• Joe Pace

Favorite Fictional Characters, #330: Jan Brady


The glasses DO make her look positively goofy.

With the passing of Florence Henderson, this seems like an appropriate day to profile my favorite Brady: Jan. Sure, Marcia was supposed to be little miss perfect, the glossy hair-brushing sex kitten of the teenage suburban set, with her miniskirts and knee socks, but I was never moved. Maybe I was too young when I watched the show, closer to Jan's age, and Marcia was simply too unattainable, but I also thought the eldest Brady daughter was stuck-up and dismissively cruel to her middle sister, who worshiped her. Jan wanted so badly to be Marcia, to be beautiful and popular, but the poor girl battled braces and glasses along with her too-flawless sister. Still, while everything came easily for Marcia, and Cindy enjoyed her lisping niche as the precocious baby-doll enfant terrible, Jan struggled for every ounce of attention and praise she got, and it made her tougher, and frankly more interesting.


If you had to pick a Brady girl for a cheerleading competition, sure, take Marcia, Marcia, Marcia. But for teaming up with for a lifetime of challenges and setbacks and hard-earned small victories, give me Jan every time.

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