Shout! Factory // 2001 // 480 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Roy Hrab (Retired) // November 17th, 2008
"You know when I first proposed to devoting an entire building to Lavatorial Science many of you poo-poo'ed the idea. But a new wind has broken across America. Can you smell it? Because now when I look down and see our movement, yes it seems corny, some of you may find it nutty, but I for one, feel flush with hope." -- Notch Johnson, "Witness For The Prostitution"
Rude, crude, and not something you would admit watching to your grandmother, your mother, or any woman for that matter: That's what Son Of The Beach is all about.
No less than five years after the release of Son Of The Beach: Volume 1, the balance of the exploits of Malibu Adjacent's finest lifeguards, Shore Patrol Force #30 (SPF-30), is out and about. Before I get started I should pay tribute to Judge Bill Gibron's review of Volume 1. In his review, Judge Gibron laid out the premise, characters, and comedic style and tone of the show in exhaustive detail. There is little that I can add, aside from filling in the details of Volume 2.
Let's start with the episodes:
Disc 1 (Second-half of Season 2):
"It's A Nude, Nude, Nude, Nude World" (Commentary with David Morgenson, Timothy Stack and James R. Stein)
"It's Showtime At The Apollo 13!" (Commentary provided)
"The Island Of Dr. Merlot"
Disc 2 (Season 3):
"Saturday Night Queefer" (Commentary provided)
"In The Line Of Booty" (Commentary provided)
"Three Days Of The Condom"
"Witness For The Prostitution"
"The Gay Team" (Commentary provided)
"You Only Come Once" (Commentary provided)
Disc 3 (Season 3 continued):
"Hamm Stroker's Suck My Blood"
"Godfather Knows Best"
"Empty The Dragon"
"The Long Hot Johnson" (Commentary provided)
"Taco Lips Now"
"Bad News, Mr. Johnson" (Commentary provided)
What do the remaining episodes bring to the table?
Well, the SPF-30 team of Notch Johnson (Timothy Stack, My Name Is Earl), Chip Rommell (Roland Kickinger, Disaster Movie), B.J. Cummings (Jaime Bergman), Jamaica St. Croix (Leila Arcieri, Wild Things 2), and Kimberlee Clark (Kimberly Oja, The O.C.) are all back. However, while Mayor Anita Massengil (Lisa Banes) and her son Kody (Jason Hopkins) appear in Season 2, they are absent for all of Season 3. Instead, the final season introduces a new, gold digging, narcissistic lifeguard: Porcelain Bidet (Amy Weber). Unfortunately, because she is pursuing objectives that typically don't involve the other characters directly, Bidet is not nearly as interesting as the Johnson-nemesis role filled by Mayor Massengil.
Second, as in previous episodes, guest stars abound. The B-list (or less) celebrities include: Lee Majors, Mark Hamill, George Takei, Harry Anderson, Ian Ziering, Jason Alexander, Alan Thicke, Jon Lovitz, and RuPaul. All of them embrace the campy nature of the show.
Most importantly, for diehard fans of the show, the extreme political incorrectness and gratuitous sexy montages continue. Of course, the over-the-top dialogue extends far, far beyond sex and potty humor. Everybody, and that means everybody is fair game for ridicule: rednecks, Asians, African Americans, Germans, Italians, homosexuals, priests, the elderly, the paralyzed, and even lepers.
It's amazing that this raunchy Baywatch parody lasted for 3 seasons (42 total episodes). There's only so many chuckle and/or groan inducing sexual and scatological double entendres and puns the human ear can tolerate. This is not to say that I didn't laugh out loud, or almost gag, at some of the absurd dialogue, but there's a lot more miss than hit and by the time the credits rolled at the end of Season 3, I definitely did not think that the series ended prematurely. The 3-part finale is especially drawn out and tedious in its attempt to wrap everything up. Further, unlike the first two seasons, Season 3 relies on movie parodies for many storylines, borrowing from The Matrix, Apocalypse Now, Saturday Night Fever, and Goldfinger to name a few. Indeed, many of the adventures have little or nothing to do with the beach of Malibu Adjacent. Of course, it could be that watching 21 episodes of Son Of The Beach over the course of two days numbed me to the show's humor and that a more sporadic viewing strategy is more appropriate to appreciate the series in full.
The video is fair, but far from great. The colors are soft and there is grain visible throughout. Similarly, the surround sound is fine, but unremarkable.
There is an underwhelming package of extras. Stack, as Notch, provides a short, amusing audio intro for each disc. Each disc also contains a montage of sexy fantasy moments from selected episodes. The first disc has two behind-the-scenes featurettes for "The Island of Dr. Merlot" and "Grand Prix." Disc two features a video of the cast doing a table read for the pilot episode of the series; the table read is just that, the cast sitting around a table, reading the script. The disc also has some promos for show's second season. Disc three has a set of audition tapes for Bergman, Kickinger, Arcieri, and Weber. Last, there are commentary tracks for selected episodes provided by Stack and co-creators David Morgenson and James R. Stein. With the exception of some information about the cancellation of the show and a funny story about Frank Sinatra, Jr., there is little value-added from these tracks. To quote Judge Gibron's assessment of the tracks on Volume 1: " unless you want to hear Stack and his gang of co-creators ogle the actresses, both recurring and guesting, and laughing along with the jokes in each show, you are bound to find these narratives wanting."
Son Of The Beach is guilty of many crimes against good taste, which is exactly what it is striving for.
Review content copyright © 2008 Roy Hrab; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Shout! Factory
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
Running Time: 480 Minutes
Release Year: 2001
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Commentaries on Selected Episodes
* DVD Introductions by Notch Johnson
* Behind-The-Scenes Footage of "Grand Prix" and "The Island Of Dr. Merlot"
* Sexy Montage Highlights
* Cast Audition Tapes
* "Pilot" Table Read