Dream On

Watch Dream On

  • TV-MA
  • 1990
  • 6 Seasons
  • 7.6  (3,665)

Dream On was a groundbreaking television show that aired on HBO from July 1990 to March 1996. The series was created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, who are best known for their work on the hit sitcom Friends. Dream On was unique in its format, as it combined live-action footage with black-and-white clips from classic Hollywood movies and television shows.

The show starred Brian Benben as Martin Tupper, a book editor who was struggling to come to terms with his divorce and the challenges of single parenthood. Chris Demetral played Martin's young son, Jeremy, while Denny Dillon was cast as his highly-strung secretary, Toby. Other notable members of the cast included Wendie Malick, who portrayed Martin's ex-wife, Judith, and Dorien Wilson, who played his best friend, Eddie.

One of the defining features of Dream On was its extensive use of classic film footage, which was used to illustrate Martin's thoughts, dreams, and fantasies. These clips spanned a wide range of genres and eras, from black-and-white film noirs to colorful musicals. The use of these clips not only added a unique visual element to the show, but also provided an opportunity for the writers to comment on the themes and motifs of classic Hollywood cinema.

The show also broke boundaries in its depiction of sex and relationships on television. Martin's dating life was a recurring theme throughout the series, and the show wasn't afraid to explore topics like casual sex, infidelity, and homosexuality. In fact, Dream On featured one of the first same-sex kisses on network television when Martin's friend Eddie locked lips with another man in a 1991 episode.

Throughout its six-season run, Dream On garnered critical acclaim for its innovative format and bold storytelling. The show was nominated for multiple Emmy awards, and Brian Benben was praised for his performance as Martin Tupper. The series also featured a number of notable guest stars, including Michael McKean, who played Martin's eccentric neighbor, Gibby.

Overall, Dream On was a groundbreaking and influential show that paved the way for the use of film footage in modern television. Its deft combination of comedy, drama, and classic cinema make it a must-watch for anyone interested in the evolution of television storytelling.

