Y'know, I have a real high tolerance for TV and movie schlock. In fact, one could almost go so far as to say I'm a bit of a masochist when it comes to video. And I have a real soft spot for the work of Sid & Marty Kroft that defies all logic. But even I have my limit...and apparently that end of the road sign reads...
The "TV G" box would indicate this program is safe for all ages, but I honestly think you'd have a case for child abuse showing this to children. Really I tried here. I got about 15 minutes in and wanted to claw my brain out with a rusty melon scooper.
Not to say TWOS&MKATHB (as I'm going to abbreviate it) didn't have it's moments in those first fifteen minutes:
Right off the bat, the Krofts are hitting us with the hard stuff. Johnny Whitaker from Sigmund and the Sea Monsters lipsynchs an incredibly lame song apparently titled "Friends." At any rate, the word is repeated over and over and over ninety million times. Aside from Whitaker looking like if Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka had a Mini-Me, the highlight of the performance was this epic struggle with the mic stand:
During the song, they do a few crowd shots, presumably to show young Johnny's friends. The obviously overdubbed crowd noise sounds like everyone is having a blast, but let's just see what's really going on.
This exact same clip of this girl shows up about 3 times in the portion of this show I actually watched. What's really funny is, the rest of the show seems to take place in the pitch black night where as she's obviously in the day light.
I think she kind of looks like a baby that just shat itself.
This boy looks serious, like he's planning an escape route.
This little girl is my favorite. She looks like she's about to cry.
Another satisfied customer.
Well, mom looks like she's enjoying it. Daughter looks like she's in pain.
Anyway, shortly after this, Johnny jumps off the stage to shake hands and it's like none of the kids want to touch him. Then a couple of kids woosh down the isle to greet him. It smells like a plant to me.
Here's a pan over the audience they did:
Bored bored bored. And back the other way:
WTF?!? It's MR. BRADY AND ALICE AND I DON'T SEE MRS. BRADY!!!! AND HE'S SLUGGING A BEER!!!!
Call it foreshaowding, because up next it's the Brady Bunch Kids. (It also magically becomes night, but nevermind that.) No lipsynching for the Bradys. Bum notes and uneven mic levels are the order of the day. But I'll give them credit, they gave it their all, espically Bobby, even though they were clearly under-rehearsed and fighting some silly coreography.
The only thing that could make this worse is knowing Greg is singing "Long Tall Sally" here.
Cindy gets thrown around a lot though, and that's a good thing.
Speaking of Cindy, right after this sequence, she screws up a vocal (who could blame her? I'm suprized she didn't barf after having Greg throwing her around...hell, just touching her. I think there was even groin to groin contact there *shudder*) and makes this fantastic "I just fucked up" face that I can't get a decent capture of. There's lots of Bradys giving each other the oops face in their clip. No matter. The canned audience loved it anyway.
The Brady thing goes on waaaay too long. I think they did half the American Graffiti soundtrack in their time slot. Finally, after that, we get some real Kroft stuff. But you know what? I don't even care. Why? IT'S ANOTHER HORRIBLE SONG!
Jack Wild comes out with Sparky from the Bugaloos and various sundry other Kroft characters and sing some song about where's H.R. Pufnstuf. I DON'T CARE ANYMORE. This was the point where I realised I wasn't really watching a Kroft show, I was watching a wretched 70s variety show.
Why was the 70s such a decade for these things? Did people actually watch them? Were the drugs really that good back then?
I watched the first song and I'm going to spare you screencaps. There was nothing redeeming about it except I don't remember Sparky's butt being so bulbous. I watched part of the second song and I had to throw in the towel.
The other thing that killed this for me was that they got ringers for Witchiepoo and Hoo Doo. Not that I ever saw them, I didn't make it that far. But watching the opening credits, they showed clips and it was clearly not Charles Nelson Riley and Billie Hayes reprising their TV roles. I always thought the kids on these shows were horrible but the adults playing villians were awesome. I mean, I forgot these people actually did things other than appear on Match Game '74!
So, there it is. The first fifteen minutes of TWOS&MKATHB. The horror...the horror...