The inane ramblings presented here by Scott Foy (aka The Foywonder) are strictly his own opinions
and do not necessarily reflect those of any other sane or insane person living, dead, or otherwise.
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MY NAME IS SCOTT FOY AND I PAID TO SEE STAY ALIVE
Suffice to say the days of the monthly Foyeurism are over. There will still be Foyeurisms, just infrequent. Given that it has been five months since the last new Foyeurism I'd say infrequent is putting it mildly. Just the reality of life and work at the moment; has even affected my Dread Central output as well. Those of you that enjoy my offerings over the years and want to keep up-to-date on my stuff during the lulls between Foyeurisms can follow me on Twitter (HERE) and my Facebook page (HERE), though to be honest with you most of my Facebook stuff is just my Twitter feed. Please feel free to follow and friend me. Bookmark this page (HERE) and you'll immediately have a link to every piece of news and every review I write for Dread Central. That page keeps track of everything I write for DC in a chronological fashion, from articles to reviews to my weekly B-Sides column to even other articles where I get name-dropped for whatever reason.
This month's Foyeurism is a little different from anything I've ever done before. It's also a chance for me to promote something else I've been working on quite a bit in the downtime between Foyeurisms. For those of you unaware, I do have a YouTube channel. Up until recently there hadn't been a whole lot on it. Since January I have added over 100 new videos from my personal collection: funny scenes from bad movies, clips from rejected television pilots, obscure direct-to-video b-movie trailers, rare giant monster movie snippets, other assorted video rarities from the world of TV and film, and the customized edits that make up the heart of this month's Foyeurism. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, "Channel Foy" is on the air and new stuff is being added all the time. Check it out by CLICKING HERE.
on with this month's Foyeurism, one I have been wanting to do for a
long, long time but knew I could never do it proper justice without
video evidence. I could write 30+ pages about this month's topic and
never convey in words what a 3-6 minute montage allowing you to experience
with your own eyes could. After all, seeing is believing when you're
HASSELHOFF, THE NIGHT STALKER
That's what I dubbed "Baywatch Nights" when it began its fabulously misguided second and, not surprisingly, final season. What began as a "Baywatch" spin-off with lifeguard David Hasselhoff moonlighting as a PI abruptly, absurdly, underwent a major metamorphosis into an "X-Files" wannabe with "The Hoff" wrestling with (sometimes literally) varying forms of paranormal activity. The results bypassed train wreck TV and moved straight into Hindenburg territory. Oh, the humanity!
Believe it or not, there really was a period of time in the 1990's when "Baywatch" was the most watched television program on the entire planet. Let's just say Pamela Anderson's (ahem) buoyancy (cough) transcended language barriers all over the world. The primary reason for the show's global success was obvious to every red-blooded male except perhaps for producer/star David Hasselhoff. I once heard him in an interview try to claim it was the show's storytelling that kept people coming back week after week and not because internet porn was still a few years away from being at everyone's fingertips.
Riiiiight, the storylines... That's why nearly every single female cast member of "Baywatch" did a Playboy spread. You know, for the articles.
Perhaps it was due to this misnomer that viewers were turned on by the storylines and character dynamics, or maybe because Hasselhoff was coming to the realization that he was starting to get a little too old to keep running around in nothing but a pair of orange swim trunks on a weekly basis, someone back in 1996 made the decision to try and parlay the success of "Baywatch" into a spin-off to be called "Baywatch Nights" that would see Hasselhoff's "Mitch Buchannon" moonlight as a private investigator. Lifeguard by day, private dick by night, who knows when he would actually sleep.
Let me consult with Wikipedia for a better summation of what "Baywatch Nights" was originally intended to be:
The original premise of the show was that, during a midlife crisis, Sgt. Garner Ellerbee (Gregory Alan Williams), who was the resident police officer of Baywatch since the beginning of the series, decides to quit his job as a police officer and form a detective agency. Mitch Buchannon (David Hasselhoff), his friend from Baywatch, joins to support him and they are, in turn, joined by a detective named Ryan McBride (Angie Harmon). Singer Lou Rawls, who starred in the first season, performed the series theme song, "After the Sun Goes Down".
"Baywatch Nights" was like a mid-Nineties version of an early Eighties crime show; the kind that boasted flimsy storytelling built around tried and true cop show action tropes, snappy banter that was mostly eye-rolling, and a good deal of eye candy thrown in for good measure. Just look at the excessively long opening credits sequence and marvel knowing that this television program was conceived in 1995, not 1985.
