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!
Things get a bit icky this week. Ugh!
Episode 2.5 “Julie’s Aunt/Where Is It Written?/The Big Deal”
(Dir by Alan Baron, originally aired on October 14th, 1978)
How icky can one cruise get?
Well, consider this. On this week’s episode of The Love Boat, Captain Stubing’s uncle (Red Buttons) is a passenger on the boat. Uncle Cyrus decides that he likes Julie. How does he express how much he likes Julie? He invites her to his cabin and then lunges at her and starts kissing her. Julie runs out of the cabin and Uncle Cyrus chases her through the corridors of the boat. Once Julie does get away from him, she tells Doc and Gopher about what happened. Doc and Gopher both think that it’s funny.
(Uhmm, guys, this isn’t some old guy with a crush. This is someone who invited the cruise director to his cabin …. AND ATTACKED HER!)
Everyone agrees that Julie should just try to avoid Cyrus and that she should not tell the Captain about what happened. Unfortunately, because Uncle Cyrus told the Captain about how much he enjoys Julie’s company, Stubing insists that Julie spend as much time as possible with Uncle Cyrus. Every time that Julie goes down to his cabin, Cyrus grabs her and starts kissing her. Scene after scene, Julie has to push Cyrus off of her so that she can escape, screaming, into the hallway.
Finally, realizing that she can’t go on like this, Julie realizes that she has to do something, even if both Doc Bricker and Gopher refuse to take the situation seriously. Out of the three choice below, which do you think she goes with?
- Call the police
- Tell Captain Stubing and demand that he call the police
- Have Gopher dress up like a woman and pretend to be a member of the police
If you picked number three, you could have been a writer for The Love Boat!
Ugh! I hated everything about this storyline!
I wasn’t a fan of the other two storylines as well. The first featured Hope Lange as Sandra Newberry, the wife of publisher Alfred Newberry (Gene Barry). She is upset to discover that Alfred has invited a Norman Maileresque writer named Mark Littlejohn (Richard Mulligan) to accompany them on the cruise. Alfred wants Mark to hurry up and finish the final chapter of his autobiography. Make wants to steal Sandra away. In the end, Alfred and Mark get into a fight. They’re too clumsy to actually hit each other but they do manage to knock out Captain Stubing. Again, you would think that this would be the sort of thing that would eventually involve the police but instead Stubing just accepts a payment that will come from the royalties of Mark’s book. Whatever. Go deal with your uncle, Captain.
Finally, Martin Scott (Allen Ludden) is a businessman who is selling his business to Brad Collins (Sam Groom). Martin’s daughter, Allison (Mackenzie Phillips), feels like she has to date Brad even though she’s actually in love with a musician named Jim Warren (Erik Estrada). It was hard not to feel that, intentionally or not, Martin was basically pimping out his daughter. Again, it was just icky.
This was not a fun cruise. Hopefully, next week will be better.