|Index||3 reviews in total|
Broadcast no. 58 (Mar 25 1968), "Mijacogeo" turned out to be the series' final telecast, and the directorial debut of Micky Dolenz, who also co-wrote both story and script. Micky's zestful direction differs little from previous efforts, but the rambling script occasionally makes this a chore to watch, some obvious potshots at media manipulation (the name 'Mijacogeo,' an anagram combining names of Dolenz family members, actually belonged to Micky's pet dog). Rip Taylor, previously seen in "Monkees on the Wheel," hams it up as Evil Wizard Glick, diabolical mastermind using an alien plant called a 'Frodis' (a not-so-veiled reference to pot) to ensnare TV viewers into a trance, another attempt to rule the world (they have their hands full trying to rule the LA TV station). There's a two-headed org that fares poorly against the Monkeemen, which only goes to prove that two heads are better than none. In a nice nod to The Beatles (who kindly gave Micky permission!), the group awaken to the sounds of "Good Morning Good Morning" (from SGT. PEPPER), while the actual Monkees song is "Zor and Zam," produced Jan 7 by Micky Dolenz himself (contributing musically only on percussion) but credited to 'The Monkees,' composed by Bill Chadwick and John Chadwick for a proposed TV series that never got off the ground. A witty and powerful anti-war message, this version is completely different from the one issued Apr 22 as the last track on THE BIRDS THE BEES AND THE MONKEES, a bit slower and lacking the heavy brass orchestration (unreleased at the time, now available on MISSING LINKS 3, issued in 1996). What's most interesting is that the very last performance on the very last episode is not a Monkees song but that of Tim Buckley, movingly performing his own "Song to the Siren," which would not be recorded until 1970, done solo on acoustic guitar (sadly, Tim died of a heroin overdose at age 28 in 1975). Micky Dolenz found great success behind the camera in England, where he didn't carry as much Monkees baggage as he did back in Hollywood, where his opportunities haven't been so numerous; this initial effort deserves praise for its experimental style, a radical departure even for this series, especially the zooming/dissolving imagery surrounding Tim Buckley. "Mijacogeo" was 55th in production, filmed Nov 27-30 1967, next up- "Monkees Mind Their Manor," where Peter Tork tried his hand at directing.
I'm giving this episode a 10 out of 10 rating as compared to the other
This episode is either loved or hated by people that watched the series. It was directed by Micky Dolenz, and has a surreal quality (even compared to the other episodes) all the way through it.
The episode starts with one of the Monkees (I believe Micky) becoming aware that all of his friends have become hypnotized by their tvs; specifically, by a strange broadcast of a football-shaped eye staring out at them. They have no will or ability to think while watching their TV sets (hmm, could Mr. Dolenz be making a comment here?).
When Peter Tork becomes hypnotized, the rest of the Monkees take action. Dragging the zombified Peter with them, they manage to uncover the source of the mass hypnosis; an alien plant creature, called the Frodis (presumably named after a popular psychedelic drink at the time), broadcasting from a studio. They plan to kill it with an improvised slingshot, but it speaks to them, telling them it has been captured and forced to do an evil madman's bidding; they grab the plant creature just as the bad guys track them down, and there is the generic, yet strangely filmed, chase scene where the bad guys chase the Monkees to the plant's spaceship. Accompanying the chase scene is a simple song about two countries warring, to no purpose. (For some reason, the song juxtaposed against the bizarre chase scene creates a rather powerful and disturbing image of the power-obsessed and how they are in the position to harm people's lives). Once inside, it becomes renergized, and releases a powerful sedative spray that removes the bad guy's motivation to fight (not unlike a massive hit of... ahem... pot.) The plant creature takes off after thanking the Monkees for saving it.
I hope this plot synopsis doesn't prevent anyone from watching it. This episode was the last, and the best one. It was silly, bizarre, but contained a subversive message that may stay with the viewer long after it is over. There is also something strangely sad about it, being that it is their last episode. It makes you wish for more of the same, though you know the series is over. It's a shame it wasn't among the first episodes filmed; the series might have lasted longer (or gotten yanked by the censors like the Smothers Brothers did), and gained even more of a cult following. It has an almost Monty Python- like quality, and is well worth checking out, even if you're not a Monkees fan. You may never be able to find it unless you order it, but if you like the idea of a bizarre Monkees story, check out "Head", if you can find it at the video store. It is even weirder, and more disturbing (and a true cult gem.)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This episode kind of bridges a feel between The Outer Limits where
someone has taken control of your television to Aliens actually using
the television to control everybody's minds. In a way it is really sort
of creepy what this shows themes are as in a way they crept into real
life in the next few years.
Being the last show is to remember the fact that by now The Monkees were playing their own instruments and singing their own songs. As I recall Pleasant Valley Sundays lyrics sort of fit the theme here, and for some reason I seem to recall the song Daily Nightly is featured here too. Both kind of fit the theme of this one. Mickey Dolenz work here is appreciated, and this episodes theme is not really easily dismissed.
I have always been a fan of the music from this series, though the earliest first hit, Last Train To Clarksville does not really hold up as well as the Neil Diamond written I'm A Believer and I'm Not Your Stepping Stone.
This episode should be must viewing to prepare a Monkees fan to watch the movie "Head" which really goes off on an alien journey for the group.
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