -- I wonder if they still think of one another.
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am 25. Juli 2000
Accomplished actor, musician, and now author--move over Howard Stern, BARRY WILLIAMS is the true king of all media. This book was exciting even BEFORE page 1...the cover is scratch and sniff! Did you ever get the feeling that there was more to the Brady clan than just an astro-turf lawn? Read all of the scandolous details that were meticulously chronicled by Williams, including: Cousin Oliver's homophobia, Alice's toupee, and even Sam the Butcher's foot fetish. Did you know that the original script penned for the Hawaiian vacation special actually contained a nude scene between Mike and Carol Brady? or that Peter experimented with Neo-nazi-ism in the midst of season 3? This is THE book to read for a day at the beach or at a funeral and should not be ignored by any reader. Thank you, Jesus.
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am 26. Mai 2000
I wish you people would lay off this guy. You want to cast him as a parasite on the Brady franchise when, in fact, he's a victim of it. The book is well done -- it's quite entertaining, even to me, though I'm not a die-hard Brady fan. Faced with the decision to 1) never get a decent role again due to his association with the show 2) get the roles he could while continuing an association with the show, or, 3) get out of the business altogether, I'm glad Barry Williams chose #2. It was all he could really do. You people who think otherwise should try to put yourself in his position.
And people who think the obligatory episode guide at the back of the book should be accurate in every detail are being silly. Who cares? Get a life! You're missing the whole point!
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am 26. Mai 2000
I enjoyed this one immensely. I'm not a Brady fan, per se, though I did watch the show a bit when I was a kid. I got this book as a present and have enjoyed it a great deal. I especially liked Robert Reed's forward and his many "memos" to the studio brass. I had no idea he was so articulate. Also intriguing was the relationship between Barry and Maureen. It's too bad that that relationship went south, it would seem, for no good reason. Two people with so much in common and with such obvious love for one another should have had a better turn of it. It's really too bad.
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am 15. April 2000
The new edition of Growing Up Brady is flooded with mistakes-almost just like the old one!The new version's mistakes hit hard and numerously especially when the episodes are being described.A police captain in the U.F.O. episode is wrongly identified as being with the air force(to give just one example).Also, characters are sometimes misquoted.All in all,book is rather unreliable and a complete waste of time and money!
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am 14. Juli 2000
This book offers a bunch of behind the scenes stories about the show and the actors who made it a classic. This book will shock you, and tell you about things that happened behind the set that could never have dreamed of, including Barry William's "date" with Florence Henderson. You are not a true Brady fan until you have read this book. A MUST for all fans.
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am 4. Juli 2000
This is a readable book, with numerous juicy tidbits of behind-the-stage gossip about the show. Unfortunately, typos and downright careless mistakes abound throughout the text. Even the word "foreword" is misspelled as "forward" on the book's cover. The publishers did Barry NO favors when they produced this volume!
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am 15. Januar 2000
I have every Brady Bunch Book ever written, and this is, BY FAR, the BEST of them all! I strongly recommend it to anybody who wants the BEST book they can GET on the Brady Bunch! ~Cindy! I love to talk about the Brady Bunch! E-mail me! I am *SO* much like Cindy! <sigh> ! (BradyCindy@aol.com)
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