Welcome to Retro Television Reviews, a feature where we review some of our favorite and least favorite shows of the past! On Wednesdays, I will be reviewing the original Love Boat, which aired on ABC from 1977 to 1986! The series can be streamed on Paramount Plus!
Love, exciting and new!
Let it go, it floats back to you!
We all float down here!
Episode 1.7 “Julie’s Old Flame / The Jinx / The Identical Problem”
(Directed by Don Weis, originally aired on November 12th, 1977)
The Love Boat is jinxed!
Or, at least, that’s what the crew assumes when they meet Horace and Henrietta McDonald (played by Ray Bolger and Harriet Nelson). Horace and Henrietta first met when they were children and they’ve been in love ever since. In fact, they met each other on a cruise. Unfortunately, that cruise was the Titanic!
(Remember, when this episode aired, it had been 65 years since the Titanic sank. So, there were still a few elderly survivors around.)
Anyway, the crew worries that Horace and Henrietta might bring bad luck with them and, before you know it, everyone’s getting injured. Doc Bricker gets hit by a door and ends up having to wear a bandage on his head. Gopher trips in the lounge. Isaac gets whiplash after falling in the pool. Julie ends up wearing an eye patch. To be honest, I think the crew is just clumsy.
While the crew is trying not to die, identical twins Ellen and Helen (Diana Canova) are trying to keep the crew from realizing that they’re both on the boat. (They only bought one ticket.) One of the twins falls in love with Doc Bricker. The other can’t stand him. Bricker being Bricker, he really doesn’t care how the twins feel about him. He just wants to get laid. Still, Bricker spend most of the episode very confused and very afraid of the Titanic jinx.
Meanwhile, Julie is shocked when she discovers that Buddy Stanfield (David Hedison) is on the cruise! Buddy is a wealthy and handsome attorney and he’s also Julie’s former lover. They had a whirlwind romance in Paris but then Julie discovered that Buddy was married and her heart was broken. Now, Buddy claims that he’s divorced and Julie starts to fall for him again. It’s pretty obvious that Buddy is lying but who can blame Julie when he’s played by the classy and suave David Hedison. Hedison played Felix Leiter in Live and Let Die and License to Kill. In between dealing with the jinx, the crew tries to proect Julie from Buddy. Of course, Buddy’s wife eventually shows up but at least Julie has her friends to support her!
Anyway, this was a pretty predictable episode and the plot with the twins was way too silly to believed. It didn’t help that the twins appeared to be in their early 20s while Doc Bricker is in his 40s at least. But David Hedison was a perfect cad and Ray Bolger (who, of course, is best-remembered for playing the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz) and Harriet Nelson were an adorable couple. This episode was nothing special but it was still enjoyable while it lasted.