• The 1960s were a chaotic time in American society as the JFK assassination, the arms race, the Cold War, the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement dominated the headlines. The nation seemed to be on the verge of an implosion by 1964 and many in the mainstream looked to television as an escape. One of the escape vehicles was a ho-hum series called "Gilligan's Island". The show was panned by critics and hailed by most audiences and CBS decided that the ratings would indeed be the telling factor. Thus the program ran for four seasons and completed work on nearly 100 episodes. The premise is silly as seven castaways (led by the titled character, Bob Denver) are deserted on a tropical island with very few necessities. The group also included the captain of the doomed tour (Alan Hale, Jr.), a millionaire (Jim Backus), his wife (Natalie Shafer), a movie star (Tina Louise), a college professor (Russell Johnson) and a country girl named Mary Ann (Dawn Wells). "Gilligan's Island" made itself out to be a melting pot of American society, but religion, race, sex and economic standing never really did play into the series. Instead slapstick and the everlasting hope of a rescue became the main story-lines. As the series continued on it became even more of an escape from life for those confused baby-boomers and their parents during a time of national turmoil. For entertainment purposes I have seen much worse than "Gilligan's Island". But we are all critics here, whether we like it or not, and the program fails when it comes to serious critical thought. Fair television programming that still lives on most everywhere in syndication. 2.5 out of 5 stars.