Son of the Beach: Volume 1

January 28, 2012 9 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

The shores of Malibu Adjacent are packed with people, all of whom have come to the area to have some fun. The visitors can surf, swim, tan themselves, play beach games, watch the pretty girls, or just plain relax. And those people place their fates in the hands of the local lifeguards, a special squad known as SPF 30. The squad is headed up by beach legend Notch Johnson (Timothy Stack) and includes such hardbodies as B.J. Cummings (Jaime Bergman), Jamaica St. Croix (Leila Arcieri), Kimberlee Clark (Kim Oja), and Chip Rommel (Roland Kickinger). Cummings is a gorgeous airhead who is saving herself for marriage, St. Croix is a homegirl from the ghetto, Clark is a brainy, but insecure newcomer, and Rommel is a musclebound German who seems to have more connections to the Nazis than he wants to admit. Johnson has ruled the beaches for decades, making sure all the visitors are safe and have as much fun as possible. Not to mention that he tries to make sure all the hottest ladies frequent the beaches. The squad is loaded with talent, but Mayor Anita Massengil (Lisa Banes) is always looking for a chance to fire them, especially Johnson, as she can’t stand him. Can Johnson lead his squad well enough to avoid Massengil’s wrath, or will he be tossed off the beach once and for all?

This Howard Stern produced series is a mixture of Baywatch and The Naked Gun, but with more of an edge. Son of the Beach is overloaded with hot flesh, skimpy clothes, crude humor, and sexual innuendoes, not to mention bad puns. This brand of sexual, often controversial humor won’t click with everyone, but I found Son of the Beach to be hilarious. Yes, it is bound to offend some folks and always seems to want to push things a little further than it should, but it all works and the show is simply a riot. Timothy Stack (Tv’s Night Stand) is superb as Notch Johnson, serving as the anchor and of course, the most outlandish character of all. And of course, the selection of female flesh is top notch and there is ample time to check out the goods. As if the bikinis weren’t enough, each show takes a few minutes to indulge in a flashback or montage, which features the main girls in various outfits, showing off for the cameras. So Son of the Beach isn’t about class and sophistication, but it celebrates its low class, crude approach. That results in almost endless laughs through these episodes. You’ll need a sense of humor that allows sexual content, awful puns, and politically incorrect material, but this is one hilarious series. But Son of the Beach ran for only a few seasons, which is a real shame.

This release from Fox allows fans to not only revisit the hijinks at Malibu Adjacent, but relive them whenever they please. Yes, Son of the Beach is now part of Fox’s television slate on DVD, which is excellent news indeed. As they’ve done with a couple of other recent releases, Fox has chosen to not only include complete season sets, but to pack more than one season into each release. So in the case of Son of the Beach, we have a collection that includes the complete first and second seasons, quite a bargain indeed. The twenty-one episodes have been spread across three discs, so there’s ample room in terms of compression. Each of the discs is housed inside of a slimline case, all of which are then placed inside of a colorful, but kind of flimsy cardboard box, just like with Fox’s Family Guy Volume 1 release. In addition to two complete seasons worth of episodes, we have brand new introductions from Notch Johnson, audio commentary tracks on some of the episodes, bonus montage scenes that were too hot for television, plus even more supplements, making this a stacked edition. So if you’re a fan of Son of the Beach, don’t hesitate to grab this three disc release, as Fox has issued a tremendous package here.

Video: How does it look?

The episodes are presented in full frame, as intended. These look just as good as they did on television, perhaps even better. I know some might be troubled by the softness, but the show was soft when shown on FX, so no need for complaints. I found the episodes to be sharper than the episodes I had recorded to VHS, so I have to assume these episodes are sharper than broadcast, which is good news. The prints look clean however, with no real nicks or other debris, so we have a solid overall visual presence. This includes some vivid colors, which stream across the screen throughout the episodes. No problems with flesh tones either, which is good, since this show has a lot of flesh on showcase. In the end, these episodes look better than when broadcast, so fans should be more than pleased.

Audio: How does it sound?

The audio on these episodes is presented via 2.0 surround, which allows for some presence to surface. Of course, this material isn’t the kind to offer an explosive experience, but these tracks are better than expected. A lot of 2.0 surround options have a flat, limited presence, but here we have active, lively presentations. Now, you shouldn’t expect constant and powerful use of the surrounds, but you will hear some depth in these mixes. That makes the outdoor scenes have more atmosphere, not to mention giving the music some added punch, which is most welcome, especially in the sexy montage sequences. The dialogue remains crisp and clear also, so all the crude jokes, puns, and one liners are well presented. This release also includes a Spanish language option for the episodes, as well as English and Spanish subtitles.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The supplements have been spread across all three discs, so you’ll have to explore to track down all the goodies. A total of three behind the scenes featurettes are included, plus a bonus highlight reel of the montage sequences. Then you can sample three all new montages, which were too hot to be shown on television. Next up is a reel of outtakes, which is followed by a promotional television spot. As I said before, Notch Johnson provides new introductions on each disc, but the best of the supplements has to be the audio commentary tracks. A total of eleven episodes have commentary available, as Timothy Stack is joined by various cast & crew members to discuss the ins & outs of Son of the Beach.

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