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The Real Gilligan’s Island, Episode 1: The Ship’s Agroundby William Ingram -- 12/01/2004
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a tale of a fateful trip.”
-- Theme to Gilligan’s Island
Well, the day is finally here. We’ve waited forty years for new episodes of Gilligan’s Island, and now we are getting them. But, this is not your father’s Gilligan’s Island. Our host for the show, Scott Laskey, welcomes us and describes what we are about to see.
He takes on a tour of the tropical island paradise. There are grass huts, just like in the original, exercise bicycles, and contraptions made of bamboo, hammocks to sleep in, and assorted other props that look like they came out of the original series.
Scott also explains that the players in this game will look and feel like they came out of the original show as well. He shows us a video montage of the thousands of people who auditioned for the show. It’s amazing how many people can look like Ginger or Gilligan. I suppose there are a lot of out-of-work actors around these days. But the casting directors insisted that only people with the correct profession could play each role. That means that a real skipper had to play the Skipper, a real professor had to play the Professor, and so on.
The videos are all kind of amusing, and I won’t be able to describe them all, except to say that there were many people who brought, shall we say, creativity to their parts. Fortunately, the directors made sure to pick out the one who played their parts straight up. You can read my preview article for some of the details of who was chosen.
Back on the island, Scott tells us that that the big twist will be that they’ve chosen two complete teams of castaways to play the game. And neither team knows about the other. The first time they meet will be after they wash up on shore after their respective shipwrecks.
Let’s meet the first team - the Gold Team. At some unnamed marina, Gilligan Chris arrives and boards the S.S. Minnow. He tells us about the time he was distracted by a girl in a bikini and crashed a million dollar boat into a two million dollar boat. He is followed by Skipper Bob, Mary Ann Kate, Professor Pat, Millionaires Glenn and Mindy, and movie star Rachael Hunter. Skipper Bob turns to movie star Rachael and says, “So, you’re a movie star, huh?” I guess he doesn’t read People magazine very often.
And so they shove off and head out on their three-hour tour. The Skipper and Gilligan spend their time discussing “Mary Ann or Ginger?” I have a question, though. Shouldn’t they be steering the boat?!? No wonder they crashed.
Meanwhile, the second team, the Green Team, assembles at another marina, on another ship, also called the S.S. Minnow. Things pretty much go the same way as the first team, as we meet Gilligan Gooner, Skipper Jim, Mary Ann Amanda, Professor Eric, Millionaires Bill and Donna, and movie star Nicole Eggert. They shove off as well. We find out that Professor Eric is openly gay, and that Donna has a major problem with gay people. The sparks will fly.
Meanwhile, we get to hear the new version of the opening theme song, as performed by the punk/ska band, Bowling for Soup. I have to give the version a thumbs up.
The Gold Team arrives on the island. We find the S.S. Minnow (it’s a prop, of course) wrecked on the island. The castaways emerge from it and head towards their living quarters. Scott is there to welcome them. He explains that things may not be as easy as they thought. He prepares them for their first surprise.
As we know by now, it’s the Green Team! Both teams are shocked by this new development and worried about their competition. As if on cue, Gilligan Gooner stumbles and falls down. Gilligan Chris tells us that he’s relived, because he always thought he was the clumsiest person he knew.
Scott informs the two teams that they will be facing off against each other as teams and as individuals. As one of each pair is eliminated, they will be banished to the other side of the island where they will have no chance at the grand prize. No mention is made of what the prize is. He then leaves them to get used to their new surroundings.
We start off in Ginger and Mary Ann’s hut. All four of them will be sharing it. They begin to unpack, and we hear some of them voice over how rough it’s going to be with the four of them living together. Can you say, “Catfight?”
The millionaires are not really impressed by their shared hut. Donna begins by saying, “This will not do,” while knocking on the hardwood beds.
The professors get their own hut, and we discover that the two men think very much alike, as they both had assumed that they would have had to build their huts and tools from scratch. They vow to work together, but they also note that they will have to be careful, since they will be competing against each other later on.
The castaways start exploring their surroundings, looking for basic supplies such as food and water. Professor Eric leads the way and starts explaining how to find edible berries and fruits. In confessional, Millionaire Donna tells us that she was offended by how Eric took over the show and wanted to be the center of attention. She expresses her disgust that, not only is he gathering fruit, he is a fruit.1 2 3 Next-->
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