Let’s go back in time to the early 90’s when a TV show about lifeguard shenanigans was the most watched show of all time.
I think we all know why:
After an initial rocky start of being cancelled after its first season, Baywatch ran for eleven seasons, becoming the popular (but sadly Emmy-less) show we all know and love.
And before the major spooky tonal shift in the second season of Baywatch’s reluctant spin-off, Baywatch Nights, Baywatch itself was generally in the realm of stopping gem-smuggling rings and teaching wholesome lessons to street youths. However, in the fourth season, our characters get a rare taste of spooky in the two-parter, “Coronado del Soul”.
Ghost in a Suit
The story is thus: we begin in sepia-toned 1943 with two star-crossed lovers – a married socialite and a man in a suit who stares at her far too intensely. The tone is ominous and the dialogue sounds like lyrics from that Sarah McLaughlin stalker song.
They share a glass of champagne on the beach and speak of undying love. Fade to black.
As part of a trip to promote their slow-motion ski-dos, the main Baywatch gang stay at the romantic Hotel del Coronado. Summer Quinn (the show’s usual emotional punching bag) notices some strange goings-on immediately, spotting a man in a suit staring at her from a high balcony only to disappear in a flash of distraction. How did he get there? How did he leave? Mysterious!
Her stay at the hotel only becomes spookier as an inexplicable wind blows in her room, her door locks from the inside, she feels like she’s being watched, and she gets sexy ghost kisses by the pool. Her boyfriend and her friends both pass this off as Summer just being weird before awkwardly cutting to the next scene.
Only after some sleuthing does Summer gain credibility with her friends when they discover that there was a mysterious death that occurred in the 1940’s. A murder that still remains unsolved…
Thoughts: Brain Roll Juice
So, here’s a bit of juice to roll your brain in. Women and ghosts in TV often involve…ghost sex, of some kind. Consent is generally iffy, especially depending on the era.
This early 90’s episode is a prime example a ghost assault on a woman, who literally asks the ghost to stop at one point (before being pushed onto the bed), and is not believed by her loved ones with her testimony alone. Only after finding some physical evidence do her friends (not her boyfriend) begin to believe her experiences.
So, when Summer’s friend dismissively regards the ghost as her “Invisible Man”, it reflects a very real fear. In fact, the newest edition to Universal Monsters Franchise, The Invisible Man (out in theaters February 28th), is about just that – an abusive, invisible ex hunting down the woman who escaped him.
Having an untraceable, undetectable assaulter in which no one believes you is a nightmare for any woman and it’s weird that somehow Baywatch (of all shows) stumbled unwittingly into this. No worries, though, the day is saved by her boyfriend who never believed her.
Sit this ghost romance out. It’s bad vibes from page to screen and just not very fun. Props to Nicole Eggert for doing what she could, though.(1.5 / 5)