Mar 15, 2021
Baywatch “War of Nerves” (part 2 of 3)
And now, it’s time to cue up another time-honored Baywatch B-plot. This one involves Shauni (this season’s Token Hot Blonde Lifeguard, played by Erika Eleniak) approaching Lt. Ben with a request. She wants him to teach her how to surf. Ben is surprised by this request.
Lt. Ben: Aren’t you the one who used to call surfers “macho cretins”?
Alright, first off: who on Earth uses the term “cretin” these days to describe… anyone? Second, from a character standpoint, her opinion of male surfers shouldn’t preclude her own interest in undertaking the sport. Is she worried she might be described as macho?
As to what type of cretin she might become, that’s sadly never addressed. And then we immediately learn that her militant attitude towards wave riders may be softening.
Shauni: That was before I moved in with one.
So, this negative view of surfers kept her from surfing, but not from dating surfers. You could also deduce that she still considered surfers macho cretins when she was dating one, and she was willing to even move in with a macho cretin. By her own admission, she only discovered they were not all cretins after living with one. Shauni must have a passel of emotional challenges tucked away in the back of her guard stand.
Lt. Ben, who has to be at least fifty years old, hems and haws (that’s how heptagenarians speak) about helping her. Eventually, he relents, which was cagey on his part. Because leaping at the chance to immediately work with a wet Shauni who’s thirty years his junior would have been unseemly.