Sunday, September 9, 2007

Exciting And (not so) New

So after our morning work out at the YMCA, we ran up to our PO box to pickup the mail. Turns out, like most Saturdays, my subscription copy of the latest Entertainment Weekly had arrived. Oh, good...the double sized Fall TV Preview issue. Looking forward to that.

So, going through the daily schedules, I hit upon Saturday. Well, since none of the networks show anything new on Saturdays but reruns and Cops, the magazine devoted four pages to talking about that all-time Saturday night classic - the Love Boat. Oooh, even better issue now!

Yes, I was a huge fan of the Love Boat. From its debut in 1977 and running for nine seasons, I was pretty much a fan of the show for most of the early years. When it debuted, I was still in Junior High School. I was young, full of romantic ideas but not lucky enough yet to act upon them. Also, I was a huge TV and movie fan. So, a show like this was the perfect thing for me. I could see tons of guest celebs everyweek in romantic comedy/drama storylines. Perfect way to spend the 9 o'clock hour on one of the two nights a week I could stay up late (when it wasn't summer). I'd either watch the show while we were over at my grandmother's house or back in my room at home on my portable black and white TV (I preferred it at her house so I could see it in color).

I pretty much was a faithful viewer of the antics of Captain Stubbing, Doc, Gopher, Issac and Julie all the way through high school. When I went to college in 1983 (the start of season 7), I kind of dropped off the habit. After all, I had better things to do now on Saturday nights - like go out to parties and such, looking for my own love connections if you will. After all, it wasn't cool to be watching the Love Boat in college, right?


Turns out, as I would learn, college folks did watch the Love Boat, usually in the lounge on the floor in a group. Interesting. Even more so, they played a drinking game that went along with it called 'Chug Boat'. The rules were pretty easy, though the list could be long. See two people kiss - drink. See a full shot of the boat - drink. Hear the ship's horn blow - drink. See Issac pour someone a drink - drink. See Doc hit on a young lady - drink. See a beach ball go by - drink. Okay, you get the idea. Basically it was a full hour of Saturday night drinking as a warm up before going out to some party for dancing and such.

Still, for me, it was about the guest stars and the promises of romance. It was something that was new each week - albeit in a familiar formula and setting. I hear that Season 1 on DVD is slated for a release next Spring. I just might have to put aside some money so I can get me a 'ticket' onto the Love Boat again.

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