19 October 2011 | wwgrayii
Better than the first pilot
Hijinks abound aboard a ten-day Mexican cruise aboard the "Pacific Princess."
The second of the three "Love Boat" pilots. While it's not quite on target, it's a big step up from the first pilot for a couple of reasons.
First, the entire regular cast has been replaced, and overall the new crew exhibits considerably more charm and chemistry than the previous actors could muster. This is especially true with Bernie Kopell, Fred Grandy and Ted Lange, replacing Dick Van Patten, Sandy Helberg and Theodore Wilson as Doc, Gopher and Isaac, respectively. Somewhat less effective are Quinn Redecker the captain and Diane Stilwell as Sandy Summers, the cruise director. Redecker plays the captain very straight and very seriously, as though he were in a drama. Stilwell is a perfectly fine actress, and a distinct improvement over Terri O'Mara from the first pilot, but she just doesn't seem to click with the rest of the cast.
Secondly, the production itself is a lot smoother. I don't know if it's the addition of Aaron Spelling as producer, or a new director or what, but none of the dodgy editing, poor staging and bad acting that ruined the first pilot are evident here.
The stories themselves follow the same basic pattern as before (and thereafter), and the guest stars, including Craig Stevens, Hope Lange, Robert Reed and Marcia Strassman are all fine. But one thing I do miss (and I imagine Spelling is responsible for this) is the mildly ribald tone of the previous pilot. Starting with this movie, and continuing on through the third pilot ("The New Love Boat") and the series, things become more romantic and family-friendly. No more cracks from the cruise director about how she'll "do it" in the purser's lounge and no more jokes about reminding the ship's printer to put the "s" in "horse racing."
Still, though, a not bad pilot.