A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Though the program is not implicitly educational, kids will be exposed to messages about cooperating, getting along, and listening to authority figures, in this case, the Brady parents. We also frequently see the Brady kids at school, dealing with peers, teachers, and their studies.
Both the kids and parents on The Brady Bunch are always loyal to their family and try to do the right thing. Characters on the show make mistakes and learn from them, usually apologizing and atoning for their errors. The Brady Bunch also offers a positive image of blended families and step parents. Lessons such as "it's wrong to cheat" are clear and woven into the plot of episodes.
Positive Role Models
The kids squabble and get jealous of one another sometimes (Jan is particularly envious of Marcia), but it always works out thanks to Mom and Dad. Very little racial/ethnic diversity. Each of the characters on the show has a moral compass and tries to do the right thing.
Violence & Scariness
Very occasionally there will be mild sibling wrestling or a schoolyard fight.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The Brady kids go on dates, but they're about as innocent as can be. There is some talk of kissing. Mr. and Mrs. Brady are often shown cuddling in bed, and one will often make a mild entendre: "Time to put your paper down, Mrs. Brady," Mike will say, signaling that it's time for sex. Younger kids probably won't notice, though.
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"Gee" and "gosh," plus some sexist language like when the boys are mocked for acting "like a girl."
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Products & Purchases
There's still some Brady merchandise out there: lunch boxes, bubble gum cards, and the like. Kids may want to buy these things if they enjoy this show.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that although The Brady Bunch is one of TV's most iconic shows, modern kids may find it slow-moving or a little dull. Teens and tweens in particular may find it a bit hokey, with its portraits of ultra-squeaky-clean kids who go to pom-pom girl auditions and hope to win essay contests. But viewers who don't mind the wholesome tone and slow pace will find much to like, in particular the sweetness of the Brady family bonds. There's little to worry parents on The Brady Bunch; even the teen Bradys don't drink, smoke, swear, sneak off to have sex, or sass their parents. Modern viewers will, however, notice some vintage sexism: the Brady boys often tease each other for acting "like a girl." The racial politics of the 1970s are also on display, with characters of color popping up only infrequently, like at a party, where they seem like tokens and not really characters at all.
Is It Any Good?
Adults will no doubt watch The Brady Bunch with nostalgic fondness, remembering when they first watched the Bradys build a card house, go to Hawaii, or camp in the Grand Canyon. Parents eager for some quality TV may have fun revisiting their favorite episodes with younger viewers, but kids past the tween stage may not see the appeal quite as much.
However, this show is still winningly sweet and may even be refreshing for viewers fed up with the motor-mouthed, sardonic kids on today's television shows. Even though the Brady kids sometimes argue, they're always down for each other in the clinch. They're supportive when things are going right, too: A Brady kid who wins an honor will be treated to backslaps and cheering from his or her sibs. And Mom and Dad are always there to help out when things go wrong, never distracted by email or Facebook. Each show tries to impart a lesson: cheating is bad, you shouldn't accuse someone of a misdeed if you don't know what really happened. The Brady values are timeless, even if some of the hairstyles and outfits have aged badly.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.