All I knew of Baywatch was Chandler’s obsession with Yasmine Bleeth… until now. I’ve started watching reruns of Baywatch on some obscure cable channel and I think I can say with total confidence that I was not missing anything.
Plot: An incident happens. A second, separate incident happens. Montage of beach scenes. Bikinis and banter. Incident 1 is revisited momentarily. Montage. Incident 2 is revisited. Incident 1 is “resolved”. Montage. Incident 2 is “resolved”. Banter and bikinis.
Hoff: handsome but relatable in his easy-going jokiness
Other Adult 1: butt of Hoff’s jokes, preferably black or female authority figure
Other Adult 2: provides back story and useful information, often is a marine biologist
Other Adult 3: old white man authority figure trying to get Hoff to be more responsible
Ridiculously Good-looking Teen 1: has somewhat relatable problem but no perspective and certainly no chill whatsoever. Saves some people from drowning. Looks good in swimsuit and/or 90s fashion. Problem is haphazardly half-resolved and we never hear about it again
Ridiculously Good-looking Teen 2: miscommunicates with Ridiculously Good-looking Teen 1, throws teen-sized hissy fit, saves some people from drowning, looks good in swimsuit and/or 90s fashion, gains perspective and “resolves” Teen 1’s issue.
Ridiculously Good-looking Teen 3: same as above but with different hair
Ridiculously Good-looking Teen 4-37: same as above but are cycled through as each gets too old/ugly/boring
Hobie: what is the point of this kid? I’m on early episodes and so far, he just shows up, smiles and giggles and Hoff musses his hair.
Settings: Beach, beach house, lifeguard house, Compton, random office type building
Aesthetic: Totally rad 90s California beach style, brah
Very Special Episode Lessons: Women who have to choose between 2 boyfriends become bulimic until boyfriends decide amongst themselves who gets her. Bulimia subsides after older, thinner woman admits she was also bulimic and it’s bad news. It’s great to be thin, but do it by NOT eating.
Women who are raped are scared to report future attackers but once Hoff saves you, you feel instantly better after diving into the ocean in your bikini while the camera follows your butt cheeks. Rape is bad but ogling asses is good harmless fun.
Silly silly me, I thought maybe if I watched a few episodes, I would have a better appreciation of the new Efron/Chopra/Rock version of Baywatch filming nowish? No. Nope. I think whatever garbage (or not, you never know) they spew forth here in the future has no conceivable chance of being as pointless, inane, or psychologically damaging as the original. Cheers to you, original Baywatch, for promoting rape culture AND terribly made television for 10 long years.