Chris Johnson

For ‘Brady Bunch’ 50th anniversary, we need a reboot with episodes like these

It’s hard to believe, but “The Brady Bunch” turns 50 this year. Yep, Bobby, Peter and Greg and their sisters with their “hair of gold” all have AARP cards now and get free coffees at McDonald’s. And Tiger is now 358 years old in dog years and embarrassingly trying to stay relevant with his “Old Dog, New Tricks” reality series on Animal Planet.

The show debuted in 1969 and somehow made it five whole seasons, though most folks my age got to know the Bradys through reruns on stations like TBS. I certainly don’t recall seeing any original episodes. After all, I was still in the womb the show’s whole first season. It was hard to follow the plots because the sound was all muffled. “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” sounded more like “mmmhha, mmmhha, mmmhha” and left me wondering what Jan was so upset about.

“Brady Bunch” reruns were an afternoon staple when I was in middle school, along with “The Flintstones,” “The Munsters,” “Space Giants” and other such fine programs. None of them would make it with today’s kids, though. “The Flintstones” isn’t edgy enough compared to shows like “Family Guy” and “The Simpsons.” “Space Giants” had terrible special effects — you could see the zipper in the backs of some of the monsters stomping on cardboard cities. And compared to families like the Kardashians, the Munster and Addams families seem refreshingly normal and down-to-earth.

In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of “The Brady Bunch,” HGTV currently has a series called “A Very Brady Renovation” in which the Brady kids are working with HGTV stars to renovate the actual Studio City, California, house used for the exterior shots on the show. They are making the inside look just like the rooms from the show that were actually on a sound stage. Why anyone would want a house to look like that, I’m not sure. Or maybe orange counter tops and artificial turf backyards are in style. On second thought, between fighting armadillos and cutting the grass in 100 degree heat, I’m coming around on the idea of an artificial turf yard. Orange counter tops, not so much.

It’s one thing to bring the Brady’s back for an HGTV reality show. It would be a whole other ballgame to try to reboot “The Brady Bunch” for today’s television. Outlets like HBO, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and YouTube have pushed the boundaries and blown-up taboos. A bold producer and scriptwriter, though, could tackle the challenge. I’m speaking, of course, of someone like myself. Here are few episodes I’ve rewritten for a potential “Brady Bunch” reboot:

Episode 6: When the boys refuse to let the girls enter their clubhouse, the girls build their own, only to have it fall down. When the boys laugh at them, Jan burns down the boys’ clubhouse. Peter perishes in the blaze.

Episode 7: Cindy gets upset when Kitty Karry-All goes missing. The family is relieved when they find Kitty Karry-All but unnerved when they realize Kitty Karry-All is not a doll but Cindy’s nickname for her AR-15. The Bradys become much nicer to Cindy.

Episode 39: After Greg is falsely accused of smoking cigarettes, everyone realizes he and his friend Tommy have accidentally swapped jackets. When Greg hands Tommy his jacket, a cigarette pack falls out, along with a joint, a crack pipe, and eight rocks of crystal meth.

Episode 61: Marcia tells everyone she can get The Monkees’ Davy Jones to perform at a school dance, which they doubt because Davy Jones has been dead since 2012. They all apologize when zombie Davy Jones shows up, performs “Girl” and eats three students.

Episode 73: A tiki brings Greg bad luck during a surfing competition while the Bradys vacation in Hawaii as Greg wipes out and loses his left leg.

Episode 96: After the kids perform a song, talent scouts convince Greg to go off on his own as a rapper, Lil Johnny Bravo. Mike then sits Greg down for a lecture after Greg comes home with the word “killa” tattooed across his forehead.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I gotta answer this phone. I bet it’s Netflix calling.

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