Retro Television Reviews: The Love Boat 2.16 “Gopher’s Opportunity / The Switch / Home Sweet Home”

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!

This week, The Love Boat sets sail for a thoroughly pleasant cruise.  Come on board, they’re expecting you!

Episode 2.16 “Gopher’s Opportunity / The Switch / Home Sweet Home”

(Directed by Roger Duchowny and Allen Baron, originally aired on January 20th, 1979)

I’ve been watching these old episodes of The Love Boat for a while now and I have to say that I’m still not totally sure what it is that Gopher actually does on the ship.  Merrill Stubing is the captain and is responsible for the safety of all of the passengers.  Julie McCoy is the cruise director and is responsible for making sure everyone is entertained.  Adam Bricker is the doctor and is probably responsible for the cruise line getting sued by every patient that he hits on.  Isaac Washington is the bartender and is responsible for getting everyone so drunk that they’ll go back to their cabin with the first person who asks.  But what does Gopher do?

I know that Gopher is the purser but the show has never really made clear what that means.  I know I could look it up on Wikipedia but that’s not really the point.  The point is that, while Fred Grandy was certainly likable in the role, the show often seemed to be unsure of what to do with Gopher.  His cabin was decorated with posters of old movies but Gopher rarely spoke of being a fan.  Instead, while the other crew members fell in love with passengers and got involved in each other’s lives, Gopher was often left as a mere observer.

This episode is unique because it actually allows Gopher to do something.  When his old friends, Melody (Elayne Joyce) and Phil (Bobby Van), board the ship, they tell Gopher that they need a manager for their hotel and that they’re offering him the job.  Normally, Gopher would never think of leaving his friends on the Pacific Princess but this episode finds him getting on Stubing’s nerves by leaving too many suggestions in the suggestion box.  (One suggestion, which Stubing finds to be particularly egregious, is that the boat should have a designated “no smoking” area, which today just sounds like common sense,  Can you even smoke on a cruise ship anymore?)  Gopher, feeling underappreciated by the Captain, takes the hotel job.  But, after he realizes that there’s an attraction between him and Melody, Gopher decides to stay on the boat and instead, he encourages Phil to give the position to Melody.  It’s a pretty simple story but it does allow Fred Grandy to do something more than just make wisecracks in the corner.  To be honest, the main theme of this story seemed to be that Captain Stubing is an insensitive jerk who doesn’t really appreciate his crew until they threaten to quit.

While Gopher is trying to decide whether to pursue a new career, magician Al Breyer (Ron Palillo, co-star of the latest addition to Retro Television Reviews, Welcome Back, Kotter) comes to the ship as a last-minute replacement for his older brother, Ken (Michael Gregory).  Ken’s assistant, Maggie (Melinda Naud), is already on the boat and she’s disappointed when Al shows up instead of Ken.  It turns out that Maggie was more than just Ken’s assistant.  At first, she refuses to work with Al but she comes around when she discovers that Al is sensitive and nice and basically the opposite of Ken.  When Ken does finally show up on the ship, he’s such a sleazeball that you have to kind of wonder what Maggie ever saw in him to begin with.  Al responds to Ken’s arrival by locking him in a closet and then he and Maggie leave the boat, arm-in-arm.  Hopefully, someone found Ken before he suffocated because, otherwise, Al’s magic career might come to an abrupt end.

Meanwhile, Hetty Waterhouse (Nancy Walker) decides that she’s going to live on the ship.  She can do this because she’s a wealthy widow.  She books her cabin for the next five years.  Oddly, even though the audience has never seen or heard about her before, everyone else on the crew seems to know her and treats her like an old friend.  That always bothers me a little, when we’re told that a previously unknown character is apparently everyone’s best friend.  Anyway, the main reason that Hetty wants to live on the boat is because she’s in love with Charlie (Abe Vigoda), a cabin steward who has apparently been on the boat for years but who, again, the audience has never seen or hear about before.  Charlie is retiring but he wants to get an apartment on dry land.  He’s tired of the sea.  Hetty gives up her cabin so that she can move into Charlie’s apartment. Awwwww!

This was actually a pretty sweet episode.  Gopher finally felt appreciated by the captain.  Al and Maggie realized that they were both better than Ken.  Hetty and Tessio Charlie found late-in-life happiness together.  This was a perfectly charming cruise!

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 5/21/23 — 5/27/23

I didn’t watch much this week.  For whatever reason, I really wasn’t in a television mood.  Still, I did catch a few shows and here are my thoughts on them!

Barry (Sunday Night, HBO)

Monroe “The Raven” Fuches has his own compound.  NoHo Hank is discovering that being a legitimate businessman still means doing a lot of illegal stuff.  The FBI is now convinced that Cusineau was Barry’s accomplice.  And Sally and John have been kidnapped.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit nervous about how all of this going to wrap up on Sunday night.  I’m hoping for a happy ending but I don’t know if there is such a thing in the world of Barry.