Dream On
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Finale with a Vengeance (2)
27. Finale with a Vengeance (2)
March 27, 1996
Martin and Judith learn Dr. Stone might be defrosted and revived.
Finale (1)
26. Finale (1)
March 20, 1996
Preparing for Eddie's wedding, Martin questions whether or not he has a future with Judith.
Tenants, Anyone?
25. Tenants, Anyone?
March 13, 1996
Martin's old apartment is becoming a huge money pit, costing him exorbitant maintenance fees and so he resolves to get rid of it. He has a meeting with Irwin Bader who isn't optimistic of getting much over $1,500, even though he sold it to Martin for $2,400. Libby expresses an interest on behalf of her son, but Martin passes on the idea.
Cupid Is as Cupid Does
24. Cupid Is as Cupid Does
March 6, 1996
Judith plans a dinner party for their couple friends, so she suggests that Martin not invite currently single Eddie. When Eddie finds out, he makes Martin feel guilty until he invites him, but the evening doesn't go well. Eddie has nothing in common with the couples and so he storms out. Next day, Martin and Judith meet a recently separated friend, Rema, whom Martin invites to their apartment for dinner, planning to also invite Eddie and match them up. Eddie begins spending all his time with Rema and hardly sees Martin.
Hey Diddle Diddle
23. Hey Diddle Diddle
February 28, 1996
Martin thinks things are getting out of hand after Judith discovers "some little tricks" to improve her sex life.
Springtime for Tupper
22. Springtime for Tupper
February 21, 1996
At a Salary Review Meeting, Gibby has some good news for Martin; Martin's to be put in charge of his own division at Whitestone, a quality publishing imprint called Camelot New Press. Things get off to a bad start however when the first round of author interviews yield nothing. Through a quirk of fate, Martin remembers an old manuscript he admired, ‘The Barrel Maker' by Julian Keppel and stays up all night reading it. He contacts the emotionally fragile author and promises to make it Whitestone's next bestseller.
The Way We War
21. The Way We War
February 14, 1996
Flashback episode: Martin's fortieth birthday is approaching fast and Eddie insists on throwing him a party. Unfortunately, Judith is planning a party of her own thus bringing them into conflict. Martin suggests compromise by urging them to plan the party together. As they argue over the details, they reminisce over their past disagreements.
All About Louie
20. All About Louie
February 7, 1996
Gibby picks Martin to represent Whitestone at the Chicago Book Fair, informing him with one weeks notice. This means a ton of extra work and pregnant Toby doesn't really feel up to it, so Martin suggests they take on a temp to lighten the load. Toby offers up her cousin Louie, and although initially reluctant, Martin assents, giving him a trial period to prove himself.
The Spirit of 76th & Park
19. The Spirit of 76th & Park
January 31, 1996
Martin moves into Judith's high-tech apartment.
Second Time Aground
18. Second Time Aground
January 24, 1996
With their relationship rekindled, Judith suggests that she and Martin join a support group for couples on their second time around.
The Weekend at the College Didn't Turn Out Like They Planned
17. The Weekend at the College Didn't Turn Out Like They Planned
November 22, 1995
Martin and Judith visit Jeremy at college. Sparks ignite.
Toby's Choice
16. Toby's Choice
November 15, 1995
Martin's friend likes Toby.
Little Orphan Eddie
15. Little Orphan Eddie
November 8, 1995
Eddie learns that he was adopted.
Home Is Where the Cart Is
14. Home Is Where the Cart Is
November 1, 1995
Martin tries to get a homeless woman's memoirs.
Am I Blue?
13. Am I Blue?
October 18, 1995
Martin needs to make some quick money, so he writes for pornographic movies.
Flight of the Pedalbee
12. Flight of the Pedalbee
October 11, 1995
Toby is in a rut. Uses self-help book.
She Won't Do It, But Her Sister Will
11. She Won't Do It, But Her Sister Will
October 4, 1995
Martin dates Judith's sister.
Tie Me Sister Lu Down, Sport
10. Tie Me Sister Lu Down, Sport
September 27, 1995
Martin's building goes co-op, and to be able to afford purchasing his apartment/condo, he dates Gibby's insane sister.
Music in My Veins (2)
9. Music in My Veins (2)
September 20, 1995
This picks up with Martin and Katrina struggling to write songs for the new Crevice album. Katrina suffers from a light writer's block, and ends up taking inspiration from Martin's college poetry. Crevice breaks up over the creative changes, and Katrina debuts her first single as a solo artist on Eddie's show. The fan's are not pleased.
Music in My Veins (1)
8. Music in My Veins (1)
September 13, 1995
After Jeremy chooses to go to Richard Stone's induction into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame instead of with Martin on a Father's Day canoeing trip, Martin reluctantly tags along. In typical Tupper fashion, he goes home with a girl named Katrina that he meets there. It turns out that she has 2 interesting, but related surprises for Martin.
Take Two Tablets, and Get Me to Mt. Sinai
7. Take Two Tablets, and Get Me to Mt. Sinai
August 30, 1995
Martin's life is examined after he dies.
Beam Me Up, Dr. Spock
6. Beam Me Up, Dr. Spock
August 23, 1995
Jeremy's math teacher is the cause for Jeremy's low math grade.
9 1/2 Days
5. 9 1/2 Days
August 16, 1995
Martin dates a woman that acts strange in public, and yet, is an etiquette expert.
Significant Author
4. Significant Author
August 9, 1995
Under pressure from Gibby to get an elite writer, Martin attempts to lure the writer dating Toby (who coincidentally, is an award-winning author).
Long Distance Runaround
3. Long Distance Runaround
August 2, 1995
Martin looks for a new best friend, after Eddie decides to move to LA to join a sitcom.
Bess You Is Not My Woman Now
2. Bess You Is Not My Woman Now
July 26, 1995
Martin tries to seduce Judith's best friend from college, but she only has eyes for someone else…
Try Not to Remember
1. Try Not to Remember
July 19, 1995
Martin has trouble climaxing and is referred to a therapist. Through hypnotism, she leads him to suspect he is repressing the memory of childhood abuse.
  • Premiere Date
    July 8, 1990
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (3,665)