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The Partrtidge Family and Watergate

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Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 235
Location: Orlando, FL

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 10:57 am    Post subject: The Partrtidge Family and Watergate Reply with quote

From the old site:


The Partridge Family and Watergate
An Essay by Linh
Email: lngo@flemingc.on.ca

...Now back to my interests in American politics and why this is related to the PF. It all began some years ago, while I was watching the PF and reading this book about Richard Nixon (actually about his wife written by daughter Julie) at the same time. Since the PF was during the Nixon administration I began seeing the episodes in a different light! Now since Rod Rehn (the creator of The Bionics Page)would actually watch the bionic episodes looking for bloopers, I myself watched the PF episodes looking for references directly/indirectly relating to the Nixon administration. (yes, we are all a bit strange). Actually, I'm a history major (i.e. history freak). What I found was very interesting (well at least I thought it was interesting): the PF was a very contemporary show reflecting the events and controversial issues of its time. The PF writers were liberals and against the establishment. So here's the list of what I have discovered (brace yourself):

-the title The Partridge Papers an indirect reference to The Pentagon Papers in the news at that time (the episode itself is so ironic in terms of the Watergate scandal later on--how similar to real life!). In The Partridge Papers, Laurie asks Reuben to buy her a Chinese-English dictionary for school. Reuben (a bit confused) replies: "Your class planning a field trip to Peking?" This remark refers to Nixon's trip to China in 1972.

-in See Here, Private Partridge, the PF writers ridiculed the government reflecting its inability to handle the war

-Selling of the Partridge is a tribute to the 1972 election (Danny suggests in order to win: avoid the issues) Is this an indirect attack on Nixon?

-in The Diplomat, Danny made small talk to the ambassador by asking "How's Tricia?" Tricia is Nixon's daughter

-in None But the Only, Laurie asks Keith how was his date. Keith replies "No Comment, No Comment, No Comment!" Thus she suggests he should run for president. (I'm sure Nixon was avoiding Watergate questions at that time)

-in Morning Becomes Electric, the PF dealt with the energy crisis reflecting a major issue occuring at that time

And of course, there was the women's movement. Watching the 4th season, I can't help but think it was definitely a Watergate year. So as you can see, I watch the PF in a historical perspective (not like a normal person). Perhaps there should be an essay about the PF reflecting the Nixon years.

I truly believe what made the PF sucessful was its writers (especially Dale McRaven and William S. Bickley). Someone noted that the word "sex" was only mentioned once in the Brady Bunch. Now if we started keeping count of the word "sex" in the PF, it would be a large count! I thought in Everything You Wanted To Know About Sex...But Couldn't Pronounce, it was done in a tasteful way and yet at the same time got its point across. I thought the writer really pushed his limits almost to censorship for its time in 1972. If that episode was done today, it just wouldn't be the same since there would be words used that would be unthinkable in the early 1970's on TV. So the PF writer was limited in choosing his words for this particular episode, but he got his point across and I think that is difficult to do! Not surprisingly, the episode was written by Dale McRaven, my favourite PF writer. (He was quite a hippie back then dating Susan Dey). As for the Brady Bunch writers, they were definitely the worst (so bad that Robert Reed stopped reading the scripts!).

Yes, I admit, I analyze the PF to death (at least I don't go looking for bloopers!)...
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Danny's Accountant
Danny's Accountant

Joined: 27 Dec 2005
Posts: 220
Location: San Pueblo, California

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love it.
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