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This popular television comedy begins with the shipwreck of the S.S. Minnow in a terrible storm. Gilligan, the Skipper, a millionaire and his wife, a movie-star, the Professor and Mary Ann are all stranded on the island. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
During the first season's opening credits, for some reason neither The Professor, Russell Johnson nor Mary Ann Dawn Wells received an on screen billing, nor were they referred to in the theme song. They were just referred to as "... and the rest." For seasons two and three they were added at the request of Bob Denver, who played "Gilligan" and thought it was stupid to leave out the two actors just to shorten the introductory song by a few notes. See more »
After watching even one episode, who wouldn't want to get stranded on an uncharted island, just to see if you could experience what these seven experienced?
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!
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