GLEEB> season two
The Monkees' first season was a success, but the major question on Hollywood execs minds everywhere was the same: would it hold up? The answer is pretty simple-- yes and no. The only thing that really kept Monkees records afloat on the charts was exposure through the TV show. With ratings slipping, there were less records sold. It was with this formula that the show went fast downhill in both ratings and originality. Rejected scripts from the first season were used, much to The Monkees' chagrin. This annoyance is best expressed in "Monkees In Paris," one of the final Monkees episodes.
Near the end of 1967, a frantic letter writing campaign by teenage girls across America began to try and save The Monkees' TV show. It was a valiant effort, but the girls were writing without the awareness of a very important piece of knowledge: it was not NBC who wanted to cancel the show, but the guys themselves. They were fed up with the cheesy scripts. Their image had changed from cute little boys to experimenting hippies. In the later episodes, there are references to heated topics of the time, as well as to drugs.
There were some bright spots in this rough time, though. Some of the later episodes of The Monkees are funnier to teenagers like me because the guys are stoned half the time. While shows like "Monkees Race Again" become ridiculous, "The Devil and Peter Tork" earned an Emmy nomination for James Frawley's directing. It showed off the great acting talents of both Michael and Peter, as well as giving Davy and Micky some good comedy to work with.
On March 25, 1968, the final episode of The Monkees aired on NBC. They may have been gone.. but, umm.. they became forgotten pretty fast, too.
"The Wild Monkees"
"The Wild Monkees" is one of my all-time favorite episodes, so that's why it's featured. That, and my "Fairy Tale" pic won't load for some reason. Anyhoo, "The Wild Monkees" has The Monkees in a rather cooperative state for a second season episode. The only nod to the outside world (there are lots in the last few episodes) is when Micky gets out his script and starts to read it. See, Mick! That's what drugs due to ya! (That was a public service announcement from GLEEB. Don't do drugs, kids. Me and the talking cow enforce that rule.) It's really cute and I think it's one of the only episodes where Mike is actually paying attention to the actress he's playing up to, his love interest in the episode.
"Wild Monkees" clip (70k)
This picture basically sums up The Monkees' season finale, "Mijacogeo." Directed by Micky and taking its name from an amalgam of the names of Micky's family members (Mi[cky]ja[nelle, his mother]co[co, his sister]geo[rge, his father]), it's very strange. Peter, among others, is entranced by a test pattern that the local TV station is sending out. The Monkees try to save the day by foiling the evil Wizard Glick's plan, but fail and forced into the Frodis Room. Uhm. Yeh. This episode utilizes a lot of Monkee-related words that only us fans know: frodis, krebytch, two-headed org, and glick. No gleeb, though. Not yet.
"Mijacogeo" clip (849kb)