Beavis and Butt-Head (Paramount Plus)

Oh no!  Beavis and Butt-Head are dead!  Well, actually, I’m sure they’ll find a way to survive being in that car that just got tossed into the car smasher thing.  I mean, Old Beavis survived having one of his kidneys explode so it might just be that the boys are immortal and incapable of dying.  That’s kind of a scary thought.

Black Bird (Apple TV+)

I finished up this excellent miniseries on Sunday.  Paul Walter Hauser chilled me to the bone.  Ray Liotta broke my heart.

Bubblegum Crisis (Night Flight Plus)

I watched the fourth episode of this anime on Saturday morning.  It features a black car shoving a bunch of motorcyclists out of the way.  That was actually kind of neat because everyone knows the frustration of getting stuck behind a motorcyclist (or, even worse, a freaking bicyclist) in heavy traffic.

City Guys (YouTube)

I have finally started in on the 5th and final season of City GuysYou can read my thoughts on the 4th season finale right here.

Forgive or Forget (YouTube)

Robin Givens talked to teenagers who felt that they had been let down by their mothers.  Wait …. where’s Mother Love!?

Great Performances (Monday Morning, PBS)

Danai Gurira played the title role in a Shakespeare in the Pak production of Richard III.  Gurira was certainly able to capture the character’s ruthless determination but there still wasn’t much depth to either her performance or the overall production.

Hang Time (YouTube)

I’m nearly done with this show.  Yay!  Read my thoughts on this week’s episode here!

The Love Boat (Paramount Plus)

I wrote about this week’s episode of The Love Boat here!

The Master (Tubi)

Max Keller, union activist!  The third episode of The Master was pretty silly and I wrote about it here!

The Office (Peacock)

“Hey there, Mr. Scott, what you gonna do?  What you gonna do?  Make our dreams come true!”  Can you guess which episode of The Office I watched on Friday afternoon?

Red Dwarf (Monday Morning, PBS)

The long-running British science fiction comedy is now airing on my PBS station so I watched an episode on Monday.  Apparently, the last Earthling in existence gave some false memories to his companion, a hologram.  The hologram was disappointed to learn that his memories weren’t real.  It was funny but it was also kind of sad, to be honest.  It made me wonder what I would so if I woke up one day to discover that I was the last remaining person on Earth (or in space, as the case may be).

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

Another season of Survivor has come to a close and I am off the reality show beat until Big Brother returns in August.  Yam Yam, to be honest, got on my last nerve because he was so whiny and petulant.  He played a good enough game that he deserved the victory but still, I would have preferred to have seen either Carolyn or Carson take home the money.  What was up with Carolyn getting zero votes?  That sucked!  You can read my thoughts on Survivor here!

Yes, Minister (Monday Morning, PBS)

This week, Jim Hacker caused a panic when he threatened to withhold honours from civil servants who did not reduce their budgets.  Of course, no civil servant would ever willingly reduce their budget but what’s the point of being a civil servant without the honours?  It was all very British but it was also universal.  Bureaucrats love to be rewarded for not doing anything.

Retro Television Reviews: The Love Boat 2.15 “My Sister, Irene / The ‘Now’ Marriage / Second Time Around”

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!

This week, The Love Boat becomes …. THE DIVORCE BOAT!

Episode 2.15 “My Sister, Irene / The ‘Now’ Marriage / Second Time Around”

(Dir by Roger Duchowny, originally aired on January 13th, 1979)

Dr. Todd Gardiner (Peter Marshall) is the author of a best-selling book that advocates for open marriage but he’s never had one himself.  He’s determined to finally have an affair while sailing on The Love Boat and, just to prove that he’s not a hypocrite, he’s brought along his wife, Eleanor (Barbara Rush), and he’s encouraging her to have an affair as well!  Initially, Eleanor is not particularly enthusiastic about the idea of cheating on her husband, with or without his permission.  But then she meets Captain Stubing!

The Captain and Eleanor have a very chaste shipboard romance.  He gives her a tour of Puerto Vallarta but that’s it.  As the Captain explains it, he’s a traditionalist at heart and, even though he’s fallen in love with Eleaonor, he’s not the type to take part in an adulterous affair.  Eleanor realizes that the same is true for her.  And, of course, Todd realizes that he doesn’t want an open marriage either!

However, it’s too late for Todd.  Both Eleanor and Todd’s cruise girlfriend, Nancy Bishop (Phyllis Davis), reject him.  Eleanor announces that she’s going to file for divorce.  Since that was The Love Boat, I was expecting Eleanor to suddenly change her mind but the episode ended with Todd alone and Eleanor promising that she would see the Captain again in the future.

