The Greg Brady Project

Welcome to the official Barry Williams' blog

My friends call me Barry. From time to time I also hear the name Greg. Yeah, as in Greg Brady. The Brady Bunch represents a fun time in my life. But it’s only part of the story. There’s more to say and that’s what The Greg Brady Project is all about – a place to say it. So, I’ve invited some friends to join me and share their perspectives on the Brady’s, the 70′s and just about everything else. Now, I’m inviting you…

22 Feb
Mary Jo and John Tenuto

The Pastiche Bunch

written by Mary Jo and John Tenuto in Blog | No comments

 

Our previous post “The Nostalgia Society” referenced that society tends to be twenty years nostaligic for popular culture. Various television shows or movies of the 1970s were 1950s themed, especially Happy Days or Grease. These entertainments were pastiche, a combination of some 1970s styles and 1950s styles. For example, when watching Grease audiences were treated to the music of Sha Na Na, a 1970s band that played 1950s music. John Travolta, by then a popular 1970s actor, was playing a 1950s character. The title song “Grease Is The Word” was written by Barry Gibb of the 1970s super group Bee Gees, yet sung by Frankie Valli. Some of the gestures or symbols of the film were more from the 1970s than the 1950s. Certainly pastiche.

Yet, The Brady Bunch was one of those uniquely 1970s narratives. While there were occasional nostaligic episodes, especially “Welcome Aboard” most episodes were not pastiche. It might be argued that one of the reasons that The Brady Bunch was popular then, and perhaps why it is popular today, is because it was rooted in its era. For those watching the show from 1969 durings its original presentation, it was a comfort when the world seemed complicated. This was the appeal of Happy Days, the nostalgia was reassuring. Yet, The Brady Bunch provided the same reasurring narratives without being nostalgic, yet by setting the show in the now of the audience’s experience. The irony is that The Brady Bunch is nostalgic now, yet then it was a modern show. It is easy to forget that in 2008. The Brady Bunch, compared with much of its era’s television shows, was and is popular because it wasn’t pastiche.

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