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  • I never get tired of watching "Gilligan's Island." As one of the many 1960's TV shows with wacky premises (breaking away from the "Leave It to Beaver" mold of the previous decade), it lives on to this day. At the beginning of every episode, when the theme song begins, I always act out the lines, and then wait for something crazy to happen.

    Let's look at the characters. First mate Willy Gilligan (yes, he did have a first name) is the bane of everyone who believes in order and normalcy. Clumsy, pencil-thin and naive, he bungles every chance they have to get off of the island, and yet the other castaways didn't kill him. I guess they understood that he was a good guy under that idiocy.

    Skipper Jonas Grumby is everything that Gilligan isn't: fatter than fat, competent and perfectly capable of taking charge. As his weight often is the butt of Gilligan's jokes, not to mention all the times when Gilligan drops things on his feet, the Skipper usually proceeds to hit Gilligan with his hat.

    Thurston Howell III is the archetypal crass capitalist. He never does any work, and sits around all day talking about money. I always get the feeling that his grand ambition is to defraud all the other castaways. In spite of all this, Mr. Howell does have one weakness: his Teddy Bear.

    Eunice "Lovey" Howell is as much of an heiress as can be. Always the aesthete, Lovey engages in eternal attempts to teach everyone the ways of the elite, but they never get the hang of it. Sometimes, it seems that she and Thurston married for money more than for love. Their marriage is often rocky, but they stay together.

    Ginger Grant is the castaway with whom I would like to be stranded. A sultry movie star, Ginger can always seduce the men to get information. Her endless tales about life in Hollywood make life on the island sound not so bad. Ginger's dream would apparently be for Rock Hudson to rescue her from the island...and then some.

    Professor Roy Hinkley is truly too smart for his (or anyone's) own good. Still, the Professor is the only reason that they are able to stay alive on the island. Whatever anyone needs built, he can take whatever materials are on the island and whip it up in a jiffy (unless of course anyone needs a raft).

    Last but not least, Mary Ann Summers. She is the only castaway who can be classified as normal (and I use that term loosely). A wholesome farm girl from Kansas, Mary Ann tends the island's crops and keeps herself entertained by tuning into the soap operas on the radio. Nothing wrong with her.

    So that's the story of the seven Castaways. They've been marooned on that island for over 40 years, and Gilligan's naivety, the Skipper's short temper, Mr. Howell's greed, Mrs. Howell's stuffiness, Ginger's sex appeal, the Professor's smarts and Mary Ann's glimpse into Americana never get old. It's always a riot to see their antics again and again...here on Gilligan's isle!
  • I am amazed that this series only lasted three years. It's one of few that I will watch without having to worry about bad language. Here's a review of the castaways: Gilligan is the first-mate of the S.S. Minnow. He can be aggravating at times, but often it is him that comes up with good ideas, only to foul them up unintentionally.

    The Skipper, whose name is revealed only once as Jonas Grumby, is a little overweight. Whenever Gilligan begins to annoy him, the Skipper just hits him on the head with his hat. I also love it when the Skipper looks directly at the camera at times.

    Mr. Thurston Howel III is a multi-millionaire. All he ever does, it seems, is lie around and talk about his money. Though he denies it, he is obsessed with money. His one weakness: his teddy bear.

    Mrs. Eunice "Lovey" Howell III is the wife of Mr. Howell. Of the seven, she's the oldest. (I think she is, anyway.) She comes up with some amazing ideas at times.

    Professor Roy Hinkley. THough his name is never revealed, that's his name. He's the smartest one of the lot, and sometimes his ideas are often messed up by Gilligan. Whenever you want or need something made, the Professor often can find something to make it out of.

    Ginger Grant is a movie star, and the movies that she was in have bizarre titles. None of them sound good, but hey, you can't win 'em all. Ginger is someone who can seduce men into giving her information. She's really good at it, and often gets carried away.

    Mary Ann Summers is the only one of the seven who seems normal to me. A farm girl from Kansas, she likes listening to the radio a lot. Nothing wrong with that, right? Well, not if it's a soap opera she's listening to.