I believe this is the first episode of The Love Boat to end with a breakup instead of a romance.  This episode also came out very much against open marriage, which isn’t surprising.  For all the innuendos and the jokes about people hooking up during each cruise, The Love Boat was a pretty conservative show at heart.  If you hooked up on the boat, you were expected to get married on shore.

Speaking of marriage and divorce, another passenger on this cruise was Doc Bricker’s ex-wife, Betty (Tina Louise).  Doc Bricker found himself falling once again for Betty, which was a problem as Betty was traveling with her fiancé, Lance (Lyle Waggoner).   Except, of course, Lance was just an actor that Betty hired to make Doc jealous.  But then Lance and Betty fell in love for real and decided to get married.  It was incredibly silly but Lyle Waggoner’s dumb-but-earnest actor schtick did make me laugh.

Finally, Irene Austin (Martha Raye) boarded the ship with plans to reunite with her old college classmate, Andy (Ray Bolger).  However, upon discovering that Andy was still as spry and funny as he was in college, Irene panicked and introduced herself as being her own sister.  Andy saw through the ruse and he and Irene left the ship as a couple, which was sweet.  I mean, it was another silly story but the old school, showbiz veteran charm of Raye and Bolger carried the story.

All in all, it was a good cruise this week.

Retro Television Reviews: The Love Boat 2.14 “Julie Falls Hard / Double Wedding / The Dummies”

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!

Welcome aboard.  Don’t expect much from your cruise this week.

Episode 2.14 “Julie Falls Hard / Double Wedding / The Dummies”

(Dir by Bob Claver, originally aired on December 16th, 1978)

Agck!  It’s the most horrifying episode in the history of the Love Boat!

Your eyes do not deceive you.  There are indeed two ventriloquists on this week’s cruise.  Married entertainers Patti Harmon (Ruth Buzzi) and Michael Harmon (Sid Caesar) have been hired to amuse the ship’s passengers.  Unfortunately, they’ve recently separated.  Patti thinks that Michael is incapable of expressing his emotions unless he’s carrying around his dummy.  And it turns out that she’s right because Michael really does carry that dummy around with him everywhere and he has frequent conversations with it.  Even when Michael inevitably apologizes for being a bad husband and asks Patti for another chance, he has to use the dummy to do it.

Seriously, it’s creepy!  I mean, everything works out in the end.  Michael and Patti decide to give their marriage a second chance and their dummies end up kissing as well.  But seriously, ventriloquist dummys are just weird.  Have you seen that episode of The Twilight Zone where the guy tries to switch one dummy out for another so the original dummy gets mad and destroys his replacement?  Have you seen the classic Anthony Hopkins film, Magic?  CREEPY!

Of course, this episode features not just the scariest story in Love Boat history.  It also features the stupidest.  Two twins (Cyb Barnstable and Trish Barnstable) board the cruise with their fiancés (played by David Nelson and Fred Travelena).  No one can tell the twins apart!  Not even Isaac!

Anyway, the twins worry that they might be making a mistake because it seems like each one is marrying a man with the opposite personality.  The twin who likes to stay up late is engaged to the man who goes to bed early.  The twin who likes to be responsible and level-headed is engaged to man who is wild and unpredictable.  So, when the twins disembark the boat so that they can get married in Mexico, they decide to switch places on their wedding day.  But then when the twins return to the boat with their new husbands, they decide that they made a mistake so they switch back.  They can do that because they’re twins!  Seriously, that’s the entire story.

Bleh!  This was so stupid.  Even writing about it was painful.

Finally, Julie’s in love!

Jack Chenault (Tony Roberts) is taking the cruise with his two young daughters and, when he sees Julie, it’s love at first sight.  The daughters wants their Dad to marry Julie as well.  One of the daughters is played by a very young Melora Hardin, who would grow up to play Jan Levinson on The Office.

After knowing Julie for one day, Michael announces that he’s in love with her and he wants her to come live with him in Alaska.  Julie is tempted but ultimately, she can’t leave her life on the boat behind.  Jack is heart-broken but Julie promises to see him the next time that she’s in Alaska.  So, I imagine we will never hear about Jack again.

This third storyline wasn’t bad.  Especially when compared to the other two, it was actually sweet and rather touching.  It helps that Tony Roberts gave a convincing performance Jack.  That said, asking someone to marry you after only knowing them for one day?  Unless you’re a young king looking to legitimize the Treaty of Troyes, that’s never a good idea.

This week’s cruise was not a good one.  Hopefully, next week’s will be less scary and less dumb.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 5/7/23 — 5/13/23

Accused (Tuesday Night, FOX)

The season finale of Accused started out strong but, towards the end, it felt like propaganda for euthanasia.  Plus, the big twist — i.e., the accused taking the blame for a crime that was actually committed by a loved one — was one that the show had already done before.  It’s a bit early for this show to be repeating itself.  That’s one reason why I think Accused would be well-served by having a regular set of writers and a regular set of directors as opposed to bringing in new people for each episode.  That said, Keith Carradine gave a powerful performance as the man on trial.  The first season of Accused was extremely uneven but hopefully, they’ll work out the kinks by the time the second season begins.

