We’re counting down the days to Thanksgiving by looking at a variety of Thanksgiving-themed TV episodes. Thanksgiving episodes are all different, but they have lots of tropes in common. Today we’re looking at the Brady Bunch episode “The Un-Underground Movie.”
Directed by: Jack Arnold
Written by: Albert E. Lewin
Episode Number: Season 2, Episode 4
Where to Watch It: Hulu
This episode is all about actual biological family. Specifically, how annoying they can be. Greg is trying to make a movie about the first Thanksgiving for his school’s history class but is frustrated when his family won’t cooperate.
When they realize how stress their lack of cooperation has caused Greg, they apologize and the movie ultimately gets made the way Greg wants it.
The episode ends with the whole family gathered around to watch the movie they’ve made together.
Unlike most Thanksgiving episodes, this one doesn’t center around the big family dinner. However, food does come up a couple times. Greg uses rice for his snow effect, causing his dad to quip that it’s expensive snow. In one of the main sequences of Greg’s movie, there’s a sped-up montage of everyone eating corn and turkey to represent the first Thanksgiving. There’s also a moment when everyone is distracted from a big take by Alice bringing up what she’s making for lunch. At the end, they all eat popcorn as they watch the movie.
No football in this one. How Un-American.
The episode is all about history. Needless to say, it’s the very watered down and romanticized fiction of the first Thanksgiving. Greg gets his family to play pilgrims and Native Americans and re-enact the popular story. His movie makes specific reference to the Mayflower and Captain Jones. The film ends with the narration, “The Mayflower sailed, leaving the pilgrims to build a new country, which they did.”