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Despite having a deservedly strong cult following, "Dream On" seems to
have been overall under-appreciated. While mega hits like "Seinfeld",
"Frasier" and "Friends" have been lavishly praised, one hears very
little about "Dream On" despite its long 120 episode run.
Watching it after some 10 years after its original airing, it still works and extremely well. For any sitcom to work the characters have to be completely nailed down with their own personal idiosyncrasies in place. Then smart dialog has to be given to them, week after week after week. "Dream On" accomplished this and managed to maintain its level of comedic excellence thoughout its six seasons.
The main characters of Martin Tupper (Brian Benben), his ex-wife Judith (Wendie Mallick), best friend Eddie (Dorien Wilson) and secretary from hell Toby (Denny Dillon) form the core of the series. We become truly fond of this motley bunch, warts and all. Benben at the very heart of the series is wonderful. A comedy actor with perfect timing and physicality too, he also had his emotional moments. He became Martin Tupper for so long, and so well, that it's been tough moving on to other projects, a fate suffered by most of the Seinfeld gang.
Then there are the occasional secondary characters of crude boss Gibby (Michael Mckean), son Jeremy (Chris Demetral), overbearing mother (Renee Taylor) and recently turned gay father (Paul Dooley), all making welcome appearances. Many one time characters are played by well known stage and television actors.
"Dream On" addressed many sexual issues with the kind of unbridled candor sadly lacking on today's television screens. This it did with much chutzpah and a lot of humor. It's unique usage of old movie footage could have been intrusive and downright irritating in lesser hands. This gimmick however was so cleverly handled that one soon takes it for granted and almost waits for the appropriate clip. It's all part of the "Dream On" language.
120 episodes is a long run. Thankfully "Dream On" didn't peter out from becoming tired of itself as so often is the case. Until the very end, it was always a guaranteed half hour of really top class television entertainment.
"Dream On" is (I should say was) the most innovative and original comedy
series out there. The show ended in 1996, but is still in re-runs in many
areas. The show follows Martin Tupper, a divorced New York City book
editor, on his seemingly never-ending quest for love. Unfortunately, none
of his one- night-stands measure up to the love of his life, his ex, Judith
But...he keeps looking. Martin goes through more women than socks. Still, he remains a truly lovable character, though a bit on the cheap side. And, of course, he's always loses in the end, poor schmuck!
As this show's main focus is Martin's quest for love (read: sex), it's definitely not for kiddies. The show features some pretty risque themes, and some rather graphic simulated sex. This may explain why "Dream On" is generally found only on premium cable channels (eg HBO).
The most brilliant part of the show is the constant interjection of old movie scenes which illustrate the inner workings of Martin's warped mind. While hard to explain, trust that this is both effective and hilarious.
And humor is what the show's all about. It's screamingly funny, not to mention incredibly well-acted. The show never shies away from controversial subject matter, either. Certainly, "Dream On" remains one of the overlooked gems of television history.
Martin is a divorced New York book editor, trying to juggle the facets of
his life - his work, teenage son, ex-wife, his TV-star best friend - while
living the single life. Martin's youth was heavily influenced by
as his mother was used to parking the youngster in front of the TV to keep
him entertained, as neatly shown by the opening credits to each episode.
Hence his formative years were spent watching lots of old black-and-white
movies, and as Martin deals with the travails of his adult life, quotes
these movies pop into his head at relevant and humorous moments, shown to
the viewers as clips. This was an original and ingenious device, and sets
Dream On apart from a lot of its contemporaries, such as Friends and
Frasier. Another surprising facet was the honest nudity - admittedly
female - that the show contained, and was indeed a precursor to Sex And The
Unfortunately, Channel 4 here in England did not show the whole series, just the first couple of seasons, which was a shame. Nevertheless, there were some memorable moments - Eddie's plastic surgery scene in the second season opener, a wonderful tongue-very-firmly-planted-in- cheek way of introducing Dorien Wilson into the role, replacing Jeffrey Joseph; the strip-poker game; Martin trying to gain favour with his female boss by sleeping with her (and joining her in her office shower)-only to get usurped in the position by an even more ambitious female colleague; sleeping with his wonderfully obnoxious PA, Toby; and Martin's every desperate attempt to sustain a relationship with a woman. Brian Benben's Martin was an affable, sympathetic character, and you couldn't help feeling for him in his endeavours. Like I say, it was a pity we didn't get to see the whole series shown on UK terrestrial TV, so when I eventually get cable I will be keeping an eye on the schedules - I want to see if Martin does finally get the girl...
Dream on follows the adventures of Martin Tupper (Brian Benben) as he
tries to get on with life after his divorce from Judith (Wendie
Malick). Dealing with her perfect new husband, caring for his son,
dealing with his cranky secretary, and bedding stunningly hot women
along the way. The first season was OK and had it's fair share of funny
episodes. But season 2 with the introduction of a new Eddie (Dorien
Wilson, replacing Jeffrey Joseph), Micheal McKean joining the cast as
Gibby, Martin's new boss, and some great cameos the series really came
into it's own. Sadly, none of the cast or creators (save for McKean and
John Landis) went onto do anything even moderately entertaining in
subsequent years after this show finished. And yes I know about
"Friends" and "Veronica's Closet". I still stand by my statement. THIS
is the series "Sex & the City" WISH it could have been.
