The Brady Bunch: Bobby’s Hero

Little Bobby Brady is obsessed with Jesse James. Oh, cool! An outlaw! Well, the principal at his school calls the Brady’s in to rain on his parade because it turns out Jesse James was a “cruel and vicious killer” who has been turned into a “folk hero.” But it turns out that he’s been brining his cap gun to school and “holding up” the other students, so it seems like things are getting out of hand.

At dinner they all try to help Bobby think of a new hero, like George Washington or Wilt Chamberlin. But Bobby dismisses those heroes because he doesn’t think he has a chance of being like them. For some reason being a 19th Century murderer seems more attainable to him. The Brady parents decide watching a movie about Jesse James with Bobby might show him what a jerk this guy was.

But the movie doesn’t depict Jesse James accurately. Instead of showing him shooting everyone in a bank in the back, he doesn’t use a gone at all. I guess he uses the Jedi Mind Trick to make them hand over the money, which really is pretty hero worthy. Apparently, Mike and Carol Brady are western history buffs because they can point out every part of the movie that glosses over Jesse’s horrible actions. So now Bobby thinks Jesse is cooler than ever.

Mike goes to the library and checks out a ton of non-fiction books about Jesse James to read in his spare time. It’s so nice that a busy architect with six kids can give all of them so much individual attention. He then invites the author of one of the books over to the house to help with Bobby. OMG JESSE JAMES KILLED THIS GUYS FATHER.

That’s dark, Brady Bunch. Then Bobby has the nerve to tell this old man that he doesn’t believe him. But when this guy tells Bobby in detail about how Jesse James shot his father with his hands up, face to the wall, and unarmed, Bobby begins to feel a little guilty about his obsession. That night, Bobby has a dream that Jesse James shoots all of the Brady’s in the back while Bobby looks on in terror.

Very Special Lesson: The Brady Bunch is surprisingly dark and scary.

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4 thoughts on “The Brady Bunch: Bobby’s Hero

  1. This episode…I remember liking it as a kid. It seems kind of random now–they basically gave Bobby a Jesse James intervention.

  2. I was also struck my Mike and Carol’s more than basic knowledge of the movie in question. It was interesting because throughout the series, there are several episodes which have a Western motif (Grand Canyon, the Hoe Down, the Davy Jones episode where Bobby, Cindy and Peter vow to start their own musical group called “The Three Desperadoes” And often when the kids are lounging around watching TV, its a Western that is playing. ) Guess Sherwood Schwarz or one of the writers must have really liked the Old West.

    1. I feel like it was pretty standard for kids in the 50’s and 60’s to like westerns. Obviously, there are some very legitimate issues with those depictions of American life but not, I don’t think, for the reasons that Mike and Carol were talking about.

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