Many wonderful things have come out of Hawaii: pineapples, Don Ho, Magnum, Bette Midler, and even Jack Lord, to name just a few. TV's had an interest in Hawaii since the days we used to watch something called Hawaiian Eye in the early Sixties. Sadly, North Shore, the ITV and Star World import set in America's fiftieth state, isn't one of them.
North Shore makes Baywatch seem like Masterpiece Theater by comparison. It doesn't even outjiggle David Hasselhoff's series, which at least had that going for it. Sure, there are hunks and hunkettes by the screenful in both programs, but North Shore only holds up until that crucial moment, when the actors have to speak.
The premise is even a ripoff of two shows, Baywatch and Hotel, with the action focusing on the Grand Waimea, a fancy seaside resort, and hotel guests, staff and hangers-on providing the action. Besides trading partners, threatening each other and applying sunscreen, little happens. It's a Grade Z version of As The World Turns, in a bikini.
The show gives us Chris the Surfer nuzzling waitress M.J. (Nikki DeLoach) in her apartment as she gets ready to leave for work after a night of passion. "This has to be quick," M.J. moans as Chris moves closer. "No, this has to be slow," corrects Chris. Can't someone just hose them down?
The dialogue sounds like it came out of Bad Soap Operas 101, as when chief hostess Nicole (Brooke Burns), the brunette hunkette who's in charge of guest relations (no pun intended) tells her hunky ex-boyfriend and hotel manager Jason, "I saw who you were with last night!" Groan.
Nicole's main foil is Tessa (Amanda Righetti of The OC), who works as the hotel concierge and had her hands on Jason until Nicole returned after dumping her prospective groom at the altar. Now, clearly, anything's fair game in the battle for tall, dark Jason, and that apparently includes unlimited awful dialogue. Confronting Tessa after catching her in bed with Jason the night before, Nicole hisses, "I didn't recognize you with your clothes on." Then again, that's something you could say to most of the actresses on this show, who don't appear to have been cast for their acting skills.
Honestly, North Shore is bad enough to make you swear off Hawaiian Punch. M.J.'s being pursued by an old boyfriend, and when Chris begins to wonder whether she still loves him, she angrily explains that he's still the one. "Of course, I'm sorry," blubbers Chris, obviously hoping for a replay of that morning's action. "I'm into you, Chris," says M.J. Groan. The episode's only good line was a description of M.J.'s old squeeze, who goes by the name of Tray, apparently because Troy was already taken. "In high school we called him ashtray, because he was dirty and he collected butts." Bada-boom.
The show also offers us the clich d bartender with a heart of gold who has sage advice for all, a la Isaac on The Love Boat or the dueling hotel magnates a la Dynasty or Dallas.
There are surfing scenes and necking scenes and beautiful people in bikini scenes, but after 10 minutes, even the eye candy gets stale. Without a decent script or half-way decent acting to save it, North Shore, which airs Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. on Star World, is just so much TV flotsam. For impersonating too many shows and giving Hawaii a bad name, we order the producers taken away by McGarrett & Co. Book 'em, Dan-o!
North Shore airs Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. on Star World.