monkees a la carte

Do you want to watch The Monkees?

- Well here’s every episode (in order)

Season 1 :

Royal Flush

Monkee See, Monkee Die

Monkee VS. Machine

Your Friendly Neighbourhood Kidnappers

The Spy Who Came In From The Cool

Success Story

Monkees In A Ghost Town

Don’t Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth

The Chaperone

Here Come The Monkees (Pilot)

Monkees A La Carte

I’ve Got A Little Song Here

One Man Shy (Peter And The Debutante) 

Dance Monkee, Dance

Too Many Girls For Davy (Davy And The Fern)

Son Of A Gypsy

The Case Of The Missing Monkee

I Was A Teenage Monster

Find The Monkees (The Audition) 

Monkees In The Ring

The Prince And The Pauper

Monkees At The Circus

Captain Crocodile

Monkees A La Mode

Alias Micky Dolenz

Monkee Chow Mein

Monkee Mother

Monkees On The Line

Monkees Get Out Of More Dirt

Monkees In Manhattan (The Monkees Manhattan Style)

Monkees At The Movies

Monkees On Tour

Season 2

It’s A Nice Place To Visit (The Monkees In Mexico)

The Picture Frame

Everywhere A Sheik, Sheik

Monkee Mayor

Art For Monkees Sake

I Was A 99Lb. Weakling (The Physical Culture) 

Hillbilly Honeymoon

Monkees Marooned

The Card Carrying Red Shoes

The Wild Monkees

A Coffin Too Frequent

Hitting The High Seas

The Monkees In Texas

The Monkees On The Wheel

The Monkees Christmas Episode

Fairy Tale

The Monkees Watch Their Feet (Micky And The Outer Space Creatures

Monstrous Monkee Mash

The Monkee’s Paw

The Devil And Peter Tork

The Monkees Race Again (Leave The Drinking To Us)

The Monkees In Paris

Monkees Mind Their Manor

Some Like It Lukewarm

The Monkees Blow Their Minds

The Frodis Caper (Mijacogeo)

+

33 & A Third Revolutions Per Monkee

+ Movie

Head

Now, we’re all friends here. Would you like some coffee? Cream? Sugar? Two lumps? Get this young man some coffee—and a review of Monkees a la Carte.

The In-Which

Gangsters take over a neighborhood restaurant where the Monkees have a gig.  The guys go undercover as cooks, waiters, dishwashers—and a rival gang. 

Last time, it was a sober, serious episode about toys.  Now it’s a silly, slapstick outing that is, without a question, the most violent episode in the entire series.  There are other shootouts on The MonkeesHillbilly Honeymoon has two of them, for pity’s sake—but only in Monkees a la Carte do we have an actual body count.  Black humor?  Mike and Davy play tic-tac-toe on the floor while the bullets are flying overhead and the gangsters are dying all around. 

The Monkees had many memorable, eccentric, fun-to-watch villains in the course of its two-year run.  Even cold-hearted gangsters—Bessie Kowalski and Babyface Morales come to mind—could be delightfully nutty.  Perhaps, given their grisly destiny, it’s just as well that Fuselli, Rocco, and the quartet of lesser hoods in this episode were never developed as characters so much as caricatures. We never get to know them, so we don’t have to care when they all die. 

Sadly, the elderly restaurateur Pops is just as two-dimensional as the hoods.  And the cops aren’t much better—although cops, like most authority figures on The Monkees, never seem to be much more than obstacles. 

So it’s up to the four Monkees to embody all the humor, hope and humanity in this episode.  And they do!  They carry the show by force of frenetic energy and boundless determination, if not by actual skill or expertise.  They just keep trying one course of action after another, stumbling and bumbling and plugging away at the problem until the problem ultimately resolves itself. 

The scene in which the Monkees don’t actually discuss or vote on whether they want to help Pop is both witty and clever, but it seems very odd for the normally gallant Davy to be the one objecting to the dangerous mission.  If only Pop had a beautiful daughter, Davy probably would have been leading the charge.

(I’m not Your) Steppin’ Stone is one of the best first-season romps, with lots of playful humor and a tight connection to the plot.  The brief reprise after the shootout doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, and is probably just filler—it would be nice to know how the Monkees get out of trouble with the police.  The episode-ending performance of She would have been much better if they had performed it in front of an appreciative audience in Pop’s restaurant rather than in front of some anonymous blank wall. 

Quotables                      

Mike:   We have a motion to deal with Mr. Fuselli.  Can I have suggestions from the floor?
Peter:   The floor has nothing to say.
Micky:   Try the wall.
Peter:   The wall says… try the ceiling.

