When Did The Brady Bunch Jump the Shark?
Today, we look at when (or if) you folks believe that The Brady Bunch “jumped the shark.”
This is “Just Can’t Jump It,” a feature where we examine shows and whether they “jumped the shark.” Jumped the shark (coined by Jon Hein) means that the show had a specific point in time where, in retrospect, you realize that show was going downhill from there (even if, in some rare occasions, the show later course-corrected). Not every show DOES jump the shark. Some shows just remain good all the way through. And some shows are terrible all the way through. What we’re looking for are moments where a show that you otherwise enjoyed hit a point where it took a noticeable nose dive after that time and if so, what moment was that?
The Brady Bunch was a popular family sitcom about a man named Brady (Robert Reed) with three sons (Barry Williams, Christopher Knight and Mike Lookinland) who met a lovely lady (Florence Henderson) with three daughters of her own (Maureen McCormick, Eve Plumb and Susan Olsen). The show ran five seasons, but amusingly, after the show was canceled, the show became a sensation in syndication, and has remained an iconic series ever since.
So first…DID IT JUMP THE SHARK? Definitely.
WHEN DID IT JUMP THE SHARK I mean, everyone wants to say Season 5’s “Welcome Aboard,” which introduced Cousin Oliver to the show. Robby Rist was a good child actor, but obviously he didn’t fit on the show. However, here’s my thing, the show was already terrible by that point, ya know? By mid-Season 5, the show had clearly run out of plots. So I’m going to go with “My Brother’s Keeper,” where Bobby saves Peter’s life, and Peter becomes his slave. It’s so, so, so unbelievably dumb. It’s the sort of thing you come up when you have no other plots available and think, “What’s the dumbest sitcom plot that we could do?” EDITED TO ADD: I totally forgot that it even involved a line on the floor of their bedroom! It was overflowing with dumb sitcom gags! So I think the show had jumped before Oliver got there, so, really, poor Oliver has received a bad break by getting blamed for everything!
Let me know what you think in the comments or on social media!
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5 thoughts on “When Did The Brady Bunch Jump the Shark?”
I would say the three parter in Hawaii with the evil idol. It’s just so goofy.
This is such a strange series. It was so nondescript and ordinary when originally broadcast but became such a huge deal in reruns. While I don’t hate the show I just can’t understand its transformation. Why it isn’t as forgotten as the Partridge Family I’ll never know!
My pal, Bill, thinks that it is the sheer bizarreness of some of the episodes, like “Marcia Marcia Marcia” or the tiki idol or Marcia getting hit in the nose.
I think it was when they tried to make the Singing Brady Kids into a standard plot. Aargh – Johnny Bravo was season five – so that would be later than Brian’s choice.
No, Johnny Bravo was a few episodes before my choice. Season 5, honestly, seems like a decent enough answer in and of itself.
I have a special hatred for “Kelly’s Kids,” but as deep into Season 5 as that was, the show had jumped long before that. I’d claim it was the three-part opener to Season 3 in the Grand Canyon, when the show essentially became a live-action Scooby-Doo episode. (And as fun as that sounds, it wasn’t.) There are some great episodes still yet to come for the show, but this was the point for me where they realized nothing had to make any sense whatsoever–and they’d do it all Hawaiian-style the very next season.