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Small Screen Sharks Part 1: Baywatch and Street Sharks

Folks, this week I thought I’d try something a little different. Here are a couple of my favorite small screen bite-sized sharky morsels for you to chew like Jaws with a Quint shaped squeaky toy. Movies can’t have all the fun. Sometimes, if one looks really really hard and can remember shit from the 1990’s (good luck with that), one can unearth some forgotten television moments that made this little shark geek’s heart go all a’flutter! Hope you enjoy!

Baywatch S1 E19 Shark Derby

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

Anyone over the age of 35 should recall a time when Baywatch was the world’s #1 most watched television show. It was a magical time when Hasselhoff was a goddamn god and V-cut one piece swimsuits were all the rage. One episode stuck with me…the one where Jill is killed by a white shark. 

If you can make it through the 45 minute intro song, you get to see a fin slicing through the water. Oh boy! Something sharky is afoot. The basic storyline is that an unscrupulous prick named Bucky Allen is throwing a shark derby to promote his restaurant. He hires two teenage boys to chum the waters and install a shark attracting gizmo in the bay. More sharks than they bargained for show up and this sharktastic episode really kicks into gear. 

Mitch (Hasselhoff) wants the derby postponed to keep the public safe. Meanwhile his son enters the derby under the supervision of Captain Thorpe, who is clearly the offspring of William Shatner and Troy McClure. 

Jill, one of the sort of ugly/pretty lifeguards, spots a group of kids in an inflatable raft. A shark is heading right for them so she goes out there to rescue them in a spectacular slow motion extravaganza of feathered hair and butt cheeks. She saves the kiddos only to be attacked in another spectacular slow motion extravaganza of frothy water and a curious lack of blood. The best part of this show is Mitch floating in the water, clutching Jill’s lifeguard float, and screaming “Jill!” over and over.  I had to grab the kleenex. Not because I was touched, but my cedar fever was bananas that day. 

There are many shots of real shark footage in this episode. God, I miss those pre-CGI days. Also the amount of hair products they used in this show is truly shocking. I’m surprised the water didn’t look like the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez spill. 

So obviously, Bucky gets his comeuppance for drawing in this hodge podge of sharks and causing poor Jill to get mauled. Mitch comes in for justice just as the synth music drops. But alas! Jill is dead of a blood embolism. Cue the slo-mo Jill montage set to a Bonnie Tyler-esque power ballad that goes on for a good 15 minutes! 

A fun rumor that I discovered is that the actress that played Jill wanted better storylines in the show so the producers killed her off in this episode to shut her up. But seriously, how epic would it be to be killed off by a shark on a television show seen around the world? Joke’s on you, dumb asses. 

Street Sharks S1 E1 Sharkbite

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

I can’t remember too much from the 90’s, but I distinctly recall the first episode of Street Sharks. I was really really confused, a little stoned…and super stoked. 

First off, the theme song is nothing short of lyrical genius. “They bite. They fight. They’re gonna kick some serious fin to win.”

Because this is the pilot episode, we are treated to a lightning fast prologue to catch us all up on how the Street Sharks came to be. Their father, Dr. Bolton, works with an evil dude named Dr. Paradigm. He wears an eye patch made of metal so you know he is pretty fucked up. Paradigm injects Bolton with some sort of monstrous DNA, turning him into an abomination. Then he goes after Bolton’s four sons and fuses them with shark DNA. Wham bam boom…Street Sharks. 

So once we get the backstory, the first episode opens with Dr. Fuckface trying to vivisect the Street Sharks. Hey, but that doesn’t stop our boys from cracking wise! Paradigm grabs Ripster, the white shark one, for an “exploratory surgery” which seems super disturbing and slightly sexual. Lena, his assistant, vows to stop these shenanigans and she releases the other three bros so they can save Ripster. They exclaim, “Shark Attack! Let’s kick some fin!” and off they go. 

Bends, who is pretty much Vanilla Ice, is waiting in the getaway car and they go to their secret underground lair. On the way, they are chased by tanks and spout off crazy shit like “Jawsome!” and “Feeding frenzy!”. By crazy shit of course I mean stuff I still say to this day on the regular. 

Their father is blamed by the media for turning his sons into monstrosities so the boys get pissed and eat the TV. Bends gives them all cool wheels. Paradigm has freaky henchmen, one has a drill bit for a nose and the other is a crab man. He wants to eradicate the one weakness is his new creations…loyalty to their friends. Fuck, what a jerk. 

Dr. P captures Bends and demands the sharky boys turn themselves over or he will make Bends into a creature so funky that “even a starving piranha wouldn’t look twice at him.” Asshole. So on their way to pretend to surrender, the Street Sharks save a train and we find out they can swim through asphalt. My goodness. 

Anyhoo, they arrive just in time to save Bends from being fused with piranha DNA. They yell “Shark Attack!” a bunch more times and somehow the needle goes into Paradigm instead. He turns into the most fucking hilarious and tiny headed villian in cartoon history. But he gets the upper hand and locks the brothers in a room that will burst their DNA and create the perfect organism with no pesky human emotions remaining. 

Will they escape? What became of their poor father, Dr. Bolton? How did Paradigm manage to shrink his metal eyepatch to fit his itty bitty piranha face? All these questions will be obnoxiously answered if you continue to watch…Street Sharks!

See ya next time!

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