Anthony's Film Review

Gilligan's Island
(TV Series, 1964-1967)

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a classic sitcom...

I once purchased the book "Inside Gilligan's Island" written by the creator himself, Sherwood Schwartz, and learned one surprising fact: CBS thought the idea of a show about seven castaways shipwrecked on a deserted island was the stupidest thing they ever heard. I'm sure the former network executives might be looking back on this and realized that they nearly made the wrong decision. Gilligan's Island had become one of TV's most beloved classic shows. It is funny and entertaining for all ages. It's too bad it only lasted three years. It would otherwise have ran for maybe ten years or so.

The seven castaways are Gilligan the clumsy sailor, the Skipper in the blue shirt, the wealthy Mr and Mrs. Howell, the actress Ginger Grant, the intelligent Professor, and the farm girl Mary Ann (can't forget those last two). Here, we have seven strangers who form friendships as they try to survive on the island and wait for rescue. In real-life, any shipwreck is depressing. Gilligan's Island works very well because it makes light of it. Of course, it doesn't mean that shipwrecks are funny. The show simply puts humor into something that nobody has ever considered to work as comedic material.

I love the show because it seems so cool to live on an island. I like how various modern objects of daily living are made out of bamboo, coconuts, and other plant material on the island. There are even inventions like foot-powered washing machines, foot-powered cars, and a makeshift bowling alley. So while the castaways make themselves comfortable, they look for any way off the island. Various episodes involve such opportunities, like planes flying overhead and visitors arriving on the island.

Sometimes, the episodes don't involve a chance for rescue but instead involve situations between the castaways and other weird moments. It's what Sherwood Schwartz wanted to represent: a microcosm of society. Such episodes include running out of citrus fruits and the fear of a vitamin C deficiency, finding an government suitcase, a Thurston Howell imposter, head hunters mistaking Gilligan for one, news of the Howell's minister being a fake and voiding their marriage, and Gilligan going bald. What's even more amusing are episodes that are out of the realm of reality, including a mad scientist, a meteorite crash onto the island, and a robot.

The show works simply because a lot of adventures can take place on a single island. And it's a great mix of humor to make us laugh and friendly characters to touch our hearts. Gilligan's Island will always remain a TV classic for these reasons. Most importantly, it is a classic because it is original and done very well. CBS, as reluctant as they were in the beginning, must be happy that the show did very well during its original run.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Gilligan's Island, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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