To the cast of “The Love Boat,” I’m looking at you. It’s time to get the gang back together for made-for-teevee movie magic. You’re the only ones who can save us, the only life raft that can keep us afloat in the choppy waters of good cruises gone bad.
Clearly, I’m talking about the recent spate of cruises that have unwittingly hosted norovirus.
I can think of nothing more horrific that being trapped on a floating barge of disease with hundreds of barfing and pooping compatriots. There’s something about it that makes me feel – probably unfairly – that the cruise line is fault, that the ship staff did something wrong to bring this scourge upon the people.
I need to see how the best of the best would handle the situation. That’s why I’m calling upon you, Love Boaters, to reunite for the television event “The Love Boat: Peril on the Pacific.”
Picture it: a 2-hour made-for-teevee movie wherein Captain Merrill Stubing fearlessly guides his crew to not only ensure love among their ship’s guests, but also to get them to stop shitting themselves. Doc Bricker would be stressed the hell out, but would tend to the ill and still have time for a side story about a long-lost love.
Meanwhile, Isaac the bartender would serve up more 7-Up and Pepto than his signature pina coladas. However, he’d still maintain the same jazzy finger-pointing to keep spirits on the Pacific Princess high. Julie the cruise director would set up sick bays on the Aloha Deck, and there would be activities for folks healthy enough to participate.
Even little Vicky Stubing would have a special role. She’d keep herself busy by rolling bandages, because Gopher would have tried to avoid telling her the poopy truth about norovirus. So, Vicky would be convinced that the illness required wound care, and she’d start stealing linens from the ship’s laundry in a misguided attempt to care for ill passengers. Her dad would find out, and hilarity would ensue.
I’m sure it goes without saying that both Jimmie “J.J.” Walker and Charo would be special guest stars. When you’re puking your guts out, nothing is as soothing as hearing “coochie-coochie” and “dyn-o-mite,” and Captain Stubing would know this. Jimmie and Charo would be on the Lido Deck, sharing their special vocal talents with the ill.
I know this sounds like almost too much awesomeness for just 1 made-for-teevee movie. But never fear! The high seas are rife with future opportunities for Captain Stubing and crew:
- “The Love Boat: No Power on the Pacific” – Remember that cruise ship that lost power and hundreds of people were stranded with no working toilets and no air conditioning on a ship where most of the windows don’t open? Find out how plucky Vicky Stubing would save the day should this happen to the Pacific Princess!
- “The Love Boat: The Pacific Princess vs. The Cannibal Rat Ship” – So, there’s an unmanned ship currently floating around, and it’s filled with rats that are eating each other. For real. What would Captain Stubing do if the cannibal rat ship attacked his ship? I’ll let you in on a little secret: Gopher would show surprising communication and diplomatic skills with the hungry vermin.
- “The Love Boat: Why Doesn’t Anyone Want to Take a Cruise Anymore?” – In this very special Love Boat film, the crew would struggle with decreased cruise attendance. Feelings would be hurt. There’d be painful talk of the crew going their separate ways. But then little Vicky Stubing would have a great idea that just might save the Pacific Princess. (Hint: It’s Charo).
Fred Grandy? Bernie Kopell? Gavin MacLeod? We need you like we’ve never needed you before. Please, please consider getting the crew back together.
It’s what Aaron Spelling would have wanted.