Timeless TV Classic          


Gilliganís Island: The Story of Seven Castaways



by Erika Cox

ďJust sit right back and youíll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip..Ē The famous opening verse of one of the most popular television sitcoms ever. The Gilligan Island show was so popular, even in reruns that a new reality TV show is in the works for the show. The show lasted from 1964 to 1967, but remained in reruns throughout the 1970ís and beyond.

Gilliganís Island was a comedy that portrayed seven castaways lost at sea. The song was a brief synopsis of what the show was about. Once you listened to the words of the song, it gave you a clear indication of what the show was about and the hope that one day the stranded crew would make it off the island.

The castaways consisted of Gilligan, played by Bob Denver, a character that remains an American icon. Gilliganís sidekick, the skipper played by Alan Hale. The relationship between Gilligan and the Skipper was similar to a father and son relationship with the Skipper playing the father role and Gilligan the son role.

The skipper was constantly directing and reprimanding the actions of the hopeless and hapless Gilligan. Just watching the clumsy and befuddled Gilligan made one understand why they became stranded.

With all the miscues caused by Gilligan there is no wonder why and how the boat ended up on stranded on a vacant island. He often was the main reason why the castaways never made it off the island.

The other members consisted of the Professor, an intelligent science teacher, who you might think should have been able to get them off the island, but despite his best efforts in successfully doing this someone, usually Gilligan, would disrupt it. The Professor was the one who helped the others survive on the island.

Then there was Mr. and Mrs. Howell, a financially well to do older couple, that seemed unaware of anything but living the rich life but was forced to live the life of a stranded castaway, and therefore, a life they were not use to living. Mrs. Howell was always teaching others the etiquettes of life.

The next castaway was Ginger, an attractive but aloof movie star, who, at times in a strange way, was seemingly attracted to the confused Gilligan. However, Gilligan never felt the same way to Ginger as she did to him.

Gilligan had the mindset of a child, and not only could he not figure a way to get himself and the others off the island or keep himself from screwing up the ideas of getting off the island, he had no clue why Ginger was attracted to him.

The final character was Mary Ann, who along with the Professor and the Skipper, seemed to be the only logical ones on the island. Mary Ann was a small, farm girl, who seemed naÔve but was very down to earth.

The show focused on the many ways the crew and its members were to finally get off the island and how they survived while waiting for that elusive rescue. Some of the characters, in particular, Ginger and Mr. and Mrs. Howell, seemed almost obsessed with how being stranded would totally destroy their lives.

Perhaps, their concerns were legitimate, after all Ginger was a movie star, and Mr. Howell had many investments and financial considerations. One of the strange occurrences, which happened many times, was how visitors appeared on the island but either were unable or unwillingly to rescue the stranded crew for whatever reason.

Yet, somehow these visitors made it off the island successfully. However the Skipper and Gilligan, supposedly experienced crew members, could never figure out how to get off the island without the help of the Professor.

Although the crew had a reliable transistor radio, they never made it off the island. The show ended with the stranded castaways still stranded. I must say this is a pretty disappointing end. It is similar to reading a book and never reading the end of it.
 

 

 

 

 

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