Title: The Love Boat - You don't want me to just stare? {Just don't drool.}
Recapper: watty
Additional snark: GayNow {in bold pink}
Even more additional snark and fun facts (see footnotes): Artemis
Rating: R
Disclaimers: BtVS characters belong to Mutant Enemy, Fox, The WB, UPN and others. The Love Boat characters belong to Aaron Spelling Productions Inc, ABC and others.
Summary: Don't know what a recap is? Read up on televisionwithoutpity.
Notes: Thanks to RKTers for another successful collaboration. Debra for the boatload of love. Hermitfish Media Inc for the commercials. amazon.com for the books. And Car's Aunt Carm, for being charming.

Ahhhh, love is in the air {I thought I smelled something}. Or not. We'll see, I'm feeling cynical today, I'm in a crowd of people but I feel like I'm on my own, it's one of those days, one of those feelings. Or I'm being a drama queen. {I would just like to say - and I think Cam, Maru, Cyd and Sally would agree - you were one hell of a card shuffler!} I put on my crisp white sea captain's uniform that I initially took out but had to return to the closet when the show schedule changed to Dykes of Hazzard, but it didn't boost my mood. Geez. {Damn! And we didn't even get pictures!}

We pan along the crowded dock where people are waving good-bye to their loved ones as they head onboard the good ship Pacific Princess. Why do they do that? You're trying to juggle a backpack, a laptop case, a box of breakables and a bag of snacks for the trip, and then they give you your going-away present. Or they wait till you're almost at the departure gate and the plane/boat/bus is about to leave in 2 minutes, and then they tell you they love you, or they want to break up with you, or they're pregnant {You've had someone tell you, "I'm pregnant" just before getting on a plane/boat/bus? Was it yours?} (watty: ). I mean, I'm already stressed out with the traveling and needing to get a good seat and muttering the "don't sit next to me" mantra, I don't want to have to handle additional emotional stress, you know what I mean? {You handle emotional stress? Huh. First time for everything, I guess.}

Anyway, back to the dock, the camera stops on a whiny teenage type with shiny hair and annoying smirk (WTTSHAS) who is greeted by the good ship Pacific Princess' Captain and his mates with their starched uniforms and their fake tans and their toothy grins. Man, these people are cheesy. {Maybe they like wine. **groan**} (watty: no wonder they look so spaced out.) We learn that WTTSHAS is called Dawn and she's traveling with her sister Buffy. Newsflash, this is a love boat, are they doing ground-breaking social commentary about incest now? [*Chill, watty, the idea of the love boat is to meet other people and get laid, not necessarily do the person you came aboard with. You didn't watch those "research" eps Glark sent over, did ya? - Sars*]

WTTAHAS is annoyed because she is waiting for her sister Buffy on the dock, only her sister has already checked in. Don't you get annoyed when people do that? That's so selfish and inconsiderate. This gives Vicki, the Stubing Minor, an opportunity to latch onto Dawn immediately. They bond. {But do they get laid?}

Even though it'd be as boring as watching paint dry, I wish they would show the minors bonding, because I want to forget the next 10 seconds of my life. {Only 10?} I don't even have the wherewithal to go "ewww" or time to pull my fingers over my eyes. An obviously newly-wed couple stumble onboard with their tongues down each other's throats totally oblivious to anyone else. Or anyone else's (read: my) eyeballs. I wonder why they even need to be on this cruise, why not stay at home where other people (read: me) don't have to look at them and be scarred for life. {They want to get a tan? Comic relief? Their neighbors bought them the cruise tickets so they wouldn't have to be exposed to the tonsil hockey?}

I do a little cheer when we move away from them (cameramen have eyeballs too, I'm guessing). The cheer turns into a predatory growl of the prurient [*prurient? -- Sars*] nature when ahoy captain! ten o'clock! eye-candy! A beautiful blonde with sharp eyes and luscious lips and an awesome rack steps onboard and do I hear the cha-cha-ching!! that explodes from all the males, and females, who are within eyesight of this goddess? {Cue romantic violins, sensual trombones and lusty bassoons!} I wonder why she even needs to come on the love boat (heh, come on the boat, my mind is in the gutter) when we see her lean against the railings, watching a passenger who is stepping out of a limousine parked on the dock. I want to be the one she's watching. *pouts*

The passenger takes her sweet time to exit the vehicle. When she does, it's a spoiled brat with snot up her nose and papa's money up her ass. {Now there's a visual!} Any minute now she's gonna say, "bored now." We learn her name is Willow and she doesn't want to come on this cruise. Geez, WillowBrat, how many people will give their right kidney to go on a cruise. {Um....8?} (watty: isn't the answer always 42?) She lets herself into her cabin, the size of which will come up later (um, may be. I haven't decided yet). {Haven't you heard? Size doesn't matter. Right, Alex?} She reaches into her pocket and takes out a ginormous wad of greenbacks. It's pretty thick, enough to make a bulge in her jeans anyway. [*Okay. I'm officially speechless -- Sars*] Alright, alright, I'm being unreasonable, aside from the bratty attitude, she is cute with a capital Q, in a bratty sneery kind of way.

