A few days ago, Deadline broke the news that Vince Vaughn found a great idea hiding inside one of his eye creases. He’s rebooting The Brady Bunch!
The original series, which aired from 1969-1974, boldly went where no sitcom had gone before and showed us a progressive, blended family. Yes, they were whitebread and slapsticky at times, but those Bradies had charm oozing out their sideburns! They were funny, wry, and perfect in paisley. In 2012, we’ve totally got a thing for unconventional, modern families (see Friends with Kids, Brothers and Sisters, and well, Modern Family) so this is a great time to toot that nostalgia train. I’m just going to ignore the fact that this reboot revolves around a divorced adult Bobby Brady and just live in a fantasy of faithful adaptation. You go Vince! Even if you were totally coked up when you came up with this! Especially then!
Here’s a story about a lovely lady. Her name is me and she just about goddamn loves The Brady Bunch. TV Land fed it to me through an IV after school every day. I share this personality strength with my roommate Lindsay, and while we were on the bus the other day trying to avoid eye contact with everyone else, we came up with some bomb-ass possible casting choices.
Patriarch, Salt of the Earth, Architect Even Though No One is Actually an Architect
Robert Reed was an iconic father figure. Modest, hunky, and ethical to a fault, with the best perm in the business.
The thing is, the dads of today aren’t as, uh, macho. We like a good gentle dad, a sensitive standup guy. Here we’re looking for someone with a lot of love to give 3 new stepkids, with delicate diplomacy to spare.
Paul Rudd is our fave. Can’t you see him wrangling that brood with self-effacing aplomb?
Matriarch, Walking Trendy Haircut
Oh, Florence Henderson! Her sweet, supportive demeanor set the TV mom standard, but she was also known to lay down the law when the brats stained the shag carpet.
We’re looking for the same feisty spark. Well, Lindsay actually specified someone “shrill.” Here’s some good old fashioned neuroses paired with impeccable comic timing and an earthy glow that could melt any stepkid’s heart:
Leslie Mann, we bow to you. Judd Apatow sure knows how to pick ’em.
Oldest son, All-American Playa
Played by Barry Williams, Greg was your typical jock, charming and sometimes douchey but also protective of his younger sibs.
Take a long, long, looong look at Hunter Parrish. Oh, all right. Look again. Longer. His alternately confident and wounded turn as Silas on Weeds makes him the perfect fit for Rudd’s alpha-dog progeny. Also I have to come clean: we originally considered Darren Criss but…you know, blechhh.
Oldest daughter, Overachieving sexbomb
Maureen McCormick was essential to this show. I mean, indispensably hot, intelligent, stuck-up, and charismatic. And admit it, we all shipped her with Greg.
That’s right. I went there. Emma Watson clearly knows how to blend the book-learnin’, social-climbin’, and the eye-smolderin’. And she’d be great at bossing around the other kids: “Do all my chores, or you’ll be grounded…or worse, expelled.”
Middle son, Therapy-craving misanthrope
It was hard not to laugh at Peter (played by Christopher McKnight), and even harder to ever laugh with him. His hilariously low self-esteem was basically his only personality trait. Lindsay brilliantly suggested that in this reboot, Peter should absolutely be gay! Our pick for 2012’s queer buzzkill:
Thomas Sangster, most famous for being a delicious schmoopy little cutie in Love Actually. He is now 22 (seriously!) but looks 14. He’s also shaped like an awkward string bean and is very moody indeed in current interviews.
Middle daughter, Future bulimic
It was hard not to pity Jan (Eve Plumb). She was massively jealous of her older sister, had no social life, and no real talents to speak of. In this day and age, we like to be a little more realistic about representing little girls with confidence issues, so for your consideration:
Sally Draper herself, Kiernan Shipka! This little lady has a preternatural gift for portraying hard truths about young womanhood. Her dismay face is a revelation. Adorbs and precosh.
Youngest son, insert cute kid antics here
Bobby (Mike Lookinland) was kind of an anonymous presence. He just basically got into hijinks and charmed the pants off everyone with his freckles. It is for this reason (and the fact that NO ONE knows any child actors under 10) that I’m about to paste in a stock photo of a little boy and call it a day with Bobby.
Youngest daughter, Cherub, Attention Junkie
Cindy was basically a cake-pop of a character, saccharine and chubby-cheeked with an adventurous spirit. She always struck me as a tad devilish though – let’s go with a little girl with a hard edge:
Shiloh Jolie-Pitt. Bringing some much-needed androgyny and flawless bone structure to the table!
Housekeeper, nanny, brassy broad
Alice kept shit together, plain and simple. She cooked, cleaned, and otherwise ran a school of hard knocks in the Brady household. She was dry and sassy. Anne B. Davis was a whole lot of woman.
Butcher, Alice’s booty call
Sam’s a side character but essential to the emotional health of our beloved Alice. We need a dorky local type who would be believable downing whiskey and chopping up hamhocks.
Ba-ZING! The role is so in Mike O’Malley’s wheelhouse. We like it gruff!