We all know we get what we pay for, and this is no exception. This Region 0/Non-region specific DVD set is riddled with problems. And, I don’t know where to begin as some may find the “issues” I’ve listed in a different order of importance.
To note: I do like Baywatch. I enjoyed the NBC (1989-1990) season (the one shown on this page) much more (actually loved that season), and hung around for Season 2 on Fox (1991-1992). I didn’t watch past season three (3) though. So I’m not Baywatch bashing. This review isn’t based on the series, but the quality of the DVD set (this product).
I will say this – first off … no closed captioning for the deaf/hard of hearing or other language subtitles. Those who are deaf/hard of hearing will not be able to watch or enjoy this (unless they have other equipment to caption it).
As I only speak/understand English the lack of language selection wasn’t a problem for me, however others needing French or Spanish (which seem to be the most popular for DVDs) subtitles will not be able to enjoy this set.
If those are a problem … sadly, you will want to avoid this set. That loses a star for me.
** Second problem? Loss of another star …
Lack of an episode listing guide. Most DVD sets have a guide as to what is on the DVD (and in what order), even if it is on the INSIDE of the liner. This doesn’t. No episode listing on the discs either. There was no separate booklet or outside box issued – just the plastic case wrapped in plastic wrap. There are two discs which have some episodes out of order, at least when comparing it to IMDB (which has it listed by air date, as does Wikipedia). However, the pilot – “Panic at Malibu Pier” – is included on disc one.
** Third problem?
The DVD case. The middle disc holder is a problem. There are seven (7) pretty wide slits that allow dirt and or fingerprints to contaminate the discs. Not a smart move. Also it is a bit rough to get the discs out. If you watch them frequently you might have a huge problem with removal.
Moving on … let’s go with playback. This is where it loses another “collective” star for me with the following …
These are REGION 0/NO REGION discs, and as I am based in the USA, they did register and seemingly play in my DVD player. My laptop recognized DISC #1, but read DISC #2 as BLANK on the first try, on the second it did better. That was a bit concerning. So, if you play DVDs on your computer – be cautious.
Menu Options – the menu options don’t exist in the way of selecting languages or closed captioning (subtitles). The disc has the individual episodes or a play all function.
Extras – NONE – there are ZERO extras. Don’t expect any “behind the scenes” information, interviews, or commentary. As one who enjoys the commentary but it isn’t a deal breaker, it wasn’t a huge deal not to have it. Others who want those things will be disappointed.
Quality – There was NO effort to restore quality in the pilot episode/movie. While I understand the pilot is from April 1989, it looks like it was copied from a VHS tape. The quality for the rest of the episodes isn’t too bad given that the episodes are nearly 30 years old. However it is not as good as it could be though, as some older series have been restored. For a show that ran 10 years and was a “Global” hit, this DVD set’s quality is surprising. Even the “Knight Rider” DVDs have more features than this and “Knight Rider” ran from 1982-1986.
Sound – Given the fact this hasn’t been re-mastered, the sound quality isn’t that bad, then again I am not one who likes the “theater surround sound” deal as I live in an apartment and can’t fully appreciate the feature (nor do I like “loud” things). I didn’t have to blast the sound my HDTV, so that is a good thing. However, sound preferences are different to each person. Something to keep in mind.
MUSIC – To be honest, I don’t remember the season one (1) theme (I’ve read it was Peter Cetera’s “Save Me”). I know that season two (2) was Jim Jamison’s “I’m Always There” (which is not on the season 2, mismarked 1 set that I have). The opening theme from this season is missing from this set. There is a song from “Shark Derby” that remains in it at the end. That one I definitely remember.
If you can ignore all of these problems and issues; and enjoy the series (particularly this season) – I’d go ahead and get it. I thoroughly enjoyed re-living some of my childhood and watching these episodes which I remembered more about than I thought (especially since it has been 30 years since it premiered). If the issues/problems I’ve noted are deal-breakers, you may want to steer clear – particularly on the closed captioning.