She Was Aroused As Never Before (The Dream Masters)

So here we are.

I’ve been very, very forgiving to this season so far (as if you hadn’t noticed). But now I can’t be nice any longer. Because here we have the first ‘problem.’ I mean, there are problems all over the season. But this is the first glaring one. The first one that really makes you wonder “oh no.” Where are we going from here?

So of course, in honor of the first problem, I present the next thrilling installment of “Ian’s Notes as Post with Annotations.” BRING IT ON, DREAM-NERDS.

Women on Balconies?

Did I mention that the episode just starts with them on this world? As in, we don’t see them slide in. REMEMBER THIS.

What?

I’m assuming the “WHAT” is referring to the “Napoleon never met his Waterloo” line.

SERIOUS Z’s

he’ll be surprised when i come back from the bathroom

LOOK OUT THERE’S A NERD ON A BIKE!

OH SHIT

WHAT

Okay, now bear with me here, but if you think about it, this guy is actually really good. Like, as in, he is a talented actor doing his best with ridiculous material.

PENTAGRAM??!?!

I am going to love this episode!

I once saw some performance art where this girl dressed in an Amish Girdle had a dude brand a Pentagram into her bared thigh. It was pretty awesome. (TRUE STORY)

What’s going on here?

This scene is all the more hilarious since they’re wearing beads.

Though due to Jerry’s ridiculous “serious grimace,” it would already be pretty silly.

THE DREAM OF THE 90s IS DEAD

NARLO HAIRCUT RIP

Oh shit that nerd’s got the hawts for Wade?

NICE SPORTS BRA PO PO

Rembrandt actually just found a prostitute on the harbor.

“Send The Meat Wagon.”

Okay, so already this is a problem. Is this Sliders? What does a dude with a pentagram on his hand have to do with alternate dimensions? I mean, it’s the teaser— I’m sure it’ll be explained. But right now this reads way more like an X-File than an… S-File?

WHAT ARE THEY HIDING?

Sup, bro?

What is wrong with his eyes? They’re like upside-down or something.

HA HA HA GOOD ONE WADE

“Don’t you know what this hand can do?”

FISTING JOKES!

Seriously, though— from this far away it really looks like Sharpie.

Quinn is less impressive than Wade— I mean, she actually had a handle of this situation.

I use to draw Pentagrams on my napkins too… LAST WEEK AT THE SEANCE. Also, your dreams? That dude wasn’t asleep on the beach.

OUT OF CONTEXT SCREEN CAPS.COM/AWKWARD

Okay, but seriously, the bartender is like “HEY LET ME TELL YOU JUST ENOUGH ABOUT THE PLOT SO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS BUT NOT EVERYTHING BECAUSE OF COURSE NOT.”

Okay, now I know there’s a precedent for “dudes they meet on almost every world” (Miss you, Will Sasso), but so far this “Diggs” dude is kind of a bore. More on him later, I guess (probably next week).

SHE WAS AROUSED AS NEVER BEFORE

This is literally the best scene the show has ever had. (Also, damn Wade how short is that dress?) LOL PROFESSOR’S “PORN” FACE IS HILARIOUS.

YES I AM CERTAINLY AROUSED BY THIS (seriously though an erotic novel read by John Rhys-Davies? MAKE IT HAPPEN)

“Here we go!” Quinn is so dumb sometimes.

HA HA LOOK AT THIS DOOD

No comment.

WINSOME WADE… Dude the more you make these Wade jokes the less likely she is to sleep with you. Y’know, if it wasn’t for the whole “I KILLED A DUDE” thing, she’d probably be TOTALLY in love with him.

Dude he already touched you.

LOL sound effects.

Wait what’s happening?

Okay, remember when Wade was tripping in “Fever” and it was genuinely terrifying? Not so here.

What is this energy?

Okay, actually, with a slighter hand, this sequence would have been pretty good. They’re playing with Dream Tropes here. Unseen enemies, running in place, the uncanny. It almost, almost, almost works.

HA HA HA HA  HAHA

WOW that thing with Quinn was kind of awesome!

One imagines this was the same thing he did when he quit the show.

Can’t a girl have some ketchup with out it being a thing?

