Gilligan for President!

More on the genius of Sherwood Schwartz:

“Gilligan’s Island” reflected the political confidence of 1960s America in the midst of the Cold War.

This was by intent.  Schwartz didn’t accidently stumble into a motif.  He raised some very big questions, and gave some very big answers, in a show that was also supremely silly and fun.

And of course the proper answer to the toughest-seeming question of all: 

Ginger and Mary-Ann.

About wormme

I've accepted that all of you are socially superior to me. But no pretending that any of you are rational.
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1 Response to Gilligan for President!

  1. waytoomanydaves says:

    I’m afraid you are being far too generous here.

    If Schwartz exhibited genius or made some sort of social commentary, it was purely accidental. His products were created to be disposable and forgettable, once you’d seen the commercials they were designed to get you to watch, and it was in the hands of others that they became long-running hits in syndication. How these schlocky, substance-free sitcoms achieved such success says far more about America’s low-brow tastes than it does about the shows’ creator.

    Gilligan’s Island… what can we say that hasn’t already been said? Oh, I know: it was a show that celebrated Marxist/Leninist values. The seven “castaways” were shown living in communal utopia, each giving to the whole according to his abilities, and taking from the magically never-ending supply of coconuts and papayas according to his needs. Never were we shown a serious disagreement in need of dispute resolution by a civil authority. Never were we allowed to consider that the seven might face a shortage of resources, as must inevitably happen in such a tiny and closed-off system. Even if there was some sort of hidden message about America in all of that, to my mind it is lost in the thunderous silence of what could have been said, but wasn’t.

    And… The Brady Bunch. Good grief. What was the Brady Bunch, if not the world’s longest running infomercial, endlessly trying to sell us on the virtues of blended families and no-fault divorce? (Mike Brady was a widower, but Carol Brady was a divorcee, and in California, that can only mean one thing.) The premise itself is hysterically unlikely. Clearly, Mike Brady must have had the income of a rock star or professional athlete, to be able to afford six children, a full-time housekeeper/cook, and a wife whose only occupation seemed to be looking beautiful enough to be on TV, since her new husband had been good enough to hire somebody to do everything else. Again, Sherwood and the networks passed on far more chances to say something meaningful than they accepted. Consider, for instance, what commentary might have been made had the two oldest children conceived a child together, which is at least as likely as not to have happened under those conditions, in any decade you want to choose.

    I simply refuse to celebrate the garbage dished out to us by the networks in the 60s and 70s. This stuff made us measurably dumber, as a nation, and made us numb to the corruption of our social fabric that was gaining momentum around that time.

    Meh.

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