Saturday, April 8, 2017

Monkees--"Don't Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth"

     Davy Jones was a jockey back in England before his show business career. He even rode a few winners in the years after his star faded. It is only natural the writers would come up with a story utilizing his horsemanship. In fact, it id not take long at all. “Don't Look a Gift Horse in the mouth' was the first episode filmed after the plot. They probably should have spent more time on it.
      Davy is hanging out on the beach when a kid shows up and asks him to watch his horse The kid promptly skips out Davy and the horse. The guys have to hide the horse from their landlord in standard sitcom fashion. They also must sneak in a vet after the horse eats some of Peter's cooking. Davy finds the kid later. The kid explains his father says the horse is too expensive to keep. How expensive? One hundred dollars expensive.
      The guys make an arrangement to work off the $100, but they fail miserably like the city slickers they are. But the musical romp is entertaining. The neighbor shows up to mock the horse. He challenges Davy to a race--$100 or mike's guitar. I am sure you can guess Davy wins and the horse can go back to the kid. Another kid with a camel shows up and the Monkees run like the wind.
     “Don't Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth” has a poorly written script. The gags could be featured in just about any silly sitcom. There is none of the usual subversive, quirky humor like cutaways and props out of no where that make the show unique. It is two-thirds in before we learn the kid's name is Jonathan. His father and neighbor are never named, though sources say their names are fisher and Jenkins, respectively. Why is only $100 enough to keep a full grown horse permanently? Better question is why wold Mike put up his guitar so selflessly? The guys are super nice fellows, but their actions here go too far beyond plausible.
      Rating: ** (out of 5)

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