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Dream On - Seasons 1 & 2

4.9 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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(Oct 12, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the irreverent minds of Animal House, The Blues Brothers and Friends, comes all 28 Emmy Award-winning episodes of the first two seasons of HBO's risky, riotous and racy smash-hit series, Dream On. Join in the deliciously wicked fun that pushed all of TV's buttons in the original unedited episodes only seen on HBO, and available for the first time ever on DVD! Brian Benben stars as the newly divorced Martin Tupper - book editor, father and fantasizer - whose dysfunctional dating life is punctuated by moments of sinfully hilarious cinematic daydreams. With a quirky, headstrong secretary barking orders, an inquisitive teenage son, a womanizing best friend and an ex who's never fully exited his life, Martin's way overdue for a crash-course on the opposite sex. Featuring outrageous guest appearances from David Bowie, Tom Berenger, Fran Drescher, Martin Mull and more, get ready for non-stop laughs in the groundbreaking series The Washington Times hailed as "cleverly written, well acted and bottom line funny."

One hopes that at the annual HBO characters Christmas party, Larry Sanders, Carrie Bradshaw, and Tony Soprano make a point to raise a toast to Martin Tupper, the hapless hero of Dream On. This groundbreaking 1990 sitcom from future Friends creators David Crane and Marta Kaufman ushered in a bold new era of original cable programming not bound by broadcast network content restrictions. Hence, the profanity and nudity (you didn't see that on Knott's Landing!), which distinguished the series and helped put HBO on the pop culture map. Brian Benben stars as Martin, a New York book editor still reeling from the breakup of his marriage. The show's gimmick is that baby boomer Martin, a member of the first television generation, flashes on vintage TV clips that express his innermost feelings and desires. When his wife, Judith (Wendie Malick), visits Martin in "The First Episode," he fantasizes reconciliation, but she wants him to sign the divorce papers so she can remarry. The scene is punctuated by clips (from an old Twilight Zone episode, perhaps?) in which boxer Lee Marvin is pummeled in the ring and knocked out. But the clips and the language and the sex would get old fast if we didn't like the characters. Benben has the Everyman charm of a young George Segal, and he wears his anxiety to hilarious effect. He is devoted to his young teenage son, and still loves Judith, who is marrying a paragon, never seen, but described at one point as a "Ghandi for our times." His dating relationships spectacularly crash and burn (cue clip of disabled aircraft). In one episode, he comes undone when he discovers his new lover was a porn star. At the office, he is at the mercy of his caustic secretary (Denny Dillon). Dream On is of more than prurient interest. This was one of those lightning-in-a-bottle series blessed with a fresh vision, a seamless ensemble, and smart writing. To finally have it on DVD is a Dream come true. --Donald Liebenson

Special Features

Disc 1:
  • John Landis Introduction

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Michael McKean
    • Directors: Michael McKean, Peter Baldwin, Iris Dugow, Stephen Engel, Michael Engler
    • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
    • Subtitles: Spanish, French
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
    • Number of discs: 5
    • Rated:
      Not Rated
    • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: October 12, 2004
    • Run Time: 753 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B00005JN8P
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,566 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Dream On - Seasons 1 & 2" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By C. Van Nightingale on September 14, 2004
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    Maybe it's true, that if you're just patient, the DVD gods will eventually get around to releasing a true buried gem like this one.

    It's hard to imagine how a show like "Dream On" could stay under the radar for so long. It was created by David Crane and Marta Kaufman, the creative team behind "Friends." It was produced -- and many of it finest episodes directed -- by John Landis. It had a remarkable cast doing the best work of their respective careers, playing unforgettable characters, and it benefited from some of the best comedic writing on TV. It provided HBO with its first Emmy. And it paved the way for future HBO episodic comedy series, like The Larry Sanders Show, Sex in the City and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

    But when it debuted on HBO in 1990, the concept of a pay-cable station qualifying for "appointment TV" was still in the future. TV critics loved it, but a lot of others remember it primarily because, taking advantage of the freedoms of pay cable, it used language not seen elsewhere on the tube. And it showed a little skin, although not nearly as much as people seem to remember.

    "Dream On" follows the life of Martin Tupper, a book editor at a small Manhattan publishing house who's closer to 40 than he is to 30. He finds himself dumped into the dating scene of the '90s when his wife (a pre-"Just Shoot Me" Wendie Malick) divorces him to marry The World's Most Perfect Man. His son (Chris Demetral) is at an age where he's beginning to realize his father doesn't have all the answers. His best friend (Jeff Joseph in the first season, Dorien Wilson afterward) is a self-absorbed talk show host. And his grating secretary (a post-"SNL" Denny Dillon) has him on the verge of homicide.
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    Comment 161 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    Just buy this - buy it now. Somewhen in the early 90s this series appeared. Completely funny & totally original, this series of pure pure entertainment was the highlight of mine and a million friends week. I have crawled the internet and have never ever found a video, download or anything... until now, I live in anticipation of seeing this great series again.
    The show was genius - Martin Tupper's (Brian Benben)thoughts were shown via clips of old b/w B movies. The supporting cast is excellent and they always had cameos from big stars like David Bowie.
    How or why this series was forgotten until now is a mystery. Its a masterpiece, far superior to the dross that's around today.
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    Format: DVD
    One of HBO's first original comedies "Dream On" chronicles the life of Martin Tupper a book editor who has a difficult time relating to women. Interspersed throughout each episode are clips from old films that Tupper grew up watching as a kid. These clips act as both a metaphor for Martin's true feelings as well as a reference that he uses to help him deal with difficult situations. Tupper copes with dating again after divorce and trying to relate to his teenage son. His ex-wife Judith (the wonderful Wendie Malick) provides him with one of the few touch points with the fairer sex. Unfortunately, Judith not only remarried but did so to someone who is nearly perfect in comparison to the neurotic Martin. His unusual friends and co-workers (among them Toby played by Denny Dillon who gives new meaning to the word evil) keep Tupper's life in a state of upheaval not that he needs any help with that anyway.

    Criminally underappreciated in its day, "Dream On" ran for over a 100 episodes and predates many of the other series that garnered much more attention and praise (such as "The Sopranos"). Although "Dream On" was a great comedy during its first three seasons it lost much of its steam by the end of its run. Even during the lesser shows the show was well written and performed with an air of screwball comedy missing from TV when it was being aired. The gimmick of using old movie and TV clips as cultural reference points for Tupper grew tired by the end of the show's run but the lively cast kept the series interesting until the very end.

    "Dream On" has the look of a wonderful daydream on DVD. Universal has done a fine job with this transfer with few analog or digital blemishes to mar the picture.
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    1 Comment 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    Dream On has been pretty high on my list of DVD purchases for years now! Shown on terrestrial UK television (the first 2 series only!!!) in the early 90's and then repeated later on at some stupid early morning timeslot, this show had too much stacked against the possibilities that it might find a loyal following here; and I don't think it ever did!

    Why, I had no idea! The series was brilliant. The situations were really funny. This sit-com used an almost abstract way to present the lead characters thoughts of the moment (the Black & White footage of crummy movies!!!) long before producers of Alley MacBeal were trying it; Dream On was also a sit-com playing around with sex long before Sex & the City were doing that also and yet both those younger series thrived in the UK. So, Dream On was certainly original and ahead of its time!

    So abused was this series in the UK, I was amazed to discover that the series had charged on for a total of six years!!! Trust me folks, this is a worthy purchase. To watch this show and finish it glum faced will only prove you lack a sense of humour!
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