The most new-look aspect of this “Fantasy Island,” by contrast, is that the person greeting the guests is Elena Roarke (Roselyn Sanchez), the great niece of the original white-suited emcee played by Richard Montalban, who notes that stewardship of the island has been in her family for generations.
Beyond that, there’s a somewhat serialized aspect involving one of the characters introduced in the first episode, and a sexual-tension thing happening between Ms. Roarke and Javier (John Gabriel Rodriquez), the handsome pilot who flies over the new guests.
The formula otherwise remains largely the same, just with more contemporary flavor, such as a woman who comes to the island facing a terminal illness, and whose flirtation with another woman makes her husband wonder if she settled by choosing him decades earlier.
Other storylines feel more strained, such as “Scandal’s” Bellamy Young as a TV anchor who has fretted about her weight for years, and comes to the island to indulge in “guilt-free calories,” an appropriate metaphor for this kind of escapism.
Of course, there’s a bit more to it than that, though the various twists still feel fairly slight — if not as weightless as in the ’70s — compared to the modern anthology genre.
After some fanfare that show slipped over the horizon, which seems like a harbinger of “Fantasy Island’s” fate.
“What can the island do for you?” Elena earnestly asks a new arrival.
The better question might be whether enough viewers are hungry for pristine beaches (the show filmed in Puerto Rico) and bland nostalgia to turn what should be a quick summer visit into, in TV terms, an extended stay.
“Fantasy Island” premieres Aug. 10 at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.