Video Review: Debbie Gibson "Only In My Dreams"

In black-and-white, a door opens to a bed on a beach. Debbie Gibson wakes up, stretching her arms.

At the amusement park, she sits unbuckled on a ride as it spins in a circle. She taps her foot on the seat.

In black-and-white, she lifts her head and looks at the sky. She rubs her eyes, holding her stuffed animal. On the beach, she runs with her boyfriend, hand-in-hand. She spins around on the beach.

She leans against a wall, her foot on the other wall, with columns behind her.

In black-and-white, she puts her arms around her boyfriend’s neck. She spins around on the beach again.

At the park, she unfolds her legs and then dances by the exit of the ride. On the carousel, she touches each of the horses. By the wall, she stares, with an upset expression on her face.

After rotating back and forth from her dancing on the beach in black-and-white and by the ride, she dances in her pajamas in front of a clothesline, which is in color. Some more dancing by the ride.

In black-and-white, she gets out of bed and gets her robe. She walks past a bicycle and picket fence. Two little girls run while a cherub statue floats in the air. She takes a shirt off the clothesline. A fortysomething woman does a robotic wave.

She leans against the wall and rides the carousel.

Back to the dream, she bends down to a shaman who puts a hand close to her head.

In color, her boyfriend puts his chin next to hers.

In the dream, she dances as the shaman continues to stand.

In color, a beach ball bounces in slow motion towards the ocean. A teacher points to a head and a brain with a stick. Gibson dances by the clothesline. She pouts on the carousel.

Little girls practice at the barre. A windmill spins. A teacher points out the brain and the world again on the chalkboard. She takes a seat at one of the desks. The door opens again , with Gibson sleeping. She holds the sheet to her chest and sits up in bed. Her boyfriend holds onto her shoulders as they run on the beach.

In color, they continue to run hand-in-hand.

In black-and-white, she and her boyfriend glare at another. The glass between them shatters.

In color, a man plays the saxophone in a decrepit warehouse. She and her boyfriend sit together on the carousel. He whispers in her ear. By the clothesline, she claps her hands over her head and dances.

In black-and-white, she dances on the beach again.

She stands up one of the horses. The man plays the saxophone again.

In black-and-white, she runs hand-in-hand with her boyfriend.

Rating: 1/5

According to the trusty Dream Dictionary, Debbie Gibson is in a good place in her life (soothing ocean waves and being in bed). But she has a goal she’s feels as though she is unable to reach (bicycle.) The guys she likes in school aren’t in any of her classes (fence). She thinks of how easy it was to like a boy in elementary school (little girls). Nonetheless, she still has a lot to learn (classroom).  However, past boyfriends have made it difficult for her to truly love again (glass).

However, my personal guess is when she seeks the shaman, she wants answers and for someone to believe in her.

The surreal dream itself, while pertinent, goes off the rails when the she reaches out to the shaman. After the robotic woman waves goodbye to her, she has no choice but resort to help or some form of connection. It stretches itself into a nonsensical metaphor, teetering into the metaphysical without much explanation.

In between, there are happy-go-lucky inserts of her riding the carousel, which after watching the dream, becomes jarring. Even though she’s exuberant on the outside, her lovelorn subconscious deals with the loneliness while her body juggles the hormones. Gibson’s buckling under the pressure of wanting a boyfriend like all her other friends. She fears she will be alone forever.

Director: N/A Year: 1987


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