And the evidence can be found in the strangest of places….
The two-man crew of the charter
boat S. S. Minnow and five passengers on a "three-hour tour" from
Honolulu run into a tropical storm and are shipwrecked on an uncharted island
somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.
The shipwrecked castaways want to
leave the remote island, and various opportunities present themselves. They
typically fail owing to some bumbling error committed by Gilligan [the
first-mate of the S.S. Minnow] (with the exception of "The Big Gold
Strike", where everyone except Gilligan is responsible for their failed
escape). Sometimes this would result in his saving the others from some
unforeseen flaw in their plan.
The castaways have made it through almost two-and-a-half
seasons without government of any kind – they lived in a state of anarchy. No president, no military, no police, no
jails. They managed their affairs as you
might expect – amongst them.
With no one in command, they always found ways to work
things out – even on the countless occasions that Gilligan cost them a chance
at rescue, there were no calls for any significant punishment, imprisonment,
three-strikes-you’re-out, or the death penalty.
Typical of the punishment doled out – Gilligan once had to write “SOS”
Despite numerous attacks by cannibals from neighboring
islands, never once did they form a standing army.
Sadly, they decided this condition of peaceful anarchy had
The castaways decide to establish
law and order on the island, with the Skipper as the island Sheriff and
Gilligan as his deputy.
More precisely, they already had law and order on the
island; what they decided to do was to give a couple of their compatriots a
badge (well, a starfish in this case).
It seems a few of the castaways were playing with a gun,
loaded with blanks. When a shot rang
out, a discussion was held between the Captain and one of the passengers – “the
professor.” The two of them decide that
the firing of the blank was a sign – a sign that their island with all of seven
inhabitants needed formal law and order.
Leave it to a captain (representing military order) and a
professor (representing academia and the intellectual class) to come to, and
agree to, such a decision.
In any case, they decide that Gilligan would be the deputy; just
as in the real world, he takes his job a bit too seriously:
Unfortunately Deputy Gilligan takes
his new responsibility too seriously, and, as a result, everyone ends up in
jail...including, eventually, himself!
Well, that last detail never happens in the real world…but
as to suddenly turning previously cordial and friendly compatriots into
criminals? This is what Gilligan the
deputy, like his real world counterparts, does best.
Gilligan decides, one at a time, that each inhabitant of
this previously self-governing community has violated some crime – actions that
previously were either unnoticed or handled informally. One by one, he throws them in jail (they
never had need for a jail before, either – if you build it they will come).
All-in-all a humorous and cute portrayal of a real world
nightmare – police causing crime.