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The first of three (!) pilots for "The Love Boat." I don't remember
ever seeing the second one, but I remember this one. It isn't really
any better or any worse than the eventual series.
The set up is exactly the same: A diverse group of B and C list guest stars (e.g. Tom Bosley, Florence Henderson) have what the laugh track assures us are wacky escapades on a cruise to Acapulco. The only real difference here is the entirely different set of actors playing "Your Love Boat Crew." Australian Ted Hamilton is inert as "Your Captain" although second-billed Dick Van Patten is pretty good as "Your Ship's Doctor" (here named O'Neil). Gopher and Issac are here, although they're played by Sandy Helberg and Theodore Wilson (who gets more prominent billing here than Ted Lange got when he took over the part). In addition, the cast of would-be regulars included a steward and a pair of lounge lizards, none of whom made it to the series.
ABC tried two more times before settling on a cast they liked, but it was worth the effort, financially, if not artistically, as "The Love Boat" ran for the better part of a decade.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This happens to be the pilot run of a successful TV shown simply
entitled,The Love Boat.It was show almost forty years ago. This was
based on the nonfiction book The Love Boats by Jeraldine Saunders, a
real-life cruise director. The TV movie has a star-studded guests as
well which has become the feature of this successful show.On this TV
movie,Ted Hamilton is the Captain, Teri O'Mara is the cruise director,
bartender Isaac is Theodore Wilson, the ship's doctor is Dick Van
Patten, and Sandy Helberg is Gopher, the purser.
On this maiden voyage of the Pacific Princess from California to Mexico,the story focused of four different sets of passengers.There is the goofy salesman who fell in love with the model.A businessman finds himself attracted by a fellow beautiful passenger.Finally,a passenger who is to undergo an expensive divorce and plans to get away from his wife at all cost.
As described above,the pilot TV movie has already the elements of what the successful show would be in the years to come.It has a star- studded guests.In this case,it includes Don Adams,Tom Bosley, Florence Henderson,Gabriel Kaplan, Harvey Korman,Cloris Leachman,Hal Linden and Karen Valentine.It also has multiple stories that are funny,silly,humorous and most of all,romantic.Finally,the setting is on an expensive cruise which deals with both the boat's crew and the passengers.
While the producers got it right on this TV movie,it was definitely a good decision that they did not hang through the cast of boat's crew as they don't have the same chemistry as that of the regular cast and the show would not have lasted one season with it.As for this TV movie,it maybe considered dated by today's standards but it is still good to watch especially when looking at how the show evolved from being an average TV movie into a successful show that ran for a decade.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I had to look over the cast for this movie, New Love Boat and Love Boat
Book II, to see what I did recall from where.
I really vaguely recall the other two, but this one, the first one, I do remember.
Remember nothing about the crew. Didn't know we were supposed to be watching them or what a 'pilot' was.
And I didn't know Tom Bosley and Cloris Leachman were from this one either. I thought they were in one of the other movies. Don't know what their story was. I think they were more just part of Karen Valentine's and Hal LInden's.
The stories. Like so many episodes of the TV show would have.
It began with Gabe Kaplan, a letch on the ship, out for a good looking babe. He finally gets her, this blonde.
"Love it." All she would say.
He wines her, dines her, then he gets her alone.
She speaks with a voice on helium (oh, it wasn't her real voice. It sounded like a cartoon). She said she would eat all the chocolate she wanted now that she found love and it would make her break out, but she knew he loved her.
Story two would be Hal Linden and Karen Valentine. She was a bit of a klutz. They actually married on the ship, and as he went to put the ring on her finger, she drops it and dives to the floor after it.
I miss Karen.
Story three was a totally unrecognizeable Florence Henderson with a slimy Don Adams. They were an unhappy couple. He sought to have her accidentally killed in a stage act where the performer would shoot a gun with blanks at a certain bar stool, and Adams would get Henderson in that chair.
He switched bullets, got her to the chair and waited. As he waited, Flo confessed she knew all to him, and she wanted their marriage to work.
The performer, thinking the gun had blanks in it, aimed at Florence.
At the end of the movie, Karen went off with Hal, Florence and Don . . . departed (won't say how it turned out, tho I loved Florence's last line to Don in that cabin!) and then we see Gabe.
Running. Fleeing. Trying to escape from the pursuing blonde.
"And my mother will move in with us, and we will be so happy!" KNowing nothing about the show, or the following movies (which again, I remember nothing about them) this movie stood well on its own. I wouldn't mind seeing it again sometime.
But I sure don't recall if that song was on it either, tho I do remember the final music with Gabe running was by and large the actual theme music.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was the beginning of the long running TV show.
Captain Stubing was cool because he knew all about life which was far out because he was just a freaking sailor; Julie was the cruise director who made good money at the bars picking up johns late at night; Doc was a laugh-riot since he considered himself a ladies man...pffft!; Issac was the jive bartender who liked to dance and time permitting, he even made a few drinks for the customers; and Gopher was a screw-up, but he was a lovable one, so its OK.
What a motley group, but we loved them because they were always there when we didn't have anything better to do on Saturday night. Good show.
I not only saw this film, I was a still photographer on the three day cruise to Ensenada, Mexico when they shot most of the film. One little known incident happened when Hal Linden joined the company in Ensenada. To everyones surprise and chagrin he came limping down the dock with a broken leg he had suffered in a skiing accident. However Jeraldine Saunders the author was aboard and they were able to rewrite the script and carry on so that's "showbiz". After that I went on most of the following trips except the one to Panama and consider Gavin and crew good friends. On one trip,Aaron Spelling, his wife Candy, and Tori (then just a baby) joined us in Hermisillo and I was able to meet them. I want to extend my sincere sympathy to the family with Aaron's passing...
Like everyone alive in the 70's, I was forced to watch 'Love Boat' from time to time by inconsiderate family members with a penchant for this kind of sap. To this day, 'Love Boat' stands out in my mind as justification for never watching dramatic TV unless 'Twin Peaks' or 'Miami Vice' reruns are showing. I know some folks enjoy this show today for its "camp value". I've never understood that rationale; why would you want to watch garbage just so that you could laugh at it. Do yourself a favour and read a book instead, and no, Cloris Leachman's biography doesn't count.
Before reality TV they had sitcom's from *ell. Other mindless TV I liked as a child. With TVland and Deja vu channel in Canada viewers see what once was. I can not believe some of the crap I watched as a kid. This show was a big deal on Friday night with my sister and I eating popcorn. Some of it is funny, but the rest is just mindless. At least it is done on a higher budget than today's who is gonna get voted out of the toolshed. Watch them make a reality TV show out of that idea also. I believe this is another part of the 70's and the early 80s that is forgotten. How could they make these shows last so long. This show like Happy Days was on so long, I could not believe it still was on the air when they ended it. I find TV could end a few TV series about 3 years earlier.
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