Thursday, October 21, 2021

What We'd Like to See: Aloha Paradise

 I'll take, oh, let me see...every episode of this, please:

The great Gilmore Box YT channel posted this opening this week. I like that he describes it, with some diplomacy, perhaps, as "similar to Love Boat." Yes...similar, all right. Even the Steve Lawrence theme song sounds derivative...and I love it!

Believe it or not, this ABC anthology/comedy/drama lasted a mere 8 (of 13 produced) episodes. If you're concerned about the show ripping off Love Boat, maybe this will make you feel better: It's from Love Boat producers Aaron Spelling and Douglas Cramer! There's no index in Spelling's memoir A Prime Time Life, so the only reference to the show I can see is in his annotated filmography in the back, where he just says it was their attempt to do Love Boat at a Hawaiian resort.

Harry and Wally's Favorite Shows gives the series a measly half-star rating, calling it a "sappy effort" and noting Debbie Reynolds is "annoyingly chipper as manager of the resort." Well, Reynolds was no fan, either; according to Wikipedia, she said "it had the worst scripts ever," in a 1986 newspaper story talking about her guest appearance on a then-current episode of Hotel

ABC put this one at 9:00 Wednesdays in early 1981 against movies on CBS and the Diff'rent Strokes/Facts of Life combo on NBC, but it soon yanked it for socially relevant (and even shorter-lived) drama The American Dream.  By Summer, ABC had  added a Wednesday Night Movie to its lineup, and in September it debuted a new-look evening schedule featuring Greatest American Hero, which also debuted in Winter 1981; new Fall show The Fall Guy; and yet another Winter 1981 debut, Dynasty

As for Aloha Paradise, guest stars include Gene Rayburn, Batty winner Jessica Walter, Red Buttons, Joan Fontaine, and Bert Convy. CBS owns the show, so maybe someday if Paramount Plus has a Crackle-like revelation and starts emptying the vaults, we'll see it on there.

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