Barry (Sunday Night, HBO)

The rumors were true!  There has indeed been a time jump and Barry and Sally are now living in the middle of nowhere and raising their son, John.  Sally, who now wears a dark wig and works as a waitress, is miserable and, on Sunday’s show, nearly strangled a guy.  Barry is oddly obsessed with Abraham Lincoln.  Barry spends a lot of time with John and obviously considers himself to be a good father but, ultimately, Barry is just as manipulative towards his son as Monroe Fuches was towards him.  When Sally came across a news story about Gene Cusineau coming out of hiding to consult on a Barry Berkman biopic, Barry replied, without hesitation, “I have to kill Gene Cusineau.”  That’s where this week’s unsettling episode of Barry ended.

As I watched this week’s episode, it occurred to me that if someone ever did decide to do a new version of The Shining, Bill Hader would be an ideal Jack Torrance.

Beavis and Butt-Head (Paramount Plus)

Episodes that feature both the young and the old Beavis and Butt-Head are so depressing.  It’s so easy to laugh at them when they’re young and they’re trying to plant cigarettes and destroying the community garden.  But then you see what the future has waiting for them.  Butt-Head’s a fat alcoholic and Beavis looks like he’s about 70 years old when he should just be in his 40s.  It’s sad but it’s also funny.  I do take some comfort in the fact that Beavis and Butt-Head always seem to be blissfully unaware of how terrible their lives truly are.  Beavis never seems to give up hope.

Bubblegum Crisis (YouTube)

I watched an episode on Saturday morning but, to be honest, I was half asleep.  All I know for sure is that a lot of stuff blew up.

Forgive or Forget (YouTube)

On Sunday, I sat through three episodes of this old 90s talk show on YouTube.  A son demanded that his mother apologize for robbing him.  (She didn’t.)  A man told his fiancée that he was an exotic dancer just for her to then reveal that she was a stripper.  (The audience went crazy.)  A woman demanded that her friend apologize for “sleeping with my first love.”  (“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” the friend replied.)  Mother Love said to never forget the power of forgiveness.

On Friday, I watched one more episode.  A woman begged another woman to forgive her for backing out of an adoption arrangement.  No one was forgiven.  Mother Love started to cry.

Jury Duty (Freevee)

I absolutely loved this 8-hour, semi-improvised comedy about jury duty.  Essentially, the series followed one guy as he took part in a very strange court case and got to know his fellow jurors (including James Marsden, who played a comedic version of himself).  The catch was that everyone else in the court room was an actor and our hero was being filmed without even knowing it.  It was wonderfully weird, funny, and ultimately rather sweet.  It helped that the main guy, Ronald Gladden, came across as being incredibly likable and nice, even when James Marsden went out of his way to annoy him.  Give Marsden an Emmy!

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

This was a pretty dumb episode this week.  Cosgrove got shot by this week’s suspect after the suspect got out on bail.  Because he was captured at the scene, everyone knew who shot Cosgrove but, at the trial, no one brought up the fact that the suspect had shot a cop and, unless I missed it, I don’t think he was ever charged with shooting Cosgrove either.  Instead, Price was worried he wouldn’t be able to get a conviction on the crime that the guy was originally accused of and I was just like, “Uhmm, he shot a cop while trying to kill the state’s main witness against him.  Isn’t that pretty good evidence that the cops were onto something when they arrested him?”

Cosgrove considered retiring and going to Florida but, at the end of the episode, it appeared that he was planning on staying in New York.  I got the feeling that entire storyline was just included as some sort of “That that!” to Florida.  But, honestly, Cosgrove is 50 years old and politically and culturally conservative.  Why wouldn’t he want to move to Florida?

The Love Boat (Paramount Plus)

I wrote about this week’s episode here!

The Master (Tubi)

Since Freddy’s Nightmares is no longer available on Tubi, I decided to watch and review all 13 episodes of this 80s ninja show instead.  You can read my review of episode 1 here!

Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Tubi)

Apparently, after the show went off the air, NBC edited the first two episodes of The Master together and they released the result theatrically under the name Master Ninja One.  And then, years later, the guys at Mystery Science Theater 3000 watched Master Ninja One and spent a lot of time pointing out Lee Van Cleef’s stunt double.  Anyway, I watched the Mystery Science Theater version on Thursday, after I finished writing up my review of The Master.  It made me laugh!

Night Court (Tuesday Night, NBC)

The season came to an end much as I predicted it would.  Abbi and Rand broke up.  Dan went to Louisiana and became a judge but I imagine he’ll be back whenever season 2 starts because, if there was anything that was consistent about the first season, it’s that the action always grinds to a halt whenever John Larroquette isn’t onscreen.