Even in 1985 this show would have sucked. In 1995, it wasn't just appallingly bad; it was positively archaic, too. That first season of "Baywatch Nights" was terrible in every way a television show can be. Even Hasselhoff must have realized the storylines weren't cutting it because midway through the first season the show added two new cast members clearly brought in strictly to add some Baywatchian sex appeal.
For the ladies let down by the show's lack of Hasselhoff in orange swim trunks sucking in his gut as he runs along the beach in slow motion, enter Eddie Cibrian to try and fulfill the shirtless young hunk quotient the show had been lacking. His character was named Griff. His acting could be called stiff.
For the guys, of whom I have to assume there were far more of watching than women, Donna D'Errico was introduced as a wannabe lifeguard also named Donna, a transparently desperate attempt to clone Pam Anderson. D'Errico was such a Pam Anderson wannabe that not only was she a bubbly blonde with the exact same body type (i.e., big bazonkas), she also famously posed naked for Playboy and married a band member of Motley Crue. It's one thing or your character to be a Pam Anderson knock-off; it's something else entirely to live your life as a Pam Anderson knock-off. One trait Pamela Anderson possessed that D'Errico lacked: acting skills. Think about that statement for a moment and then let the horror of what it must mean sink in. It really is saying something when you're the worst actor on a show called "Baywatch Nights".
Based solely on my viewing of the second season episodes, I'm absolutely convinced that the "Baywatch Nights" writers must have hated Donna D'Errico for some reason. That is the only reason I can figure why they consistently saddled her with dialogue designed to make her sound like a mentally challenged sexpot. It's like they sat in their writers' shack and decided that the character of "Donna" should be written as an eight-year-old child in the body of a Playboy Playmate. Although, it did fit her character given how D'Errico frequently delivered her lines in a manner that sounded like a small child speaking.
This might also explain why, despite much flirting throughout the series, Griff never appeared all that interested in Donna. You know; a woman who is gorgeous until she begins to talk and then you're completely turned off by her personality.
The introduction of beach body abs and big blonde boobs did not help the floundering ratings. "Baywatch Nights" wasn't cutting it with critics or audiences. Even taken as nothing more than mindless action mixed with a healthy dose of titillating jiggle you still would have been better off at the time just watching reruns of "Acapulco H.E.A.T." on the USA Network.
Alison Armitage > "Baywatch Nights" - end of story.
"Baywatch Nights" appeared poised to (deservedly) become a one-season spin-off flop destined to go down in dubious television history alongside the likes of such other notorious short-lived spin-off debacles as "Joanie Loves Chachi" and "AfterMASH". It almost assuredly would have faded into television obscurity if not for "The X-Files" becoming a pop culture phenomenon. Like Frankenhoff's Monster, "Baywatch Nights" would be resurrected, retooled for its fateful second season that would assure it a very special wing in the television hall of shame as one of the worst TV shows of all time.
There I was in my school library flipping through a USA Today when I saw a short blurb in the Entertainment section about the upcoming second season of "Baywatch Nights". I think the main reason this blurb caught my attention was disbelief that the show had actually been renewed for a second season. Personally, I watched all of like one episode and could take no more, and that's saying something when you consider some of the crap I watched growing up. For crying out loud, did I not just confess to watching "Acapulco H.E.A.T."? That's probably a bad example since I was watching "Acapulco H.E.A.T." for the same reason most young males watched "Baywatch".
how about this. When I was growing up I was a regular viewer of "Street
Hawk", "Automan", "Manimal", "Misfist
of Science", "My Secret Identity", "Monsters",
"V: The Series", "Dracula: The Series", "Swamp
Thing: The Series", "Blue Thunder: The Series", "Bustin'
Loose: The Series", "The Highwayman", "The Master",
"The 100 Lives of Blackjack Savage ", "What's Happening
Now?", "Mr. Belvedere", "Whoops!", "Women
in Prison", "Small Wonder", "Out of this World",
"The Charmings", "Just the Ten of Us", "The
Munsters Today", and "Madame's Place", just to name a
few. Don't tell me I don't know bad television. I've seen things few
others dared watch. Oh, lordy, the things I have seen. How many people
do you know own TWO complete DVD set of the second season of
I don't know what that analogy meant then and I still don't know what it means today. I doubt even Hasselhoff knew what it meant but I'm sure it made perfect sense to him at the time just like it made perfect sense to him to rebrand a "Baywatch" themed crime drama into a monster-of-the-week horror series. The only thing about any of it that made perfect sense was finding out years later about Hasselhoff's raging alcoholism.
And thus "Hasselhoff: The Night Stalker" was born.
Most of the first season cast was sent packing. No more Lou Rawls. No more blonde secretary. No more fancy nightclub. No more snazzy sports car. Hell, no more budget.
Poor Gregory Allan Williams, he went from a third-string character on "Baywatch" to the #2 guy on "Baywatch Nights" to completely out of a job by the start of season two. Never any mention of whatever became of his character despite it being his detective agency.
Angie Harmon got to keep her job. Eddie Cibrian and Donna D'Errico got to stick around despite rarely ever contributing much. Donna remained gratuitous eye candy. The manner in which Griff sidekicked it sometimes with Mitch, they might has well have replaced his character with a dog.
The revamped "Baywatch Nights" saw professional lifeguard/amateur detective Mitch Buchannon and amateur detective/sudden scientist Ryan McBride running the detective agency that never seems to do any investigative work except when a mysterious figure named "Teague" shows up to cryptically point them in the direction of some mysterious paranormal happening. You would think the writers might have wanted to offer an explanation as to why this clandestine man chose a part-time lifeguard and newbie private investigator to deal with matters involving ghosts, aliens, monsters, ancient evils, alternate realities, mad scientists, the Illuminati, the end of the world, and even Satan himself. Episode one of season two simply begins with Teague prodding them into investigating a shipwreck with wild tales of an underwater New Guinea Bigfoot creature as if they've been doing this sort of thing together for a while now.
Not even sure why they really needed Teague seeing as how a major quirk of the show was how Mitch and Ryan would become inexplicably knowledgeable of whatever the episode's strangeness happened to be. Angie Harmon's novice detective magically transformed into a Dana Scully, looking into microscopes and spouting off scientific hypothesis as if she has multiple degrees in biology, astronomy, quantum physics, or whichever field of scientific theory they were dealing with that particular week. Give her a Necronomicon and she'll be a master of the dark arts before the end credits roll.
Hasselhoff sometimes went this route as well. An unfrozen Viking on the loose, Mitch suddenly spouts off facts about them as if he were a scholar of Nordic lore. Why does a professional lifeguard possess MacGyver like knowledge, such as how to how to jimmy up a makeshift flamethrower on the spot? Because it's convenient for the writers, that's why.
Another quirk of the show was Mitch's constant skepticism. Remember on "X-Files" in the early seasons how annoying it got to have Dana Scully encounter something paranormal and the very next week she would go right back to playing devil's advocate to Mulder's "I want to believe" attitude? Even more so here, as Mitch would wrestle with a werewolf or a vampire one week and scoff at the notion that a mummy might be killing people the next. Trapped in a ghostly realm, switching bodies with an alien kid, next week he'll be back to laughing at the notion of poltergeists and extraterrestrials and making sarcastic quips about as much to anyone suggesting otherwise. Might as well have had Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones show up at the end of each episode to blank his memory the way he behaves.
For 22 episodes, Mitch & Ryan would contend with matters of the supernatural on a budget so low the special effects usually weren't that much superior to those seen in episodes of "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" made 20 years earlier.
For 22 episodes, they would engage in paranormal encounters so stupefying they made the average episode of "Scooby Doo" look like the penmanship of Rod Serling.
For 22 episodes, Dear Lord, the acting
Enough talk. Just watch. Here's a montage I put together comprised of promos for 16 of the 22 episodes of season two that really do say more than I ever could in words. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what season two of "Baywatch Nights" was all about.
NIGHTS PROMO MONTAGE:
If you think Angie Harmon yelled "Mitch!" an awful lot during the run of this show then you should hear how often David Hasselhoff yelled "Ryan!" You could make a drinking game out of every time one of them yelled the other's name. I wouldn't recommend doing so, though, because odds are you would end up drunk on the floor fumbling with a cheeseburger before the end of each episode.
The second season alternated between hilariously bad and dreadfully dull with, unfortunately, the dullness prevailing in most episodes. As much camp potential as this level of televised badness held, the only saving grace much of the time was the fast-forward button.
Hey, if you can't afford a ton of special effects, just make sure you have a spacious setting and actors that can walk around it slowly pretending to be investigating or looking for someone, anyone, for extended periods of time each episode.
