Synopsis: Gilligan (Bob Denver) and the Skipper (Alan Hale, Jr.) hear voices on the island, leading the castaways to believe a gang of criminals is hiding from authorities on the island and their lives are in danger. However, when they discover the voices are actually coming from a parrot, they suddenly becoming interested in finding the boat and the possible loot the criminals may have left behind.
Gilligan's Island Episode Review: "New Neighbor Sam"
A review of the season 1 television episode that first aired in April 1965.
I had an opportunity to watch this episode when I was home for lunch earlier today and, even though I’m sure I’ve seen this one before, I have to admit, I really didn’t remember all that much about it. As a result, I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I was watching it. As it turns out, however, it was actually a pretty funny episode.
My biggest concern when I started watching this episode was how the writers would choose to use the parrot. Normally, when I see something like that in a sitcom, I expect the animal to get all the attention with a good chunk of the show being dedicated to showing the animal performing a bunch of cute stunts.
That wasn’t the case with this episode, however. There were still a couple scenes that kind of crossed that line (though by very little) but, for the most part, the bird was really used as more of a background prop that helped the larger plot (searching for the bad guys then for the bad guys’ stolen jewels and boat) move along.
I think the funniest moments had to be in Mr. Howell’s (Jim Backus) hut, as he tried to learn more from the parrot about the stolen loot without letting anyone else know what he knows. This leads to a funny bit involving a diamond and, ultimately, an effort to play hide and seek with the bird to keep others from taking it.
I wasn’t a big fan of the ending, mostly because it was kind of confusing when the Professor (Russell Johnson) learns more about the criminals the parrot had overheard. Based on his discovery, either the parrot was very old (which is admittedly possible but never really confirmed) or learned about the crooks some other way, such as reading about them (something that is very unlikely). I wish the writers would have taken a few seconds to be a little clearer about that as a result.
The ending seemed a bit rushed and honestly could have used a little more work. However, overall, I thought this was a somewhat interesting episode of this series and did enjoy watching it.
My Grade: B
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