“Here Come The Brides” — Season One

By Jae-Ha Kim
April 22, 2006

If you look at the premise of Here Come the Brides on paper, the whole series sounds rather bizarre: three brothers head East to find 100 young women who agree to move to untamed Seattle to marry the single men in town. The potential brides have to remain in Seattle for at least a year. If they don’t, the siblings could lose their family business. But this show isn’t set in a society where there’s a Starbucks on every corner.

Rather, it takes place in the late 19th century. Add some sassy dialogue and throw in Bobby Sherman and David Soul as youngest brother Jeremy and middle brother Joshua, respectively, and voila! The show evokes charming innocence, if not antiquated notions of how the sexes should behave. The episode in which a visiting Mormon bogarts four of the women for his own brides isn’t so much shocking as it is curious. Why aren’t the local men more worked up that this could cause some of their own to be without brides?

The series, which lasted just two seasons, premiered on television in 1968 and helped springboard Sherman into a teen idol. The acting on the show by Sherman and his cast mates at times is self-conscious and stilted, but they share good chemistry and have fun with the scripts. One of the better-thought-out episodes aired early in the season. Jeremy’s stuttering is miraculously cured by a charismatic magician (played by the late Jack Albertson, who ate up the scenery with relish), who turns out to be somewhat of a charlatan.

The ending drives the point home that Jeremy needed as much faith in himself as he had in the magician. Like the series itself, yes, the sentiment is predictable. But it still makes for good TV.

April 22, 2006

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