Our son was mostly baffled by this episode, because he had no idea what a beauty pageant was. Surprisingly, considering the inevitability of an “undercover at a beauty pageant” episode of any TV show made in the 1970s with a female lead, this one was actually pretty intelligent, with a good twist about what the saboteur in the story is actually after. Guest stars for the story included Eight is Enough‘s Dick Van Patten and Honey West‘s Anne Francis.
I’ve previously joked about how Wonder Woman was always filmed on the other side of the hill from M*A*S*H, but another similarity is how both shows went to the expense of hiring vintage automobiles and costumes but didn’t tell their stylists and hairdressers to give any of the actors or extras period haircuts. This was most egregious on M*A*S*H toward the end of its run when they were running so far out of steam that Loretta Swit had a ’70s Farrah do and Mike Farrell had a mustache that nobody in the Korean war would grow for at least fifteen years.
On this show, I insist that Lyle Waggoner’s hair is a little too long for 1942, but the extras or two-line actresses in the “Miss GI Dreamgirl” contest are really, really hilarious. They gave Lynda Carter a ’40s-looking red wig for her undercover gig as “Diana Paradise,” but about half the girls in the bathing suit portion of the pageant would look totally natural on a bedroom wall poster right next to the one of Cheryl Tiegs.
I guess we’re not meant to look too closely. After all, the cutaway shots of the audience in the officers’ club theater are all from stock footage of some World War Two movie, and all those soldiers are clearly in an outdoor pavilion.