Family dysfunction is unadulterated fun in ‘The Bradshaw Bunch’
The reality TV landscape is saturated with myriad offerings.
I have noticed that, aside from dating shows, those centred on celebrity families, especially the crazy, outrageous or glamorous ones, are a hit with viewers.
To date, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” is by far the most popular.
But other offerings like, “Stewarts & Hamiltons”, “Duck Dynasty” and “Osbournes Reloaded”, to name a few, have performed pretty well, too.
This brings me to E! Entertainment’s latest reality family in “The Bradshaw Bunch”, with former NFL football player, Terry Bradshaw, at the helm.
His legacy as a sports player aside, he is pretty au fait with being in front of the camera. He bagged acting roles, some of them were guest appearances, in “Last Man Standing”, “No Parental Guidance”, “Father Figures”, “Failure to Launch” and “Malcolm in the Middle”, among others.
At 72 years of age, he hasn’t lost his inner child, which was evident as soon as we started chatting during a recent telephonic interview.
In high spirits, he first complimented me on my name, before shedding light on how this reality show came about.
He said: “Reality TV has obviously taken off, like a gangbuster. I did a show for NBC, which was a reality show, ‘Better Late Than Never’ with Henry Winkler, William Shatner, George Foreman and Jeff Dye.
“We filmed for two years all over Asia and Europe. It was a very successful show and then NBC pulled the plug on it.
“Why we haven’t figured that out yet. Actually, even up until this year, there was talk of bringing the show back and everybody at NBC that got rid of the show got fired. I’m glad they got fired.”
That series was based on the South Korean series, “Grandpas over Flowers”.
As the saying goes, when one door closes, another opens - and that is what happened.
Bradshaw added: “Well, the executive producer, a guy named Jason Ehrlich, came to my surprise 70th birthday party and he saw the interactions between my three girls, who are just wild and crazy, and me, with my very stable, sit back-and-observe and keep everybody in order... and he said, ‘Oh my God, they are funny. I’ve got an idea, would you be interested in trying to do a reality show with your family’.
“I said, ‘Well, I don’t think I will have a problem selling my girls on it, my wife is a pretty straightforward woman and television and being a star and that kind of thing is not high on her list but if I want to do it, she will do it.”
“I thought it would be fun for the girls so that the day when I’m no longer on this earth and nature takes its course, the girls can say to themselves, ‘Oh, let’s watch dad when we did those episodes’.”
While mapping out the show with Ehrlich, “The Bradshaw Bunch” was suggested as a title, which was a play on the ‘60s sitcom, “The Brady Bunch”, and it stuck with the channel also giving its stamp of approval.
On him matching the craziness of his three daughters, Rachel Bradshaw, Lacey Bradshaw and Erin Bradshaw, he laughed: “The apple doesn’t fall far.”
He went on to describe each of them.
Bradshaw offered: “Lacey is my athlete. She’s a head basketball coach in Hawaii. Rachel is my singer-songwriter.
“My very dark-thinking but full of life and bubbly daughter. She lost her husband (Rob Bironas) to a car accident after three months of marriage.
“She’s experienced one of life’s greatest tragedies of the heart. And then Erin is very much like her mother.
“She’s totally different from me, other than we love horses.
“All my girls are different. Even though Lacey is not my biological daughter, I love them all the same.”
This 10-part series was shot at the Bradshaw's ranch in Thackerville, Oklahoma.
As much as he is a playful dad (and grandad), when it comes to guys and his daughters, he turns into protective dad, which is evident in once scene where Rachel is trying to get back into the dating scene.
He explained: “I gotta protect her from herself. I mean, these big looking guys are coming around.
“And she’s a good-looking gal. I know what guys are all about so I make it a little harder for Rachel.
In Monday’s episode, the family madness continues to reign supreme as Terry and wife Tammy try and convince Lacey and Noah to move to Texas. As an incentive, they are offered a restaurant.
Meanwhile, Rachel manages to pull one over on Terry.
Talk about a playful bunch!
Catch “The Bradshaw Bunch” on E! Entertainment (DStv channel 124). Check your guide for repeats and other airing times.