Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Monkees--"A Coffin Too Frequent"

     The episodes of The Monkees may be my favorites, but the supernatural themed episodes run a close second. The series did absurd well, and they are few episodes more absurd than 'A Coffin Too Frequent.” It features a non0ensical pot with holes one could drive a truck though, yet it is one of my favorite episodes.
     Near the stroke of midnight, the Monkees discover a visitor downstairs. Henry, a self-described scientist, points out a clause n their lease requiring them to vacate their house from midnight to dawn on that day's date. They are reluctant at first, but agree to split when they find out Henry plans to raise his Uncle Elmer from the dead to appease his wealthy aunt, Mrs. Weatherspoon. She arrives with Henry's giant henchman Boris in tow. Mrs. Weatherspoon insists the Monkees remain as witnesses to the occasion.
       Henry is scamming hi aunt for her money, of course. She plans to give him her fortune if he successfully raises Elmer from the dead. He will drug her so she will hallucinate seeing her late husband. Cue one of the less subtle drug references on The Monkees. The guys try t convince Mrs. Weatherspoon Henry is a fraud, but she is a batty old lady who is not convinced until Micky poses as the ghost of Henry, thereby forcing him to confess. One of the wilder romps ensues. I like it in particular because Ruth Buzzi, who plays Mrs. Weatherspoon goes way overboard on the slapstick during the romp.
     “A Coffin Too Frequent” certainly makes no sense. The plot element of using the pad for the resurrection is only to save money on sets. The entire episode takes place I the pad. The limited setting gives the story the feel of a one act play. Henry never drugs hi aunt or the Monkes, so one wonders how he planned o pull off his con. Or maybe it was not a con? The ending I which Elmer seems to appear leaves the issue open. In spite of some loose logic, “A Coffin Too Frequent” is fun episode.
      Rating: *** (out of 5)

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