The Patmans of Sweet Valley: Nice shootin’, Tex!

Previously on the Patman saga…

April 1886. Katherine Richmond is the granddaughter of Vanessa Saxton, who we last saw being randomly assaulted and taken in by men of London. She is also an actress and has just served as an understudy for the lead who had dyspepsia. That means heartburn, but they are trying to make it old-fashioned sounding. So, she gets asks to join the Royal Shakespeare Company who will be touring the US. They stop in Kansas City and Katherine is sweating and a strapping young lad offers her lemonade. And wouldncha know, it’s John Patman, the son of James Patman, our friendly slave-emancipator. And like in true Sweet Valley fashion, they are suddenly in love and want to make babies.

John comes to every one of her shows and sits in the front row. Creepy. Then he spends his earnings at the local saloon on an engagement ring which he plans to give Vanessa on her last night so that she will stay in Kansas City with him. He might as well pee in a circle around her. Right as he is closing up the saloon, two bandits come in and hold up the place. I think the ghostwriters did their historical research by watching Back to the Future III. So he never makes it to the play and Katherine heads off to New York, heartbroken. Somehow in New York, she learns about the hold up so she simply hops a train back to Kansas City to find John. She goes to his house where he finds his brother Brewster who is essentially, “John’s not here, but I’d hit that.” Katherine hops the train back to New York. Then she gets a telegram in New York that her parent’s theater burned down in London and her whole family was killed. What?? They really like to drop bombs in this one.

First of all, I love how Kathrine just hops a train back and forth from New York to Kansas City. Google maps tells me it’s 18 hours with modern cars, with trains it must take I don’t know, 2 weeks? Furthermore, the men in the Patman line get to do heroic shit like help slaves to freedom, and the women are all about lost loves. I know the times weren’t exactly ripe for women’s lib, but come on here.

Next up: John Patman joins the Rodeo. Think Gyllenhaal in Brokeback. Hawt.

This is surreal. It’s like I am relieving the early 90s. I am writing this as I am watching the My So-Called Life dvd box set that I just got. Angela went to the Buffalo Tom concert hoping to hang with Jordan but he totally snubs her. “By the way, I spell my name with one L!” Go girl.

Speaking of historical fiction, I thought I’d recommend the House of Elliot series. It is awesome. Two sisters start a fashion design house in 1920s London, and all sorts of dramatic Sweet Valley High-esque drama happens. Someone tries to sabotage the company, there are all sorts of romantic drama, etc. And amazing clothes, obvs.

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6 thoughts on “The Patmans of Sweet Valley: Nice shootin’, Tex!

  1. Stacy says:

    Go, now…go!

    I love that box set. I have the little lunchbox, too.

    Favorite quote from this post: “I think the ghostwriters did their historical research by watching Back to the Future III.”

  2. ChrisD says:

    I actually hired a dress from the people who did the costume design for House of Eliot. I never actually saw the series, but it was a plain brown silk dress with a gold and brown bolero. If you happen to see it, let me know which episode it was on in.

    P.S. I love the recaps (with 100% added snark) but I think you overestimate the amount of influence this sizeism etc. has on young growing girls. I read these, enjoyed them and then forgot them.

  3. 1979semifinalist says:

    i have to say, i don’t think the impact on sizeism on young girls is overestimated at all in this blog.

    i too read them and THOUGHT i forgot them…but even today i have a lot of screwed up ideas about what women are supposed to look like (most especially what I am supposed to look like)…and i had to get those ideas from somewhere, while i don’t blame SVH entirely, there were obviously many other influences both good and bad in my youth, i do give SVH a big portion of the blame because SVH had my mind completely captivated at a very young age…

    and i believed every word i read.

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