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This episode wraps up a two-part story with the Clampetts visiting
Hooterville (see the review for "Buzz Bodine, Boy General"). Things
pick up with the arrival of Mrs. Hathaway, Mr. Drysdale, and his
"Singing Secretaries" trio. To impress farmer Howard Hewes -- whom
Drysdale thinks is billionaire Howard Hughes -- he has his secretaries
dress in matching white mini-skirts, go-go boots and black shirts to
sing some specially written songs. The usual comedy-of-misunderstanding
stuff that exists in nearly every episode of the series.
As before, all we see of the Petticoat Junction cast is Sam Drucker, Steve, and wife Betty Jo. Elly has nothing to do but take care of Betty's baby and Granny is also neglected. Her long not-really-a-romance story arc with Drucker just peters out. Jethro, dressed as a World War I ace, does some slapstick trying to fly Steve's crop duster, but Raymond Bailey's Drysdale easily steals the show.
First of a two-part Hooterville story. The Clampetts decide to visit
Petticoat Junction. Jethro pretends to be an Air Force 4-star general,
thanks to a rented uniform, and arrives first in a USAF helicopter.
Steve Elliott (Mike Minor) agrees to give Jethro flying lessons in his
old crop dusting plane. The airstrip land is owned by farmer Howard
Hewes (Guy Raymond). Jed decides to go into business with Steve and
Hewes, bankrolling a new plane. Over the phone Mr. Drysdale gets the
wrong impression Jed is talking about billionaire Howard Hughes.
Drysdale, seeing dollar signs as usual, plans to leave for Hooterville
right away, hoping to get Hughes to put some of his fortune in the
The story suffers from mostly ignoring Granny and Elly. Granny does a little flirting with Sam, but mostly she and Elly stay at the Shady Rest hotel and fuss over Betty Jo's baby. There's really no reason for them to be in Hooterville. This was just another ratings gimmick following the many crossovers in the previous season. The next episode concludes the story and marks the last crossover.
This 8th and final crossover for season 7 begins in Petticoat Junction.
Sam Drucker asks Betty Jo (Lori Saunders) to look after the General
Store while he's in Los Angeles. He won a trip to Hollywood and plans
on visiting the Clampetts as well. A garbled telegram message gives
Granny the false impression Sam is coming "a courting" and she
over-reacts as usual. The misunderstanding between her and Sam has been
an ongoing joke in most of the crossovers during the season.
Fearing Granny will run off with Sam -- leaving him at the mercy of Elly's terrible cooking, Jethro tries to sabotage this supposed romance. He gets movie star Dash Riprock to pretend to be one of Granny's many suitors so Sam will lose interest. The only funny bit in the episode is when Dash shows up dressed as The Lone Ranger (Granny's hero) and she rides off with him on his horse down the suburban streets.
This is the only time in the entire series where a cast member from Petticoat Junction (or Green Acres, for that matter) visits the Clampetts in Beverly Hills. The family will visit the Junction once more in a season 9 two-part episode.
Considered to be one of the better, if not the best, entry in the
series. However, that is faint praise given the consistent sloppiness,
weak writing, and indifferent direction that plagued this show (a
one-season flop) from start to finish. The vague, confusing plot defies
all logic, the stock characters are sketchy at best, and any action or
tension is deflated by campy, self-aware humor.
This episode, which could represent the series as a whole, is like a half-remembered fever dream. A blur of colorful, random events and half-baked ideas that occur for the sake of novelty, much like a cartoon. Between the intro and closing scene you can remove almost any part of this episode and it won't make any difference to the barely-there story. There is no narrative cohesion and nothing to care about.
The basic premise borrows from "The Mummy" (1932) but replaces the supernatural with pseudo-science. A Persian assassin cult (outsourced by THRUSH) that dons Ancient Egyptian ceremonial garb, seeks to transfer the "mad genius" of their long-dead leader (a dummy encased in a glass cylinder) into the brain of his great, great, great granddaughter (once they find her) using some newly-discovered reincarnation brain serum. Of course, no details on how this brain-transfer serum works. Also, after this girl becomes their queen they expect their tiny group to suddenly become powerful enough to defy THRUSH (because...?).
