Am höchsten bewertete positive Rezension
Great book; lots of delightful insights and wry humor
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.