Thursday, September 20, 2018

Classic Romance: Love Boat

I vaguely remember Love Boat from my childhood. I think I watched it at my grandparents'. I recently decided to rewatch it and was surprised at how fun it is!

Is it great writing? Nah. Superb acting? Eh, the acting is okay. Hey, notables like Leslie Nielsen and Ruth Gordon show up!

Some of the stories, like the couple who recently lost a child, are surprisingly thoughtful. But honestly, it's mostly a bunch of tropes on top of tropes. Or guest stars being asked to re-enact what they are known for. Gary Burghoff shows up and tames a dog. John Ritter shows up and cross-dresses.

And it's tons of fun!

Nearly every episode, at least in the first season, is a set of three to four vignettes: the Tennyson reader who falls in love with a plumber, the captain's father who falls in love with a woman who works in the galley, the twins who want to take the voyage on one ticket.

The show is late 70's to mid-80's, and the first season episodes have this weird, soft laugh track. It's not exactly a sitcom (the laugh track is barely noticeable after the pilot), so the jokes don't run the episodes, which is good because they aren't that funny. Rather, the little stories do. And they are successfully paid off--which is quite impressive.