    Overall, this is one dandy show you don't want to miss.
  • It's Saturday night circa early 60's and right after The Jackie Gleason Show on CBS comes `Gilligans Island'. When it first aired about the only two well-known members of the cast to the vast majority of viewers were Bob Denver who had appeared as the beatnik Maynard G. Krebs on Dobie Gillis and the multi talented Jim Backus. Russell Johnson who played the Professor was one of those actors that would appear on various TV shows. It's run on prime time was three seasons but thanks to re-runs Gilligans Island has in fact never left the airwaves. The 98 episodes play over and over yet they still hold up well today and one can still find themselves laughing at various episodes even though they may have seen it dozens perhaps even hundreds of times. If You're not wrapped too tight then like the theme song said `You're sure to get a smile'
  • Warning: Spoilers
    GILLIGAN'S ISLAND was one of my mandatory rerun shows as a kid! I watched it, like many other classic TV shows that aired in syndication at the time of my youth with regularity. Didn't really pay attention to much of the detail or innuendo or commentary. Just was a kid watching what was on. Back then, there weren't nearly as many choices as there are now.

    In re-watching the series recently to gain some perspective, I realize that, no matter how silly and brainless people say this show was, it really was a FUNNY show! I'd say that it's utter lack of realism and complete focus on comedy is the primary reason for it's popularity and staying power. It never tried to be anything more than it was. Even "greater" shows can't lay claim to that trait!

    The humor of GI is really broad, laced with sarcasm, wisecracking, innuendo, double-entendres, and, of course, physical comedy. There's quite a bit of ad-libbing that I realized went on. The dialogue, while simplistic for the most part, is actually engaging and still fresh in many ways. The main reason is that the 7 castaways are so well-defined and unique, illustrating that the actors really had a handle on their characters.

    Gilligan, Skipper, Mr. and Mrs. Howell, Ginger, Professor, and Mary Ann are all awesome in their own way. TV icon Bob Denver played the equally iconic titular and central character Gilligan, with the then early 30ish Denver so effortlessly essaying the role of the innocent man-child. Alan Hale was also wonderful as the lovable Skipper. The Laurel-Hardy routine of he and Gilligan is a joy to behold!

    I'd say my favorite character upon re-watch is really Mr. Howell. I'm amazed at how quick and natural that Jim Backus was with such a broad and somewhat cartoonish character. I'd bet he must have gotten at least an Emmy nomination for this role!

    Mrs. Howell (played by then veteran Natalie Schafer) was an ad-libbing scene-stealer much like her hubby and garnered many laughs of her own. Russell Johnson must be commended for having to play the straight-laced, no-nonsense Professor amidst all the wackiness!

    Glamorous Tina Louise was a childhood crush for me as Ginger and still does it for me! And hot Dawn Wells was so fresh and engaging as earnest do-gooder Mary Ann, and she did it WITHOUT ever coming across as annoying...no small feat! Of course, THE eternal question is "Ginger or Mary Ann?". They're both great in their own way and I'd take either one of them (as if I had a choice!). I can see why so many seem to prefer Mary Ann (the sweet farmgirl who would be the perfect mate) over Ginger (the sultry fantasy girl beyond reach), but it's not like Ginger was an awful person! She, like all the other castaways, in all their diversity, were presented as truly NICE people, which I find endearing as I re-visit this show. There are very few shows where EVERY character is likable. GI is definitely one of them.

    When I started re-visiting this show, I couldn't believe that it ran for only 3 seasons! Honestly, it seemed like it was longer and that is because there were over 30 eps per season! Plus, the running time of each ep was longer than the average half-hour show now. So, if you equate GI to a show today, it actually would amount to about 5 seasons worth of episodes...I'll take it! I also find that I can watch GI much more so than several other shows from this era that I used to watch as a kid. It just has a warm, inviting quality and setting that I prefer. And I simply love ALL the characters! And, ironically, with it supposedly being a "silly" show, I find much of it's dialogue NOT to be silly, as some of those other shows. GI still a winner over 40 years later!
  • This has got to be one of the campiest shows of all time. When you look at all this show you see a stereotype of the different types of people who make up our society. You have the working guys (Skipper and Gilligan), the intellectual (the Professor), the sex pot (Ginger), the sweet girl (Mary-Ann) and the upper crust capitalists (the Howells). Too bad this show didn't last another season. I would have loved to have seen them do a series finale instead of the horrid reunion movies. Maybe if they did it that way we could have gotten another season where Mr. Howell builds a resort on the island and Gilligan was the jack of all trades that really kept things rolling.

