The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

Confessional 5: Gilligan’s Island

Written by: Rob Van Winkle, CC2K Staff Writer

I suppose I should feel worse about this than I do. The theme song has become almost as indelibly a part of our culture as cartoon-character theme parks and fast food slogans. The characters are at least as archetypal as they are stereotypical. And perhaps the greatest argument in its favor: there’s an entire CC2K article devoted to it . And yet the fact remains: I have never seen Gilligan’s Island. Not once. And I couldn’t be prouder. I think the issue I have with Bob Denver and his lovable crew of misfits is that, no matter how much people might defend this show or purport to love it, NO ONE has ever accused it of being good.  Even I, having never seen an episode, can tell you just how formulaic the whole thing is (someone comes upon a wacky new idea for getting off the island…and at the end, some hilarious goof up prevents it from happening. Am I close?), and I would also bet good money that it has not aged well; jokes and storylines that were passable when it first aired seem extremely tired and stupid today.   Given that I missed my window to see this show and get any amusement out of it whatsoever (I’m guess that particular window closed when I was about nine years old), it would seem to me that watching it now would feel sickeningly like time wasted; Gilligan’s Island would be the television equivalent of ruining your appetite on store-bought cake frosting: any enjoyment is fleeting, and the queasiness you’d feel afterwards is far worse. So while I might be missing out on a “classic,” I bet I’m better off for it. {mos_sb_discuss:4}