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Son of the Beach - Volume 1

Fox // Unrated // April 29, 2003
List Price: $39.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Ron J. Epstein | posted April 25, 2003 | E-mail the Author
The Feature:
Color me surprised, but I'm amazed that "Son of the Beach" actually made it onto DVD, as it was unceremoniously cancelled by FX Networks last year. Despite being shilled almost daily by Howard Stern (he's an executive producer), "Son of the Beach" was not renewed by FX, because they felt it was too expensive to produce. Even so, I guess that's a good thing, as it gives me hope that some of my favorite television shows may end up on the digital medium we love so much, even though they were cancelled.

"Son of the Beach" isn't particularly a good show. In fact, I would hardly call it funny. Lot's of the jokes are REALLY low-brow (i.e. tons of double entendres about oral sex, bodily functions, etc), the stories are lame, and the acting is awful at times… But, I'd be hard pressed to say that I wasn't entertained by most of the episodes. Add to the fact that all the women on the show are VERY easy on the eyes (especially Jamie Bergman and Leila Arceri).

"Son of the Beach" plays like a mix between "Get Smart" and "Baywatch." Starring Tim Stack as head lifeguard Notch Johnson, "Son of the Beach" is about a crew of misfit lifeguards working at a beach located in Malibu Adjacent. Each of them has their own distinct personality, and every week they deal with a new problem, which plagues their sandy beaches. Honestly, that's as good a summary as you're going to get, as this show requires VERY LITTLE from the viewer. If you're hankering for mindless entertainment, then this is what you're looking for.

"Son of the Beach – Volume 1" features 21 episodes (season 1 + first half of season 2), each having a running time of approximately 22 minutes. Below are episode summaries and commentary listings broken down per disc. Be forewarned, there are some potential spoilers in their descriptions.

Disc 1:
With Sex you get Eggroll - Kimberlee Clark is recruited by the Mayor to take down Notch's Unit, but has an attack of conscience when Notch busts a whore house.
Commentary by Tim Stack, James R. Stein, David Morgasen, and George Verschoor.

Silence of the Clams - The Unadumper is in town, and his pollution is causing all the clams to go bad. Meanwhile, B.J. gets asked to Clamapalooza.
Commentary by Jamie Bergman, Tim Stack, James R. Stein, and David Morgasen.

In the G-Hetto - Jamaica is blackmailed into running drugs for a kingpin, while Chip enters a Mr. Pec contest.

Love, Native American Style - After his step-father passes away, Notch looks for a way to stop a casino from being built. Chip moonlights as a stripper.
Commentary by Tim Stack, James R. Stein, David Morgasen, and George Verschoor.

Two Thongs Don't Make a Right - A boy gets trapped in a hole while looking for an elusive nude beach. Meanwhile, a "no thong" law is passed.

Fanny and the Professor - Robo-babe lifeguards replace Notch and his unit. It's up to the gang to find a way to get their jobs back.

Eat My Muffin - These mysterious muffins are causing everyone, including BJ, who eats them to join a cult. Notch and his unit devises a plan to return BJ from the cult's clutches.

Disc 2:
Miso Hone! - A tsunami that took his father's life is back, and Notch is determined to confront his fears and overcome it.

South of Her Border - Notch and the girls travel to South America to stop a military coup, but end up in prison themselves. Meanwhile, Chip runs a lifeguard program.

Day of the Jackass - A peace conference between China and South Africa takes place in Malibu Adjacent. Jamaica falls in love with an African prince.
Commentary by Tim Stack, James R. Stein, and David Morgasen.

A Star is Boned - Hollywood comes to Malibu Adjacent, and actress Regina Streep's life is threatened. Jamaica runs a bachelor auction.

Attack of the Cocktopuss - A mythical, half-octopus half-rooster, shows up in Malibu Adjacent, and everybody is out to catch it. Chip joins a rock band.
Commentary by Jamie Bergman, Tim Stack, James R. Stein, and David Morgasen.

Mario Putzo's… The Last Dong - Organized crime comes to Malibu Adjacent, and it's up to Notch to get rid of them. Meanwhile, B.J. ponders if she's a lesbian.
Commentary by Jamie Bergman, Tim Stack, James R. Stein, David Morgasen, and Vincent Pastore.

