Real Life QA #2: Hollywood, Continuity, … And The Brady Bunch House

Quality Assurance is a part of so many walks of life. It’s about making sure that web sites work, your coffee maker starts automatically when you set it to, and your stupid watch doesn’t make you late for an appointment (long story). Even Hollywood has considerations to ensure “quality” in what they produce. Now, I’m not talking about the creative quality of the product but rather the quality behind the mechanics involved in the film-making process. Cameras are set up right, lighting is adjusted, and one of the most obvious connections to what I as a web QA tester do, the observation of what they call “continuity”. What’s that? It’s making sure that logic is in place – how a character is dressed, where they’re standing, the car they’re driving, etc. I myself played a part in a short film (“I’d like to thank the Academy for….”) where I wore a work shirt. Just prior to shooting a scene, the person in charge of continuity shouted “Stop!”, walked over to me, and pulled out the red pen in my upper left pocket – because it WASN’T there when we shot from another angle.

It can be quite fun to see what slips through the cracks in film and television, and this is where a QA person can hone their attention to details. And it’s in these details that I couldn’t help but notice that the Brady Bunch live in an architectural alternate reality. I mean, that’s the only way to explain that house!

Let’s start with a view of the exterior, ok? And here it is – the place to where Sam makes deliveries from his butcher shop, where Tiger lived before mysteriously disappearing (perhaps to seek attention from the saner Partridge Family), and where Marcia’s nose was broken:

brady-bunch-house

Ok, for the sake of my argument, let’s say the front door faces south. We can see that the driveway is on the west side, and the second level is on the west side as well. Looks like a normal kinda home, yes?

Things fall apart with both the exterior AND the interior. Geeze…where to start…

Ok, we KNOW that when Mike comes home from a hard day at the office, he comes up the west-side driveway and can see the kids having potato sack races and Peter building a volcano to his right. Fine. But when he get OUT of his car, where does he head? Northeast! But he drove PAST the backyard. Shouldn’t he be going southeast? Is there another house BEHIND this one?

Even more obvious is the 2nd level. Exterior shows it on the west side. But we know that when you enter through the front door if Mikes says to go on up to the kids room, you walk past him and Carol – crocheting in the living room, no doubt – and head up the giant staircase on the EAST side of the house! EAST, for goodness sake!

And what’s with that incredibly high ceiling in their living room? I realized that the kids can get overstimulated when leaping around during Family Square Dance Night, but even if the living room was on the west side of this house, the kids rooms would require a 3rd level, yes?

And then there’s the family room, where Marcia takes calls from her boyfriends and Cindy weeps (weepth) for her lost Kitty Karryall doll. That’s way over on the west side of the house, but to get to it you have to walk through part of the living room, past the dining area where Alice serves her meatloaf, and then through the kitchen proper where Carol and Alice both share the overwhelming chore of handing the kids their peanut butter or baloney sandwich lunches, and THEN we have the family room. From our exterior photo, that should put it well past the west side we see here and into the neighbour’s yard. And there’s no way the house goes deep enough (south entrance to north extreme) to house the living room, kitchen, laundry room, and Alice’s wee cave.

Obviously, I’m not the only person who has observed this. Here we have a floor plan from someone with the same keen interest:

brady bunch floor plan

 

And here we have the interior we know from the show…and it just can’t be housed in the exterior we see. They didn’t even get the exterior front door right.

Ok, done with The Bradys.  Time to move on to continuity obsession #2….what the heck happened to Richie Cunningham’s brother, Chuck??!!