Review

  • This is one of a number of highly entertaining and utterly brainless comedies that baby boomers such as myself grew up with. It's based on the unlikely tale of a small tour boat, the SS Minnow, that is shipwrecked during a hurricane while on an anticipated three hour cruise out of Hawaii. Both crew and passengers are left stranded for years on an uncharted tropical island and have to fend for themselves as best they can amidst assorted ill but invariably hilarious adventures. Together they build huts to live in, forage for plants, fish, & coconut cream pies as food, and combine their joint (but woefully less than extensive) wits in order to survive. They hope for a rescue back to civilization, but meanwhile listen to the latest from their transistor radio.

    The crew consists of the bossy Skipper, who is invariably at his wit's end dealing with his goofy and bumbling first mate, Gilligan. Gilligan is definitely not the brightest star in the night sky but highly likable. The assorted passengers include millionaire Thurston Howell III, his superficial & society oriented wife Lovey, a sexy Hollywood movie star named Ginger, a brainy science professor, and an innocent young Kansas farm girl called Mary Anne. The banter among this gaggle of castaways generally consists of Mr. Howell's financial schemes, Lovey's lessons in elite manners, Ginger's Hollywood tales, the Skipper ranting & raving at Gilligan, and fortunately every now and then, some survival tip concocted by The Professor.

    The actors are all perfect in their roles, including Bob Denver as that endearing bumbleton, Gilligan, and Tina Louise as the beautiful Ginger. I note here that the Skipper's name is actually Jonas Grumby, presumably an indication of his constantly grumbling demeanor.

    Various guest stars periodically appear on their island (including a cosmonaut, big game hunter, movie producer, and spies), but never manage to actually rescue these poor unfortunate castaways. It's all pure mindless fun and still infinitely watchable in re runs, with no serious message whatsoever that I can detect. My thanks to that reviewer who enlightened us all as to the first mate's actual first name. And here I thought during all these years that his first, last, and only name was Gilligan!