    Also, the biggest question of all, Ginger or Mary-Ann?
  • All right, so "Gilligan's Island" may not be "The Dick Van Dyke Show," or any other sophisticated physical comedy show-but all in all it is just pure fun to watch. I remember when I was little watching the reruns on TNT and TBS, and now own the complete first season on DVD. I don't know why it is, but I've always had a special place for "Gilligan's Island," it's one of my favorites. True, you can't take too many clothes on a 3-hour tour realistically, or how in the world can you do everything from build a hut to a lie detector, but can't make a fail-safe raft?

    The ratings, in all its three seasons, shone high above many shows; despite the network's attempt of changing the time slot a few times. It beat Bonanza in its first season, and by the end of the third season, it had beat Star Treck, The Monkees, etc. If William Paley's wife hadn't loved Gunsmoke, "Gilligan's Island" would have easily gained at least two more seasons by ratings alone.

    If you're looking for sophisticated humor, this show isn't it. It's silly, corny, but the cast is just a lovable one. You can't help but like the series (which is more than I can say for "Green Acres"; which gets annoying after a few episodes). The cast is brilliant in their roles, and the chemistry between Alan Hale Jr. and Bob Denver and Jim Backus' chemistry with Natalie Shcaffer is perfect. All in all, "Gilligan's Island" is just pure clean fun, which is more than I can say for shows on today. Watch it, give it a chance, and enjoy!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Gilligan's Island: One of the most loved and also (strangely enough) often maligned sitcoms in TV history. It was originally run on CBS (1964 - 1967). It must be one of the most heavily viewed programs in the history of syndication. GI was an essential part of the after school ritual for millions in the early seventies. Seeing it so much as a kid left an indelible print on my brain to the extent that, even though I haven't watched the show regularly for the past 25 years, I can still recite some of the character dialog when prompted. A remarkable testament to the effect (for good or ill) of TV on young minds.

    The show revolves around the fate of the crew and passengers of the lost Honolulu tour boat--the S.S. Minnow---blown off course by a freak storm onto "an uncharted desert isle".

    Most of the episodes center on the "seven castaways" efforts to get off of the island and back to civilization. The attempts are always sabotaged by the bumbling first mate of the Minnow --Gilligan (Bob Denver). I like the skinny and young Denver as Gilligan -however the characterization works only on a rather limited basis marked by age and appearance. Put 15 years and 15 pounds on Denver (as was done in the reunion movies) and Gilligan's antics become almost intolerable. The Skipper (Alan Hale Jr) is seen by some to be a gruff authoritarian figure--however I see him as being much more benign (Alan Hale's natural affability comes shining through). I believe that Gilligan and the Skipper come across most of the time like "Mutt and Jeff" rather than as "Laurel and Hardy".

    Jim Backus and Natalie Schaefer playing Thurston and Lovey Howell (The millionaire and his wife) are the most accomplished members of the cast. The Howells are played for all they're worth by Backus and Schaefer. Both actors were masters of the ad-lib. I especially like one laugh line Thurston Howell III gets as the castaways listen to a radio broadcasting the launch of a test missile that the professor calculates will hit and destroy the island. The radio announcer does the countdown... then crows, "And it's a perfect launch!"-- "It would be...," says Howell with bitter, comic resignation.

    Ginger--the movie star--seductress, red head (Tina Louise) & Mary Ann (Dawn Wells) the virginal, wholesome Kansas farm girl, brunette--certainly set up the eternal question of preference among the male viewers of the show. For my part... either girl would do in a pinch. Tina Louise does a creditable imitation of Marilyn Monroe -I would bet heavy money that the character of Ginger holds the TV record for the sheer number of come-ons made by a woman (always for ulterior motives and never for sex). It's to Louise's credit that she made all that flirting seem real and in context and always in bounds. Sweet, little Mary Ann is a much more incidental character and the only character in the show that is played "straight" most all of the time.

    Russell Johnson is first rate as the Professor---the island's resident intellectual / technician. He has a good laugh line in one of the episodes when the other other castaways wax nostalgic about what they miss the most about their previous lives back in civilization--the Professor suddenly pipes up: "What I miss most is Saturday night at the library....the hustle and bustle at the reference desk...." .

