What Lisa and Evelyn Watched Last Night #68: California Dreams S3E17 “Tiffani’s Gold” (dir by Patrick Maloney)

On Wednesday night, my BFF Evelyn and I watched (via YouTube) an episode of the 90s sitcom California Dreams.  The name of this episode was Tiffani’s Gold and, needless to say, it’s a very special episode.

Why Were We Watching It?

As I wrote back in December, I was introduced to this show over Christmas by my sister Megan.  Ever since then, I’ll be regularly watching old episodes of California Dreams on YouTube.  I’ve seen the members of the Dreams deal with racism, eating disorders, gang violence, body issues, and environmental panic.  When I discovered that the episode Tiffani’s Gold dealt with drug abuse — well, how couldn’t I watch?

As for Evelyn, she insists that I make clear that the only reason she was watching it was because I insisted.

What Was It About?

Tiffani is stressed about making the national volleyball team so she starts taking steroids.  Tiffani makes the team but she also starts to snap at people, beat up her friends, and smash plates at the local hang-out.

Meanwhile, in a totally unrelated subplot, Mark, Sly, and Tony compete for the title of Mr. Stud and Jake continues to insist on wearing a heavy leather jacket to the beach.

What Worked?

As well-intentioned as it most certainly was, this episode had a definite Reefer Madness type of appeal to it.  California Dreams, much like my beloved Degrassi, presents us with a world where not only can the worst happen but the worst will end up happening within the next 10 minutes.  Seriously, how can you not be impressed by the fact that, after a week of taking steroids, Tiffani is literally picking Sly up and throwing him against a locker?

That said, I could relate to Tiffani’s anger in several scenes.  Seriously, sometimes, a girl just needs to be left alone!

Evelyn says the main thing that worked about this episode is that the California Dreams never actually performed.

What Did Not Work?

Evelyn and I totally disagreed with the results of the Mr. Stud contest.  Seriously, Mark looked good in that tuxedo and I didn’t believe Jake for a second when he claimed to have gotten choked up at the movies.  (Oh, and by the way, it’s okay for a guy to cry but he should never sob.  That’s the important thing.)

“OH MY GOD!  Just like me!” Moments

I have now been told, by five different people, that the character of Lorena reminds them of me and since two of these people were my sister and BFF, I’ll take their word for it.  Still, I have a hard time imagining that Lorena would ever have been a fan of Italian horror.

Lessons Learned

Well, duh!  Don’t do steroids!  Though, actually, it seems like the steroids accomplished their purpose.  I mean, Tiffani did make the national team and all.  In fact, it seems like Tiffani’s main problem is that people put too much pressure on her so I guess the real lesson here is that you shouldn’t put too much pressure on your friends when they’re using steroids.

3 responses to “What Lisa and Evelyn Watched Last Night #68: California Dreams S3E17 “Tiffani’s Gold” (dir by Patrick Maloney)

  1. “Surf dudes with attitude…”


    This is the dumbest shit I’ve ever seen from a television episode. However, I did find it amusing, albeit for all the wrong reasons. I laughed heartily and often.


    The phrase “Just do it” appears three times in the episode.

    (4:56, 11:33, 18:58)

    The Asian girl and the Lisa Marie Bowman lookalike must have the World’s Strongest Powerdrill to drill a hole through that big brick wall. It’s a perfectly neat hole, too.


    As soon as I heard Tiffani say the line “Coach Hardaway made me stay after practice to work on my serve” (ahem) I knew that Coach Hardaway would be (a) female, (b) built like a brick shithouse, and (c) more than a tad masculine. Coach Hardaway is a stereotypical Lesbian High School Gym Teacher. Coach Hardaway even disapproves of the girls spying on the male jocks in the next room, thus underscoring her sapphic nature, and just to make it clear, has the following exchange with future recruit Tiffani:

    Tiffani: “Go easy on ’em, Coach!”

    Coach: (striding mannishly toward Tiffani and saying in her John Wayne voice) “I don’t have time for that nonsense (i.e. heterosexuality), I got my hands full with you.”


    I’m surprised they didn’t give her a crewcut just to ram home the point.

    (Trust me, I’ve seen schoolgirl volleyball on ESPN. In reality, coaches of female volleyball teams tend to be average height, middle aged, stocky, chubby men).

    Totally awful Ah-nold impression by the Asian girl at 9:45.

    Why the hell does Tony refer to Tiffani as the school’s answer to “Nancy Kerrigan”? I never knew that figure skating could be so easily confused with volleyball.

    Also, what’s with those extras in the opening scene passing and catching volleyballs? The name of the game is VOLLEYBALL, not newcomb.

    Really insensitive fat joke at 12:29, especially in an episode about obsession with physical appearance and athletic performance.

    “California Dreams”: written by Caring Understanding Nineties Types.

    I don’t need to tell you that Tiffani, despite her supposed dependency on steroids, continues to resemble Twiggy on a liquid diet. Nevermind the fact that one week on the juice would make practically no difference to one’s athletic performance.

    Still, at least after she stops taking them, she’ll have a really large clit and be horny all the time.

    Note that she take steroids in pill form, the type that leave you with no kidneys. Sly acts so concerned for Tiffani, but couldn’t even hook her up with injectables (his name is “Sly”, too). What a cheap lousy bastard.

    Fans of “Saved by the Bell” will most likely recall the episode where Jessie Spano gets addicted to caffeine pills–yes, caffeine pills!–and breaks down (“I’m so excited…I’m so scared!”). Well, Tiffani manages to top that with probably the most unintentionally hilarious meltdown ever recorded. Somebody hand that girl the Emmy!

    “What are you looking at? What are you looking at?”

    (She walks around in broad daylight in a sports bra and she has the audacity to ask a room full of horny high school boys such questions?)

    I wonder how Peter Engel explains having his named attached to such rubbish?

    Maybe they should’ve left the “message episodes” to the folks who made “Diff’rent Strokes”.


  2. Pingback: What Lisa and Evelyn Watched Last Night #82: California Dreams 3.16 “The Treasure of PCH” (directed by Patrick Maloney) | Through the Shattered Lens

  3. Pingback: What Lisa and Megan Watched Last Night #96: Saved By The Bell 2.9 “Jessie’s Song” (dir by Don Barnhart) | Through the Shattered Lens

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