June 15, 2007

Repost: The Saturday Night Double-Banger (Nostalgika)

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.


jamwall said...

I remember those glorious one-two punch evenings of "Love Boat" and "Fantasy Island."

"Love Boat" would usually consist of a drugged out whorish Julie the cruise director welcoming a boat crew of has-been actors aboard for a cruise of adventure.

The couple (or two couples) would get in a tussel, despise each other for the lions share of the show, toss furniture and broken shards of glass at each other until the 50 minute mark when they would patch things up in front of the projection screen depicting a nighttime moonlit ocean backdrop.

They would they proceed to their cabin where they would make mad passionate debauchery where they would take photos and sell them on the street for a cool $100.

"Fantasty Island" usually consisted of Richardo Mantelbon and Herve Villechez wearing white suits and selling Cordobas because it has "rich Corinthian Leather."

jamwall said...

other "Love Boat" observations..

Gopher: was inherently goofy.

Stubbing: I kept waiting for Ted Baxter to show up so Murray (er..Capitan Stubbing) could lob a zinger bomb in his direction.

Stubbing's daughter: Had a promising future in prostitution.

Isaac the Bartender: Was awesome doing that double-finger pointing motion towards the camera when his real name "Ted Lance" popped on the screen during the opening credits.

Horny Dr. Bricker: Who's the black private dick That's a sex machine to all the chicks?

NOT SHAFT!....DR. BRICKER! (except he's a white dorky guy).

Julie the Cruise Director: Still a crackho.

BeckEye said...

Ah, they don't have double features like that anymore. Not even on Must See TV night.