Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale; a tale of a writer who wants an hour of his life back.
“The Real Gilligan’s Island” makes the original look like a masterpiece, which is saying something. While the classic sitcom had a camp appeal, this spin-off is nothing more than an attempt to cash in on the reality craze.
In the pilot, the audience learns of casting calls for two teams of real-life versions of the original cast. In the case of Ginger, the term “movie star” is used in its loosest form, as Rachel Hunter (“Are You Hot?”) and Nicole Eggert (“Baywatch”) are the B-listers added to the cast. Upon arriving on the island, the crews learn that there are two identical teams, creatively named Green and Gold. The castaways compete in challenges, both as teams and against their doppelgangers, to avoid banishment and win the opportunity to be rescued. Presumably, the losers will be left on the island.
As on the original “Gilligan’s Island,” the millionaires receive beds made of cement, and the Gilligans and Skippers have the always-popular two-tiered hammocks. Other props from the original series, such as radios, are provided to give the audience a feeling of nostalgia.
Viewers will notice the dramatic reality-show conventions from the start. The Green Team’s castaways appear to have been selected to fight each other as soon as they arrive on the island. Meanwhile the Gold Team’s Gilligan and Mary-Ann begin to get intimate, which almost appears staged, trying to capitalize on the media’s attention to Rob and Amber from “Survivor.”
The original “Gilligan’s Island” drew viewers while being universally panned by critics. The idea for this show, however, looked terrible from the beginning to everyone. Clearly “borrowing” from another stranded-island game, the show is nothing more than “Survivor” with the contestants in costumes. While a reality version of “Gilligan’s” may have appeared a natural fit to producers, a reality version of a critical classic may have held more possibilities. If viewers and critics disagreed on the merits of the original, the decision this time around should be unanimous. Viewers should avoid this “three-hour tour.”
Rating: 0.5 out of 5 stars.