Welcome to Retro Television Reviews, a feature where we review some of our favorite and least favorite shows of the past! On Saturdays, I will be reviewing California Dreams, which ran on NBC from 1992 to 1996. The entire show is currently streaming on YouTube!
This week, Sam gets cast on the world’s number one TV show and Lorena and Sly finally get together!
Episode 5.10 “Babewatch”
(Dir by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on November 9th, 1996)
Babewatch has come to Pacific Coast High School!
Babewatch, we’re told, is the world’s most popular television show. It’s all about attractive people running on the beach and defusing bombs. Hmmmmm, I wonder what show this is based on. All of the Dreams are really excited about the prospect of being on the show! Mark, Sly, and Lorena get lessons from Tiffani on how to be believable as surfers. Meanwhile, Tony performs “Next Big Thing” (a.k.a. He’s So Funky!) for the Babewatch producers, hoping that they’ll give him a role on the episode. However, the producers are far more impressed with Sam. I guess they really liked the way she shouted, “He’s so funky!” during the song.
Tony freaks out over the prospect of Sam having to kiss the star of the show but he needn’t worry. Sam rejects the TV star’s advances and says that she loves only Tony. Personally, I’m not sure if she made the right choice. Tony is a nice guy but he’s just a drummer in a garage band that has an out-of-date sound. This other guy is the star of Babewatch!
This was a pretty standard episode, one that felt a bit more like a Saved By The Bell story than an episode of California Dreams. But any episode that features “He’s so funky!” is worth watching and rewatching.
Episode 5.11 “Love Letters”
(Dir by Don Barnhart, originally aired on November 16th, 1996)
Graduation is approaching and the Dreams are thinking about the things that they regret having never done. (They’re only 17. Just wait until they hit 30!)
Sam and Tony regret that they didn’t enter a dance marathon.
Mark regrets that he never stood up to the coach that’s always making him run extra laps.
Tiffani regrets being rude to a boy who wouldn’t stop asking her out.
Jake regrets not playing the bagpipes.
Lorena regrets …. nothing. Good for her!
And Sly regrets never telling Lorena how he feels about her.
So, they all decide to do something about those regrets. Jake learns to play the bagpipes. Tiffani apologizes to her former admirer and quickly comes to regret it as he goes out of his way to remind her of why she was rude in the first place. Sam and Tony dance everywhere and look adorable while doing it. And Sly starts sending Lorena unsigned love notes. Lorena falls in love with her secret admirer but Sly worries that she’ll still hate him even if he reveals the truth.
However, when another guy tells Lorena that he’s the one who sent the notes, Sly realizes he has to tell her the truth. Unfortunately, Lorena doesn’t believe him. However, when the other guy can’t think of anything impressive to say about Jake’s bagpipe performance, Lorena realizes that Sly was telling the truth. The episode ends with them sharing their first kiss and the audience going wild. Yay!
This episode is great, largely because it’s the one where Sly and Lorena finally realize that they belong together. They may both be greedy and self-centered but they do love one another and care about their friends. They’re as perfect a match as Sam and Tony. I have no regrets about loving this episode.
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