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Gilligan's Island: The Best Episodes Teach Life Lessons: Life Lessons for Children

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Gilligan's Island was my favorite show growing up. It came on at 4:30pm weekdays, just enough time for me to walk home from school, get a peanut-butter jelly sandwich made and get seated in front of the TV. I remember being furious one day when, due to a seasonal of which I knew nothing, the Munsters whom I called the "Monsters", came on in place of Gilligan. I reported what I deemed an unfair decision by the station to deprive me of watching those seven castaways to my mom--as though she could do something about it. There were no VCR's or DVD players in those days. Those happy times are gone, but the memory of them remains. I still watch Gilligan's Island from time to time. But, I realize that the show can no longer entertain me like when I was a child. It's just a means of trying to recapture a happy childhood that I miss.

Anyway, I believe many of those old shows were and still can be good babysitters of children. They presented positive and patriotic messages for America's youth. Following are my favorite episodes of Gilligan's Island.

Season I


Episode: Plant You Now, Dig You Later

While digging a barbecue pit for Mr. Howell, Gilligan uncovers what appears to be a treasure chest. An argument erupts over who's the rightful owner while they search for a way to open the chest. The castaway agree to hold a court hearing over which the brainy Professor presides. Tempers fly and there's much anxiety while waiting for judge Professor to render his verdict.

To everyone's surprise, neither Mr. Howell nor Gilligan wins the treasure chest. However, neither one loses either. Professor reminds them that since their arrival on the island, they had shared everything, the water, the food, and the work. They had shared and shared alike and he chose to look at the treasure chest as one of the natural resources of the island. "By usage and custom de facto, it belongs to all of us", he declared. Everyone respects his decision regarding the treasure chest which didn't contain treasure after all. Children learn the importance of sharing and respecting authority all the while being entertained.

Episode: How To Be A Hero

Gilligan jumps into the lagoon to save a drowning Mary Ann who has become frantic in the water. He quickly finds himself struggling to stay afloat. Skipper comes along in just the nick of time, dives into the lagoon and saves both Mary Ann and Gilligan. The others celebrate Skipper's heroism and Gilligan becomes depressed. They desperately try to make him a hero by creating false dangers and then calling on him to save the day. Of course, he manages to bumble every attempt to help him. He eventually finds out that the calls for him to rescue had all been fixed. Consequently, when real danger appears, namely the arrival of a head hunter on the island, Gilligan isn't afraid thinking that it's all another hoax. He bravely battles against the head hunter thinking he's pretending to fight a disguised Skipper. He rescues everyone before finally realizing that he became a hero without trickery.

There can be much competition among children (and childish adults) for attention and recognition. I believe this episode helps to remind that often the things we want will only happen after we've learned patience and to relax about them.

Season II


Episode: Seer Gilligan

Gilligan stumbles upon some exotic seeds that, when eaten, allows a telepathic communication so sharp that the consumer can read minds. All of the castaways hound Gilligan to share seeds with them. Mr. Howell, known as the "wolf of Wall Street", comes close to bursting at the thought of being able to read the minds of investors and increase his wealth.

Gilligan obliges and delivers seeds to everyone. In hardly no time at all, violent arguments begin to break the bonds of friendship. This time, Gilligan is the smart one and decides to burn the bush producing the mind reading seeds in hopes of restoring the family atmosphere they had all enjoyed. They learn that the "gift" of reading minds, had viciously turned on them.

Even young viewers are gently introduced to the truth that what may appear good may not be and the need to turn about when doing such will fix a grave mistake.

Season III



Episode: Take A Dare

Mr. Barkely arrives on the island for his participation in the Take A Dare program. He's to survive for 1 week on a deserted island with no company or help from anyone. Instead, he cheats and steals food from the castaways, a hammock to sleep in, tools, and other things. He's to keep in touch with the program by short wave radio. The Skipper and Gilligan discover him and unable to convince him to let civilization know of their need to be rescued, they attempt to get a message through by force. But, Mr. Barkley, through trickery, prevents this. He cares nothing about their need to be rescued, only about his desire to win $10,000 in prize money.

In his desperate attempt to prevent the rescue of the castaways which would reveal his cheating, he ends up working against himself without even knowing it until the end and loosing the prize money. Young viewers learn how evil plans and selfishness sometimes backfire on the one/s who made them and how cheaters don't really win.


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