Saturday, February 25, 2017

Saturday Morning Cartoons: The Brady Kids and Superman

As a kid I was desperate for cartoons. I preferred the classics: Warner Bros. and Disney... and to a lesser degree the golden age of Hannah Barbara. But being an animation junkee meant that I would watch just about any cartoony piece of junk. I watched Strawberry Shortcake for cryin' out loud.

However, even I couldn't stomach the animated spin-off of the Brady Bunch known as "The Brady Kids." Keep in mind, I actually enjoyed watching re-runs of the original live-action show, the quintessential of white-bread, middle-class laugh-tracks and sappiness.  In fact, I was just telling my kids how sad I was when I first witnessed the episode in which Peter gets all dressed up because he thinks there's going to be a surprise party for him -- but it was really a revenge prank pulled by Greg and Marsha. Look how sad he is:

No, the "Brady Kids" never bothered exploring the ethical dilemmas of blended families. This cartoon was like several bad ideas mushed together.

First you have the poorly drawn versions of the human characters...

Yes. They sing and play instruments. And they seem to live in a tree house. But wait, there's more. 

Here's a stupid magical bird named Merlin. He makes Orko look like a well-developed character.

And then there's these random panda bears... Ping and Pong (offensive?)

It's all pretty awful and mostly boring. I don't recall sitting through an entire episode, but I do remember channel surfing as a child and happening upon an episode in which Superman arrive to help them paint a building. 

My memory is that Superman is holding Cindy Brady and then when the kids ask where Clark Kent is he decides to use his super-speed to fly away, some how appear in front of them as Clark Kent, and then fly back before Cindy hits the ground. 

Well, thanks to YouTube, I have rediscovered the episode, and it's even dumber than I remember. 

It's awful... but like a lot of not-so-great cartoons, it's awful in a wonderful way. Emily and I just watched this sequence five times in a row, and we couldn't stop laughing. Thank you, Brady Kids! Thank you, Superman! And thank you, freshly painted, river-clay statue of Clark Kent!

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