Tuesday, July 22, 2014

There's No Time For Love, Charlie Brown

Premiered March 11, 1973.
Peppermint Patty:
You kinda like me, don't you Chuck?  I'm glad you don't come right out and say it though.  I respect you for that.
Charlie Brown:
That's all I need.  Respect (sighs).

Schoolwork is weighing heavy on Charlie Brown (Chad Webber), Sally (Hilary Momberger) , Linus (Stephen Shea) and Peppermint Patty (Christopher DeFaria).  They are having trouble in their history, math and science classes.

Peppermint Patty & Franklin (Todd Barbee) discuss their school assignments.
Charlie Brown's school goes on a field trip to an art museum.  He will have to write a report on the museum, if he doesn't get an A on the report, he will fail the class.  This makes Charlie Brown even more stressed out and nervous than usual  As he approaches the museum with his sister Sally, he runs into Peppermint Patty and Marcie.  Their school is also visiting the museum.

They get distracted and are separated from the other kids.  The museum is next to a supermarket, but the gang gets confused and enters the market, thinking it's the museum!

Peppermint Patty teases Charlie Brown that he "kinda likes" her.  Chuck isn't quite sure how to respond to this.

The kids are surprised to see that the "museum" is selling so many of it's items.  Marcie thinks a stack of cans "looks like a stack of tomato cans in a supermarket".  Peppermint Patty corrects her, calling it "Pop Art".

Meanwhile, Lucy (Robin Kohn) and Linus are exploring the real museum.  Linus is quite impressed with the paintings and sculptures.  But Lucy says she's "not used to pictures that don't move or have commercials". 

Marcie says she's thinks Peppermint Patty is in love with Charlie Brown.  She responds by asking "How could anybody ever be in love with boring dull wishy-washy old Chuck."  Charlie Brown overhears this and walks away in sadness.

Is Marcie right?  Does Peppermint Patty love Charlie Brown?  Will she apologize to Chuck?  Will they be able to write a paper about a museum they never entered?  Will Charlie Brown fail his class?

J.A. Morris says:
This is a fun special, even if it doesn't have much of a plot.  You might say it's "character-driven" rather than "story-driven", but with such great characters as the Peanuts gang, that's okay. 

Fans of Peppermint Patty will appreciate her interactions with Marcie and Charlie Brown.  "Chuck" seems to bring out the worst in Peppermint Patty, while insisting that he "kinda" likes her.

Charlie Brown, Marcie & Peppermint Patty help each other with homework.
  I guess it's a case of confused emotions, since she can't admit (even to herself!) that she has a crush on Charlie Brown.  

Charlie Brown watches slides of the art museum & suspects he went to the wrong place.
Linus doesn't have a big role, but he has one of the best (and longest) lines of the special.  When Charlie Brown asks what the point is of going to school and getting good grades, Linus says "Well, I think that the purpose of going to school is to get good grades so then you can go on to high school; and the purpose is to study hard so you can get good grades so you can go to college; and the purpose of going to college is so you can get good grades so you can go on to graduate school," and he goes on like that for a few more sentences!  It sounds like Charles Schulz had a cynical outlook about education when this was produced.   

Snoopy fans will appreciate his brief solo number, where he attempts to be a cashier at the supermarket. 

I liked the examples of sculptures and paintings in the museum scenes, very representative of art I found in museums when I was a kid.  Check out the name of the "nude" sculpture in the image below.

And we get some humorous commentary about the (then-recent) Pop Art movement and the "New Math" that was introduced schools in the 1960s and 70s.

In the opening of the special, we get a montage of all the kids' school experiences.  The dialog from during this portion sounds like it was taken directly from the Peanuts comic strip.

Vince Guaraldi was still around, so the music is as strong as you would expect.  I noticed a little more trumpet and saxophone than in previous specials.  We get another performance of the song "Joe Cool". The song was first sung by Guaraldi in You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown, but this version contains different lyrics.

This special can be found on dvd on the Peanuts: 1970's Collection dvd, and it also streams on Amazon Instant Video and iTunes.

There's No Time For Love is a good special that focuses on two of my favorite characters, Charlie Brown and Peppermint Patty.  It's also a nice time capsule of 1970s America and is especially recommended to Peanuts fans who grew up in that decade, but fans of all ages should enjoy it.  Also strongly recommended to anyone who ever had a crush but was unable to articulate their feelings!

My rating:


3 and a half Sparkys.