Brian Benben is a book editor. He is still madly in love with his ex-wife, but his dreams of getting back together with her are smashed by her upcoming marriage. And “dreams” is very much the operative term here, since Benben’s emotional reactions to the world around him are daydreams in the form of B&W clips from old films and TV shows. Exec-produced by John Landis, the series follows Benben’s misadventures (primarily with the opposite sex), and features plenty of Big Name guest appearances…(David Bowie, Fran Drescher, etc.). Dream On beat Ally McBeal to the punch with postmodern collage, and there is no denying that there’s some fun editing going on here. On the other hand, the clips aren’t exactly subtle or necessarily very original (tree going up at moment of sexual arousal, tree going down at interruption, har har har). There is some snap to the writing, and enough witty moments, but in the final analysis, this isn’t a whole lot more than your average sitcom. Simply replace laugh track with HBO-style language and content.
The audio is a decent 2.0 mix. The dialogue is clear and undistorted, and this is the principle source of sound, period, in the show. There are no surround effects to speak of, but this is because the sound design is extremely spare. There is music, and it does play through all speakers. Its tone is fine, if undistinguished.
Yet another rather rough-looking TV transfer. Granted, the show dates back a few years, but that isn’t much of an excuse. Though the colours are fine in terms of being bright, they do shimmer sometimes, and the picture is plagued by very noticeable grain, as if the transmission were flawed.
John Landis gives a 7-minute introduction to the series, and this is very much one of those “wow I’m so happy with everything about this show” deals. There are very brief episode summaries, and that’s it. The menu’s main screen is animated and scored.
On the surface, the medium is being pushed. At its core, this doesn’t break the sitcom mold significantly.
Special Features List
- Introduction by John Landis
- Episode Summaires