From 1989 to 1999, we were graced with the addictive and deeply-loved US TV series Baywatch. Sure, the main memory I have of the life-guarding drama is being physically forced to sit down, hand over the remote and watch, by the older sibling. But all the same, I enjoyed it. Perhaps not in the same way as big bro (and all other males for that fact) did, but still, watching shark attacks and natural disasters occur on the coast of L.A. with bodies in the skimpiest of swimwear really was quite pleasant. ‘Cos that’s what they were right? Bodies. I rarely remember lifting my eye line to their faces, apart from when the Hoff was on. Obviously.
So, let me take you back. There was Mitch Buchannon (Hoff), C.J. Parker (boobs), and a loada other hotties you don’t need to know the names of. Sun, sea, beach, sharks, blood, parties, sexual relations, incest, and my favourite part; the desperately frantic front crawl to save the kid who’d swam too far out, followed by the throwing of the red floating aid thingy and thus – peace was regained. Oh and who could forget the bouncy booby running a la slow motion in that form-fitting red swimming costume. All hail C.J and her (fake) breasts? Hallelujah!
Joking aside, this beaut (according to the Guinness Book of World Records), is the most viewed show in the world, of all time. Go Bay-watchers! Viewed by a billion worldwide, yeah a billion! Woah! It launched careers like Ms. Anderson, and post-Knightrider introduced David Hasselhoff to a whole new generation of fans.What more could you want? And where are they now? Well Hoff’s a judge on a terrible, and I mean that, terrible talent contest and ‘Boobs’ following the end of her tumultuous and very public marriage to Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee, is these days best known as fashion designer Vivienne Westwood’s muse. Crazy. And the others..? *crickets*
Moving swiftly on to that addictive theme tune. “I’ll beee thheeeerrre, I’ll be theeere.” Mr. Jimi Jamison gave us that ultimate, thank you Jimi. I like the way you spell your name too. Adds a nice ring to it. And not forgetting the ever-so-dramatic drum roll at the beginning, everyone knew what it was instantly. Even my mum, ‘You’re not watching that rubbish again are you?’ Those were the days – when I’d be curled up in front of the TV with older sibling, dog, and tea on my lap. Sheer, effortlessly watchable, bliss.
So I’d like to say a wee thank you to the Hoff himself, as he was the one who persevered and was the one who truly believed in good old Baywatch, even when it was cancelled. He brought it to its victory, the state of accomplished, well acted, critically acclaimed ‘sitcomness’.
Let’s forget about Baywatch Hawaii, (and Baywatch Nights – eek!) they didn’t exist.
By Lara Piras
Ed says: My fondest memories of Baywatch are slightly difference than Lara’s mainly because I am slightly *ahem* older than her, more than anything else. LOL! So when I think of Baywatch, it is not Pamela Anderson’s lady pillows bursting out of that iconic red swim suit, or Yasmin Bleeth running in slow motion across a white sandy beach, that first spring to mind., as I had long lost interest in the show by that point. You see I was an ‘OG Baywatch fan’ (and yes, I am trying to make it sound much cooler than that can ever be), which meant I was locked in from when the show first aired back in 1989, before Pam Anderson had even though about having her money-making boob job.
So, who remembers the likes of Eddie Kramer and Shaunie McClain? The rookie lifeguards were two of the show’s original characters, along with life-guarding veterans Jill Riley (who was killed in a very emotional shark attack episode) Craig Pomeroy (Actress Kirstie Allie’s ex-husband Parker Stevenson), lovable rouge John D Cort and of course David Hasselhoff as Mitch Buchannon. Mitch’s son Hobie was played by cute child actor Brandon Call in the early days, and I wasn’t that impressed when they replaced him with Jeremy Jackson in Season two.
Me and my best friend at secondary school had a HUUUUGE crush on the actor who played Eddie (Billy Warlock). He and Shaunie (former Playboy playmate Erika Eleniak) were the show’s main couple, and as young and sexy characters, a lot of the early storylines saw them at the forefront, such as their beach wedding (below). Aww!
I also remember the original theme music, Save Me (sung by Peter Cetera), which they used for the first season, before replacing it with I’ll Always be There. I found a fan-made video on Youtube (below), which features the original music and showcases every character to ever appear on the show. It’s pretty good and full of ‘Oh, yeah, I remember them!!!’ moments (for those of us sad enough to care of course). LOL!