Positively Paula

The New Brady Bunch Reboot With Vince Vaughn

Tuesday, July 31, 2012
This morning I saw a great reminder by Rebecca Snell (@stepfamilytips on Twitter).  "Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine." (attributed to Lord Byron) For those of us in blended families, we can all use some more laughs. I am looking forward to seeing the new version of The Brady Bunch from executive producer Vince Vaughn and CBS. According to The Hollywood Reporter in "CBS Developing 'Brady Bunch' Reboot with Vince Vaughn," the upcoming reboot of The Brady Bunch will have some new blended family angles.

The film is supposed to feature Bobby as someone who is remarried, and will include his new bride's exes and "feature their kids from previous marriages, along with the couple's shared child." I fully expect this film to be totally unrealistic, but I'm hoping it makes us all laugh, and maybe even at ourselves a little bit as we can sometimes do when we look back on some of our stepfamily circumstances.

I wish I had a film of myself from many of my days in a newly blended family; I'm sure I would crack myself up.  Trying desperately to please everyone and having pleased very few can be very laugh-worthy, at least in hindsight.  And, so can sitting in a closet on the floor crying over something that seemed so significant then, but I can't even remember why now.

I do remember getting so excited to see Stepbrothers starring Will Ferrell and Jon C. Reilly in 2008 that my stepfamily and I brought my mother! Big mistake. Roger Ebert gave Stepbrothers 1.5 out of 4 stars. Here's to hoping that Vince Vaughn, Wild West Picture Show Productions and CBS won't let us down. 


LeAnn Rimes, Gary Busey, and Huh? A Call for Better Stepmom Reporting!

Thursday, August 18, 2011
A couple of weeks ago I tweeted about People.com's "Caught in the Act!" column that opened with a picture of LeAnn Rimes, her husband Eddie Cibrian, and Eddie's sons. The piece consisted of four lines total, and the opening line was "What a good stepmom!" I tweeted about it, and I knew from LeAnn's tweets back to me that she wasn't too happy.

You see, I had tweeted, "'What a good stepmom!' for shopping w/ stepsons. More to being a good stepmom than shopping. Let's hear it." And, once again I learned a lesson about communicating on-line whether it be via email, Twitter, or whatever else. Most of us have had the experience of our thoughts and even feelings being interpreted differently than we had intended.

Here's the real point I wanted to make in my tweet, and I am so thrilled that I have more than Twitter's 140 characters in which to say it. I wish the media would cover remarriage and stepfamilies in a more positive way. (By the way, I just tweeted the preceding sentence because it fit into a tweet.) 

That paragraph that opened with "What a good Stepmom!" didn't really do justice to what LeAnn or the majority of stepmothers do every day for their stepchildren. It pointed out that: their family was enjoying a shopping outing; she was wearing leopard print shorts while browsing; she ran into Gary Busey; and, she returned to the area for a romantic meal with her husband later that day.  That's it!

I'm just not getting how the opening line connects in any way with the rest of the paragraph. Good stepmoms do more than shop with their stepkids, and I think the column contributed to the unfair picture of remarriage and stepfamilies that is often painted. (Read more about this in my column entitled, "On ReMarriage: Hollywood Paints an Unfair Picture" in The Washington Times.)

I'm pretty certain that LeAnn Rimes, like most other stepmoms, did a lot more that day to be a good stepmom than what was portrayed. And, regardless of what people think about her, her marriage and the circumstances in her and her family's personal lives, which I was quickly informed about by people whom I doubt even know her in a flurry of Twitter activity, my point was and is this:

Attention media! Let's please hear more about the positive, inspiring, loving things that stepmothers do every day for their stepchildren. I'm not looking for "The Brady Bunch" model, nor am I trying to be a Pollyanna. But, when will the media provide us a broader range of views of stepfamily and remarried life?

I  invite LeAnn Rimes and the millions of other stepmothers to join me in calling for a shift in the way media covers stepmoms. Let's talk about about stepfamily life, its challenges, and more importantly, real solutions.


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