December 6, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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Watson Reviews: Spring Broke

We are in the middle of the Spring Break season, so what better time to check out a new documentary on the history of the infamous tradition?  From the pre-war era, through the sixites free love evolution, and beyond, this documentary narrated by none other than Robin Leach himself, covers it all.

Spring Broke begins in a simpler time.  Where places like Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale were for families or high performing competive swimmers, racing for glory.  Where you could walk along the shoreline and not encounter a giant inflatable dildo.

Not a better time.  Inflatable dildos are awesome. But a simpler time.

Interestingly, it was World War 2 that brought the party crowd to Florida, when fear of German U-boats scared the party crowds away from the Atlantic and Carribean islands and into a more protected haven.  And thus, the party began.

At first, the 50s era teens just wanted to dance to the Twist and have a good time. But the 60s counter culture movement began to make it more sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll, so things began to change in the quiet, Florida beach communities.

Every year the party got bigger, and the stakes got higher.  Cigarette and alchol companies began sponsoring events, bringing in fresh new musical acts looking for a break, such as R.E.M., Modern English, and The Fixx.


Then came MTV…

Image result for mtv launch

The documentary sheds light on a partnership of local club and resort owners, beer and cigarette makers, suntan bikini barons (what a great job that must be), and later MTV taking the phenomenon from an sinple good time to a mult-million dollar corporate event.

The thing that annoyed me about the spring break crowds in this doc is the idea of trying to see how much “fun” they could have. It’s like fun for fun’s sake.

Kinda douchey because it is all about one upsmanship.  It was like an early version of the Facebook effect. People wanted to show others how much fun YOU could have. I’m not sure they were having fun, but the documentary lets you decide that for yourself. Now get off my lawn…


Ultimately, the documentay explains how towns fought back and cracked down with noise ordinances and difficult permit requirements, and the party was never the same again. The best interview of the film is with some Reagan era party pooper who led the charge against the debauchery and sports a REALLY bad toupee while getting interviewed.  Best moment of an interesting, but forgetabble documentary.

Overall, I give SPRING BROKE 7 “Old School Bikini Pictures” out of 10.

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