Shaking off the lingering effects of Rocket Man wasn’t easy. But after enough refreshments were absorbed, we were ready to go forward. Believing they had sustained the worst shocks possible they were steeled to delve deeper into the less familiar works of William Shatner. They knew that I possessed one of the few copies of the 1984 made-for-tv movie, “Secrets of a Married Man” (SOAMM). A unanimous vote decided that it would be next.
For those who don’t know about this little known “treasure,” Shatner plays an engineer, Chris Jordan, working on an important project that will make or break his career. He has a wife and kids but the wife (played by former Momas and Papas singer Michelle Philips) has been so busy with her own career that she has sort of neglected her conjugal responsibilities toward Chris. So, what with the stress of the project and his neglected libido, Chris starts availing himself of the services of various prostitutes. This provides moments of Shatneresque hilarity. One scene shows Shatner in the shower when suddenly he looks down and must see some kind of rash or other skin problem on his genitals and almost has a stroke in his own special Shatner style. In the next scene he has gone to some doctor other than his family general practitioner and is relieved to learn it’s just an allergic reaction to soap or laundry detergent or “something else.” One particularly funny scene involves Shatner driving down the main drag with his wife in the car and all the hookers are calling out to him “Hi Chris” and Shatner is trying to explain to her how the name Chris is just hooker code for a new customer.
This goes on way too long until finally he meets the dream girl. Cybil Shepard is a high-priced hooker who drains Shatner of cash and even has him second mortgage his house to keep up with his weekly visits. But when the hooker’s pimp needs five thousand dollars Shatner’s whole life falls apart as his wife finds out what’s happening and leaves him and the police step in. We watched about forty percent of the show fast forwarding to the scenes where Shatner brought his unique acting abilities to bear on this stunning plot. But even that was too much. We finally shut it off.
When it was over the delegates were restless. They felt we had strayed too far from the core of the Shatner canon. While it was agreed that SOAMM contained some powerful and unique Shatner moments nevertheless the unheroic nature of the role separated it from the true spirit of Shatner. Even the hideousness of Rocket Man maintained the heroic nature of the Shatner persona. We had a to regroup. So, after reviling SOAMM and making fun of Cybil Shepard’s career that allowed her to play in this kind of movie we moved on. We decided to go back to the classics. And we picked for our next selection Space Seed. ShatnerKhan needed a little Khaaaaan!
But first we decided to take a break and restore ourselves with our choice of refreshments.