Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Monkees--"I Was a 99-lb Weakling"

      “I Was a 99-lb Weakling" is only the second episode of The Monkees to center on Micky. As a comedic actor, he works best when reacting to events rather than serving as the focus. He works well with the material he is given here. Everyone must put forth a greater effort to make up for the missing Mike. This is one of a handful of sea-sod season episodes without him.
      Micky finds himself in a Charles Atlas advertisement when a body building bully named Bulk kicks sand in his face and steals his girlfriend Brenda. Brenda is played by the gorgeous Venita Wolf. I would be distraught to lose her, too. Micky falls prey to fraudulent heath guru named Shah Ku who promises to whip him into shape. Davy and peter struggle train Mcky for free and humiliate bulk in front of Brenda by making him look like weakling. All efforts fail until a musical romp at Shah-Ku's gym exposes the fraud and convinces Brenda to take Micky back. The romance goes well until she finds a nerd with a mind.
      Wolf plays Brenda as vapid as Kelly Bundy, but in the end, she turns out to be Penny from The Big Bang Theory instead. Who knew pretty airheads liked men with minds?
      I Was a 99-lb Weakling” has a lot of amusing moments. As noted, the per-title sequence is a spot on satire of the old Charles Atlas advertisements from old comic books. I guess comic books geeks get beat up a lot—although I am sure having girlfriends stolen is a rarity for reasons I am confident you can figure out. Davy and Peter humiliate Bulk with a lead volleyball and a kite string actually attached to blimp. The romp is one of the better, but it is odd to see clips from old episodes wish Mike in them when he is bent romp the rest of the episode. Mike's voice of reason is sorely missing. The guys mention as much several times as a running joke throughout.
      Rating: *** (out of 5)

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