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Starsky and Hutch on Playboy Island

The most watchable of the multi-part episodes.  In fact, if it hadn't been for the silly voodoo stuff, it would be close to outright brilliant.  






Apparently, Starsky and Hutch are intending to start a vacation soon to Pine Lake, which they don't actually end up doing until "Satan's Witches". As with the latter episode, Starsky is all grumpy about it, which makes one wonder why he even agrees to go.  (I'll bite -- because Hutch wants him to, lol).  We have the reiteration that, in contrast to "The Psychic", it's actually Starsky who believes in bizarre things like Bigfoot and UFOs, while Hutch blows such off.  Of course, as soon as the pretty girl arrives to gush about Pine Lake, Starsky changes his tune completely.  

The girl is merely a ruse to get them to come to her apartment, where Dobey and Walter Healey are waiting.  The guys whine about not getting the vacation that was promised them, but Starsky suddenly stops protesting when he realizes they're going undercover on Playboy Island.  

The outrageous behavior of all the over-stimulated trash guys at the airport is a bit much, so it's comforting, when Starsky and Hutch are finally alone, that Hutch mumbles, "Help", showing that he, too, is finding all the behavior of the garbage guys to be a bit much.  Starsky is also on that same page.  

When they arrive at the island, they are so married!  lol!  They start right in with arguing about how much luggage Hutch brought.  He's definitely playing the wife in this aspect of the marriage, because everyone knows it's always the woman who over-packs and wants to make sure nothing is left out.  I especially love when Starsky complains of the luggage that, "You didn't have this many when we left", and Hutch firmly replies, "Yes, I did."  Too funny.  

When Starsky sees Hutch's stray bag grabbed, I love how he takes Hutch's hand to lead him toward where the bag is.  Married, indeed!

Of course, the culprit is Huggy, driving a taxi.  Once they're on the road, Hutch starts fussing again about being missing a bag.  (He's such a woman in this scenario, lol!)  Starsky groans, "Oh, God ."  

And then they have the conversation about voodoo, and bokors, the latter of which Hutch keeps insisting is "a bad cough".  

More dialogue about the luggage when they arrive at the hotel, because Starsky mutters, "You think I'm going to help you carry all of that?"  He's not being mean, just pointing out that they're on vacation, in a sense, and since there's bellhops and such.... 

Of course, the undercover names of Night and Day are pretty funny in themselves.  If anyone had reason to think there might be undercover cops on the island, those names would pretty much be a giveaway.  

Then Starsky ends up carrying a whole bunch of luggage, anyway, while Hutch is flirting with Easy, in order to "give the ladies a hand".   He asks Hutch to help too, so all Hutch grabs is a tennis racket from one of the girls, leaving Starsky with most of the luggage.  Then -- thunk! -- Hutch starts singing, "Night and Day" and goes into the line, "I'll take the night."  *cough, cough*   Was that a love message that he just sent to Starsky, aka Fred Night?

Godfrey is a dignified, likable character.  He doesn't fall for the Day and Night routine one bit.  

The golf course scenario is pretty funny.  Of course, Hutch is the one who is the expert on how to play.  Starsky looks very goofy, even when it's just them two.  When PMG made a rare appearance on a Mike Douglas (by himself), he was talking about how he and DS had actually played golf during the filming.  I recall him saying something about how DS was a much better golfer than he was, but there was one particular tee-off where he hit the ball a lot farther than DS.  It's amusing that he felt it important to point out that he'd bested DS.  

Of course, the scene at the river's edge is even better, with Hutch fully capitalizing on Starsky's fear of crossing the river and worries about crocodiles.  

The singing in black face... I don't have much comment.  In fact, the one really slow part of the episode is all the stuff that first night at Thorne's estate.  

It would be easier to take the voodoo stuff more seriously, if there was some consistency to it.  Healey and, later, Johnny Doors both die shortly after the powder is thrown in their faces.  But Starsky and Hutch mysteriously survive to end up washed up on the beach.  Starsky's wearing the anti-voodoo thing around his neck, but that doesn't make him immune to Pappa Theodore's spell.

