We all have our favourite tv shows from childhood and The Love Boat was one of mine.
Like Fantasy Island it was chock full of fabulous guest stars. All the people from all my other favourite shows boarded this ship. Both serious and funny it addressed so many different issues in relationships with families, friends and yes the romantic ones too.
I recently picked up the first season on DVD to relive some of those great moments and I instantly whisked back several decades. Although a little saddened by the visual reminders of all the amazing actors and actresses we have lost since the show aired I was at the same time happy to see them doing what they did best. Entertain us.
Within the first few episodes I watched John Ritter follow the girl of his dreams on the ship only to find that the only cabin available is a shared one and could only be rented to a woman. Watching John in drag, the Captain flirting with him and him comforting/falling for his companion brought me back to Three’s Company. While Suzanne Sommer’s character ( a married three times rich woman) was nothing like her TC character Chrissy.
I saw Sherman Helmsley play The Sausage King. He and his wife resolved their marriage issues after getting stuck in the elevator. It cracked me up when he put her on his shoulders in an attempt to get out. She was twice his size!
One of my favourite episodes so far had Kristy McNichol and Scott Baio as 12 or 13 year old’s. Scott’s character is uncomfortable around girls as he attends an all boys school and continuously reverts to a character called The Claw. Despite this, they manage to share their first kiss and become boyfriend/girlfriend.
The Love Boat seems to be one of the few shows from that generation that is not as well known as say the Brady Bunch or Happy Days. Originally airing in 1977 it ran for 10 seasons (I think). I was only 6 when it started but I remember watching and loving it in my early teens.
A charming and funny series that is surprisingly still relevant today.
I think I’ll lend my first season DVD’s to my 15 year old niece (she loves Laverne & Shirley) when I’m done and see what she thinks of it. I am looking forward to discovering another familiar face on the next episode as I cruise down memory lane (or ocean as the case may be).