My sister-in-law gave me a bunch of episodes of The Love Boat for some reason, so I’m watching them.
Season 02, Episodes 01-02
The crew takes a trip to a deserted island only to discover it’s inhabited by crazy Gomez Addams (The Addams Family), who takes them hostage at gunpoint and forces them to plan a surprise birthday party. They make plans to escape, but are thwarted by the arrival of a hurricane. An old lady inexplicably grows affection for the captor, and by the end of the double-episode plans the surprise party, then decides to stay behind and keep him company as she lives out the last few months of her terminal illness.
Meanwhile, Isaac the bartender manages to pull the wool over the eyes of a sexy model by having the crew talk him up like he’s some rich successful dude. When she finds out he’s the ship’s bartender, she’s angry, but, because she’s a woman and therefore flighty, comes around to forgiving him after he takes responsibility for the safety of the passengers when the idiot acting captain doesn’t. A love connection happens.
Finally, a woman who is a total jackass to her husband, during the hurricane on the island, confesses to him that the romance is gone, and she wants a real man. Her husband lowers his voice and makes up some stories about sleeping with a whole lot of women before he met her, and this somehow rekindles the romantic spark in their marriage.
Season 02, Episode 03
Julie, the cruise director, is expecting her parents on board. Turns out her father is Mister Roper (Three’s Company). He and the Mrs let Julie know they’re getting a divorce. Julie is pissed, but starts trying to hook them up with sexy singles on board. They don’t like it and decide to get back together. Julie gets a compliment from her boss for hooking up two more people.
A TV censor winds up falling for a prude who passes out pamphlets about moral vices. They have a lot of stupid interactions where they try not to kiss, then they finally kiss and it’s really traumatic for both of them. Then they discover they’re roommates, and decide to get married. A whole lot of bedroom tomfoolery ensues, proving that even prudes like TV censors can find love, however unlikely.
A girl who wears baseball caps and sports jerseys befriends Danny Zuko’s (Grease) nephew. She tries dressing up all girly for the boy, but he hates it. She decides to go back to presenting the way she’s comfortable. Then they find out she’s moving to his school district, and he asks her to a dance.
Season 02, Episode 04
The Man Who Loved Women
A dude dates three women at the same time and they find out, but decide he’s a pretty okay dude.
Oh, My Aching Brother
Some guy fakes a back injury but gives up the charade after a flaky woman with a torpedo bra shows interest in him.
A Different Girl
A couple find out they both slept with someone else, but decide maybe that’s okay.
The lady who played the wife put in a pretty stellar performance that the postproduction team seems to have chosen to ignore.
When she tells her husband how excited she is that she’s been offered a big promotion, he tells her he’d prefer she stays at home.
… you’d be good at anything you tried. But the thing you’re best at is being my wife. Boy do I brag about you to my buddies overseas. I told those guys you can cook up a Sunday dinner that would put the Ritz to shame, and that you’ve got a shape that makes Charlie’s Angels look like Hogan’s Heroes.
Of course, her incredulity that he’d respond this way is brushed away immediately by editing.
Season 02, Episode 05
The captain’s uncle shows up and starts aggressively sexually harassing Julie (the cruise director). I’m talking like physical assault: grabbing her, throwing her to the ground, while the laugh track rolls on. She repeatedly seeks the help of her (men) co-workers, who are sympathetic but reluctant to intervene. Eventually she convinces Gopher to dress as her police inspector aunt to thwart his advances, which he does. Then the uncle starts harassing Gopher, but quickly repents when he realizes Gopher is a dude.
Where Is It Written?
An author and his editor board the ship, with the editor’s wife. The editor won’t stop working, so the wife hangs out with the author instead. He keeps putting the moves on her, which she rejects. Eventually the editor notices, and they have a ridiculous fistfight which results in them all getting dumped into the pool. This convinces her that she actually still likes her wet blanket of a husband, and he agrees to stop working while on vacation, just as the vacation ends.
The Big Deal
Some woman shows up with her dad and her dad’s business partner. The dad’s business partner lecherously eyes her and decides somehow that she’s part of the business deal. She goes along with it because she wants her dad to succeed, but then she meets Ponch (C.H.I.P.S.) and realizes she still holds a candle for him from high school. Lecherous guy gets all jealous and I don’t know what happens next because I stopped caring.
Season 02, Episode 06
Mike Brady (The Brady Bunch) was a witness to some heinous crime. He falls in love with some lady who also knows about the crime, and the crime weighs on him so much that their relationship is tortured and boring. Oh, snap! The murder victim was her brother! What are the odds?
Mike and Ike
Isaac the Bartender recognizes a family (they’re also black, of course). Turns out the three adults were in a doo-wop band together. The dad nows owns a bunch of car dealerships and can’t stay off the phone long enough to hang out with his son. Isaac tries to convince the dad to spend time with his son. I actually like how Isaac was portrayed here, his character starts to show some depth.
