The Love Boat

ABC (ended 1986)





The Love Boat Fan Reviews (14)

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out of 10
492 votes
  • So I confess, I miss it.

    I admit it, I loved the '70s. It was such a fun decade. The Love Boat is a time capsule of the late '70s. Not just the guest stars and the fashions, but the basic mood of the era.

    It's very easy and even very trendy to put down this lightweight show from ultraprolific producer Aaron Spelling, the same way people denigrate disco music. But once put into context, it really wasn't all that bad. The period, after all, was the late '70s -- only three years after The Brady Bunch had left the air. TV's fabled last gasp of innocence had yet to be breathed. TV shows could still be expected to be fun and frivolous, like the Me Decade this was a part of.

    Spelling was at the peak of his TV power, having already scored hits with The Mod Squad, The Rookies, Starsky & Hutch and Charlie's Angels, among other shows. His shows alone were taking up more than a quarter of ABC's prime time hours by the turn of the decade and it was said that he had produced more hours of television than anyone else. For several years, Love Boat was teamed with Spelling stable mate Fantasy Island, forming a two-hour escapist block on Saturday nights when viewers could escape on a tropical cruise then to a lush tropical island.

    With The Love Boat, viewers could experience some of the better aspects of a cruise, without the drawbacks. Every day was sun-drenched and every night clear and crisp, sunsets were always brilliant, it never rained and we could all be home within a single hour. And heck, it didn't cost a cent! The Aloha, Lido, Fiesta and Riviera decks (or at least their names) become ingrained in memory through sheer repetition. Not to mention the Crystal Pool, which made an appearance in every episode, except when the crew took to other ships for cruises in the Caribbean, Alaska and even Australia. And what a crew it was. From fatherly Gavin MacLeod to pert and perky Cindy "Lauren" Tewes and everyone in between, there was a nice family vibe to the original cast, even if some fans felt it was disrupted by the addition of Jill Whelan. Just don't mention the subsequent cast additions and changes, by which time the show had overstayed its welcome.

    The stories were simple and, for the most part, uplifting. Still, they were repetitive. But how many different plot variations can one expect about love? And then there was the oh-so-'70s theme song. Charles Fox wrote the music, having already made his TV mark in several hit sitcoms including Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley and Love, American Style. Pity poor Paul Williams, who, despite other successes, once reportedly said even if he found the cure for cancer, he'd still be remembered only for penning the lyrics to this insidious ditty. As sung by Jack Jones, it was frothier than ocean whitecaps and a perfect match for the show. Both Williams and Jones, by the way, actually guest-starred on the show.

    There's a story that Peter Graves was once asked about his appearance on The Love Boat. Graves jokingly demurred that everyone in Hollywood at the time guest-starred on the show. That's not far from the truth. The show featured a never ending parade of television stars, stars to be, stars that once were and would-be stars. Singers, dancers and once, the then-popular Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. All mingled with some rather distinguished company -- movie stars and Oscar winners past and future like Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Ginger Rogers, Olivia de Havilland, Debbie Reynolds, Tom Hanks and Don Ameche, among others, made appearances.

    The original Pacific Princess no longer plies her Pacific route on the Mexican Riviera, with ports of call at Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas and Acapulco. She long since surrendered the area to her larger, newer, more luxurious sisters, one of which (the Sun Princess) couldn't carry the "Next Wave" revival in 1998. In the autumn of 2002, she was retired from the Princess fleet after 27 years of service, and the one, true Love Boat was no more. There's a new Pacific Princess now, but it just isn't the same. Thus I raise my glass in one final toast, "To absent friends and those at sea."
  • the show that could of been a lot better on H.B.O.

    every episode was on the ship with little subplots going back and forth zipping from one story to another quickly. i watched all the episodes like alot of shows there were always changes in the cast. after julie was fired from being hooked on cocaine
    the show was going downhill and was not as fun to watch.its always the change in the cast that does this.
  • I loved the love boat, just cant get good shows like that anymore.

    What can I say, how great was this programme!. It made you want to ring the travel agent up and hop on a cruise ship!.It took me 20yrs but I did.the stories were so cool, funny, no hard core stuff you get today.People and families could sit around and have a nice evening dreaming about being somewhere sweet It was!.
  • Classic fluff

    The Love Boat is considered to be little more than fluff now but when it was on we were all hooked. It was a great way to see actors who didn't work much anymore and it was just plain fun. Yes, it probably ran a couple of seasons too long (the singing mermaids were a bit much) but this is a show all of us who grew up in the 70's and 80's remember fondly.
  • Different guest stars show up every week to take a cruise on "The Love Boat".

    Seamed like a good idea at the time. But now I sit and wonder why did I watch this. I guess it must have been because nothing else was on. I guess it it kind of like a guilty pleasure kind of show. The acting was ok, but the storylines were pretty corny.