PSYCHOTROPICALLY INDUCED STIGMATA

Just sayin’, guys, I don’t think waking up to the sight of you UP IN HER FACE is going to chill her out much.

HA HA HA HA “when he touched her she felt a tingling sensation” um… duh?

Okay, so the only reason this isn’t the dumbest thing ever is because the actors are doing their best to sell it. Arturo’s got conviction— so, then, do we.

These guys are so cute. Best friends forever.

The best part is that they actually DO have orange juice and liver. Also NAVY REMMY GO AWAY.

Y’know, the thing is I feel like this entire concept would be less ridiculous if they weren’t called “THE DREAM MASTERS.”

That acid coffee is pretty cool, though.

Yeah maybe don’t drink that.

Okay, but seriously, calling someone a “Dream Master” is stupid.

Yeah yeah, blame it all on REM.

Nice Camel Toe, Doc.

Doctor Whats-her-name, MD. Also yes, Netflix, I hate you.

Wait, why is there a secret wall. AND WHY DOES IT LEAD TO A CAVE?

LOOK AT THIS FUCKING CAVE.

Is that moonlight in the background? What if someone just fell into this fucking cave?

Yeah, just show any two strangers the lab.

Arturo’s shirt is pretty awesome.

But also what is with Quinn in this shot? He looks like he just remembered how bad the rap verse in “Radio Song” is.

HERE COMES THE INFODUMP. Actually, she’s doing a pretty good job of it. “Eliminate them?” Damn, Quinn. (Also Arturo agrees with me on this one.)

OH SHIT SO MUCH FOR LIVER.

AWW SWEEPY WEMMY

LOL FRIGHTNENERERS

Actually, that dude coming through the door is so dumb it’s terrifying.

Oh shit all that blood!

WHO YOU GONNA CALL?

This is unsettling! I kind of like this guy! These parts are fun!

The only thing keeping this episode back at this point is the dumb scream noises.

Hey Wade, I can see your squibs popping! AW NO NO NO NO NO.

OH SHIT THEY PULP FICTION’D WADE.

Sliders as Gerhard Richter painting.

Oooh, pack your bags, Remmy. YOU’RE GOING ON A GUILT TRIP!

You’re going to let her down far worse than this, Rem. Don’t worry about it.

LOOK AT THAT FUCKING CAVE.

Ha ha ha. WTF is this.

This is the best they can do? Why aren’t they just floating on top of a Dragon with huge Breasts or something?

Okay, so this sequence is like how I feel about Bauhaus: I always want to listen to Bauhaus. I like looking at Bauhaus. But when I listen to Bauhaus, I’m always disappointed.

BELA LUGOSI’S DEAD

I think it’s really just the dumb fake screaming sound that drags this episode down.

This would also be terrible if that dude’s crazy grinny face wasn’t totally awesome.

THE MAN WHO LAUGHED.

NICE UVULA WADE!!!

Whatever it takes to pay the bills, Sabrina.

Okay, so remember in “Love Gods” when it was like a silly action adventure and it was troubling because we were having fun watching it but it wasn’t really what we expected Sliders to be? Like, it opened the door for more whimsical stories that had less of a tether to reality? Well, this episode is basically the farthest end of that reality-prism. It’s pretty fun to watch, if you divorce it from your expectations.

But I guess that’s the problem, right? At this point, we aren’t watching Sliders. We’re watching something that’s fun— a television show that couldn’t be more mid-90s if it tried (though I think it’s trying really really hard). It’s action packed and has enough of a plot to justify it. But it isn’t Sliders. When I said it’s more X-Files in the teaser, I didn’t really know how right I would be. The difference is that Our Team knows so much less than Mulder and Scully would. They’re going in way blind. They’re like a team of detectives. Interdimensional detectives.

Except that brings in another issue: there is no sliding in this episode. We don’t see them come in, we don’t see them leave. What does that make the show? What is this episode? I don’t know— I really don’t have an answer. I’m sure that I’m enjoying myself, since my expectations are zilch. But it isn’t Sliders.

THe pentagram inspires terror”? I mean, I don’t know, it just makes me think of hipsters.

