Wednesday, March 5, 2008

What I've Learned from Watching TV

The best thing about reading all of my co-bloggers' entries is that I learn something new about them every week. Last week, it was that Marian (like me) can’t write sex scenes. And the week before that, it was that Rhonda loves television, seemingly, as much as I do. I almost wept with joy. Because I don’t know if it’s the same where you live, but I seem to reside in an area where television is both disdained and deplored.

I consider myself pretty well-read and educated, yet I love television and feel that some of my most important life lessons have come from watching the tube. And my all-time favorite show? “The Brady Bunch.” God forbid there is a marathon on TV Land, because I’ll drop everything. I drop Bradyisms into conversation with regularity.

Let me share a few of the things I've learned.

At a recent dinner party, one of our friend’s sons threw a ball and knocked over a vase. My reaction? To exclaim, “Mom always said, ‘Don’t play ball in the house!’” a classic line that was uttered by Bobby to Peter after Carol had admonished the boys about horseplay in the Brady split level. Most of the partygoers nodded in agreement; they knew that the Brady’s had this gem and many others. What could be more true after all? I also learned some wicked cool cheers from one of the cheerleading episodes. Who, after a glass of wine or two, hasn’t gotten up in the middle of the living room, shouting “F-F-F-I-L, L-L-L-M-O, O-O-O-R-E, FILLMORE JUNIOR HIGH!” just like Greg’s girlfriend?

Just me? I don’t believe you. Come on. Come clean. It feels good.

Other things I learned:

Never wait for the man to ask your hand in marriage. For an example, see Sam the Butcher’s courtship of Alice. Fortunately, my husband proposed with a bit more expediency than Sam, who at the end of the series, was still courting Alice, bringing her ground round as a romantic gesture of his love. Alice? Still single.

If you see an idol in Hawaii, DON’T PICK IT UP! Otherwise, you’ll lose the surfing contest, have a tarantula crawl up your leg while in bed, or misplace the important architecture blueprints. It’s just not worth. You can buy an idol at the local giftshop that probably doesn’t have a hex on it or will bring a pox on your family.

If you don’t have a boyfriend, don’t pretend that you have one, and especially, don’t give him the pretend name of “George Glass.” Everyone will see right through it, no pun intended. And then you’ll just look pathetic. (That means you, Jan.) Do it the old-fashioned way and pretend you can’t do your French homework so that the cute guy in your French class will come over and help you. It worked for me. (I can’t speak a word of French, by the way, despite a French major and a French-teacher husband.)

If you want to make a lot of money, not work very hard, and take a lot of vacations, become an architect. Did anyone work less than Mike Brady? Sure, he talked about the Anderson account incessantly, but I never did see him actually work on the Anderson account. Those Andersons must be pretty ticked off by now...and have limited shelter options if their architecture needs were left up to Mike Brady.

And I learned that family is all you need, love and understanding solve every problem, and all the words to the Davey Jones’ song, “Girl.” I challenge you to top that with something that you learned from reading a newspaper. Can’t come up with anything? I didn’t think so.

Maggie Barbieri


  1. Okay, Okay, I confess. I love television too.

    One of my career goals in life was to be a writer on "All My Children." Never made it (sigh), but I did get to interview lots of the daytime stars for soap mags, before moving on to writing mysteries!


  2. And who could ever forget......"We're gonna keep on, keep on, keep on, keep on dancing all through the night; we're gonna keep on, keep on, keep on doing it right...." by the Silver Platters, or those groovy costumes worn by the Brady Six? I learned some of my best dance moves from the Brady Bunch!

  3. I almost used the whole Greg/Johnny Bravo story line to talk about how if something seems too good to be true, it usually is. I could go on and on and much learned from our friends in the California modern (that's the only house-type I could come up with for what their house was), so little time. Maggie

  4. "When it's time to change, you've got to rearrange, who you are and what you're going to be! Sha na na na na na! Sha na na na na." I even purchased the record.


  5. Remember--if they hadn't done that song, Rhonda, Peter never would have been able to participate with his rapidly-changing voice. I think I had the album, too.

    Wow--lots of discussion the BB; maybe I'll write about the Partridge Family next week. They put the FUN in dysfunctional family. Maggie