Friday, April 12, 2013

Rant #941: Gilligan the Best

In a recent poll, Yahoo TV users voted the theme to "Gilligan's Island" as TV's all-time best theme.

I couldn't agree more.

The tune, written by Sherwood Schwartz, the creator of his own universe of TV shows and themes, including "The Brady Bunch" and the pretty much forgotten "It's About Time," wove the storyline of the show into his themes, and that made them memorable.

The theme talks about the Minnow, which set out with its passengers on a three-hour tour. Of course, a storm ensued, the tiny ship was tossed, and because of the courage of the fearless crew, the Minnow wasn't lost, it made its way to an uncharted island, where all the passengers made life as good as they could until they got rescued years and years later.

Why they had their full wardrobes with them for a three-hour tour is another story, but Schwartz was able to tell you the basic premise of the show in under two minutes.

TV theme show writing is a lost art. With less time to tell your story than ever before--with more commercials taking away valuable story time--themes are pretty much a dead area.

There are some shows that still carry a theme--the reboot of "Hawaii 5-0" had to have its theme intact, it is such a part of that show's mosaic--but generally, TV themes are dead.

I think back to the great themes of past TV shows, like "The Andy Griffith Show" theme, the theme to "The Monkees" TV show, even the theme to "Leave It To Beaver," and those short tunes gave you a sense of where the show was going.

Today, themes have generally been scrapped, because there simply isn't enough time to have them as part of the show.

But back to "Gilligan's Island," of course, as you probably know, there are a couple of different themes that that show used.

One was the original theme, which left out some cast members--simply referring to them as "the rest,"--and the other, all inclusive theme, which, of course, I much prefer.

But whatever the case, I applaud the voters for having the sense to pick a theme from a classic show, a show that has lived on for generations, even though critics hated it from the get go ...

Proving once again that the critics don't know much of anything.

And to conclude, yes, I always preferred Mary Ann over Ginger, but that's another story for another time.

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