Sunday, September 15, 2013

Inside Gilligan's Island: A Three-Hour Tour...

1994, revised from the 1988 edition, from St. Martin's Press
Sherwood Schwartz
Inside Gilligan's Island: A Three-Hour Tour Through the Making of a Television Classic
Bought new for $13.95
Worn paperback

The creator himself weighs on his (in)famous show.  Parts of the book clearly weren't updated (as when he talks about how much time has passed), but yes, he very briefly mentions the original Professor and "girls."  He also, amusingly enough, talks about cowriting the script for the first Brady Bunch movie, with son Lloyd.  He and Lloyd would go on to cowrite Brady, Brady, Brady, which I've read but don't own, having found Lloyd's ego unbearable.  (I'm not alone in this, as you'll see if you take a peek at the Amazon reviews.)  Not that Sherwood doesn't himself have annoying quirks as a nonfiction writer, among them mild sexism and pretentiousness.  (Note, Samuel Johnson was not a "Victorian" writer, having died in 1784.)

Still, the saga of how GI became a show remains an interesting one, and although Denver and Johnson's books, to say nothing of Green's, have more to say about what actually aired, this is the book to find out what went on behind the scenes, especially before the show was even on the schedule.  I haven't watched the original pilot in a long while (I'm saving it for November, in honor of the 50th anniversary of taping), but I do recall that the calypso theme song didn't really work, and I can only imagine how wretched it was sung by "the songbird from Passaic."  The elder Schwartz has an ego of his own, but he's not afraid to poke fun at himself.

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