Retro Television Reviews: The Love Boat 2.11 “Heads or Tails/Mona of the Movies/The Little People”

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!

Let’s set sail for adventure!

Episode 2.11 “Heads or Tails/Mona of the Movies/The Little People”

(Dir by George Tyne, originally aired on November 25th, 1978)

The Love Boat crew is super excited because the glamorous movie star, Mona Maxwell (Rhonda Flemming), is going to be on the cruise.  Apparently, this is not her first time to sail on the Love Boat.  Captain Stubing can’t wait to get reacquainted with her.  The walking HR nightmare that is Doc Bricker can’t wait to flirt with her.  Artie D’Angelo (Orson Bean), a passenger who owns a chain of garages, is shocked to see that his favorite movie star in on the boat.

Artie may be a big fan of Mona’s but, whenever he tries to talk to her, he finds that he simply cannot find the words.  With Doc’s help, Artie finally works up the courage to ask Mona to have dinner with him.  Mona accepts and the two of them soon find themselves falling in love.  The only problem is that Artie just cannot bring himself to believe that a big movie star like Mona would be interested in a guy like him.  Really, Artie is being way too hard on himself.  He’s a likable guy!  And, fear not, he and Mona leave ship arm-in-arm.

Meanwhile, two frat dudes — Alex (Adam Arkin) and Wally (Richard Gilliand) — have made a bet over who will be the first to sweep Julie off of her feet.  When they start the betting, it’s for money but eventually, they decide to just bet a pizza.  Julie spends time with both of them and has fun, especially with Alex.  But then a jealous Wally reveals the truth about the bet and Julie announces that she doesn’t want anything else to do with either of them.  Gopher tells Julie that she should actually be flattered that the two guys were both so determined to date her.  Apparently deciding that she’s not really bothered by the fact that both of her suitors just spent an entire weekend lying to her, Julie forgives them and then says that she’s going to spend an equal amount of time with both Alex and Wally so neither one of them will win or lose the bet.

Finally, Doug Warren (Edward Albert) is on the cruise with his parents, who are celebrating their anniversary.  Coincidentally, Doug’s co-worker, Beth (Patty McCormack), is also on the cruise!  Doug and Beth quickly fall in love but then Beth is freaked out when she sees two little people in the ship’s lounge.  She explains to Doug that little people make her nervous.  She always worries about what would happen if her child turned out to be a little people.  What she doesn’t know is that the little people — Ralph (Billy Barty) and Dottie (Patty Maloney, who also guest-starred on the famous disco-themed episode of The Brady Bunch Hour) — are Doug’s parents!

Without telling Beth why, Doug says that he can no longer see her.  A heart-broken Beth goes to the Acapulco Lounge where she gets into a conversation with Ralph and Dottie.  She discovers that Ralph and Dottie are just like everyone else and she also finds out that Doug is their very tall son.  She tells Doug that she’s no longer worried about their potential children being little people and …. you know, this plot line is just ridiculous.  Beth is prejudiced against people based on their height and she’s basically told Doug that she would freak out if her child was anything other than “normal.”  And yet, Doug and his parents act all excited when Beth announces that she still loves Doug, regardless of who his parents are.  Doug, sweetie — you can do better!

I definitely had mixed feelings about this episode.  Orson Bean and Rhonda Fleming were both perfectly charming in their storyline but the other two stories were both pretty icky.  I spent the entire episode waiting for Julie to tell off Alex and Wally and for Doug to tell off Beth and, in both cases, it didn’t happen.  This was definitely not one of the better cruises of the Pacific Princess.

Hopefully, next week’s destination will be a bit nicer.

2 responses to “Retro Television Reviews: The Love Boat 2.11 “Heads or Tails/Mona of the Movies/The Little People”

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 4/23/23 — 4/29/23 | Through the Shattered Lens

  2. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 4/24/23 — 4/30/23 | Through the Shattered Lens

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