What Lisa Marie Watched Last Night #77: California Dreams S3E13 “Rebel Without A Nerve” (dir by Patrick Maloney)

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

Why Was I Watching It?

If you’ve been following this site for a while, you may remember that I was introduced to California Dreams by my sister Megan while we were looking for an alternative to watching reruns of Saved By The Bell: The New Class.  (It’s a long story.)  Since every episode of California Dreams is available on YouTube, I’ve been watching them whenever I’ve found myself in the mood to watch a mediocre 90s sitcom.  Last night, I was in the mood.

What Was It About?

Jake Summers (Jay Anthony Franke) has long been known as the coolest, hottest guy at Pacific Coat High School.  However, that’s about to change because Tommy Keating (guest star Joseph D. Reitman) has transferred to PCH and he’s determined to shove Jake off of his pedestal.  At first, it seems like this could never happen because Tommy appears to be overweight, goony, and about 40 years old.  However, when Jake crashes his bike, Tommy moves in for the kill…

Meanwhile, PCH has gone accident free for several days and Principal Blumford (Dennis Hask…oh wait, that’s Earl Boen in the role of Blumford), is excited about the prospect of getting PCH listed in the Guggenheim Book of World Records.  In order to keep the school safe, Blumford assigns Tony (Williams James Jones) and Sly (Michael Cade) to the safety patrol…

Meanwhile, Mark (Aaron Jackson) remains cute yet strangely underused…

What Worked?

As opposed to the previous episode of California Dreams (in which Jake starts smoking and his Uncle Frank gets cancer), this episode was strictly for fun.    Instead of trying to teach us an important lesson about safety, this episode acknowledged what we all truly know: only losers became hall monitors.

Add to that, any episode that attempts to set Jake up as the California equivalent to Lord Byron (mad, bad, and dangerous to know) automatically has a lot of camp appeal.

What Did Not Work?

Was it just me or did Tommy Keating appear to be a little bit old to still be going to high school?  Seriously, if you haven’t graduated by the time you’re 40, you might as well just drop out and get your G.E.D.

Then again, he did ace that Biology quiz so maybe Tommy had finally gotten his act together…

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moment

Lorena and I definitely have a similar fashion sense.  Her 2nd outfit (the one with the super cute black miniskirt) was to die for and it reminded me of what I wore to mass on Ash Wednesday.

Also, I frequently mistake ketchup for blood.

Lessons Learned

Safety is for losers.


2 responses to “What Lisa Marie Watched Last Night #77: California Dreams S3E13 “Rebel Without A Nerve” (dir by Patrick Maloney)

  1. You know, I once read a review of an episode of “Saved By the Bell” where the author postulated, quite logically, that The Max, the diner where the kids would hang out, must be inside Bayside High itself. So I can only guess that Sharky’s, the diner featured in “California Dreams” must also be inside the school. Given that Jake crashes his bike not once but twice in this episode before the school reaches 1,000 days without an injury in the school, wouldn’t that somehow prevent the record? Okay, so I realise that “accident” and “injury” aren’t necessarily the same thing, but I’m pretty sure those Guggneheim folks wouldn’t be too impressed by a motorcycle destroying a restaurant that is (I believe) on school property.

    (Remember, the principal did say, at 1:22, that the record was for 1,000 consecutive days without an injury on school property–keep that in mind)

    Speaking of Jake managing to squeeze his massive speeding out-of-control motorbike not once but twice through the same narrow door frame within the space of 24 hours, it’s a good thing that nobody was killed in that always-crowded diner (liberal amounts of Canadian/Degrassi Logic at work here).

    3:00: An ecologically-aware mural presumably painted by Jessie Spano that wasn’t “cool enough” to be used in an episode of “Saved By the Bell”.

    3:03: What in the hell is going on inside Jake’s locker? He’s meant to be this hyper-macho heterosexual lady-killer, but he has a locker that appears to have been decorated by an eight-year old girl. This is California, mid 1990s, right? Where’s the pictures of the big-time football heroes, the Lakers basketball players, the Laker Girls, Kathy Ireland in her bikini, female cast members from “Baywatch”? Instead we get a locker that looks like the domain of the world’s biggest “Blossom” fanatic (remember that for later).

    The way the girls talk about Tom Keating, you expect the second coming of young Marlon Brando to show up at Jake’s garage. For some reason, there’s a guy with pale skinny arms and a really awful haircut who looks like he’s pushing 30 with a snow-plough.

    I never knew that Jake’s garage was also on school property, so why the fuss about the stack of newspapers?

    7:18: Jake claims to be a “little dazed”, which sounds like a concussion. See, that IS an injury!

    9:18: Hey, it’s Pig from “The Wonder years”! Let’s eat!

    10:00: Yeah, really cool guys make chicken noises at their nemesis. What is this, kindergarten?

    10:55: Totally inappropriate sexual innuendo pertaining to his penis size, one that plays up on ehtnic sexual stereotypes.

    11:03: The Lisa Marie Bowman lookalike clearly wants to say something racist, but instead does that really stupid thing that bilingual people do: insults an Anglophone in a language other than English.

    14:31: Neat “Body Snatchers” reference.

    16:40: Black and white aren’t “colours”.

    I also don’t get the whole thing about waiting until 2 o’clock to stage the big bike race. Are they going to be racing on school property? If so, I couldn’t see the school condoning such action at anytime, record or no record. If it’s not on school property, why would they care?

    Why DO I care?

    This is, after all, California Dreams.


  2. Also, the kid who can’t dance during the main titles threatens the principal with “CPR”, which in my mind constitutes sexual harrasment.

    There’s a sign inside a classroom that tells student they’re about to enter a Learning Zone.

    Yes, the sign is INSIDE the classroom, as opposed to being on the outside of the door of the classroom, where it friggin’ well ought to be (unless the “Learning Zone” is in the hallway). It really makes a mockery of a space that claims to be all about teaching people something.

    Oh, and judging by the interior decoration of Jake’s locker, when Tom Keating says that he needs to go home to watch “Blossom”, one half-expects Jake to go prancing…er, I mean running after him, wailing, er…I mean yelling, “Wait for me, let’s go back to my place!”

    There’s just way too much off-centre stuff about this episode. The sort of episode that makes you wonder just how this crap got on the air in this first place (as if you wouldn’t think that for every episode that you see from “California Dreams”).


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