Brady Baby Brady
August 1st, 2018 by Proprietor
The actual ages of Mike or Carol Brady are never explicitly given, but their ages can be guessed at with some logic and inference. Look at the two oldest children, Greg and Marcia. Greg is fourteen when the Brady Bunch starts, and Marcia is twelve. Mike graduated from architectural school, which implies a four year degree. If Mike had met his former wife in college, married her, and had Greg right out of college, Mike would have been at minimum 22. At the start of the Brady Bunch, Mike is probably 36. By 1970s standards he was moving into mature years, but by today’s standards Mike was still a young man. Given a normal period for morning a lost wife, getting back into the dating game, finding a woman, dating her to a point where a man is sure he wants to marry her, and about a year long engagement; Mike probably met Carol at the age of 34. Which means Mike’s wife probably passed away, when he was 32.
Carol is more than likely one or two years younger than Mike, and so when the show started was 34 years old. Carol could have still have given birth to Marcia at the age of 22. Then had Jan and Cindy, with her husband passing away when Cindy was 3 or 4. Cindy remembering her father is never discussed, and Bobby in the Pilot episode does remember his first mom with some deep affection.
Given that Mike is 36, and Carol is 34 or even if she was the same age at 36, a baby is possible. Alice in one episode attempts to get information on a mysterious crush Greg had on a “girl” named Linda, while talking to Jan. Jan jumps to the conclusion that Carol is pregnant. Though possible, the notion is quashed.
It seems interesting through, out the entire series and through five seasons, Mike and Carol having children together is only joked about, but never seriously discussed. Even when Cousin Oliver is coming, Carol jokes about possibly being pregnant, and Mike seems relived Carol is not. Though the children at times are excited about the possibility of having a new sibling.
If the producers had wanted to make the show more serious, and shift directions, Carol becoming pregnant would have been a great way to do so. Mike and Carol could have had a child together even in the last season. Mike would have been 41 and Carol, even if she was the same age as Mike, could have had a “change of life” baby. Imagine Carol being pregnant at the start of the fifth season? Instead of Cousin Oliver, the Brady Brunch could have a new member. A half sibling to Greg, Marcia, Peter, Jan, Bobby, and Cindy. Alice could have helped with raising a new infant. Marcia could have moved into the attic now that Greg is off to college. This might have helped extend the show a few more seasons. It most definitely would have been celebrated with cake, and maybe a new Tiger?
Instead the producers tried to back end a pilot involving the Kelly Family, then create the ultimate event that signaled a show was beyond sell by date. The Cousin Oliver syndrome is a valid television meme, it signals that a show that is centered around children needs refreshing. Producers always fall into the trap when sitcoms featuring young children become problematic. Children age, and as the cute child ages into a awkward teenager, and viewership falls off, producers scramble to make the show more fresh with younger children. There are several articles on the worst such cases in shows, here and here. Though Mike and Carol having a change of life child at the start of season five could be viewed as such an attempt, maybe the child would have been a boy called Oliver? Then it would have been Brother Oliver Syndrome.
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