Opinion

Can You Picture The Brady Bunch Living in an Apartment?

By | Aug 28, 2015
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Imagine the Brady Bunch kids living in a 2-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles. Now that’s a TV show!

I remember when I was a kid, the famous families on television always had a one-earner parent. Typically, dad went to work, and mom stayed home to take care of the children. From the Andersons (on Father Knows Best), to the Bunkers (on All In The Family), to the Bradys (on the Brady Bunch).

And these families always had nice homes, even though the dads held basic middle-class jobs – insurance agent, dock-worker, and architect.

Back then, these television families simply reflected society in mid-America, when American families were able to live in a home, with only dad holding down a middle-class job.

My, how times have changed. 

In Los Angeles today, those 1970s families would need to earn almost $70,000 per year just to rent an apartment. I can’t picture the Brady household – two parents, six kids, a housekeeper and dog – all living in an apartment in San Fernando Valley.

So, Carol Brady would have to join Mike in the workforce just to make sure the family lived in a home large enough for their blended family. I’m guessing Alice, the housekeeper, would have to leave, since live-in help is a luxury for the wealthy only.

Marcia and Greg, the oldest children, would become the de-facto caregivers for the rest of the siblings. Childcare in today’s market costs an arm and a leg, especially for more than a handful of kids.

Now, imagine if Mike Brady lost his job. Or even worse, Mike and Carol got a divorce, and Mike moved out.

Poor Carol, stuck with six children. How in the heck would she keep her family together under one roof? We don’t know if Carol was educated, but if she landed a secretary’s job, she would only earn half as much as the amount she would need to rent an apartment.

I guess Marcia and Greg would have to take on night and weekend jobs at the local hamburger joint. That means Peter and Jan would now be the caregivers.

I’m also guessing that they would have to move into a two-bedroom apartment, with the girls sleeping with mom, and the boys in their own room. No large kitchen overlooking the family room and backyard. No sweeping staircase to the upper level. All would have to share a tiny apartment bathroom.

The life of the Brady Bunch would start to look dismal. Certainly not those wonderful adventures of suburban life in the 1970s.

I’m guessing with Carol as a single parent, the Brady Bunch would be less a situational comedy, and more of a reality show.

Sadly, many families and individuals endure real struggles earning enough money to stay housed. In fact, one-third of all Californians live in poverty, and struggle with housing.

I wonder if today’s political leaders, who grew up watching the Brady Bunch, might invest more into affordable housing if they knew this housing would be for people and families like Carol Brady?