Thursday, May 4, 2017

Monkees--"Monkees at the Circus"

      Is “Monkees at the Circus” merely an excuse to string together references to Micky Dolenz's first acting job in Circus Boy? I honestly do not know. I have never seen the show and can only identify one reference. At one point, Micky is quietly singing the theme song. Peter asks him what the tune is. Micky relies it is the theme to an old show he knows from somewhere, but cannot remember. Cue canned laughter. Maybe it is the only reference, but I have to point it out or someone else most certainly will.
      The Monkees visit a struggling circus on the verge of shutting down. Its star attraction, a knife thrower named Victor, is ready to quit because people have no interest in seeing the circus anymore. Davy, who is naturally infatuated with the circus owner's daughter, Susan, tries to pep talk the performers into going on with the show to no avail. In a last ditch effort, the Monkees pose as the world famous high wire act, the Mozzarella Brothers. The prospect compels the performers to go on until the guys come clean since they cannot perform a high wire act. Their clown act to cheer up the distraught Susan convinces the performers yet again to put a show on. Even Victor does his act when the crowd shows excitement.
“Monkees at the Circus” is one of the hokiest episodes of the series. As with the previous episode, the guys are pulling a con job at the expense of the pretty girl. Except this time, there are real negative consequences. Susan cries her eyes out when they are exposed as frauds. Their heart was in the right place. They assumed the crowds would be so entertained y the regular acts, the Mozzarella Brothers would not be missed. They were ultimately right, but there was no way to know that and every reason to assume the crowd would be upset the star attraction were not going to appear.
      Bonus points awarded for Davy coaxing victor to perform by threatening to do the knife throwing act himself at poor Susan. First, he manipulates her by posing as a world class circus act, then he risks killing her with inept knife throwing. She still falls for him in the end. We never see Susan again after the episode. By his actions, Davy winds up being more than a cad this time around.
      I still like “Monkees at the Circus' in spite of its relatively dark—for this series, at any rate—elements. The clown act they do in the first musical romp is one of my favorites in the series. There are enough other funny moments to make it enjoyable, but I think our heroes come off looking worse than they usually do. The girls is cute, though. Especially in her costume. Oh, and there are elephants in the circus for anyone triggered by captive animals. There is my public service announcement for the day.
      Rating: *** (out of 5)

No comments:

Post a Comment