May 15, 2006

Nostalgika X: The Saturday Night T.V. Double-Banger

Remember how thrilling Saturday nights used to be? Make some popcorn (on the stove; we didn't even have microwaves. Popcorn in a bag? Whazzat?), settle in on the bed, lying on your stomach facing the TV, poised for two HOURS of TV-land bliss. I am speaking, of course, of the Love Boat-Fantasy Island Double-Barrelled Bang-and-Bang-Again!!

I knew I was supposed to think Captain Stubing was the hero, but in secret fantasies Doc would sneak into my cabin to examine me. Usually, it was because I had twisted my knee on the diving board. Before he could pronounce my diagnosis, Vickie would interrupt us with some shipboard problem, uttered in that spittle-laced speech-impediment way of hers. I never much cared about what Julie was doing, but I thought Isaac was the coolest guy I had ever known. I never took Gopher seriously. Not like now.

Everything about this show was great, from the realistic-looking moonlight, to the innocent little PG love triangles, to the spats between the crew members. I loved how the old married couple came on board facing the demise of their passion and left cooing like doves. I loved the teenaged girl who fell in love for the first time with a boy from Greece. I loved the way Julie's polyester dresses hugged her breasts in the cool night air. The Love Boat stands as the flagship of my childhood TV life.

I still haven't unwrapped my Capt. Stubing doll to see whether his underwear is painted on or not. I figure a wrapped package is worth a lot more on eBay.

And then, immediately after Love Boat, came Fantasy Island! Where your dreams come true! I loved how in every episode Tattoo announced that "de pleen!" was flying in, and Mr. Roarke would smile his benevolent, omnipotent smile. He was the most gracious host.

This show delivered like Domino's. I loved the guy who came with the fantasy of being a cowboy, and left with a cowhand in tow ... I sure wish I could quit you ... wait, did that happen? Strangely, I don't remember a single fantasy. I remember that sometimes they didn't turn out as expected, and that there was always a lesson in there somewhere. A lesson that Roarke had planned all along. Not too comfortable about the Tattoo-Roarke relationship either. What was that? It's a little too late to ask Herve, I am afraid, but maybe Ricardo will come out with a tell-all one of these days. What's that you say? ... Oooh, save me a copy.

P.S. Did anyone else have this experience?: I was just a little bit troubled by how felinely sexual I found Mr. Roarke to be, after I saw Ricardo Montalban in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. I just didn't know that under that white suit, he was a man. A man who bared his chest and spoke with a Spanish accent. Ay ay ay.


Tits McGee said...

Are you kidding? I was so seriously hot for Ricardo Montalbán is that deliciously naïve pre-pubescent way.

And, yes, without a doubt, it was the best Saturday night TV line-up ever.

What did you think about the Fantasy Island remake with Malcolm McDowell?

jiggs said...

Hate to burst your bubbles ladies, but I'm fairly certain that the wrath of khan montalban was wearing a chest plate.

Fredo Teabaggins said...

Holy shit! A Love Boat action figure! Oh, man I just popped a pup tent. That would look gor-frickin-geous next to my Donnie and Marie Osmond dolls. Not to mention my Fonzi (with motorcycle) doll.

aughra said...

YES!!!! I used to watch it every Saturday night at Grandma's, while my parents were at home, doing god knows what. We made popcorn, and I got to have diet pepsi with ice in a glass then shoved into a beer can cozy.

Osbasso said...

Having just gotten OFF of the Love Boat, I can say that it happens just that way! Except that in real life, English is a second language to most of the crew. I must have been part of the studio audience though, because I left the ship by myself...

I agree with Jiggs about Khan's chest plate, but still... And did anyone find Herve just a little (tee-hee) creepy in his James Bond movie role (The Man With the Golden Gun)?

Anonymous said...

You are now officially my idol! I LOVED saturday nights on ABC (channel 7 here in NY) as a kid. The love boat/FI power hours were a staple in my house as well.

p.s. I'll trade you the stubing figure for 2 gophers!

Juliabohemian said...

you forgot about the "Corinthian Leather"

AndyT13 said...

Wow. Way to bring me back to 8 years old again. Whoa! Volaré!
I heard Herve Villachez (Tattoo) shot himself. There's a joke in there somewhere but I don't have the heart. De Plane! I can't remember a single fantasy either! Isn't that weird?

DaMasta said...

No comprende.

Pero, te amo.

t2ed said...


Yeah, jiggs. Those chest teats are not real.

But the best thing about the Boat was the guest stars. Because then you could tell they were washed up. How many times was Charo on anyway?

Ubermilf said...

I miss those days.

(Whimper, sigh)

I wish there really was a Fantasy Island.

FRITZ said...

genuine Corinthian leather!

Ah, Ricardo, you slimy wash-up