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Three On a Date (1978)

Network: ABC
Original Air Date: February 17th, 1978

Two of my favorite television formulas mixed and matched in Three on a Date: The game show and star studded one hour episodics like Love Boat! Seriously, does it get any better than that?!? It’s a rhetorical question, but feel free to yell out “No, it doesn’t!” if that gives you some closure.

Good god!

Three on a Date
, a whimsical little romance comedy, takes several contestants from The Dating Game and puts them on a chaperoned trip to Hawaii with hapless production assistant Stephanie Barrington (Forbesy Russell, quite possible the greatest name ever!). Real life game show host Geoff Edwards plays… a game show host! He’s only at the beginning, but as you know, I’m coming hot off the heels of my Hawtest Game Show Hosts list, so I was pleased to see I had chosen to watch a movie about game shows featuring a hawt game show host (regardless of whether or not he made the list)!

The couples are all odd matches indeed – pin-up Loni Anderson and nerdy comedy writer John Byner, ordinary secretary Meredith McCrae and famous heartthrob Patrick Wayne (whoa! Now this guy is HAWT!), down-home charismatic writer Ricky Nelson and shy Didi Conn and freewheeling June Allyson and uptight Ray Bolger are all fixed up and sent out on a trip full of hijinks and guffaws! The plane, which is actually two floors (question: did those ever actually exist?) features a runway show for hot new bikinis! OK, so we’re about 20 minutes in and we have an actual game show host and a fashion show! Oh, and I almost forgot… Gary Crosby as a potential bad guy.

At this point, I decided heaven does exist!

A fashion show on a double-decker plane! Brilliant!

From losing luggage to luaus to Loni’s apparent abduction, this movies is fun, fun, FUN! I loved every second of it. A lighthearted, capricious goodtime, Three on a Date is meant to be nothing more than fluffy romance and scores at just about every turn. The great Bill Bixby directed this sweet little ditty with effortless flair. The jokes don’t always work, but do most of the time, which is more than you can say about a lot of romantic comedies (yeah, I’m talking to you Maid in Manhattan!). And aside from that, Three on a Date presents really likeable characters who are fun to watch and who you will find yourself rooting for. Maybe because this movie was based on the autobiographical book by Stephanie Buffington, there’s a lot of thought given to the characters and what could have been a bunch of cardboard sketches (the pin-up, the actor, the shy girl…) ends up being much more.

Come to mama!



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 1st, 2009 06:02 am (UTC)
Yes, Virginia, there is a double-decker plane! I actually flew on one.

Feb. 1st, 2009 05:33 pm (UTC)
MEMORIES ...and airplanes
I remember this movie actually!! I am glad I saw it on TV. It was funny, i was drawn in by the Love Boat connection which am proud to admit I was a fan of. :)
747s had a 2nd level for about 40 passenger right behind the COCKpit, and There is now the Airbus a-280 which can carry 475 (575?) people: two stories front to back. That concludes our Avionics lesson for today boys and girls. Also, PLEASE forgive any details/errors as I have not yet had any Coffee at all...
Feb. 1st, 2009 11:34 pm (UTC)
Trust you to find this one! Your gameshow addiction is getting scary!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )



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