Thursday, April 13, 2017

Monkees--"One Man Shy"

     True confession time—Peter is my least favorite Monkeee. I do not feel too bad saying that. Peter Tork did not like portraying his television alter ego. Who could blame him/ Peter is the dumb one. When an actor ploys a dumb character, audiences tend to think the actor must be dumb, too. It is certainly not the case with Tork. He is a highly intelligent singer/songwriter. The patronizing must have gotten to him. He was the first one to leave the band. Peter is often relegated to sight gags and slapstick humor, so it is nice to see him be the focus of a quality episode. An Peter-centric episode I actually like!
      The Monkees are auditioning to play for wealthy Valerie’s birthday party. Peter is completely smitten with her from the beginning. He was good taste. Vallerie is the prettiest of the ladies we have seen so far, if you ask me. Ronnie, whose relationship with Valeria is not clear, detests everything about the Monkees—their long hair, music, culture. All of it. But Vallerie hires them anyway. The Monkees depart, but realize Peter has stolen the portrait of Valleries hanging over the fireplace. They speed away so as not to get caught with it.
      Let us focus on Ronnie a minute. At first glance, it might be assumed he is Vallerie's boyfriend, but I do not think so. There does not see to be a true bond between the two. Ronnie seems more like the son of family friends. The two wealthy families think the monied upper class must keep company with themselves. Valleries appears to like peter, too, but Ronnie spends all his time beating him and the other guys down with a snide, sarcastic attitude about their low standing. Hi contempt is two-fold. He does not like the rock and roll youth culture as it is a threat to his high society self and he does not want Vallerie to develop a fondness for it.
      Ronnie is a clear foil for the guys. They set out to make a fool of him in public by sabotaging some of his usual activities such as wine tasting and art appreciation. He becomes wise to their tactics and challenges them on his turf—lawn games. The guys fail hilarious at competing. Yet Vallerie invites peter to be her escort, anyway. The guys try to make him into a smooth operator with women. When hat does not work, they pretend to be Peter's stock broker, tailor, and yacht captain. Ronnie come down on it all, but Vallerie saves the day and Peter's heart by reassuring hi she likes him just as he is But for good measure, Peter defeats Ronnie at hopscotch, marbles, boxing, and a toy pistol duel for good measure during the final musical romp.
      “One Man Shy” I an amusing episode mostly because George Furth plays Ronnie as so hilariously evil. It is a touch sell to play the funny bully picking on the most childlike Monkee peter finally gets some character development, as well. From here on out, he has mojo when talking to girls. But we never see Vallerie again. I would not have been as quick to dump her as peter obviously was.
      Rating; *** (out of 5)

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