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kmcelhaney005

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57 reviews in total 
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7 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Excellent Premise, Bad Execution, 16 July 2015
5/10

This was a show I really, really want to like and admittedly there are some chuckles in the first four episodes. However, the show itself suffers from a combination of poor writing and bad structure to really make it work.

While everyone has their own sense of humor which means that what is hilarious to one person is eye-rolling to another, the big issue I have with "Another Period" is that the structure of the show is very schizophrenic.

The always hot Christina Hendricks plays "Chair", a newly arrived servant in a house full of servants and is seemingly at first the center of the series. A sort of "Barney Miller" set-up where Chair is the sane person surrounded by all the crazy people in the house.

However, the structure of the show is more in line with the classic Christopher Guest films such as "Best in Show" where all the major characters talk to us (the audience). With so much time given to the "crazy" people, the "Barney Miller" effect is greatly reduced and so is the comedy.

It also doesn't help that the delivery of the jokes is as subtle as a hammer to the head. Too much invested in "shock" and not enough in story makes this a real hit and miss affair.

On the positive side, Riki Lindhome (Beatrice) can act stupid with the best of them and Brian Husky (Victor) seems to get what's going on. However, Michael Ian Black (Peepers...really?)is an acquired taste for sure as he tries to manage a half of a facial expression, much less act.

There are moments, fleeting moments where I can feel the show start to really take off and then SPLAT, it just sits there staring at you as if they are surprised you are not laughing at bad joke they just told. Oh well, at least it doesn't seem to have cost too much and perhaps someday a good writer will craft something really funny out of this material.

20 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
Worse than Bad, it is Boring, 10 June 2015
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There is very little to say about "United Passions" that has not been covered in other reviews. However, the biggest crime committed other than the celebration of FIFA as this above-board, honest organization thanks to Sepp Blatter (not), is that the film itself is dreadfully boring.

Essentially, United Passions starts with the beginnings of FIFA as they must contend with racist English people (their view, not mine) in the 1920s and works its way through the decades until the end when South Africa is awarded the 2010 World Cup, something we now know to be fixed.

Virtually every scene that is not stock footage of the World Cup games is a meeting between executives. While there might be some that find well dressed people muttering in low tones for two hours to be riveting, I was not so moved.

Furthermore, the film makes being a FIFA president appear to be the most boring, most uninteresting job on the planet and even the fancy locations like Rio for example cannot crack a smile for anyone. Sam Neill and Tim Roth who carry most of the picture seem half-unconscious throughout.

Even the framing device of kids playing a soccer game is dull, despite the only girl on either team (playing the goalie) who apparently cannot block a shot, suddenly takes the ball down the pitch like Pele and nails a 20 foot shot. She is carried off the pitch by players from BOTH teams and yet even that was boring.

Even as a propaganda device, this is a horrible film. It's little wonder that it made less than $1,000 on its opening weekend in the US, a figure that is virtually impossible to obtain, yet it is somehow fitting for both FIFA and this film.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
If only they could read my mind..., 18 April 2014
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Certainly one of the more memorable episodes of Gilligan's Island, we begin with Gilligan building a larger birdhouse when we discover he can read the Skipper's mind. The secret it seems comes from Gilligan eating seeds from an unusual bush. Pretty soon, all the castaways are wanting their own seeds and trouble breaks out.

Highlights include the Skipper trying to read Gilligan's mind, Gilligan reading Mr. Howell's mind and Jim Backus going into full comic mode, especially when he and Mrs. Howell pace the floor in their hut, Gilligan telling Ginger the "psychiatrist" how his parents used to beat him...in a manner of speaking, the castaways plotting to find the bush that produces the seeds and practically running over Gilligan when he produces them, the castaways starting to tear each other apart after gaining the ability to read minds, the Skipper informing Ginger that indeed he does know what she thinks and Gilligan being complimented by the other male castaways for burning the bush with the seeds.

Overall, this is actually a pretty good episode that gives all the castaways something to do or "think" for once. While the idea of mind-reading seeds is way out there, it's actually handled in a pretty good way.

Tidbits & Trivia

- We actually get to see two huts at once early on in this episode, something that is rather rare.

- Gee, even after we see the Professor convinced that Gilligan can read minds, we see him later arguing with the Skipper that he can't...so what happened?

- Funny, the Skipper is now in the top hammock, something we rarely see. But for some reason they switch back at the end of the episode.

- The Professor's assertion that the fights occurring between the castaways are the first real ones they have had since being on the island is simply not true, although the intensity of the arguing may be greater.