WTTAHAS Dawn flirts with Gopher and shops for sunglasses. She's also on a quest to look for her sister. She's all of seventeen and she's acting like Indiana Jones. Or Lolita, she strokes her palm down Gopher's chest. I fear for humankind. Mostly, I fear for my own eyeballs. {You're having eyeball issues this time...I'm scared.}

We're on the deck {**looks around** We are?}. Hot blonde with the rack, whose name is Tara, gets a beer and struts her stuff on the deck. {And now, I have "Staying Alive" from Saturday Night Fever going through my head. **whimpers** Mommy! Tell me Tara doesn't look like John Travolta!} She is in boots and she's smokin' hot, baybee. What's more, she knows it. I love me a broad oozing confidence with a capital Q. [*What's up with the "capital Q" business and did you just use "broad"? -- Sars*]

Isaac finds Newly-Wed Couple with hands under each other's clothes and lips sucking at each other furiously like they're a pair of goldfish superglued together. I barf. {I giggle...rather inappropriately.} HotBootsTara flirts with him but it's obvious that her real target is WillowBrat, who is busy fingering her drink with one hand and her Nintendo with the other. {That's a lot of fingering. And I just went to a happy place. } Her nimble fingers stop moving for a second as HotBootsTara clicks by but she plays it cool. They bond over a video game, as only the current generation can. Somehow they turn it into flirting and the kind of foreplay that is heavier on innuendo than substance. Foreplay-lite, if you may; only it's pretty heavy but doesn't lead to any bedroom-like activity. [*I think you better stop before you recap yourself into a circle, because I don't know what you're talking about -- Sars*]

Dinner time. Foreplay-lite continues in the presence of Dawn, NWC and whoa, it's Cecile! Man, is she the patron saint of fanfic <*As a matter of fact, yes -- JSI*> or a descendent of Henry Houdini or some sort of casting director's favorite? {Are you saying something about Cecile and casting couches? For shame, watty!} She's everywhere! This time she's a nice young passenger, kinda like the anti-Dawn. Female NWC recognizes WillowBrat and declares that she's a prime target for kidnapping. Hello, FNWC, cruise? In the middle of the open sea? Not conducive to kidnapping activities? {Famous last words, watty.}

Cleavage-y slut bomb alert! { } Faith the waitress swaggers up and manages to take meal orders while flirting with everyone at the table. That takes skillz, man. Talking about alerts. UST ALERT DEFCON 4 is building up between HotBootsTara and WillowBrat. They make eyes at each other and continue with the flirting-lite. Don't they wish they are the ones being all inappropriate like NWC? In my imagination [*not wet dream? -- Sars*] they're playing footsie under the table. Actually no, because after dinner Willow totally plays Tara and blows her off. {As long as she isn't blowing Tara, all is good.}

Tara's anger quickly turns to amusement. We find out that she's a cop and she's getting paid to keep an eye on WillowBrat. Oh my, a cop with a rack, we never had one of those on Ironside. {You're dating yourself, watty. And...that sentence has far too many connotations.} (watty: remember my 647 personalities? lol) She gives her employer, Brat Senior, a detailed report including confirmation that she has cameras in Brat Junior's room. {So she gets to see WillowBrat nekkid! What a way to get paid. **dreamy sigh**} Brat Senior asks her whether Brat Junior is drunk; she in turn asks him whether he is paying her to keep an eye on his daughter or does she need to babysit the brat. She doesn't mince words does she? {With a rack like hers, she doesn't have to.}

Dawn breaks. No, no, no, not capital Dawn, lowercase dawn. {Dork.} The boat has docked at one of those nameless ports that solely caters for cruise passengers. It doesn't matter where in the world it is -- Mediterranean, Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Americas -- there are the same tacky souvenir shops; the same stallholders with the gold teeth selling 'Made in China' trinkets that go straight to the basement at home; the same restaurants dressing up roast chicken and fries as "menu tourisme" {What about "chicken and beer"?}; the same bars serving over-priced cocktails; and of course the same shops / doorways with neon lighting leading to the world of sordid, no-strings (read: unfettered and dangerous) sex. {Is anyone else wondering why watty knows that these "no-strings sex" places are all over the world?}