Of course, I wouldn't want to miss the beach scene for anything.  I like how Starsky and Hutch help each other to their feet.  And then there's some Starsky butt crack, which is impossible to hide with tight, wet pants.  

After they meet with Godfrey, and Doors gets nailed by Poppa Theodore, they come back to their hotel, where Jerry is about to go skinny dipping.  He points out that society is in a period of "sexual revolution", which was defined by the attitude, "if it feels good, do it".  (AIDS was still six or seven years away.)  That was definitely true, but I'm pretty sure this is the only time the series outright acknowledges the dominating theme of its time period.  
 
What a treat, that night in their hotel room, to see Starsky sitting on Hutch's bed, with Hutch stretched out, while they strategize for getting Thorne out the next morning.  It's easy to imagine them often at each other's bedside, the evening prior to doing work on an important case. 

Pappa Theodore sure does like pressing the Starsky and Hutch dolls against each other.  

Then we get to enjoy the guys waking up together when the alarm goes off.  Hutch is surprisingly slow about waking up.  He does try to be tolerant about listening to the agitated Starsky tell about his dream, but responds with a couple of bland "Oh" statements.  

Boy, those guys must be in incredibly great shape.  They swim something like two miles from their boat to get to shore, and then climb that huge cliff.  (And then have to climb it again!)  And those poor actors -- they really are walking barefoot on those sharp rocks.  They don't have to act to do those cringing expressions that clearly say, "Ouch!  Ouch!"

PMG is really great at playing irritable as they prepare to climb, but Starsky is so gentle-hearted that he has to throw in a "sorry" at how he's been snapping at Hutch.  

When they find the dolls in their bag, it's interesting that they don't question the symbolism of the dolls being pinned together, face-to-face.  

The fight is pretty silly, because the whole voodoo thing is pretty silly.  Mysteriously, them falling into the water breaks the spell.

What's unusual about this episode is that the best part is the last quarter of it.  The banter from here on out is really fantastic, and shows that they can be in a foreign environment and still be their lovable selves.  

Starsky is so touchy-feely toward Hutch after they return to shore.  I don't know if it's because he's seeking  reassurance, or because he's trying to show how sorry he is that he tried to kill Hutch (though he has no recollection of such).  

I love when the guard drops the cigarette butt right by Hutch's rear, and Starsky has to take action to make sure nothing gets burned.  lol!  

Seriously, Hutch's shorts are too small up front.  It's a wonder nothing got injured.

And then they hear the wedding music, and Starsky says, "Someone's getting married."  Hutch deadpans, "It ain't us."  lol!  They don't need the ceremony, as they've been behaving quite married in various parts of the episode.  

And then, after they've been caught by the bad guy, Starsky pretending to go into convulsions.  Hutch sounds very convincing when he says, "Starsk, Starsk", so concerned.  After all, he's had lots of practice.

Starsky does do an awfully lot of writhing in this episode.  There's being in Pappa Theodore's hut after being sprayed with the white powder (when Hutch was, too), writhing in his hotel bed, and then writhing when pretending to be under a voodoo spell.  And that's not counting the dancing and pole stuff.  

Then, after they knock the guard out, Hutch trying to get the gun out of the guy's unconscious fingers.  

Starsky is able to knock out a big guy like Pappa Theodore way too easily.  

The chase scene is actually pretty entertaining, because the banter is so good.  

The tag, once again, makes no sense because of the voodoo stuff.  If Hutch doesn't believe it's real, then how does he explain to himself Starsky trying to kill him?  And yet, Pappa Theodore disappearing from prison does make him believe it.  





Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
taass64
Dec. 22nd, 2012 02:24 pm (UTC)
The storyline and voodoo stuff in this ep are just silly IMHO...but it is fun to watch because of the banter and how great the guys look! I love watching them climb the rocks...and PMG is extra cute with wet curls! They are so goofy in the garbage man oufits but then so sexy half dressed a lot of the time.
I wish the set people did a better job because you can so tell that Godfrey's office is Dobey's.
This is one I dont watch often but you reminded me why it is fun !
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )