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So, to the final three episodes of Baywatch. Sadly the writers still seem convinced that what I really want to see, in these dying days of the show, is more of Cort and Eddie sandwiched together into an irritating double act; but there's entertaining stuff as well. Or there sort of is. Admittedly some of it isn't exactly easy to get to.

We begin with an episode about water-skiing. It's also about Shauni trying to come to terms with Jill's death, which is a lot more entertaining than it sounds. The "Jill dies repeatedly by slo-mo shark attack" montage is brilliantly funny, although I'm sure that it wasn't really supposed to be. Lest we forget what the episode's really about, though, we're treated to several waterskiing montages as well, one of which is backed by When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going. This only adds to the general hilarity, as rarely has a song been less appropriate. There is nothing tough going on. Anywhere. There is a fabulous array of very eighties watersporting gear in evidence, but that's less 'tough', and more 'oh dear'. Never was so much neon pink and electric blue gathered together in one place in the name of neoprene fashion. And I seem to be straying from the point rather. Again. Back in the plot, Cort has been conning a woman for years, telling her that he's John T Cort III, property magnate and record producer, and a hundred other things besides. She asks him for a $10000 donation for the charity that she runs, and in an effort to maintain his cover, he borrows money from Mitch and Craig to buy a speedboat and enter a waterskiing contest. It transpires that the $10000 donation is for the rest home where his old uncle is being cared for, which is rather akin to being clobbered over the head, not just with the sad violin, but also with the bloke who's playing it. As the writers wave huge banners reading "See! Cort isn't as bad as you thought!", and the woman he's been lying to all these years smiles sweetly at him in understanding, I find myself disliking the man even more than before. And I really didn't think that was possible. It's not that he's a conman. It's that he's a charmless conman, backed by a gang of writers who desperately want us to love him no matter how stupid he's being.

Mind you, this plot does lead to some entertainment. To begin with there's Mitch and Craig, suddenly decked out in matching jackets. It's like a His & Hers speedboating ensemble. Even better is how, in the long distance shots, they're wearing bright orange lifejackets, but in the close ups they're not. Continuity errors are really rather sweet when they're carefully wrapped in bright orange, just to make sure that they stand out. In fact there seems to be something about waterskiing that kills off continuity entirely, because halfway through the episode, Mitch, Craig and Cort begin reminiscing about their 'fraternity pranks'. Given that it's already been established that Craig went to college in New York, whilst Mitch stayed behind in Malibu (and nicked his girlfriend), how does that work? New York to Malibu is a hell of a long commute just to go to a fraternity get-together. It's not just the continuity that's off, either. When Cort falls off his skis at one point, Mitch and Craig, desperately trying to spot their injured comrade, stare heavenward in an effort to find him. I don't know about you, but I always find up to be a very useful direction to look in whenever I've dropped something. Gravity is just so passé.

The second episode is even funnier. It's a fairly basic story. Mitch, Craig and Garner go camping together, and soon after arriving, Mitch decides to set out on a handgliding expedition. Since one catastrophe on its own would be boring, he manages to have a whole series of them one after another, ending up with various broken limbs, a rattlesnake bite, and goodness only knows what else. It's as though, having been told that the show had been axed, the writers decided to use up their reserve script ideas all at once. Dashing to the rescue, Craig finds Mitch trapped in a canyon, and decides that the best way to help is to crash too. He's a team player, is Craig. Meanwhile, having realised that something has gone wrong, Garner also takes to the skies, and manages to raise the alarm by demolishing a lifeguard station and almost beheading Shauni, which is certainly a lot more interesting than just shouting "Help!". A rescue party headed by Eddie and Shauni then dashes to Mitch's aid, which will no doubt reassure him no end. After all, why make use of people who are trained for inland rescue, when you can send in two inexperienced lifeguards instead?

