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"Fantasy Island"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Fantasy Island" More at IMDbPro »

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39 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

"Fantasy Island" deserves better treatment!

9/10
Author: fantasyislander65 from United States
26 November 2008

After reading some of the earlier nasty remarks, I had to put in my two cents. This show was NOT, despite what that goon in Essex thinks, the worst thing that ever aired on TV. I think most of today's TV is much worse (when is this stupid "reality" fad ever going to end??) and there isn't a current show I can stand to watch. Gimme the stuff I grew up with. I'm a 1965 baby and not ashamed to admit it.

This show has been my all-time favorite for almost 30 years. I was in high school when it originally aired and I think it helped me to hang on throughout those miserable days. I was such a misfit back then, and "Fantasy Island" appealed to my imagination. As I was a budding writer in those days, it provided incredible opportunities for me to practice the craft. What a wonderful premise! I won't say it didn't have its faults. Sometimes the scripts were pretty bad, and some of the problems seemed trivial; but it could be good too, and it was a blast to watch and still is. As for the cheesiness factor, well, I think it's unfair to label every single 70s product as cheesy. There was a lot of great stuff back then and this was among the ranks. (BTW, most of the seasons aired in the 80s!!) My favorite episodes came from seasons 2, 3 and 4 mostly.

To those who disparage Hervé Villechaize for his heavy French accent and his short stature: GROW UP and LEARN SOMETHING! It's so easy to make fun when you're "normal" and "perfect". That man made the best of what he was dealt in life, and if you don't like it, that's just tough. Have a little compassion. He's been dead 15 years, and how easy it is to cut down someone who can't defend himself. There's just no shame anymore.

I love this show. So it looks dated. Hate to tell you this, but we didn't have splashy special effects and Blu-Ray discs. We were lucky to have VCRs. Live with it. Accept it for what it is, and that's just plain fun. "Escapist TV" describes it perfectly, and that's what it was for me -- an escape from my rotten real life. And it's still a lot of fun to watch.

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23 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Hey, it wasn't that bad...

Author: tamepoet from United States
26 September 2005

Notwithstanding a liberal dose of 70's cheese, I loved and love Fantasy Island--I actually learned a lot from the show, since they would occasionally base plots on Wuthering Heights, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Most Dangerous Game, and so forth. Mr. Roarke made an interesting God figure, an idea they played up in a few episodes. Most compelling of all is the idea that people go off on vacation to get what they want, and end up instead with what they need. Trite? Yes-- despite the rotating guest stars, it was basically a series of mini-soaps. Mockable points? Bunches, especially if you enjoy that sort of thing. And all those people you just saw goofing about on the Love Boat suddenly turning up and doing something semi- serious for a third of an hour could produce a fair amount of cognitive dissonance. But I maintain the show was still iconic.

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19 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

I liked this show as a kid

Author: mm-39 from Winnipeg
19 July 2004

I used to love this show as a child. What a wonderful concept, a person pays for a vacation, which acts out his or her "Fantasy". Thankfully this was not part of an adult programming. However, the show had reunions of people meeting loves from high school, and events people wanted. The show's writers had imagination too show what you want can turn into a nightmare. Ricardo mentioned this line in every third show. Ricardo, and Tatoo were well casted. As I matured, I will agree with the other posts that the storylines were thin, the sets cheap, along with rushed directing and scripts. Hard to watch again, but the what kept myself watching for a couple of minutes is some of the neat concepts, and the freshness of having new guests every week. With all television, the ideas became old, and they pushed the series 2 years too long.

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

fun memory's from a fun time.

Author: stormruston from victoria bc
18 December 2005

I bought this for my wife, she waited with anticipation for the release date.

If it is not a part of your early teen years it may not appeal to you, as this is all about pleasant memory's.

There is a short but interesting documentary on the DVD set that gives some in-site to how the show came about.

The episodes them-self,for me, are a gentle reminder of how bad and corny and good T.V. was back then. A blast to watch and I really enjoy these as back ground visual and verbal noise as I study.On a good day I will sit and pay attention to the episodes. This is TV folks and it shows, but we liked it then and I enjoy the feelings it brings about now.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Where all your fantasies come true and then screw with you.

Author: Aaron1375
29 May 2012

I watched a few episodes of this show when I was a kid and it most certainly was not a show I enjoyed all that much. It was one of those shows that the others in the household enjoyed watching, and when there is only one television you have no other choice than to watch it yourself or go play in your room by yourself. I usually chose to go into my room and play, but I watched a fair amount of episodes during my day. Not enough to rate the show, mind you, but enough to make a short review anyway. The most memorable thing about this show was when Herve Villechaize as Tattoo would announce the arrival of the plane bringing more unsuspecting dupes to the island where they were hoping to live out their fantasy, but usually ended up learning a valuable lesson instead. This show had many genres that could be attached to it including comedy, drama and even horror so while it was not a favorite of mine, I will say it did manage to at least be different. One never quite knew what to expect when the plane would drop the visitors off because the show could vary wildly. I remember one where the island had some sort of evil spirits floating around. So that is the thing, the show did things differently and was not by the numbers, so while not a favorite I can still acknowledge that it was unique for the time.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

I hope seeing seasons 2-7 on DVD isn't just a fantasy!

