Gavin MacLeod believed that The Love Boat was an escape for viewers

It wasn't just a cruise ship and show; it was happiness for many.

Sometimes when things happen in real life that people need to take a break from, they watch the lives of fictional characters on their favorite television shows. Seeing characters enjoy themselves on a cruise with many guest stars seems like a fun way to escape reality, and it's one of the many reasons The Love Boat was a success.

In an interview with the Associated Press in 1985, Gavin MacLeod spoke about how the "happy endings" in the series' episodes contributed to being that perfect escape for viewers.

"I think when life gets heavy, people look for an escape," the actor began. "We're an escape. We have happy endings. You don't see many of those around. I think it gives people a vicarious adventure. We're also very much like a travelogue."

MacLeod, who played Captain Merrill Stubing, also thought the show allowed fans to see a different side of their favorite stars. Many of the numerous major guest stars played roles differently than they were known for, similar to old anthologies like The Twilight Zone.

"One quality we have is surprises—the kind the old anthologies had. You see Eva Gabor on our show, but you don't know what she is going to do," he added. "Bonnie Franklin with us is entirely different than One Day At A Time. Steve Allen, Polly Bergen, Loretta Swit, Pearl Bailey, [and] Don Adams, they can play against their image. Even my wife, a dancer, doing comedy!"

The show had a lot of influence on the popularity of cruises, too. According to the article, the show changed the face of the cruise business, and it made tours look more appealing and cruise food more appetizing.

During the interview, MacLeod expressed his gratitude for the series. "I'm grateful [for] the show. Nine years of steady work, seeing the world. It's awesome when you see the unemployment among actors," he said.

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16 Comments

Runeshaper 16 months ago
I’d agree that the Love Boat was an escape for viewers 😃👍👍
Andybandit 16 months ago
I love watching the love boat on Sundays. I am glad FH is no longer on Sundays. I like seeing who is on the LB in the beginning.
Adanor 16 months ago
They are currently running commercials advertising cruises aboard "The Princess" and of course, they are featuring the opening song of the Love Boat. So wonderful to hear it. And yes, for a minute, I can go back in time to those wonderful days.
Pacificsun Adanor 16 months ago
About midway between the ending of The Love Boat and before it started running longer term on MeTV, Celebrity Cruises were offered. I don't mean (necessarily) that it was that Ship line itself. But offered as an opportunity for passengers and fans to meet & greet the other celebrities who signed on. And Barry Williams (Greg Brady hosted). They didn't have to advertise very much or long, it must've filled up quickly. They also did it with famous Bands. Out of Florida.
LoveMETV22 Pacificsun 16 months ago
Yes.The first cruise sailed November 8 through 14, 2019 from Ft. Lauderdale to Georgetown (Gran­­d Cayman), Puerto Costa Maya (Mexico) and Cozumel (Mexico). That would have been fun to be on.
Pacificsun LoveMETV22 16 months ago
Oh yeah, because the chemistry would've built up among them. Most people who cruise regularly are naturally social and informed. And well-mannered. It was a great idea!
Pacificsun 16 months ago
The consensus of opinion, referenced in the Story, speaks for itself. And maybe a person needed the actual experience to better identify with the setting. Except for the true Destination Cruises (like Alaska) which were all beautiful. IMO, the Love Boat didn't suggest much of a setting. More like "Love American Style" on the water. Vignettes were pretty predictable. Rough start, midway conflict, happy ending - no worries. To me, the Crew was more interesting, as in how they got involved. Their great chemistry, seemed real. It's amazing as many stories were created for as many seasons as the Show ran. Some of the vintage guest stars, more appealing to the older crowd, than younger viewers like myself. But occasionally there'd be an exceptional storyline. Like when all the Designers appeared and ran a Fashion Show with glamorous evening ware. Fun to watch that kind of real chemistry among some pretty touchy personalities. But Kudos to everyone for keeping the Series going as long as it did. Easy watching and different every week.
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LoveMETV22 Pacificsun 16 months ago
Have to love AoAT, The Academy.
Excellent if not the best for source information.
I wouldn’t mind watching Love American Style. Haven’t seen it for years. It would be good on Sundays at 4.
I haven't seen "Love, American Style" in quite a while. Last time I saw it was late at night, around 20 years ago.
It’s been many years for me too.
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