It may have been trashed for its nonsensical storylines and excessive show of skin but everybody above a certain age has watched or heard of Baywatch. The show was cancelled by NBC after only one season but was revived on the syndication market – and the rest, as they say, is history.
The show was a massive hit in every country that had access to Star TV and a satellite dish. It was the international community’s idea of what America was like – beaches, gorgeous people and a culture that was far less inhibited than their own.
While the show’s beautiful cast received their own share of fame, it was Pamela Anderson who became sort of a cult figure. Dressed in that iconic red swimsuit, C. J. Parker was the dream girl and fantasy for men and women worldwide. Anderson played a huge role in popularising the already fetishised ideal – a tan, blonde girl with a body shaped like an hourglass.
“Have you ever been to Glasgow in February? If you have, then you know why this show’s a hit. After a soupy day with three hours of a sort of sunlight, you look forward to coming home at 6:30 and watching what? The BBC has gardening on. So you look out at the soupy fog and you see ‘Baywatch’ is coming up and you decide: That’s what I’ll watch!” Paul Talbot said in an interview to the New York Times.
David Hasselhoff and the others may have been important to the storyline but none more so than Miss Anderson. Often derisively called ‘Babewatch’, the show had hit ratings in the United Kingdom, Germany, China and other places because of the perception it offered. Yet, no amount of action or good looks could ever match up to the animal magnetism that oozed off of Pamela Anderson.