Everything I need to know in life I learned from Gilligan's Island reruns
I'm not going to lie, Gilligan's Island is a great show, and it's probably in my top five TV shows of all time. Sure, you can find fault in the premise. I mean seriously, who packs that much clothing for a three hour tour? And, I know if I had been with the group, I would seriously consider locking Gilligan in his hut indefinitely after he ruined/accidentally sabotaged nine rescue attempts and crushed one MacGyver-style coconut phone. The show explored simple themes and was pure, uncomplicated fun, without any of the grey mess associated with excessive character development and moral ambiguity. However, it wasn't always smooth sailing in an island paradise for the Minnow castaways, let's not forget the cannibals who visited the island from time to time. They were pretty intense.
Let's start with Ginger, the red haired movie star. I think she definitely over-packed for her island tour, but I'm pretty grateful she did. Those gowns were fantastic, and she was always very glamorous, even in adverse circumstances and an unpredictable environment. That lady stuck to her routine. I think there is a lesson to be learned from Ginger. When things get tough, the tough get pretty. Sometimes it just feels better put yourself together, even though it may not be logical or particularly practical. Ginger rocked out her fancy gowns even though it made no sense on a deserted island, and I think that is awesome.
The Professor was logical and practical. His scientific knowledge and ability to improvise solutions nearly got the castaways rescued every episode. He was also arguably the most handsome man on the island as well. Brains are sexy, and on a deserted island you're going to need someone to make things happen. The Professor's ingenious inventions and solutions were pretty remarkable and his intelligence was hugely valued by the castaways, who in their normal lives may not have thought twice about his social value as a high school science teacher.
Money won't buy much on a deserted island, and the Howells, although scandalously wealthy at home, quickly became just like everyone else, covered in sand and sunburned. Money is something we stress ourselves out about daily, but really in survival type situations our wits, experiences, and sheer determination are what define us, not the amount of dinero in our bank accounts.
Gilligan was a bit of a jackass, but he had a good heart. He may not have been the brightest, but in sucky situations a good laugh can work wonders, improving morale and keeping everyone in a good place psychologically. He was accident-prone and unbelievably clumbsy. He foiled many a rescue attempt, but as a clown figure he was always good for a laugh. Laughter really can be the best medicine when faced with adversity.
Gingham is classic and rarely goes out of style. Mary Ann also frequently wore pig-tails which is a fairly practical hairstyle. Her rural roots and down-home nature kept her level-headed and realistic about the castaway's island situation. She was good natured and amicable even in an uncertain environment. Nice girls do not finish last, and Mary Ann was a good example of the value of kindness and optimism.
The Skipper was a bit volatile at times, but he did his best to be a fair leader, and coupled with the Professor's improvisation abilities, they were able to make the best out of their situation. The Skipper knew the sea and kept the castaways safe when the "weather started getting rough" and got the group safely to the island. Even if you don't really feel like being a leader for more than a three hour tour, sometimes it happens, and you have to do your best.
When things get hard, sometimes the only comfort you have is in the company you keep. Leaning on people for support, and sharing a laugh or two, is the best way to get through any difficult situation.
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