I really hate the phrase, “before my time”.
It’s not just the phrase itself that irks me, either, but the attitude behind it.
Whether it was a condescending high school teacher mentioning some “old” technology I myself still used all the time (“We used to listen to these things called cassettes – but that was before your time!”)…
…or a teenage student of mine telling me why she doesn’t know who Dick Cheney is, it’s just a lazy way of saying you have no knowledge of anything that didn’t unfold before your own two eyes, between the ages of 10 and 25, and you can’t imagine how anyone else would, either.
That said, The Love Boat was before my time.
I mean, I’ve heard of it, and I know it was a dumb TV show about a cruise ship; I’m not a pop culture illiterate.
And of course I know its classic theme song:
“The Love Boat is a little old ship where we can get together!”
Just kidding. That’s actually the theme to Dude Love’s talk show segment.
And I know it was produced by Aaron Spelling.
But I’ve never felt compelled in the past thirty years to actually watch a re-run of it, nor, would I suspect, have most of the people who watched the show during its initial run.
But this week I felt the call of the ‘Crap (and not just because of my ulcerative colitis) and actually sat through a whole episode of The Love Boat.
That is, Love Boat: The Next Wave, the late-nineties revival that aired on UPN for one season. Before the #6 network in the country aired WWF Smackdown, it featured WCW’s Goldberg and Kevin Nash as guest stars.
As our story begins, Goldberg doesn’t want to get on the Love Boat for fear that someone will recognize him. His new wife, Tawney, convinces the reluctant grappler to get on board the Love Boat, which I soon discovered is what the boat is officially called on the show.
Sure enough, one of the crew members sees Goldberg. “Oh my God”, he says. “It’s Rocky Williams.” See? Bill had nothing to worry about. This guy’s got him confused with someone else.
But apparently on this show, Goldberg is indeed “Rocky Williams”, and he is one half of the tag team champions of the world, as explained by Donald, the Love Boat’s resident wrestling geek.
The two exchange friendly punches to the gut.
I should note that my copy of this episode was subtitled for broadcast in Russia. The original series was never broadcast in the Soviet Union, per the INF treaty.
Now, if Mrs. Goldberg is looking forward to a romantic honeymoon with her man, she can’t be happy to see Kevin Nash, if you can imagine that. Except on this show, he’s Lou “The Pariah” McGuire (which almost rhymes). “Lou” has good news for “Rocky”: he has scored their team a title shot!
I suppose the bad news is that they must have lost those tag team titles very recently, as not five minutes earlier, Donald had introduced Goldberg as one half of the tag team champions of the world.
Rocky and Lou will be taking on Hogan and The Giant, who get to keep their names, in just a few days in Jamaica.
Goldberg’s wife isn’t having any of it. “Do you wanna wrestle with him”, pointing to Nash, “or do you wanna wrestle with me?”
I know she’s using “wrestle” in an other-than-literal sense here, but Goldberg still looks pretty fondly at big Kev. They don’t call him “Big Sexy” for nothing.
Later, Kev puts Donald in a full nelson, then lets him drop to the floor, Richard Belzer-style. Not even giving Donald the courtesy of reassuring everyone he’s just sleeping…
…Goldberg ignores the plights of the show’s butt-monkey to tell Nash he wants out of the title match. He is on his honeymoon, after all (the implication being, if I may be perfectly frank, that he wants to have a romantic get-away with his wife). But Nash doesn’t get it.
I’m with Goldberg on this one. Even if they win, they probably won’t get to keep the belts. Ric Flair dropped the title three times in the Caribbean and none of them were official.
Danny, the captain’s insufferable teenage son, has got two words for Nash: Yoko Ono.
“She broke up the Beatles”, he explains to Nash (born 1959) and any of the dozen or so young viewers watching a Love Boat reboot, just in case the Fab Four were before their time. There’s that phrase again!
Thanks for the (frosted) tip!
At dinner, Nash acts as a third wheel, butting in with offerings of extra steak for his buddy and suggesting he spend a whole night on his honeymoon studying tapes of Hulk Hogan and The Giant.
When Bill and his wife nix the idea, Kevin smashes the table. It’s just the first of many instances of property damage on this episode. Fortunately, a ticket to the Love Boat is all-inclusive.
