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Picks and Pans Review: The Brady Bunch in the White House

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FOX (Fri., Nov. 29, 8 p.m. ET)

The Brady Bunch industry, self-parody division, just keeps turning out product. The ’90s saw two feature-film send-ups of that oh-so-’70s sitcom. Now this agreeably silly made-for-TV movie finds a way for family man Mike Brady (Gary Cole) to extend his wise rule over the whole country. Mike’s rapid political ascent begins with an annoying in-joke—he’s appointed Vice President after the incumbent resigns to become head of Fox Studios—but the comedy picks up once the polyester-clad populist succeeds a chief executive toppled by scandal.

My vote for funniest Brady goes to Carol (Shelley Long), who sees no reason why an adoring First Lady can’t double as her hubby’s VP. You’re sure to laugh when a talking Lincoln portrait advises chronically envious daughter Jan (Ashley Drane) on coping with her “multitude of inadequacies.” Then again, you’re sure to groan when FDR and JFK toss in their two cents. These Brady things don’t know when to quit, but maybe that’s part of their charm.

BOTTOM LINE: Bunch of laughs and a few duds