Schwartz defends the intellectual content of Gilligan's Island
(his brainchild, after all) by pointing to serious themes in the show's scripts. "The philosophic aspects were subliminal, buried in the broad comedy," he admits, "but they were there." Well . . .
maybe, but Gilligan
's ultimate value is entertainment. As Schwartz points out, even though most critics hated the sitcom, the viewing audience loved it. (No stranger to critical rejection and audience approbation, Schwartz went on to create The Brady Bunch
, which like Gilligan
lives on in reruns and is far more culturally significant than its creator intended.) Herein, we learn as much about Schwartz and his view of what TV can and should do as about the struggle to bring Gilligan
to some network's schedule. Along the way, Schwartz describes dealing with network brass, relates how tentative cancellation of Gunsmoke
may have led to that of Gilligan
(odd as it seems, Gilligan
was on only three seasons; what with all those reruns, it sure seems it originally ran for much longer), and makes the case for gentle, funny entertainment.
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