Saturday, May 6, 2017

Monkees--"Captain Crocodile"

     The Monkees appear to get their big break when scheduled to appear on a television show for kids called Captain Crocodile. But Captain Crocodile fears he is being edged out by the new popularity of rock and roll singers, so he sabotage their appearances at every turn even after intervention by an eleven year old network executive. In a last ditch effort, Captain Crocodile sends his most loyal fan fans after the Monkees, who win the kids over during a musical romp. Captain Crocodile is fired after melting down about “these rotten kids,” but is replaced by his co-host who gives the Monkees the same treatment.
      If I appear to be shorting the plot, it is because the story is not the most entertaining aspect of the episode. The distinction goes to the fantasy sequence right after Captain Crocodile humiliates the Monkees on their second appearance. Peter is terribly upset over their blown appearance, so the others cheer him up by assuring him there will be other chances to star in television. They proceed to act out three parodies of popular television shows, including a news panel show, I've Got a Secret, and my favorite, a Batman parody with peter as the hero, Frogman, and Davy as his partner, Reuben the Tadpole. The parody is complete with odd sound effects during the big fight sequence.
      The fantasy sequence is the best part of the episode, but I do not mean to shot change the rest. I also enjoy the bit in which the disguised Monkees interrupt the executive meeting called to discuss the Monkees after a forged letter writing campaign complains abut them. Micky is a Nielsen pollster, Mike is a janitor with fourteen grandchildren, and Davy and Peter pose a kids. All urge the Monkees remain on the air.
     The Monkees perform “Valleri” on The Captain Crocodile Show. Or at least they think they do. Captain Crocodile signs off before they begin playing. While “Valleri' is one of the group's most popular songs, it is the object of much corn by Mike Nesmith. He considers it their worst effort. I find this opinion especially odd since “Valleri' is not only a decent song, but the episode also features “Auntie Grizzelda,” which is actually the wort Monkees' song ever.
      “Captain Crocodile' is a fun episode. The story itself has some funny gags, but it is the television fantasy sequence in the middle that is the true highlight.
      Rating: *** (out of 5)

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