Dream On (HBO TV Series 1990-1996)

from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Comedy director John Landis was asked by Universal to see if he could make a show out of all the old TV programs that Universal owned from the 1950s, a lot of which were anthology shows. Landis then asked some writers to come up with an idea. This was the result, a titillating and humorous HBO series in which Brian Benben starred as a newly-divorced dreamer whose romantic adventures were pictured in parallel to B&W scenes from the TV shows he remembered from his childhood.

I really liked the early seasons of this show. The writers came up with some astoundingly funny old clips, the parallel "contemporary" material was always reasonably cute, and a lot of the women took off their clothes.

But ...

Frankly, this series was really annoying me by the time the final season got underway. I was really into the series in seasons one and two, but it wore out its welcome. One problem was that the series was starting to repeat the gags from the old films, so the ideas which had been clever in season one had become completely predictable by the time season six rolled around. In addition, the funniest idea (his ex-wife's god-like second husband, whose triumphs in every field of human endeavor made Martin seem utterly insignificant) was basically shut down when the writers killed off that character so the two stars could reconcile and re-marry.

Those were not the biggest problems. The real failing of this series, the difference between this and the great sitcoms like Mary Tyler Moore, is that it failed to create any characters with whom we might empathize or even root for a little tiny bit. Martin was a lying, spineless weasel with no self-control. His ex-wife Judith was stiff and pretentious. His best friend Eddie was unrealistically shallow - sort of an African-American version of Ted Baxter. His boss Gibby and his secretary Tobey were both one-dimensional assholes. His parents, who were the only complicated characters, were gone from the picture in the final season.

The main characters all got a happy ending eventually, but I just didn't care.


Here's the summary of the nudity in Season 1, which aired in 1990:

  • Episode 1: "The First Episode". Not much nudity, but scream queen Laura Albert looked great tied to a bed, covered with whipped cream. See her topless in Party Plane and Dr Alien, as well as in season two, episode ten of "Dream On".

  • Episode 2: "Death Takes a Coffee Break". Nice nudity. Playing a college girl, Jeannine Renshaw seduces Martin by removing her shirt. I think this is your one and only chance to see her stuff. Jeannine gave up on acting and became a writer. She wrote several episodes of Angel.

  • Episode 3: "Sex and the Single Father". Nice nudity. Susan Lentini is topless in broad daylight, in one of Martin's daydreams. Lentini was out of show business by 1995, based on her IMDb entries. Martin (Brian Benben) also shows his bum in this episode.

  • Episode 6: "... and Sheep are Nervous". Almost no nudity. DeDee Pfeiffer did a sex scene, but DeDee wasn't into nudity in those days.

  • Episode 8: "Martin Gets Lucky". Nice, if somewhat dark, sex scene between Martin and Dierdre Imerschein. Dierdre eventually moved to the other side of the camera, and has no performing credits after 1997.

  • Episode 12: "555-Hell". Martin knocks on the wrong door and is greeted by a topless hooker expecting a client with specialized tastes! The hooker in question was one of our familiar faces, Monique Gabrielle, dressed in scuba gear. I assume you all know who Monique is if you are reading this page.

Here's the summary of the nudity in Season 2, which aired in 1991:

  • Episode 1: "The Second Greatest Story Ever Told". Mimi Rogers does not take off her bra, but still manages to give us a great look at her mammoth mamms. There is some excellent nudity in this episode. A couple of cuties are seen topless on the set of a monster movie (Martin stumbled into the wrong sound stage), and they re-appear in his fantasies.

    • Anastasia Barzee never made it as a TV star, but went on to a very successful career on stage in the musical theater. She played Emma in Broadway's Jekyll and Hyde. I don't know anything about the subject, but I gather than she is now a major stage star, since a Google search for her turns up 500 valid responses, many of them very impressive Broadway credits.

    • Lisa Saxton's career was more mundane and predictable. She started as a model in Playboy Newsstand Specials, and her film roles consisted of such classic roles as "Naked Lady in Bed". See her nude in the immortal cinema classic, Terminal Exposure

  • Episode 2: "And Your Little Dog, Too". Nice nudity again. Carolyn Lowery played a notorious groupie. Martin published her biography, "Starfucker". No sign of Carolyn in the past three years, but she was still getting plenty of work in TV and B features as recently as 2000-2001.

