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Old 12-29-2008, 07:47 PM   #1
Buffyboy323
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Default Early years or later years?

Like many that grew up in the early-mid '90s, I was a diehard California Dreams fan. I remember watching new episodes on saturday mornings and reruns during the week. Although I enjoyed the earlier episodes, I don't think California Dreams really found it's footing until the third season. It became a better show, IMO. And the episodes were more fun. Thinking back on the show, the "newer" cast and episodes are definitley the one's I remember most, and the one's I think most people are familiar with.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the Garrison family (Matt, Jenny, Dennis, Melody, and Richard), but the show focused on them too much earlier on. I did like those episodes, I just prefer what the show became as time went by. I liked when it focused all the stories on Matt, Jenny, and their friends (and later just their friends), as opposed to their family.

Season two is when things started getting better. The Garrison family was dropped (the parents only appeared in a couple of episodes). Though I was sad that Jenny left after the third episode, we did get the addition of Sam - which was a plus. Bad boy Jake (arguably the most popular character on the show), joined the cast as well. I wasn't always a fan of his, but it did seem like he was the group's missing link. Like when Saved By The Bell was transformed from Good Morning Miss Bliss to the Saved By The Bell we all know, California Dreams also went for a much higher madcap comedy quotient in its second season - which made it a much more successful comedy.

Season three is when everything fell into place. With the exception of Matt, all the cast members from season 2 stayed on. The band also added two more newbies, Mark and Lorena (who I LOVED!). The third season was also when the show filmed a lot of episodes, not only for that season, but many of them carried over until the next season. Some of the more primary storylines that year were Jake and Lorena's relationship, the romance between Tony and Sam, and of course the many schemes and antics of Mr. Sly Winkle.

So, do you prefer the early or later years of California Dreams?
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:41 AM   #2
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Well I enjoy all the seasons, but I prefer the first two seasons' cast. I actually didn't care for Mark at all. He was too bland. Maybe when I get all the DVDs I'll see him in a new light (it happened with a few SBTB:TNC characters). Lorena was okay and I liked the look of the new setting (replacing the Garrison's garage). I'll admit that most of the classic (or at least memorable) episodes came from the Mark-Lorena years. But I prefer Matt to Mark. It's been a while, but I don't think it mattered to me whether it was Jenny or Samantha.

With all this said, I'd say season two is my favorite season.
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Old 01-01-2009, 01:54 PM   #3
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The first two seasons were the best, with Season 2 being the peak (IMO). I don't like major cast changes, and taking the main character off the show (Matt) was a mistake. Jenny was adequately replaced by Sam, but Matt was never replaced. Mark was very mediocre, both as an actor and character.

I just never got behind the Mark/Lorena years. There were a few good episodes, but overall not nearly as enjoyable as the first two seasons.
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:28 PM   #4
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Early years with the Garrison family was better. I agree about Mark being a blander version of Matt, but I didn't think Sam was an adequate replacement for Jenny. Her character just seemed smarter and had a great singing voice.
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wew3
Early years with the Garrison family was better. I agree about Mark being a blander version of Matt, but I didn't think Sam was an adequate replacement for Jenny. Her character just seemed smarter and had a great singing voice.

Agreed. I loved the first two seasons and agree with the other poster that says that season two is when it began to peak. I loved Jenny and missed not seeing her for the rest of season two. Sam was cute and an adequate replacement and I loved her but Jenny is the one for me. Gosh, I missed her when she left.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:43 PM   #6
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I liked all the seasons, but I prefer the later years because Mark is my fave and I loved Lorena as well.
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Old 04-14-2017, 01:46 AM   #7
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Default Season 3 Recap

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainCharisma
The first two seasons were the best, with Season 2 being the peak (IMO). I don't like major cast changes, and taking the main character off the show (Matt) was a mistake. Jenny was adequately replaced by Sam, but Matt was never replaced. Mark was very mediocre, both as an actor and character.

I just never got behind the Mark/Lorena years. There were a few good episodes, but overall not nearly as enjoyable as the first two seasons.
http://www.californiadreamsreviewed....eason-3-recap/

Quote:
And with our new Jake-ified opening credits, we have completed season three of California Dreams, perhaps the most transformative year for the series. You see, if season one was trying to be a family sitcom and season two had no idea what they were doing, season three was here to tell you exactly what this show was supposed to be: a rip-off of Saved by the Bell with a band.

Yeah, I know they were going this route in season two, but they hadnít gotten there completely. The Garrisons were still around and there seemed to be some acknowledgment that this is supposed to be a show about a band. This season is dominated by events at PCH. Hell, a significant number donít even feature new songs this season, a bold move for a show thatís supposed to showcase the musical talents of our main characters.

No, they just donít give a **** anymore, and nowhere is that clearer than in the fact they cast a replacement for Matt who canít sing and has to dubbed over for his vocals. More on that in a bit, though.

I could complain about it forever, but, really, at this point the show has completely sold out. Any originality and distinction it might have once had from Peter Engelís most popular show is long since gone. Itís hard to believe my biggest complaint two seasons ago was that Dennis Garrison didnít have any purpose on the show. You know what: I will make a bold statement.

I would take Dennis Garrison back in a heartbeat if it meant returning to the quality of season one.

Alas, though, I know thatís not going to happen. For better or worse, Peter Engel decided California Dreams needed to be exactly like his other shows on the air, so indistinguishable that you could insert the cast of The New Class or Hang Time and imagine them doing these exact same episodes word for word. Itís really sad from a show that I once praised for distinguishing itself.
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Old 05-12-2019, 01:05 PM   #8
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I vote for the early years (Jenny Garrison fan all the way!).

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