I love the nerdy dude’s Kristen Stewart-esque “hair fidget.”

This isn’t what I was talking about, but it’s still really funny.

Y’all weren’t hip so you took drugs, put on a SHIT TON of eyeliner and wore the stupidest sport coats EVER. The lead nerd is the coolest because he’s wearing the sharpest suits.

Number One Dalis Car fan in Heaven.

NEXT IN LINE FOR THE THRONE. THE DARK THRONE. BLACK METAL YEAHHHH.

I’m not sure how to react to this “they’re really nerds” “reveal.” It almost would be better if they were simply nut jobs with delusions of grandeur.

“Where can we find some geeks this time of night?”

ORPHANINE.

Wow, look at that wash over Arturo’s face. That’s why we watch this show.

NOW WHO’S THE ELEPHANT

Here comes the powerhouse. EMOTIONS ARE A GO.

Even the “elephant” part is great. See, it is Sliders!

The Dark King of Context Disappears Again.

AWWWWW. I love these people as much as they love each other.

I guess that’s the difference— it’s these people, their bond.

Their bond of wacky-ass Laugh Faces.

Why did Quinn keep those glasses on for so long.

No, really, why?

I’m really into the image of these guys holding their tatted hands up.

Ew, creepy!

GLOW STICK MEDICINE

What is her face! When would an intravenous drug EVER be black-light friendly?

Why are the lights strobing?

This scene is shot like Season One. Too bad it looks the most like “Fever.”

RAVE UN2 THE DREAM WORLD

Coffee Shop of Terror.

I’m not impressed.

“WAAADE” get used to that, bros.

SMOKE MACHINE OF TERROR.

NoooOOOooooOOooO!!!

Seriously, could you make that Squib any more obvious? No shit it’s not real.

Like, I know that isn’t a shoulder pad.

Stop yelling, Quinn.

WHOA THE DREAM IS SHARED. Too bad there’s no such thing as “Residual Self Image” for those fools.

Stuck in a Dream-World in your PJs. At least they aren’t trapped in their Middle Schools naked, AMIRITE?

HA HA HA SNAKE ROOM IS SO GOOFY

WTF is Wade’s Shirt?!

THIS IS A FORMICA TABLE. GREEN IS ITS COLOR.

Cool snake, bro.

They did SUCH a good job aligning Rembrandt’s eyes with the CG snake, didn’t they?

BWWWWAAAHHHHH, he said.

LOL. Jerry, let’s get a second take on that “Quicksand” face, huh?

KNOWLEDGE COMES WITH DEATH’S RELEASE OHH OHHHH OHHHH OHH

“DAMN IT.” This chick is the worst stop screaming ugh.

But like, this is paced briskly.

DREAM BFFS.

COWLICK OF TERROR

OH SHIT. BACKLOT OF TERROR. Also, why does it sound like energy? Man, get a different, like, “sound effects” CD or whatever.

Dig that logo. Was that too complicated to copy in Palm-Sharpie?

LOL CG KNIVES CAN’t HURT YOOO.

At least they weren’t thrown in agressive slow-mo.

LOL NICE GLASSES READJUSTMENT.

They probably hired this guy out of a Lenscrafters catalog.

SICK FIREBALL BRO.

SSSSSMOKIN’ (that is my 37th Mask reference this year)

Not so sick quip.

YEEAAAHHHHHHH!

I did that with a shuttlecock once. In real life, not a dream.

Is he laughing?

DERP.

I know I am.

Why is that wall red?

I see a red door… wall… whatever?

That dude is so chill about being on fire.

Why did that happen? Why is he awake now?

I went to sleep and woke up in this shitty cave set. WHAT A NIGHTMARE.

HOW DID YOU STOP IT?!?

HOW DID YOU FIX ANYTHING?!?!?

AND THEN THEY WENT TO SLEEP AND MISSED THE SLIDE AND SPENT 29.7 YEARS ROLLER BLADING.

