Dream Corp LLC

TV review by
Jenny Nixon, Common Sense Media
Dream Corp LLC TV Poster Image
Dream analysis comedy is full of laughs, some iffy material.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

On the surface, this show is mainly a how-random-can-we-be? fest, but hiding deep, deep in the subtext are some genuinely sweet messages about facing your fears and being honest with yourself.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The doctor is unorthodox to say the very least.

Violence

You can expect to see blood and guts, but it is all portrayed in an unnerving way that's a cross between comedy and horror, very much an Adult Swim trademark. There are scalpel-stabbings, medical procedures gone wrong, severed limbs, and suicidal robots galore.

Sex

No nudity, but an abundance of sexual references and imagery. An office aide mentions his "anus beads," someone grafts a robot hand onto his arm and it won't stop rubbing his crotch. Impotence and "fingering" are mentioned. Some bikini-clad women are shown wrestling suggestively in green slime, and a dream depicts two patients riding on the backs of extremely phallic cartoon dolphins.

Language

While obscenities are sometimes bleeped purely for comedic effect, for the most part the show lets the "F" word (and others like "hell," "s--t," "damn") fly.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The show is set in a medical facility where drugs are used in all sorts of inadvisable and medically inappropriate ways. Smoking and drinking are depicted.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dream Corp LLC is a workplace comedy (of sorts) with heavy touches of horror. Patients have their unconscious minds explored, which means no topic is off limits, so you can expect to see sexual references and violence, though it's often presented in a bizarre or ridiculous manner. There are trippy, sometimes nightmarish animated interludes that may be freaky for younger viewers. The show is best suited for older teens and adults.

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What's the story?

DREAM CORP LLC is a bleak, rundown dream interpretation facility operating on the absolute fringes of medical science and legality. Within the filthy walls of the lab, Dr. Roberts (played by Jon Gries of Lost and Napoleon Dynamite) and his motley crew of questionably qualified assistants attempt to help their desperate patients explore the deep-seated roots of their problems via highly unconventional means. Using sedatives and ancient-looking technology, the patients are sent into a deep slumber, and their dreams are projected onto flickering computer screens so that the symbolism and subtext can be analyzed. When things get too rough, Dr. Roberts pops a wire into the USB port that's built right into his (bloodied and swollen) hand and jumps into the dream himself, helping guide patients toward the issues that are really bothering them in hopes they will be able to overcome them.

Is it any good?

While it won't be to everyone's taste, the unique blend of absurdist comedy, body horror, and an underlying tinge of melancholia make this show a real standout in the Adult Swim lineup. Dr. Roberts is a madman, to be sure, but Gries imbues him with a sincerity and an odd twinge of sweetness that makes him more than just a "nutty professor" type. Mark Proksch's assistant character Randy Blink straddles a fine line between dorky and creepy, and he makes even throwaway lines hilarious with his affable and genuine delivery. Mary Lynn Rajskub (24) and Liam Neeson are just a few of the celebs who make unexpected and amusing cameos.

As surreal and at times violently weird as this laboratory may be, at its heart this is a workplace comedy, which makes sense when you realize the executive producers are Stephen Merchant (who co-wrote and co-directed The Office UK, and also voices Dream Corp LLC's witty helper robot, T.E.R.R.Y.) and John Krasinksi (who starred in the US version of The Office). With an episode length of only 11 minutes, it's worth checking out for fans of the unconventional and loony.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the way Dream Corp LLC's "scientists" decode what's happening in their patients' dreams. Have you ever tried to analyze your own dreams? Do you think there's any real meaning in them?

  • The show uses rotoscope-style animation to explore the subconscious mind. How might this be a more effective technique than if they'd used live action for dream sequences?

  • How does Dr. Roberts measure up as a boss? How about as a doctor? Does it seem like he is helping or hurting his patients with his unorthodox methods?

TV details

For kids who love quirky comedy

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