The third episode is the obligatory earthquake one. Following the big earthquake of 1989, just about every TV show that was in production at the time did an earthquake episode, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that Baywatch had a go as well. Being Baywatch, though, they're incapable of doing it sensibly. Whilst Gina battles with a hideous sculpture that she's for some reason pretending to be trapped beneath, and Mitch takes to the skies to see the extent of the damage, Craig and Cort, who were scuba diving, discover a hydrogen suphide leak caused by the quake. Unable to escape it, as starting their boat's engines might cause an explosion, they decide to track it to its lair - swimming underwater down narrow rocky passages being such a good idea when there have already been two tremors close together. In the process of hunting down the hydrogen sulphide, they get caught in a third quake, and wind up trapped in a cave filled with petroleum gas. One poisonous substance is never enough, is it. You always find yourself wanting another. Catching on to the situation in the nick of time - although how he figured out that Craig and Cort were in an underwater cave, I have no idea. Either that bit of the episode got cut for timing reasons, or he just has an incredible sense of smell - Mitch saves the day by blowing stuff up. Do all rescue helicopters carry explosives? That's awesome if they do, although it must make crashing an even worse idea than usual. Somehow managing not to blow up Cort and Craig, despite the vast amounts of flammable gases that they've been trapped in the middle of all episode, Mitch whoops and cheers. And why not? After all, it's always good to blow stuff up.


Mitch and Craig model their rather fetching matching jackets.


"I can't see him!"

No, really?! He's a human being, boys. Not a novelty helium balloon.



Yikes. I think I preferred the matching jackets.



Cort likes the matching jackets too.



However Mitch and Craig clearly don't want to share.



Handgliding!Mitch, enjoying a brief moment of relaxation prior to hitting Disaster Central.



Eagle!



Garner demonstrates his own version of handgliding, as he likes the real thing about as much as he likes swimming.



Mitch crashes his handglider into a tree.



Then falls out of the tree, and breaks his leg.



Then, having nicely splinted it, and fixed himself a crutch out of pieces of handglider...



... he trips over and falls down a slope.



Snake!



Then he falls down a cliff. Well, these things happen to all of us at one time or another.



But never fear! Craig is ready to help, assisted by a strangely lovelorn-looking Garner.

Setting off, Craig soon finds Mitch trapped in a canyon. He then faces a choice. Either he can fly for help, or he can crash too, and hope that this proves useful.



Not a very difficult choice.



Remarkably, instead of laughing at Mitch's ridiculous catalogue of injuries, Craig gives him first aid. He's a better friend than I am, that's for sure.



Mitch is strangely unmoved by Craig's enthusiastic rescue attempt. He even thinks that the crash-landing was a bad idea. Miserable sod.



Garner really doesn't like handgliding...



I think these boys may be carrying the team spirit thing a little too far.



Thunderbird 4 springs into action to save the day.



Along with its bizarrely sexist crew. Do real female lifeguards always get left behind, or is it just the TV ones who never get to have any fun?!



Whale!



Gina, and her horrendously eighties bedspread, shelter from the earthquake.

You know, I'm pretty sure that hiding under a pillow isn't included in the earthquake drill.



Fishy!



Gina gets 'trapped' by falling debris. I'm sorry, but no she doesn't. It's blatantly obvious that she could get out from there any time she wants, especially since in the next scene she's managed to roll over onto her back.

Still, it gave Hobie something to do, for about the first time since episode five. So that's nice.



Obligatory pregnant woman.



Swimming through narrow underwater tunnels is also not covered by the earthquake drill. Just in case you were wondering.



Cort and Craig are trapped in an underwater cave, a script development that surely nobody could have predicted.

Imagine being trapped with Cort. That has to be a worse fate even than the poison gas.



Inside Cort and Craig's cave, the explosion is rather disappointing.



Outside, however, the entire sea suddenly turns into a piece of stock footage.

That happens, you know. It's a known side effect of earthquakes.



Boom!

Then the episode ends, not with Craig and Gina being reunited, or Mitch and Hobie being reunited, or anything else remotely nice. Instead it ends with Eddie randomly proposing to Shauni on the beach. It makes for rather an unsatisfying and messy conclusion, like there's a bit of the episode missing. Nonetheless, such faults aside (and there are many), I wouldn't have been at all saddened by a second series. Not the one that was made, obviously, with its non-existent plots, and increasingly top-heavy women, but a proper one, with explosions. And Parker Stevenson. Naturally.

