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One of the siblings gathered at Mom's yesterday brought up a fascinating factoid: According to Sherwood Schwartz, the creator of the show, the template for the characters on Gilligans' Island were the Seven Deadly Sins. For reals:

Years after the show ended, its creator, Sherwood Schwartz, admitted that each of the characters represented one of the seven deadly sins.


Trouble is, the 2008 interview listed Gilligan as the avatar of Sloth. Watch the show, and you see that, despite the occasional smacks to the head with his skipper's hat, Jonas Grumby (aka the Skipper; his name was only revealed in the pilot) got far more work out of his little buddy than Mrs. Howell ever put in. Further, when it came to gluttony, nobody could beat skinny Gilligan. And more than once, Gilligan's envy over whatever put the cast in a pickle. He could also out-pride the prof, though he always did it in an adorable manner.

Based on that, others have suggested a looser, alternate role call. The Cast of Defects, (in reverse order of the song* that lists them):

Mary Ann = Envy (she had to compete with Ginger)
The Professor = Pride
The Movie Star = Lust
His Wife = Sloth
The Millionaire = Greed
The Skipper = Wrath, Gluttony

This makes a bit more sense, since Lovey did absolutely nothing to lift a finger toward making meals, gathering food or firewood, or helping with one of Samuel Hinkley's technical innovations. (Yes, the Professor's name was also only mentioned on the pilot.) And though one never did see him eat a gazillion of Mary Ann's coconut cream pies as Gilligan did, something had explain the Skippers' girth.

Which makes Gilligan himself ... the Devil. He was clad in red. And to embody the foibles of the others would make also perfect sense.

Which meant, as the title of the show implies, that the island was Hell. Which goes a long way to explaining why they couldn't seem to ever leave. This would also explain why what Gilligan himself did would eventually be the cause of their failure to leave: though it resembled a bumbling screw-up of a born goof, the act—including, let us never forget, the wrecking of the Minnow—these were acts of a vengeful entity bent on inflicting torture and suffering.


Hell? Well, it was warm.



*In an interview with both Bob Denver and Dawn Wells, the interviewer asked Ms. Wells about the theme song for the first few seasons where she and the Professor were listed simply as a dismissive "and the rest." After she answered, Mr. Denver noted that the theme song was changed because of him.

As he explained, he went up to Mr. Schwartz and said that listing two major characters as just the rest was stupid, and that the song should be changed. Schwartz refused; money and all that. So Denver threatened to invoke his contract. Since he was the title character, and since he had the celebrity ju-ju none of the others had (thanks to his former hit role as Dobie Gillis), his contract said he could demand the producers list him anywhere in the song that he wanted, so he wanted to be sang last, which would be stupid. Schwartz relented.

The funny part for me is simple. Dawn Wells, sitting, again, right next to him, was looking at him the whole time surprised. She had no idea this had happened, since during the show and its short-lived sequels he never told anyone. When she mentioned that, he just shrugged and smiled.

Maybe that's why she sent him the ganja. Hey, she was, apparently, most herb-friendly herself.

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