The Kissing Bandit
Miracle Max (The Princess Bride) dresses up every night with a mask, cape, and fedora, and runs around the ship grabbing women and kissing them. Meanwhile there’s a woman actually interested in him during the day, and he’s skipping out on her to do his kissing rounds at night. This one actually made me laugh, a Love Boat first. Right until the crew decides to use Julie as “bait” to catch the kissing bandit. In hindsight, maybe sexual assault isn’t all that funny.
The actress who played Julie wound up addicted to cocaine, and was one of the very first Hollywood people to openly admit they had a drug problem. They dropped her from the show, but she did make a full recovery right around the time The Love Boat ended its run.
Season 02, Episode 07
Ship of Ghouls (Story 1)
Some white lady is all self-conscious because she has a scar on her face.
Ship of Ghouls (Story 2)
The owner of The House on Haunted Hill is an illusionist whose wife is upset that he can’t leave his work behind.
Ship of Ghouls (Story 3)
Some kid is worried that his dad might leave for a whole year again, which makes him a pathological liar.
Two stories intersect when the white lady is so upset about her scar that she decides to jump overboard. The lying kid who cried wolf can’t convince anybody he found her on the rail, so he talks her down himself with a lie about how his mom committed suicide.
Season 02, Episode 08
Julie’s sporting a new hair style in this episode.
Hot Lips Houlihan (M.A.S.H.) boards the ship as a godless commie cruise director, in some sort of east/west cruise staff exchange program. She talks to Julie about the glass ceiling, making this perhaps the first episode that passes the Bechdel test. The doctor gets bored and wanders off.
Comrade Hot Lips asks Julie to do her hair and makeup, then shows up to dinner looking sexy. Suddenly the doctor wants to talk to her, proving, I guess, that the doctor is a pig.
Comrade Hot Lips decides she’s way more interested in the doctor than her career, and she spends the rest of the episode pursuing him. He proposes marriage at the end of the 3-day cruise, but she has to go back to Russia.
Soupy Sales shows up drunk with his secretary. Turns out they don’t have tickets, they thought they were going to his apartment. She confesses her love to him, but he just wants her to take dictation.
I’m deeming this “Love Boat Plot #1”: man can’t stay away from work.
Toward the end, she forcibly kisses him, prompting the crew to use the word “assault” for the first time this season.
The Song is Ended
Susan/Sharon’s older sister and her husband take their first vacation without kids. They run into the host of Family Feud, and realize their marriage has failed.
But then the game show host sings a song, and they decide to stick together.
The actors almost got a tear out of me. Could just be Love Boat Fatigue though.
A Time for Everything
Within 30 seconds it becomes clear the captain is a father to an orphaned love child. The rest of the story proceeds to slowly reveal additional clues, in case the viewer is an idiot. The captain spends a lot of time staring off-screen as the camera zooms in. Sometimes this triggers a flashback scene, other times we just watch him staring.
Then the little girl leaves, and the captain reads through a bunch of love letters he’s kept from her mom.
Between this attempt at a tear-jerking ending, and Hot Lips crying about having to go back to Russia, this probably qualifies as “A Very Special Love Boat”
Season 02, Episode 09
Till Death Do Us Part
JJ (Good Times) and Vy (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) board, but it turns out she killed him by putting lighter fluid on his cole slaw, and he’s a ghost now.
JJ is pretty funny, and Julie puts in some good supporting acting, preteding JJ is invisible:
JJ Tries to hook her up with Barney Collier (Mission: Impossible) and a bunch of other (black) guys. But because she’s having a conversation with a ghost, she winds up saying all sorts of off-putting things to the (black) people who keep coming up to her.
It’s just that same joke, repeated for 30 minutes, and interspersed with JJ tossing out one-liners that sidle right up next to being funny.
JJ gets all butthurt when she winds up actually liking Barney, and tells her 2 years of mourning isn’t enough. But he has a change of heart and pushes her down the stairs, which causes Barney to propose.
Gopher’s sister is on this cruise. Seems she was fat when she was younger, giving the crew an opportunity to make a bunch of fat jokes. Ha ha! Fat jokes! Anyway, she finally shows up, and what do you know, Gopher’s sister is Hot Mary Ingalls (Little House on the Prairie)! Boy, is she hot! And she’s looking for some action!
She keeps trying to hook up with doc, but he’s put off because, “you’re 18 and you’re Gopher’s sister”. So the recurring character estableshed as “mister casual hook-up” gives Hot Mary Ingalls a lecture about holding out for true love.
Laurie Strode (Halloween) and her husband, “Sir Not Appearing In The Credits”, are annoyed when Laurie’s parents show up.
Husband tries repeatedly to engage her, but she’s too busy being a jerk, having decided that because her parents divorced, she will too.
On seeing that her parents have made up, Laurie decides not to divorce Husband after all.
Mister Drummond (Diff’rent Strokes) and Marion Crane (Psycho), Laurie’s divorced parents, get locked in a room together. They hate each other.
Being locked in the same room forces them to finally work through their issues, and they leave a happy couple again.
In earlier days, I would have thought that “doorknob came off, now you’re locked in” was pretty flimsy. But recently I got to witness three teenagers spend four days failing to open a vacation home’s front door from the inside. So maybe this isn’t as ridiculous as I thought.