The Partridge Family vs. The Brady Bunch

Ladies, and gentleman this will be the final installment of Friday Face Off! (For now. Mostly because I can’t think of any other match-ups at the moment.)

Last week’s very special winner is: THE GOLDEN GIRLS! No one should be surprised by this. You’ve all already expressed your undying love for The Golden Girls.

And today, we see the final showdown of the age old question “Who is better, The Partridge Family or The Brady Bunch?” Both shows traveled to Ohio to visit the Kings Island Theme Park. They both live in Calfornia, but I guess Disneyland wasn’t cutting it for them.

The Partridge Family: I Left My Heart in Cincinnati
The Partridges are actually at Kings Island for a gig. These people are always working. They don’t even have time for a family vacation.

Keith won’t go on any of the rides after the show because he gets motion sickness and is afraid of heights.At this point in the show, David Cassidy was so popular and perfect, I think they had to start giving him ridiculous character flaws to explain why he was playing minor gigs in a family band instead of being the massive teen idol he was in the real world. Kind of like how they make pretty and fabulous women klutz’s in romcoms. Like “Oh she’s so unsuccessful even though she’s smart and gorgeous because she runs into things and falls over a lot.”

So it’s kind of like “Oh he’s stuck in a family band that plays at theme parks because he’s decided he can’t handle leaving the hotel room. This guy could never fly in a private jet to arena shows.” Then a hot PR woman (Mary Ann Mobly) shows up and wants to make their stay at the amusement park awesome, so Keith kind of has to follow his hormones and leave the hotel room.

Anyway, this lady is old enough to drink vodka on the rocks and we’re all led to believe that David Cassidy is 17 in this show, so he ends up trying to impress her by diving into the pool. He belly flops and Danny has to fish him out of the pool. Eventually, he rides all of the rides to impress this woman, and we get to endure this as a very long montage with 70’s department store music.

We come to learn that Danny is also in love with Mary Ann Mobly, and Keith is all like mom go tell him he’s just a child! And she’s all like Keith can you not see the irony here? And Keith is all like OMG I AM ALSO A CHILD! So then Keith decides to talk to Danny about why neither of them can date this thirty year old woman. Danny is refuses to listen to Keith, but Mary Ann Mobly ends up going on a “date” with their 8 year-old little bro anyway. They go to see Dracula Bites the World. Then we’re stuck watching another ridiculously long montage, but this one at least has David Cassidy singing.

The Brady Bunch: The Cincinnati Kids
The Bradys are also at Kings Island for work. Mike needs to present some architectural plans to the Kings Island folks. We are now five minutes into the show, and I feel like all we have seen is montages. But we do see Jan, Marcia, Alice, and Carol slide down a massive luge-type slide and it’s pretty much my only goal in life at this moment to alice be able to slide down that slide. 

Greg meets a girl named Marge and decides to chase her around the park. Then everyone rides roller-coasters. Bobby and Cindy eat too much junk food. There may not be as much plot here, but as far as promotional episodes go, I’m way more interested in this amusement park as presented by The Bradys than The Partridges.

Oh wait here come the plot. Jan buys a stupid poster for a kid she babysits for and harasses her dad into combining his drafts into one cylinder instead of two, so she can use the other for her stupid poster. CLEARLY THESE TWO CYLINDERS ARE GOING TO GET MIXED UP, RIGHT?? So yeah, Mike Brady takes a Yogi Bear poster to his meeting and has to track Jan down in less than half an hour. THIS IS BEFORE CELL PHONES, PEOPLE!

Jan is busy driving Marcia around in the fancy old cars that Keith drove Lori in when The Partridges made this same visit. In the meantime, she’s lost the poster. WHICH IS REALLY THE ARCHITECTURAL PLANS! But once again, this is a clever promotion because The Bradys have to go through all of the rides looking for where Jan might have dropped the cylinder. Jan finally finds the cylinder in the bottom of a boat, and now it’s a footrace to deliver the plans in time. The Bradys relay race the cylinder to the manager’s office. But don’t worry, they make it just in time.

The Partridge Family: Road Song

The Partridges are on tour in New Mexico and eating at a restaurant that has managed to defy the health inspector even though it is infested with flies. This is the best part of this show I think. I mean here they have David Cassidy but in the Partridge-Universe they are only famous enough to be playing at Shriner’s clubs and hotel bar’s.

So while they are having a nice family dinner in a disgusting diner, this teenage girl comes up to them and says she saw their bus outside and is hoping they could give her a lift to Albuquerque. (I feel like there’s going to be a song with Albuquerque in it now. Also, I had to use spell check twice to spell Albuquerque.)

Then this runway girl proceeds to tell them a ton of stupid lies about her past. She seriously is failing at subtlety. Also, she speaks strangely. I think young actresses must have still taken weird speaking lessons in the early 70’s. Anyway, when the stop to spend the night she bails. They’re not in Albuquerque (2nd time spelling it correctly on my own!) but she says she has some Basque shepher friends she needs to visit (ugh okay). And Shirley Jones is all like you’re full of it but I can’t make you stay if you don’t want to. When really it’s like, I’m sorry Shirley Jones, but at this point you’re probably endangering the welfare of a child and may need to call some type of local authority.