Sally Jessy Raphael (YouTube)

I watched an episode on Monday night.  Sally talked to parents who had out-of-control children.  The kids were forced to take part in the Scared Straight program.  Did it do any good?  Probably not.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about this week’s episode over at Reality TV Chat Blog!

The Traitors (Peacock)

I binged this enjoyably silly reality show over the course of the week.  Basically, a combination of newbies and reality TV vets moved into a Scottish castle and tried to figure out which of the three of them had been designated as “traitors” by host Alan Cumming.  The traitors could “kill” a guest every night.  (Well, not literally.)  I was happy to see Survivor’s Cirie Fields do well and outlast Big Brother‘s Rachel Reilly.  “I’m an icon!” Rachel exclaimed at one point.  (Truth be told, I may complain about Rachel whenever she shows up on yet another reality show but she knows exactly what the audience wants from her and she plays her role well so good for her!)

Retro Television Reviews: The Love Boat 2.13 “El Kid/The Last Hundred Bucks/Isosceles Triangle”

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!

Welcome aboard!  Get ready for tonal whiplash on this week’s episode of The Love Boat!

Episode 2.13 “El Kid/The Last Hundred Bucks/Isosceles Triangle”

(Dir by Allen Baron, originally aired on December 9th, 1978)

Wes (David Madden) and Renee Larson (Dena Dietrich) are happy to be setting sail with their friend and business partner, April (Rue McClanahan).  They’re even more excited when the widowed April meets Van Milner (Dabney Coleman), a recently divorced businessman.  Not only is April falling in love with Van but it also appears that Van might even be willing to join the board of April’s hospital and invest some of his money into fixing the place up.  Except, of course, Van lost his job over a year ago and he really doesn’t have that much money left.  April is crestfallen to discover that Van is not the wealthy man that she believed him to be.  Was he just romancing her for her money?  When Van wins a few thousand dollars at the craps table, he donates the money to the hospital and April realizes that he was being honest about his feelings towards her.

This was a pretty predictable story and April was way too quick to forgive Van for his dishonesty but it was interesting to see an actor like Dabney Coleman, someone who brought a naturally cynical edge to any character that he played, on a show like The Love Boat.  As played by Coleman, Van seemed to be suffering from very real inner pain.  For once, the emotional drama on The Love Boat felt, if not quite real, then at least credible.

Speaking of pain, that’s what Larry (Robert Urich) and Cybill Hartman (Heather Menzies) had waiting for them when they took the Love Boat to Mexico so they could adopt a baby.  Upon arriving at the local orphanage, they were told that the mother of their baby had changed her mind and would not be giving up her baby after all.  Instead, Larry and Cybill left with 12 year-old Pepito (Gabriel Melgar), a little brat who steals Larry’s watch and sells it on the boat.  When Larry gets upset, Pepito grabs an inflatable lifeboat and prepares to jump overboard.  Fortunately, Larry and Cybill talk him out of it and he agrees to be their son and to stop stealing stuff.  This was an annoying story, largely because Pepito was so whiny.  It was hard not to feel that Larry and Cybill deserved better than having to raise Pepito.

Finally, Julie’s friend, Karen Maynard (Connie Stevens), boards the boat and both Captain Stubing and Doc Bricker spend the entire voyage pursuing her because it’s not like the Captain and the ship’s doctor would actually be expected do their job while the ship is floating in the middle of the ocean.  Gopher, Ike, and Julie take bets on who Karen will choose but, in the end, Karen chooses neither because both Doc and Stubing decide to respect the other’s feelings and stop pursuing Karen.  This whole storyline was silly because there was really no doubt about who Karen would have picked.  Seriously, anyone who is a passenger on a cruise is automatically going to fall for the captain because the captain is the most powerful person on the boat.  But, on the plus side, the storyline showed off the chemistry between all of the show’s regulars.  It was likable, even if it never quite felt plausible.

This was an episode about which I had mixed feelings.  The three storylines were so tonally dissimilar that they didn’t really seem that they all should have been happening on the same cruise.  Plus, Pepito was the most obnoxious orphan since the kids on One World.  I’m glad things worked out for Dabney Coleman, though.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 4/30/23 — 5/6/23

Accused (Tuesday Night, Fox)

As frustratingly uneven as Accused can be, this week’s episode was enjoyably melodramatic and over the top.  A teenage girl’s attempt to find her real father led to her discovering that he not only lived right next door but that she was also on the verge of dating her half-brother!  In this case, the big crime was breaking into a sperm bank.  In many ways, it was a silly episode but it was also undeniably enjoyable.  Accused should do more weird episodes like this and give the politics a rest.

