Monday, April 14, 2014

L is for : The Love Boat!!

(First off, let me start by saying how sorry I am that I haven't had the time to get around to visit or respond to the comments here. Know that I truly appreciate each and every one and I'll be around soon...I promise! Now, on with the show..... )

It was a very familiar tune on Saturday nights. For those of us who actually watched t.v. on Saturday nights, that is.

The Love Boat was an Aaron Spelling production that ran on ABC from 1977 to 1986. It starred Gavin MacLeod (as Captain Merril Stubing), Bernie Kopell (as Doctor Adam Bricker), Fred Grandy (as Yeoman Purser Burl "Gopher" Smith), Ted Lange (as Bartender Isaac Washington), and Lauren Tewes (as Cruise Director Julie McCoy) and the plots (usually there were three stories per show) revolved around different guest stars and their character's romantic escapades.

And, speaking of guest stars, in the nine years this show was on the air, I think almost every actor who ever graced a screen, large or small, made a guest appearance. Everyone from Milton Berle to Hulk Hogan graced the Pacific Princess and 'climbed aboard for a new romance'.

As with most things, though, the show began to go downhill (in my opinion) with the introduction of Capt. Stubing's daughter, Vicki (played by Jill Whelan). Also, near the end of the series, a replacement was brought in for Laruen Tewes' Julie (your Cruise Director) McCoy in the person of Patricia Klous, playing Juile's sister, Judy. It's always been my experience that when a show starts mixing up the cast, adding here, dropping there, it's a sure sign that things are on a downswing.

Now, when Ted McGinley shows know you're pun intended. It wasn't soon after Ashley (seriously?) "Ace" Covington Evans, the ship's photographer and resident pretty boy appeared, did the Pacific Princess dock for the last time.

It was a fun show, while it lasted and one of the best things about it was seeing old stars you hadn't seen in, literally, decades and watching them mixing and mingling with Hollywood's next generation. Sure the stories were a bit hackneyed and formulaic, even doing "crossover" segments with other shows such as Charlie's Angels and Fantasy Island , but they were still a lot of fun and more imaginative than almost any sort of "reality" show you'll find littering the airwaves today.

Honorable Mentions: Laverne and Shirley, The Lone Ranger, Lost in Space.

Tune in tomorrow for......well, I'm not quite sure, actually. To be honest, I only had up to today's prepped (show pick, pictures, etc.) so tomorrow is up in the air. I have four contenders for "M" and, since that'll put us midway into this crazy blog-a-thon, I'm going to make awesome the heavy lifting. Don't worry, it's not too heavy of lifting, but I'd like you to cast your vote for one of the following:

  • Magnum P.I
  • M.A.N.T.I.S
  • Manimal
  • MacGuyver

If there's a tie (or I don't get any comments...which is entirely possible :) ) I'll randomly draw one from a hat. 

No, I swear I will!

Until then.....


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

They did have an amazing lineup of guests. And I always thought Lauren Tewes was cute.

Su-sieee! Mac said...

Yep, when they brought on the pretty guy, I thought they were grabbing for straws, too. I always would start the show just to see who were the guest stars, and, as always, I'd get hooked into watching the outcome of the corny tales. LOL
I never heard of Manimal,(so I think), thus I'd vote for that one.

The View from the Top of the Ladder

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Mark,
The Love Boat was a show I never missed when I was growing up. It brings back pleasant memories.

Heather Musk said...

Magnum P I! Gotta love his moustache, shirts and Ferrari.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I loved Lost in Space and only saw Love Boat in reruns. How can I pick between Macyver and Magnum?

Andrew Leon said...

Oh, Magnum for sure. As long as you do Simon & Simon when you get to S.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hey Mark,

Thanks for the stroll down memory lane. The Love boat was one of my favs! I agree the first five seasons or so were the best, then it got a bit hokey and at that point (early 80's) I was in the fashion world doing my own thing on Saturdays. Ah, the life of a model. LOL.

TV ended for me there.

Mark Means said...

@Alex: Yep, same here. I was sad to hear she had some many real life problems to contend with, though.

@Su-sieee!: Haha, yes, it had that effect. I was the same way :) You''ve...never heard of Manimal??? Oh my...I'm not sure whether to congratulate you or give you my condolences! Thank you for stopping by :D

@JL: Same here...same here :)

@Heather: Don't forget Rick and T.C.! :)

@Susan: A tough choice for sure and I used to love Lost in Space, too.

@Andrew: Hmmm....I'll keep that one in mind, though there are a lot of "S" shows to choose from :)

@Michael: Totally agree with that...the early 80s weren't the best as far as episodes went. Sounds like you had a good reason to stop watching t.v...I can't blame you there :)

Robin said...

I really liked The Love Boat... and I agree with you about the casting. Very few shows recasted successfully. I would say that M*A*S*H did one of the best jobs of it... and is my favorite for an "M" show. I loved loved loved M*A*S*H.

Of the ones you threw out, I pick Magnum.

Lynda Dietz said...

I faithfully watched The Love Boat every week. A few years ago, I was visiting a friend in the hospital and The Love Boat came on the TV there and we sat and laughed at how corny it was. That week's guest stars included Meredith Baxter-Birney. What a great show!

Lost in Space is a terrific honorable mention.

Leslie S. Rose said...

Danger Will Robinson - I vote McGuyver. Now I'm going to have the Love Boat theme in my head for days.

Lisa said...

MacGuyver or Magnum get my vote, but it's probably too late anyway! I enjoyed the Love boat also, and the other three. I didn't realize it went on for so long! That was a good run for a series. Looking forward to M...

D Biswas said...

Never heard of this show, but now I'm curious!

Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2014, My Latest post

Twitter: @AprilA2Z

Kathleen Mueller said...

No need to respond.. I just want to tell you again how much I'm lovin' these posts!!!

Kathleen Mueller said...

Don't you think that Love Boat was sorta like Love American Style, which was on approximately a decade earlier ? :)

S.P. Bowers said...

I'm probably too late but MacGuyver was one of our favorites.

Al Diaz said...

My vote for Magnum. I did watched the Loveboat and thought it would be cool to work in a cruiser like that...until I saw Titanic.

Julie Flanders said...

I totally wanted to be a cruise director like Julie McCoy when I watched the Love Boat. You couldn't beat the Love Boat/Fantasy Island combo on Saturday night.

randi lee said...

This one I TOTALLY remember watching on TNT as a kid!!!

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