    It has been pointed out by more than one deep thinker that the "Castaways" are meant to represent "archetypes" of humanity. I am certain that the character types and the casting contributed much to the success of this show. The casting is so critical because the setting for the series (an otherwise uninhabited tropical island) is not the most promising for a situation comedy (which is the reason no doubt for the many strange visitors that find their way to the island--everyone from a World War One fighter pilot to a rock band to a mad scientist to an exiled South American dictator-to a dozen others).....

    I mentioned at the beginning of my comments that Gilligan's Island is often abused by critics. It received bad reviews from the the very first show and there are plenty of people who have continued to hammer away at it through 5 decades down to the present day-(Did anyone else see Larry King make Bob Denver squirm when he was a guest on Larry King Live a few years ago?). Gilligan's Island is generally attacked for being comedy of a very low variety--dumb and unsophisticated and marked by a noted lack of realism (How is it that the Howells brought so many clothes along for a three hour cruise?---Why can't the Professor figure out a way to get them off the island if he can make a generator out of a coconut? And why doesn't anyone sleep with anyone else? etc...) I will concede that the overall tone of many of the episodes is slightly juvenile. (The most avid perennial viewers of this show would have had to have been 9 - 11 year old boys). However, that said, it's never been proved to me that Gilligan's Island was any more unlikely in either premise or execution than any number of its contemporaries. Contrived characters and situations have always been a hallmark of American network TV from the beginning --all the way, arguably to the present ---but that's another subject. I can find at least some jokes and situations on GI that contain more social and political comment and present sex in a way more realistic than can be found on Dick Van Dyke (as an example).

    Sherwood Schwartz and the show's cast and writers must be given much credit for creating a unique version of an escapist fantasy---that has...like it or not...found a place in American pop culture.
  • I have always been a fan of this show and I grew up with it.

    I have to say that being in my late 30's now, I still enjoy watching it. There is nothing in the show to offend anyone and you don't have to worry about something inappropriate for young viewers. Not too many shows nowadays are around that you can let a child watch that doesn't have something that is either offensive or has objectionable content.

    Oftentimes, if I come home after a hard day at work, not physically tired but mentally exhausted, the perfect thing for me is to turn on a television show that doesn't require too much thinking, its just fun and that is what Gilligan's Island is for me. It is a very welcome stress reliever to come home and spend thirty minutes laughing and getting rid of the stress of the day.

    It is truly a classic television show because of the stories; the theme song and the cast and their chemistry. Everything is a perfect blend.
  • If you're old enough to use the computer, you've probably watched Gilligan's Island. Are you checking to see what other people think about it?

    I remember every day after elementary school, I'd come home and watch Gilligan's Island, then Star Trek, the old series. It was the way of the world. I can still taste the cookies and milk I'd wolf down, and occasional apple.

    One thing for sure: my parents knew that when I was watching Gilligan's Island, it was clean. Do we even have anything as purely non-sexual and clean as this series? (Ahhh Dawn Wells... siiiigh)

    Our local cable provider recently started carrying a channel that replays Gilligan's Island, and I've watched them all again through the eyes of an adult. Even though I knew every line, and what would happen in every episode, I still laughed and felt like a kid again.

    Maybe someone would complain that the portrayal of the Japanese sailor who doesn't know the war is over is a horrible stereotype, and did anyone notice how.... white... the cast is? But who cares? It's just fun, like a live action cartoon.

    By today's standards, something like this would never even be proposed, let alone produced.

    Maybe we need more shows like this!
  • Gilligan's Island is one of those shows that for some strange reason, I can never tire of. First off, throw logic out the window because if you stop and think about it, you'll go insane. I always liked the fact that the Professor could make just about anything on the island, yet he couldn't build a raft. The Howells sure did pack a lot of stuff for just a three hour tour, same goes for Mary-Ann and Ginger, just where did they stow all of this stuff? I am also tickled to find out that you can look at Gilligan's Island as a model for the seven deadly sins. Such a silly show that had rock bands, ape men, Russians, spies, mad doctors, witch doctors, head hunters and one Harold Hecubah. Just sit me down in front of the tube and throw in Gilligan's Island, I'll be happy for days to come.
  • Rovin22 July 2000
    Hey--this show had its charm. It was sort of like the Canterbury Tales and the Decameron-with an assortment of characters on different adventures--but it was also something of a horror story. Here's my theory--the castaways actually died on that three hour tour--and went to Hell, the Skipper was God, trying to shepherd them to salvation, while Gilligan was the Devil-tormenting them each week(hey-- he did wear a really RED shirt)!