Barry (Sunday Night, HBO)

Wow, what an unsettling episode this week!  Cristobal is dead.  NoHo Hank is back in the Chechen mob.  Gene shot and probably killed his son.  And, according to the time jump towards the end of the episode, Barry and Sally ended up living on a farm with a son named John.  And, in the world of Barry, Sian Heder is following up CODA with the worst comic book movie since The Eternals.  I’m looking forward to seeing where all of this goes but I have a feeling the show is building up to the most traumatic conclusion of all time.  We’ll see if I’m right!

Beavis and Butt-Head (Paramount Plus)

Beavis and Butt-Head fell in the sewer and thought they were in Hell.  Then, after that, Beavis ended up in the hospital and nearly died due to Butt-Head continually punching him in the testicles.  Guys are weird.

The Coronation of Charles III (Saturday Morning, Everywhere)

Supposedly, the British are indifferent to Charles III’s official coronation but it certainly has been a big deal here in the States.  Honestly, maybe the entire Royal Family should just move over here and take over again.  They would be greeted as liberators!

Forgive or Forget (YouTube)

It was raining on Wednesday afternoon so Jeff and I watched some old 90s talk shows on YouTube.  In an episode of Forgive or Forget, delinquent daughters were giving their mothers trouble.  The show’s host, Mother Love, yelled at everyone and forced them to go backstage and think about all of their sins before then choosing whether or not to come through the door of forgiveness.  Towards the end of the show, the format changed a little as a former out-of-control teen asked her mother to forgive her, just to have her mother refuse to come through the door.  What a terrible mother.  Seriously, this was a weird show.

Geraldo (YouTube)

It was raining on Wednesday afternoon so Jeff and I watched some old 90s talk shows on YouTube.  We watched a 1996 episode of Geraldo, featuring a young-looking but still overdramatic Geraldo Rivera talking to girls who were in gangs.  The highlight of the epiosde was when the current gang girls were confronted by former gang girls who accuse them all of being bad mothers.  “My babies are more important than my homies!” one former gang girl announced while the audience went crazy.

Half Nelson (YouTube)

I wrote about the finale of Half Nelson here!

Jenny Jones (YouTube)

It was raining on Wednesday afternoon so Jeff and I watched some old 90s talk shows on YouTube.  On the Jenny Jones show, the permanently flustered host talked to mothers and daughters who teamed up to “play more than one guy.”  The mothers and the daughters would come out on stage.  The audience would boo.  “Be an appreciator, not a hater!” one mother yelled back.  Nothing was really resolved by the end of this episode.  To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what the point of it all was.

The second episode that we watched feature couples taking lie detector tests to determine whether or not they were cheating.  The audience booed a lot.  No cheating allowed!  “WHY YOU STAYING WITH THAT MAN!?” some guy in the audience yelled.  Jenny Jones looked really nervous.

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

This week, Cosgrove’s daughter became an important witness in Price’s case against the accused murderer.  To me, it seems that, as soon as it became apparent that his daughter could be a part of the case, Cosgrove should have been taken off the investigation but Law & Order takes place in a world where “conflict of interest” is no big deal.

The Love Boat (Paramount Plus)

I wrote about this week’s episode of The Love Boat here!

Night Court (Tuesday Night, NBC)

Dan’s been appointed to a judgeship in Louisiana and is planning on leaving New York City without telling anyone.  Dan is not the sentimental type.  However, Abbi and Rand insist on throwing him a going away party.  As usual, this show works best when it focus on John Larroquette and Melissa Rauch.  I spent most of this episode marveling at just how tall Larroquette is.  Especially standing next to Melissa Rauch, Larroquette appeared to be about 9 feet tall.  (Of course, Melissa Rauch is only like 4’11 herself.)  Anyway, Dan was about to leave for Louisiana when he got a call that Abbi was in jail and needed him to defend her.  This led to the dreaded “To Be Continued” card.

Night Flight (Night Flight Plus)

This week, I watched a compilation of three episodes from 1991.  I learned about European Rock and guitar gods!

Radio 1990 (Night Flight Plus)

This was apparently an entertainment-related news show that aired on PBS in the 80s (despite the name).  I watched an episode from 1983 on Saturday morning.  My favorite part was “Radio 1990 on the movies.”  The week the show aired, the number one movie was Sudden Impact and Scarface had just been released.

Sally Jessy Raphael (YouTube)

It was raining on Wednesday afternoon so Jeff and I watched some old 90s talk shows on YouTube.  The episode that we watched of this show dealt with out-of-control teens.  The teens were angry and bratty but then they all got sent to boot camp.  Most studies have confirmed that the whole boot camp thing was usually counter-productive but audiences just loved to watch wannaba drill sergeants scream at a bunch of bratty kids.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about this week’s episode of Survivor here!

Retro Television Reviews: The Love Boat 2.12 “The Captain’s Cup/ The Folks From Home/ Legal Eagle”

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!

This week, the Love Boat departs on one weird cruise.

Episode 2.12 “The Captain’s Cup / The Folks from Home / Legal Eagle”

(Dir by Alan Rafkin, originally aired on December 2nd, 1978)

This was a strange episode.

