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"The Love Boat"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"The Love Boat" More at IMDbPro »

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30 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Quintessential escapist fluff

Author: TVholic from New York
15 December 2001

I admit it, I loved the '70s. It was such a fun decade. The Love Boat is a time capsule of the late '70s. Not just the guest stars and the fashions, but the basic mood of the era.

It's very easy and even very trendy to put down this lightweight show from ultraprolific producer Aaron Spelling, the same way people denigrate disco music. But once put into context, it really wasn't all that bad. The period, after all, was the late '70s -- only three years after The Brady Bunch had left the air. TV's fabled last gasp of innocence had yet to be breathed. TV shows could still be expected to be fun and frivolous, like the Me Decade this was a part of.

Spelling was at the peak of his TV power, having already scored hits with The Mod Squad, The Rookies, Starsky & Hutch and Charlie's Angels, among other shows. His shows alone were taking up more than a quarter of ABC's prime time hours by the turn of the decade and it was said that he had produced more hours of television than anyone else. For several years, Love Boat was teamed with Spelling stable mate Fantasy Island, forming a two-hour escapist block on Saturday nights when viewers could escape on a tropical cruise then to a lush tropical island.

With The Love Boat, viewers could experience some of the better aspects of a cruise, without the drawbacks. Every day was sun-drenched and every night clear and crisp, sunsets were always brilliant, it never rained and we could all be home within a single hour. And heck, it didn't cost a cent! The Aloha, Lido, Fiesta and Riviera decks (or at least their names) become ingrained in memory through sheer repetition. Not to mention the ship's lobby where all the guest stars made their grand entrances. (The lobby of the real Pacific Princess, by the way, looked nearly the same but was in the center of the ship and had no such entrance doors.) And, of course, the Crystal Pool, which made an appearance in every episode, except when the crew took to other ships for cruises in the Caribbean, Alaska and even Australia. And what a crew it was. From fatherly Gavin MacLeod to pert and perky Cindy "Lauren" Tewes and everyone in between, there was a nice family vibe to the original cast, even if some fans felt it was disrupted by the addition of Jill Whelan. Just don't mention the subsequent cast additions and changes, by which time the show had overstayed its welcome.

The stories were simple and, for the most part, uplifting. Still, they were repetitive. But how many different plot variations can one expect about love? And then there was the oh-so-'70s theme song. Charles Fox wrote the music, having already made his TV mark in several hit sitcoms including Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley and Love, American Style. Pity poor Paul Williams, who, despite other successes, once reportedly said even if he found the cure for cancer, he'd still be remembered only for penning the lyrics to this insidious ditty. As sung by Jack Jones, it was frothier than ocean whitecaps and a perfect match for the show. Both Williams and Jones, by the way, actually guest-starred on the show.

There's a story that Peter Graves was once asked about his appearance on The Love Boat. Graves jokingly demurred that everyone in Hollywood at the time guest-starred on the show. That's not far from the truth. The show featured a never ending parade of television stars, stars to be, stars that once were and would-be stars. Singers, dancers and once, the then-popular Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. All mingled with some rather distinguished company -- movie stars and Oscar winners past and future like Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Ginger Rogers, Olivia de Havilland, Debbie Reynolds, Tom Hanks and Don Ameche, among others, made appearances.

The original Pacific Princess no longer plies her Pacific route on the Mexican Riviera, with ports of call at Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas and Acapulco. She long since surrendered the area to her larger, newer, more luxurious sisters, one of which (the Sun Princess) couldn't carry the "Next Wave" revival in 1998. In the autumn of 2002, she was retired from the Princess fleet after 27 years of service, and the one, true Love Boat was no more. There's a new Pacific Princess now, but it just isn't the same. Thus I raise my glass in one final toast, "To absent friends and those at sea."

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21 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Love, exciting and new.......................