Hey, if you don't have enough material to fill out an entire episode just keep flashing back to the lifeguard station so that Griff and Donna can engage in a going-nowhere subplot that has nothing to do with the rest of the program.
But when "Baywatch Nights" was enjoyably goofy, when it was in Hasselhoffian overdrive, it was truly something to behold.
Behold it, you shall, and you won't even need the fast forward button. I've done the shuttling for you. I've taken 13 very special episodes of "Baywatch Nights" and chopped them down to just their best parts for your viewing pleasure.
What better place to begin than with an episode entitled "The Rig" that pretty much typifies whatever the hell Hasselhoff meant by that hockey game comparison. Whenever in the past I've told people about "Baywatch Nights" this has always been the episode I began with. After all, it's DAVID HASSELHOFF VS. THE BLOB!
That was not your imagination. Yeah, the blob roared - somehow. In the hockey game that was "Baywatch Nights", logic was constantly banished to the penalty box.
Want more? Of course you want more. You wouldn't still be reading this if you didn't. Want to see David Hasselhoff fight a mummy? Who doesn't?
You know what would top "The Servant"? David Hasselhoff sword fighting an unfrozen Viking with a broomstick! "Frozen out of Time" was a real humdinger of an episode. Not just for the wacky premise and even wackier action. Hasselhoff's hubris also shines through several times in this one. After all, as Mitch tells us, if he had lived back in their time he would have been a mighty Viking warrior himself.
OUT OF TIME:
Mitch's favorite method of waging combat with unnatural enemies typically began with him yelling at the top of his lungs and then charging at the monster or mutant, sometimes brandishing a weapon, other times like a crazed sumo wrestler. The episode "The Mobius" showcased this fighting technique like few others. He and Ryan take a wormhole into an apocalyptic future in which global warming destroyed the world in 1999 and only a lifeguard armed with a steel pipe can fend off a horde of radioactive marauders. Move over, Mad Max. Here comes Hot Hoff!
More Hasselhoffian combat abounds in "Zargtha", the episode in which The Hoff teams up with his guest-starring real-life wife Pamela Bach to grapple with a Yugoslavian werewolf hunting homeless teenagers in an earthquake ravaged slum. This episode culminated with quite a melee. Slavic lycanthropy proves little match for the unbridled power of Hoff Fu.
Being a trained lifeguard sure comes in handy when battling the paranormal. You didn't know that? Oh, yeah, being a lifeguard is even better than being a scientist when it comes to tangling with the unknown. This will be proven numerous times throughout the season, like the time Mitch's diving knowledge leads to him using a decompression chamber to save Ryan from an alien infection as if it were "space bends". I'm telling you, Fox Mulder should have been a lifeguard, not a reporter. He'd have found his sister a lot sooner.
The episode "Ascension" showcases another primo example of lifeguarding skills thwarting the forces of darkness. Only on a show like "Baywatch Nights" could you have an episode that begins with David Hasselhoff being kidnapped by the Illuminati and end with him having to use his lifeguarding skills to save a friend from drowning in a basement after surviving an assassin's bomb.
In "Last Breath", lifeguards are being kidnapped by someone or something for some reason. A murderous merman would have been more plausible than the explanation behind they actually offer up. This episode also boasts some major overacting and for once it doesn't come from Hasselhoff. Gotta love the look on the guy's face underwater at the end.
Sometimes being a lifeguard is what brings then into conflict with the forces of darkness to begin with. The episode "Possession" comes about because fledgling lifeguard Donna decided to help out at the scene of a fatal traffic accident and gets possessed by the essence of a serial killer. This episode was the apex of Donna D'Errico's run on the program, albeit only half of the episode is devoted to her tour-de-force performance. This is one of those episodes where the set-up makes no sense and the resolutions make even less sense. Come to think; that wasn't unusual for this program. It just somehow managed to stand out even more so than usual this time round.
In "Curse of the Mirrored Box", lifeguard Mitch goes to check-up on a girl he once rescued only to find out she has fallen in with a diabolical voodoo shaman. Mitch comes across so smug in this episode you might find yourself rooting for the voodoo priest. Yeah, Papa Doc, stick that needle in his crotch again! Make it rain machetes onto Hasselhoff like you're Hurricane Jason! Wipe that smirk off his face once and for all!
