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In this revival of the popular 1970s television series, Mr. Roarke and his three assistants run a tropical paradise where guests come in to have their wildest dreams and fantasies come true. Written by
In the opening episode, two elements of the original series Fantasy Island (1977) are referenced: the white suits (Roarke in this series makes a point of choosing black) and the infamous "The plane! The plane!" announcement (Roarke orders the underling who does this never to do it again). In a later episode we see a woman living in a trailer with a Ricardo Montalban commemorative plate. See more »
I'd caught a couple of episodes of this when it was on network TV, but it kept being moved around, and was tough to catch.
SciFi Channel shows it, and I find I adore this twisted version of the classic I loved as a child. It's darker, edgier, has a bit of a mean streak at times, but there's just something I love about it. Not quite sure what it is, but I could start with Malcolm McDowell's Mr. Roarke. I have to wonder if his first name is Prospero, considering all the other _Tempest_ parallels...Ariel, Cal(iban), even Miranda.
Nothing ever quite goes as planned in the guests' fantasies, but it's not always bad -- oftentimes they discover that what they wanted would not have satisfied, and the new solution is *far* better, even if it means major disappointment to start. Sounds treacly, doesn't it? Nope. There's a healthy dose of reality in this _Fantasy_ -- Roarke doesn't let guests get away with simply living out a dream. There's always something...extra. [wicked grin] Lessons to be learned.
It's not that Roarke's *always* mean -- there are guests he seems to genuinely like and takes care of accordingly. But there's also an angle of "Be careful what you wish for" that makes this version a cautionary tale as well as a fantasy. It does seem that he has his guests' best interests at heart, when it comes down to it. Realistically benevolent, as it were.
The bits about the budget are pretty funny too -- adds a touch of amusing realism to the fantasy angle.
It's a shame this show didn't make it. Sure, it wasn't the original. I liked the original too, for its own merits. But I really love this one, and wish it had stayed around longer.
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