Mike:   All right then, it’s voted and agreed that we try and get the restaurant back from Mr. Fuselli.  
Davy:   What vote?   Was I out of the room or something?
Peter:   What do we do about Pop?
Mike:   Peter—get down from there!  We’ve already voted.
Davy:   What vote? 
Mike:   Micky, will you please read him the minutes of the meeting?
Micky:   A minute twelve seconds.  That’s a new meeting record!

Fuselli:   I don’t need no musicians.
Mike:   Yeah, but the people like us!
Fuselli:   But I don’t like you.
Mike:   We work cheap.
Fuselli:   I’m beginning to like you.

Peter:   What did I do?
Mike:   I don’t know, man, but don’t do it again.

Davy:   One of us has got to go and get the Inspector.
Mike:   Okay, let’s choose for it.
Micky:   Okay, pick a number between one and ten.
Mike:   Um—fourteen.
Micky:   Right.  Peter, you go.

Rocco:   Nobody leaves the meeting.
Peter:   Oh yeah?  Who says so?
Rocco:   This gun says so.
Peter:   Well, this gun says, “I go.”
Rocco:   Oh, yeah!  Hurry back.

Peter:   Yeah.  The Stevenson Bank job was mine, and the filling station over on Essex. 
Inspector:   You getting all that?
Officer:   Yeah.
Peter:   And the sinking of the Lusitania.  Was mine.  And… the Brinks robbery of ’57 was mine.   And, of course, the Great Train Robbery was mine.
Inspector:   Is that all?
Peter:   One more thing.  Take a letter to my mother? 

Clunkers

Micky slapping Peter once was bad enough.  Yes, it was funny, but it was also uncomfortably cruel.  Trying to do it a second time, in the police station, was no longer funny.  This makes for two episodes in a row in the alphabetical order (after Monkee vs Machine) where I’ve had to single out Micky for picking on Peter.  Don’t make me do it again, Micky. 

Runner-Up Physical Comedy Highlight

Davy vs an onion.

Physical Comedy Highlight

Micky demonstrating how the Monkees deal with people they don’t like.  Okay, I admit it.  It was funny.  Once. 

Sight Gag Highlight

Peter taking suggestions from the floor.

Oh, gross!  There is no way I can ever un-see that.

Peter sneezing over a tray of salt and pepper shakers.

Breaking the Fourth Wall

“The director thought we should have a pretty girl in the show.”

Third Runner-Up Nitpick

When Peter says, “Is it true that that there are no two glove-prints alike in the world?” he is badly out of focus.  Well, okay—Peter is often out of focus; in this case, it’s the camera that’s out of focus. 

Second Runner-Up Nitpick

At the outset of the shootout, Micky says that five people should be able to get along—then quickly revises that number to four when the first body falls.  But there are six people shooting when he starts talking, and five after the first body falls.

Runner-Up Nitpick

What happened to the rest of Pop’s restaurant staff?  Did Fuselli fire the cooks, waitstaff and other employees in order to hire the Monkees cheap?  

Nitpick

Never put a time reference in front of me, it’s like waving a red flag in front of a bull.  From Mike’s first gavel until Micky’s reading of the minutes (“a minute twelve seconds,” he says) exactly 50 seconds elapses.  Now that’s a new meeting record. 

What Have We Learned About the Fictional Monkees Today?

Peter plays bass trombone, and takes his coffee with cream and sugar.

We’re the young generation, and we have something to recycle.

  • Recurring gag:  Nobody knows how to use a tape recorder properly.  (See also:  Royal Flush and The Audition.)
  • Recurring gag:  Blowing up the wrong thing.  (See also:  Alias Micky Dolenz and Son of a Gypsy.)
  • Returning actor:  Dort Clark as the Inspector.  (He also played an LAPD sergeant in The Picture Frame and a Las Vegas police detective in Monkees on the Wheel.)
  • Returning actor:  Helene Winston as Big Flora.  (‘She was also Mrs. Drehdal in Monkees on the Line.)

Third Runner-Up Monkee Magic

Shared imagination, day at the races edition.

Second Runner-Up Monkee Magic

Micky conjures up a yellow balloon (“Blow”).  Later, Micky and Mike conjure up pompoms.

Runner-Up Monkee Magic

The band conjures up Purple Flower Gang disguises.  Over and over and over again.

Monkee Magic

Peter conjures up a gun that says, “I go.”

What I Want to Know…

How tough is it to find purple flowers? 

Snack to enjoy while watching Monkees a la Carte

A dish of spaghetti, and a side of ravioli with some grated cheese.  And some red wine so we can have a toast. 

Music

  • (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone:  Playful (albeit work-related) romp.
  • (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone (reprise):  Collection of clips from other episodes.
  • She:  Allegedly plot-related performance with random historical footage of bathing beauties and dancers.

Written by:   Gerald Gardner & Dee Caruso and Bernie Orenstein
Directed by:   James Frawley
Principal Filming Ended:  8/12/1966
First Airdate:  11/21/1966

Grading

  • Like sands through the hourglass, so are the minutes of our meetings.   A-
  • Food, glorious food!    A
  • This town ain’t big enough for the nine of us.   X - X - O
  • Our purple apple dumpling flower in the wall gang that can’t shoot straight.  B
  • Another one bites the dust.   PG-13

And the Cookie Goes to…

Whoever makes the coffee at the police station.  Peter confessed to the sinking of the Lusitania!

Now, we’re all friends here. Would you like some coffee? Cream? Sugar? Two lumps? Get this young man some coffee—and a review of Monkees a la Carte.

Last time, it was a sober, serious episode about toys.  Now it’s a silly, slapstick outing that is, without a question, the most violent episode in the entire series.  There are other shootouts on The MonkeesHillbilly Honeymoon has two of them, for pity’s sake—but only in Monkees a la Carte do we have an actual body count.  Black humor?  Mike and Davy play tic-tac-toe on the floor while the bullets are flying overhead and the gangsters are dying all around. 

The Monkees had many memorable, eccentric, fun-to-watch villains in the course of its two-year run.  Even cold-hearted gangsters—Bessie Kowalski and Babyface Morales come to mind—could be delightfully nutty.  Perhaps, given their grisly destiny, it’s just as well that Fuselli, Rocco, and the quartet of lesser hoods were never developed as characters so much as caricatures. We never got to know them, so we don’t have to care when they all die. 

Sadly, the elderly restaurateur Pops is just as two-dimensional as the hoods.  And the cops aren’t much better—although cops, like most authority figures on The Monkees, never seem to be much more than obstacles. 

So it’s up to the four Monkees to embody all the humor, hope and humanity in this episode.  And they do!  They carry the show by force of frenetic energy and boundless determination, if not by actual skill or expertise.  They just keep trying one course of action after another, stumbling and bumbling and plugging away at the problem until the problem ultimately resolves itself. 

The scene in which the Monkees don’t actually discuss or vote on whether they want to help Pop is funny, but it seems very odd for the normally gallant Davy to be the one objecting to the dangerous mission.  If Pop had a beautiful daughter, Davy probably would have been leading the charge.

(I’m not Your) Steppin’ Stone was one of the best first-season romps, with lots of humor and a tight connection to the plot.  The brief reprise at the episode’s end didn’t make a whole lot of sense, and was probably just filler—the story would have been better served with a brief scene showing how the Monkees got out of trouble with the police.  The episode-ending performance of She would have been better if they had just taken the trouble to make it seem like they sang it in Pop’s restaurant and not in front of some anonymous blank wall. 

Quotables                      

Davy:   You’re pretty tough with a gun in your hand.
Rocco:   ….
Davy:   You’re pretty tough with a fist in your hand.

Mike:   We have a motion to deal with Mr. Fuselli.  Can I have suggestions from the floor?
Peter:   The floor has nothing to say.
Micky:   Try the wall.
Peter:   The wall says… try the ceiling.
Mike:   All right then, it’s voted and agreed that we try and get the restaurant back from Mr. Fuselli.  
Davy:   What vote?   Was I out of the room or something?
Peter:   What do we do about Pop?
Mike:   Peter—get down from there!  We’ve already voted.
Davy:   What vote? 
Mike:   Micky, will you please read him the minutes of the meeting?
Micky:   A minute twelve seconds.  That’s a new meeting record!

Fuselli:   I don’t need no musicians.
Mike:   Yeah, but the people like us!
Fuselli:   But I don’t like you.
Mike:   We work cheap.
Fuselli:   I’m beginning to like you.

Fuselli:   I want you should know how we treat people we don’t like.  Do I make myself clear?
Micky:   Oh, yeah?  Maybe we should make something clear.  This is the way we treat people that we don’t like.
Peter:   What did I do?
Mike:   I don’t know, man, but don’t do it again.

Micky:   We gotta contact the Inspector.
Davy:  Sure, but how?  Fuselli won’t let us out in the middle of the meeting.
Mike:   Yeah, Rocco’s guarding the front door.
Peter:   And the food’ll get cold.

Fuselli:   Introduce yourselves.
Red:  Red O’Leary.  Bank robbery and protection.
Flora:   Big Flora.  Fraud and extortion.
Paddy:   Paddy the Fix.  Drugs and diamond smuggling.
Benny:   I’m B-b-b-benny the Book.  Bookmaking and numbers.
Peter:   Peter Tork.  Guitar and bass trombone.