- With the bush already uprooted, wouldn't it be better to just toss it into the ocean? Besides, how could such a little bush produce so many seeds in the first place?

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
And the Postman Taketh Away..., 17 April 2014
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Mary Ann sends out messages in bottles meant for her boyfriend, Horace Higgenbothem on a regular basis. When the other castaways discover that the boyfriend in question is going to get married, the single men on the island decide to "woo" Mary Ann to help ease her pain...well, as soon as they tell about her boyfriend of course. Meanwhile, Mary Ann misinterprets their actions and thinks she may be dying from eating poisonous mushrooms.

Highlights include the wonderful recharging machine complete with coconuts, wires and the Skipper running the bicycle device, the Skipper and the Professor using the "democratic" way to have Gilligan tell Mary Ann, the "Old Doctor Young" radio broadcast, Mr. Howell explaining why he can't be Mary Ann's "dream man", Mrs. Howell teaching Gilligan to be more romantic, the professor's "load" comment to Ginger (very nice), Gilligan trying to be Charles Boyer, the Skipper like Marshall Dillon and the Professor as Larry Storch imitating Cary Grant, the Skipper beating Gilligan at arm wrestling over and over again, the dream sequence is well done, particularly Jim Backus and his wacky wig and the old "walk this way" joke.

Overall, an interesting premise, although it is rather funny that Mary Ann never mentioned Horace before now, especially after considering the possibility of hooking up with Gilligan in the previous season. The silliness reaches new heights with all three bachelors acting like...well, idiots in trying to be Mary Ann's "dream man". Plus, the episode is stretched when the dream sequence basically repeats the previous scene of the men trying to "woo" Mary Ann in her hut.

Still, if you can take all the silliness, it's not a bad episode and at least features Mary Ann which is something rather rare for the three seasons of Gilligan's Island.

Tidbits & Trivia

- The first time we see Mary Ann, we see her bellybutton as well. This was a big no-no for television censors at the time, but for some reason she got away with it many times, including in this scene.

- So, Mary Ann has been sending out a bottle a week? Just where do all the bottles come from and why use them for that? Later, Gilligan says it's "every day"...that's a lot of bottles.

- As Gilligan leaves Mary Ann in their first scene, she smiles and "grits" her teeth while opening her eyes really wide. It would seem that Dawn Wells thought the scene was over, yet they kept this really odd reaction.

- We see the Skipper utilize a seemingly more practical way to recharge the batteries, but why are they still in the radio? You can't recharge them unless both the positive and negative pole are connected to the recharger...oh well, this is Gilligan's Island after all.

- This episode does continue Mary Ann's obsession with radio dramas. Interestingly enough, in last season's episode "X Marks the Spot" she talked about another radio drama she enjoyed which was the same episode in which the radio batteries were recharged, just like this episode.

- So, all three of our bachelors attempt to "woo" Mary Ann at virtually the same time? Well, the episode is only a half-hour I suppose.

- We hear Gilligan mention that he has a sister for perhaps the first time in the series.

- When Mary Ann Wakes up from her dream, Ginger, Gilligan, Skipper and the Professor stand in her room in a similar position to the farmhands in "The Wizard of Oz" when Dorothy wakes up from her dream.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Calling for a Plot..., 17 April 2014
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After a very violent storm, a telephone cable washes ashore and allows the castaways to actually make a phone call for help. However, they have to find the right phone line first and remember how phone calls work for them to be rescued. Meanwhile, Ginger finds out that her life story is going to be made into a movie.

Highlights include the Professor walking up and down the cable with Gilligan and the Skipper mimicking his moves, Ginger finding out about the movie on her life, Mr. Howell ranting about his silver lame' polo shirt, the Howells describing why they celebrate certain events such as December 14th, the continued discovery of just how many things Gilligan has screwed up, the Skipper sniffing the gas and doing his own "happy dance" and the many phone calls that go awry.

Overall, this is a middling episode with one absolutely enormous hole in the story logic. Even if you cannot remember someone's phone number, you can always ask the operator to connect you to a particular person and reverse the charges. It seems that no castaway remembers that little bit, so naturally they don't get rescued. Otherwise, there are a few laughs as always and the episode itself is passable, but certainly not memorable.

Tidbits & Trivia

- Laugh tracks are really strange beasts in that they tell us when to laugh. So when it's used under the Skipper's line, "...and I'll make some coffee." it makes absolutely no sense.

- The Professor's blowtorch cannot work the way he is using it. While there may be gas inside the bottle, nothing is forcing it through the opening. If anything, the gas would blow up when ignited.

