Since this reboot began, I've discovered that a lot of people in my life (who I'd assumed were better versed in '80s TV) are unfamiliar with the original series and the format which, like The Love Boat, brought well-known celebrities on as guests with problems that could be solved in a short, rompy hour.
Fantasy Island Season 1 Episode 6 is probably the best example of cashing in on guest star appeal, reuniting Laura Leighton, Josie Bissett, and Daphne Zuniga, three core cast members of the 1990's smash soap Melrose Place, in one fell swoop.
Looking past the gimmicky nostalgia, there are strong themes of friendship and support, honesty and vulnerability. Sometimes, life gets in the way of being a good friend, but it's the good friends who will be there when Life disappoints.
Much in the way Betty White and Rue McClanahan took the opportunity to play against their type when they starred in The Golden Girls together, Leighton, Bissett, and Zuniga take on Fantasy Island roles that are very different from their Melrose Place personas.
And that's completely necessary as well as just being more interesting.
As three life-long high school friends, their relationships are not based on the romantic rivalries, back-stabbing, and actual violence Melrose Place hung its hat on.
Instead, we have three women who have taken very different paths but managed to stay close for over thirty years.
However, long-term relationships are always complicated and come with a lot of baggage.
For Nettie, she's seen her "perfect" life fall apart.
For Margot, becoming a mom to triplets at forty-seven has probably meant three years of sleep deprivation.
For Cam, life as a successful, single woman (determined to prove she is happy, happy, happy that way) has meant she's been unable to share her worst fears and insecurities with anyone.
And, as certain hard truths come to light and specific grievances are aired, the decades-long relationship begins to fray.
As it will.
As the perpetual mediator, even Margot can't win against ill will born of resentment and jealousy (and too many drinks).
Margot: Guys, who have to eat before we say things we're going to regret.
Nettie: Okay, choose a side or stay out of it, Switzerland!
Those roles -- the mediator, the prom queen, the independent -- are ones they've played since high school.
No wonder it starts to get old when the mediator gets run down, the prom queen loses her crown, and the independent just wants someone to support her.
If I had to choose a fantasy from the three, I'd totally take Margot's. Unlimited rest without missing out on anything? Sign me up!
I just wish there was time to get more backstory on her. I wanted to know why her daughters were all named after Shakespearean heroines and what her life was like between high school and forty-seven.
All we know about Margot is that she's tired and getting more so, which seems unfair.
Margot: How do I die?
Elena: I don't know exactly. I assume you neglect yourself in order to make other people happy. Which is a lovely characteristic...
Margot: Until it isn't
Nettie gets an entire narrative with Dr. Tristan and the opportunity to share her story.
We know that her kids are grown and have left the nest. We know all about her husband's mistress (for the record, houseboats are cool) and that Nettie likes to paint.
Cam's fantasy is mysterious to begin with and purposefully misinterpretable. We are meant to assume she just wants to be more traditionally attractive.
Her fixation on her fantasy breasts is pretty funny, but I'm glad it was given more meaning when we learn about her breast cancer and surgery.
Margot: Can I feel them?
Margot: Feel like beefsteak tomatoes or something.
Cam: Net, you want a grope?
Nettie: I'm good.
Another red herring is her visit to Tristan's room.
I hypothesized that she was going to try to get him to turn her real-life body into her fantasy one, but even that was off-the-mark without knowing her reconstruction had been botched.
Cam: Well, that makes three free rounds courtesy of my amazing tatas!
Margot: You're going to have to put on a cardigan cause I can't be too wasted to eat dinner.
There's something ironic about the fact the biggest moment of a birthday weekend celebration happens at a funeral.
And I'm not actually sure Margot's epiphany properly hit home. Her entire self-care mission is so her daughters won't lose their mother, yet another instance of her prioritizing others.
I guess, ultimately, it refocusses her energies in a more constructive and positive direction, so it's a win. Still, something about it doesn't sit quite right.
You know, they used to burn women like me. Childless, unmarried, smart. A woman who doesn't need a man to self-actualize is a threat to the status quo. Well, I say, 'Good. Let 'em come for me.'Camille
Cam's acceptance of her own body's betrayal and finally sharing the feelings she'd bottled up was probably the most organic of the lessons learned.
Nettie sort of trades in her Tinder profile for a career which was foreshadowed when Tristan tried to get to know her. It seems like a parallel plan but holds true to Nettie's priorities.
On the working side of the island, Elena's girls' night was entertaining on the one hand (e.g., Segundo, as an honorary girl, in his facial mask) and just a teensy bit sad on the other (e.g., Elena still feeling detached and unable to share honestly).
Ruby and Dr. Gina are SO cute together, but it was a little disappointing to learn that Ruby couldn't be honest with her either.
Ruby: We are having a girls' night. I am not going through my twenties again without getting drunk off of box wine and waking up to a bad manicure.
Elena: Why would anyone want to do that?
Ruby: Because it's fun!
My favorite moment didn't occur at girls' night or within any of the guests' fantasies.
It was when Elena, slightly tipsy from doing a couple of shots with the guests, was dancing along the beach, completely uninhibited by responsibilities or plans.
It ends when she runs into Javier, and, suddenly, the consequences of their tryst become her concern.
It's such a brief moment that is completely at odds with her claim to the guests that she is married to the job and happily so.
Those carefree, little dancing steps. Now, that was happy.
That was Margot feeling rested, Nettie feeling secure, Cam feeling supported.
Simple things, like friendships, are the foundation of happiness.
So, pop quiz time: As you watch Fantasy Island online, do you see Elena ever taking the option to pursue her own happiness?
Could Ruby take over? Maybe with Segundo's help?
Also, why is the dog named Mr. Jones? Was he a guest whose fantasy was to live out his days as a dog?
Curiouser and curiouser. Float your questions and theories into our comments below!
Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.