Let’s start with the simplest of our three stories first.  Danny Holt (Bert Convy) is recently divorced and still crying over having to pay his wife alimony.  When he boards the boat, he specifically asks Gopher if there are any single men onboard who might be interested in marrying his ex-wife.  His ex isn’t even on the cruise!  Danny is one bitter passenger.  From the minute he boards the boat, he’s whining about how unfair his divorce was and how badly he was treated by his wife’s divorce lawyer, Ann Sterling (Leigh Taylor-Young).

Uh-oh, it turns out that Ann is one the cruise as well!  And she’s been assigned to be Danny’s dinner companion.  Danny isn’t happy about this but then, from out of seemingly nowhere, the two of them end of falling in love.  It’s hard to say why they suddenly fall in love.  Danny is superbitter over his divorce and Ann knows all of the details about what type of husband he was so it seems like the last thing that would ever happen would be them leaving the ship, arm-in-arm.  But somehow, that’s what happens.  It was a straight-forward story but it lacked any scenes that would have explained why the two of them fell in love.  They just did because they were characters on The Love Boat.  (It certainly wasn’t due to any noticeable romantic chemistry between Bert Convy and Leigh Taylor-Young.)  This story felt lazy and generic.

In the episode’s second storyline, Captain Stubing is excited because he’s due to receive the Captain of the Year Cup.  Diane DiMarzo (Florence Henderson, proving that former Bradys just cannot stay off The Love Boat) boards the ship with the Cup but she’s shocked to discover that 1) her boss — the guy who actually decided to give Stubing the Cup — will not be on the ship and 2) Stubing fully expects her boss to personally present him with the Cup.  Now, I’m not really sure how the logic works here but apparently, Diane could lose her job if her boss isn’t there to give Stubing the cup.  But why would that be Diane’s problem?  She did what she was supposed to do.  She boarded the ship with the Cup.  Her boss is the one who decided not to show up and he is the boss so it’s not like there was anything Diane could have done about it.

Anyway, Diane recruits one of the ship’s handymen to pretend to be her boss.  Though he works on the boat and the rest of the crew know him, it appears that the Captain himself has never met Hank Vosnik (Pat Harrington, Jr.), which kind of leads one to wonder if Stubing really deserves his award.  Anyway, Hank falls in love with Diane and is crestfallen when she turns down his marriage proposal.  (Seriously, at this point, they had only known each other for like three days so I’m not sure what Hank was expecting.)  But, despite being turned down, Hank still pretends to be Diane’s boss.  So, Diane decides that she might as well marry him.  WHAT!?

Finally, Doc Bricker is happy to meet two passengers from his hometown.  George (John McIntire) and Gloria (Jeanette Nolan) spend every moment with Doc and they even announce that, as far as they’re concerned, the 40-something Doc is a member of their family.  Doc is touched.  But then Gloria falls down a flight of stairs and Doc has to do emergency surgery on her.  Gopher calls a doctor in San Francisco and he talks Doc through the surgery.  Doc removes Gloria’s spleen and saves her life!  Yay!  Only at the end of the surgery does he get George to sign a consent form.  In real life, that would lead to Doc to losing his job and the cruise line getting sued.  But, on The Love Boat, it just leads to more laughter.

On the plus side, this storyline featured the charming performances of McIntire and Nolan, who were married in real life.  The story was also written by Fred “Gopher” Grandy and Bernie “Doc” Kopell so, not surprisingly, it actually allowed Grandy and Kopell to do something more than just leer at the passengers.  The show rarely gave Grandy or Kopell a chance to show off the fact that they were both capable of giving good dramatic performances so, whenever they got that rare chance to do so, they took advantage of it.  That said, it was still a bit awkward to see Doc suddenly performing major surgery in his tiny examination room.  It was all for the best on the show but, in real life, it would have led to a major lawsuit.  Even though Doc Bricker saved Gloria’s life, it still seems like the ship could probably be held liable for her getting injured in the first place.  I mean, the boat is in the middle of the ocean.  Shouldn’t there at least be a warning posted on the stairs?

Well, who knows?  Strange things happen at sea.  Let’s just be happy that everything worked out in the end.

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.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 4/16/23 — 4/22/23

Barry’s back!

Barry (Sunday Night, HBO)

Barry returned last Sunday with the first two episodes of season 4.

The first episode updated the viewers on what happened after Barry was arrested.  Barry went to jail, where he was reunited with Fuches.  Fuches briefly became an FBI informant until Barry told him that he loved him, which led to Fuches not only stepping away from the FBI but also declaring that he was going to start his own prison gang.  Sally went back to Joplin and promptly got into a fight with her mother over the television show and its portrayal of Sally’s abusive ex.  Gene plotted to control how the story of his relationship with Barry would appear in the media.  Cristobal and NoHo Hank plotted to start a semi-legitimate business, selling sand to construction sites.  Directed, as all of this season will be, by Bill Hader, the first episode was full of surreal touches and it left me feeling rather unsettled.  Sitting in prison and only showing emotion when Sally briefly came by to visit and demand to know whether he had killed their dog, Barry appeared to have finally snapped.  He went as far as to taunt a guard into nearly beating him to death.  The show had its funny moments but, make no doubt, the first episode was all about tapping into Barry’s heart of darkness.