    Gavin MacLeod was excellent as Captain Merrill Stubing. Ted Lange was funny as Isaac Washington as well as Fred Grandy (Burl "Gopher" Smith)who later ran and won a seat in congress in the state of Iowa. Bernie Kopell (Get Smart) was very good as Dr. Adam Bricker.
  • Will I ever NOT know how the theme song melody went? I doubt it.

    What can I say that hasn’t been said before? Not much. As the show itself was basically the same story line but with little twists here and there, my review will most likely not shed any new light on the show.

    That said, I was pretty much faithful viewer of this and Fantasy Island. Yes, I was lured into the same story over and over week after week and I’m not afraid to admit it. This was mostly because it was an escape. Real life wasn’t as glamorous or as fun as it seemed on these shows and how could I resist a catchy theme song? I’m even humming it right now in my head – sad, but true.
  • Ok I sometimes watched this. But have no desire at all ever to see it again.

    Why did I watch this? I have no idea. If it were on today I definitely would NOT. Maybe it was because I wanted to bend Jill Whelan over the piano, if you know what I mean. This show was mostly an employment agency for has-been actors.

    I thought a great idea for the series finale would have been: ...... A) Love Boat is sucked thru a time vortex (i.e FINAL COUNTDOWN) into World War II and is sunk by a German U-Boat - the crew ends up at imprisoned at Stalag-13 - Colonel Klink tortures them for information about the future in an attempt to gain favor with Hitler. As the series concludes Klink says to a Los Alamos scientist who was on the ship "Now tell me more about the A-Bomb and the H-Bomb!" ....... B) While on an Alaskan Cruise, the Love Boat strikes an iceberg for a re-enactment of TITANIC.

    ..........I'd personally go with option A.
  • We like it very much. Please bring it back!! It was my favorite show as a young child. I even yelled at my kids when I missed it... Because it did come on tvland for a little while.. Thank You Brezze family

    Dear Review broad, I am 40 yrs old and I think Love boat need's to come back on the air and I miss it so bad it made me mad... I watched it when I was a little kid with my faimly and friends I really think you need to put it back on the air. My kids wathced that show and I would tell them that this is what I watched when I was a little kid I sure do miss it been on!!!! So how about yall put it back on the air I have been wanting to watch it so bad.... I am expeting for it to be back on right now please it makes me mad...... Thank you Breeze family

    I won't it back now and if we don't get it back untell we do i am going to keep on writng to u!!
  • It's Love

    I loved watching the love boat. It had a very catchy theme song and how about Isac, he was so hot for a guy in the 80's. Wish I could watch some of the episodes today. I love the 80's.
    The love boat, soon will be making another run, the love boat promises something for everyone, you set a course for adventure your mind on a new romance, and love wont hurt anymore.........OK that's all I remember. lol if someone knows a TV station that still plays episodes of this show, let it be known, i would sit down and watch the marathon.
  • This series was the DWTS of its day.

    Like DWTS, it was a marginal premise that might have had some merit had they used pros!

    Instead, the story lines were impossibly weak and utterly predictable, and the guest star list for the most part was a "Who's That?" instead of a "Who's Who". Hence the DWTS connection.

    I give it a 5.5 because:

    1) on the rare occasion there was a guest star I wanted to see, I did tune in and at that age, anything they did, no matter how stupid, was watchable. 2) at that age, I liked Lauren Tewes hairdo! What can I say? I was deep as a child!

    Give me pros, and I'll watch them "dance" in any era. Career resurrection should be on the merits, and this is not a worthy format; then or now.
  • A series of non-serial stories, often shown three at a time, and usually depicting love stories from various angles. The setting is always a cruise ship.

    I thought the show was great. Coupled with Fantasy Island of similar genre, it used to provide two hours of "winding down" time every Saturday evening.

    The lead parts were usually well cast and well played, though they were rarely lead parts in any particular story line: they tended to be segue roles as the episode drifted from story to story over the hour.

    One common complaint I hear is that the show relied on has-been actors past their prime as guest stars. As I watched the show, I found this neither accurate nor relevant. So what if they did!! Let the hot actors of the day field the hard roles. Let those approaching retirement allow me to end the week, entertained with levity.
  • I miss the good ol' days!

    The Love Boat people may say was cheesy, but it was great, was happy, and just a good era of TV (when TV was really good). Kids in general were happier and I think for one, they had good shows like this. This made me happy as a kid and then I got to watch Fantasy Island. Loved the late 70s! Way too much violence on TV today. I want to see something happy. It's a bittersweet watching these old shows, takes you back to a better time, but then we realize those days are over. :(
  • I miss the love boat

    This used to be one of my favorite shows growing up as a kid. I loved watching this along with Fantasy Island. I just wish that all of the episodes were available. One of my favorite episodes was season 0, episode 13. One of the parts was Gopher gets an A.
  • Love Boat Book

    I am an author currently writing an episode guide/fact book on the Love Boat. I am trying to contact any fans out there who might have old clippings, websites, books, anything from the show that they can copy/scan to me for print in the book.

    I plan on interviewing the cast with their approval of course.

    Please use this email to contact me:

    Thanks much!

    Also, if you know of any other fans, please let them know!