September 14, 2009: As it's touched our lives so vehemently, it's always worth space (unlike Sherlock Holmes, for you dedicated readers) to add a few more insightful words about The Brady Bunch.
Unlike your typical past analyses, which focus on the more obvious elements of the show -- like how hot Marcia was, or Jan's ongoing self-esteem issues -- I thought I'd go a bit more in-depth, and examine the show not only in relation to Robert Reed's homosexuality, but Barry Williams' enjoyable and sometimes candid tome "Growing Up Brady" (where he shamelessly reveals his attraction to Florence Henderson, as well as the flagrant nepotism that tarnished the shaky reign of creator Sherwood Schwartz).
When considering the Brady family, I feel it's important to take an honest look at Mike's almost saintly involvement with each episode's problems (except of course the last, when he was sloppily written out of the script owing to Reed's refusal to participate -- and who can blame him, with such a silly storyline?!). While he generally played golf every Saturday morning -- and we all know his archietecture work kept him busy (and sometimes too busy, as was the case when Bebe Gallini sought his services), Mr. Brady was almost always around to lend an ear, float an epigram, or lovingly slap a bottom. My belief is that part of Mike's motivation to be such a dedicated husband and father lied in some inherent guilt woven into the character by the great Reed, who saw room to inject a modicum of his own gayness into the family dynamic. You see, Mike Brady, while obviously not the active alternative lifestyle individual that Reed was, may have had some very subtle latent tendencies at work. Part of his coping mechanism (and a handy manner of fostering his own denial) was to maintain a very busy lifestyle, coupled with a nagging need to always be available, never show his anger, and often give advances on allowances.
Another aspect of Mike's "condition" can be seen in relation to Alice Nelson. No raving beauty, Mike (who employed Alice long before Carol and her girls entered the picture) understandably holds no particular attraction toward her, and yet the comfort level he demonstrates with her in the household can be seen as another indicator of his latency.
Next time, I hope to examine some of the bedroom dynamics between Mike and Carol, and also discuss just what makes Marcia so hot.