We have made it to the end of the first part of a journey which is taking us to a faraway place.
Watching the full 64 episodes from season one of Dream Team was a challenge. Of course, this is a challenge I did not actually attempt. I sure as hell watched all 20-something episodes available online in the year 2020, however, and you are very welcome for my act of martyrdom.
Having missed so many episodes, do I know what’s going on? Absolutely. But, have I likely missed a handful of outlandish deaths? Definitely.
Trying to piece together the gaps between available episodes has been a fairly interesting exercise. You tend to enter each episode with three questions:
1. Is Karl Fletcher still sleeping with the Harchester United chairperson?
2. Is Karl Fletcher (also) sleeping with her daughter?
3. Is Karl Fletcher still on the cocaine?
It is quite suspenseful, mind, being in the dark about the Fletcher cocaine narrative. Is he staring at that bag of powder regretfully because he’s been caught? Is he staring at that bag of powder regretfully because he knows he shouldn’t be engaging in such things as an athlete? Hold on a minute, is that a look of regret at all? Is he going to rack up a line right here in the Harchester dressing room?!
Really, though, Karl Fletcher has been a bit of a passenger in season one. It’s all about the Hocknells, from start to finish.
We thought Dean Hocknell’s goose had been cooked. After messing up his engagement to Lucy Patcham by sleeping with Georgina, Dean was shipped off to Genoa on loan. He returns with a fancy jacket and, inexplicably, another fiancee. Her name is Natalie, and he neglects to inform her that he got Georgina pregnant. He also neglects to inform her that he’s a cheating piece of shit.
But, the Dream Team writers love to hand out a bit of karma, even if it makes no sense. And you know what? I respect that. I respect the fact that the writing team are hell-bent on exacting revenge on deserving Dream Team characters that it really doesn’t matter if they have to dish out a random death here or a nonsensical extramarital affair there.
On this occasion, the attempted revenge comes at Dean via his brother, Sean. It should be stated that Dean and Sean have had no falling out ever, really. There is no reason for Sean to feel vengeful in any way. So, there should be absolutely zero reason for Sean to want to, say, ruin Dean’s engagement. But, this is Dream Team and you can leave your expectations of coherent storylines at the door.
After meeting Natalie for the first time, it is clear that Sean is smitten with his brother’s fiancee. Sean becomes Dream Team’s version of Trey Songz, going full Mr. Steal Yo Girl on Dean. As far as fictitious characters go, Dean is quite possibly the least charismatic person in the history of television. This crucial absence of personality allows Sean’s charm to sweep Natalie off her feet and, truly, leave the marriage in real doubt.
However, Natalie comes to her senses. After fending off one last push from Sean on the eve of the wedding, she ties the knot with Dean. Sean sulks for a little while, then goes in as best man for the wedding he tried to ruin. That’s the best thing about Dream Team - the characters can just drop certain things as if they have forgotten how they felt five minutes ago.
We are left with no idea why on earth Sean wanted to ruin Dean’s life and, similarly, no clue how he managed to get over the heartbreak caused by Natalie so quickly. Sometimes, watching Dream Team characters behave is akin to watching people in The Sims go through computer-generated freak-outs after you’ve forgotten to feed them.
Admittedly, the revenge on Dean is weak and dissatisfying. I was hoping for Sean to show up to the wedding, shout “the Patchams send their regards!” and whisk Natalie away in a Ford Escort to enjoy a better life. Alas, she has to put up with the insufferable bore that is Dean Hocknell for the rest of her life.
The dissatisfaction I felt watching this storyline unfold was nothing compared to how Georgina took it, however. She was so miffed to see her former crush Dean Hocknell get hitched that she ended up taking an overdose and almost killing herself. Her fate gets slightly forgotten in the final episode, though, so I’m not quite sure if she is currently dead or alive. I am also unsure if the loose end was a mechanic by the writers to get us back for season two, or whether they just forgot to tell us that a central character has actually been killed off.
In fairness, I’ve found myself losing my train of thought and walking into lamp posts while contemplating the 20-something episodes of Dream Team that I’ve seen. If I had been involved in the actual creation of 64 episodes of utter chaos, my head would certainly have fallen off by now. So consider a free pass available to all the writers for everything that I’ve said here.
Harchester United have survived in the Premier League. I have survived the rigours of season one of Dream Team. Life really does work in mysterious ways.