My TV Grade: A
DVD Extras: John Landis Intro; Trailers for "Quantum Leap: Season 2"; "Magnum, PI: Season 1"; "Law and Order: Assorted spin offs and seasons"
Seasons 1 & 2 Eye Candy: The following all get topless: Jeanine Renshaw in episode 2, Susan Lentini in episode 3, Dedee Pfeiffer in episode 6; Deirdre Imershein in episode 8, Julie Carmen in episode 9, Monique Gabrielle in episode 12, Lisa Saxton and Anastasia Barzee in episodes 15 & 16, Carolyn Lowery in episode 17, Mimi Craven in episode 18, Connie Woods and Maggie Wagner in episode 20, Susan Ashley in episode 22, Laura Albert in episode 25, Cheryl Boudreau, Lisa London, Kimber Sissons in episode 26, and Cherie Michan in episode 27
Dream On was one of HBO's 1st original series that not only made us laugh with unique comedy, it was sexy as well. Many comedies fall short when trying to be funny. More than half don't make it past the first year let alone hang around for 7 years! On top of that, it was the first series long before Sex and the City that tackled the world of relationships on a comical and sometime serious level. An Annie Hall for the 90's, the character of Martin Tupper reflects on moments from his past, his past spent in front of the television to deal with the moments of the present. An amazing series that the 90's had taken for granted. Among the rest of the programming that HBO was showing then, including Tales From the Crypt and the early Real Sex series, Dream On was one of the few original programs worth watching.
Witty literate sexy well-acted with a "dream" cast & continuously
amazing guest stars (everyone who's anyone). Very very funny& and very
very clever! No wonder it was overlooked! The prudish hypocrites on
network TV can't stand it. Sex on network TV is usually crude,
contrived or sneakily suggestive, whereas Dream on's sex was
sophisticated and hilarious! I loved the cast and have been rooting for
their careers every since. The sad part is how seldom we see Brian
Benben. Where is he now - indeed! I loved the TV recollections
(actually reminded me of Mystery science Theater's clever quips).
Actually, one of the reasons the show is so seldom re-run might have to
do with copyright restrictions. MST3K ran into this problem also, and
even though they ran for a full 7 years, many episodes still cannot be
made into DVDs. Complex negotiations must be completed in order for the
films contained within the episodes to be shown. Lawyers! You gotta
love em (or not).
Anyway, that could be the reason why dream on seems so "ignored" and why it's so rarely shown. It's too bad, especially because the showing of the clips was done with such creative flair!
I really miss this series and just might have to pick up the DVD!
The best American comedy series ever made. Yet also relatively unknown,
probably because of it's explicit subject matter. When it was shown over
here it was on at 2 o'clock in the morning, so the audience must have been
Any synopsis cannot do the programme justice. Martin Tupper, leaning toward lecherous, yet always likeable; his never helpful secretary Toby; his even more lecherous buddy Eddie; his repulsive Australian boss (Rupert) sorry I mean Gibby and finally his emotionally closed off ex-wife Judith, oh yes and his son Jeremy.
Anyway if a repeat is ever showing be sure to watch you'll find it shocking and hilarious. You'll also find that the recent series, Sex and the City, owes more than a little to it.
I loved this series. Martin was a boy whose mom had continually used the TV as his baby sitter. Therefore, in the show Martin was continually flashing back on moments from old b&w TV shows that relate to the situation in his life. The technique was done very well, very funny, and I occasionally see it done on current television. Of course being a cable series, the show revolved around topics that can't be done on regular TV, usually Martin's sex life. The version of the show that aired on Comedy Central was cleaned up and a watered down version at best. How could you show a cleaned up version of the scene where Martin, while leaving a message on his mom's answering machine spills a beer on himself, and expect it to be funny? I wish this show would hurry up and come out on DVD.
Brian Benben is great in this show about Martin Tupper, a divorced father
his 40 something. This show is like a sex comedy, a little risque but still
being decent. He is always looking for new girls to replace his old love
Judith Tupper Stone who he divorced. Of course he can't forget her, she
still got her own keys to his apartment. And look out for his secretary
Toby, who is NOT the best secretary on this planet.
Always good looking girls on the show including the most sexy woman on TV today, Wendie Malick. If you can't see the show in your local area, check out Wendie on the show "Just Shoot Me!".
It's time Brian Benben got a high profile show on TV again!
I must say, This has been one of the funniest sexiest comedies for its time. Martin Tupper, book editor and hung up on the ex wife. But persistance pays off, because he did finally get his true love (wife, exwife, wife again) It was great watching him as the funny experienced bachelor that he was. Boy oh boy, did this guy get women or what. What more can you say, the life and times of Martin Tupper will shock and amaze you. Martin, I trully admire you. You are great.
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