As they chill on their lounge chairs the next day, Tawney asks Goldberg what flavor smoothie he wants. “Steak,” Goldberg says wistfully.
Little does Bill know that in twenty years, there will be all sorts of disgusting dessert flavors that no one actually likes but that go viral anyway.
That said, a ground beef smoothie would be much more practical – and cost-effective – than a steak one.
Ignoring her husband’s request, Tawney orders two cherry smoothies.
“Having a good time?” asks the crew member.
“Oh, you bet,” she says “If you like honeymoons for three.”
So you *are* having a good time! thinks the smoothie guy.
Late at night, Goldberg’s bride finds Big Sexy leaning unhappily, but provocatively.
The big lug tearfully admits that he’s afraid of losing Bill to his new wife.
They have a make-up hug, but Goldberg somehow misinterprets this as fornication.
“Hey! That’s my woman! And you’re a dead man!”
“Tawney and I were just – “
“Tawney and you!?”
I’m not sure how I would respond if my best friend had just accused me of cheating with his wife, but I hope I would be as articulate as Mr. Nash.
Remarkably, the two men’s exchange of words did not settle the matter, as Goldberg follows Nash downstairs. Interrupting a lounge singer, the two cut promos on each other, which break out into a brawl.
Just like in a real fight, they start off with a collar-and-elbow tie-up.
Goldberg then scoop-slams Nash.
Nash responds by hitting Goldberg with a chair and sidewalk-slamming him through another table.
I should note that while neither man knows very many wrestling moves, they are using their entire arsenal in this fight. That includes the jackhammer, which Bill executes on his number-one fan for no reason.
Goldberg spears Kevin into the pool…
…which, if you know Kev, he probably requested to be written into the script.
Mrs. Goldberg has just about had it, telling her husband and his friend that they can have each other for all she cares.
Just like on the Baywatch episode I inducted last week, the wrestlers’ storyline is just one of the plots on the show. There’s also a plot where the co-cruise director wants the whole crew to pretend to be captain so she can impress her grandmother, Rue McClanahan.
They refuse, and she fesses up to her grandma, who tells her she doesn’t love her because she doesn’t have a big important job.
Actually, the opposite of all that happens. Bet you didn’t see that coming!
In another plot line, some pathetic tool wants to get married on the cruise to nobody in particular. He doesn’t get any takers…
…except for one large German woman and one attractive lady his own age.
Guess which one he chooses?
It turns out, the guy stands to inherit 10 million dollars if he gets married before his 30th birthday, which is fast approaching. The bride-to-be is scandalized that she’s being used for personal gain, but the groom really is in love, blah blah blah.
“I’ve got ten million reasons we should be together,” says the marriage guy. “And not one of them has anything to do with money.” That’s a relief, because ten million dollars does not equate to ten million reasons to get married. If I had seventeen dollars, I wouldn’t have seventeen reasons for you to marry me, would I?
Back in the C plot, the big boys have seemingly made up after their big spat, with Kev singing a few bars of “The Wind Beneath My Wings” to Goldberg. Not only is the tune completely wrong, but the lyrics are slightly off, as well.
Nash: “Did you ever know you were my hero?
You’re everything I wish I could be.
If I could fly higher than the eagle
You’d be the wind beneath…”
Large German woman: “My vings!”
We all know Kev is a better singer than this, but this way, the show doesn’t have to pay royalties. Pretty clever!
Tawney makes a deal with Nash – if he just reschedules the match and leaves her and Goldberg alone for the rest of their honeymoon, everything will be copacetic. She’ll even step into the ring with Hogan and The Giant herself!
Kevin agrees. I must say, though, that that’s a really bad deal because she would lose.
Big Sexy and the large German woman then have an implied hook-up.
Poor Donald takes one last bump over the guard rail…
…which is at least more realistic than the one Giant Gonzalez took on Baywatch.
Bill Goldberg and Kevin Nash would live happily ever after until the following year, when Goldberg refused to follow the script and be powerbombed at WCW New Blood Rising.
If it had led to Bill trying to bury Aaron Spelling in the desert, Love Boat: The Next Wave would have lasted more than one season.