- When the Skipper tells the Professor they've had no luck in finding someone they could understand, he certainly does understand the Hawaiian dialect because he translates what they are saying to Gilligan.

- The actual "dialing" of the numbers seems rather odd. Wouldn't you rather be connected to the operator? And if so, wouldn't you try to just have the "0" connection activated?

- Why is the Professor setting up such an elaborate series of colored vines? Just what does he hope to accomplish that a simple color chart wouldn't do?

- As it has been mentioned, the rain started before Gilligan would have been able to cover the wires with the liquid rubber. However, Gilligan did cut some of the wires earlier in the episode which should be enough for the phone company to investigate. Although, the phone cable could be many miles away by now.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Who's Not Guilty?, 7 April 2014
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

We start with Gilligan and the Skipper landing a box full of coconuts wrapped in newspaper, a story on one of which reveals that a passenger on the SS Minnow is suspected of murder.

Highlights include the Professor proudly showing off his new coconut splitter, the girls happily cooking up some poison, the Skipper and Gilligan fumbling around in the Howells hut, Gilligan and the Skipper suspecting each other in the night, Mr. Howell complaining about the hut not being properly cleaned, the scene with everyone agreeing not to be suspicious (nicely done), everyone save for Gilligan and the Skipper confessing that they knew and hated Randolph Blake, the Skipper shooting his own photo right between the eyes, the overly-dramatic way the camera pans down to the feet of each potential "killer" right before its revealed that they don't kill Blake and the epilogue scene with a nifty visual gag involving the Skipper.

Overall, this is an above average, but still rather middling episode since there are several flaws in logic (mentioned below) and the middle part is stretched to fill time as the "shock" of seeing the Professor and his guillotine is repeated again and again. However, enough of the castaways have some nice moments which makes it an okay, but hardy memorable episode.

Tidbits & Trivia

- The opening shot of the lagoon with Gilligan fishing and the Skipper building a raft is straight from "Mine Hero" two episodes earlier. You'll note that the raft the Skipper was working on is nowhere in sight after the first shot.

- One confusing element of the story is that the Skipper and Gilligan didn't know the murder victim, yet according to the newspaper article they are suspects as well.

- Nice Perry Mason mention as it was also a CBS show at the time, although for long time Perry fans like myself, the butler "rarely" did it despite Gilligan's belief otherwise.

- Once again proving that one episode has little to do with the other, in "Mine Hero" the Professor was desperately searching for metal which is scarce on the island, yet the guillotine blade in this episode is loaded with metal. Perhaps he shaped some from the exploded mine?

- You can see the splits in the coconuts before the Professor drops the blade.

- So, the Skipper thinks the Howells may not actually be rich? Assuming he never heard of them before, then he must have forgotten the radio report of their fabulous wealth in "Two on a Raft" that described them as billionaires.

- It is implied strongly by the Professor that the SS Minnow left on a night cruise, yet we all know it was broad daylight and probably in the morning.

- The Skipper shooting his own photograph between the eyes is a nice touch, but the photo itself appears to be part of the publicity stills for Gilligan's Island.

- When Gilligan leans into the cash register after the Howells leave, a "No Sale" sign pops up.

- Mary Ann sports a dramatically different hairstyle than normal, an interesting touch.

- Funny that the Skipper was so convinced that the killing was an accident and yet seems so surprised when that turns out to be the case.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
One Interesting Episode, Dah-ling!, 5 April 2014
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The very famous and fabulously wealthy Erika Tiffany-Smith lands on Gilligan's Island looking for a deserted island and finds the castaways instead. It's not long before Ms. Smith is smitten with the Professor, but will love really prevail?

Highlights include Gilligan's first reaction to meeting Erika Tiffany-Smith, Mrs. Howell not being too happy about being rescued by Ms. Smith and their first meeting, Mr. Howell mispronouncing Mary Ann & the Professor's last names, although it's understandable given how few times we hear them, Mr. Howell's reaction to Ms. Smith gazing upon the Professor, Ginger being playful with Gilligan as his eyes are shut, the Skipper asking Ginger for advice and reciting a poem straight from the "...Nantucket" school of thought, Ginger "schooling" the Professor, and the final scene of Gilligan tossing out the Skipper's clothes from his sea chest.

Overall, this is actually a fun episode that allows Zsa Zsa Gabor to interact with all the castaways in her unique manner. The fact is that Erika Tiffany-Smith is basically Zsa Zsa Gabor anyway, which makes it all the more fun. Admittedly, the reaction to her arrival does seem rather odd considering that immediate rescue would be on their minds instead of trying to impress Ms. Smith, but it does work well enough to make this one of the better episodes of the season.