Author: karina1966 from Australia
12 January 2005

I loved "The Love Boat"!! It was so 70's and that's what was so appealing about it. OK the story lines were predictable but who cares. It was light hearted entertainment. I was a teenager when it was on and all I wanted to do when I grew up was go on the Pacific Princess!!! The only thing I found annoying was that everyone seemed to be in a suite on the ship!!! and when did the Captain ever have time to steer the ship ? he was always wandering around the deck!! or having dinner with all the guests. I have been on numerous cruises and have only ever seen the Captain once.!! I also loved how they used to bring back all the old Hollywood stars. Lots of these people were national treasures and we won't see the likes of them again. I would love for it to run again on TV, at least it's better than all the death and violence we always seem to get now.

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14 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

The Perfect Reason For IMDB.com!

Author: jwrowe3 from Tampa, FL
25 January 2003

Pick any episode of "THE LOVE BOAT", and have IMDB.com launched on your computer. Be prepared to spend several hours looking up each actor who appears in that episode. You'll be amazed at the actors who became big in the late part of the 1970's and early 1980's who turn up. I was surprised to see actors who worked together in ONE show, turn up together on "THE LOVE BOAT" There's a classic episode where Florence Henderson, and Robert Reed, of "Brady Bunch" fame, appear together, but NOT in the same story line. They pass each other in a buffet line, and do "the classic double-take". Clever writing, on someone's part.

Plus, many stars from the past got a shot at some screen time, courtesy of "THE LOVE BOAT".

Were the stories predictable? Yes.

++POSSIBLE SPOLIERS!++ The format for each show was painfully similar. In the first few moments we meet the passengers. Usually, there were three stories that we followed thru the cruise. By the second commercial break, some sort of problem or trouble appears in each tale, and we see the folks involved work thru their issues, and after the last commercial, everybody disembarks with a smile, and the happy Pacific Princess crew have a clever line to close the show. Some episodes were a bit different, but not by much.

This, and "Fantasy Island" were classic escapist fare, and did the ABC television network well in getting folks to stay home on Saturday nights, when these shows aired, back-to-back.

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13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

There's So Much More I Should Have Said!

Author: luke-31 from Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
13 June 2002

I just commented on "The Love Boat", but I just realized there is so much I forgot to say about it. There are so many great episodes that have touched my heart. I was reminded of this when one of my favorites came on TV Land tonight. In it, a young girl (Maureen "Marcia Brady" Mc Cormick) falls in love, and then learns she may only have monthes to live. It is exceptional, real entertaiment that has a wonderful life lesson attached to it. There is another one where the crew is critical of an apparent relationship between an older man and a younger woman that turns out to be not what they imagined at all. Also, there is an episode that features first love between a pair of teenagers (Scott Baio and Kristy Mc Nichol) that rings true. I also enjoy the episode where Vicki's T.V. idol (Alison "Nellie Oleson" Arngrim) comes on board,and turns out to be not what she appears, either.

The series is exceptional in that it was able to deal with serious, sometimes even controversial themes, and balance it out with good, old fashioned screwball and sophisticated comedy. Contrary to many people's belief that the show's quality went down as it matured, I would have to disaggree. I have enjoyed every episode of this show I have ever seen, early or late in the series. And I find Charo to be adorable and funny.

"The Love Boat" has a permanent place on my favorite shows list, and a permanent spot in my heart, as well.

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10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

One Of My Top Three Favorite Shows Of All Time, And A Great Bunch Of Guest Stars In Every Episode!

Author: luke-31 from Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
5 June 2002

"The Love Boat"is one of my top three favorite shows of all time. "The Love Boat" takes place on a luxury cruise ship,The Pacific Princess,and features new stars each week. These guest stars populate the passenger list of the ship. Their voyages, sometimes dramatic, sometimes comic, always romantic, make up the stories on the show. The crew members, the show's only regulars,often participate in the stories.

