Reviews Cut Short: Baywatch Edition

Posted by Danielle Mohlman

(Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash)

We haven’t seen the lifeguards of Baywatch since Mitch Buchannon – on the road to recovery from amnesia – returned to Hawaii to get married (again!) in the made for TV movie Baywatch: Hawaiian Reunion. A lot has changed since 2003, and to celebrate the lifeguards’ return to the screen in the latest Baywatch movie, we’ve asked them to recommend their favorite beach reads. After all, they have a lot of time to kill in that lifeguard chair.


Mitch Buchannon

You may think of me as all brawn and no brains, but ask any of my buddies here to describe me and I can guarantee they’ll start with my softer side. It’s not all about muscles and babes – that’s just what they show when the camera’s rolling. I recently read – and loved! – The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler. When you’re immersed in the world of California heat, it’s hard to imagine the beach any other way. Sarah Ockler really takes her readers for a ride through this tiny Oregon beach town. It’s a relatively quick read. I could have finished it in a day, but I spent a lot of time strategizing how I might have saved the protagonist from the Caribbean boating accident that takes place the moment before the book begins. I mean, then there wouldn’t be a book to begin with. But still –


Mitch cut his review with us short, running into the Pacific Ocean and fireman-carrying a small child out of a wave. Both the young boy and his family are doing great. Mitch even sent him home with his copy of The Summer of Chasing Mermaids.  



Matt Brody

I’m the new guy, so I was worried that the rest of the team might make fun of me for reading a book on my lunch break. But I’m really into Joan Didion right now. Her latest book, South and West, was adapted from a notebook she kept in June 1970 during a visit to Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. I’m only about half way through, but I’m already recommending it to everyone I know. I don’t agree with everything Joan Didion is doing here because the people around her keep making racist and classist remarks and she’s simply documenting her experience. But it reminds me a lot of S-Town, which I’m listening to in the car on my commute. There are so many parallels in terms of –


Without warning, Matt leapt into the ocean, dragging an older gentleman to shore and swiftly administering CPR. We can’t help but wonder how Joan Didion might document the events.



Summer Quinn

I bet you’re expecting me to recommend some splashy summer beach read. But I truly believe that the only thing that makes a book a beach read is if you take it with you to the beach. I just finished Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay today and I’m planning on passing it along to C.J. as soon as her shift starts. Roxane Gay approaches feminist scholarship from a place of memory and pop culture in a profoundly beautiful and infuriating way. Infuriating because the patriarchy is so pervasive in today’s –


Summer does not apologize for running away in the middle of her review. Her heroics rescued a young girl who was pulled under a wave. After checking to make sure she was okay, Summer reminded the girl that she should never let society define her.



C.J. Parker

I’ve been getting really into comics lately because they’re super quick and satisfying. Plus, trade volumes travel really well and can take a beating when I toss them aside in pursuit of a rescue. Mockingbird by Chelsea Cain, Kate Niemczyk, and Ibrahim Moustafa is my absolute favorite and I’m really bummed that the series was cancelled. I’ve always been a secret fan of superheroes, but Mockingbird makes me want to shout it from the rooftops. She makes me proud to be a real life superhero – each comic chock full of feminism, Hamilton references, and general badassery. If Marvel was ever looking for someone to continue the series, I –


C.J. could have talked about Mockingbird until sunset, but her incredible eyesight caught a fluffy tail peeking out from an uncharacteristically high tide. Both dog and owner are soaked to the bone, but so incredibly grateful.