Jan 1, 2013

Ocean Girl and her Beefcake Buddies

The Australian science fiction series Ocean Girl (1994-98) appeared on American tv in the late 1990s, along with such beefcake-heavy Australian sci-fi as Round the Twist, Ship to Shore, Skytrackers, and Spellbinder.  It featured Jason Bates (David Hoflin, right) and his brother Brett (Jeffrey Walker, left), who move to an underwater research facility  called ORCA, off the coast of Queensland,  with their mother, a whale specialist.

They befriend the mysterious Neri (Marzena Godecki), who has super powers, an affinity for the ocean, and a pet whale.

When they tired of plotlines about saving ocean critters from an evil corporation, Neri revealed that she was an alien who crashed on Earth when she was a child.  Eventually they found her sister Mera.

Then they found the crashed ship with some survivors in suspended animation, notably the pilot's son, Kal (Jeremy Angerson), who apparently zapped through space without wearing a shirt.

Before the series ended, Neri and her Scooby Team were  globetrotting, time traveling to ancient Egypt, and even exploring the home planet of Ocean World.

Shirtless and semi-nude shots were everywhere. Jason, Brett, and Kal spent almost as much time in swimsuits, towels, and underwear as Bud and Sandy of Flipper.  Not to mention the ever-changing adult and teenage crew members of the ORCA.

No gay characters, but minimal heterosexual entanglements.  Jason is sweet on Neri, eventually kissing her, but Kal  seems more interested in Jason, and Brett doesn't express much romantic interest at all.  

As the seasons passed, David Hoflin developed a stunning bodybuilder's physique, which he showed off frequently, even after the series ended.  He has been featured on the Flipper tv series, The Lost World, Head Start, Neighbours, Alcatraz, and NCIS.

Jeffrey Walker has starred in several Australian tv series, including Blue Heelers, Thunderstone, and Spy Shop.

Dec 31, 2012

La Gran Aventura: Two Boys, a Boxer, and a Bull

Speaking of Nino del Arco, he was an accomplished child star in Mexico before he starred in Kaliman, but I've seen only one of his movies, La gran aventura (1969), on Telemundo during the 1980s (about the same time that I was watching Santo, Los Beltran, and  Papa soltero).

The plot: the effervescent Jacky (Julian Bravo, left) agrees to help the timid Pepe (Nino) search for his lost dog.

On the way they have many picaresque adventures, including run-ins with a bull and gangsters.  Meanwhile their parents are frantically searching for them.

Unfortunately, I was 15 years too late.  If I had seen it as a preteen in the 1960s, the significant beefcake and bonding would have rivaled that of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, transforming Mexico into a "good place."

1. Beefcake: there are many shirtless shots of rather muscular Jacky, and a skinny-dipping scene involving both boys.

2. Bonding: Jacky meets Pepe as a stranger and displays a remarkable interest in him, aggressively courting him, running head-first into danger to protect him.  In the end they decide to stay together forever.

Julian Bravo remains popular in Mexico, starring in a variety of films, from the religious (First Communion) to the not religious (The Difficult Life of an Easy Woman).  Most recently he was featured as Guillermo on the telenovela Salome.  Nino del Arco retired during his adolescence, and now works as a lawyer in Madrid.
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