Monday, June 5, 2017

Monkees--"Art, For Monkee's Sake"

      “Art, For Monkee's Sake” is one of the strangest episodes of the series. That is a bold statement for a series as far out there as The Monkees. The peculiar thing is I am not even referring to anything psychedelic as you might expect from the late '60's, but absurd plot elements and odd characterizations. The cast complained bitterly about the poor quality of scripts they were receiving for the second season. With my critic's eye, I now see what they mean.
      Peter demonstrates a never before seen and hereafter never mentioned skill at duplicating paintings. Well, at first he only paints doorways, but when that causes problems for the guys running into them, they insist on him going to the art museum to seek inspiration. There he meets up with two security guards/art thieves who convince him to copy a famous work of art so they can switch it with the real one. When Peter finishes, they tie him up in the basement and successfully make the switch.
      The guys come looking for Peter when it does not return. While searching the museum, Micky runs into a weird, obsessive finger and toes painting artist while Mike encounters Liberace smashing a grand piano. Whatever Davy finds is not shown. They eventually discover Peter and free him. He tells them about the plot, but they cannot convince the curator. He demonstrates the tight security system. It involves a cage falling on anyone who lifts the painting. The curator suffers an emotional breakdown when he becomes entrapped n the cage. Like I said...weird.
    The Monkees decide the best thing to do I break into the museum to switch the real painting beck. Because the two security guards/art thieves lten them stroll out with it and take it home without attempting to take it from them even though neither is above violence and kidnapping. Even for a show without much logic in its plotting, this is a stretch. The plan leads to a Mission: Impossible parody self aware enough to call itself Mission: Ridiculous. The members of the RMF are:
      Manchester Marauder (Davy)
      Connecticut Counterspy (Peter)
      Towering Texan (Mike)
      Los Angeles Leopard (Micky)
     The cat burglar routine catches the attention of the guards. There is a musical romp in which they all are caught in the falling cage. But they are discovered in the morning by the curator. All appears to work out fine, as the guys are all back at the pad later on where Peter is takes up carpentry.
      The painting peter copies is Franz Hals' The Laughing Cavalier from 1624.
    “Art, For Monkee's Sake” has a few good laughs, but I cannot get past some of the wacky pot elements. The guys are unusually abusive towards Peter, as well. He I referred to as both an idiot and a fool. Micky tosses out both he insults, but mike and Davy readily agree. Their unusually cruel attitude towards Peter takes what little fun there is to be found in this mess of a story and ruins it.
      Rating: ** (out of 5)

No comments:

Post a Comment