So bye bye Baywatch. You were silly, but you were fun, and I suppose there are worse epitaphs than that. I still think that David Hasselhoff in nothing but a pair of shorts was a bad idea, though. Just so we're clear.

Comments

( 14 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
ladygretchen
Mar. 27th, 2011 05:50 am (UTC)
Oh no, that sounds like a terribly lame ending! Boo! Looks like they were in a big hurry to get on with season 2 already and chuck the better cast members...well, maybe just Parker. Ughh, I'm getting so miffed with the obligatory pregnant woman in a disaster plot in every show I watch. If it's not an earthquake, it's an elevator or a bank hold up or…you get the idea!
swordznsorcery
Mar. 28th, 2011 09:57 pm (UTC)
Oddly enough, they weren't in a hurry to get season two underway, no. The show was axed. It was months and months later that they started making season two, after it was saved by European investment. That's why there were cast changes, I guess. Parker Stevenson, and probably original Hobie, had moved on to other jobs by then. Just as well, really, given how silly it got!
ladygretchen
Mar. 28th, 2011 10:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, didn't realize that! I definitely know original Hobie moved on to 'Step By Step' which started in 1991, and Parker...well, not sure what he was doing so much, probably tv movies and marriage with Kirstie Alley.
swordznsorcery
Mar. 28th, 2011 10:12 pm (UTC)
He had a series called "Probe", about a geeky millionaire who solved crimes with the help of lots of gadgets that he'd invented. Not quite sure when that was, though. I watched a few episodes on YouTube a year or so back, and I really ought to see if there's more out there. Maybe when I've finished working through "Man From Atlantis", and my peculiar current "My Two Dads" obsession.
ladygretchen
Mar. 28th, 2011 10:17 pm (UTC)
Never heard of Probe either, must have been in between Baywatch and Step by Step. Probably was. I just ordered the Pilot MFA DVD from the official warner site (just in case that somehow helps and they get moving and put all the rest on DVD!) I suppose they are doing us desperate fans a favor by doing 'Made to Order' DVDs. :P

I remember My Two Dads! Sort of..the girl from that moved on to Step by Step too. Because of my latest Duffy obsession I have nearly watched all the episodes of that on Youtube. It's so much funnier watching it as an adult. Who knew Mark Harris was so hysterically funny? :D
swordznsorcery
Mar. 28th, 2011 10:27 pm (UTC)
All of "My Two Dads" is on YouTube, or is in the process of being put up there. The person posting it is also posting "Step By Step". I'd recommend it.
ladygretchen
Mar. 29th, 2011 02:22 am (UTC)
I wonder if it's the same person's channel we're watching. The I never checked their other videos, I just watch the Step by Step' ones. :D
swordznsorcery
Mar. 29th, 2011 09:08 pm (UTC)
The channel is called jmtrt4. They're adding videos really fast, so they must have a pretty good connection. About three or four episodes seem to be appearing every time I look! As far as I can tell with "My Two Dads", some of the episodes are recordings of recent repeats, so are slightly edited, but it's not very noticeable. Probably the same with "Step By Step". Terrible, isn't it, how much shorter TV shows have to be nowadays, so they can squeeze ever more commercials in!
ladygretchen
Mar. 30th, 2011 05:35 am (UTC)
Yep, that's the same person. They must be a major Stacy Keenan fan. LOL. 'Dana' was the least likable character to me on 'Step by Step', way too too much attitude toward everyone...come to think of it, all the kids had too much attitude, except Cody, lol. Well, that was the start of disrespectful 90's TV teens being smarter than their parents.

I hate that they cut everything, the commercials are sickening, a 1/2 hour show should be just that! Not 21 or 22 minutes.
swordznsorcery
Mar. 30th, 2011 09:39 pm (UTC)
The worst thing is when they refer to a scene that's been cut, so a whole chunk of an episode doesn't make sense!

