Boobless bay: Baywatch Nights took a revolutionary leap in television drama by taking Baywatch, and adding a detective agency. Of course, we’ve heard worse ideas for shows, and it naturally featured gripping performances from nuanced character actor David Hasselhoff (pictured). So, what went wrong? The answer: everything.
Namely, following the success of Mulder and Scully’s early-90s sci-fi shenanigans, Baywatch got inexplicably X-Filed, forcing a science-fiction plot into every single episode. And if you think they would run out of sci-fi beach crime plots quickly, you’d be correct.
Thus some of the most ridiculous plots ever aired on TV were born, including: Sea monsters; unfrozen Norse gods; surfing aliens; a mutant mermaid serial killer; mutated Brazillian-body-snatching snails; and David Hasselhoff. Perhaps more crucially, the episodes did not feature Pamela Anderson’s breasts.
Hanky panky: We like to think Bosom Buddies was originally going to be an ordinary comedy about two single guys, until someone went and said something very, very wrong when pitching it to those suit-clad, pipe-smoking TV executives. Instead of laughing at the ridiculous premise of a cross dressing Tom Hanks, the TV executives laughed with it, (probably) saying “Dresses!? And men!? Sold!” while throwing handfuls of cash into the air.
The result would forever be known by its more common title: ‘That show where Tom Hanks dresses up as a woman so he could stay in a ladies-only apartment building’. Thankfully, it was cancelled after two seasons, because the only thing more ridiculous than wearing a dress to trick your landlord is doing it for a third year.
Cox-block: Crime-fighting is the source of many-a-terrible television show. But what makes crime fighting cooler? Wacky mutants with powerfully stupid abilities, naturally. The stars of The Misfits of Science for example: One guy is seven feet tall.
That isn’t his power, but it is cooler than his actual power, which is the ability to become seven inches tall. One guy’s power was being very cold, which sounds even more stupid considering he would melt and die if it got too warm out. He literally spent most of his time in an ice cream truck.
One girl’s power was being a young Courteney Cox, which wasn’t terribly useful at the time, but proved to be very powerful at becoming a bane on humanity later in life.
Does not compute: Automan was a show about a programmer who made a computer programme to help him solve crime. But this was no ordinary computer – this programme had skillz. Namely, when fed enough power, it would manifest itself as a charming crime-fighting gentleman with immaculate blow-dried hair and pearly white teeth.
It was also probably the first ever computer program to wear a seatbelt. Thankfully, Automan was so terrible it was axed after only 12 episodes.
Gaydar imaging: Boy Meets Boy was a reality dating show for gay people where half the contestants were only pretending to be gay, apparently some sort of devious experiment to uncover the secrets of gaydar (otherwise interpreted as a morbid scheme to encourage sexual insecurity among unsuspecting men for pure entertainment value). Episode titles included ‘It’s Raining Gay and Secretly Straight Men’ and ‘Where Have All The Possibly Straight Cowboys Gone?’.
The fact that the show’s producers set heterosexual traps for the clueless gay man was controversial, but frankly, if a man is willing to pretend to be gay in front of millions of people for a fairly average day rate, he’s not that straight.