Main cast: Gregg Henry (Jack Rhodes), Shannon Tweed (Barbara), Linda Smith (Carole Bayers), and Page Fletcher (The Hitchhiker)
Director: Richard Rothstein
In a time when a swipe may net one a free hookup with anyone that meets one’s ideal of an attractive mate, it’s almost quaint to see VHS tapes being touted as the cutting edge way to find a date. Yes, it’s a state of the art kind of dating to record yourself saying things and posting it to an agency in hopes that someone else will watch it and give you a call. In Videodate, electronics store salesman Jack Rhodes makes it a sport to submit videos in which he claims to be everything that he isn’t and then use his art of salesmanship plus a little con on the side (such as getting a friend to let him sneak into vacant luxurious hotel rooms so that he can claim that they are his) to enjoy a long list of one night stands.
Jack needs to be punished, of course, although a part of me wonders why we aren’t shaking our heads at his “victims”, who seem happy enough to put out on the first date to a man they assume to be very wealthy. I mean, look like Jack. Let’s just say that this episode has lingering close-ups of Jack all bound up and clad only in black briefs, but you won’t see me going “OMG sexy-eeeeee!” anytime soon. Shannon Tweed is wearing more than Gregg Henry in their scenes, and Barbara’s a far hotter sight. So yes, I’m not sure whether I am 100% sympathetic to women who eagerly throw themselves at men they assumed will give them an easy life, only to cry when they realize that the men are nowhere as loaded as they thought.
Back to this one, after taking advantage of some teacher Carole, Jack meets Barbara, whom he is determined to add to his list of conquests. There’s more than meets the eye to this lady, though. She knows what he is up to, and this time, she’s the one who will make Jack pay the piper…
Videodate is a straightforward story of a jerk getting his comeuppance, but it’s a simple, even predictable affair that doesn’t try to hide any twists and turns in the first place. Perhaps they are banking on Shannon Tweed bringing on the sexy to keep the audience from being too fussy about everything else? There isn’t anything here to stands out in any way, although fans of Ms Tweed may want to watch this one for, er, completion or something. I’m also sure that some people will find Gregg Henry sexy in his state of undress – thinning hair, reedy limbs, what’s not to love, really. Still, considering the general quality of the shows in this season so far, this episode is actually a decent kind of filler when compared to the more dire episodes that have come before and will come after it.