The 'Baywatch' movie: A writer's nightmare or dream?
You’re Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to parody the most-watched TV show in the world…of all time. I’m talking about Baywatch, the hypnotic syndicated lifeguard soap that made David Hasselhoff extremely wealthy. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount has tabbed the young comic writing duo to come up with a big-screen revamp in the vein of Drew Barrymore’s Charlie’s Angels. How does a screenwriter begin to research such an assignment? Watch all 242 original Baywatch episodes to master the subtle nuance of slow-motion jiggling? Spend a weekend with Hasselhoff to fully appreciate the art of self-parody? Or skim through a few episodes of the proudly tasteless Son of the Beach to make sure your irreverent take will be fresh?
The great news is that the bar is low. No one who eventually sees this Baywatch movie will criticize the script–unless the writers choose to base their film on the so-bad-it’s-bad spin-off, Baywatch Nights. In some ways, it’s the perfect assignment. It has a built-in global audience who expects only two things: beaches and breasts. As long as they honor those simple yet sacred touchstones, Gatewood and Tanaka can fill the rest of 90 minutes with literary homages to Albert Camus and Samuel Beckett.
But I’m guessing Baywatch: The Movie won’t be a Trojan horse for the works of deceased playwrights. What is your degree of excitement for a Baywatch movie and which alums of the TV series must make a token appearance in the film?