The Brady Bunch

TV review by
Lucy Maher, Common Sense Media
The Brady Bunch TV Poster Image
Oh, my nose! '70s icon is family-friendly fare.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 31 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

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.

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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.

Sexy Stuff

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.

Language

"Gee" and "gosh," plus some sexist language like when the boys are mocked for acting "like a girl."

Consumerism

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.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bybenr1 June 20, 2016

Great show

Great show a lot cleaner than today's TV. They do tease people about acting like a girl. There are also a few references to sex, but they'll probably... Continue reading
Parent of a 6 year old Written byStepheresa December 24, 2013

Brady Brady Brady!

The Brady Bunch is mostly wholesome, but as the review notes there is a fair amount of sexism, balanced by the fact that in competitive situations the girls are... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old April 9, 2008

I love it!!!

It's the best show ever!
Kid, 12 years old March 29, 2013

A Show That Beats Nick Any Day!

I am 12 years old, and to tell you the truth, I have an extremely hard time finding good shows. Almost every Nickelodeon shows has cursing, TeenNick is too teen... Continue reading

What's the story?

In the iconic '70s sitcom THE BRADY BUNCH, a blended family tackles all sorts of life challenges together. When widowed architect Mike Brady (Robert Reed) met Carol (Florence Henderson), he knew immediately that she and her three girls -- Marcia (Maureen McCormick), Jan (Eve Plumb), and Cindy (Susan Olsen) -- were a perfect fit for him and his three sons, Greg (Barry Williams), Peter (Christopher Knight), and Bobby (Mike Lookinland). Also along for the ride is chipper housekeeper Alice (Ann B. Davis). Early in the series, the Bradys learn to deal with their new living arrangements, with the boys and girls fighting over bathroom time and chores. In later seasons (the show ran for five years, from 1969 to 1974), the kids deal with personal issues revolving around dating, cliques, and identity.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what (and who) should define a family. Parents and stepparents can also discuss the challenges of combining two families. How can new family members find ways to relate to one another? Why is it sometimes hard for kids to accept a stepparent? Do you think the Bradys' family harmony is realistic?

  • Is the Brady family wealthy or poor? What makes you think that? What kinds of things do the Brady kids have that a poor person wouldn't? What kinds of things do you have that the Brady kids don't?

  • The Brady Bunch is set in a time before the Internet or do-it-all phones and the family entertains itself in different ways than most modern families. What kinds of things do the Bradys do that your family doesn't? Would you like to try activities like putting on plays in the backyard?

TV details

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