What Lisa And Evelyn Watched Last Night #70: California Dreams S3E5 “Yoko Oh No!” (dir by Kevin Sullivan)

Last night, my BFF Evelyn and I watched yet another episode of the old 90s sitcom California Dreams.

Why Were We Watching It?

Believe me, I would have much rather have been watching an old episode of Saved By The Bell: The New Class but. unfortunately, YouTube has yanked down nearly every episode of SBTB:TNC that’s ever been uploaded.  However, every episode of California Dreams is available on YouTube.  Why exactly it’s okay to violate California Dreams‘ copyright but not Saved By The Bell’s is a question for which there is no easy answer.

That said, ever since my sister Megan first introduced me to the show last December, I’ve grown to appreciate California Dreams.  For a terrible sitcom, it wasn’t that bad.

What Was It About?

So, in this episode, there’s yet another battle of the bands taking place at Sharky’s.  (I have to admit that there’s still a lot of episodes of California Dreams that I haven’t seen but, seriously, it seems that Sharky’s had a vattle of the bands every other week or so.)  Anyway, the Dreams are looking to win the Battle of the Bands for the 2nd time in a row but they’re going to have to beat Total Defiance, a rap group that’s edgy in a mid-90s, Saturday morning sitcom sort of way.

When Total Defiance’s manager, Rosie, calls Lorena “a groupie,” Lorena (played by Diana Uribe) asks to be allowed to sing with the Dreams.  At this point in the series, Lorena was dating Jake (Jay Anthony Franke), the leader of the Dreams.  So, of course, Lorena is allowed to join the group despite being totally tone deaf.

What Worked?

Though it probably wasn’t meant to be, Rosie’s dismissive description of the California Dreams and their music is actually pretty spot on.

This is a pretty good episode for both the character of Lorena and for the actress who played her.  Though everyone on YouTube seems to disagree with me, I actually think the Jake and Lorena were a good couple and I prefer the episode where she and Jake are together to the ones where Jake is dating Tiffani (Kelly Packard) and Lorena is going out with Sly (Michael Cade).

So, I’ve made my sisters, my boyfriend, my best friend, and my Australian friend watch an episode or two of California Dreams and they’ve all said the same thing: Lorena reminds them of me.  Despite the fact that I doubt that Lorena would ever be a fan of Italian horror, I can see their point.

What Did Not Work?

“Suuuuuuurf dudes with attitude … kinda groovy …. feeling mellow….”  Again, Rosie was right.

“OH MY GOD! Just like me!” Moments

Like Lorena, I’m a good dancer but I can’t sing to save my life.  In fact, my sisters claim that I’m tone deaf but I prefer the term “musically challenged.”

Unlike Lorena, I would never have faked laryngitis to get out of singing.  I would have gotten up on stage and screeched my little heart out.

Lessons Learned

If you want to sing despite having no talent, date a guy in a band.

2 responses to “What Lisa And Evelyn Watched Last Night #70: California Dreams S3E5 “Yoko Oh No!” (dir by Kevin Sullivan)

  1. Until I saw this episode, I thought that the Lisa Marie Bowman lookalike WAS in the band! Check her out in the opening credits. She’s dancing around and appears to be singing (okay, so she basically just opens her mouth a bit, but that’s close enough). Then I find out she’s not in the group? That doesn’t make sense. Also, the Asian girl is singing in those same opening credits. But later in the episode, she’s fiddling around with keyboards or a synthesiser or something. Maybe they’re just a group full of multi-instrumentalists.

    Asian girl at 2:15 asks the rap guy: “Wow, did you just make that up?”

    What the rap guy should have said: “Yeah, it’s called freestylin’, dumbass!”

    Say what you will about Rosie, but she’s probably a wildcat in the sack. By comparison, Tiffani looks like the kind of girl who would just impersonate a starfish in bed. Okay, maybe that’s an overstatement, but the woman who plays Tiffani, Kelly Packard, DID convert to Mormonism.

    4:06: Rosie ups the bet to 500 bucks, with a wardrobe that looks like she mugged a hobo. Even at 100 bucks, the bet was out of her reach.

    The Lisa Marie Bowman lookalike might not be able to sing, but boy, that guy on the keyboards is even worse. He ought to be arrested for the attempted murder of Motown music. If Berry Gordy heard that, he’d kick the guy’s ass.

    Asian girl at 10:08: “Now let’s check your vibrata.”

    Lisa Marie Bowman Lookalike: “What about my vibrator?”


    Thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all week.

    Lisa Marie Bowman lookalike at 10:59: “Oh wait, I can’t sing on Saturday!”

    What somebody should’ve said to the camera: “She can’t sing NOW!”

    Jake sums up the “musicianship” of the whole “California Dreams” cast at the 12 minute mark.

    No words can adequately describe what’s happening at 16:29.

    The drummer and the bass player in the Dreams ought to be replaced by a drum machine and a bass synthesiser.

    “Canadian Logic” (also known as “Degrassi Logic”) from the Lisa Marie Bowman Lookalike at 20:17. Tiffani picks this up immediately and, as politely as possible, reminds the Lisa Marie Lookalike that her Canadian Logic is screwy, even if it is designed to excuse everybody acting like an asshole to the Lisa Marie impersonator.

    The Lisa Marie Bowman Lookalike defies the regular standards of this show by actually being FUNNY (or at least a little bit kooky) throughout this episode. Peter Engel probably had a few stern words with her about showing even the slightest hint of comedic appeal on show designed to suck comedy into a black hole.

    But at the end of the day, at least the Lisa Marie Lookalike managed to get so excited without being so scared.


  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

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