Hey, Hey We're the Monkees (TV Movie 1997) Poster

(1997 TV Movie)

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Not the complete story, but near enough
Chip_douglas24 May 2004
The Monkees made very groovy music, but they were a TV show first and foremost. From start to finish, this documentary accentuates everything with hilarious clips from that far out sitcom and manages to include all of their greatest hits as well. The story is told by the Monkees themselves with help from selected behind the scenes contributers. Even arch enemy Don Kirchner shows up to tell his side of the story, though creators Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider are conspicuously missing. Add to this some unique material in the form of promos, early appearances on other shows, home movies, and advertisements (after all, the group was a well oiled money making machine), it becomes clear that a lot of love and understanding went into the making of this documentary.

It is good to see even Mike is cooperating, though he is even more laid back than usual and comes across a bit uninterested (this in contrast to some of the old clips in which he is very opinionated). Micky is very honest about what the Monkees were and were not capable of and turns on the zany only once. Davy's eyes still sparkle as he is obviously loving every second in front of the camera (about half way through he even starts narrating the whole thing). While Peter is trying just a tiny bit too hard to get his point across and be funny at the same time.

Only Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits seems a bit out of place (his main connection being celebrity tennis matches against Micky). However he does offer a good analogy on the scandal concerning the use of session musicians: because of the power of television, most people were convinced the four of them really did live together in that beach house. The need to create their own music is reflected here by showcasing many great songs in succession. Producer Chip Douglas explains how he created the intro to 'Pleasant Valley Sunday' and an unexpected surprise is the little seen "video" for the Headquarters track 'No Time'.

Unfortunately the recollections come to an end after covering the demise of their celluloid "Head" trip (as would the TV movie "Daydream Believers: The Monkees Story"). I would have liked to have heard more about the decline of the pre-fab four (the last two Monkees finally called it quits in 1970) and especially some more recollections about the ill fated special "33 1/3 Revolutions per Monkee" (although the 'Listen to the band' performance from that show opens this documentary). Instead we swiftly segue into 'Daydream Believer' and that's it. Good thing nobody mentioned 1987's 'New Monkees' though.

9 out of 10

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