A cult member (Lisa Seagram) just happens to be working for the doctor who invented the mystery serum so, stealing it is easy. Finding the granddaughter is also a snap. They simply place help wanted ads for a 23-year-old receptionist who speaks Ancient Persian in every Berlin newspaper. (Makes perfect sense, right?) This is an excuse for a novelty scene -- an extended "comedic" set up of a Western being filmed in Germany with a cranky Otto Preminger-type director yelling at his actors. The girl in question, Greta Wolf (Sabrina Scharf), is German for some reason -- and an actress playing a saloon girl. (Her German accent comes and goes.) April, Mark, and three cult thugs arrive on the film set at the same time. The thugs chase Mark in another long, drawn out novelty segment (which includes horses and bicycles) and we get a tour of MGM's back lot. Clearly, this movie-within-a-show second act was shoe-horned in as a cost-cutting measure.
April, for no reason whatsoever, puts on a saloon gal costume and pretends to be Greta and is promptly fired. A scene that goes nowhere (I guess they just wanted to put Stefanie in a cute costume). Her only "fight" scene is also a joke. April, the most worthless secret agent ever, runs away from danger and cowers in fear until Mark rescues her.
The wonderful character actor Knigh Dheigh (aka "Wo-Fat") is wasted in a pointless cameo scene as a THRUSH director. He should have been the main villain -- not "Duke Cornwallis", an English fop who assumes that role. Exotic beauty Lisa Seagram could have been a memorable villainess, but her role was underwritten and ignored. She did a Batman episode, which is ironic as this show tried to ride its cape but failed. The kid intern, "Randy Kovacs", an annoying David Schwimmer look-alike, has several pointless scenes with Waverly. The only scenes with any charm are at April's favorite diner run by former Bowery Boy Billy Benedict.
A waste of talent and potential, this series is the television equivalent of being temporarily distracted by a shiny object.
This show (November 6, 1968) is a sequel to "Granny Goes to
Hooterville" (Oct. 30) as well as the Petticoat Junction episode
"Granny, the Baby Expert" (November 2). All three connect to form a
single extended story -- which happens a lot in season 7.
With Granny away, Jed and Jethro are miserable due to Elly May's horrible attempts at cooking. A few funny bits with Jed avoiding her food and using a leather-like slice of meatloaf to fix a hole in his shoe ("Now that's what I call soul food"). Out of desperation, Jethro decides to hire an "eye-talian" cook, Maria (gorgeous Maria Mizar). She's a great chef but only speaks Italian so, some amusing language mix-ups occur such as her pasta with "marijuana sauce".
Over in Hooterville, Granny has "cured" Betty Jo's (Linda Henning) baby from its supposed lycanthropy (a running joke from previous episodes). Betty Jo, her husband Steve and Sam Drucker are the only Petticoat Junction cast members in this episode. Granny rushes home after getting a now out-of-date telegram from Jethro about the awful food situation. This is the funniest part with sped-up film and silent movie piano music as Granny goes on a frantic dash for Beverly Hills. She travels by railroad hand-car, horse, motorcycle, then parachutes from a small crop-duster plane to rescue the family from certain starvation.
Jethro is also in love with Maria and plans to propose to her. This is played out in the following semi-sequel episode, "The Great Cook-Off".
This December 4 show is a sequel to "The Thanksgiving Story" (November
27) with the Petticoat Junction cast. Still in Hooterville, the
Clampetts say goodbye to Sam Drucker and are about to leave for Beverly
Hills when they discover Eb Dawson (the none-too-bright Green Acres
cast member) hiding in their trunk. Eb has a terrible crush on Elly May
and wants to marry her.
Meanwhile, Mr. Drysdale is staying at their mansion taking care of Elly's animals, including a very demanding bear with human-like intelligence. Problems with the bear become a running gag and continue in the amusing "Christmas in Hooterville" (Dec. 25) and its sequel.
Drysdale fears Elly might eventually marry hayseed Eb and move herself (and the family fortune) away from Commerce Bank. So, he forces actor Dash Riprock to pretend to be a country boy and court Elly using his real name, Homer Noodleman. A funny bit ensues when Mrs. Hathaway is coerced into impersonating Noodleman's hillbilly father (with ratty clothes, beard, and hat).
Two episodes later, the crossovers continue with "The Week Before Christmas."
A sequel to "Christmas in Hooterville", Drysdale is arrested for
vagrancy in the tiny hick town of Ripley. He was on his way to
Hooterville in the Clampett's truck. And, for no good reason, he also
had their pet bear along for the ride. (A real bear is used in almost
Jed calls Sam Drucker over in Petticoat Junction-land for help. "Green Acres" regular Fred Ziffel (Hank Patterson) makes an appearance in Drucker's General Store. He also did 12 episodes of P.J.
The rest of the plot involves a standard comedic courtroom scene (a sitcom staple in the 60s) with a judge ably played by familiar character actor J. Pat O'Malley. An okay episode but nothing to write home about. The next episode, "Problem Bear", is more or less a continuation of this story, minus any crossover cast members.