Tidbits & Trivia

- Arguably the most famous aspect of this episode is the implausible nature of the ending where Ms. Smith cannot remember the location of the island. She doesn't have to remember, there is Johnny whom we saw in the episode who can remember it for her. Even producer Sherwood Schwarts admitted that it was a goof beyond comprehension.

- This is the first color episode where a motorized boat appears in the lagoon.

- The scene of the Professor talking to Gilligan about Ms. Smith uses words that are about as close to sexual metaphors as we ever get on Gilligan's Island, even if that was not the Professor's intent.

- The brief shot of the turtle the Professor is talking about is clearly stock footage in what appears to be semi-arid or even desert environment, something not found on a tropical island. Plus, we see a turtle in the epilogue scene, why didn't they shoot a single shot of that instead?

- Oddly, the Professor is pacing in the Skipper and Gilligan's hut when Mr. Howell arrives to tell him the bad news. Shouldn't he be in his own hut?

- The epilogue scene is another rare one for the series as it ends the plot of the show rather than comments on it. However, why after three days is the Skipper still packing his sea chest when he was packing it during the storm just after Ms. Smith left?

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A Mine Disaster, that's for sure..., 4 April 2014
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Gilligan manages to catch more than he bargained for when he pulls a World War II mine up from the lagoon while fishing. After some misconceptions, the others discover the mine and try to disarm it. However, Gilligan naturally fouls it all up and then heroically decides to get rid of the mine himself...or does he.

Highlights include the Skipper restraining himself after hitting his thumb with the hammer, the design of the mine itself which is quite impressive, so kudos to the props department on that one, Mrs. Howell beating Mr. Howell at badminton and letting him know it, the Howells discussing the "iron mine" with Gilligan, Gilligan getting his lucky charm back from Ginger, the men running over Gilligan to get away from the mine, Mr. Howell explaining the insurance options for the Professor, and Gilligan towing the mine out into the lagoon.

Another middling episode that doesn't get much farther than it's idea, what if Gilligan brought a WW2 mine ashore. While there are a few laughs and some nice sight gags, the whole episode feels stretched as if they had 10 minutes of ideas and packed in about 15 minutes of filler.

Tidbits & Trivia

- We start the episode at the lagoon and the large rock formation last seen in "The Chain of Command" has made a return. Those rocks sure do get around.

- The buoyancy of the mine is not consistent. When Gilligan first pulls it from the lagoon, it's almost fully underwater with some seaweed on it. Later, when it goes back into the lagoon it's almost too buoyant, floating up really high on water.

- I know one thing, I want some of Gilligan's fishing line that enabled him to pull a mine weighing hundreds of pounds. Of course, just how did skinny Gilligan manage to pull the mine up onto the beach, anyway? - When the Skipper is explaining to Gilligan that he should fillet whatever it is he caught, he's clearly hold a rope that is trying to pass for a vine.

- You know, the Professor's idea of a floating SOS in the shipping lanes is a good one. Strange he dropped the idea after this episode. Still, with so little metal on the island it would seem that rocks would be a better solution to act as the anchor.

- Mr. Howell's statement, "Your serve, Pancho" to Mrs. Howell is probably a reference to Pancho Gonzales, one of the greatest tennis players of any era who dominated the sport for most of the 1950s and early 1960s.

- Mary Ann's jewelry box is the "Jewel" cracker box which made its debut in the 1st season episode, "New Neighbor Sam".

- The Professor's idea to short circuit the magnetism is just plain goofy as the radio doesn't broadcast, it only receives.

- So, if they were so short of metal, why is there a metal rudder on the raft?

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Is This Our Last Hour with Gilligan?...well, maybe not..., 23 December 2013
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

While building a bathtub, Gilligan gets bit on the neck by a big green bug with yellow wings. According to the Professor's book, it is the deadly "mantis canti" whose bite will kill a human in just 24 hours. Is Gilligan doomed? Well....

Although any episode would be a letdown after "Don't Bug the Mosquitoes", this one is a read downer all on it's own. However, it does have some redeeming qualities.

Highlights include the Skipper telling Gilligan to never send out his bathtub navy without air cover, Gilligan showing the symptoms of being bit, even though we know the real causes, the Skipper breaking the news about Gilligan to the girls apparently without being tactful, the Howells in practically everything they do, the Professor explaining to Gilligan the importance of the syrup...um, serum, the castaways all dressed to protect themselves, only to get bit, the castaways begging the Professor for serum that he hasn't developed yet, the castaways reacting to the Professor holding the bug close to them and finally the epilogue scene which is actually quite good.

