Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sherwood Schwartz RIP

There was a made-for-TV movie, a docudrama, giving a behind-the-scenes view of The Brady Bunch. Peter and Jan made out in the dog house. Or was it Bobby and Cindy? I can't remember. Greg went on a date with Florence Henderson, of course.

At one point, the kids on the show were making extra money singing and dancing in Las Vegas. They demanded more episodes with singing and dancing in them. It'd help their career.

For some reason, they sent the kids to talk to Sherwood Schwartz. "Uncle Sherwood". He asked if there was anything else they wanted. Susan Olson wanted an episode where Cindy gets a pony. Christopher Knight wanted Peter to run away from home and become a juvenile delinquent.

Plus there was all the conflict between Shwartz and Robert Reed. Reed didn't want to do the show in the first place. Schwartz had actually wanted Gene Hackman for the role, but Hackman dodged that bullet.

Schwartz was upset. They were trying to take creative control of the show.

Creative control?

Well, Sherwood Schwartz has died at age 94.

I watched both Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch. I thought Gilligan's Island was more interesting artistically. But still, you watch them and it's still surprising how bad they are. They were never funny. Which was fine for the most part. To the kids watching, they were dramas.

There was an attempt to resurrect Gilligan's Island as sort of a Fantasy Island-type series. The castaways have been rescued and have opened a resort on the island. And it was only then that you realized that the premise of the original series wasn't bad---people trapped on an island trying to get rescued.

The Brady Bunch storylines seemed to focus on severe social embarrassment. Which was pretty good. It set the stage for Curb Your Enthusiasm. Try sitting through an episode of Saved by the Bell and you'll appreciate The Brady Bunch.

No comments: