TV Cream

TV: M is for...

Monkees, The

PETER, DAVY, PETER, MICKY, PETER, MIKE, DAVY and PETER may have garnered the funniest looks, but their archetypal mid-sixties “zany” chicanery courtesy of multi-purpose, multi-share, multi-floored (replete with nifty spiral staircase) pad was infinitely watchable, not least beacuse a) they were just trying to be friendly b) another ace song would always be along in a few minutes and c) they were the young generation, and they had something to say.



  1. Richard Davies

    November 3, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    A staple of BBC1’s summer holiday scedules for a fair bit of the 1980s.

  2. Mick

    March 8, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    I remember that thanks to the spread of quality repeats for kids back then. So my considerable expectations of these Beatlemania-riding funboys were crushed when I saw the VHS of Head, a movie so whacked out, drugged out, aimless and space-wasting that Magical Mystery Tour appears like the deepest work.

  3. THX 1139

    February 14, 2016 at 10:03 am

    It was always a bit worrying when Mike wasn’t in an episode, you wanted to believe they were all getting on famously, but then he would be absent and behind the scenes squabbles would be apparent. Peter calls him a “contrary son of a bitch”.

    Best episode: the one with Richard Kiel as the Frankenstein Monster, really funny. Oh, and Head is a masterpiece.

  4. THX 1139

    February 21, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    Now there are as many Monkees left in the world as there are Beatles. RIP Peter. Seems a little poignant that in the last ever episode the other Monkees are trying to get Peter to come back to them.

  5. Droogie

    February 22, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    Hands down my favourite show as a kid. The opening of the title sequence with that drum rimshot as Davy dressed as a cowboy draws his gun to the camera which makes his holster belt fall down still gives me Proustian goosebumps of being an excited little child. Looking back, I think the BBC only owned a dozen episodes of the show which they’d keep repeating. It was only years later in the 90’s when Channel 4 began showing the series that I realised that a total of 58 episodes had been made. I’d barely seen any of these shows before, especially the weirder later ones with cameos by Frank Zappa and Tim Buckley.

  6. richardpd

    July 25, 2020 at 11:05 pm

    I heard things were tense on the set of the TV show, mostly because Mike & Peter were mostly musicians who hadn’t much acting, while Davy & Micky were had been acting for years and would often go off script to make a joke funnier, which would confuse the other two.

    It was similar with their music, & many of their songs weren’t recorded with all four present in the studio, even later on when they had more musical freedom.

    Supposedly there were plans to drop the sitcom format for the third season and make it more of a variety show to showcase their songs, but the Fabricated Four were starting to drift apart by then so it never happened.

  7. THX 1139

    December 11, 2021 at 1:02 pm

    RIP Mike, I think it’s safe to say nobody had, or will ever have, the career he enjoyed. The rumours were that he was embarrassed by being a Monkee, but nothing was further from the truth, he was really proud, and he just did his final concert with Micky last month. Excellent songwriter, he was the one that turned them into a “real band”. And he produced Repo Man!

    • Richardpd

      December 11, 2021 at 11:15 pm

      I think Mike only rarely attended Monkees reunions because his correction fluid legacy meant he didn’t need the money & had a separate music career. At least at times he could be persuaded to join the others.

  8. Glenn Aylett

    December 12, 2021 at 12:10 pm

    The Monkees arrived at the right time. The Beatles were moving away from their teen fan base and wanted to be known as serious musicians, so The Monkees filled the gap very well. Also they were decent enough musicians and Pleasant Valley Sunrise is like something The Mamas and The Papas would do. RIP, Mike, always liked the band and the comedy show.

    • Richardpd

      December 12, 2021 at 1:06 pm

      The Monkees managed to tick the boxes at just the right time, they managed to have some good original songs written for them, & later on were allowed to write their own.

  9. Glenn Aylett

    December 12, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    By 1966 The Beatles had stopped touring, they became more concerned with moving music forwards, and were becoming seen as serious musicians. I think The Monkees were just right for the time, but they certainly weren’t lightweight fluff and Head is like a film John and Yoko would make.

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