Saturday, May 20, 2017

Monkees--"Monkees Get Out More Dirt"

      “Monkees Get Out More Dirt” is episode 29 out of 58. While I never promised there would be no math, I will spare you the work by revealing we have reached the halfway point in the series. Is it all down hill from here? It kind of is in terms of the writing, but there are still enough em left to make watching fun. This episode is memorable, too. How could it not be when the Monkees are competing for the affection of the lovely Julie Newmar?
      The episode opens with the guys taking their clothes to a laundromat. Each approaches the owner to ask for detergent and each are rendered speechless by her beauty. Her name is April Conquest. She is played by the aforementioned Julie Newmar. All four fall in love with April. In a stark change of pace, they compete with each other for her affection rather than work together against a common enemy. It is an interesting twist. It is also the only time such a dynamic is featured in the series.
      In order to win over April, the Monkees follow the advice of television psychologist Dr. sisters by covertly discovering what she finds attractive in a man and adopt those characteristics. Davy pretends to be a painter. Peter is a classical music conductor. Micky is a ballet dancer. Mike is a biker. Is there any one man who fits into all these categories? Rosey Grier, maybe. April falls in love with each of them. Her inability to choose between them causes her to suffer a nervous breakdown and save their friendship with each other, the guys play a game of chance to decide who gets her. Peter wins, but she shows up for their first date only to introduce her new finance—a rock and roll singer. There is a happy ending when four lovely young ladies movie in net door and introduce themselves.
      There is a gag right before the opening credits featuring actor Wally Cox and two boxes of laundry detergent. It is as parody of contemporary commercial that is amusing, but would probably be funnier if I was familiar with the commercials it is mocking. There are many Batman references throughout The Monkees, but Newmar is the first of three actors who played villains on the show to appear. The other two will be Liberace and Burgess Meredith during the second season. The later will actually cameo as Penguin.
     The big question about April is why, beyond the fact she is hot, are the guys so madly in love with her? She is intentionally made out to be dumb and shallow. The only subject she talks about is laundry. Granted, she is incredibly attractive even without the Catwoman costume accentuating her...assets, but beyond that, she is not much of a prize. The reality takes the sting out of the irony she would have been impressed if she only knew they were rock singers, but they would have been in the same predicament then, too. So does the 'To thine on elf be true” moral even applicable? Not really. April's last name Conquest reveals the only thing sh ever was—something to be conquered. It is all quit shallow.
     I must award some positive wave towards 'Monkees Get Out More Dirt'” regardless. The writers tried something new with the group dynamic. It was effective and funny. A lot of fans do not like the idea of the Monkees being at odds with one another , but I appreciate the creators straying from the formula. I must mention Newmar is her heyday was gorgeous, too.
      Rating: *** (out of 5)

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