Gilligan's Island Episode Review: "Angel on the Island"

by StevenHelmer

A review of the season 1 television episode that first aired in December 1964.

Synopsis: When Ginger (Tina Louise) becomes depressed over the fact she is stranded on the island rather than on Broadway starring in the play that was written just for her, Mr. Howell (Jim Backus) agrees to provide financial backing for the production as soon as they are rescued and the castaways even do an "off Broadway" run through. However, things get complicated when Mrs. Howell (Natalie Schafer) convinces her husband to give her the starring role instead.


My daughters had dentist appointments today and, because of that, I had the afternoon off. We got back from the dentist sooner than expected and, since it was raining outside, I ended up watching some television. This included this episode of Gilligan's Island.

When I first started watching this episode, I wasn't really sure what to expect from it. This is mostly because the plot, which pretty much consisted of the castaways building a stage, sewing costumes, etc., was one of those plots that had me asking out loud "shouldn't they be putting that energy toward finding a way off the island instead?" However, as it turns out, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

I think one thing I really liked about this episode was the way it gave some focus to Mrs. Howell. That isn't something you see from too many episodes in this series and, more often than not, even when she makes some sort of major contribution, her spotlight is shared by her husband. This time around, the episode essentially centered around her.

At first, it was because her jealousy and pride got the best of her. But, later, we got to see a much softer, much more graceful side to her. Considering this is a show that relies heavily on stereotypes and purposely doesn't give its characters much depth as a result, it was interesting to see that.

Probably my only real complaint about this episode (other than the fact they forgot they were supposed to be trying to get rescued) is it is a little predictable. However, given the 30-minute run time and the need to keep things focused as a result, it is something I didn't mind too much, especially because of what I mentioned about the focus on Mrs. Howell.

Gilligan's Island: Season 1

Gilligan's Island: The Complete First Season (Repackage/Stack Hub)

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Final Opinion

I had my doubts about this episode when I first started watching it but, overall, even though I had some complaints, I thought it was worth watching. It was entertaining and managed to give one of the main characters some depth. I recommend it as a result.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 06/15/2015, StevenHelmer
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Guest on 06/16/2015

I used to watch this show as a kid, and I thought it was pretty funny. Good article!

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