California Dreams was producer Peter Engel's third teenager themed television series which followed on the heels of his hit shows Good Morning, Miss Bliss and Saved by the Bell. The first episode aired on 12-September-92 as part of NBC's T-NBC Saturday morning lineup. 5 years and 78 episodes later the series ended, but it can still be seen in syndication.
The show is about a teenage pop band called The Dreams which began with four students from Pacific Coast High School in Pacific Coast, California. Just like its predecessor Saved by the Bell each show tried to present a moral and the story lines always wrapped up happily at the end. Most of the shows revolved around either the band trying to get new gigs or on the various romances of the characters. Along with the obligatory laugh track the show also used a "cooing track" where girls screamed "Ooooh" every time a kiss or other romantic scene was presented. The band members tackle some heavy issues like drugs, prejudice, gang violence, drinking and driving, and gambling. Everything is topped with a syrupy goodness that Peter Engel has perfected.
The original band members included Matt Garrison (guitars and vocals), Jenny Garrison (keyboards and vocals), Tiffani Smith (bass), and Tony Wicks (drums). Sylvester "Sly" Winkle managed the band. The first year of the show maintained this lineup throughout. This first year concentrated a lot on the Garrison family. In 1992 a "real" CD titled California Dreams was released which contained the shows theme song and 11 other upbeat and sappy songs. The CD is still available (used) from Amazon.com.
In the second season bad boy Jake Summers joins the group as a guitarist. Jenny leaves the show and Samantha Woo steps in her place in the band. In season 3 the Garrison family moves away and Matt's character is replaced by Mark Winkle (Sly's brother). A co-manager for the group is found with Lorena Costa.
The show had a lot of corny and preposterous plots: hunting buried treasure, posing as Van Halen, changing outfits while skating between shows, posing as a British band, and delivering singing telegrams while dressed up as gorillas, clowns, and Keystone Kops.
Tiffani Smith.............Kelly Packard
Tony Wicks................William James Jones
Sylvester "Sly" Winkle....Michael Cade
Richard Garrison..........Michael Cutt
Jake Sommers..............Jay Anthony Franke
Matt Garrison.............Brent Gore
Mark Winkle...............Aaron Jackson
Samantha "Sam" Woo........Jennie Kwan
Jenny Garrison............Heidi Lenhart
Dennis Garrison...........Ryan O'Neill
Melody Garrison...........Gail Ramsey
Lorena Costa..............Diana Uribe
Most of the actors in the show haven't worked as actors much since its cancellation except for a few small roles and commercials. Notable exceptions are Kelly Packard (who became a Baywatch babe) and Jennie Kwan who joined a "real" band Nobody's Angel.
Surf dudes with attitudes
Laid back moods
Sky above, sand below
Don't wake me up
Don't wanna stop
(Don't wake me up)
Don't wake me up if I'm dreaming
Just let me lay here in the sun
Until my dream is done
--California Dreams Theme