|Available at Amazon.com|
How do you talk about sex when you’re not allowed to use the word sex? For five seasons Love American Style made light of the sexual revolution with a restricted vocabulary. They couldn’t talk about body parts or even mention “orgasm.” The screenwriters had to take a clean approach to the dirty deed. HBO wasn’t bouncing off the satellite so there were plenty of things you couldn’t say or show on TV. The series wasn’t completely prudish since the star was an ornate brass bed that the numerous guest actors enjoyed in pairs. They weren’t handcuffed to twin beds in the Master bedroom. Although the network didn’t allow the characters to be handcuffed to the bed. This was a show that had to be extra creative to talk about an adult subject with words acceptable for children to accidentally repeat.
The second half of the first season has several of my favorite episodes with TV’s finest comic actors. “Love and the Gangster” has a mob boss going to extremes to keep his daughter from dating. He thinks it’s safe to let her spend time with Jerry Van Dyke, a flamboyant house decorator. What would a flaming queen want with a young girl other than as a shopping buddy? “Love and Those Poor Crusaders’ Wives” explains why before your honeymoon, you should never wear strange medieval underwear. “Love and the Banned Book” has Burt Reynolds dealing with his wife’s sexy novel. He wants to know who inspired the debaucheries on the page including a 12 person orgy.
“Love and the Hitchhiker” has a lecherous Bob Denver (Gilligan) bring home a hitchhiking Joey Heatherton. He anticipates free love to pay for her room and board. “Love and the Nervous Executive” lets Paul Lynde really stretch his acting muscles. He has to play a straight businessman with the hots for his new secretary (Carol Wayne). Lynde is hilarious as he acts like he really wants to hump the hot office blond. He truly played the center square in this episode.
Fans of the Batman series are in for a double treat. “Love and the Big Night” lures us to Julie Newmar’s swinging apartment. She’s a free-spirited secretary who enjoys banging the married suits. Tony Randall gets his chance to score with Catwoman on this night. Be warned that there is topless action in this episode. Unfortunately it is Tony’s chest that gets exposed to the camera. “Love and the Great Catch” allows Adam West to play himself. He visits George Lindsey (Goober from The Andy Griffith Show) to purchase rare stamps. Who knew that Batman and Goober were secretly philatelists? During the visit, Goober’s wife forces her best friend onto West. But the Uncaped Crusader only has eyes and hands for younger house guest. Who will get licked first?
Love American Style: Season One, Volume Two is a treasure chest for TV fanatics. Since this is an anthology series, the quality of the episodes vary on the story and the acting talent. No need to fool you into thinking every tale is a gold nugget. But when they get the right stars and a snappy script, there’s no stopping the freakish fun. While they might not have been able to say all the words, you can sense the shifting of America’s sexual consciousness through this series. Prepare yourself to be transported back to swinging 1970 when the fireworks start, the patriotic heart slams into the screen and the Cowsills promise “I will defend your right to try Love, American Style.”
“Love and the Boss’ Ex/Love and the Gangster/Love and Mr. Nice Guy,” “Love and the Big Night/Love and Those Poor Crusaders’ Wives/Love and the V.I.P. Restaurant,” “Love and the Great Catch/Love and the Hitchhiker/Love and the Nervous Executive,” “Love and the Banned Book/Love and the First Nighters/Love and the King,” “Love and the Co-ed Dorm/Love and the Optimist/Love and the Teacher,” “Love and the Many Married Couple/Love and the Safely Married Man/Love and the Uncoupled Couple,” “Love and Las Vegas/Love and the Good Samaritan/Love and the Marriage Counselor,” “Love and Grandma/Love and the Other Guy,” “Love and Double Trouble/Love and the Fly/Love and the Millionaire” and “Love and the Minister/Love and the Singles Apartment.”
The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfers are top notch. You will The audio is in Dolby Digital Mono. The mix is rich. The laugh track never drowns out the performances.
No bonus features.
The dozen episodes from Love American Style: Season One, Volume Two keeps up the love. It reminds us that no matter what goes down in the sexual revolution, you better laugh. Otherwise what’s the point of unzipping?
CBS DVD presents Love American Style: Season One, Volume Two . Starring Adam West, Julie Newmar, Carol Wayne. Tony Randall & Paul Lynde. Twelve episodes on three single sided, dual layer DVDs. Running time: 622 minutes. Episodes originally broadcasted: Oct. 25 1969 to March 27, 1970. Released on DVD: March 11, 2008. Available at Amazon.com.