    Seriously though--it was fun how they milked every possible concept. I remember the ghost one with particular fondness(that spook floating past the huts was darn spooky!!!), and then the one where the Professor and the Skipper are Holmes and Watson, investigating the castle of Gilligan as Dracula and Ginger as his bride.

    Or the one where the castaways end up switching personalities.or the one where Ginger's geeky double shows up on the island--they doll her up--then she goes back and takes over the movie star's fame! Or the one where they plan to use a glowing serum to make a signal--but Gilligan drinks it all--and ends up shining like a light bulb-..or the totem one previously mentioned. So many!

    Note: one of the most perverse spoofs of Gilligan's Island was on the series ALF, when the alien has a nightmare where in he visits Mary Ann, the Professor(has some hilarious lines), Gilligan and the Skipper at the island's classic bamboo dinner table.

    They are all sitting around bored and miserable, and after the Skipper calls his first mate by his usual nickname, the moping Gilligan responds: "Would you stop calling me your 'little buddy?' I am in my forties for christ's sake!"
  • RNMorton18 April 2003
    Probably the best object lesson out there for network executives of the third millennium, a lesson they just DON'T SEEM TO GET - no sex, no hokey "sexual tension", no drugs, no compelling political or social issues. Just good ol' clean American fun. Seven stereotypes deserted on Pacific island spend three years having a good time and botching opportunities to rescue themselves. My nephew knows the details of every episode by heart, but each time I see one I don't think I've ever seen it before. Whatever. This show defines for me the "Mendoza line" for television programming - if it's worse than watching Gilligan's Island I'll pass, which means with 77 cable channels I spend a fair amount of time with the castaways. And Mary Ann kills Ginger...
  • "Gilligan's Island" was popular during my last 3 years of college. Until I was able to see the DVDs of the shows recently, I had forgotten that the first season was in black and white. Filming in "color" was still not the norm because of the cost.

    The premise is very simple. A crew of 2 and their 5 passengers encounter a storm and are shipwrecked on an uncharted "desert island" somewhere in the Pacific, probably not too far from their port in Hawaii. Except for the stock shots in Hawaii, all the episodes were filmed in the studio.

    The series got very poor reviews, but audiences loved the show. Probably because the kids could identify with child-like Gilligan, the young men with pretty Ginger and Mary Ann, and the mature crowd with the 4 older characters. Watching it now on DVD, it is as good as it was 40 years ago.

    In spite of the lack of preparation by the guests, they manage to have a full wardrobe on hand, and the ladies never wear the same outfit twice. However, Gilligan, the inept assistant, always wore his light blue sailor pants, a bright red long-sleeve polo shirt with white collars, and his little hat. And, the Skipper always wore a royal blue short-sleeve polo shirt and his captain's hat.

    Of the guests, my favorite, then and now, was former beauty queen Dawn Wells as Mary Ann. She was so pretty, and nice, in a "girl next door" kind of way. Then, about 15 years later, when she was performing at a dinner theater near where I lived, I had the good fortune of chatting with her after the show. She even gave me a "hip bump" of indignity when I mentioned that I used to enjoy watching her as a kid (she is only a few years older than me). She was as nice in person as she was on "Gilligan."

    Bob Denver, who died very recently, was Gilligan, Alan Hale Jr. was The Skipper, Jim Backus was wealthy Thurston Howell III, Natalie Schafer was the ditzy Mrs. Lovey Howell, Tina Louise, who I never really warmed up to, was Ginger the movie star, and Russell Johnson was The Professor. But Dawn Wells as Mary Ann will always be my favorite.
  • DEEP G.I. THOUGHTS......

    Gilligan had his own taxi cab, Professor had a well-stocked laboratory, but a raft was too complicated to construct.

    A three year cruise would have fit the theme song much better, since at least three years worth of luggage was possessed by each of them.

