There’s no business like show business…except when the BSC fucks it up

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Wow, after I stopped reading the series, the BSC got really cranky and was more interested in cutting each other down. I just read this one for the first time, because you know my feelings about super specials. What a mess.

So SMS is putting on a play- Peter Pan, and it’s really a district-wide thing, because kids from the high school and elementary school are also auditioning. Because the producer, Mr. Cheney, must be on crack. Because putting on a play with lots of little kids is a good idea. Chya. BUT of course that allows the BSC to further hang out with little kids in their free time, which we know they love to do.

I don’t know who Watson paid off or Kristy’s Mom slept with, because Kristy has the lead as Peter Pan and Karen and David Michael get major roles. Karen is the most spoiled brat on the planet. She throws a temper tantrum because she wants to play Tinkerbell in the human form and wear a fairy costume, and the school gives in. And THEN she screams she wants fairy dust. Oh, dear god, how I hate this child.

Jessi is so sure that she will get the role of Peter Pan and is overconfident and then is bitchy to everyone when she gets a small part. Eventually Mr. Cheney makes her assistant choreographer, because it’s a genius idea for an eleven year old to be in charge of that. When Jessi sees that she is not listed as “assistant producer” in the program, she takes her name out. She is really a bitter brat almost on the Karen level. Jessi is black, btw.

Mary Anne of course doesn’t want a part, but she hangs out with the kids anyway so Mr. Cheney makes her the “backstage babysitter” so of course Mary Anne foams at the mouth and is all proud to work for free. In fact, she gets pissed when Mallory tries to talk to her OWN brothers and sisters, who are all conveniently in the play as well and MA gets all huffy and is all, “I’M the backstage babysitter, so fuck off Mallory.” Geez, the older members still get a kick of acting superior over their “junior members.”

Mal’s plot is that she is the assistant costume whatever, and is embarassed to take the boys’ measurements. Thrilling.

Logan is a pirate and acts like a tool and gets kicked out of the play but then asked back. He gets a chapter from his perspective, and thank god it wasn’t written with his southern accent, which the writer usually likes to express phonetically.

Claudia’s painting scenery and is afraid it will fall over. Again, thrilling.

Stacey is dating Sam Thomas and is pissed he never introduces her to his high school friends. She and Sam are cast as Mr. And Mrs. Darling and she is all embarassed when Sam loves to joke about them being married. Shut up Stacey, you got what you wanted, why are you so pissed. Sam, in his chapter, describes Stacey as “gorgeous, sophisticated, and popular” when in fact she is not so popular because she only hangs out with the BSC (until she grows some ovaries later on in the series). So really, by that theory, Kristy is as popular as Stacey.

Jackie Rodowsly is cast as the youngest Darling child, and of course hilarity ensues when he falls all over the place. THEN WHY CAST HIM? Although, I always felt bad for Jackie, he seems like a sweet kid but the BSC hate all over him.

Cokie gets a chapter! I have to say, I am with her in her mocking of the BSC, they are pretty lame, cliquey…AND LOVE TO HANG OUT WITH LITTLE KIDS! I wish she had her own series. She plays Tiger Lilly and gets annoyed when Kristy can’t remember her lines, which IS annoying.

Dawn, the hippy drippy California gal, decides that the play is pretty sexist and wants to update it. Of course, none of the BSC support her in this and just bitch at her to say the right lines. Meanwhile, Kristy, try to remember your freaking lines and maybe act GRATEFUL that you got the lead. I think Kristy and Dawn still have that tension over sharing MA as a bff. Is MA really worth it?

‘Member how the Super Specials have illustrations? And how the girls always look really fugly? They also never have them in fun outfits, like they talk about. And they give Mallory hideous Sally Jesse Raphael glasses. The cover though, is like the most awesome ever. Kristy looks pretty great, actually, and Dawn looks Nicole-Ritchie skinny. Claudia’s outfit- not thrilling. MA looks gorgeous. Logan looks about nine years old.

I can’t deal with all the handwritten stuff, it’s so annoying. Don’t even get me started on Claudia’s stupidosity, but Jessi’s swoopy writing makes me want to gauge my eyes out. Every Super Special has one person requiring others to keep a written account of something, like they give each other fucking homework. Taking a relaxing vacation? Let’s make a mandatory scrapbook. Your friends are missing at sea after a big storm? LET’S MAKE A JOURNAL TO DOCUMENT OUR PAIN! In this one, Jessi gets a job at the SMS newspaper and is writing about people’s experience in the play so she makes everyone submit notes to her.

