THIS JOURNAL DOCUMENTS MY INTAKE OF ONE BOOK, ZINE, CD OR DVD A DAY. RATINGS ARE: ***** = Godhead, **** = Great, *** = Good, ** = Fair, * = Why Bother?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Monkees at the Movies (***)

Monkees At The Movies
Original Airdate - 04/17/67
Writers: Gerald Gardner & Dee Caruso
Director: Russell Mayberry

I really don't watch more than five of the 500+ channels I get with Comcast digital cable (MSNBC for Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Turner Classic Movies, G4 for Ninja Warrior and Unbeatable Bazuke, Fox Soccer Channel and The Tennis Channel). Sunday night there was nothing much on besides French Open coverage on the Tennis Channel - and I soon became bored watching the slaughters being shown (Rafael Nadal humbling fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-1, 6-0, 6-2 and Ana Ivanovic humiliating cutey-honey Petra Cetkovska 6-0, 6-0), so I switched over to Comcast's On Demand channel. I had no idea how much fun, free stuff was available there. Not only did I watch three original British Office episodes and the Pixies 2004 reunion tour documentary loudQUIETloud, but I also discovered The Monkees TV shows there as well.

I selected Monkees at the Movies at random and it proved a good one with the Monkees spoofing the AIP/Frankie Avalon-Annette Funicello beach movies. The "plot" involves the Fab(ricated) Four getting hired as extras for a beach movie starring "Frankie Catalina" (guest star Bobby Sherman in a ridiculous Fabianesque blonde wig, who would go to pursue TV stardom in 1968's Here Comes the Brides).

Frankie "can't sing, can't surf and is afraid of girls," but still has a very large ego. After his attitude pisses off the Monkees, they sabotage his performance, leading Frankie to exit stage right and Davy Jones to replace him. But Davy's ego goes Titanic and the other three likewise bring him to down to Earth. Of course, all Monkees narrative is just a time-killer between the songs, and the ones on display here are great - "Valleri" (with its purloined "Jumping Jack Flash" guitar riff), "Last Train To Clarksville," "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You." Davy also sings a snippet of "I Love You Really," while Bobby Sherman trots out "New Girl In School." "When Love Comes Knockin'" appears in credits but never used in episode.

At the end of the episode there's an interesting interview with the boys about not playing their instruments.

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