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THAT’S THE WAY THEY BECAME A VIDEO BUNCH

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Those suburban icons who appeared each week under the banner of "The Brady Bunch" are ready for private reruns on collector's-edition home videos from Columbia House Video Library.

The program that spawned a "Brady Bunch" craze in 1969-74, when it was one of television's top shows, is now back in its original footage, uncut and unedited.Four programs make up each video in "The Brady Bunch: The Collector's Edition," which can be purchased only through Columbia House Video Library (1-800-638-2922). The introductory volume is $4.95. Subsequent volumes will be shipped every four to six weeks at $19.95 each. Add shipping and handling to both prices.

The first cassette contains four episodes beginning with the ABC series premiere, "The Honeymoon," in which widower Mike Brady gets hitched to widow Carol, and his three boys and her three girls get involved in a wedding turned topsy-turvy.

In the second episode, called "Dear Libby," the kids read an item in an advice column about an unhappy newlywed whose spouse's kids make life miserable. They are certain the letter was written by one of their parents.

In "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore," housekeeper Alice Nelson's plan to make Carol feel needed backfires, and the kids have to come up with a scheme of their own to get Alice to stay. In the fourth story, Marcia does the opposite of whatever Mike says as part of her plan to win him the "Father of the Year" honors.

After its five years on television, the show was revisited, reinvented and remolded into various forms, including "The Brady Bunch Hour," a variety show; "The Brady Kids," a musical cartoon show; and reunion specials such as "The Brady Brides" and "A Very Brady Christmas." An off-Broadway play, books and memorabilia continued to keep the Bradys "alive" through the years.

Robert Reed played Mike, Florence Henderson was Carol, Ann B. Davis was Alice and the children were played by Maureen McCormick (Marcia), Eve Plumb (Jan), Susan Olsen (Cindy), Barry Williams (Greg), Christopher Knight (Peter) and Mike Lookinland (Bobby).

VIDEO QUESTION

Question: Is it important to use a light with camcorders? I thought they could record activity indoors with no extra lighting.

Answer: Indoor light is sufficient to produce a picture, but whether you're satisfied with it depends on how demanding you are. After the novelty of shooting your own videos wears off, most people who are serious about documenting family events want to improve on their first casual results. Even so-called low-light camcorders benefit significantly from extra illumination. -Andy Wickstrom (Knight-Ridder)