So maybe it’s a new lens I am looking through, but the BSC seem to be squabbling with each other more than being besties…kinda burst my bubble when I used to read these and dream one day to have a group of friends like the BSC. And I wish that Jessi and Mallory would step up and tell the older members to stop treating them like children…but oh wait, they are.

Hey, remember those episodes of Head of the Class where they would put on the musical? And the cast consisted of basically ONLY the students from the one class and no one else in the school was in it? This is like it. Besides the BSC, and all the kids they sit for, there are like, five people not BSC-related. What is this, an episode of Saved By the Bell?

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Posted in: bsc

30 thoughts on “There’s no business like show business…except when the BSC fucks it up

  1. Tannaqui says:

    Wow, this must be the one Super Special I did not read.
    ….thank god!

    Ugh, Karen weaselling her way in and throwing hissy fits – HATE.

    Is there a book that doesn’t mention ~~Jessi lives for the Ballet~~ oh and btw, she’s black.
    Hah! She’s in a crocodile suit, try doing your jetés in that!

    Claud, why aren’t you rocking your trademark Creative/Kooky/Awesome outfits on the cover?
    You look like Blandy McBoring.
    Mary Ann boring.

    How DID Kristy get lead role?
    I mean, her?

  2. tinypants says:

    “Wow, after I stopped reading the series, the BSC got really cranky and was more interested in cutting each other down.”

    Trust me IHW, they do this in the older books too — just reread #12, Claudia and the New Girl, and watch them put 100-something worth pages of smackdown on Claudia.

    On a semi-related note — I just watched (randomly for the first time) the movie “Valley Girl,” with Nicolas Cage and a whole bunch of people who I would be surprised if they’ve ever been in other movies. I am pretty sure that the guy who did the paintings for the SVH cover saw this movie though, because if it teaches you one thing, it is that weird pouffy pirate blouses (a la “The Ghost of Tricia Martin”) are freakin’ irresistible to boys.

    Actually, all of the fashion points to Valley High School actually being Sweet Valley High. I could totally imagine Dana Larson wearing the crazy boob-belt thing Josie Cotton wears performing in the prom scene.

  3. Renee says:

    Mallory looks like a troll on the cover.

    I reread this one countless times when I was younger. I agree that the BSC members were extra bitchy and non-supportive of one another in this one. I felt like the writers should have made Kristy a bit more sensitive towards Jessi when she got the lead over her, granted Jessi’s moping was annoying. I was always amazed that someone like Kristy could have any friends, she’s such a rude, overbearing biotch. Oh, and what was with Stacey being all annoyed Sam was flirting with her, *sigh* its like there just HAS to be drama, can one of these bitches just have a semi-normal relationship?

    *reminds myself this is a book and not real people*….okay, im done ranting now lol 🙂

  4. Cara Walker says:

    Gee, what a craptastic book this was – no wonder I never read it! I mostly stopped reading BSC around #45 when Kristy took charge of that Mother’s Day parade (I only read the occasional book after that shite book!). OMG, you are so right, this later BSC is so bitchy! Jessi – I have to say I never liked that brat. Dawn should get over her PC-attitude (I guess she is so, like, original, that every time there is some kind of controversy she is all over it like Claudia on a Ring Ding). Karen – please don’t even let me go there – the girl is a spoiled brat.

    Kristy looks as perfectly size 0 as Posh Spice on this cover – how trendy of her. Claudia – OMG – she is actually wearing something that doesn’t look like it was put together by a colour-blind vagrant. I have to admit – I AM SHOCKED! Yes, Renee, Mallory does look like a troll on this cover.

    I have to say, what a totally crap idea for a Super Special. Seriously, the ghost writers must have been struggling here. Given that Sam and Cokie (God bless that girl!) are given chapters, there must be space for only 1-2 chapters per character. Sounds like a load of hodge-podge to me.

    Yes, it ticked me off no end that every Super Special was like a book/article put together by one of the club. Seriously, how many papers etc publish articles by 11-13 year olds? And why the hell they would be interested in having a child write about a children’s play is well and truly beyond me. Once again I must express my absolute disbelief that anyone would entrust their children to 11 year olds.

