cast of Gilligan's Island

Last week I was surfing around the web and came across Margie and Edna’s Basement. I’ve been reading their blog for ages and love it. Last week they had a little video montage of classic shows from the 60’s. I played it while the kids were in the room with me since I knew there would be nothing they shouldn’t see. As I was watching it I came across shows I had forgotten and some I really missed. Of the many shows featured there were only two I hadn’t heard of.

I was a kid of the 70’s. The first generation to spend gobs of time in front of the boob tube, as they liked to call it back then. I assume they called it that because it made boobs out of the people watching rather than that there were boobs all over the place. Of course it was the 70’s and there were a lot of boobs. Clothed boobs rather than the naked boobs we see all over cable now.

Anyway, as I am watching this montage an image of Gilligan’s Island is shown. My son was standing next to me watching the video and asked what that show was about.

I was stunned. My son has not seen one episode of Gilligan’s Island. This disturbs me to no end for some reason. Worse, he is not alone. I polled several of his friends this weekend and none of them have seen an episode of Gilligan’s Island.

I didn’t raise my kid in a barn. We have several TVs in the house. There is no reason he couldn’t have caught an episode. It’s still in syndication and I’m sure he could find an episode on YouTube if he searched.

I watched a lot of TV when I was a kid. When I got home from school I watched TV until the evening news was on and then I went to do something else because the news was just a big buzz kill. I watched, in order, Gilligan’s Island, The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, Hogan’s Heroes, Love American Style, and Room 222.

Gilligan’s Island had a huge impact on me. At first it just taught me the basics about how to get along with a bunch of people you don’t necessarily like. Ginger was a diva and MaryAnne just irritated me but the Professor was cute and Lovey was the kind of grandma I wanted to have. Not too bright but really rich. The guest star episodes were always special. As I got older I understood more of the underlying themes of the show and I had my first taste of Shakespeare from Gilligan’s Island. Who from that era is able to read Hamlet’s famous soliloquy without singing it to The Toreador Song? Probably no one.

Gilligan’s Island also taught me to questions things. The Professor was a brilliant man, I don’t think anyone can dispute that fact, but yet he couldn’t get them off the damn island. He could power a radio using coconuts but just didn’t have the skill to fix the boat. This realization was an eye opener for me and led me to question just about every authority figure I have met since those days. They might think they know everything but can they get everyone off the island? Until they can they can’t pass themselves off as an authority.

I’m bothered that my son and his whole generation haven’t seen Gilligan’s Island. I’m on a mission now to ensure that this generation doesn’t continue down the path they are on. I will find a way, at least in my house, to make sure these kids see this wonderfully educational show.

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