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Baywatch TV v. Baywatch Movie

BayAm I a Johnny-come-lately? Almost certainly. I am later than my 22 week-pregnant wife. Baywatch. Let that one word sink in. Pretend that the new movie version of Baywatch does not exist. What memories do you have of Baywatch? If you are over 30 and likely in the 34-55 demographic, it is probably that you recall Pamela Anderson looking sizzling hot nearly spilling out of her bathing suit. Perhaps you recall a forty-year-old David Hasselhoff seeming like the most boring, mature, and yet handsome man you had ever seen. Maybe you recall Nicole Eggert and Alexandra Paul and Yasmine Bleeth. They were beauties that lit up the TV screen like no others had before…

For its time, Baywatch was scandalous. It was beach-beauties in excess. And yet, Baywatch had certain themes. Love, romance, heroic behavior, lawfulness, kinsmanship (brotherhood and sisterhood), and do-gooding. Baywatch went on for over a decade because it added new faces, propounded quality episodic storylines that remained true to form, and it was glamorous.

Contrast the television series Baywatch with the new movie Baywatch, better titled as Bastardization. The movie Baywatch is dreadful. It offers racist humor, social commentary up the proverbial wazoo, and an improbable and absurd storyline. The main characters are made to look like weasels and schmucks. Dwayne Johnson may have made the transition from wrestling to acting, but he is no Robert De Niro. He is frequently cast as the coolest guy in the room because he is physically fit like few others. Being buff does not make you a good actor. Exhibiting an heir of condescension and disdain for anyone that does not agree with you is not quality acting or politicking. Frankly, the movie made money because of him, and epically failed on account of his poor performance.

The original Baywatch was fun to watch, full of joy and suspense. This Baywatch is nothing more than garbage third-grader humor that is often racist and demeaning. The storyline seems to exist to promote Dwayne Johnson while portraying anyone else as a stooge. The rescue scenes are beyond improbable as any real rescuers out of fire-retardant uniform would have been burnt to a charcoal crisp.

Why did I watch Baywatch months later? My wife thought the movie would be fun and entertaining (she loves Zac Efron). In fact, Baywatch is fun and entertaining and a whole lot more. She is right about the series Baywatch, just not about the movie. 

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