My favorite reality TV show, “Survivor,” is at it again with its 26th installment in Caramoan. And no, I have no idea where that is, but I’ll be watching anyway.
I must like shows based in the tropics. My favorite childhood TV program was “Gilligan’s Island.”
If you’re like me and ever wondered who would have been voted off Gilligan’s island had it been a reality show a la “Survivor,” you’re not alone. Nick at Night conducted a survey, as reported by PR Newswire, to determine who would endure and the results were predictable.
The professor was chosen to outwit, outlast and outplay his fellow castaways.
Growing up a fan of the show, my casual analysis suggests a different winner.
Gilligan posed the largest threat, as he endangered the group and jeopardized countless rescue opportunities. When a lion appeared on the lagoon, for example, he adopted it as a pet.
You wouldn’t have to be Marlin Perkins to realize a lion isn’t just an oversized Garfield. If I discovered a jungle cat on a beach, I’d run through the brush like my sarong was on fire. The first mate’s insistence on keeping the lion would certainly put a target on his back.
Trouble continued after Gilligan discovered a World War II mine while fishing. The device activated and spread panic among the castaways like a 17th-century plague. Who could blame them? It would be hard to spend a million dollars if you were blown to smithereens.
When Gilligan wasn’t smashing the transmitter or becoming invisible, he was getting bitten by a bat and turning into a vampire. It may be his island, but Gilligan would quickly be sent to the History Channel on week one.
A condescending tone and negative attitude would impact Mrs. Howell’s longevity. No one would want to hear complaints about the scorching heat, poor living conditions or dinner bowls filled with squirming larvae.
Sure Mrs. Howell was occasionally a team player, like when she became a matchmaker and romantically hooked up the castaways. But who needs mushy sentiment? The islanders would be more concerned about the loot than being shot in the backside by Cupid’s arrow.
At the end of the day, Mrs. Howell would not chop wood or spear fish in the lagoon. She would not collect firewood or build a hut. She would not live off rations that would prompt Papillon to complain. Lovey would be voted off week two.
The Professor, with a high IQ and ingenious insights, would appear to be an odds-on favorite. On close scrutiny, however, he was a miserable failure on the island.
When the Professor observed Gilligan using tree sap as pancake syrup, he decided to use the substance to repair their wrecked boat, the S.S. Minnow. Wake up, Elmer. Syrup was not Super Glue. As soon as they sailed, the sap loosened and the entire ship fell apart.
Then a robot washed ashore and the Professor programmed it to walk to Hawaii. C’mon! There’s no way a clunky bit of junkyard potpourri could crawl across the beach, let alone to Oahu. Week three would find the Professor packing up his drawing board.
The group would be quick to realize Mr. Howell was not in need of cash. If he did, he wouldn’t throw money around and brag about his bankroll like Donald Trump at a singles bar.
The millionaire’s biggest faults, however, were greed and corruption. Upon discovering a gold mine, he hid the loot from the rest of the castaways. Where did he think he was going to spend the precious metal? Neiman Marcus?
The castaways exacted revenge when they charged him outrageous prices for mining equipment, but the damage had been done. Mr. Howell would be sent back to civilization on week four to enjoy his pipe.
Seductive powers and a stunning complexion made Ginger a Hollywood favorite, but the starlet was too emotional. When Mr. Howell produced a play, Ginger landed the lead part of Cleopatra. All was fine, until Mr. Howell made his wife the star instead. Ginger was heartbroken.
If a little thing like losing the lead in some goofy island production would send her over the edge, she would certainly not have the guts for any staying power. Week Five would be Ginger’s curtain call.
The Skipper was well loved and highly regarded by the castaways. But don’t forget, his poor seafaring ability bore much of the blame for their predicament.
An array of maladies would also hurt the Skipper’s chances, most obvious of which was a weight problem. The Skipper actually began a crash diet upon realizing he was too heavy to join the Navy. Too bad an Ab Crusher didn’t drift ashore.
The Skipper’s most bizarre affliction occurred when he fell ill and blamed the sickness on a statue of Watubi, a Tiki god. The stability of someone who blamed queasiness on a whittled down piece of driftwood would be called into question. Week six would find the Skipper heading back to Boca Raton to charter fishing excursions.
As the rest of the castaways bumbled along like they were trapped in a Marx Brothers’ movie, Mary Ann was competent and strong. Without a complaint, she performed the day-to-day duties with the tenacity of an Amish dairy farmer.
The castaways ignored her life, as it was boring and non-threatening. After a bad fall, for example, Mary Ann walked around the island believing she was Ginger. Her behavior, although whimsical, was as harmless as a ladybug on a T. rex.
And when the castaways were brought to a mad scientist’s island for experimentation, Mary Ann initiated a rescue. Her mind was placed in one of the scientist’s creations and she broke free to save the other castaways.
Who would want to vote off a hero?
Mary Ann was the quiet girl next store. She provided help, encouragement, reason, strength and trust. She would’ve also picked her island mates off one by one.
Victory would’ve gone to Mary Ann! Sorry professor, back to the drawing board.