Friday, May 19, 2017

Monkees--"Monkees on the Line"

      My favorite episodes of The Monkees are the ones which masterfully weave in farce with a solid story. It is no surprise then “Monkees on the Line” is one of my favorites. It features an absurd plot, physical comedy, and spotlights each one of the Monkees in his own mishap. There really are no negatives to point out.
      When no one answers the phone in time, mike fears the guys might miss out on a paying gig because it is not the first time the phone has gone unanswered. The Monkees decide to hire an answering service. Rather than hire one, they wind up working for one instead when the manager cons them into taking over so sh can vacation. She departs with the dire warning to not get personally involved with the clients. Naturally, the guys get personally involved with the clients.
      Ignoring the warning offers each one of the guys his own mini-plot with the exception of Micky. He is relegated to sidekick, but he works bet as a reactionary character, so nothing feels missing. Mike intervenes in what he believe is a suicidal woman's cry for help, but she is actually an actress rehearsing Davy delivers a message to the wrong Mr. Smith announcing Zelda had his baby. Mrs. smith is enormously upset at the news. Finally, Peter confuses an illegal betting operation with a band booking and places a bet on the wrong horse while trying to give a struggling band gig
      The mix ups offers the guys an individual chance to shine Mike has demonstrated an emotional need to not be burden on anyone, yet he goes out of his way to help anyone else in need It is darkly comedic to watch him desperately try to help the seemingly suicidal woman while she is only using him as a rehearsal tool. Davy wins up in a strange chase scene with the smiths, a lady in nothing but a towel, an Olympic torch runner, a football player, and a gorilla. The only aspect of the chase that makes any sense is Davy enthusiastically pursues the towel clad beauty. Who would have guessed, right? Peter, confusing the name Popsicle for a band instead of a thoroughbred, offers the gig to the Pelican instead since they need the work All three are well-intentioned, but their actions lead to nothing but trouble.
      The plot threads all converge when the gamblers show up at the answering service t recoup their loss on the misplaced bet. Mr. Smith, who happens to be a cop, comes looking for Davy and discovers the plot. A musical romp ensues. The crooks are arrested and Davy clarifies matters with the smiths. They reconcile. The actress shows up to announce her show was a success Mk seems genuinely bummed to learn she was only acting. H is into emotionally unstable girls, I guess.
      What else can I say? I obviously like “Monkees on the Line” If asked to recommend an episode to someone who has never seen the show before, this is the one I would likely suggest. It I well written with an odd combination of charm and dark comedy. If you do not like this episode, the series probably is not your cup of tea.
      Rating: **** (out of 5)

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