Dealing with the everyday trials and shenanigans of high school is never easy, but it can certainly be a lot more fun when you put together a rock band with all your best friends. Such is life for Pacific Beach High Schools poptastic California Dreams: Matt (Brent Gore), Jenny (Heidi Lenhart), Tiffani (Kelly Packard) and Tony (William James Jones). Throw in the high jinks of their unscrupulous band manager, Sly (Michael Cade), and you have got yourself the hit nbc Saturday morning sitcom California Dreams!
All of your favorite moments from the first two seasons are now available together in one hilarious box set, including the bands first gig, their first music video, the departure of Jenny to Italy, as well as the arrival of Sam (Jennie Kwan) and bad boy Jake (Jay Anthony Franke)into the band.Bonus Features:
* Lets Do It!: Reuniting California Dreams
: An intimate look back at California Dreams with members of the cast.
* Video Jukebox on each disc
Everyone who grew up in the early 1990s can rejoice: California Dreams
has finally come out on DVD! In the first season of this Saturday morning sitcom, teenage brother and sister Matt and Jenny Garrison (Brent Gore and Heidi Noelle Lenhart) bounced between their family and their soft-rock band. Their bandmates/best friends included blond surfer girl Tiffany (Kelly Packard, later on Baywatch
), would-be smoothie Tony (William James Jones), and their greedy, scheming manager Sly (Michael Cade). Matt was an all-around nice guy, while Jenny had a feminist streak and stood up for herself in the face of casual chauvinism from the boys. But early in the second season Jenny left to study music in Rome and was replaced by Sam (Jennie Kwan), a chatty exchange student from Hong Kong, and a black-leather-jacketed bad boy with a sensitive side named Jake (Jay Anthony Franke) became Matt’s new songwriting partner. The Garrison family receded and the band became the show’s enduring focus. Though it launched in 1992, the first two seasons of California Dreams
suffered from a 1980s hangover of baggy jackets, patterns not found in nature, and over-produced pop that would have made Debbie Gibson blush with shame. The plots were usually contrived (when the band gets their first gig, Matt and Jenny’s dad had gotten the whole family plane tickets for a trip to the Grand Canyon on the same day) or resolved way, way too quickly (Tiffany is reunited with the mother who abandoned her years earlier--in 20 minutes, they’re pals!). But such is the stuff of sitcoms; California Dreams
can be commended for attempting any emotional depth at all, as well as making some gesture towards girl power. Perhaps most radical of all, the teenagers were mostly portrayed by actual teenagers (at least when the show began). The series may have been prefabricated and woefully square in its attempts to be hip, but that’s part of its appeal: It’s a freshly scrubbed pre-teen fantasy of glamorous high-school life. No wonder the pre-teens who watched continue to hold California Dreams
dear. This box set of seasons 1 & 2 includes a brief interview with the grown-up Gore, Packard, Cade, and Kwan, who of course gush with enthusiasm about the show--but the interplay between them shows both affection and exasperation and feels pleasantly genuine. --Bret Fetzer