Fantasy Island (1977–1984)
6.1/10
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Lady of the House/Mrs. Brandell's Favorites 

Two intertwined stories: former brothel madam Esther Brandell is about to be married and wants to turn over her investment profits to her three favorite former employees, who have fantasies all their own.

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
...
...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tony Aiello ...
Maitre D
...
Esther Brandell
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Police Lt. Fasbin
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Gordon Mills
Lew Horn ...
Ed
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Coleen Hodges
...
Hawaiian singer
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Mark Hodges
Shelley Smith ...
Lynn
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Bebe DeForrest
...
Kurt
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Two intertwined stories: former brothel madam Esther Brandell is about to be married and wants to turn over her investment profits to her three favorite former employees, who have fantasies all their own.

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25 February 1984 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Interesting episode flawed by bad miscasting
12 October 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode about a former madame reuniting with 3 girls who worked for her as prostitutes had an interesting premise ,Polly Bergen gave a very heartfelt and touching performance as the former Madame Esther Brandell who is getting married and wants her 3 favorite girls at her wedding. The reason behind it was that she loved these girls the most and wanted nothing more than to see them make it out there after they left her employ ,so she had encouraged them to be successful and 10 years later they are all doing well and she also doing well after leaving the business.

The various subplots of the girls relationships are the main things here, with one of them who has a control freak of a boyfriend ,another who has a TV producer as a husband and the 3rd girl who has a slime bag for a husband. All of them would rather not divulge what they used to do to their significant others. Of course this causes friction as secrets slowly come out and some nastiness.

Lauren Tewes plays a girl who ended up being a model and TV personality and is the one girl of the 3 who tries to tell her control freak boyfriend the truth ,he has been asking her incessantly to get married and she keeps telling him no ,at least not until she comes clean. I hated this particular plot because of the really bad miscasting of her boyfriend Gordon , the annoying Richard Gautier. he always overacts and is extremely annoying to watch.He's also more than 20 years older than Tewes and the obvious dye job to his hair is glaringly obvious. And the writers having him force his girlfriend to prove she used to be a hooker because he thinks shes just playing a joke on him for his antics as a way to get back at him was in such bad taste. Who the hell would want to be with this guy? , so when she agrees to call his bluff and go with the some random guy to have sex ,you figure well you got what you asked for ahole. But of course they have a happy ending after Mr Roarke does some off camera chat with Gordon and now they are engaged. B/S - There isn't a woman in her right mind who would have put up with this piece of crap , i mean the constant marriage proposals , his faking a heart attack , his forcing her to go with a stranger as a joke. I really hated that they ended up getting engaged.The writers should have been shot for that.

Shelley Smith plays Lynn who's husband is a creep and a schemer. She tries to keep her past a secret but eventually when it comes out ,he dumps her and calls her trash then blackmails Esther that he'll tell everyone about everything unless she pays him off. Ed Winter plays the scum bag husband perfectly , it's a shame he gets away with it as Esther does pay him off and he leaves the island ,one can only hope his scum bag character get his fictional comeuppance off camera. This plot was well acted and believable.

The 3rd girl played by former Chips' girl Randi Oakes has a TV producer for a husband played by Mark Shera. Colleen her character also tries to hide it but her husband unknowingly to her ,already knows about her past and had a plan to interview Ms Brandell for a TV show , during the interview he purposely insults Ms Brandell to force Colleen to admit her past on her own which she does and after fearing losing him , discovers that he knew about her past anyway and set it all up to get her to admit it to him and get it off her chest and finally be free. This was a bit heavy handed and somewhat unbelievable but not as bad as the plot with Tewes and Gautier.

Everything comes fill circle of course with all of the girls showing up for the wedding . Silly subplot of the former cop who used to bust them being the groom was really unnecessary . A really cheesy wedding scene with some random singer singing a corny love ballad seemed really out of place. Overall , an episode that could have been better if they had cast someone else besides Gautier and lightened up on the usual cheesiness of the show


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