FUCK THIS CAVE

Okay, so this is ridiculous not because it’s totally ridiculous, but really because of the “World President” problem I’ve been talking about. Like, there are what, 20 Dream Masters? You seriously can’t get enough tear gas and taxpayers to get rid of 20 nerds? If it’s really so much of a problem, can’t you call the National Guard? Except no, that solution is ridiculous because the problem is ridiculous (so ridiculous in fact that there’s literally no solution that makes sense). There’s no way that anyone would be allowed to get this far in their “pentagram terror tantrum” plan. No amount of eyeliner can stop a gun in real life.

I mean, I’m not saying you have to kill these nerds. But this show isn’t asking me to think that far.

But I’m not stupid. None of us are that stupid. But we’re not supposed to ask any questions here. We’re supposed to take this nonsense at face value. And no matter how reduced our expectations are, something like this just can’t fly. Take it as a showing of the goodness of Sliders, but we want more out of our show than this. We expect to be challenged. Not much— Sliders isn’t Mozart, it isn’t Mensa. But it’s smart. At it’s best, it’s intelligent in a way that respects its audience. So as much as I think the lead nerd’s face is funny and maybe yeah, even a little scary, it’s still a little insulting.

And yes, it’s been said before, but it’s worth repeating: there isn’t any Sliding in this episode. I don’t need to see the Vortex every episode. But there’s something about the image of the four of them running off into the blue light off screen that integral to the experience of the show. If you take that away, what are you left with?  Not Sliders. Not anything, really. A garish husk.

This husk insults me and entertains me at the same time. Is that enough to build a show on?

Next Week: It was hot we stayed in the water (but there wasn’t any [Desert Storm]).

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3 thoughts on “She Was Aroused As Never Before (The Dream Masters)

  1. If you remember correctly one of the things they did to cut the budget for season#4 and #5 was 1st get a new special effect for the wormhole or just showing them run off screen towards blue lights, believe it or not that wormhole that everyone seems to be able to recreate on youtube without problem, was a very costly effect according to the producers of the show, so that budget save made it where they could afford those groovy dream effects like Remmys snake…

    This was their first stab at a horror episode, not great, and a sign of things to come, I didn’t hate it as much of some of the episode in season #3, the talking fire on the backdraft set comes to mind as one of season #3’s worst, also Sherlock Holmes episode where they use alternate names, but never say yeah that kinda like Sherlock Holmes…I could of excepted the movie ripps more if the Sliders would of been able to say what we are in a real life Vampire movie, used the known rules of that movie failed then tried something else to succeed, but the team not going yeah we just got to use the rules from Nightmare on Elmstreet to succeed, and if only one had seen it and the others hadn’t, or if you make Wade the movie nut and she is always captured so they can never use her movie buff knowledge to solve any of the plots they get in…could work Quinn geek that was always playing w/ experiments so he never went out, Professor old man same as Quinn and movies are beneath him, Remmy only watches black cinema

  2. Great blog. Look forward to reading more and combing the archives.

    As for the episode… man, what a terrible episode. It’s not the worst movie rip-off this season, but I only say that cause I remember “Paradise Lost” and “Slither.” The nerds were just so unimposing. I just couldn’t take them seriously. I don’t know why nobody just decked them. The whole thing just felt lazy. The previous episode took a cue from a movie, but at least tried to use it as a springboard for something different from the source. This was more like inserting the Sliders into a tinkered preexisting plot.

    And I’d say that your “World President” problem would be a lot easier to bear here if this were some small, tiny spec of a suburb – not LA, where you’d think there’d be lots of personnel to deal with twenty people that can’t really do much most of the day.

    Though I will say, I always got a chuckle out of the elephant bit. And the scene where Arturo tries to apologize and Rembrandt makes it so hard for him is a highlight for me.

    • The thing about the “World President” problem is that changing the setting to a tiny spec of a suburb isn’t really a solution— they tried this, and we wound up with “Paradise Lost” and “The Chasm.” The real problem with the “World President” issue is that it’s just lazy writing. No one is thinking about how their “Cool Idea” would play out. If you gave any of these ridiculous plot ideas more than two seconds of thought, you’d realize that they’re flimsy and full of holes.

      In a way, “World President” (which at this point I might as well make a band name), isn’t even the real problem at work. It’s just the easiest problem in a whole midden heap to pick out.

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