But it doesn’t take long for the police to find the Partridges. They tell the cop that they don’t know where she went. But if he had only checked their bus he would have found the missing girl sleeping and snuggling her guitar case. So bohemian. Anyway, Shirley sends the kids away to “freshen up” for the concert and tells the runway to chill with them. Meanwhile, she and Reuben go to the local police station to figure out what was going on. It turns out that this girl always runs away from her grandparents in Nebraska because she wants to live with her dad in Albuquerque. Upon learning that she’ll be locked in a holding cell until her grandparents can come collect her, Shirley asks if she can keep the girl with her and contact the grandparents herself. And you know, when you’re a small time family-band celebrity, you operate under a different set of rules.

So of course the police make Shirley responsible for this child and allow her to take her to Albuquerque to meet her grandparents. But when the Partridge kids say that the runaway has been taking a very long shower, Shirley barges in and finds the bathroom empty. So basically this is the stupidest most avoidable situation The Partridge Family has ever found themselves in. The producers must have really wanted to reuse that ghost town set because they have the family search all over this one-horse town for the runway (while a song about Albuquerque plays).

Anyway, they can’t find her until she literally runs in front of their bus. Then they chase her around Scooby-Doo style. Luckily, she doesn’t know how to drive a bus, and they corner her as she is trying to steal their ride. Anyway, it turns out that her dad is a super chill guy and her grandparents are kinda evil. They don’t like her dad (clearly they’re maternal grandparents) even though he hasn’t done anything to warrant this kind of behavior. Then they fight over her because they both love her so much and both want to give her a really wonderful home. (The Partridge Family can make even homeless children look rosy.) Shirley Jones is so awesome with her total lack of boundaries that she mediates between the squabbling family members and they agree that her dad can see her in the summer and on holidays. The End! No big “live performance” scene! Hope you liked that montage!

Very Special Lesson: When in doubt, use your favorite celebrities to solve all of your domestic issues.

The Partridge Family: Don’t Bring Your Guns to Town Santa

partridge fmailyWhat’s the dirty little secret of someone who already watches all of the cheesiest TV ever? I love The Partridge Family. I once saw Danny Bonaduce in an Amtrak Cafe car and I geeked out about it (from a distance), which means I ran back to my seat and texted my dad because he was one of the only people I knew old enough to care. He responded that Danny Bonaduce was “pretty rough” and I had to agree. Anyway, I wish him all the best because the whole former child star thing really does seem to suck. But Danny seemed to be having a lively conversation with the cafe car guy, so I hope that’s a good sign.

So anyway, this Very Special Christmas episode is pretty trippy. It opens with Shirley Jones/David Cassidy singing “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” and it is so great. It’s also great because you know it’s really their voices and that can’t be said of anyone else in this entire cast.

Oh no! The bus breaks down on the way home from the Christmas concert! Even worse, they have broken down in a ghost town!

So while Keith and (father figure/manager) Reuben try to fix the bus, a nice old man tells the rest of the family a story about what the town was like before it was a ghost town. And all of the partridge family are the characters in the story. The entire town is pastel colored. Apparently, the town has a large silver bell so that Santa can find the children because that is how far out in the boonies they are. Also, they have latex balloons in a rainbow of colors and I know that shouldn’t bug me as an anachronism with everything els that is going on, but it does. Otherwise, things seem great until a newcomer comes to town and steals the bell for no reason other than that he is mean.Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 9.00.28 PM

Then The Partridge family mom/saloon owner convinces her daughter/schoolmarm to try to “charm” the mean bell-stealer into returning the bell. That doesn’t work and her hair is all messed up when she returns, which I find concerning. She says he is mean and I hope he just decided to pull her hair like a schoolboy instead of something sketchy.

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 8.56.36 PMDavid Cassidy, as the sheriff, walks around town singing something that sounds like the Partridge family version of the Brave Sir Robin song from Monty Python.

Then Danny Bonaduce almost saves the day as “Little the Kid,” who tries to win the bell back in a game of poker. But the mean man pulls a gun on him, and manages to keep Christmas from happening (so Grinch like). Except then Alvin and the Chipmunks start singing “We Wish You a Marry Christmas.” What? But it is not the chipmunks because Shirley Jones informs everyone that those are the sounds of eight tiny reindeer. Santa did not need the bell to find the town!

Also, it turns out that the mean man stole the bell because he was feeling left out of Christmas. Santa never visited him and that made him cranky. Then the town gives him the silver bell. But he’s so moved by the spirit of Christmas that he gives it back to them. Then they make friends.

By this time, Reuben and Keith have fixed the bus, so the family leaves but we stay in the ghost town with the old man. Then we have to witness his poor old man totally alone in a ghost town for Christmas and like it’s the most depressing thing I’ve ever seen on a sitcom. And just when you’re like the Partridges are the douchiest people ever, the dulcet tones of a fake family band caroling in a ghost town caress your ears. storytime

They’re so obviously lip syncing but it’s heartwarming either way. Also, my favorite part of this fake family band is how there’s only one adult male and yet there’s always like three adult male voices in their “live” performances.

Very Special Lesson: Don’t leave the elderly alone on Christmas, especially not when they live in a ghost town and their only means of transportation is a donkey. That’s just horrible.