  • Episode 3: "The 37-Year Itch". Nice nudity from gorgeous Mimi Craven, a famous gal-pal of Sharon Stone, who still works in TV here and there, and is also a "semi-professional photographer." She comes by her last name through a 1984 marriage to horror film maven Wes Craven (they divorced three years later).

  • Episode 5:  "Futile Attraction". Very pleasant nudity from Paula Trickey and Connie Woods as two women with whom Martin had performance problems. 

    • The scene with Woods is really cute. She dons a cheerleader outfit and waves her pompoms for Martin, all to no avail. As far as I can see, this was her last job in show biz.

    • Trickey failed in an attempt at a sexy B movie career, but has had a solid mainstream TV career, and has been working steadily on the boob tube ever since she quit the movies. You can she her breasts in another timeless screen romance, Killer Cop 2. 

  • Episode 7: "What I Did For Lust". Susan Ashley shows her breasts. This was her last credit at IMDb. Her few previous credits are softcore sex films. See full frontal nudity from her in Private Passions.

  • Episode 10: "Pants on Fire". Laura Albert is back, playing the same character she played in Episode 1 (the whipped cream girl). This time she shows her breasts, but not in the show's typically clear and well-lit context.

  • Episode 11: "The Charlotte Letter". Fleeting topless exposure from three typical Cinemax stars: Kimber Sissons, Lisa London, and Cheryl Boudreau. Only two of them got topless, and the quality is poor because they are seen in a stag film which is popped into a VCR and seen on a TV screen. Sissons and London have appeared naked in many films, mostly of the straight-to-vid variety.

  • Episode 12: "The Name of the Game is Five-Card Stud." Cherie Michan takes off her top in a cute scene in which she lost her blouse playing poker. She made several more appearances on Dream On, and a few other similar guest shots, but had disappeared from the landscape by 1998. There was also male nudity in this episode, a bum from Sean Masterson.

Here's the summary of the nudity in Season 3, which aired in 1992:

  • Episode 1 - Brian Benben had a sex scene with Teri Garr, but only Benben showed anything (buns).
  • Episode 5 - Sherrie Rose showed her breasts in a sex scene.
  • Episode 6 - incidental male nudity only (buns from an unidentified patient in a hospital gown)
  • Episode 8 - Buns from Benben and breasts from Lysa Hayland in their sex scene.
  • Episode 10 - no female nudity, but a pre-Friends Courteney Cox looked spectacular in lingerie. Male: Brian Benben and Darien Wilson showed their buns in the aftermath of their threesome with Courteney.
  • Episode 11 - Honey Lauren appeared topless as a stripper.
  • Episode 15 - there was female nudity, but only in the old-time clips, from an anonymous hula girl.
  • Episode 16 - there's no nudity, but Helen Slater looked awesome in a see-through robe. This was lensed eight years after Supergirl, but she had not aged a day.
  • Episode 17 - Michelle Brin showed her breasts in a fantasy sequence.
  • Episode 18 - Natasha Pavlova (aka Natasha Pavlovich) showed her breasts as a stripper at a bachelor party, and some porn stars' breasts were seen in a stag film on a TV screen.
  • Episode 19 - Maureen Kedes showed her breasts in a sex scene with Brian Benben.
  • Episode 20 - none, although Benben gets to make out with a young Salma Hayek!
  • Episode 21 - lots of T&A from Barbara Alyn Woods!
  • Episode 24 - breasts from Kim Shirkani
  • Episode 25 - buns from several guys at the gym, buns from Brian Benben, brief breasts from Roxanne Hart
  • Episode 26 - breasts from a vacuuming neighbor seen through a telescope

Here's the summary of the nudity in Season 4, which aired in two separate waves. The first 12 episodes aired in the summer of 1993. The series then took a four-month hiatus. The second half of the season aired from December of 1993 to late March of 1994.

  • Episode 3 - female: T&A from Trula Marcus; male: buns from Darien Wilson
  • Episode 4 - various topless women in magazine pictures
  • Episode 5 - random women on TV's "naked channel"
  • Episode 7 - male nudity only: the top of Benben's bum.
  • Episode 8 - no nudity, although Benben has a long sex scene with Gates McFadden (Dr Crusher from Star Trek: TNG).
  • Episode 9 - female: modest side boobs from Elizabeth Pena in various sex scenes, and breasts from Trish Ramish in a shower scene; male: buns from Benben in the Pena scenes.
  • Episode 10 - three topless scenes featuring statuesque Linda Dona.
  • Episode 11 - male: Steve Blackwood showed his buns while getting a tattoo; female: Marie Caldare shows off heavily tattoed breasts.
  • Episode 16 - male: Benben shows his butt; female: Sally Kellerman shows some side-boob
  • Episode 19 - Heidi Sorenson shows T&A in two sex scenes.
  • Episode 24 - Melissa Justin shows her breasts
  • Episode 25 - Melissa Justin shows her breasts yet again

Here's the summary of the nudity in Season 5, a short season which aired in the summer of 1994.