I don't remember the kids being obnoxious in "Step By Step". Too long since I last saw it, probably. Her character in "My Two Dads" is really nice, though - a genuinely lovely kid. She does try it on with her fathers at times, but she (and often they!) have always learnt a lesson by the end of the episode. It's rather nice how it manages to be sweet without being sickly.
ladygretchen
Mar. 30th, 2011 09:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah, true, all the kids learn their lesson. But I'm annoyed that there are chunks missing too. I watched a SBS episode yesterday that felt really unfinished-the oldest son JT, (orig. Hobie) had a teacher who invited him to her house and tried to seduce him!! Dana had previously told him how wrong it was, that he was only getting A+'s because she wanted to do that. (After overhearing her talking on the phone) So, although he wanted his pretty teacher, JT did the right thing..however, that was all there was...i wanted to know what happened with this teacher professionally, she had a lot of nerve. And of course nobody told the parents anything, unless they did. I just wanted to see the teacher get her comeuppance, as I'm sure Carol and Frank would have gave it to her.
Oh, Dana was very obnoxious..least likable perhaps, but she was really funny. (Which=most likeable I suppose.)

I think there was a great chemistry between the entire cast that worked really well. (I just bristle with any teens and their bad attitudes!)
I will have to watch the Two dads, I always though Greg Evigan was a hottie, especially in 'Tek Wars' LOL.
chreesko
Aug. 9th, 2011 02:30 am (UTC)
Er, hello stranger. I was looking for your Remington Steele fic when Google sent me here, and then I saw your Baywatch tag and. Well.

I just wanted to thank you for these recaps. You managed to capture the ridiculousness so well, and it made me remember just how much I loved this stupid show. The first season was the best of all and Parker was, of course, my favorite. (I loved him so much that I even watched the crappy 9th season episodes where they brought him back and gave him a teenage girlfriend or whatever.)

I remember being heartbroken when the show was cancelled, and then even more heartbroken when it came back on Fox newly hoochified. But of course this was before the internet, so I sat through multiple seasons in the vain hope that they would bring him back. (I probably shouldn't admit that on the internet, but eh. I was young and stupid.)

Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for the unexpected, but highly fun, trip down memory lane.

ETA: And, of course, I got so excited that I forgot to mention what I wanted to say about the actual show. *facepalm* This might have been because I was too young to grasp anything, but it wasn't until this recap that I understood what actually happened with the gas and the cave. Like, I new that there was some sort of gas bubbling up, and that they went to find the source, but then I couldn't figure out why they were able to breathe the air in the cave when they were so careful around the gas outside.

Also, the waterskiing episode was my favorite because (a) I didn't realize it until now, but waterskiing is so dated and (b) Craig got to prove that he's so much better than Cort and Mitch. IIRC -- and I honestly can't believe I still remember this when I can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday -- I think that's the episode where Mitch said Craig was so much more graceful than he was. ♥♥♥

And now I'm done. Thanks again!

Edited at 2011-08-09 03:21 am (UTC)
swordznsorcery
Aug. 9th, 2011 07:01 pm (UTC)
Hello! Glad you had fun reading all of this nonsense. :) If you're a Parker Stevenson fan, you might enjoy clicking on the Hardy Boys tag as well. And you remembered right, incidentally - they did say in the waterskiiing episode that Craig was awesomely better than anybody else. They might not have phrased it quite like that, but that's definitely what they meant. ;)

Did you find the Remington Steele stories in the end? I know I put a link around here somewhere, but I don't remember exactly where.
chreesko
Aug. 13th, 2011 05:09 am (UTC)
I did find them, thanks! And a whole bunch of stories from other fandoms I love that I'd never read before, so yay for that. I actually ended up finding them through Google, once I got through all the links about General Steele's army.

I'll check out the Hardy Boys tag as well. Unfortunately, I was too young to properly appreciate the Hardy Boys when it first aired, and by the time I was old enough, everyone had moved on and I was all by my lonesome. It'll be interesting to rediscover it now.
( 14 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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