Re the Brady Bunch - absolutely! Which is just one reason it got spoofed, fewer than two decades after it ended.
(Not to mention, how many widows and widowers were born circa 1935, had children from the 1950s through the 1960s, but didn't become widowed until they turned 30 or so? Had everyone been born ten years later, Vietnam might have made that more plausible - the average draftee was 19 - but back then, the more likely backstory for a single parent was, of course, divorce.)
It's amazing, as one critic put it, how many people accepted EVERYTHING about the show without question, back then.
From the New York Times, 1990 (I assume the writer, Nicole Hollander, is the cartoonist creator of "Sylvia"):
(includes photo of the stage cast)
...A new episode of "The Real Live Brady Bunch" is staged every two weeks. The TV show's production values were bland and tacky: the bright colors and even lighting— there were no shadows in the Brady house— gave the show the flat look of a cartoon. Sets for the stage version are cheesier still, reduced to a chair, a table, a cup.
The dialogue comes word for word from the TV show, but it's the bald presentation, the inflections, the just slightly odd-the-mark execution, that make the play so funny. "Let's go tell Greg we're sorry for acting like selfish brats," Marcia says in one episode. When lines like this are delivered in the setting of the Annoyance Theater, they sound both surrealistic and hilarious.
The audience returns again and again. After all, this is the whiter white-bread version of their real lives. Now that it's the 90's, there's the added fillip of astonishment that they ever swallowed the Bradys whole. But they love it. They scream when Marcia flips her hair. They laugh and shout, their enthusiasm fanned by the party atmosphere in the theater.
"The Real Live Brady Bunch" was created by two sisters, Jill and Faith Soloway, for the Metraform Theater Company, which specializes in plays created from the improvisation of their group members. Like their audience, the Soloway sisters are in their mid-20's. They say they are amazed by the success of the show. At the beginning of the run, they would go up to the roof of the theater just to marvel at the length of the lines below.
The years of reruns allowed millions of children like the Soloway sisters to come home from school, turn on the set and share their after-school snacks with the Brady brunch. Jill and Faith, along with countless others of their generation, watched the Bradys in reruns every day and continued to tune in through high school and college. Why did they like "The Brady Bunch," better than other family shows?
Jill Soloway has a theory. "You couldn't have a fantasy about 'The Partridge Family', after ail, they were related. Keith and Laurie couldn't be in a romance because they were brother and sister, and they acted like brother and sister. But Marcia and Greg flirted all the time, consciously or unconsciously...