Gilligan's Island: Season 2, Episode 2

Beauty Is as Beauty Does (23 Sep. 1965)

TV Episode  |  TV-G  |   |  Comedy, Family
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Ginger, Mary Ann, and Mrs Howell decide to hold a beauty contest to see who will be named "Miss Castaway." Gilligan has to cast the deciding vote, so everybody else tries to influence his vote.

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Title: Beauty Is as Beauty Does (23 Sep 1965)

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Ginger, Mary Ann, and Mrs Howell decide to hold a beauty contest to see who will be named "Miss Castaway." Gilligan has to cast the deciding vote, so everybody else tries to influence his vote.

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Comedy | Family

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23 September 1965 (USA)  »

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The Most Beautiful Castaway on the Island
10 December 2013 | by (Sooner Nation) – See all my reviews

After learning over the radio that a certain over-aged raven hair co-ed has won a beauty contest, Ginger gets rather tiffed. This causes the Skipper to proclaim Ginger the most beautiful castaway on the island. However, Mr. Howell and the Professor respond by naming Mrs. Howell and Mary Ann as the most beautiful, so Gilligan suggests holding a beauty contest.

Easily one of the most recognizable episodes of the series, this plays a great deal on the "Ginger or Mary Ann" debate with Mrs. Howell thrown in for good measure.

Highlights include Ginger's reaction to the radio report at the beginning of the episode. Gilligan helping the Professor to reel in a big fish which turns out to be Mary Ann's swimsuit, Mr. Howell convincing Gilligan in patriotic fashion that Mrs. Howell deserves to win and finally the pageant itself which gloriously unfolds as each contestant is sabotaged ruthlessly by Mr. Howell and the Professor.

This is an episode that starts off a bit slowly, but has a rousing second act with the pageant that collapses into Mary Ann stepping in glue, Mrs. Howell going into a sneezing fit, and Ginger getting tweaked by paper-wads. A great sequence of events that highlights the episode.

If there is a real star in this episode, it's Jim Backus and his wonderfully expressive performance. Kudos to Russell Johnson for his more animated turn and the Alan Hale does a nice bit in admiring Ginger. Plus, the ladies deserve a lot of credit for their performances as well.

If there are any issues with this particular show, it is in the selection made by Gilligan at the end. It's not so much the selection itself, but the fact that it is rendered rather obviously because of a "guest" actor who is prominently displayed for the first and really only time in the entire series (a brief appearance was made in a first season episode).

Still, this is one of the best episodes of the season featuring good writing and delivery by all the actors involved.

Tidbits & Trivia - Gladys was very briefly seen in the epilogue of "Diamonds are an Ape's Best Friend" in the first season. By today's standards, it's not a very convincing outfit, but the actor inside is quite good.

  • The repeated scenes of Gladys and Gilligan gets a bit wearing, but


this is to help seal in the final decision so that it doesn't catch us off-guard.

  • It's actually somewhat refreshing to see Ginger sport her traditional


cocktail dress in the pageant as its about the only outfit that we've seen before. How Mrs. Howell creates that Revolutionary War outfit is beyond me, but this is Gilligan's Island.

  • While having a bottle of pepper nearby and Mr. Howell carrying straws


is one thing. The random bucket of glue that just happens to be next to the steps is just a little too much to believe.

  • At the fade-out before the epilogue, it's pretty clear that none of


the ladies are happy with the decision. Yet, we only see the men approach Gilligan after the show is over to determine who really won.

  • We will revisit Gilligan's Tic-Tac-Toe obsession in the third season


episode, "The Secret of Gilligan's Island".


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