Retro Television Reviews: The Love Boat 1.19 “A Very Special Girl / Until the Last Goodbye / The Inspector”


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!

Beware the Inspector!  Read on and find out more about this week’s cruise of the Pacific Princess….

Episode 1.19 “A Very Special Girl / Until the Last Goodbye / The Inspector”

(Dir by Roger Duchovny, originally aired on February 11th, 1978)

Captain Stubing starts the cruise by giving the crew some potentially frightening news.  The company has sent an inspector to take the cruise and observe how everyone is doing their job.  The catch is that the inspector is disguised as a passenger and the crew now has to figure out who it could be!

Marvin Waterman (Jim Backus) seems like a good suspect.  He’s stuffy.  He always wears a suit.  He carries around a notepad.  He’s always asking questions about the ship.  It must be Marvin!  Nope, sorry.  It turns out that Marvin is just a children’s book author and he’s doing research.

Could it be eccentric Mrs. Corwin (played by Gavin MacLeod’s wife, Patti MacLeod)?  She acts like she’s spacey and not always sure where she is but maybe that’s just a cover!  She does make a lot of calls back to the mainland!  Nope, it’s not Mrs. Corwin.  It turns out that she’s just an eccentric widow who likes to call her daughter and let her know what’s going on in her life.  Fortunately, Mrs. Corwin meets and inspires Marvin and they fall in love.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t bring the crew any closer to finding the inspector.

Surprise!  The inspector wasn’t actually on the ship.  He arrived late and wasn’t able to board.  However, his father (Jack Bernardi) did get on board and he spend the entire cruise wandering about and asking people questions in Russian.  As far as I could tell, none of the crew made much of an effort to help the confused old man out so I’m guessing they’re all out of a job now.  I wonder what next week’s episode will be like….

While the crew was looking for the inspector, Mike Andrews (Bob Seagren) was looking for Melanie Taylor (Laurette Sprang).  Mike arranged for his goofy sidekick, Doug (Sal Viscuso), to spend all of his time with Melanie’s best friend, Jane (Debralee Scott).  Fortunately, Doug and Jane fell in love.  Meanwhile, Mike abandoned Melanie as soon as the cruise ended.  Booooooo!

Finally, the crew was fascinated by an older man (Paul Burke) who was traveling with a younger woman (Susan Blanchard).  For the majority of the episode, everyone assumed the man and the woman were lovers.  But then the man collapsed and it turned out that he was the woman’s father and he also terminally ill.  This cruise was their long goodbye.  This was a sweet story, even if it was kind of icky that everyone assumed that the father was carrying on an affair with his daughter.  But, really, that mistaken assumption is the fault of the crew.  I’m surprised they didn’t mistake the older man for being the Inspector.

Anyway, this was a fairly typical episode of The Love Boat.  It got the job done with a minimum of complications and, if nothing else, it looked like a fun vacation.  The Love Boat always works best as wish-fulfillment.  It’s the type of show you watch and think, “What would I do if I was on that cruise?”  I enjoyed this episode.  The whole thing with the inspector was silly but the other two stories were well-handled.  I hope things worked out for Doug and Jane!

2 responses to “Retro Television Reviews: The Love Boat 1.19 “A Very Special Girl / Until the Last Goodbye / The Inspector”

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 1/2/23 — 1/8/23 | Through the Shattered Lens

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