I never shared Chuck Klosterman (who championed it in one of his books) and others love of SAVED BY THE BELL. I would occasionally watch the show, in the days when it was the only thing on Saturday mornings, but it wasn’t for me.
Instead, I found myself getting caught up in one of the shows that NBC aired after it. CALIFORNIA DREAMS. Who cared about Screech when you had Sly? Plus, there was music in it.
The premise was a brother and sister who were part of a rock band “The Dreams”. Sly was their wacky manager. Each episode would have them in some moral dilemma, that they would learn from. It would end with a musical number at a gig (which would often morph into a music video).
CALIFORNIA DREAMS ran for 77 episodes, airing from 1992 to 1997. It was part of NBC’s Saturday morning lineup, called TNBC. It also made it into syndication. A CD soundtrack was released.
The music in the show was actually pretty good. It was by Steve Tyrell who is now a popular singer of standards.
The theme song was memorable.
“Surf dudes, with attitude, kind of groovy”
A funny thing happened over the years. The premise completely changed. After 30 episodes, the sister (Heidi Noelle Lenhart) left the show. The rest of the family (mother, father, and little brother) were gone too. But, the brother remained. Not for long though. After 17 more episodes, the brother (Brent Gore) also left. So the family sitcom was without the family.
The show continued on with the friends for the next few years. They brought on new characters, but I was gone by then.
It wasn’t much of a starting off point for the cast, at least when compared to SAVED BY THE BELL.
Heidi Noelle Lenhart, continues to act, appearing in a lot of TV shows, an underrated indie film (RED MEAT), before becoming most popular for starring in the highly rated AU PAIR series of films on the Family Channel. The third in this series is in the works.
Kelly Packard, who played Tiffani through the entire run, is also working. Packard would move on to become a regular on BAYWATCH and is currently a TV host. She hosted RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT, programs on the Game Show Network and currently hosts a Tae-Bo infomercial.
The rest of the cast acted on and off, without any big breakout roles.
EDITED (6-3-10) TO ADD:
The cast was reunited on Jimmy Fallon.