"The Love Boat" is the ultimate escapist fantasy with colorful locations and glossy love stories. And it is a whole lot of fun.You really can't do much better than this. Out of all the shows that feature many big name guest stars, this is truly the best. This show holds a treasured spot in my heart, and is excellent and uplifting entertainment. I wish TV Land showed every episode!

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful escapism!

10/10
Author: hnt_dnl from United States
20 September 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The late 70s/early 80s is perhaps the last breath of purely fun, unapologetic entertainment in the annals of TV history! The anchor (pardon the pun!) of this breezy time period was THE LOVE BOAT! Starting out as a TV pilot in 1977 with a cast that thankfully didn't make it to any voyages for the actual 10 seasons with the REAL cast, THE LOVE BOAT sailed the high seas for a seeming eternity!

The REAL cast was of course Gavin McLeod, Bernie Kopell, Fred Grandy, Ted Lange, and Lauren Tewes, one of the best, most underrated ensembles in TV history! Their interactions are as good as you'll see in any uber-acclaimed show on "serious" TV shows. They all had an easygoing appeal that really made this show work. You could NOT make a show like this today! Impossible! Just a function of the frivolity and lightheartedness of its time period.

-McLeod was the paternal Capt. Stubing

-Kopell was the lady-killing Dr.Bricker

-Grandy was the lovable Yeoman Purser Gopher

-Lange was the hip bartender Isaac

-Tewes was the fresh and appealing Julie

In later years, of course as with any show, it would add/lose cast members, but for most of it's run, these 5 characters ran the boat! Jill Whelan would come on around Season 3 (I think) as Stubing's daughter Vicki; Julie left around Season 7 or 8 and her sister Judy (yikes!) would take her place, and of course the ever-reliable Ted McGinley would come on as photographer Ace! OK, no show is perfect!

Each week on Saturday night as a kid, I used to sit back and enjoy the duo LOVE BOAT and FANTASY ISLAND. THE LOVE BOAT became so popular that they eventually started doing 2 hour shows for what seemed like every week in its later seasons! That would be unheard of today! Initially, for its regular cruises, the show would go sail from it's LA port to South American ports in Mexico, which we viewers strangely never got to see! Action pretty much stayed on the ship, but that was OK. Then in later years, for the 2-hour shows, they would go all over the world (Australia, China, Greece, Italy, France, you name it, the Pacific Princess went there!).

It would usually be 3 main stories that drove the episode, with predictably neat resolutions at the end, but that was the fun of it: you KNEW everything was going to be OK, except of course for our beloved crew! They had to return every week, so of course none of their romances could work out! You'd be amazed at how many stars set sail on this show! An eclectic mix of thespians (from both film and TV), soap stars, musicians, even non-actors (game show hosts, celebrity cameos) would show up on the cruises!

In retrospect, I think the laugh-tracked 1-hour episodes are more watchable than the 2-hour on-location episodes with no laugh tracks! In a way, it's good that you can't imitate shows like this anymore (at least not on purpose) because it's like a time capsule from a footloose and fancy-free period in TV entertainment that one can go back and wistfully recall!

10/10 in my book!

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Sugar and Sweet and Everything Nice!

6/10
Author: (sylviastel@aol.com) from United States
25 November 2006

Let's face it, it was not the best of shows but not the worst either. It had lots of wonderful guest stars who livened up the show. When I finally took a cruise to Alaska, I was expecting a love boat scenario but that's not what I got. Love Boat is indeed fantasy with a great theme song sung by Dionne Warwick and a decent cast that included Gavin McLeod, Jill Whelan, Lauren Tewes, Fred Grady, Bernie Kopell, and Isaac (what is his real name?). Anyway the scenario was usual about a three day cruise to Mexico and back to Los Angeles with guest stars that included several of Hollywood top stars and the ones that were not on top. For a while, I think the Love Boat provided a great service of keeping the B-list guest stars working. I won't name names but we know who they were and we don't care. Love Boat is a comedy mixed with a little bit of drama. They never did anything serious or offensive. Of course, it was a Spelling show which meant that it was eye candy, sugar and sweet, and everything nice.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Nostalgic

Author: Atreyu_II from The world of artists
5 January 2008

"The Love Boat" is one of those old-fashioned, nostalgic and memorable TV series from the 70's and 80's. I used to watch it frequently when I was younger and I always enjoyed it. A great TV show and even unique. After all, this show takes place mostly in a cruise liner, where its passengers and crew live romances and adventures.