10/10
Author: classiccat from United States
23 May 2011

As a teenager in the 70's, this was one of my favorite TV shows. I thought it had a truly unique and amazing idea for a show and there was nothing else like it on TV. I remember being instantly hooked on the show and looked forward to seeing the different guest stars each week fulfill their fantasies or dreams. Each fantasy was like a different show within that hour long period and each fantasy never seemed to turn out the way you thought it would which made the show even more interesting. Ricardo Montalban and (Da Plane!, Da Plane!) Herve Villachaize were great in their roles as hosts of Fantasy Island. I still love watching it and see it has fun and nostalgic. And in my opinion I still think it holds up well for that unique style all its own. After all it must've been a little special to last seven seasons and I hope eventually they all make their way to DVD!

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Amazing!

Author: jwrowe3 from Tampa, FL
5 July 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Here's a great example of a "cult" TV show.

When I was a teenager in the late 1970's, I wouldn't go out(much to the annoyance of my then girlfriend) 'till both Fantasy Island and The Love Boat were over on Saturday nights. Now, living in the Central Time zone, where prime time started at 7pm, as opposed to 8pm on the East, you still had plenty of time to do things, and be home before the parents got mad.

++SPOILERS++

Probably the best example of "escapist television" ever made. You didn't have to be an Einstein to follow the paper thin plots. The basic premise was that the mysterious Mr. Roark would grant guests to his island any wish that they wanted. Fame, fortune, love, whatever. However, according to his trusty helper, Tatoo, one could only visit the Island, only once.

The guests were pretty, the scenery was gorgeous, and you usually felt happy when the show ended.

Paired with "The Love Boat" this was a ratings winning pair for the ABC television network. After it was cancelled, it was replaced by a sort of similar feeling show, "Finders of Lost Loves", that lasted just one season.

As of July 2003, "FI" was running on TVLand.

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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Smiles Everyone, Smiles

6/10
Author: BumpyRide from TCM's Basement
11 August 2006

Originally, this show had a dark side to it which quickly disappeared. The dark side was replaced with silly problems brought on by it's "guest stars." Think of any washed up movie star and they made an appearance on this show. The exotic locale helped, with the plane bringing that week's stars to the island, flying over waterfalls, and mountains along the way. Mr. Roarke would always greet his guests and then turn to Tattoo and say something ominous to him about one of this weeks fantasies, just so we'd stay tuned. This was essentially a landlocked "Love Boat." It was harmless fluff and part of my formative years...how scary is that?

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Where dreams come true

7/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
23 June 2016

When you set out to create a show like Fantasy Island you have to be well read on history and have one good imagination. Glad to say that Fantasy Island showed a good deal of both in their episodes.

One episode I well remember was a pair of women were real big into the Civil War and desired to go back and live the genteel life that Scarlett O'Hara and her family had on Tara. Fantasy Island brought them back all right, but showed them the downside of that era and I'll say no more on the story. The morale of that show was be happy in your own backyard.

Host and impresario of Fantasy Island was the mysterious Mr. Roarke played by Ricardo Montalban. In interviews Montalban said that he never got the real career role on the big screen that defined other of his contemporaries. But on the small screen Montalban got two of them, Mr. Roarke and Khan on Star Trek which went to the big screen also. What powers Roarke drew on to show his guests what they really thought was ideal was left open to the imagination.

For all but one season Montalban had his dwarf companion Herve Villechaize and these two had a gentle and playful repartee. Villechaize had a sad and tragic life, but Fantasy Island left him with a career role and an identity that will linger.

I could never see this show revived because Montalban and Villechaise had such a special chemistry for the small screen.

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Da Music Da Music

10/10
Author: lmstearn from Australia
9 May 2016

Never rated anything else in my life, but if it were for anything here, it would be the concept for the show ... and the music. Perhaps the episodes could have done with a little polishing on the cutting room floor. Perhaps there were too many manufactured. Along with the 48 minute limit on the stories, the low budget, the passing parade of stars and the eternal happy endings. It doesn't matter. Of all the dross that made it on to the commercial channels in those days, this magical production stood out like a 3-bar chevron. The theme by Rosenthal created purely for Fantasy Island is given the best treatment by the studio orchestra and dubbing crew. It is a masterpiece among show themes of the 20th Century but sadly to-date there is no published compilation of its many variations. Encore!

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