HotBootsTara follows WillowBrat on her zig-zag journey through these seedy establishments. Her appreciative smirk suggests to me that she is enjoying the view of WillowBrat's back a tad too much, her eyes aren't always at eye-level, I think they stray to the brat's ass far too often. I don't blame her, my eyes are doing the same too. {I'm wishing the camera were behind HBT, that way I can see BOTH of their asses!}

A few hours of stalking and it's time to return to the boat and dinner again. I guess there's sod all to do on a cruise apart from eat, no wonder why there are so many fat people. {Hey now! Don't stereotype! We fat people don't have to be on a cruise ship to eat.} Heh, I'm the anti-PC today. HotBootsTara has changed to jeans, sandals and a bikini top. { } WillowBrat's expression is clear to me -- I can almost feel her fingers itching to slowly ease that bikini top off. Flirting-lite resumes. WillowBrat actually talks about something unbratty -- underneath that carefully maintained spoiled kid exterior is a geek! She's an aerospace engineer and is Tara blushing at the repeated mention of "thrust ratios"? {Wouldn't you? I'm sure Alex is.} Oh my, the unflappable detective is flapped this time.

After dinner they retire to the lounge and smoke cigars. { } Er, wrong pairing. They make their way to the cocktail lounge where Charo is performing. I think I'm supposed to make some smartass remark about Charo, or at least incorporate "Cuchi-cuchi!" somewhere in this recap, but you know what? I got no clue where to start, I'm overwhelmed by the big hair, the dangling cleavage and the wiggling. {I'm surprised you didn't make a comment about her fingering her guitar.} (watty: thought I'd leave it for you.)

At their table, Willow goes through the a/s/l routine with Tara. Well, actually she does more staring down Tara's cleavage and ass than actual questioning. {She's "staring down" Tara's ass? Without being noticed? Willow is awfully flexible.} She gets Tara to admit she's no secretary [*As if the abs and the hidden thigh muscles aren't enough clue and boy I'm channeling you today -- Sars*] but a law student who does double duty as a cop. The talk turns to shootings and sexy scars. Tara coyly offers to show Willow her scars and then proceeds to blow Willow off the same way the brat blew her off last night. {What's with all the blowing?} Excellent service return, AceTara! {Mmmm...Tara all sweaty and wearing a short skirt. I'm in my happy place.}

Oh, NWC are at the lounge too. They make polite small talk (if you consider FNWC describing Willow as either kidnap fodder or worthless spoiled brat as "polite" conversation) before rapidly getting onto the dance floor to have sex. Dawn, who is still on a quest for her missing sister and apparently pursuing her pastime of lifting wallets from Charo-fans, is accosted by Faith who tells a funny Kojak joke the teenager doesn't get. Faith warns Dawn not to muscle in on her territory -- if she's to continue her klepto ways she has to be one of Faith's girls. And so an amateur thief becomes trained in the ways of the professional. There's no turning back. {I'm still in my happy place...so nothing for this paragraph. Sorry. Mmmm...sweaty Tara.}

HotBootsTara decides to turn up the flirting a notch or two. {Turn up...turn on...as long as she's got that rack, I'm happy.} She takes a bunch of board games to WillowBrat's room and seduces her. Heh, don't knock these board games, they have the potential for muchly sexual innuendo. Twister, for instance, the classic "oops, I didn't mean to put my hands on your ass but I have to balance myself" action. Or what about Monopoly, with the possibility of trades-in-kind. Even Trivial Pursuit can be modified to give points to (un)-answers. {And, again, does anyone wonder why watty knows so much about this?} (watty: I have good imagination.)

There's more heavy flirting and innuendo-speak, then Willow steps aside to let Tara into the room. {Willow ain't stupid...I'd let Tara in too.}

Fade to black. Sigh. It's not fair.