  5. Beth says:

    I really wish I remembered this one, but apparently my phsyche has erased all traces of BSC “stupidosity” (my new fave word, IHW!) in order for me to function normally. And, honestly, I would like to beat the shit out of Karen. It’s not cute, Ann M, not even close. And, I have a great way to get thru the BSC books as an adult…every time Claudia spells a word wrong, take a shot. You can even vary it- take a shot every time it mentions Jessi is black, or Stacey is sophisticated, etc…..Good Times….good times

  6. annakelly says:

    omg, I bought this same book a year ago because I saw it at an old bookstore and was like, “Surely this will get me back to reading BSC again!” All it did was emphasis the things I hate about the BSC now. But I relished the one chapter that Cokie has. I’d read a whole book with her narration.

  7. glittergirley says:

    omg. jessi is black?!

    seriously i hated ALL jessi books bc she whines and mopes about being black, and how she doesnt fit in. UM, OKAY claudia is Japanese and she fit in JUST FINE. stop being over sensitive. Do you remember that one BSC super special where jessi is suppoed to be a santa for the dept store and she gets all freaked out bc she think the kids will call her out for being black? UGH.

    I read this superspecial a long time ago and i think the only thing i really remember is that logan and his guys yell “MUTINY!” and thats when they got kicked off the set, no?

  8. ihatewheat says:

    Yea, Logan was actually having some fun and that sent Mr. Cheney, the producer, over the edge. No wonder, the poor guy has to put on this play and deal with these bratty kids and the BSC drahma.

  9. glittergirley says:

    oh, also – i love the bsc reviews. keep them coming!

    I found the BEST used bookstore that has a huge collection of bsc and sweet valley anything books. squee!!

  10. Tia says:

    Hahaha, now THIS was the book that made me quit reading the series back in the day! Super glad you reviewed this one. 🙂

  11. athenasmom says:

    I stopped reading the series long before this book came out. I guess I wasn’t missing anything. Does anyone other than Jessi show any interest in performing or the theater in any other book?

    When I saw the cover, all I could think was “Jazz hands!”

    http://athenasmom.wordpress.com/

  12. Jamie says:

    Just a heads up: If you hate those hand-written entires (and there are fonts of the BSC’s handwriting floating around the internet), never, ever attempt to read or review The California Diaries. They’re all 100% hand written, and the only BSC member who is even contributing to that series is Dawn. They were bad. Like reading someone’s personal diaries, and thinking, “Why is this person not medicated?”

  13. RollingStone says:

    So if Karen is Tinkerbell, how do they handle her near-death scene? That sounds a little traumatic for kids!

  14. Alicia E. says:

    I liked this book when it first came out, but looking back, the BSC gals were pretty bitchy to each other.

    Is Sam the only high schooler who actually has a part in the play? It seems like all the big roles are played by middle schoolers or children. Why bother saying it’s a production with the high school, too, if it’s only to get Sam involved?

    Now that I think about it, I believe Stacy and Sam break up in the book where she’s in love with her math teacher, wild wild Wes.

  15. Alicia E. says:

    Whoops. I erased the first part of my comment, which was asking whether Stacy and Sam broke up in this book.

  16. ames says:

    It’s been a million years since I read the BSC, so I must ask: what is the age difference between Stacey and Sam? Them dating makes me a little uncomfortable!

  17. Abby says:

    The guy that plays Captain Hook is in high school. Stacey is 13, and Sam is 15. Only two years, but I think that’s still too much when one of them is in middle school and the other is high school. Stacey and Sam are never actually together, so they don’t officially break up. In fact, does anyone remember a book where they even went out on a date? I think they mostly talked on the phone. During #65, Sam asks Stacey to a middle school dance, and Stacey turns him down. Shortly after that she started dating Robert so I think that was the end of Stacey and Sam.

  18. glittergirley says:

    stacey and sam also went to the shadow lake dance together, in the shadow lake super special. the next morning they eat breakfast with kristy’s family while holding hands.. so sam has to eat his cereal with his left hand. awwww.. romantic!

  19. BadKat says:

    Could Mallory look any older in this picture? Nice old lady frump gear Mal, is that so you seem more mature and authorly? That outfit screams unfashionable high school math teacher.

