The Second Season
In the late 1980s, a new television aired on NBC called Baywatch. The series did not do very well and NBC cancelled it at the end of its first year. The series went into syndication and individual funding sources helped keep it alive. In 1991, Baywatch started its second season. Afterwards, Baywatch grew in popularity and ran until 2001--its eleventh season with two hundred and forty-two episodes. The series has been herald as one of the most popular (in terms of audience numbers, not necessarily quality) television series worldwide.
Baywatch, in its first nine seasons, takes place on the sunny beaches of California. The final two seasons followed Hasselhoff's character relocating to the beaches of Hawaii. Baywatch's stories deal with beautiful life guards who save drowning swimmers to thwarting criminal masterminds. Another major aspect that Baywatch is well-known for is its beautiful female cast that runs on the beach in slow motion while certain parts of their bodies bounce.
This review covers the "second season". While it is dubbed as the second season, it is not really the second season of the show. The episodes included in this set come from the series second season in syndication. First Look Home Entertainment, the group putting out the DVDs, started the season numbering from the series' first season in syndication. The actual first season that NBC aired is being included in the syndicated season releases. For instance, this release includes the episodes "In Deep" and "Heat Wave". It is also important to note that due to licensing issues, the two-part season premiere episode "River Of No Return" is not included in this set.
From Baywatch's first season in syndication to the second, almost the entire cast was changed. Season one's regular characters Eddie, Shauni, and Harvey are no longer on the show. Season two sees several replacement characters. Stephanie Holden (Alexandra Paul) comes on as the new supervising lieutenant. Stephanie takes charge of headquarters and allows Mitch to go back on the beach. She has a history with Mitch, which produces some tension between them.
Another new character this season is C.J. Parker (Pamela Denise Anderson). She is an experienced lifeguard and helps out the new faces as necessary. Both Matt Brody (David Charvet) and Summer Quinn (Nicole Eggert) join the Baywatch team as rookie lifeguards. They are both getting accustomed to the taxing lifestyle as lifeguards. Jimmy Slade (Kelly Slater) is surfer who repeatedly finds himself in the Baywatch crew's lives. Slater, who plays Jimmy, is a pro-surfer in real life.
In general, the content this season provides is not better than the past season. The stories still include overly dramatic, poorly written storylines with decent acting performances. For instance, the first episode in this collection is "Tequila". The meat of the story is about a group of surfers who terrorize anyone and everyone who try to "surf" on their waves. It is a ridiculous and overly dramatic story that is neither entertaining nor interesting. But while episodes like "Tequila" are made up entirely of absurd storylines, there are some interesting aspects. What I enjoyed about "Tequila" was Mitch getting accustomed to the latest addition, his former love Stephanie.
The remainder of the season episodes continues to offer somewhat fluffy material (e.g., "Masquerade", Baywatch goes undercover to catch pirates, and "Strangers Among Us", a smuggler hides valuables in Jimmy's surfboard). There were a few I enjoyed, but those were the episodes that primary focused on character development. I thought that Mitch and Stephanie had good chemistry together, and I also enjoyed seeing the Baywatch rookies get accustomed to their new jobs. There are also some dramatic stories of interest, like the love triangle with Summer, Courtney (guest star Elizabeth Berkley), and Jimmy.
Overall, I enjoyed this set of episodes more than the past season because of the characters. The content itself was not necessarily better. Despite, I still think that Baywatch is a hit or miss show. You will either love it or hate it. There really is not anything too special about the series to warrant your attention, unless of course you are attempting to subdue nostalgia.
1. River Of No Return Part 1: A relative's mysterious drowning death finds Mitch, Hobie, Eddie, and Shauni traveling to California's gold country for a whitewater rafting adventure they'll never forget.
12. A Matter Of Life And Death: A dispute between Mitch's lifeguard career and his father's desire to have him take over the family business becomes intensified by devastating news about the elder Buchannon. Meanwhile, Summer struggles with a childhood trauma that threatens her future as a lifeguard.
The release has subtitle support in the English and Spanish languages.
Heat Wave is the next bonus episode. It is the third episode from the NBC season. Here the episode description: On a hot summer day with record-breaking temperatures, hordes of people migrate to the Los Angeles County beaches. As the lifeguards work their full potential, an ex-lifeguard mysteriously appears bringing a son and quite a bit of trouble.
Baywatch Through The Years is a photo gallery of the cast in action and posing. There are a total of thirty pictures.
How It All Began (13:17) is an interview featurette with the show's co-creators and executive producers Michael Berk, Doug Schwartz, and Greg Bonann. The interview begins with Berk, Schwartz, and Bonann talking about how they developed the series. They begin discussing their own histories and how they got into developing TV movies. Berk and Schwartz talk about their histories working together and Bonann talks about his crude TV concept that turned into Baywatch. They also talk about other aspects related to the series' beginning. The most interesting portion is the discussion about the cancellation and revival.
Clip of Girls on the Beach (2:00) is an Easter Egg (I made up the name!). It is accessed from disc 5's menu. While "How It All Began" is selected, press the right arrow on the DVD remote to highlight the female lifeguard shape. The clip is a montage of scenes with girls on the beach, lifeguards and civilians.
Note: In addition to this season not including all of its episodes, music has been replaced, most notably the opening theme song.