OF THE MIRRORED BOX:
How about that exchange between Mitch and Ryan near the outset? I'm pretty certain that's called sexual harassment in any court of law. Could that leer on his face at the 28-second mark have been any creepier?
Now's a good time to mention that another major conceit of the show, clearly at the behest of its star, was, simply put, women, human or otherwise, could not resist The Hoff. The sexual tension between him and Angie Harmon is played up the entire season. Vampire chicks want to suck him. Genetically engineered mutant fish women want to mate with him. Even the ghosts of dead "Baywatch" characters return for one last chance to get busted by The Hoff. Donna D'Errico is about the only female on the show never drawn into his irresistible web of Hoffness (I'm sure they were saving that for season three.)
Going back to genetically engineered mutant women, "The Creature" was the second episode of the season and the first to play up that inescapable Hoff magnetism. Clearly inspired by the movie, SPECIES, a beautiful amphibian woman (Why does a fish woman growl like a jaguar?) escapes a scientific laboratory and Take one guess who is the only man walking the face of the earth she has eyes for. Prepare for... EPIC STARING!
Didn't I mention something about vampire women wanting to suck him? The episode titled "Night Whispers" was particularly goofy for that very reason. It also gives you a good idea of the type of annoying camera tricks used throughout the show's run to cover up for the lack of budget (and excitement or suspense).
Even more goofiness abounds within "The Cabin", in which a haunted cabin in the woods leads to Mitch and Ryan struggling to find their way out of the ghostly world of haunted brothel where the hookers want The Hoff naked in a tub, horny dwarves want Ryan naked on a couch, and an axe-throwing psycho wants them dead, preferably clothed at the time.
Saving the best for last, easily the zenith of "Baywatch Nights" entire run and quite possibly the greatest hour of Hasselhoffian television since that "Knight Rider" episode where he played his own evil goateed twin. "The Eighth Seal" offers up the double whammy of David Hasselhoff having to play exorcist with a girl possessed by a demon and then hamming it up to the nth degree once the demon possesses him. The results are hellaciously hysterical.
That was Alexandra Paul from the regular "Baywatch" (her character had been killed off a season earlier) returning from the death there at the end to tell Mitch to go back to the world of the living. Not really sure he should be able to do so since getting hit by a speeding 18-wheeler usually results in injuries that require far more than just mere CPR to recover from. But who am I to question the writers of such a fine program as this?
overhauling "Baywatch Nights" into David Hasselhoff's mentally
challenged hockey game version of "The X-Files" failed to
spark ratings or save the show from cancellation. There would be no
season three. There would be only shame.
Lest you think being involved with the making of one of television's all-time worst programs would be a career killer, just about all the top "Baywatch Nights" talent would move on to bigger and better things. Well, mostly bigger and better. Look; when the bar is this low it doesn't take much to qualify as bigger and better.
The brotherly writing duo responsible for most of season two's storytelling jumped to the big screen going on to pen the 2005 remake of HOUSE OF WAX and the 2007 Hilary Swank supernatural dud THE REAPING. Did I not mention their names are Chad & Carey Hayes and before becoming screenwriters they were actors and their most famous film roles were as villainous BMX racing twins Rod & Rex Reynolds in the all-time classic RAD? I know I've dumped on their writing here. I now humbly apologize. These men are gods.
Angie Harmon became a cast member for several years on "Law & Order", going from one of the worst acted shows on television to one of the finest and managing to hold her own despite much initial scoffing from skeptics. Now she can be seen back doing detective work once again on TNT's "Rizzoli & Isles" AKA "Lady Cops: The Series".
Dorian Gregory (Teague) would soon have another job dealing with the supernatural playing the police officer friend of the Halliwell witches on the popular WB series "Charmed" for the majority of its run.
Eddie Cibrian, on the other hand, has done a lot of TV acting but is still much more famous these days in the tabloids for his scandalous marriage-wrecking relationship with country darling LeeAnn Rimes.
Donna D'Errico's character got transplanted over to the main "Baywatch" show for a brief time. She would soon go on to star in CANDYMAN: DAY OF THE DEAD before mostly fading into pop culture obscurity. She most recently appears to have taken the show's unexplained mysteries a bit too seriously as she has made news hunting for the location of Noah's Ark. Really. I'm not making that up. Google it for yourself.
As for David Hasselhoff, once The Hoff, always The Hoff.
And thanks to The Hoff, the nights will never be the same.
NAME IS SCOTT FOY AND I PAID TO SEE THE REAPING