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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
All sorts of fantasies are granted, but they usually go awry. Life lessons learned from the experiences often include being satisfied with what you have.
Positive Role Models
Mr. Roarke is mysterious, a little arrogant, and wise. Tattoo is a quirky sidekick. The guests are mostly middle- to upper-class White people willing to spend a lot of money because they are dissatisfied with their lives in some way.
Violence & Scariness
Violent events range from throwing drinks in people's faces to punches and brawls. Threats of physical punishments occur (but are not shown). On occasion, guns are drawn; sometimes shots are fired.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lots of bikini-clad women and shirtless men. Sexual innuendo and jokes abound, but folks are only shown hugging and kissing. Romantic entanglements, illicit trysts, and related themes are frequent. One episode features unwitting sex slaves.
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Products & Purchases
Mercedes-Benz, Rolls-Royce, and other cars are sometimes visible.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Lots of tropical cocktails, wine, and champagne consumed.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the iconic series Fantasy Island (1978-1984) is about an exclusive Pacific island and the people who arrive there to fulfill their secret desires. While its content is pretty mild by today's standards, it still has a significant amount of sexual innuendo, drinking, and stereotypical characters. It also has a lot of mature themes, ranging from relationship problems to sex work, and people frequently appear in skimpy, skin-revealing bathing suits and sexy dresses. The depictions of little people and Pacific Islanders reflect common stereotypes that are considered highly insensitive or offensive today -- families who watch definitely have an opportunity to discuss what's changed socially and why. Fans of the 2020 horror film may also be tempted to give this retro hit a try.
Is It Any Good?
This fun, classic series features an eclectic cast of characters trying to fulfill their desires by participating in fantastical, but contrived, adventures. From a roller derby skater wanting to become a refined lady to a date with the one that got away, each guest experience feels like a social experiment ultimately designed by Mr. Roarke to serve as a life lesson. These stories are often far-fetched and ridiculous, but they also touch on universal themes that remain relevant today, including the human desire for intimacy, acceptance, wealth, and vengeance.
It's hard not to feel like you're in a time warp when watching Fantasy Island, thanks to the fashions, outmoded production values, and continual guest appearances of popular (and much younger looking) celebrities of the time. Meanwhile, some of the content, including the caricature-like representations of Pacific Islanders and little people (including Tattoo's shouts about seeing "de plane") can be interpreted as stereotypical and insensitive according to contemporary social and cultural standards. But the series still remains a fixture in American popular culture, and continues to entertain audiences who loved it back in the day.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.