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For those on tenterhooks, it turns out that the policeman who hates the sea is called Garner - which is a surname, but apparently his parents got confused. Either that or James Garner did, and since he's cooler (obviously), I'm siding with him. And before I go completely off at a tangent, the Australian bloke who was also nameless last time is called Trevor. So obviously he's better off just being nameless.

That's the updates completed, then. On with the rest of the pointless rambling.

And we're back with season one of Baywatch. Isn't this exciting? I'm quite taken with the next batch of episodes. In the ones I watched earlier, I guess the series was only just finding its feet, but as it progresses, everybody gets more into the swing of things. The end result is very mixed, but largely enjoyable. One episode features a murder mystery, for example, as a killer with his face painted like a skull terrorises the beach after dark. That one's particularly good fun, with Parker Stevenson in full Frank Hardy mode. Let's go chasing a murderer! What brilliant fun! How could anything possibly go wrong?! Actually, that one's even more entertaining, as he's in the middle of a feud with a slimy politician at the same time. David Hasselhoff even manages not to be annoying, filling the Joe Hardy role nicely as he trails along behind, wondering if maybe none of this is a particularly good idea. They will keep trying to throw social commentary into the mix, though. Shauni's brief adventure with domestic violence was a little pointless, but I suppose it did give Billy Warlock a chance to play the tough guy. Or glare a lot, and look like he might be a bit tough, if he wasn't for the fact that he's Billy Warlock. That episode has an excellent subplot, though, even if it does involve Craig traitorously encouraging Mitch to run about the place in nothing but shorts. A careless tour operator is speeding his customers about the bay in a rickety boat. Craig decides that he and Mitch should amuse themselves over the weekend by following him about and being needlessly dramatic, which of course coincides with his engine exploding and oh good grief there's going to be a huge crash!!! Except there isn't, as the pier keeps miraculously getting further away, as the boat speeds remarkably slowly towards it on a collision course. But it's all jolly good fun anyway, even with Mitch in far too little clothing.

And the deathly perils! Oh the peril. You wouldn't believe the dangers of the beach. At the beginning of the season they tried to do an episode set in a deathly heatwave, but were rather scuppered by the fact that it was clearly filmed on a cool and breezy day. Later on in the season, with a bit more practice, they're a little better at mastering the vagaries of that unpredictable Californian weather. Look out, everybody! There's a storm coming! Gasp as the cast are menaced by deadly pieces of stock footage! Hide behind your cushions as a bloke sprinkles a watering can in front of the camera! Shudder in terror as the Slightly Unenthusiastic Fan Of Doom fails to blow the scenery about quite powerfully enough! That one's a good fun episode. Two random psychopaths invade Baywatch HQ, and hold everybody hostage, whilst the stock footage terrorises the pier, and loud sound effects make the cast jump a lot, and worry about the windows. I like the episodes when they get silly, and start introducing mad gunmen and unnecessary amounts of violence. It's so much better than rescuing drowning tourists. Special bonus points to the policeman at the beginning, who shouts about the growing Hurricane Of Terror, whilst clinging desperately to his hat in case it get shaken slightly by the very mild breeze.

It's not all good, though. There's also the dread episode "The Armoured Car". Read the synopsis of that episode, and you might think you were in for some fun. A giant armoured car crashes through the pier! And there's people trapped inside! And it's sinking, and they're drowning, and oh the excitement! But the armoured car spends three quarters of the episode sitting on the pier, with lots of close ups of the wheels, and the creaky planks underneath them. Then it falls through, and Shauni and Eddie nearly drown, but don't of course, and nobody ever really thought that they would. And they're Shauni and Eddie anyway, so who would care? Meanwhile, the entire rest of the episode is made up of volleyball montages. I kid you not. Jill, the otherwise awesome lifeguard, is furious when her cheating lover comes back into her life, so she decides to teach him a lesson by beating him in a volleyball tournament. But oh no! She's hurt her shoulder! Oh the drama! Oh the pain! Oh the sheer, mind-numbing tedium. On no less than four separate occasions, we're treated to an interminable, slo-mo sequence of volleyballs bouncing, and various cast members leaping about on either side of a net, whilst some bloody awful music wails in the background. The entire episode could have been twenty minutes long, tops. Mind you, it's almost saved at the last minute by Mitch and Craig doing some heroic dashing about in fluorescent peach wetsuits. And it ain't easy being heroic in fluorescent peach.

