I was first introduced into the somewhat twisted world of Dave Barry in 1986 when I moved to Florida. The Tampa paper carried his Sunday column, and all I can remember is that it had something to do with dinosaurs on the beach and that I couldn’t stop laughing. For years afterward both my wife and I made the column regular Sunday reading. As years went on other things fill one’s life, and I only occasionally read the material until he disappeared almost completely from the Central Florida scene, keeping more to himself some 250 miles to our south. He’s since spent a lot of time playing in a writer’s band with the likes of Stephen King. So I was pretty eager when Dave’s World first came to television in 1993. To say I was disappointed wouldn’t exactly be fair. The show was pretty funny, but Harry Anderson was so ingrained in my mind from his Night Court role that I never did accept him as Dave Barry. Once I was able to separate the character from the writer, the show was a little better going for me.
Anderson supplies narration to the show in a voice much like that of his column so that we’re placed into that world. It was a nice touch. Dave (Anderson) worked from home. He had a wife (Matthews) who was a teacher. He also had two young children. Most of the show dealt with Dave’s childlike look at the world around him. He found life to border on the ridiculous, and that’s what he wrote about. His world was also populated by the typical guy friends that have become staple in shows like King Of Queens and Everybody Loves Raymond.
Each episode of Dave’s World is presented in its original full frame broadcast format. Colors are actually pretty bright and sharp. Black levels are average. The show looks pretty good.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 track serves merely as an adequate delivery system for dialog. You can hear everything with no audible distortion. Dynamics don’t really enter into the equation here.
Dave’s World moves into a second season, and I think the show sounds more like the voice of the columnist the show was patterned after. The stories are more family driven and work out quite well. The situations are so everyday that they appear mundane, but somehow Anderson’s charm makes them just a little more special. Mom and Dad are typical PTA parents, but if you think that’s an easy job, “Apparently you haven’t been to a Miami school lately”.