Series: Gilligan's Island
It's not really Gilligan's island, but don't tell him that.note
"Just sit right back And you'll hear a tale A tale of a fateful trip, That started from this tropic port, Aboard this tiny ship. The mate was a mighty sailin' man, The Skipper brave and sure, Five passengers set sail that day, For a three hour tour, A three hour tour..."
Iconic "stupid sitcom" from the 1960s, filled with Idiot Plots
, What an Idiot
moments galore, a Laugh Track
, and a great cast of actors. The show featured seven stereotyped characters — a millionaire, his snobby wife, a famous actress, a farm girl, a college professor, an innocent misfit klutz, and the captain of the charter boat on which all of them had sailed — trapped on a Deserted Island
. Their little colony of survivors was usually awash in schemes, alliances, betrayals, and petty manipulations, usually over the most minor of things. Their own foibles and blind spots frequently sabotaged any chance of rescue or escape, and nobody ever seemed to learn anything from their mistakes.
...Wait, did we get mixed up with the article on Survivor
? No? Okay, just checking.Gilligan's Island
was created in 1963 by veteran TV writer/producer Sherwood Schwartz
(who would later make a career out of The Brady Bunch
). Schwartz was an academic with degrees in zoology and psychology, and originally intended for the program to be a meaningful examination of American life. Inspired by Robinson Crusoe
, Schwartz intended to create a microcosm of American society by stranding representative members of different subcultures and seeing how they interact. He chose his representatives carefully, claiming later that "Anybody who is watching can identify with someone." How this ostensibly academic and rather intriguing concept turned into the show that actually aired is anyone's guess.note
It lasted three years on CBS
(1964-67), then became a perennial favorite in daily syndication
At least four TV movies and two cartoon series followed, first rescuing, then re-stranding, then re-rescuing the castaways, who then turned the island into a resort. In the strangest twist, though, 2004 saw Gilligan's Island
become the first (and maybe only) Sitcom
ever revived as a Reality Show
, with the broadcast of The Real Gilligan's Island
...a show which combined the original series with Survivor
in a bizarre blend.
Some of the cast reportedly disliked the show. The actress that portrayed Ginger (the movie star), Tina Louise, refused to do either the cartoons or the reunion
movies because she considered the show "silly" and the concept ridiculous while also resenting that she'd ended up being typecast.
A big-screen adaptation
is currently trapped in Development Hell
after an initial release date of March 30, 2012.Not to Be Confused with Gullah Gullah Island
This show provides examples of:
- Unlimited Wardrobe: The Howells, Ginger, and Mary Ann. Induces lots of Fridge Logic. In the alternate theme song for the unaired (until 1992) pilot, the Howells brought "just enough bags for a six-hour ride (six hours?)". Why they felt it necessary to bring these things is never mentioned, but they both had lots of clothes...and apparently Ginger and Mary-Ann are the same size as Mrs. Howell.
- Which tends to undercut some of the rationale behind events like Mary-Ann chopping rather a lot off of Ginger's dresses when she had amnesia and thought she was Ginger.
- Voices Are Mental: As a result of Mad Scientist Dr. Boris Balinkoff's mind-transfer experiments.
- Voodoo Doll: Used by the witch doctor in "Voodoo".
- Waxing Lyrical: The Skipper once quotes the closing theme song when he says, following the most recent failed escape, "I get the feeling we're gonna be here for a long, long time."
- Weirdness Magnet: You know, for an "uncharted desert isle" that island is a pretty busy place.
- Who Wears Short Shorts?: Mary Ann, often.
- World of Ham: Even for The Sixties, this was one hammy show.
- You Can't Go Home Again: The whole premise of the show.
- You Look Familiar:
- Vito Scotti played both the Japanese sailor and Dr. Boris Balinkoff.
- Denny Scott Miller played Duke the surfer as well as Tongo the ape-man actor.
- Eddie Little Sky appeared in three unrelated episodes portraying island natives.
Now, this is the tale of our castaways, they're here for a long, long time
They'll have to make the best of things, it's an uphill climb
The first mate and his skipper, too, will do their very best
To make the others comfortable in their tropic island nest
No phone! No lights! No motorcar! Not a single luxury!
Like Robinson Ca-rusoe, it's primitive as can be!
So join us here each week, my friends, you're sure to get a smile
From seven stranded castaways, here on Gilligan's isle!