Show: The Brady Bunch (1969 – 1974)
Character: Jan Brady
Actor: Eve Plumb
Basically: Jan Brady is the quintessential “middle child.” Even when she and her sister’s blend with the Brady boys, she still managers to find herself stuck right in the middle. She’s less attractive and popular than Marcia and not nearly as cute as Cindy (who I never thought was particularly cute). And she’s not the smartest Brady either (seriously, they couldn’t have even let her be the brainy one?), in fact, there is little if anything special about her, which leads to her general sense of self-loathing, jealousy towards siblings as well as very few “Jan Episodes” in which she’s portrayed in a positive light.
Jan! Jan! Jan!: I submit that Jan (after those awkward single ringlets were straightened out) was probably the most attractive Brady, (a fact that no doubt embitters Maureen McCormick to this day). In the absence of her obnoxious siblings who were unable to mind their business, EVER, I think Jan could have thrived socially. Like really Marcia? You’re going to rat her out for not wearing her glasses to the library to meet a boy? She’s insecure as it is, give her a break already. Actually, as I think back on Jan and how great she probably was, it is slightly difficult to separate her relatively normal television character with her mildly retarded movie version character. So I’m just going to move on.
Groovy Favorites: How can I not mention the classic “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” moment here. It’s one of those classic television moments that no matter how uncomfortable it makes you (I need to wash my hands) it still makes you feel nostalgic, of a time when television plot lines conveyed sibling jealousy with a new catch phrase instead of murderous revenge. However, my favorite Jan moment, also a classic, is when she makes up a boyfriend TO IMPRESS HER OWN FAMILY. What is wrong with you Jan? I just defended your sanity, and now you’re going to fabricate both a person AND a relationship and keep this up this ruse with fake phone calls and flowers from George GLASS? Really? You thought this up and went through with it, and when you needed a name, glanced and uttered the first item you saw? Glass? His name is George Glass? On second thought, you’re completely mental.