And Jill isn't the only one with a returning ex-lover. Of course she isn't. TV loves them, even though TV viewers invariably don't. It turns out that Craig used to date an oceanographer, but when he went off to college, Mitch slept with her. Mitch mostly thinks this is acceptable behaviour for a best friend. Craig, despite having had no issues with Mitch in any previous episode, or any of the ones that follow, suddenly decides to get wildly angry about it when she comes back to town for the first time in ten years. Or twelve years, or fourteen. They're all offered as alternatives at one point. In fact Mitch insists it was ten years ago, and then claims that Hobie is twelve, which would mean that he was cheating on his wife and his best friend at the same time. Oh, and they're supposed to be in a rowing race, but they're too busy yelling at each other, until they decide mid-race that they'd rather be friends after all, and then win. In stupid lycra shorts. I don't know. I stopped caring. It was better than the volleyball episode, though. Mind you, it would have been hard put not to be.

To conclude, Baywatch season one is still (mostly) recommended. Just avoid all episodes featuring damned silly beach sports, and focus entirely on the ones with guns, random psychopaths, and Parker Stevenson with a silly grin and a death wish. And run a mile if anybody mentions their ex-lover.

Pictures!



The gang stand around at the scene of a murder, and discuss suspects. Because really, what else have lifeguards got to do?



- Are you quite sure that confronting the murder suspect is a good idea?

- Of course! What could possibly go wrong?



A nutcase with a gun.

Just in case you were thinking it was a boat or something.



Oh help us! Oh catastrophe! The boat is speeding towards land! And it's on fire! And out of control! And oh no, great heavens, what shall we do?!?!



One of the many perils of the deep.



Fear not! For I come armed with a small fire extinguisher, that will miraculously fix the burnt wiring, and return control of the boat to the pilot! All just in the nick of time.

Isn't suspension of disbelief a wonderful thing.



Look out! Stock footage!



A policeman clings desperately to his not-at-all threatened hat, in the face of an entirely non-existent gale. Sadly nobody else is bothering, which rather spoils the effect. Or makes it even better, depending on your point of view.



Another nut with a gun. They breed copiously in the local habitat.



Yep, there's another one.



Man Who Was In Biggles. Yes, this does require celebrating.

That's Biggles: The Movie, by the way. I have no data on the other reading of that line.



An ex-lover.



And another one. They always wear green. This is very thoughtful of them, as it helps no end when hiring an assassin.



Shauni and Eddie get a bit wet, whilst stuck in an armoured truck on the bottom of the sea. Just an average day in the life of a lifeguard. Probably.



Mitch and Craig. Heroes in fluorescent peach.

That's it for now. Next time on Baywatch, I get improbably excited as we reach my favourite episode. Exploding jeeps! Fisticuffs! Fabulously stereotypical bad guys!

It faintly disturbs me how much I'm looking forward to watching that episode.

Comments

( 2 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
ladygretchen
Feb. 5th, 2011 12:44 am (UTC)
Oh this was such a fun read!! ODE to Frank Hardy, how cool is that? And I know that second nutcase! He plays the nutcase Lex Luthor on the Superboy TV show. He's a great actor actually. And Garner! That was his name, always riding that jeep or something, no water=no buff bod. No mention of Hobie, so I'm assuming he's just running around the beach, or maybe in school…hopefully.

Never trust the ex-nineties lover with the short hair-that means she don't need you and she's a power house business woman...she's either cold and distant, or she's coming back attempting to explain why she ripped your heart out and stomped on it-normally it's the 'I wanted a career' excuse, or was it in this case-"I better run because I just cheated on you with your best friend and was wracked with guilt." It's even worse when they slicked their back in that era. arr! And I'm gonna say it-If Jon-Erik was around, I could so see him on Baywatch, even for just an episode. :D
swordznsorcery
Feb. 5th, 2011 02:44 pm (UTC)
Maybe Jon-Erik could be a nut with a gun. :) I can see him having some fun playing a bad guy.

Hobie is around in these episodes, mostly worrying about girls, and that sort of stuff. No school that I've noticed! He's a bit more interesting when he's being randomly kidnapped by smugglers, than he is when he's getting his first kiss. So I mostly ignored him this time. :)
( 2 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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