    And why do Stacy and Sam seem to only date in Super Specials? Am I wrong, or is he always shacked up with some other chick in the regular series and runs to Stacy as soon as they go on vacation, run off to camp, or are cast in a play together? Granted, I recently realized that I stopped reading the BSC fairly early on so I could me missing some Stacy/Sam non-super special book action.

  20. Nadra says:

    GlitterGirley, I don’t think it’s fair to compare Jessi to Claudia. Asians are considered to be the “model minority” and, thus, more acceptable to the mainstream. Therefore, just because Claudia fits in doesn’t mean that Jessi will be accepted so easily. I mean, I haven’t read these books in years, but didn’t people object to Jessi’s family moving into town? Did the town have the same reaction to the Kishis? I think not. If I sound sensitive, it’s because, yes, I’m a black girl who went to a school with an overwhelmingly white student body, and it’s damn hard, so hard that if I have children there’s no way I’d let them endure that experience, if I can help it.

    • Neek1981 says:

      I agree. I was just thinking that although Claudia is a minority,they don’t seem to constantly remind us that she’s a minority, not the way they do with Jessi. Also, I don’t know what book it was in, but I do remember the neighbors were cold to the Ramseys when they first came to town. Also, I think in a book narrated by Kristy, she says that one of her little siblings stared at Jessi because she’s seen so few black people in her life. Even as a young child, I thought that part was weird as hell. This was the 1980s-1990s.
      My family has family in Hartford, CT, and I remember being a bit apprehensive about visiting there as a teenager because I was worried about being stared at! Guess what happened when I got there…nothing. No one gave a shit.
      I know what you mean about being a minority among a big majority Nadra. I grew up in a town in the Deep South that was about 90% white. Not only was I sometimes made to feel awkward, but one of my Asian friends was the target of racism, too. I don’t really understand how Jessi feels so different, but all of this seems to escape Claudia. I guess I’m just analyzing this too much…

  21. Alicia E. says:

    Well, Claudia was the victim of racism in #56, “Keep Out, Claudia.” But I guess the racist mom didn’t like Jessi (or any of the baby-sitters by the end), either.

  22. Bianca Reagan says:

    What Nadra said. Being Asian in America and being black in America are two completely different things. That said, there was a big effort to point out in every BSC book that “Jessi is black!” in every book, probably because that is how Ann M. Martin and the ghosties saw her, as the token black friend.

  23. Laura says:

    If I recall correctly, in “Keep Out, Claudia”, the kids behaved very well for Dawn, marginally well for Mary Anne, and were little brats with Claudia.

    When Jessi arrived to babysit them, the mother told her bluntly that she wasn’t going out and shut the door in her face. The next time she called the BSC, she asked for a blonde-haired, blue-eyed babysitter and Kristy hung up on her. Is my memory correct? It’s been a million years since I read this.

    I agree that a lot was made of Jessi’s blackness in comparison to Claudia’s Asian-ness. It was like because she A) had a hobby, and B) was black, they didn’t have to spend any time developing her character. Even as a white kid growing up in super white suburbia attending a mostly white school, I remember thinking that was weird.

  24. Alicia E. says:

    You’re right, Laura. Kristy said none of the blond-haired, blue-eyed babysitters were available and hung up on her, but then Stacey and Dawn figured the woman wouldn’t like them anyway because they had divorced parents.

    And yeah, Claudia at least made it past the front door, which is more than poor Jessi could say.

  25. SuperPana says:

    I hate Karen Brewer.

    How did she even get to audition for this play (let alone get a role created for her)? Doesn’t she go to some private school somewhere on the other side of town?

  26. Sexy Sadie says:

    I find it odd ( and a bit suspicious) that Jessi didn’t get a bigger part. Seems like a girl with her talents could have played either Peter or Wendy. Also, I agree with everyone who likes Cokie. I’d read a book about her, too!

  27. Jan says:

    I NEVER liked Karen!!! She always annoyed me to no end!
    And I soo remember when ” Head of the Class” put on plays! Remember when they put on ” Hair” and that cute Puerto Rican guy, Alex, played Claude? I think ” Hair” was my favorite- although that fat kid, Dennis, as the plant in Little Shop of Horrors was CLASSIC as well!

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