Entertainment » Television

Captain & Tennille: The Christmas Show

by Phil Hall
Contributor
Monday Nov 26, 2007
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Fans of tacky and mediocre 1970s variety programs may find some retro interest in The Captain & Tennille Christmas Show. For everyone else, this DVD is about as much fun as watching muskrats making love.

This holiday offering is actually an episode from the Captain & Tennille’s unsuccessful 1976-77 TV show. In keeping with the protocol of that era’s programming, the show has a couple of second-tier comedy guests (Tom Bosley and Don Knotts) and a genuinely entertaining musical act (the Pointer Sisters, here in the original four-woman configuration). For no clear reason, Toni Tennille’s three less-than-charming sisters are also brought in for musical numbers.

Unfortunately, the holiday festivity is an utter bore. A bizarre opening number features Tennille in a lame Carmen Miranda-inspired impersonation, supported by four effeminate male dancers and a visibly uncomfortable "Captain" Daryl Dragon dressed like Scrooge. Huh? Dragon tries to redeem that fiasco with clumsy, overproduced instrumental takes on White Christmas and March of the Wooden Soldiers that sets the cast into an orgiastic frenzy.

Away from his keyboard, though, Dragon was uncomfortable with the lame comic dialogue of the show (his shy line readings are painful). But Tennille was even more disastrous. The poor woman was clearly clueless about her lack of versatility. Her attempts to join the Pointer Sisters’ soulful singing were embarrassing, and her comic abilities with Bosley and Knotts in a bad sketch about smoking on an airplane were nonexistent.

Rarely has a holiday presentation been as dreary and inert as this sad little affair. This has to be among the worst Christmas shows on DVD. Bah, humbug, indeed!

New audio commentary by Daryl Dragon and Toni Tennille.

Phil Hall is the author of "The Greatest Bad Movies of All Time

Comments

  • Anonymous, 2007-12-01 17:39:01

    Can anyone believe that the same company (EDGE) could have such varying opinions (critic’s reviews) of the same American pop musical duo called THE CAPTAIN & TENNILLE? Perhaps EDGE should start a ’my space’ like site within it’s own company, so that all the reviewers there can compare their ’artist relevancy’ ratings before one goes off and rants / raves about the same act - before checking the up-to-the-minute, EDGE popularity standard for that act?
    - Sincerely, THE CAPTAIN.
    - Proof of recent, Edge ’Flip Flop’ opinions from two reviewers is pasted just below...

    __________________

    The Secret Of Christmas
    by Scott Stiffler
    EDGE New York City Contributor
    Thursday Nov 22, 2007

    What took them so long? With their


  • Anonymous, 2008-01-21 16:44:45

    I highly reccomend the Captain and Tennille DVDs. They bring back such great memories of our growing up in the 1970’s. The music was so much better back then, than compared to todays! The Christmas Show on DVD by the Captain and Tennille is bound to become everybody’s favorite video to watch each Christmas for many years to come. The 2 best songs on the DVD in my opinion is when Toni Tennille sings with the Pointer Sisters...and Then Toni sings a beautiful rendition of "O Holy Night". Beautifully done!!! Buy this DVD and you will NOT be disappointed!!! AND for a REAL treat, The Captain & Tennille also released a new Christmas CD called "The Secret Of Christmas" !!!On a scale of one to ten..."The Secret of Christmas" is Definately a TEN!!!! Sincerely, Darren Q. Las Vegas


  • Anonymous, 2008-01-24 15:23:41

    Does Phil Hall have something personal against Daryl Dragon and Toni Tennille? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a crueler review of C&T in my life, and since I am an original fan, I’ve heard them take spectacular amounts of undeserved dreck. Congrats, Phil-boy, you take the dubious honor of writing the worst review I have ever seen. Toni Tennille’s sisters were NOT "less than charming"; they did a gorgeous rendition of "Little Saint Nick". Calling them that is needlessly vindictive. The whole review is riddled with cheap insults. Furthermore, Phil, you didn’t do your research. The variety series was NOT unsuccessful. As a matter of fact, the ratings were high enough that ABC wanted them back for a second season; C&T declined, as the series was draining their time and energy. Frankly, I love this DVD. It brings back memories of the days when TV was worth watching, and we weren’t stuck with idiotic reality shows, lookalike medical shows and cloned cops-’n’-crime shows. Give me 70s and 80s TV over today’s junk anytime. --Kim, Boston native, now in Portland, OR


  • Anonymous, 2009-09-23 09:47:12

    For 35 years I thought it was Captain and Toe Nail. This is a startling revelation to me.


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