KOJAK YOUR ENTHUSIASM (6)
April 18, 2022
One in a series of 25 enthusiastic posts, contributed by 25 HILOBROW friends and regulars, on the topic of our favorite TV shows of the Seventies (1974–1983).
THE LOVE BOAT | 1977–1986
Dear Julie McCoy,
I appreciate you. You seem comfortable in yourself and your job as a cruise director. You greet each passenger with a genuine, easy smile while holding that clipboard that contains all the answers.
You’re so sure of yourself and with your job! No matter how difficult the situation or famous the passenger (from Halston to Merman), when people look to you for solutions, you are never flummoxed. You are game for anything — pretending to be Gopher’s girlfriend (to impress his fraternity brother), organizing a surprise birthday party for a passenger’s paranoid wife. But when you want to avoid work, you set appropriate boundaries. Yes, you social-engineer situations, but in a healthy way — not like that creepy Mr. Roarke on Fantasy Island. Although you fall in love from time to time, you seem happy with your life at sea.
To me, the idea of taking a sea cruise sounds hellish. I hate crowds, and being trapped in a completely artificial world with low to no agency sounds like a nightmare — not relaxing or joyful. Yet somehow, when I rewatch The Love Boat on YouTube now, it doesn’t look so bad. I am more in the David Foster Wallace camp of seeing a cruise as a lavish, lazy, pampered, floating mass of sun-burned gluttons, yet on this show everything looks… fine! You don’t have to stand in any lines, on this cruise ship; and it seems easy to get on and off the boat whenever you hit a port. The Lido Deck pool is a swinging place, but not intimidatingly so. Many passengers take in the sea air in a well-outfitted stroll, and read actual books on the deck chairs. There are not a lot of flip-flops in evidence. I’m not sure how much control you have over this sort of thing, Julie, but you set a good example in your pantsuits and scarves. Of all the sailors, except possibly Isaac, you are the best put-together — especially compared with Captain Stubing, Doc, and Gopher in their white shorts and knee-highs.
The storyline of each Love Boat episode is the same — which made it appealing to me, as a child. It was a respite from the mayhem and melancholy of the westerns, war movies, and private eye shows my older brothers watched. From the opening bars of the catchy, dreamy theme song sensuously crooned by Jack Jones, the viewer knows that everything is going to work out in the end. Thank you Julie, for working hard to make everything come out OK, and for providing that calm consistency each Friday evening. Nothing will ever go awry, here — thanks to you and your clipboard.
KOJAK YOUR ENTHUSIASM: INTRODUCTION by Josh Glenn | Lynn Peril on ONE DAY AT A TIME | Dan Reines on THE WHITE SHADOW | Carlo Rotella on BARNEY MILLER | Lucy Sante on POLICE WOMAN | Douglas Wolk on WHEW! | Susan Roe on THE LOVE BOAT | Peggy Nelson on THE BIONIC WOMAN | Michael Grasso on WKRP IN CINCINNATI | Josh Glenn on SHAZAM! | Vanessa Berry on IN SEARCH OF… | Mark Kingwell on BATTLESTAR GALACTICA | Tom Nealon on BUCK ROGERS | Heather Quinlan on LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE | Adam McGovern on FAWLTY TOWERS | Gordon Dahlquist on THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO | David Smay on LAVERNE & SHIRLEY | Miranda Mellis on WELCOME BACK, KOTTER | Rick Pinchera on THE MUPPET SHOW | Kio Stark on WONDER WOMAN | Marc Weidenbaum on ARK II | Carl Wilson on LOU GRANT | Greg Rowland on STAR TREK: THE ANIMATED SERIES | Dave Boerger on DOCTOR WHO | William Nericcio on CHICO AND THE MAN | Erin M. Routson on HAPPY DAYS. Plus: David Cantwell on THE WALTONS.
JACK KIRBY PANELS | CAPTAIN KIRK SCENES | OLD-SCHOOL HIP HOP | TYPEFACES | NEW WAVE | SQUADS | PUNK | NEO-NOIR MOVIES | COMICS | SCI-FI MOVIES | SIDEKICKS | CARTOONS | TV DEATHS | COUNTRY | PROTO-PUNK | METAL | & more enthusiasms!