Disc 3:
B.J. Blue Hawaii - Notch and the gang go to Hawaii. Jamaica and B.J. enter a Hawaiian Tropic contest.
Commentary by Jamie Bergman, Tim Stack, James R. Stein, David Morgasen, and Roland Kickinger.

From Russia with Johnson - Notch and his unit are out to stop a Russian terrorist.

Remember Her Titans - Jamaica's boyfriend has a gambling problem, and Notch takes his place in the big game.

Rod Strikes Back - The cult leader is back, and he's here for B.J. Chip's dog challenges Steve.

Queefer Madness - Johnny Queefer blows into town, and it's up to Notch to find out why. Meanwhile, a BMX competition is held in Malibu Adjacent.
Commentary by Tim Stack, James R. Stein, and David Morgasen.

Light My Firebush - B.J.'s redneck parents are in town. Notch's half-sister joins the gang.
Commentary by Jamie Bergman, Tim Stack, James R. Stein, David Morgasen, and Roland Kickinger.

Chip's a Goy - The gang heads off to the Middle East, and Notch is kidnapped by a terrorist group. Chip agrees to convert to Judiasm for a woman.
Commentary by Tim Stack, James R. Stein, David Morgasen, and Roland Kickinger.

A Tale of Two Johnsons - There's a Notch clone out there, and he's evil. Kimberlee's boyfriend is back in town and tries to steal her away.

"Son of the Beach" is presented in full frame 1.33:1, although I have a sneaking suspicion that it was originally filmed in 16x9 (the outtakes are presented in widescreen, and look better than the full screen presentation). But since it was originally shown in 4:3 on FX, I'll go by that standard. The picture looks a little grainy at times, and colors don't feel as vivid as they should be. Regardless, it looks a little better than its broadcast counterpart, which is all that I ask for. There is no pixelation or artifacting present that I'm aware of.

The audio is presented in Dolby Digital Surround 2.0 and Spanish 2.0. Everything sounds really good, as character dialogue and background "beach noises" sound perfectly clear. A 5.1 mix would be unnecessary here, as it makes fine use of the 2.0 setup. There are no audio dropouts to report.

Every DVD has essentially the same menu, with the exception being that the Special Features are only present on disc 3. The Mr. Bean choir theme plays in the background and we can select which episode we'd like to watch. When an episode is selected, a chapter stop breakdown of the episode is given.

"Son of the Beach – Volume 1" has a TON of extras. Honestly, I was expecting a bare-bones release of the episodes, but instead, this set includes 10 commentaries and a bunch of other extras. The commentaries are a fun listen, as everyone has a good rapport with each other, and they're willing to poke fun at the material as well as themselves. I was disappointed that Howard Stern didn't do at least one commentary, but Tim Stack is more than adequate. Each disc has a different set of extras, so here they are broken down by disc…

Disc 1:
"Heroes" is a trailer for "Son of the Beach" giving a small biography for each character. Next up is a three minute "Behind the Scenes of Son of the Beach" featurette that is mostly fluff. And lastly is a 6-minute reel of unrated Outtakes presented in widescreen (!?!?).

Disc 2:
Another "Son of the Beach" featurette is present, and it lasts about 5 minutes. Next is a "Crew of Son of the Beach" featurette, and it's good for a couple laughs. Following that is a "Psychedlic Montage" which is nothing but a bunch of scantily-clad women dancing in front of a "trippy" blue screen. The "Baby Oil Montage" is a bunch of women rubbing each other down with baby oil (yum). And lastly is a "Montage Featurette" which consists of some very nice footage from the show of B.J. and Jamaica.

Disc 3:
Just one featurette, and its called "Too Hot For TV: Makeup Artists." Like before, this is an excuse to parade out some T&A, but unlike in the other featurettes, the girls here actually take their tops off and show some boob (please note it is done similarly to how they do it in "The Shield").

Final Thoughts:
If you're a fan of "Son of the Beach", then you'll be in heaven. 21 episodes, 10 commentaries, a host of extras, good audio/video… all for a reasonable MSRP of $39.98. For those of you who have never seen this show, then I must suggest a rental. It's definitely an acquired taste, but if you're looking for some mindless fun that's not afraid to be lowbrow (and don't mind looking at some extremely attractive chicks in the process), then you should check this box set out. "Recommended."

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