Friday, June 9, 2017

Monkees--"Monkees Marooned"

  “Monkees Marooned” is my personal favorite episode of The Monkees. I like the most satirical, fun episodes the best. In the case of “Monkees Marooned,” everything from Robinson Crusoe and Tarzan to British stereotypes and old Hollywood business practices. You cannot go wrong with that kind of combination.
      A con man on the street trades Peter a map of blackbeard's treasure for his guitar. The guys are upset with peter's bad decision, but opt to make the most of it by following the map. They sail to the deserted island only to find themselves hunted by a cray retired British officer Major Pshaw and his native assistant, Thursday. The Monkees are sot of rescued by Kimba, an elderly actor who played a Tarzan-like character, but go left behind when the production company folded. To add insult to injury, his wife ran off with the casting director.
     Everyone winds up at pshaw's hut. He reveals he has spent the last decade on the island looking for Blackbeard's treasure. But he has had no luck without a map. Peter offers pshaw his map in exchange for their lives. The treasure turns out to be buried under the hut, but it I not riches. Kimba's wife paps out. They rekindle their romance. A musical romp ensues because why not and everyone other than Pshaw comes away happy.
      Thursday is part of an old trope in which a black character either fills a racial stereotype or is underemployed, yet is wiser than the white characters and so guides them along. “Monkees Marooned” was produced in 1967, so I would not call Thursday a racist character. More like antiquated. I still feel a bit guilty laughing at his antics. But he is one of the most amusing guest characters to appear on the series.
     “Monkees Marooned' is packed with more humor than most episodes. There are all sorts of clever jokes from visual puns, literary and historical references, and fourth wall breaking. All the elements that make the show fun are here. It is rare the gust cast gets as much good material to work with as the Monkees, but pshaw, Thursday, and Kimba are great.
      Rating: ***** (out of 5)

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