A frequently surreal yarn with a flashback, a nightmare dream sequence,
a nod to "A Christmas Carol", and some man-in-bear-suit shenanigans. In
the previous episode, Jethro was set to marry both Bradley sisters.
This conflict is "resolved" by lazy writing. Jethro simply hides out at
home while the rest of the family goes to Hooterville. For some reason,
Drysdale is staying with Jethro at the mansion. The only funny bit is
of him waking up next to their pet bear. In a mockery of marriage, the
bear beats him to the bathroom as Drysdale complains like a henpecked
husband. At the bank we see "A Christmas Carol" inspired scenes of a
whip- wielding Drysdale behaving like Scrooge. He faints after hearing
Jed is putting money in the Hooterville bank. He dreams that Sam
Drucker has become his boss. Upon awakening he has a change of heart
and generously gives everyone the day off.
Meanwhile in Hooterville, we see a flashback from the previous episode of the bear eating Sam's letter to Granny. She thinks Sam was going to propose to her but never finished reading the letter. Elly is sort of dating Eb Dawson (the only Green Acres cast member in the episode). He has a crush on her but Elly is reluctant. As Justice of the Peace, Sam Drucker tells Elly he'd be "happy to marry her" when she decides. Granny overhears this and thinks he's proposing to Elly. Granny goes overboard with a makeover and shows up dressed like a little girl in 1900s-type garb and a wig.
Steve Elliott (Mike Minor) croons a wistful, romantic song that has nothing to do with Christmas and everyone sings a carol together on the train (exterior shots are stock footage from another episode). The Jethro segment and Drysdale's frantic drive to Hooterville (with the bear in the truck) are story threads left hanging. An ambitious episode with a lot going on during this packed half-hour story. Enjoyable on a nostalgic level but nothing all that funny or memorable occurs.
The next episode, "Drysdale and Friend" continues the bear road-trip story with appearances by Sam Drucker and Fred Ziffel.
Season 7 (1968-69) was loaded with "Petticoat Junction" crossover
episodes intended to boost ratings. This is the 5th one (with three
more to come). The Clampetts are invited to Hooterville for Christmas.
During the previous Thanksgiving show, Jethro conned the Bradley
sisters (Meredith MacRae, Lori Saunders) into believing he was a
Hollywood producer who'd make them movie stars. Apparently he also
proposed marriage -- to both of them. And the girls, not being terribly
bright, are okay with that and eagerly await his arrival. Their foolish
fawning over Jethro is totally unreal, but both shows are exercises in
absurd fantasy where anything goes.
The crossover aspect is limited to two scenes in Sam Drucker's general store with Sam (Frank Cady) and the Bradleys and him talking to Granny over the phone. As usual, Granny misconstrues the situation and believes Sam wants to marry her. There's some nonsense concerning a pet bear eating Sam's letter to Granny, but otherwise nothing much happens. The story exists just to string-out the crossover appeal and set up the conflict to be played out in the next B.H. episode.
Also, this is loosely linked to the next Petticoat Junction episode "A Cake from Granny" (shown three days later on December 21, 1968) with cameos by Granny and Mrs. Hathaway.
The first of eight crossover episodes (plus two guest spots on
Petticoat Junction) in season 7. This one is all build up with no
payoff (you'll have to see the next episode for that). Upon returning
from their 5-episode stint in England (cue stock footage of Pan Am jets
and LAX), Granny gets word that Petticoat Junction's Betty Jo Bradley
(Linda Henning) just had a baby. As a self-proclaimed expert baby
doctor, Granny gets all worked up about leaving immediately for
Hooterville. The running joke here is that no one else in the family
knows Betty Jo or her family. (Granny turns out to be a very distant
All we see of Hooterville is Sam Drucker and Uncle Joe talking to Granny on the phone. The episode ends just as her trip gets started (Jethro is supposed to drive her the entire way). This is nothing more than a long, drawn out set up for the next episode. One amusing bit has Jed holding miss Hathaway and carrying her to a sofa after she hurts her back. Granny -- and later, Mr. Drysdale -- mistake this for a romantic encounter and complications ensue. Overall a disappointing entry due to a padded story that literally goes nowhere.
The mother of all crossovers, the story continues on Petticoat Junction,"Granny, the Baby Expert" (November 2, 1968), then wraps up on B.H. "The Italian Cook" (November 6). Then the Clampetts visit Hooterville for Thanksgiving, Christmas, plus another Petticoat show, etc. (see my other reviews for this string of shows).
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