This episode does highlight something that castaways would face, the threat of deadly insects, snakes or other creatures. Unfortunately, the seriousness of the issue does work against the comedy. The party they throw Gilligan ends so sadly that the rest of the show really never recovers, no matter how many castaways get bit on the rear. Still, the ending is quite nice with the Skipper's final line almost being out of character. A nice, but not so memorable episode.

Tidbits & Trivia

- Since we've seen very little of the shower stall these days, I suppose the castaways need a bathtub. As usual, the bathtub is never to be seen again after this episode.

- Why would the Skipper ask Gilligan if he was actually bit by the bug, couldn't he look himself?

- Gilligan saying the bath is for "Saturday nights" reflects the old tradition of taking a bath only one night a week. It's often used as a joke in many movies and TV shows of the time, but now it's rather lost.

- As Mary Ann leaves the Skipper with the pie, she runs into, then ducks under a big leaf.

- We do not see the Howells until almost 9 minutes into the episode and we catch them just starting to walk when they should have been walking for a while.

- In addition to his inability to secure a decent education, Skinny Mulligan cheats at bobbing for apples.

- It seems that Gilligan, Mrs. Howell and the Professor have derrières that this dreaded bug does not find attractive.

- The bug itself is not a very good looking prop as it only sits there.

- So, just how does the Professor know that the bug is not poisonous? Of course, since Gilligan didn't show any symptoms after a while, I suppose that would have been a really good clue. Still, shouldn't the rest of the castaways continue to get the ingredients needed for the serum anyway?

- Hmm, I wonder where Gilligan got the red and yellow plastic boats?

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Get Us Off the Island. Yea! Yea! Yea!, 23 December 2013
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Mosquitoes, the most popular rock band right now (back then) decide to get some R & R on a deserted island that just happens to have Gilligan 'n crew.

An excellent send-up of The Beatles, the British rock invasion and the youth culture, this episode hits on all cylinders.

Highlights include Gilligan jamming out to the songs while the Skipper gets more and more furious, Mr. Howell's almost sliding entrance when first seeing The Mosquitoes, in fact, all of Mr. Howell's reactions to the Mosquitoes are priceless, the girls reaction to first seeing the band and Mrs. Howell trying to give them haircuts, the initial concert with Mary Ann and Gilligan nearly freaking out, the conga line the castaways form when thinking they are going home the next day, the Skipper ranting about having to be put in an isolation ward, the absolutely horrible singing group formed by the men and the absolutely wonderful group formed by the girls, Mr. Howell's Ed Sullivan impersonation as he introduces the Honeybees, and the epilogue scene that pretty much wraps up the show.

While this episode stretches reality even further in some ways than far out episodes like, "Smile, You're on Mars Camera", it really works. The band itself is a thinly veiled reference to The Beatles, even down to the head-shaking and the songs are actually pretty good. There are lots of big laughs and many little comedy bits which will make you smile. This is arguably the best Gilligan's Island episode ever.

Tidbits & Trivia

- This episode starts during the daytime and NOT at the lagoon, which is a real change of pace.

- Even Mr. Howell knows who The Mosquitoes are? Shoot, they must be huge.

- We are suppose to believe that the tiny helicopter carried all four band members, equipment and luggage to the island...really? Well, I suppose if I can buy that they are playing their guitars without any electricity, amps or speakers....

- If the Mosquitoes are only a recent phenomenon, then how can Gilligan possibly have all their albums? - Apparently, Irving is in the band for his looks because his bass playing ability is not exactly setting the world on fire.

- While being on the island another month may seem torturous, considering how long our castaways have already been on the island...

- While noise-making plan makes some sense, wouldn't it just be easier to find the transmitter they must have about?

- One of the Mosquitoes wears a hairnet to bed while the drummer has a great nightshirt. Irving it appears has no change of clothes and while he apparently doesn't talk, we do hear him scream as he is fleeing from Mrs. Howell.

- With the wig on, Bob Denver is a near-dead ringer for Ringo Starr.

- The name of the male "singing" group is "The Gnats".

- The Honeybees are really exceptional and even Mrs. Howell is strangely delightful and actually gets a rare close up.

- The final resolution in the epilogue is a rather cruel turn by the Mosquitoes...you'd think that they or perhaps the helicopter pilot would tell someone at some point about the castaways....


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