Micky:   Me and the boys sure are tired.
Mike:   Exhusted.
Davy:   Fatigued.
Peter:   And very hungry. 

Davy:   One of us has got to go and get the Inspector.
Mike:   Okay, let’s choose for it.
Micky:   Okay, pick a number between one and ten.
Mike:   Um—fourteen.
Micky:   Right.  Peter, you go.

Rocco:   Nobody leaves the meeting.
Peter:   Oh yeah?  Who says so?
Rocco:   This gun says so.
Peter:   Well, this gun says, “I go.”
Rocco:   Oh, yeah!  Hurry back.

Red:   Hey, waiter!  I don’t drink—get me some ginger ale.
Micky:   That’s not my station.

Peter:   Yeah.  The Stevenson Bank job was mine, and the filling station over on Essex. 
Inspector:   You getting all that?
Officer:   Yeah.
Peter:   And the sinking of the Lusitania.  Was mine.  And… the Brinks robbery of ’57 was mine.   And, of course, the Great Train Robbery was mine.
Inspector:   Is that all?
Peter:   One more thing.  Take a letter to my mother? 

Clunkers

Micky slapping Peter once was bad enough.  Yes, it was funny, but it was also uncomfortably cruel.  Trying to do it a second time, in the police station, was no longer funny.  This makes for two episodes in a row in the alphabetical order (after Monkee vs Machine) where I’ve had to single out Micky for picking on Peter.  Don’t make me do it again, Micky. 

Runner-Up Physical Comedy Highlight

Davy vs an onion.

Physical Comedy Highlight

Micky demonstrating how the Monkees deal with people they don’t like. 

Sight Gag Highlight

Peter taking suggestions from the floor.

Oh, gross!  There is no way I can ever un-see that.

Peter sneezing over a tray of salt and pepper shakers.

Runner-Up Breaking the Fourth Wall

“They’ll never know the difference.” 

Breaking the Fourth Wall

“The director thought we should have a pretty girl in the show.”

Fourth Runner-Up Nitpick

Bass trombone?  With all the instruments Peter had to pick from… ?

Third Runner-Up Nitpick

When Peter says, “Is it true that that there are no two glove-prints alike in the world?” he is badly out of focus.  Well, okay—Peter is often out of focus; in this case, it’s the camera that’s out of focus. 

Second Runner-Up Nitpick

At the outset of the shootout, Micky said that five people should be able to get along—then quickly revised that number to four when the first body fell.  But there were six people shooting when he started talking, and five after the first body fell.

Runner-Up Nitpick

What happened to the rest of Pop’s restaurant staff?  Did Fuselli fire the cooks, waitstaff and other employees in order to hire the Monkees cheap?  

Nitpick

Never put a time reference in front of me, it’s like waving a red flag in front of a bull.  From Mike’s first gavel until Micky’s reading of the minutes (“a minute twelve seconds,” he said) exactly 50 seconds elapsed.  Now that’s a new meeting record. 

Absolutely Not a Nitpick

Peter was the logical choice to carry the tray laden with dirty dishes—he had been working as a dishwasher when he auditioned for the show. 

We’re the young generation, and we have something to recycle.

  • Recurring gag:  Nobody knows how to use a tape recorder properly.  (See also:  Royal Flush and The Audition.)
  • Recurring gag:  Blowing up the wrong thing.  (See also:  Alias Micky Dolenz and Son of a Gypsy.)
  • Recurring actor:  Dort Clark as the Inspector.  (He also played an LAPD sergeant in The Picture Frame and a Las Vegas police detective in Monkees on the Wheel.)

Third Runner-Up Monkee Magic

Shared imagination, day at the races edition.

Second Runner-Up Monkee Magic

Micky conjures up a yellow balloon (“Blow”).  Later, Micky and Mike conjure up pompoms.

Runner-Up Monkee Magic

The band conjures up Purple Flower Gang disguises.  Over and over and over again.

Monkee Magic

Peter conjures up a gun that says, “I go.”

Snack to enjoy while watching Monkees a la Carte

A dish of spaghetti, and a side of ravioli with some grated cheese.  And some red wine so we can have a toast. 

Music

  • (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone:  Plot-related romp.
  • (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone (reprise):  Collection of clips from other episodes.
  • She:  Performance with random historical footage of bathing beauties and dancers.

Grading:

  • The four-member restaurant staff   A
  • Fuselli and the syndicate    C
  • The purple flower gang   A-
  • The cops   C
  • Overall Grade    B-