Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Beethoven On Gilligan’s Island

If Beethoven were on Gilligan’s Island, who would he pair up with romantically?

On Gilligan’s Island, the only explicit couple is Thurston and Lovey, Mr. and Mrs. Howell. However, late in the show’s run I think most fans suspected the producers were hinting that Ginger and the Professor kind of liked each other, and Mary Ann and Gilligan kind of liked each other.

Who would get together with Beethoven?


My first thought, of course, is that Beethoven is an arts & entertainment guy and such people generally stick together so you’d have to think Beethoven and Ginger would become an item.

But then my second thought was more cynical.

Beethoven is a fine arts guy. People in the fine arts know which side of their bread is buttered. And they know where the butter comes from. People in the fine arts keep their focus on finances so probably Beethoven would spend all his time courting Mrs. Howell because she could subsidize his career off the island.

Ultimately, however, I remembered that love is strange and very often successful couples are composed of individuals who superficially have little in common. Couples are often the last choices anybody would suspect. On Gilligan’s Island, then, perhaps Beethoven would find happiness with the simple farm girl Mary Ann.


However, once I got to thinking through this stuff, I wondered more about the whole entertainment world connection of Beethoven. I’ve never heard speculation about Beethoven’s sexuality, but entertainment world mythos is that everyone in that culture is either gay or bisexual.

Perhaps Beethoven would become captivated, entranced even, by the youthful, guileless, enthusiastic charms of Gilligan.

Or maybe Beethoven would be one of those masculine, tough kind of gay guys. I don’t know what real life is like, but in movies such men are often portrayed as being attracted to soft, pudgy paramours. Remember the rapacious hillbilly in the infamous “Deliverance” scene, choosing Ned Beatty over Jon Voight? Beethoven might very well want to go for walks to the other side of the island with the Skipper.

Of course, the fine arts influence might trump even the basic sex drives. A gay Beethoven might spend all his time courting Thurston Howell because gay people in the fine arts world know, too, which side their bread is buttered on and Mr. Howell could buy a lot of butter.

And I’m guessing love in the gay world is as strange as love in the straight world so couples in the gay world are probably often composed of the last guesses anybody would make. On Gilligan’s Island, that probably would be a love connection between the science-oriented Professor and the art world Beethoven.


So, there you go. Logic and rigorous thinking don’t seem to be too much help with this question. There are reasonable back-stories that makes sense and lead to Beethoven hooking up with any of the castaways on Gilligan’s Island.

It’s a tough call.

Maybe it’s a Rorschach kind of thing.

What you see as the most likely pairing depends more on what’s going on inside you as what really is happening on Gilligan’s Island.

If I personally were script editor for the castaways, I would make it a season long story arc. I’d have Beethoven tentatively get involved with just about everyone—in one way or another—then I’d have him pick someone, make a play and be soundly rebuffed. Then he could stay immersed in his music. And the island would be a reasonable microcosm for the reality of Beethoven’s famous romantic difficulties, his fascination with the unattainable and his ultimate failure on the stage of romance.

Or I’d have him hook up with Ginger.

But that’s just me. I like women who have a comprehensive self-image.

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