Saturday, November 9, 2013

GILLIGAN'S ISLAND - An Appreciation

Fifty years ago this month, shooting began on the original pilot of "Gilligan's Island", created and produced by Sherwood Shwartz. Filmed in Hawaii (with the last day of shooting falling on November 22nd, 1963), the pilot was bought by CBS-TV for inclusion on it's Fall, 1964 schedule. Casting changes for three of the characters/actors resulted in very little of the original pilot footage being used for the series proper. From this inauspicious beginning, a cultural phenomenon was created, although none of the cast, crew or producers knew it at the time.

(From left to right: Alan Hale, Bob Denver, Tina Louise, Jim Backus, Natalie Schafer, Dawn Wells and Russell Johnson. All photos under Fair Use)

Despite strong ratings, "Gilligan's Island" was cancelled after only three seasons*, but it has remained in reruns on television worldwide to this very day. The characters of Gilligan and his fellow castaways are icons and the theme song is instantly recognizable to many people across a wide range. For those who do not know, or need a reminder, the premise of the series was simple: take seven people of varying backgrounds and strand them on a deserted island. The plots revolved around two basic themes: getting the hell off the island or surviving some impending catastrophe whether real or imagined.

The stranding of the seven castaways came about after their "three hour tour" was interrupted by a raging storm. The series featured a strong and talented cast starring Bob Denver as Gilligan, Alan Hale, Jr. as The Skipper, Jim Backus as Thurston Howell III, Natalie Schafer as "Lovey" Howell, Tina Louise as Ginger Grant, Russell Johnson as The Professor and Dawn Wells as Mary Ann. Occasionally a "guest star" would drop in on the island (for whatever outlandish reason) or a wonderfully written "dream sequence" was added to a plot to spice things up.

Although Schwartz pitched his series to network executives as a microcosm of society, it was always intended to be played as a broad comedy. The characters of Gilligan and The Skipper were also intended to be an homage to the great comedy team of Laurel and Hardy, as well as representing the bumbling first mate and his loyal leader. The millionaire reprentatives of society were, of course, Mr. Howell, and his wife, Lovey, while Ginger was the Hollywood starlet wannabe; brains and critical thinking in the form of The Professor and lastly, but certainly not least, Mary Ann as the sweet Kansas farm girl next door.

Friday, November 1, 2013

LAX Shooter Had Anti-"New World Order" Papers In His Bag

Just when you thought you could let another in a continuing series of high profile shootings go by, comes word that the latest lone gunman had anti-government propaganda in his conveniently left behind bag. Among the items were references to the New World Order. Now, CBS News, itself a mouthpiece for the New World Order, has its "consultant", John Miller (former head of counter-intelligence for the LAPD of course), actually say that people who believe in the New World Order are conspiracy nut jobs.

Miller calls the concern about the New World Order, "a growing conspiracy group". Mr. Miller, have you been hiding in a cave the last twenty or so years? As can be seen in the video clips listed below, the idea of the New World Order is not new and has been espoused by some very important American people over the years. So, it is very interesting that CBS and other MSM outlets are making it seem like the New World Order is some new, frightening thing that some nut job conspiracy theorist used as an excuse to kill and injure people.