    Where did they get the cream for the coconut cream pies?

    I hope whoever manufactured their clothing has a patent on the indestructible, time-tested fabric.

    Origin of Ginger's endless supply of make-up?

    Radio reception from the mainland was impeccable--on an UNCHARTED island?

    Batteries for the radio had an unsurpassed life-time that would make the Energizer Bunny blush with embarrassment.

    Overall, I always liked the show!!
  • Here are some random thoughts on "Gilligan's Island":

    --Great fun watching as a kid. As the previous person commented, the show was incredibly hokey, but that was part of its appeal.

    --I always wondered why the castaways never tried some of the same escape schemes again after they were ruined by Gilligan.

    --The show was remarkably prolific, having produced over 100 episodes in only 3 years.

    --A lot of people don't realize that Russell "The Professor" Johnson was a Army Air Corps bombardier (on the B-26 Mitchell?) during WW II and had been in dozens of movies before "Gilligan's Island". Russell's book is the best "Gilligan's Island" book out there, in my opinion.

    --Mary Ann, in my opinion, is a hands-down winner in a Mary Ann vs. Ginger debate. Dawn Wells was nice enough to send me an autographed picture after I wrote to her.

    --At least one researcher has prepared a paper showing how the seven castaways represented the Seven Deadly Sins.

    --Trivia Time--an actress named Judith Baldwin played Ginger in the "Gilligan's Island" movies

    --Dawn Wells, bless her heart, threw the others off key when the castaways sang on the show--they had her just mouth the words during the singing scenes

    --Of all the cameos the stars of "Gilligan's Island" have done on other shows, my favorite is Russell Johnson appearing on a "Newhart" episode saluting "Gilligan's Island"; his was kind of a "hidden" cameo--they didn't identify him as "The Professor"

    --I have to agree with the previous reviewer--the Mosquitoes episode was my favorite
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Gilligan's Island is a show anyone from age 4-100 could watch. Of course, people have varying taste, but to those who have not been introduced to this nice show, do not know what they're getting into.

    The episodes are fun and funny. Slapstick plays a major key-role in the comedic style of this show, but there's also some subtle stuff as well as in-jokes.

    The acting is great. Every character is casted perfectly, and some of the performances are so over-the-top, it actually fits in and adds to the atmosphere.

    There's nothing vulgar, which makes this great for kids. Some of the first season I believe is in black and white, which to kids, can be a slight turnoff. This is a very friendly show.

    The various antics and mishaps are hilarious to watch, be they from concept or full realization.

    Overall, I highly recommend Gilligan's Island to anyone with a great sense of humor. With a wonderful cast, funny episodes, and great premise, this is a show to watch in the morning as you eat breakfast.
  • In one perspective,TV Guide rated this as the top 50 of the worst sitcoms ever made.

    From some aspects it was the most loved and strangely enough often maligned sitcoms in television history. "Gilligan's Island" originally premiered on CBS-TV from its debut episode on September 26,1964 until the series finale on April 12,1967. A total of 98 episodes were produced. Season 1 of the series was in classic black-and-white for 36 episodes from September 26,1964 until June 12,1965. These episodes during the 1990's were later colorized for syndication. The show's second and third seasons,which were in color for 62 episodes aired from September 16,1965 until April 12,1967. CBS moved this show around during its run where during Season 1,the show aired on Saturday nights at 8:30e/7:30c opposite "The Lawrence Welk Show" and after "The Jackie Gleason Show". During Season 2,the show moved from Saturday nights to Thursday night where it aired at 8:00e/7:00c where it faced competition with "Daniel Boone" and "The Donna Reed Show". The Third and Final Season placed "Gilligan's Island" on Monday nights at 7:30e/6:30c where it went up against NBC's top-rated show "The Monkees" which clobbered it in the ratings. The show that replaced it was when CBS decided to canceled "Gilligan's Island" in favor of "Gunsmoke" for better ratings.

    "Gilligan's Island" however you viewed it as a sitcom mainly falls into the category of totally stupid and totally dumb in which some of the episodes have the castaways in some predicament or another. The one episode I remember was where the professor made a transistor radio out of a coconut(How?). And the part where the castaways thought they were save by a doctor who takes them over to a deserted island and the mad doctor makes mince meat out of them,and its up to Gilligan to save them for a certain fate. Believe me,I lot of these episodes were just totally ridicious and sometimes ludicrous.

