Last night, as the world froze outside, I battled insomnia by watching yet another old episode of California Dreams.
Why Was I Watching It?
Last night, Texas was hit by a cold front. So, there I was, wide awake at 3 in the morning, curled up on the couch in my beloved Pirates t-shirt and panties and shivering as the wind howled and the temperature outside plunged into the low 30s. I figured that maybe watching something silly on YouTube would help me get a little sleep. So, I figured why not watch a show from sunny, always warm California?
Unfortunately, as I’ve explained in my previous California Dreams–related posts, there aren’t any old episodes of Saved By The Bell: The New Class on YouTube so I had to watch California Dreams instead.
What Was It About?
It’s flu season in California. Instead of doing the smart thing and staying home and resting, the very sick Tony (William James Jones) continues to go to school and work. Fortunately, Tony’s girlfriend Sam (Jennie Kwan) is from China and therefore, using typical California Dreams logic, is capable of brewing a magical tea.
Meanwhile, the economics teacher at Pacific Coast High School is handing out $500 to his students and demanding that they use it to start a successful business. While Jake (Australia’s Jay Anthony Franke) and Mark (Aaron Jackson) struggle to sell music lessons, Sly (Michael Cade), Tiffany (Kelly Packard), and Lorena (Diana Uribe) go into business selling Sam’s magic tea. However, their greed angers Sam’s ancestors.
Naturally, lessons are learned.
The commercial shoot was amusing. Anyone who has ever appeared in a student film will be able to relate to it. I especially liked the fact that Tiffany’s response to Tony’s direction was to repeat the line in the exact same way as before.
I liked the way that Jake’s student delivered the line, “A public debut might be a bit premature…”
What Did Not Work?
Wow, California Dreams — ethnic stereotype much?
I have to admit that I’m a bit confused about PCHS. In some episodes, it’s portrayed as being this school where there’s little to no discipline and the student body is absurdly powerful. And then, in an episode like this one, it’s suddenly full of teachers who just randomly hand out money, demand that their students start and run a successful business, and sentence people to summer school on a whim.
As well, you have to wonder how the teacher could punish Jake and Mark for not charging for their lessons while then giving Sam an A just because she was pretty much forced, by a random set of circumstances, into doing the right thing. I mean, how exactly is that integrity?
Seriously, California must have a really powerful teachers union.
“Oh my God! Just like me!” Moments
Back when I was in college, I had a role in a student film where I was required to spend a lot of time in bed while wearing a black negligee. The script didn’t call for me to cough but I did so anyway because I felt that’s what my character would do in that situation. “Lisa, don’t cough,” the director said. I glared back at him and said, “Well, excuse the fuck outta me for trying to give a good performance.” Everyone laughed and assumed I was joking so I just went with it.
Back in the 90s, you could do a lot with $500.