The Morning After…Pill that I need to take to expunge this horrid mess from my memory.

Yup, I went there. Because this was SVH horribleness at its…best. So, it seems that the Pascal empire probably brought in some consultants because their series was getting dated and the kids wanted something more! They needed more scandal, more serial killers, more cheating! So then they stopped everything, whipped out the super special “A Night to Remember” with the Jungle Prom. And then the covers got more modern and the birth of the minseries happened. Apparently Liz and Jess were vying to be the Queen on the Jungle Prom, and Jessica wanted to humiliate Elizabeth, so she spikes her punch. However, Liz runs off with Sam and kills him. You know, the usual teen fare.

Well, barely anything happens plot-wise, because they gotta stretch it out over six books. We meet Margo, who begins to run from her foster home on Long Island (repreSENT!) and the raspy voice in her head tells her to head to Southern California. Meanwhile, she leaves her foster sister in a kerosene-soaked kitchen and tells her to stick a knife in the toaster. Wow, that’s great. Didn’t the ghosties worry that someone would imitate it? Like when Marylin Manson told kids to bring guns to school?

Apparently at the dance, there was a big showdown with Big Mesa. And apparently no one reads anything because we have the same plotline later on, with no reference to a previous school rivalry brawl. During the fight, Bruce falls for Pamela Robertson, but apparently she is the biggest slut since…Bruce. Double standard much? That’s Brucie on the left bottom of the cover watching Pammy being dropped off for a night of sexin’.

And obvs the brunette is Lila, we know this because of the preppy scarf over the sweater look. She is running from Nathan Pritchard, the school counselor who tried to take advantage of her at the dance. Only he didn’t really, she just thought that up. Stupid Lila! Doesn’t she know rape is usually something women cry when they are confused? Lila goes totally emo and George doesn’t know what to do so he calls Lila’s heathen mother, who ran off to Paris with her boyf a while back.

And then we have an Olivia storyline, which is even painful to have to go over again. She is taking art classes at a special arts and farts and craft school, and some guy wants to buy her painting for a thousand bucks. He tricks her into thinking she will be making a speech at an arts foundation, but really its his house and he tells her to trick her there to be alone with her. Instead of not trusting him, she falls in lurve because he’s rich. In Sweet Valley world, stalking is a huge turn-on, bonus points if its a rich guy (ain’t that right, Nicholas?)

And then there is the sob story with the twins. Yikes. Can’t even bring myself to summarize. Better to relive some of the craptastic quotes.

[Bruce on the rivalry with Big Mesa] For several weeks tension had been building between the two schools. A few weiners like Todd Wilkins had tried to diffuse the situation. Yup, he called Todd a weiner. Good insult, Bruce.

[Alice talking about her latest interior degin job] “You’ll love the plans for the new wing of the city building,” Alice Wakefield was saying as she drove toward the school. “We’re going with a Spanish-style look, with lots of sunlight.” Why wouldn’t she go with Spanish-style? It’s the only style she knows.

Amy was used to talking with people about their problems. She was a volunteer on the Project Youth Hotline after school. But it was different when the people in trouble were your own best friends, Amy had discovered. I bring this up because I can’t fucking stand how after like two hours of hotline work, Amy has become a saint. And seriously, are there that many people calling the hotline? And once people realize they are talking to Amy, wouldn’t they hang the fuck up?

[Bruce again, on the prowl for Pamela] He stepped out of the Porsche, patted the hood protectively, and walked up to two girls who wee passing by. Normally he wouldn’t bother with girls as plain as these two- the heavyset one had thick glasses, and her friend was mousy looking. Good lord, she has glasses! How do they even let her out of the house? Also, note they go to Big Mesa, because SVH would never let these girls roam their halls.

“I was flipping the channels on the TV late last night and I saw the strangest program” Mr. Wakefield began…”It’s a brand new show. Has anyone heard of Hunks?” Wow, totally early 90s reference, probably written because of the popularity of Studs. Wait a minute, why the fuck was Ned watching this? This leads into a future plot where everyone feels bad for Nicholas Morrow and gets him on the show. I can’t wait to read that plotline. Except that I can.

[Margo at a job interview] She smiled broadly. “You know how active teenage boys are!” What I know about teenage boys could curl your hair, lady, Margo bragged silently. Wait, hold up! Now Margo is a slutty McSlutterson? That was never mentioned again. Of course, Margo the serial killer is a non-virgin, because girls who have sex are evil. And if you have sex before the age of 18 in Sweet Valley, your fate is apparently to be pushed out of a window and murdered.

[Winston talking to Bruce] “I heard you were chasing after some new woman- did you finally catch her? That would explain all the extreme happiness”. “Either that or the Dow Jones is up,” Maria said dryly. Sorry, I just had to include this one because it is a rare occasion that one of these alleged teens says something remotely witty.

[When the police finally show up to question Elizabeth about the accident]. “Elizabeth, we’re trying to be patient with you, but you’ve already been given a lot more breaks than you know about. Normally, in a case like this, we would have pulled you in weeks ago.””Frankly, I’ve been wondering why you didn’t,” Ned Wakefield admitted. AAARRRRGGHHHHH! The twins are so fucking perfect that even the police give them special treatment? Questioning my ass, Elizabeth would have been HANDCUFFED AND DRAGGED AWAY at the scene of the crime. AND Jessica hides the fact that she spiked the drink, and lets Elizabeth go through the whole trial? And Jessica isn’t arrested for withholding that? Ugh. Why am I even surprised?

The Patmans of Sweet Valley: All the world’s a stage

Previously on our epic Patman saga…

So Emma Elliott, in 1846, who is Sophie’s daughter, who is now sixteen, wants to be an actress after seeing one play. Her father does not approve but her mother gives her a wad of money and tells her to follow her dream to London. She says that it is because she has too many regrets in life and tells her daughter about almost eloping with Henry Patman.

So Emma changes her name to Vanessa Saxton and tries to get jobs with theater companies in the “big city”. To show she is a naive, stupid woman, and to illustrate to all of us that women who venture out on their own deserve what they get, she goes to an audition “after hours” at a theater company and the guy tries to full on rape her. She runs out the street and uh oh, is basically raped by two thugs on the street. Seriously, women should know better! They need to stay in their place!

Some nice “bobby” rescues her and takes her in the live with him and his family. He is an Irish man named Patrick O’Sullivan, and he embodies every stereotype of an Irishman. I’m surprised they don’t have him walking around with a freaking cauldron of gold coins and a little green hat. And also, let’s talk about the improbabilityof that happening- I hate when that is used as a plot device. In reality, when does anyone just take someone in and care for them? It just happened in Enchanted, it happened in Showgirls, and in countless other movies I can’t think of at the moment. Bobby Patrick is of course in love with Vanessa and she agrees to marry him because hey, he’s there and has a pulse. A little while later she meets Grady Phillips who runs a theater company and after a three-second interaction invites her to join his company and tour the world. They end up falling in love later and getting married. Patrick O’who?

This segment was boring and pointless, and annoyed me because Vanessa’s success was due to incredibly lucky situations and others swooping in and rescuing her, and nothing she does for herself.

What does this tell us about Bruce Patman? He was a flair for the drama? I don’t know.

After this it gets really good, I promise. We get into civil war politics and the underground railroad. For reals.