Rating: Not Rated
Brian Benben as Martin Tupper
Denny Dillon as Toby Pedalbee
Chris Demetral as Jeremy Tupper
Wendie Malick as Judith Tupper Stone
Paul Dooley as Mickey Tupper
Jeffrey Joseph as Eddie Charles
Michael McKean as Gibby Fiske
Renée Taylor as Doris Tupper
Brian Michael Tracy as Bookstore Patron
Dorien Wilson as Eddie Charles
Introduction by Executive Producer John Landis
Dolby Digital 2.0 Sound
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 12 Hours 33 Minutes
This TV series originally aired on HBO from 1990 to 1996. The first two seasons are included on this DVD. Here’s the series description from the DVD cover:
“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.’”
Dream On is not rated, but it contains nudity and language.
I only caught glimpses of Dream On when it aired on HBO, so this was my first real exposure to the series. Written by the creators of Friends and executive produced by John Landis, the show had a lot of talent behind it.
Dream On was notable for a couple of gimmicks. The first were the “thought balloons” for the main character Martin Tupper. Every once in a while some old footage from cheesy TV shows pops up to express Martin’s inner thoughts or feelings. It’s a clever trick and the snappy editing makes it work well. You’ll see clips of everyone from Ronald Reagan to Groucho Marx.
The other gimmick of the show was the “adult material”, i.e. language and nudity. It would be like if you took a typical NBC sitcom, threw in a few “f**ks”, a few flashes of breasts and butts, then called it “adult”. Does this stuff add anything to the series? No. If you removed it all the series would still be funny on its own. In fact, John Landis admits they were looking for ways to add it in without it being gratuitous. Well, the fact that they add it in pretty much makes it gratuitous.
Dream On had a strong cast. Brian Benben is a good lead as Martin Tupper. He’s appropriately neurotic and obsessive while still being likable. He makes a good team with Wendie Malick (from Just Shoot Me) as Judith Tupper Stone. I’ve always thought she was a good comedic actress and this show was where she got her big start. They are supported by Michael McKean as Gibby Fiske, Jeffrey Joseph as Eddie Charles, and more.
Another noteworthy aspect of the show was the impressive list of guest cameos that it featured. Besides the guests listed above, they featured Courtney Cox, Isabel Sanford, Eva Gabor, and many more.
While the show wasn’t entirely to my liking, I do recognize that it had a lot going for it. With a strong cast, funny writing, and a big list of guest stars, Dream On paved the way for other TV series on cable television.
The only bonus feature on this DVD is an introduction by executive producer (and sometimes director) John Landis. It’s obvious that he had fun on the series and he talks a lot about how the show was made, why they had fun making it, the casting, etc. It’s a nice, brief intro to the DVD.
The Bottom Line:
If you’re looking for an amusing sitcom featuring adult material, then Dream On will deliver. Fans of the series should be glad to get it on DVD for the first time.