Son of the Beach: Volume Two review, Son of the Beach: Volume Two DVD review
Starring
Timothy Stack, Kimberly Oja, Leila Arcieri, Roland Kickinger, Jaime Bergman, Michael Berensen, Lisa Banes, Robert Ryan, Lynne Marie Stewart, Jack Riley, Michelle Ruben
Director
Various
Son of the Beach:
Volume Two

Reviewed by Will Harris

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ne of the most heartbreaking things that can happen to any TV series is for the show to begin to receive release on DVD, only to stop before the entire show has emerged. If the sales for the initial volume (s) haven’t lived up to studio expectations, then it’s economically understandable, but boy, is it a slap in the face to the fans. Fortunately, the larger studios have begun to listen to the bitching of those fans, taking some of these so-called “stalled series” and licensing them out to independent studios, and the best of all possible news is that one of those studios is Shout! Factory, who invariably do a kick-ass job at presenting shows with as much bonus material as they can get their hands on.

It’s somewhat of a surprise, however, that Shout! has selected “Son of the Beach” as a property that it feels will provide them with the sales to make it worth issuing. It’s been six years since the show finished its run on FX and five years since the first volume of the series – containing all of Season 1 and the first nine episodes of Season 2 – emerged on DVD, and well, truth be told, it wasn’t all that funny a show to begin with. Still, it’s a Howard Stern production, and everyone knows that Stern fans are a rabid bunch, so perhaps they figure that the members of that population alone will be enough to result in a profit from the release.

In case you’ve forgotten the show (which is highly possible, given how little it’s been re-run in recent years), “Son of the Beach” is a series which had the potential to be the “Police Squad” of its generation by skewering the waterfront melodrama of “Baywatch.” Unfortunately, the show seemed intent on bringing a Farrelly Brothers-styled comedic sensibility to the small screen, and while that’s not such a bad idea in and of itself, the humor tended to start in the realm of the lowbrow and frequently veer into full-fledged grotesquery.

If you’re not a fan of the so-called “Walter Crankcase School of Comedy,” where you’re supposed to laugh at a character as much for their name as anything they actually do, then you’ll be automatically predisposed to hate “Son of the Beach,” given that it provides viewers with individuals named Mayor Anita Massengil, Vinnie Fellachio, Nick Pappasmearos, and Colonel Seymore Kooze. But while these monikers do give you an idea of the level of humor you’re dealing with, they’re not the stars of the show. That honor belongs to Notch Johnson (Timothy Stack), who keeps Malibu Adjacent Beach safe with the help of his gang of bikini-clad babes: B.J. Cummings (Jaime Bergman), Kimberlee Clark (Kimberly Oja), and Jamaica St. Croix (Leila Arcieri). Oh, and let’s not forget the resident beefcake, Chip Rommel (Roland Kickinger), who also adds politically-incorrect hilarity as the group’s resident German. Plus, in Season 3, the team picks up a new member in the form of Porcelain Bidet (Amy Weber).

Porcelain Bidet? Really…? Well, if that’s your idea of hilarity, then “Son of the Beach” has plenty more where that came from, including a semi-elaborate James Bond parody which features Frank Sinatra, Jr., as the villainous Stinkfinger, a visit to a secret government installation known as Area 69, and a trip to a place known as “the Gaytrix,” ruled by a gentleman known as – wait for it – Heinous Anus. That the character is played by RuPaul is some consolation, but, then, it’s often only the guest stars that make “Son of the Beach” worth watching. Other folks turning up on this set include Gilbert Gottfried, Bill Maher, Jason Alexander, Alan Thicke, Lee Majors, Adam Carolla, and David Arquette, reprising his role as Johnny Queefer (from “Queefer Madness,” which appears on the first volume) for an episode entitled “Saturday Night Queefer.” And lest those aforementioned Stern fans have an aneurysm, it should also be noted that Gary Dell’Abate, Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf, and Beetlejuice make appearances as well.

Yes, “Son of the Beach” can be funny, and, yes, you will probably laugh despite yourself, but for most, the laughs will turn to groans within a few episodes. If you’re someone who has contributed to the opening-weekend box office of films like “Epic Movie” and “Meet the Spartans,” then this release will no doubt thrill you to no end; those who prefer their comedy with a little more class, however, will want to look elsewhere.

Special Features: If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll be pleased to hear that Timothy Stack has teamed up with creators David Morgasen and James R. Stein to provide audio commentaries for eight episodes. And if you’re not a fan of the show, you’ll still probably enjoy listening, given that you can hear all three guys groaning and cringing whenever the material gets too lowbrow. There are also backstage featurettes for two episodes (“Grand Prix” and “The Island of Dr. Merlot”), original audition tapes for several cast members, a table read from the pilot episode, and sexy montage highlights.

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