The audience? Fall asleep and let your hand slip onto the remote so the Nielsen people will record a sudden boost for the Food Network. The sponsors? Retreat in droves and bring your commercials to a more respected venue, like a two-hour Drunken Sorority Girls Who Didn’t Think There Was Film In The Camera infomercial. The producers, writers, set designers, editors, camera operators et. all? Traumatic amnesia. All of ‘em. It’s that or a three-hour tour around Hawaii, and we all know how that would turn out. Either lose your memories or be lost to the world: those are the only options I’m giving you.
Why? Because if the ratings don’t come back as a solid 0.0 for the fourth episode, there’s a chance – a tiny chance, but a chance – that the series will turn into a success. And that means the First Rule Of Hollywood (also know as the FOX Clause) will be invoked: what succeeds must be duplicated and forced in front of us until the revolution cuts into regularly scheduled programming. If this show doesn’t fail, there will be others coming. Shows that are in development right now, awaiting only a positive ratings response to this one and a TBS producer saying ‘Hey, we could rerun that for a synergy bonus, too!’
Not convinced? Fine. What sort of reaction does the title The Real Saved By The Bell generate?
Twitching? Imagining a line of Screeches waiting for their auditions? Too bad. I don’t think you’re in enough mental pain to have been convinced. I think we need a little more avoidance therapy here. So: coming to TBS in the spring of 2005, get ready for: The Real Family Matters! Featuring six different groups of contenders, all containing one player fighting for the right to be recognized as the one, the only, the irritating, the death-is-better-than Steve Urkel, and the only way to do it is to out-Urkel each other twenty-four hours a day during a live simulcast!
There will now be a short break to let everyone stop screaming.
This show has to fail. It has to. The alternative is Urkel. And there are some places reality television just should not go.
Unfortunately, it’s already gone to Playa del Carmen, and brought two competing casts – I can’t say ‘tribes’ – of contenders to the dubious titles of The Real Gilligan, Skipper Too, The Millionaire And His Wife, The Movie Star, The Professor And Mary Ann, here on (censored) TBS, and it’s moved into its third hour. And as long as it still exists, it has to be summarized, if only in the name of providing an object lesson.
Network executives, please remember: we get one sniff of The Real Full House and we start killing until it stops. So…
Previously on The Real Gilligan’s Island: the producers found two casts’ worth of contestants who had some resemblance to the sitcom’s original roles, partially through profession, occasionally through brute stupidity, but mostly because no one could understand why you’d want to spend three years giving them money either. The newest oxymoron added to the television dictionary was ‘Lovey Donna’, we learned that the producers couldn’t challenge their way out of a plagiarism lawsuit as one Survivor challenge was ripped off down to the mats, and the World’s Stupidest Looking Potential Elimination Set, also known as Voodoo Village, made its debut. The ‘stop fighting and allow your opponents to remove their wounded’ rule was not followed, mostly because no one knew it existed until that moment. We’re down one Skipper (serious and unbashable) and one Professor (ten out of ten for how the raft looked on camera, three out of a million for the way it actually floated and steered), with five eliminations left before we can get down to our Final Seven, at which point they’ll either award a team prize or give them all some of Gilligan’s notorious radioactive super-veggies and see who can throw their teammates back to the mainland first. And Gilligan Gooner looks too much like the ‘before’ shot in the secret identity files to pass that up.
Who will be permanently banished to the other side of the island tonight? How much does Mark Burnett plan on suing for? What genius let this floating hunk of fecal matter onto the air in the first place? Where are my eight episodes of Outback Jane?
One of these questions may be answered in the following summary. But don’t hold your breath.
In fact, there’s no need for anyone to hold their breath – not when it’s completely germ-free! The show opens by taking another moment to rip off A Certain CBS Show With Many Lawyers using a strategically-inserted product placement. Most of the Gold Team – with the focus on the Professor and Mary Ann Kate – are enjoying a snack of Listerine Pocket Pack strips, because while proper nutrition and hydration are no concern of the producers’, making sure the contestant have kissably-sweet mouths is a top priority. The Professor feels the strips are really tasty, but this is a man who’s spent the majority of his life choking on rock dust. And if there’s anything Listerine comes off well in comparison to, it’s shale.
Ginger Rachel approaches her team with a discovery: the island’s newest form of transportation! It’s not a bamboo car, but it’s almost as good: a home-cobbled broom, being ridden in a fashion that probably won’t lead the Rowling estate to join the lawsuit fun, if only because the CBS line to file is up to eighty feet. However, as Lovey Mindy points out, GR is entirely the wrong person to be taking that ride, with Thurston Glenn adding that it is the right mode of transport for a certain other resident of the island who is going unnamed because both he and I are trying to get as far as possible before we have to invoke the pain that is –
-- Lovey Donna.
Musical sting. Shot of Lovey Donna walking out of the Millionaire’s Hut in her bathing suit. Pain. Horrible, horrible pain.
Gilligan Gooner takes the first confessional-tell of the episode by noting that ‘A little bit of Miss Beavens goes a long way.’ In this case, it went a thousand miles offshore from the United States, and that still isn’t enough to save us from her charming points of view. GG has made a classic mistake: he’s tried to ask an innocent question that couldn’t possibly be taken the wrong way. To wit, he wants to know if Lovey Donna cooks. This is a fair question. Many tropical islands contain some form of poisonous plant life, and if like attracts like, everyone had better be prepared to keep Lovey Donna away from the campfire. Which unfortunately minimizes the chances of her falling in, but sacrifices must be made. And if the first sacrifice happened to be Lovey Donna – they’ve already got Voodoo Village, is it really too much to ask that –
Err… right. Anyway, he wants to know if she cooks. We’ve already seen her on a continual low simmer that frequently flares over to full boil.
‘Every once in a while,’ she replies, ‘because our whole family likes to go out.’ (You mean there’s more of them?)
At this point, Thurston Bill makes a mistake. He opens his mouth and words come out, to wit: ‘Once a year is not a lot.’ You’d think a few years of being married to Lovey Donna would have cured him of the whole speaking habit, but alas, even seven words are too many. Cue LD, who immediately goes on the defense about the quality of her cooking. And keeps going. And going. And going. While staying exactly where she is and not, say, walking into the ocean, never to be seen again.
Gilligan Gooner c-t continues with ‘She’s like a bad case of hemorrhoids. You try to get rid of her, but she just won’t go away!’ Gilligan Gooner is now the smartest, wittiest, most observant man on the island, which is quite a feat when you consider there’s just enough poundage there to make about three-quarters of a man. Given his height, possibly three-eighths.