Growing up in the 1970s, hardly a week went by without encountering an episode of ‘Gilligan’s Island’ on one of the eleven channels that my elderly Quasar could drag out of the Cable TV ether.  As an adult, I recognize the archetypical power of Sherwood Schwartz’ vision, even finding parallels between the castaways of the SS Minnow and the classic stock characters of Commedia Dell’Arte.  But all that high-falutin’ falderal (Doo dah!  Doo dah!) is thrown by the wayside at the appearance of young Mary Ann Summers, the fresh-faced farm girl who stole my heart.  The quintessential Girl Next Door, she was one of my earliest crushes, alongside Samantha’s evil double Serena (who is an entirely different kettle of fish.)  Able to catch a fish, sing a torch song, and put even the overly-educated Professor in his place as necessary, Mary Ann raises today’s pointed query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) always had a slight crush on Silver Age Lightning Lass, if it helps, asking: Who’s your favorite example of the “Girl/Boy Next” door archetype in pop culture?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. I’m torn between Betty Cooper, Emma Nelson (Degrassi: The Next Generation, something I’m still surprised I’ve enjoyed at some point), early seasons Willow (from Buffy) and Topanga (Boy Meets World)

  2. Betty Cooper, Mary Ann Summers and Tinya Wazzo (LSH’s Phantom Girl) were my first three “fictional character” crushes, in that order, as a wee lad.

  3. Two words, freinds: Rory Williams <3. Granted, aside from some obvious exceptions (Jack, Romana.. ect) companions are usually kind of a boy/girl next door type. Someone who seems ordinary or even boring but is actually fantastic.

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