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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > California Dreams – Seasons One & Two (Shout! Factory DVD)

California Dreams – Seasons One & Two (Shout! Factory DVD)


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: C-     Episodes: D



When Pop/Rock music entered pop culture, it also did in various ways on TV.  There was the authentic career of Ricky Nelson off of Ozzie & Harriett, then came The Partridge Family, Josie & the Pussycats, The Archies and The Monkees that were fun even when they were manufactured.  At least the music at its worst was still fun.  By the early 1990s, NBC decided to try the idea of a band on TV as a sitcom and the result was the nadir of it all, California Dreams.


The combination of bad videotaping, bad acting, bad, writing, bad singing, bad ideas and phoniness and insincerity that makes “Sugar Sugar” seem like a highlight on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon, the show arrives on DVD for no good reason except nostalgia from hell and to say it has not aged well is an understatement.  It is one of the reasons you’ll be glad analog TV is dead.


The five DVDs here have all 31 unexciting episodes from 1992 – 1994, all rather the same and all really, really, really bad.  You can see why Clinton became president.  It is most similar to Partridge Family down to a manager being around, but boy is he annoying.  If anything, this make the animated Partridge Family spin-off seem like Akira!


Needless to say the show is highly unlikable.  How this ever got greenlit is only because at this point, all the TV companies would shove anything through the vacuum that was and still is syndicated TV and cable.  Most of the actors had dead end careers, though Kelly Packard did Baywatch, which is an improvement of sorts.  All I could do was hope they’d get hit by an earthquake, but this kind of phoniness is impervious to such things, we guess.


The 1.33 X 1 image is soft, harsh, has aliasing all over the place and are all likely old digital backup copies.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is slightly better, meaning it is not as degraded, meaning the bad music sounds better than you’ll want it to.  Extras include a jukebox feature so you can hear the songs (yahoo?) separately from the show, though we still consider that a waste of your life and a making of on the show ironically titled Let’s Do It!  We say let’s not.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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