Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Monkees--"Monkees in the Ring"

     “Monkees in the Ring” revisits a couple of old tropes. Someone tries to lure Davy away from the band in order to exploit him. The bad guys who are trying to exploit him are a pair of crooks, one smart and the other dumb henchman. The differences are there s no pretty girl involved and the two bad guys are not with the mob. At least I assume they are an independent operation. Organized crime is all over the sport of boxing.
      Davy falls for a con job set up by a crooked boxing promoter and his sidekick. The con involves convincing Davy he has potential to be the next featherweight champion by having him knock out a guy on the street who accosts Peter. Davy is set up to fight several matches against boxers willing to take a dive, then give Davy a shot at the champ. Davy will naturally get clobbered in a fight against the champ.
      The rest of the Monkees, who did not want Davy fighting in the fist place, Discover the truth when one of the boxers claims he got less money for taking a dive than another. Success has gone to Dave’s head, so he refuses to listen. The guys try and fail to scare the champ into calling off the fight. Nothing works until everyone gets in the ring for a musical romp. Davy survives intact and the bad guys are arrested.
The champ is an homage to Cassius Clay/Mohamed Ali. He talks in rhyme in both taunting his opponents and in normal conversations.
      “Monkees in the Ring” has some funny moments, but it is just does not feel right. You could plug in the characters from a hundred different sitcoms and you would come up with this. Even the just for laughs training session set to music is something you would expect here in the post-Rocky era. It is unfair to apply the comparison to an episode of television airing a decade before Rocky was released,, but it merely punctuate my criticism of a mediocre episode.
      Rating: ** (out of 5)

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