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Recap / The Brady Bunch S 1 E 2 Dear Libby

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In the late-'60s, there was no Internet, but people still had their problems. You may ask, how, or from whom, did they seek counselling? Well, from a newspaper agony aunt, of course, such as... "Dear Libby".

The three Brady girls are in their room, as Marcia is reading an advice column "Dear Libby" from a newspaper. At first, it's a good laugh for them, until...

...they read a problem coming from "Harried and Hopeless", who mentions that they have three children, and just got remarried to another person who also has three children, and are having some trouble adapting to the new blended life. Libby has given the poster advice to "Give it some time, it may just work out".

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Now, that's just like their situation, right? After all, they recently had a fight over the clubhouse (mind you, that episode was broadcast sixth, but is second in the filming order). Well, Marcia jumps to the conclusion that it was either Mike or Carol who posted this. To prevent the possible other half from seeing this, she decides to intercept it. When Mike sends Greg out to get him a fresh paper, Marcia tags along, and with a marker, they scribble out the advice column, claiming it to be a "printing error".

Meanwhile, upstairs the kids are having a meeting, and believing that the new blended family is quite volatile, they need to be on their best behavior. Which they do. Albeit that when they suddenly start being too polite and obedient, and do chores they weren't even asked to do, Mike, Carol and Alice get too suspicious. Alice then talks to Greg and Marcia about it, and they explain the whole thing.

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The situation in the house isn't helped, and then suddenly, one day, Dear Libby (Elizabeth Carter) herself comes to visit the family, something that she usually doesn't do, but felt compelled to, after she received seven letters from the same address - by "Kitty Karry-All" (Cindy), "Feeling Awful" (Bobby), "Desperately Worried" (Marcia), "Down In the Mouth" (Peter), "Real Frantic" (Jan), "Guilt Complex" (Greg), and "Innocent Bystander" (Alice). She resolves the situation by addressing that the original letter by "Harried and Hopeless" didn't come from the Brady house at all, but from Illinois. And all is well in the Brady house.

In the tag scene, Mike and Carol both admit to each other that both of them, too, wrote a letter for Dear Libby, but never sent their letters.

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Tropes present in this episode:

  • Shout-Out: Dear Libby is the fictional columnist created in the vein of well-known syndicated advice columnists Ann Landers and Dear Abby.
  • Stereo Fibbing:
    Greg: I heard about this one newspaper that printed a million copies of page nine right on top of page eight and left page nine blank.
    Marcia: I heard about that too.
    Mike: Really? What paper was that?
    Greg: The Boston Times
    Marcia: (simultaneous) The Chicago Post.
    (They glance at each other)
    Greg: I mean, The Chicago Post.
    Marcia: (simultaneous) I mean, The Boston Times.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: Mike, Carol and Alice are disturbed by the children's sudden and overwhelming politeness and obedience. Alice solves the problem by threatening to tell the children's friends what goody-goodies they're being.
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