Since we all agree that love doesn't count for anything anyway, and all marriages are business transactions, we don't even have to talk about the ethical questions raised in "Help Wanted: Male." Instead, we can concentrate on the show's sleaziest part: its dialogue.
First, a word about the plot.
"Help," a CBS movie at 9 tonight on Channel 9, is a predictable story of a female magazine publisher who yearns to have a child and heir to the Newsview (as it's called) dynasty.
When Laura Bingham, played by Suzanne Pleshette, learns her boyfriend, Skip (Bert Convy), is not just uneasy with the idea of matrimony, but sterile, she sets her ambitious eyes on a sportswriter named Jonathan Gillis. The tall, blue-eyed blond, played by Gil Gerard, agrees to a $100,000 divorce once Ms. Bingham conceives, plus a $1,000-a-week job as the magazine's executive vice president.
Of course, they fall in love.
Now on to the dialogue.
Sterile Skip to lascivious Laura: "After all, a vasectomy is never having to say you're sorry."
Lusty Laura to daddy about her buy-a-mate plan: "I'm happy to report the buck does not stop here."
"Have you forgotten our biggest stockholder is a Baptist?" daddy replies.
Laura to Johnny: "I need to know if you're capable of fathering a child."
"Why do you think I left Boston?" he says.
Joyous Johnny to Laura when the deal is struck: "Shouldn't we kiss or something?"
"Oh, we'll do more than that at the proper time," says Laura.
On the wedding night: "Perhaps we should wait a week until I can conceive," says Laura.
"A little practice wouldn't hurt," says Johnny.
"I know the fundamentals," says Laura.
An exasperated Laura to her gynecologist: "Do you know what that nerd has been doing? Slipping birth control pills into my breakfast."
And finally, Laura confides in Skip and relates the words she'd like to say to her husband: "Johnny, you made me a bargain. Now either get me pregnant or get out."
"That's not exactly an aphrodisiac," says Skip.