I remember when Dave's World came out on TV, in the early 1990's. I would have not been much older than Tommy, the older son in the show. Somehow, through the years, some key scenes remain in my memory, including Dave and Tommy listening to Shel's droning answering machine message ("5-5-5...."), a restaurant called "Butter, Butter, Butter", and other short, nonsensical snippets that have managed to pervade my conscious thought from time to time ("Stop - my head is in the elevator door!"). Dave Barry is a funny columnist, in a sort of absurd way, and Dave's World was an entertaining show.
The DVD set brings back memories, and the show is as witty as I remember it (maybe even more so). The sharp, snappy lines are delivered almost tongue in cheek, brazenly unapologetic, by the characters. Looking at this show after 15 years (has it been that long?!) is revealing as it is much easier to pick out the typical TV-sitcom stereotypes -- Kenny is a parody of himself, it seems, for in the 21st century when do we ever see a blond-maned, egocentric, sport-coat wearing womanizer like that anymore, and still take him seriously? -- but, it all still works. The series thesis -- "look ma, we're old all of a sudden!" -- hits me in a different way, far more personally, than it did when I was a kid, now that I myself have turned 30.
One key element is missing, however, in my eyes a crucial one. Look very carefully at the fine print on the back of the DVD box and you'll see words that say "Music has been changed". They took away the theme song! This was an utter shock as one of THE defining things about this TV series was the catchy animated opening sequence set to Billy Joel's "You May Be Right" (as performed by Southside Johnny). They must not have been able to secure distribution rights for this classic song, which is a pity, as the DVD version only includes generic guitar strumming. This renders the opening sequence totally lifeless, in this reviewer's opinion! I give this show four out of five stars, but took away one star for the omission of this key ingredient.
Still, the DVD is well presented, and I enjoyed the tour through my own childhood years as I watched the antics of this charming family unfold on my TV screen once again.
Just make sure you cue up your own Billy Joel CD to play during the opening credits.