When we fade back in, we know that the board game seduction is successful. {I have a funny feeling Tara didn't need the board games for a successful seduction.} Tara wakes up in Willow's bed but the brat is nowhere to be seen. She wraps herself up in the sheet and looks for her seductee. Okay, time-out for another rant. {Oh, look at that! Time for me to...um...go get something to drink!} Why is it that: a) sheets on TV / the movies are always l-shaped, ie it covers all of the woman but only half the man thus allowing him to show off his pecs; b) people who've just had sex always wrap themselves up tightly with the sheets so no part of their bodies is touching or seen by their bedmate, I mean ... they'd just been naked and heavy with each other and they get shy? c) when they (in particular the women) wake up, they always wrap themselves up in the sheets like a vertical egg roll while walking around the bedroom or bathroom .. see above re: shy about nakedness. {I still say therapy is in order.}

So anyway, Tara is prancing around Willow's room in nothing but a sheet. {**tries to imagine Tara actually prancing** Sauntering, yes. Sashaying, sure. Prancing? Not so much.} She quickly discovers she's alone. She gets dressed and checks that she still has her gun. In her jacket pocket she also finds a note from Willow congratulating her on a job well done. Hmmm, which job? Giving protection or giving pleasure? {Pleasure trumps protection. Unless the protection is ribbed for your pleasure.} (watty: groan) Anyway it's clear that Willow knows that she is working for Brat Senior. What's not clear is when or how did Tara give herself away? Me? I think Willow made her as soon as she got on the boat. {Willow may have made her as soon as she got on the boat, but it sure did take her a long time to do Tara.} I mean, Tara is pretty eye-catching and Willow is pretty smart for someone who pretends otherwise.

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It's another nameless touristy port. Yes, the same tacky shops and seedy bars and sex-for-sale places. {Which watty still seems to recognize far too easily.} Tara spots Willow, to her relief (I guess she doesn't want to be fired yet) and follows her. {Either she doesn't want to be fired...or she just likes walking behind Willow to see that cute ass...with a capital Q...um...} Willow gives nothing away about whether she is aware of Tara's presence and walks straight into two thugs. I cringe {And I grimace}, they're so obviously seedy and up to no good. They jump on Willow and hey! Tara to the rescue! There's some fighting, some kicking and Tara takes one on the cheek. They get away. Phew! {On sale at a book store near you... "Watty does Cliff's Notes." Way to pare down that fight scene, watty.}

Tara drags Willow to her cabin and they don't make out. I'm disappointed. {And I'm frustrated.} Tara the heroine is all worrisome about Willow, and it's kinda sweet because she doesn't treat her like a meal ticket, though the way she ran her hands all over the redhead makes me think I want to see her doing the same the night before. {Perv! Oh, wait...I want to see that too.} I can tell she is the heroine because she does that with blood streaming down her injured cheek, which she doesn't let Willow attend to until she's done her inspection and reported back to Willow's dad. I suppose if Brat Senior is paying her she has to set her priorities straight. {No...she has to set her priorities GAY.} (watty: ) Willow gulps as it becomes her turn to speak to her old man. She says "yes sir" a lot, which suggests to me that she isn't the bratty brat she's been trying to be. The best thing that comes out of the Brat Senior convo is that he orders Tara to stay with Willow for the rest of the cruise, sleeping in a chair if necessary. Snerk, I'm thinking ... fat chance of that happening. Tara won't be sleeping in no chair. {Tara won't be sleeping.}

So Willow gets to play nursemaid and they talk a little about her leaving Tara naked (and horny?) in bed all by her lonesome. {Why the question mark? Of course she was horny!} They try to be pissed off at each other but eventually break out into sweet giggles. Finally, a smooch! About time! They make a date to watch the tapes from the previous night before deleting them. {Oh! I want to watch too! I'll even bring the popcorn and milkduds!} Wow, they're more open-minded than Colin Farrell. Imagine if they "leaked" that tape to the internet. The download ratio at www.bittorrent.com will be sky-high and it'll be hard to keep the leechers away.

Time to disembark. {What's up with that word? "Disembark" Why can't they just say "Time to get off the boat" or "Go home, people!" rather than use silly words like "disembark"?} (watty: welcome to the rant farm.)

Buffy is still missing, but Dawn could care less. She has surrogate sister-idol Faith now. {"Sister-idol" ... sounds like the name of a metal band...or a reality TV show.}

Newly-Wed Couple, whose names I finally figure out are Xander and Anya, are still treading the fine line between heavy petting and public displays of sex. {They're hoping Larry Flint or Bob Guccione is on the boat and waiting to give them a contract.}

Willow and Tara get into the Rosenberg limousine together. {Too bad Papa Rosenberg is there...Willow and Tara could have some fun in the back of the limo!} I want to believe in a happy ending for them. As far as client-bodyguard dynamics go I like theirs far, far better than Whitney and Kevin but I'm going to snag that tagline: Never let her out of your sight. Never let your guard down. Never fall in love. Bah humbug! Of course you should fall in love. Isn't this the Love Boat? {Watty's being sappy...must be a sure sign of the apocalypse.}

Producer: Elvis the Skipper.

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