We open…directly on a song! I guess this is the show’s attempt to make up for the dearth of songs in the last few weeks: by throwing one at us right off the bat. For a show about a band, there’s sure not a lot about the band going on any longer, is there?
Well, it turns out the band is playing a series of concerts on the pier, and the promoter, Billy Buckman, loves them so much he’s going to book them again and inexplicably give them $1,000. He also seems to have hearing problems from sitting next to an amp so he screams a lot, but this is never featured again in this episode so fuck it.
This leads us into a fantasy sequence because the band suddenly are having visions of what it will be like to be rich and making $1 million a gig, because a million is right around the corner when you just made a thousand, right? You can imagine that Sly is paying girls to kiss him.
Jake has a menu of motorcycles and a butler to show them to him because why not.
Mark and Tiffani bet on tennis games with vacation homes on the line because they have nothing better to do.
Tony and Sam just complain about their photo being misidentified. Yeah, everyone has really bad fake posh British accents, because that’s the first thing you gain when you get right, right? Our band seem to have really limited ambitions of what would happen if they got rich. I get they’re going for the Saturday morning TNBC crowd, but still…
Well, we’ve wasted six minutes with a song, a fake plot point that has nothing to do with the rest of the episode, and a pointless fantasy sequence. I guess it’s finally time to get the episode started before we completely run out of time! Lorena’s suddenly become the voice of reason about money, even though she’s the worst person on the show to lecture about how money corrupts, and believes that money’s changing the band for the worst and will ruin their friendship. Jake is convinced that butterflies and unicorns and rainbows and shit, and that the band’s friendship can’t be corrupted by the likes of the evil MONEY! They make a bet that the least little sight of money will tear them apart, and decide that a kiss is good enough payment because fucking with your friends is only worth doing stuff you’d be doing anyway.
So the plan is that Jake hides a fake letter in a book supposedly written in 1953 that details a guy hiding his $4 million from space aliens or some shit. After token resistance, the band nearly instantly accept that there’s $4 million randomly sitting around out there for them. Tony quickly decodes the first clue as being about the movie theater…
…and they quickly rush over to their cheap ass mall movie theater looking for the next clue under a specific seat. Maybe you should, instead, be looking at a movie theater or under a chair that, I don’t know, existed in 1953! Our band is really stupid this episode. I know it’s a plot point in a minute, but, still, the fact that they didn’t put these pieces together just make them look idiotic.
Anyway, Tiffani chases away a random guy who growls at her by getting him to do his worst impression of a Looney Tunes dog, and the clue is right there where it’s supposed to be, because, of all the cheap ass movie theaters in all the world, it just happens to be in this one.
At Sharkey’s, the band read the next clue and Mark realizes that it’s pointing towards somewhere at the pier because he needed something to do this episode. The band agree to wait and go searching tomorrow, making Jake think Lorena’s wrong about how fragile the band’s friendship is and everything. So Lorena suggests Mark go by himself, which instantly sets off a fight of not trusting anyone because I guess their friendship was really that delicate.
So they all sneak down to the pier hoping not to run into each other, all the while yelling at everyone else for being devious and underhanded and shit, and they finally find the next clue under a bench which I’m pretty sure didn’t exist in 1953. Hell, that pier doesn’t look like it existed back in 1953! Logic and reality isn’t going to stop our band of raving idiots, though, as they figure out this clue is point them towards PCH.
Jake and Lorena come out of the shadows and realize their little trick has worked too well because all of their friends are complete morons. They decide they have to tell them the truth the next day, deciding they’re going to be mad about this shit I guess.
At PCH the next day, our band slept on the sidewalk in front of school all night so none of them could sneak in and find the money, and you can tell because their hair is messed up and that’s a tell-tale sign of stress I guess. Oh, and I guess Principal Blumford let them sleep outside because he doesn’t give a shit about their safety now that he’s not going to set a stupid world record. Well, Tony finds the next clue and a reference to Jaws, a movie from the 1970s, pointing towards Sharkey’s suddenly causes Sam to grow a brain cell as they realize all the places they’ve visited are newer than 1953. No shit you fucking idiots! Next you’re going to realize that the sky is blue.
In any case, they decide Jake and Lorena must be playing a trick on them since they’re the only two not acting like fucking morons this episode, just fucking assholes. They decide to play a trick on the two of them and nominate the least valuable player of their brain trust, Mark, to set up the plan.
Jake and Lorena come in and try to tell the others about the bet, but they pretend to not believe them, with Mark turning in an even worse acting job than usual. So they rush over to Sharkey’s…
…and pretend to tear the place apart looking for the money. Jake and Lorena reiterate they were lying to the band, and they finally pretend to believe them and suggest the way they can apologize is to clean the place up, because that’s great revenge.
No, the actual revenge is Jake and Lorena finding a planted bag of fake diamonds in a surf board on the wall and then getting their turn at playing idiot for the last minute or so as they fight over it, proving they truly were assholes without a high ground to stand on.
The rest of the band stand around and shake their heads judgmentally as they apparently snuck back in the side entrance just to watch Jake and Lorena act like assholes. They exposit the moral of the episode being about money changing people and shit, it’s the root of all evil, but they still have a thousand dollars to waste on Sharkey’s food when no one appears to be working that night so it’s all good. Sharkey’s must really be doing bad in sales lately when they’re allowing the random kids who hang out there to just trash the place to teach their friends a non-lesson. Oh, to live such a charmed life that there are never true consequences for your actions.
This is an odd song for California Dreams as it has a very reggae-inspired beat to it, and this was long after the eighties reggae revival that saw horrible bands like UB40 emerge on the scene and bastardize old pop songs that didn’t do nothing to deserve the treatment they received. At least it’s an original song with halfway decent lyrics that fit the theme of the episode, but that’s about all I can say about that.
It’s not that it’s a bad song. It just feels odd here, but I don’t know why I would expect any different from a show that still has yet to present an honest to goodness rock song from our “rock” band. You know, the one that was supposedly influenced by The Beatles. In any case, it could be much, much worse, and I’m glad we were spared what might have been from this show.