Gilligan’s Island

Brady Bunch Party Crashers

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The Brady Bunch is supposed to be Thursday, but since Hell’s Kitchen already crashed the block party, let’s talk about this show now.

Like Gilligan’s Island, this show was created by Sherwood Schwartz.  Like both Gilligan’s Island and The Beverly Hillbillies, the entire premise of the show is reveal via theme song.  It’s a story of Carol and her three daughters: Marsha, Jan, and Cindy.  It’s a story of Mike Brady and his three sons: Greg, Peter, and Bobby.  They marry, and that’s the way this family of 8 came to be.

Now really, The Brady Bunch stikes me as quite modern for 1960s television, albeit late 1969 when the series began it’s 5 season run.  It’s a blended family!  I also heard a rumor once that Mike and Carol were the first TV couple shown sharing a bed.  Ooh la la!  Though the mother of the Brady boys is known to be deceased, Carol’s previous marital status is left ambiguous.  Schwartz wanted her to be divorced, but it’s never quite clear if the lovely ladies had a daddy around.

The Brady Bunch is still popular among kids and teens, which to me is a great little piece of pop culture.  We couldn’t live without Marsha, Marsha, Marsha, or, even better, that episode when Marsha takes a football to the face– Oh my nose!  I always thought their ultra mod house was cool too.

With the recent passing of Ann B. Davis, we were reminded of our favorite housekeeper who completed the grid of faces that started each episode.  When I was growing up, the movies starring my girl Shelley Long as Carol were popular, but I always felt like they were fake.  I liked the show and I was a snob about it.  Luckily for me, my friends were watching the show too.  I can start in on I think I’ll go for a walk outside now, the summer sun’s calling my name and get an “I hear ya now!” back from any of them, even today!

Speaking of which, get out there and enjoy the summer sun this fourth of July weekend!  I can’t think of more quintessential American sitcom for today, America’s birthday!

Gilligan on Tuesday

Ah, my favorite night!  Not only did Gilligan’s Island have one of the most memorable theme songs of all time, but the lesser known closing theme was bomb too.

To be honest, I can’t pinpoint what it was about Gilligan’s Island that made me love this show as much as I did.  There were only three seasons, the first of which was in black and white– not even 100 episodes.  I was 9 when I fell in love with this show.  I was young, yes, but show was old.  It started and ended long before I was born.  Yet, there was something about this show that appealed to me.  I could laugh appropriately, the humor not being too advanced for a kid.  Television in the ’60s was tame, eh?  Really, it was the colorful cast of characters– the 7 stranded castaways of the S.S. Minnow that kept me coming back to Gilligan’s Island.

Gilligan’s antics, always ridiculous, kept the castaways island-bound.  The Skipper, well he often got caught up in his “little buddy’s” goof-ups.  The millionaire and his wife were my real favorites– Thurston Howell II and Lovey (who’s name was Eunice, but nobody seems to know that) were a joy for me to watch.   The way they seem to ignore the meager accommodations an uncharted island offers and still live like their on a resort, well, that’s the life, isn’t it?  Mrs. Howell was always my favorite of the girls– Ginger and Mary Ann never really did anything for me.  The professor, though, and his coconut-creations, propelled many-a plot line of rescue attempts, only to be foiled by Gilligan himself.  Rather cyclical, isn’t it?  And that was it.  Every episode the same.  Silly, but oh so fun.  Perhaps this is where I get my love for the episodic format.  We got to know the castaways in those 98 episodes.  We got to love those castaways.

It was something special, and that’s why people still recognize this three season show that premiered 50 years ago.

So join us here each week, my friends, you’re sure to get a smile from 7 stranded castaways here on Gilligan’s Isle

Block Party Summer

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Summer means sunshine, beach trips, and lots of time spent outdoors. I love summer as much as anyone, but while I go on vacation, so do my favorite TV shows. I’m sad that Game of Thrones and Orphan Black are over, and obviously I burned through Orange is the New Black as fast as I could. Regular programming goes on hiatus and gives way to summer schedules. I’m reminded on my favorite channel growing up, Nick at Nite, which never even had original programming, but still switched into “Block Party Summer.” Here is how I remember it:

All summer long
3 hour long blocks
Lucy on Sunday
Andy Griffith Monday
Gilligan on Tuesday
Hillbillies Wednesday
Brady Bunch on Thursday
And Party Crashers Friday

I think this was the schedule from the summer of 2000, meaning I was 11? Nickelodeon switched over to Nick and Nite at some point, and apparently at 11 I had already grown out of cartoons and kids programming. I was a total TV Land/Nick at Nite junkie by age 10.

This week, while I’m on “summer vacation,” let’s chat about the shows that I was watching all summer long. It’s Block Party Summer on nikkisee.com! Here’s the line up:

  • Today is Monday, and there’s no Andy Griffith because this is the one night I wouldn’t watch. I didn’t care for Andy Griffith except for Barney Fife, and that’s because Don Knotts was also Mr. Furley in Three’s Company— which I did love!
  • Tomorrow, we’ll talk about Gilligan’s Island, my very first favorite show.
  • Wednesday, let’s talk The Beverly Hillbillies,
  • Thursday, we’re switching it up.   My Hell’s Kitchen recap, your normally scheduled programming, will be “crashing the party” a day early.
  • The Brady Bunch will show up a bit late to the party on Friday.
  • I Love Lucy will take next Monday, also, I guess, late to the party, but just in time to finish out my vacation!

Does anybody else remember Block Party Summer on Nick at Nite?!

Enjoy a lot of nostalgia while I enjoy the beach!

Remembering Roy Hinkley

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Russell Johnson, “The Professor” of Gilligan’s Island, died today at 89 years old.

Gilligan’s Island means more to me than most. As my first ever TV obsession, it’s the one that started it all. I don’t actually remember my life before Gilligan’s Island– sure I remember life events, but I count my intense connection with certain TV shows as a defining characteristic of myself. Russell Johnson, as Professor Roy Hinkley, is a major part of my childhood.

I started watching Gilligan’s Island on Nick at Nite at the age of 10. It was the first time I invested myself in TV; the first time it truly became something I wanted to talk about. From Gilligan’s Island, my interests spiraled to other shows before my time: The Facts of Life, Three’s Company, Get Smart, Cheers. I was a weird little kid. While girls my age went to see Drew Barrymore, Lucy Lui, and Cameron Diaz as Charlie’s Angels, I was talking about Jaclyn Smith, Farrah Fawsett, and Kate Jackson. I was “old TV show” obsessed back then, and it took years for me to get on board with current TV. Even today, I prefer shows that are over. I want to consume their entirety. Gilligan’s Island was the first of many, but still the first; that makes it significant to me.

Russell Johnson, thank you for being part of something that made me laugh, gave me something to look forward to, and help shaped the person I am today. You’ve left being a legacy rich of pop culture references about coconut phones.