Thursday, December 11, 2008

Buttercup, Birdie And Buried Bucks

O7 Buttercup, Birdie and Buried Bucks
November 27, 1979
Music: Jimmie Haskell
Writer: Robert K. Baublitz
Director: Daniel Haller

This isn't going to make Hal very happy, but "Buttercup, Birdie and Buried Bucks" is fairly lame, even by MISADVENTURES OF SHERIFF LOBO standards. This is partially due to the inane teleplay by Robert Baublitz, who has no other IMDb credits, but also because of the broad playing of guest star Larry Storch, whose overall-wearing hillbilly character chows enough ham to make Corporal Agarn look like Bruce Willis.

A trio of crooks, led by Harvey "Why me all the time?" Lembeck, rob an armored truck of $200,000. Before they can split the loot, however, Lembeck stumbles into a booby trap on property belonging to the backwards-ass Beauregard family, and the youngest son Junior (Charles Bloom) makes off with the money. Junior, who feels inadequate because his father Pappy (Storch) mocks him for being a sensitive artist and doesn't let him go into town to raise hell with his older brothers Elmo (Dennis Fimple) and Mountain (Bruce M. Fischer), splurges on a new hat, which brings him to the attention of Sheriff Lobo (Akins).

Eventually, Lobo, Perkins (Mills Watson) and Birdie (Brian Kerwin) figure out that Junior has the money, but the kid won't talk, leading to a three-way treasure hunt among the cops, the crooks and the Beauregards. The first part of the title refers to the lone Beauregard sister, Buttercup (the way hot Pamela Jean Bryant, returning from "Dean Martin and the Moonshiners"), who has a hankering for Birdie, who stumbles upon her skinny-dipping in the family pond.

"Buttercup" is certainly a comedown from the "Finders Keepers" three-parter. It's difficult to criticize a SHERIFF LOBO episode for insulting the viewer's intelligence—I do have some perspective—but there is some lunkheaded plotting and characterization here. Aside from the slapsticky hillbillies led by Storch, Perkins performs some competent police work while undercover as a convict in Lobo's jail, and the plan to fake a breakout and follow Junior to the hidden money is foiled by Birdie. Seems as though it should have been the other way around.

1 comment:

Hal said...

Sadly, I'm in agreement. :) As big a fan of Mr. Storch as I am, I have to admit this is far from a shining moment. He did work with Mills Watson again (and did a better job) on the similarly silly HARPER VALLEY series in a guest shot a couple of seasons later.

I've been watching these almost along with you, Marty, though I'm a few episodes ahead. :) I think you'll like THE SENATOR VOTES ABSENTEE better.