On this, the occasion of the death of actress Ann B. Davis, who played housekeeper Alice on The Brady Bunch, I would just like to say: I would have watched a spinoff that explored Alice’s inner world. I would probably have liked it better than The Brady Bunch. Alice was so much more intriguing than those milquetoast Bradys—stuck in that sky-blue maid’s uniform all the time, dating Sam the Butcher interminably. Why did she wear that uniform? Did the Bradys have a secret totalitarian streak they kept hidden from the sitcom cameras? Or, more likely, did Alice choose it herself to show her professionalism and/or to create a kind of personal brand? Meanwhile, she and Sam clearly had one of the best, most stable, long-term adult relationships ever seen on television, unique for non-married, middle-aged, working-class people. I would love to know what they fought about, how they resolved their conflicts, how they kept the magic alive. I bet they could have taught us all a lot.
In fact, something Davis said in a 2004 interview with the Archive of American Television confirms my hunch that Alice had hidden depths. Davis gave her a whole backstory: “I did have a twin sister, so I used that as a basis. … I cared very much about this family. It was my family. It was as close to my family as Alice would ever get. I would have died for any single one of them at any point,” she said. “You know, they wrote me such gorgeous things to do, as the intermediary between the kids and the adults, and between the boys and the girls. And they gave me funny things to do.”
Gosh I want to see whatever it is that may have required Alice to risk death for a Brady. Now that Davis is gone, alas, we’ll never know.