"The Brady Bunch" The Voice of Christmas (TV Episode 1969) Poster

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My how Christmas-themed episodes have changed
tschammel14 May 2012
Just finished watching "The Voice of Christmas" Brady Bunch episode from the first season. It's amazing, and also somewhat sad, that Christmas- themed episodes have changed so much over the years. This episode finds us following Mr. Brady and Cindy to the department store to visit Santa. Cindy's only wish is that her mom get her voice back (Carol has laryngitis) in time to sing her solo at their local church. All through the episode the background contains Christian-themed music (Silent Night, Away in a Manger, etc). The last scene finds the Bunch in a church, with the family watching Carol sing Oh Come All Ye Faithful from the pews.

Can you imagine seeing this on network television in 2012? Sure, almost EVERY show (even dramas) capitalizes on Christmas themes, but it's always with non-Christian themes involving lost or hidden presents, food, helping a poor person out, etc. I'm not disparaging those efforts, just pointing out that anything to do with the Christian faith is removed from most if not all of network television holiday programming. All I am attempting to do is point out a trend. (And speaking as a "former" Catholic - I don't practice the faith). I find this sad for many reasons, however.

One of my favorite shows from the past was ThirtySomething. The lead character, Michael Steadman, was Jewish. There were a handful of episodes that revolved around Michael's faith and how he dealt with his religious holidays. I found them to be great episodes and also a learning experience on Jewish culture (to the degree you can get cultured from a TV program).

Point is, in the resolve to attempt not to "offend" all people, we have homogenized holiday-themed programming to the point that the holiday is nothing more than a backdrop - product placement if you will.

I digress - I give this episode an 8-10 as it's funny and touching. If you're a child of the late-60's and early 70's, it's also very nostalgic.
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