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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sing it with me! "Surf dudes with attitude ..."

Holy timing, Batman!

"California Dreams" hasn't been on my radar in ... well, it's been a long, long time since I felt the need to hear Sly Winkle say "Ba-BOOM!" again ... and let's just keep it at that.

But a hilarious Decider interview with non-"Office" spinoff star Aziz Ansari (below) unexpectedly put the show back on my radar, and suddenly I got wistful for the ol' Paradise Cove gang again.

OK, not really. Because even though I'm an unabashed follower and defender of corny Saturday morning '90s feel-goodery on "Saved by the Bell," the Dreams always felt like an ugly stepchild to me.

Volleyball phenom Tiffani starts taking horse roids so that her head will swell eight sizes like Barry Bonds? We already saw what pill popping did to Hot Sundae superstar Jessica Mertyl Spano.

Jake, Tony, Matt and Sly make a bet to see who can kiss new exchange student Samantha Woo first? Slater and Zack already beat you guys to the punch with rebel motorcycle girl, Tori.

Sly finally finds a date using a computer chat program, only to discover that the girl is blind? Nice try, but Zack kinda had the same revelation with a girl in a wheelchair.

Tiffani becomes principal for a day and tries to keep her friends from cutting school? C'mon ... this one doesn't even attempt to hide its theft from two instantly memorable "SBTB" episodes.

The list could go on and on -- christ, even "SBTB" used the band concept in the unwatchable Zack Attack episode -- making it pretty embarrassing how virtually every "Dreams" plot device was recycled from its big Bayside brother.

No wonder it was so forgettable. "Dreams" is the Oasis to "SBTB's" Beatles. Filmation's "Ghostbusters" to "SBTB's" "Real Ghostbusters." Fruity Hoops to "SBTB's" Toucan Sam approved Froot Loops.

But like all simple treasures linked to childhood, there's probably some scrap of nostalgia-based wonderment that can come out of the recent announcement that a DVD of "California Dreams: Seasons One and Two" is coming out March 31.

Yep, the week this blog mentions the long forgotten T-NBC show, there's a blurb written about a release date on TVshowsonDVD.com. Kinda freaky.

Now, "Dreams" purists might argue that the original lineup with Matt and Jenny Garrison from Season One is the show at its best. However, we should all agree that the show was always awful, but at least became more amusing when Fonz-wanna-be Jake arrived and couldn't properly hold or fake-play a guitar -- not to mention shocking when Sly ripped off his shirt for the first time and revealed he was more cut than Jean Claude Van Damme. (Seriously? What was up with that ab work?)

Ah, "California Dreams." You're finally getting your due, and perhaps, PERHAPS, if I see you on sale for $9.99, I'll pick you up and promptly regret the decision while choking down the horror.

I will say this much: all these years later, your transcendent theme song reaches into my soul in a way that "Saved by the Bell's" never could.

Enjoy the small, sweet taste of victory, "Dreams." It's the only legacy you've got.

(And yes, this theme song will be stuck in your head all day. Your welcome.)





-- Thomas Rozwadowski, trozwado@greenbaypressgazette.com

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6 Comments:

Wow. I forgot how awesomely PC "California Dreams" was -- the token Black guy, a token Asian girl AND a token Latina? Ahead of its time, for sure.

-- Sara

By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At December 17, 2008 at 1:15 PM  

Haha great post!

Also, is Sly the one and only Johnny Dakota from Saved By the Bell? I could be totally off on this but there seems to be a resemblence. Perhaps another rip off?

By Anonymous Anonymous, At December 17, 2008 at 2:35 PM  

and I didnt mean Sly I meant the other guy....not the black guy and not the greaser....the other one from the picture you posted.

By Anonymous Anonymous, At December 17, 2008 at 2:37 PM  

I believe that would be Mark Winkle, who yes, appears to have a thing for dippy hair-dos and flowy silk shirts. I can't be certain he has a thing for the chronic, though.

-- Tom

By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At December 17, 2008 at 2:44 PM  

I've added this immediately to my netflix. Thank you. Thank you all so very much!

By Blogger LTodd, At December 17, 2008 at 5:01 PM  

Jake WAS a greaser. Hahahaha. What a tool.

By Anonymous Anonymous, At December 17, 2008 at 6:54 PM  

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