  • Episode 3 - female: Annabelle Gurwitch, later to become host of Dinner and a Movie, bared her breasts, as did Finola Hughes, and various other employees of a brothel which moved into Martin's buildings;  male: some unidentified actor in assless chaps.
  • Episode 4 - none, but a brilliant performance from blaxpolitation legend Melvin van Peebles in an episode worth seeing if ever you get a chance. Martin's mother dies in this episode. Melvin plays her ex-lover.
  • Episode 6 - I guess Kim Cattrall shows a breast, but the scene is so damned dark, who can tell? Even if you can see what's goin' on, you better not blink, or you'll miss the breast.
  • Episode 7 - female: La Joy Farr shows her breasts as a girl too dumb for Martin. Harley Jane Kozak shows her breasts as a girl too smart for Martin. (This is about your only choice if you want to see Harley Jane's breasts, except for a dark flash in that volleyball movie.) Jennifer MacDonald comes along at the right intellectual level, but she's too beautiful for Martin, despite the promise of her topless scene; male: Brian Benben sits on a toilet naked and contemplates, ala Rodin's The Thinker.
  • Episode 8 - Joey House shows T&A in a good scene.
  • Episode 9 - Catherine Bell shows some delectable breasts in a long scene.
  • Episode 12 - The series offers its first glimpse of pubic hair in a very hot scene, but the woman is unidentified.
  • Episode 13 - Lisa Boyle shows Martin her breasts.

The nudity started to come less frequently in the final year of this series because Martin was reconciling with his ex-wife and was staying faithful to her whenever they were together. Most of the previous seasons' nudity had been generated by Martin's active sex life. In this season the bare flesh was often generated by passing fantasies, and therefore was not only occurring less frequently, but was generally shorter in duration when it did happen. Martin had a fling in episode 15, then hooked up with his ex, so the eleven episodes from #16 through #26 had almost no nudity. Eight of the eleven had none at all! The entire season was free from male nudity, even the episode when Martin gets into the porn industry.

Here's the summary of the nudity in Season 6, a long series which ran almost continuously from July of 1995 to March of 1996 (there was a two-month hiatus for the Thanksgiving/Christmas season):

  • Episode 1 - breasts from Colleen McDermott and large breasts from Meadow Williams (she's cute as well).
  • Episode 2 - none, but Annette O'Toole exposed a lot of cleavage.
  • Episode 3 - breasts from Sandra Reinhardt. She was later to be known more commonly as Sandra Ferguson.
  • Episode 5 - breasts from our old pal Barbara Alyn Woods, who was playing a different character from the one she played in her previous nude appearance in this series.
  • Episode 10 - breasts from Sara Suzanne Brown.
  • Episode 13 - quite a bit of nudity, as Martin enters the porn business as a scriptwriter. Breasts from Karen Roe (FILM CLIP), and from a bevy of "porn actresses," including Kim Anderson, Azalea Davila, and Carol Boudreau. Traci Bingham was supposed to be in there as well, but I can't figure out where, given that all the porn actresses seemed to be white.
  • Episode 15 - Melora Walters shows a breast while in bed with Benben. This was "Martin's" last fling before he reconciled with his ex.
  • Episode 18 - Tamara Landry was topless in one of Martin's fantasies.
  • Episode 20 - Azalea Davila returned to expose her breasts again. Another woman was topless in the same scene in a virtually interchangeable role, but strangely enough, only Azalea was credited.
  • Episode 23 - Martin fantasizes about large-breasted women while he showers. The tootsies in question are Karen Russell, Jennifer Leigh Edwards, and Traci Adell.
  • Episode 27 - breasts from Stacy Terrio; breasts and buns from Gail Harris.

DVD info from Amazon

  • The only DVD set to be issued so far includes seasons 1 and 2, the first 28 episodes.

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