The second episode had a bit more of the show’s trademark bizarre humor.  Cristobal and NoHo Hank attempted to convince two rival crime families to join them in their sand enterprise.  In order to convince them, they arranged for a meeting at the happiest place on Earth …. Dave and Buster’s!  The meeting went well, up until NoHo Hank announced that freeing Barry from prison would be a part of the plan.  An upset Cristobal told NoHo Hank that his loyalty to Barry made him appear to be “soft.”  However,  Fuches then called NoHo Hank for prison and told him that Barry had decided to become an FBI informant.  A stunned NoHo Hank announced that Barry would have to die.

While that was going on, Gene finally gave an interview about his experiences with Barry but, being Gene, he couldn’t just sit down and answer questions.  Instead, he put together a one man show, one that actually turned out to be pretty good, even if Gene’s version of events was a bit self-serving.  Meanwhile, Sally has returned to Los Angeles and is trying to put the pieces of her life and her career back together.  Unfortunately, her career still hasn’t recovered from last season’s viral video scandal and, to top it all off, she is now known for being the girlfriend of a serial killer.

As for Barry …. well, Monroe wasn’t lying.  At the end of the second episode, it appeared that Barry has decided to work with the FBI!

What a wonderful way to start the fourth season!  This is the final season of Barry and I can’t wait to see how the story wraps up.  I have a feeling that there won’t be many happy endings.

Beavis and Butthead (Paramount Plus)

Barry’s not the only one to have returned this week.  These two morons, Beavis and Butthead, have returned as well.  This week, Beavis and Butthead ruined meditation for everyone and then they went hunting with Mr. Anderson and nearly got killed.  Of all the supporting characters on this show, Mr. Anderson is probably my favorite because he’s basically just a really old version of Hank Hill.  His World War II flashback was wonderfully odd.

Beef (Netflix)

Unfortunately, it’s been a long week so I’ve only had time to watch the first four episodes of this miniseries.  Ali Wong and Steven Yeun are both giving outstanding performances in this series about a road rage incident that spirals out of control.  I’m looking forward to finishing it up during this upcoming week.

Dynaman (Night Flight Plus)

I watched an episode of this Japanese series on Saturday morning.  A bunch of fish monsters were trying to take over the world.  Dynaman stopped them.  Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand words so here’s a screenshot:

Farmer Wants A Wife (Wednesday Night, Fox)

The farmers are still not married.

Half Nelson (YouTube)

I reviewed Half Nelson here!

Hang Time (YouTube)

I have watched and written up reviews for several hours of Hang Time this week.  In fact, I’m nearly done with the show.  (My reviews of the show will be running through September.)  Read this week’s review here!

The Love Boat (Paramount Plus)

I wrote about The Love Boat here!

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I recapped this week’s episode for the Reality TV Chat Blog!

Tulsa King (Paramount Plus)

I finally got around to watching the second episode of Tulsa King this week and I’m afraid the show still isn’t working for me.  I think it’s because Stallone’s character is a bit too aggressive.  Stallone is at his best when he’s playing either a dumb but likable mook (i.e., Rocky) or when he’s fighting for his survival, like in First Blood.  But when he’s the one who is actually barking out orders and intimidating innocent people, it’s just not as much fun.  Plus, there’s only so many times that any show can go to the “Old people sure are confused by technology” well before the joke starts to run dry.  That said, I’ve been told the show get better so I’ll stick with it and see what I think of the third episode.

Waco: The Aftermath (Sunday Night, Showtime)

This miniseries picks up where Showtime’s last Waco miniseries left off.  The Branch Davidian compound has been burned down.  David Koresh is dead.  The main FBI negotiator (Michael Shannon) feels guilty about what happened at the compound but he also fears that the stand-off is going to embolden the militia movement.  (And he’s right!)  Meanwhile, the surviving Davidians are being railroaded in court and treated as scapegoats for the failures of both Koresh and the government.  Things got off to a strong start on Sunday.  I look forward to seeing where this show ends up going.

Yellowjackets (Sunday Night, Showtime)

This week’s episode was intriguing.  I loved the scene where Shauna confessed to Callie.  I’m still worried about Walter and Misty though.  I can just see Walter getting on Misty’s nerves and getting poisoned as a result.  I’ll also say that, as much as I enjoy this show, I’m starting to get a bit tired of the whole Taissa thing.  The show need to either explain what’s going on with all that or just move on.