    I never cared for this show since its star Bob Denver was famous for his role as Maynard G. Krebbs from "Dobie Gillis"(which I loved Maynard,but hated Gilligan)who still gets tons of fan mail from the show. As for the babes here,Ginger wasn't my type,but Mary Ann was the one everybody wanted---hands down.

    As for its precessdor,the cast members of the reality show "Survivor" should take notes from this series on how to survive on the hostile frontier(island) and do it with a smile.
  • Most of the reviews so far have damned "Gilligan's Island" with faint praise; most of the people have said that they either watched it as a kid (inferring that it wasn't meant for adults), or watch it only when nothing else is on.

    Too bad. I pity them.

    Too many people nowadays are trying to appear to be sophisticated and worldly; comparing the seven castaways with the Seven Deadly Sins, for example. "Gilligan's Island" was never meant to be fodder for college treatises or a locale from which to mine deeper, hidden meanings. It was a show that was meant to entertain the public....and for its brief three-year run, it did just that.

    LET UP ON THE SHOW, ALREADY!! All you do is come off sounding like someone who, as my father used to say, wouldn't be satisfied if you had the moon with a fence around it. Just watch it and put the world on hold for a half-hour or more. Forget that you've got that test tomorrow, or the car needs to go into the shop, or the housework is piling up. So maybe it is/was far-fetched, and it had plot holes big enough to sail the "Queen Mary" through. You mean shows about a family of pop musicians ("The Partridge Family"), a genie ("I Dream of Jeannie"), a witch ("Bewitched"), a clan of hayseed multi-millionaires ("The Beverly Hillbillies") didn't stretch credibility beyond the breaking point either?

    And remember another thing before you try to compare this to "Seinfeld", "Night Court", "Friends", or any other recent sitcom. "Gilligan's Island" managed to be humorous *without* falling back on sexual innuendoes a la "The Golden Girls", racial humor as heard in "All in the Family" or "The Jeffersons", or the foul, offensive language as heard in just about anything coming through my TV on the WB, Fox or UPN networks. Sorry, but if that is what is necessary for something to be "funny" today, I'll stay stuck in the '60s or '70s.
  • To me, Gilligan's Island is a prime example of just how totally asinine TV Sit-Coms were back in the mid-1960s. When it comes to utterly stupid and completely predictable situations, this dumber-than-dumb TV show certainly scrapes the absolute bottom of the barrel for laughs, which it never produces.

    How this despicable, totally unfunny program actually managed to last for 3 successful seasons defies comprehension. It should have been immediately canceled right after its very first episode.

    I think that Gilligan's Island's biggest and most damaging deficit was, of course, its #1 star, Bob Denver (as Gilligan), a bona-fide buffoon whose low-brow, dimwitted antics produced nothing but groans of annoyance and exasperation from this here viewer.

    And regardless of how desperately the talentless scriptwriters of this badly-conceived show tried to dangle plenty of eye-candy in front of my face, this didn't, in any way, compensate for the clear lack of genuine comedy that definitely rendered Gilligan's Island virtually without a pulse and pathetically anemic.

    P.S.

    If you were to ask me, I'd swear that the Skipper and Gilligan were secretly sweet on each other. (nudge-nudge-wink-wink)
  • 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!
  • Gilligan's Island is a show with about as dopey a premise as ever one had. Five people who really do look like they could afford a chartered ocean tour on something a lot more sturdy than the S.S. Minow are stranded on a desert island after being blown off course from their three hour tour. How they make do and their many oh so close times when they are rescued is the basis for this show which only lasted for three seasons.

    The problem with a show like Gilligan's Island is that you have no opportunity for an ensemble of players in support or for guest stars. When you had them, you had to create the most bizarre situations to get the guest stars off, but once again not rescue the series regulars. It leads to a limited amount of stories that made rational sense and the plots got sillier and sillier as Gilligan's Island ended without the castaways being rescued.

