Sunday, June 11, 2017

Monkees--"The Wild Monkees"

    The best episodes of The Monkees are the ones parodying elements of pop culture. “The Wild Monkees” is a parody of the 1954 Marlon Brando film The Wild One. The Wild One is about a motorcycle gang entering a legitimate motorcycle race. The episode does not break the tradition of pop culture parodies being among the best in the series.
      The Monkees arrive at a hotel in the middle of the desert for a gig. They discover they are not meant to perform for hotel guests, but serve a group of new arrivals as hotel staff. The guests turn out to b a girl biker gang. The girls and guys woo each other with varying degrees of success. The Monkees decide their best shot is to pose as a biker gang. But when they do, the girls' biker gang boyfriends show up and challenge them t a race. The losers get beaten up by the winners. In with their typical trickery, The Monkees lose. They are saved by the intervention of the girls. The biker gangs decide to give up the road and settle down.
     The hotel is called Henry Cabot Lodge. Henry Cabot Lodge was Richard Nixon's running mate in the 1960 presidential election as well as ambassador to South Vietnam among other prominent positions. Mike, Micky, and Davy were experienced motorcyclists and actually rode the bikes. Peter was not a rider, and as a gag never could get his bike to crank. This is the only episode to begin with a musical number. Micky croons a jazzy version of “Goin' Down” as the teaser.
   "The Wild Monkees” is frivolous, but funny. The guys are all working together for a common goal—their survival—while accentuating their best character traits to do it. It is all quite amusing.
     Rating: *** (out of 5)

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