Saturday, June 09, 2018

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Sigmund and the Sea Monsters: "Puppy Love"

In “Puppy Love,” Johnny (Johnny Whitaker) and Scot (Scott Kolden) drive Sigmund home to their Clubhouse in their “Ecology Wagon,” but he falls out on the street, and is nearly discovered by a neighbor, Peggy (Pamelyn Ferdin), and her dog, Fluffy.

Back at the Clubhouse, Sigmund confesses his love for Fluffy, despite their different species. Johnny, meanwhile, as a crush on Peggy.

Meanwhile, back at the cave, Big Daddy Sea Monster hatches a plan to bring Sigmund home at lat. Slurp will dress up as the Sea Monster movie star, Diana Demon, and lure him home.

Things take a dramatic turn at the Clubhouse, however, when Zelda (Mary Wicke) sees Sigmund there, and mistakes him for a ball of sea weed. She sweeps him up and puts him in the trash. A trash truck takes Sigmund way, and now it is up to Fluffy to find Sigmund and help him come home.

In “Puppy Love,” the second episode of Sigmund and the Sea Monsters (1973-1975), Sigmund falls in love with a dog, and has his heart broken when Fluffy, the object of his love, decides only to date within her own species. This subplot is mirrored by the one involving Johnny and Peggy.  At the end of the episode, Johnny sings a song about falling in love, and being rejected.

Perhaps the most interesting thing to note about this episode is that it guest stars Pamelyn Ferdin, a child actress who starred in literally everything, it seems, in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. In the sixties, she guest starred on Star Trek (1966-1969) in “And the Children Shall Lead.” And in the seventies, she was widely seen on Saturday morning television, including programs such as Shazam! She was one of the leads in Filmation’s Space Academy.

This is the episode in which Archie Bunker knock-off Big Daddy calls one of his sons “Meathead,” Archie’s favorite put-down of his Polish son-in-law, Mike Stivic (Rob Reiner). Big Daddy’s plan this week involves Sea Monster pop culture, and a sea monster matinee idol that Slurp dresses up as.  The plot doesn’t work any better than it sounds.

Still, at this point, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters is a fun watch. It isn’t as loud or frantic as Lidsville, and the characters are more interesting than those found in The Bugaloos.

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