    What makes Gilligan's Island stand out and attain a kind of cult status though was the incredibly good casting and chemistry among the seven players. What a movie star, a professor of something or other, and millionaire, his wife, and their secretary were dong on the Minow defies logic. Still Tina Louise, Russell Johnson, Jim Backus, Natalie Schaeffer, and Dawn Wells created indelible characters.

    Not to mention the skipper of the S.S. Minow Alan Hale and the mate who discovered that blessed isle named for him, Bob Denver. Denver by all accounts should have been killed and eaten by the others he fouled up rescue attempts so often. Still he was a lovable lunkhead though he drove his patient skipper batty.

    But if not for the courage of the fearless crew.....................
  • 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.
  • rcj536518 October 2013
    All right,so TV Guide rated this sitcom as the top 50 worst television shows of all time,but "Gilligan's Island" does stands out as one of the most maligned sitcoms of the era in a decade that was full of fantasy-themed shows ranging from "My Favorite Martian","My Mother The Car", "I Dream of Jeannie","Bewitched","It's About Time","F-Troop","The Ugliest Girl In Town","Batman","Get Smart","Green Acres","The Beverly Hillbillies",and much more.

    Created and produced by Sherwood Schwartz,and originally produced by United Artists Television in association with the CBS Television Network,the series starred Bob Denver(formerly of "Dobie Gillis")as the main character Gilligan along with Jim Backus,Russell Johnson,Alan Hale, Tina Louise,Dawn Wells and Natalie Schafer. It aired for three seasons at CBS from its premiere episode on September 26,1964 until the series finale on April 17,1967. Only Season 1 of "Gilligan's Island" was in black-and-white for 36 episodes that aired on Saturday nights after "The Jackie Gleason Show" at 8:30e/7:30c and had stiff competition against "Lawrence Welk". For Season 2 the network moved the show from Saturday nights to Thursday nights this time in color for 32 episodes where CBS put it at the 8:00e/7:00c time slot opposite "Daniel Boone",and "The Donna Reed Show". For the third and final season the show again moved from Thursday nights to Monday nights at the 7:30e/6:30c time slot for the remaining 30 episodes in color where it got clobbered opposite NBC's powerhouse hit "The Monkees" until its cancellation on April 17,1967(a total of 62 color episodes were produced from 1965 to 1967). Repeats of Season 3 aired from April 19,1967 until September 4,1967. The series ran for a total of 98 episodes.

    The reason why "Gilligan's Island" remains a cult classic among the very few? For one,this series was really targeted for kids instead of adults and that what made it so great to this day in recycled repeats. It was based on sophisticated humor. It was silly,stupid and corny but the cast was lovable by all aspects. But speaking of the characters:

    You have First-Mate Willy Gilligan(Bob Denver)who was just as clumsy and naive when getting into all sorts of predicaments with those who want to get off the island. Every episode had Gilligan getting into one hilarious situation after another. And for all 98 episodes!!!

    Skipper Jonas Grumby(Alan Hale,Jr.) is everything that Gilligan isn't but perfectly capable of taking charge and keeping the rest of the castaways in line.

    Thurston Howell III(Jim Backus)is the archetypal crass capitalist who doesn't do any work,and sits around all day talking about money and bonds knowing that his grand ambition is to defraud all the other castaways.

    Eunice "Lovey" Howell(Natalie Schafer)is much the "heiress" as she can be.

    Profession Roy Hinkley(Russell Johnson) is not the college professor,but in aspects a high school chemistry teacher,but is truly too smart for his own good. He is the only one that keeps the other alive on the island where he can take materials that are wherever resources are available on the island and whip it up in jiffy(imagine making a radio transmitter out of a coconut).

    Ginger Grant(Tina Louise)always the glamorous movie star who can seduce the men for information about what goes on surrounding the island.

    Mary Ann Summers(Dawn Wells)the naive farm girl from Kansas who can be classified as normal and the only castaway with "common sense" who also tends the island's crops and keeps herself entertained by listening to soap operas on the radio.

    The success of "Gilligan's Island" enjoyed solid ratings during its original run,but then grew in popularity during decades of repeats in the 1970's and 1980's in national syndication. The success also spawned two animated Saturday Morning cartoons series("The New Adventures of Gilligan",and "Gilligan's Planet),and three made for TV-movies in he late-1970's and early-1980's,and there are talks of a big screen version based on the classic 1960's sitcom as well.
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