"The Love Boat" usually took place in the liner "Pacific Princess", but other alternative yet similar ships were used as well. That was the case of the "Island Princess", the "Stella Solaris", the "Pearl of Scandinavia", the "Royal Viking Sky" and the "Royal Princess".

This is a charming TV series which is also famous for its timeless and wonderful opening song, "The Love Boat".

Even though this TV series was very popular in its time, it seems to me that it has become forgotten and much less popular as the years go by. Besides, it seems to be largely unknown in our generation, a generation with eyes mostly for uninteresting, mediocre and crappy TV shows. However, for those who knew "The Love Boat", it remains alive in their memories and won't be forgotten.

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Love Gavin McLoad

Author: Timothy Berry from Clifton, New Jersey
10 February 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Pick any episode of "THE LOVE BOAT", and have IMDb.com launched on your computer. Be prepared to spend several hours looking up each actor who appears in that episode. You'll be amazed at the actors who became big in the late part of the 1970's and early 1980's who turn up. I was surprised to see actors who worked together in ONE show, turn up together on "THE LOVE BOAT" There's a classic episode where Florence Henderson, and Robert Reed, of "Brady Bunch" fame, appear together, but NOT in the same story line. They pass each other in a buffet line, and do "the classic double-take". Clever writing, on someone's part.

Plus, many stars from the past got a shot at some screen time, courtesy of "THE LOVE BOAT".

Were the stories predictable? Yes.

++POSSIBLE Spoilers!++ The format for each show was painfully similar. In the first few moments we meet the passengers. Usually, there were three stories that we followed thru the cruise. By the second commercial break, some sort of problem or trouble appears in each tale, and we see the folks involved work thru their issues, and after the last commercial, everybody disembarks with a smile, and the happy Pacific Princess crew have a clever line to close the show. Some episodes were a bit different, but not by much.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

i want to watch "the love boat" in heaven

10/10
Author: soneill from manhattan
9 September 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"the love boat" was so predictable as to be a spoiler unto itself, but i checked that spoiler box just in case. how can one spoil that which is already rotted? but that's just what i love about "the love boat": the toupeed and face-lifted guest stars; the oddly effeminate captain stubing (ever notice that "Merrill Stubing"/"Murray Slaughter" parallel? one of my fantasies was to feature the wjm newsroom crew as passengers on the ship, years after Murray Slaughter got conked on the head on a second honeymoon on the pacific princess, got (what else?) amnesia, minced off in a daze and resurfaced as suddenly naval Merrill Stubing); Gopher, whom i am afraid i had a crush on—gleeps! then there was that walking pillar of saccharin, cruise director Julie McCoy, who luckily turned out to be a huge coke-head, which at least explained her unflagging perkiness. leave us not forget the luckless Isaac Washington, black bartender and romantic interest or platonic friend of each nonwhite guest star, be it Diahann Carroll or Scatman Crothers, Florida Friebus or Roosevelt Grier. and who could forget Doc (no matter how they tried), that Hippocratic lecher in aviator glasses? i used to love when he and Captain Stubing had one of their Adam-Merrill heart-to-hearts (as in "Adam, she fills my life with wonder"). and of course no-neck-monster Vicki, an apparent escapee from a community theater production of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." then there was harbinger of doom Ted McGinley, a fellow whose addition to the cast of any show meant it was about to be canceled. i could talk about "the love boat" for hours, a sad commentary on the state of my mind.

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