On the third day of Christmas, TMP brings to you… a “lovely lady” with a Christmas flu! Okay, it’s not a flu, it’s laryngitis… but technicalities aside, today we’re spending Christmas with the Bradys and taking a look at “The Voice of Christmas,” the season one holiday episode of The Brady Bunch. This post is also written in tribute to Florence Henderson, the much-loved “Mrs. Brady,” who passed away last month.
It’s no secret here on TMP that I’m a fan of the cornier things in life, and that includes The Brady Bunch. I enjoy re-watching the original series, and even enjoy those cornier-than-corny reboot movies that pluck the family out of the past and place them in the glorious 1990s. (I’ve featured them on the blog, as a part of the Classics of the Corn series.)
So, when it came time to select some titles for this years Eight Days of Christmas, I scanned Hulu’s collection for Christmas episodes and ran across “The Voice of Christmas.” In this twelfth episode from season one, Carol Brady is supposed to give a grand performance at church on Christmas morning. Her momentary shot at local singing stardom may disappear when she loses her voice, diagnosed with a case of laryngitis.
Minor tragedies of this sort were common for the Brady family, and the episode is quite standard fare. Carol is ordered to rest, which throws off not only her performance, but her Christmas decorating and shopping plans.
These duties are left up to the family, which of course means that they won’t be accomplished quite as successfully as they would have been by picture-perfect housewife Carol. Ornaments are broken, Alice tortures the entire family by cooking up a horrendously smelly laryngitis “cure,” and Mike is left to do all of the Christmas shopping.
But all ends up happily for the Brady family, as usual, and there are some fun scenes of the family attempting to hide gifts from each other. “If they catch me, should I eat the present?,” asks Bobby as he and his brothers scheme to hide their gifts (see below).
Predictable and typical as it may be, to me, this is one of classic television’s most relatable holiday offerings. I’ve spent many a holiday afflicted with some sort of temporary-but-insufferable illness. While I’ve never relied on Alice’s toxic pepper/mustard/vinegar/kitchen sink remedy to cure me, I’ve had more than my share of the Christmas sniffles. (In fact, just this Thanksgiving I was afflicted with a mysteriously persistent cough, which is finally beginning to disappear but may make its return just in time for Christmas!) So, I feel Carol Brady’s pain.
Beyond its resemblance to my own winter illness woes, “The Voice of Christmas” is a fine time-passer of a holiday episode, especially if you’re the type to spend the whole month re-watching holiday films and episodes. Toss it on your watchlist with some more Christmas corn, like Lawrence Welk’s holiday specials and the other classic television episodes I’m reviewing this week, to get in the festive mood!