What is something dark about the Partridge Family that everyone seems to forget?
The death of the father character must have been relatively recent as neither Tracy, nor Chris, (the youngest children) weren’t very old, but the entire family rarely discusses it - Happy, sad, or indifferent, the father Partridge seems to be an off limits topic, despite his death having to have been a relatively recent event.share
It’s difficult to imagine a pairing that would turn out such a diverse looking group of children, especially Tracy and Danny - Probably due to casting reasons, the series didn’t bother to assemble a family that actually looked as if they were related, biologically. Both Danny and Tracy have hair colors and freckles that don’t correlate with Shirley Jones’ Mom character or that would fit in with Keith and Laurie’s darker hair. It’s unclear if the missing father figure was indeed the biological parent of some of the Partridge children and how the mother explained that.
The Partridge mother, Shirley, was remarkably cheap - Despite her family being a group successful enough to appear on television and in concerts around the United States, she employed neither household help to offset the time that would be needed for the children to practice, go to school, or simply rest. Nor did she have a tutor for her children, as their going to school and performing on the road would have been nearly impossible. If they weren’t making enough to hire those people, why keep performing?
Reuben Kincaid was probably embezzling - The Partridge Family was supposed to be a successful musical act, yet they lived in a rather small suburban home, Shirley the mother drove them to concerts in an old school bus, and they didn’t seem to enjoy the trappings of success (Keith had a car, Lori didn’t, for example). The Partridge family finances don’t “add up”, and the main person to blame for that seems to have been Reuben.
Despite being a successful singing group, the family’s security was rather sh*tless - They lived in a house in San Pablo which could have easily been broken into by crazed fans and stalkers, which definitely happened to famous personalities in the 1970s. Shirley even opened the door without checking to see if it was a woman with a knife trying to seal her eternal love with Keith”, or a middle-aged man trying to make Laurie (or worse, Tracy) his “bride”.
Shirley’s concern for her children was spotty, at best - She drove a bus that wasn’t meant for long trips…on long trips, she had two children under ten years of age performing on the road, she doesn’t seem to have very much business acumen so her children were performing for minimal amounts of money, the apparently idea was that the FAMILY earned whatever they were paid and that it wasn’t divided along the lines of accomplishment or fan draw; and she seemed to be more worried about minor infractions at home rather than what was going to happen to the kids when their career in show business came to an end. Basically, the narrative had Shirley Partridge act as a woefully neglectful parent who decided to take her children on the road to satisfy her dreams of fame and success.
Despite being contaminated after their dog was sprayed by a skunk, Shirley had the family band perform in a hospital setting - This didn’t strike until I was older and witnessed what it’s like to have a dog sprayed by a skunk. If you are around that, the LAST thing that you want do is play musical instruments or sing. Yet Shirley had the family perform the concert instead of cancelling and rescheduling.
There was a questionable episode that made fun of feminism and women seeking equal rights - Basically, a young woman, who had some valid points about sexism and misogyny, was made the butt of jokes by the writers and even seems to have been the antagonist for no other reason than she wanted to be treated as an equal. Worse Shirley and Laurie seem to have had relatively few arguments about it. Worse that THAT, the series never returns to storyline, despite it leaving several bad impressions.
There was an episode where Danny stole Keith’s personal things and sold them - Worse than that, Danny LIES about it. Worse than THAT, he sells them to Keith’s groupies, who weren’t shown to be a stable group anyway. At the end of the show everything is reset back to the beginning, even after what was a serious breach of trust.
The kids have few problems with criminal behavior, and not just misdemeanor acts - They make a plan to break in the high school to retrieve Laurie’s purloined diary, they break into a company which may or may not have intentionally overcharged their mother and they use a computer to send her a check for $50k; and Danny defrauds Keith’s fans by selling them items that he stole from Keith (See also #9). Basically the Partridges having no problem with breaking the law until they get caught.