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?

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

  1. Vanessa Saxton says:

    Absolutely loved this story arc. I was in 10th grade when it came out and I remember being so confused that a dixie cup of grain alcohol could get two people so drunk. This was the book that made me hate Jessica, though.

  2. Enid Rollins says:

    If the Wakefield girls helped plan a terrorist attack (please don’t kill me, I’m not making light of them, just SVH) would the FBI just give them a warning and some community service?

    I wonder how Ned and Alice felt about their girls after the Jungle Prom.

  3. Sarah C. says:

    The guy in the right corner looks a bit like Eric Stoltz.

    I bought this cycle of books recently and failed to derive my usual enjoyment from them. I think Margo’s brutality towards children is pretty inappropriate even for SV. I actually had to stop reading certain scenes because I found her abusive behavior so disturbing.

    Also, isn’t this the one where Jessica starts putting the moves on Todd?

    I love that we know that Lila is the traumatized survivor of an attempted sexual assault because she lets her tan fade, fails to manicure her nails, and wears a sweater from last season (although its still from Bibi’s as opposed to Lisette’s).

  4. Magenta Galaxy says:

    Arts and farts and crafts! I LOVED Wet Hot American Summer!!! Two thumbs up for the reference!!!!

    Also, Sarah C., I agree about Margo’s abusive behavior being disturbing. Between that, and the situation with Lila being resolved the way it is in this story arc, the social worker in me was insulted as a professional and a human being. Because all foster kids light their little sisters on fire, and all victims of sexual assault feel better when their absentee mother shows up. Sheesh!

  5. tinypants says:

    OMG STUDS! That truly is an amazing reference.

    Also is Pamela Robertson the same one Pamela who tries to steal A.J. Whatever-his-name-was from Jessica in… I think “Playing for Keeps”? The one with the big catfight at the fashion show at the end. I have trouble keeping the third-tier characters straight.

  6. Laura @ Hungry and Frozen says:

    “Expunge” – heh.

    I used to enjoy re-reading this series over the summer holidays, but I always started at the one after this – because The Morning After and the jungle prom are just way too painful to deal with. I did find Margo’s behaviour pretty creepy – like when she drowned that little boy? Heavy stuff, even for SVH.

  7. Magpie says:

    tiny pants, that was a different Pamela… I think her surname was Jansen, or something similar?? Though they were both one-dimensional brunettes with less-than-pure reputations, so I can see the confusion. 😉

    As for Margo being creepy – I was actually pretty disturbed by this arc as a kid. All the random, casual murders of innocent little children and nice old ladies on buses really upset me. I love the books now, ’cause they’re so insane, but I was probably too easily scared as a ten-year-old for these!

  8. Margaret says:

    “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?”

    Oooh, you know what that reminded me of? In My So-Called Life, remember when Brian calls the teen hotline and Rayanne answers? She recognizes him but he doesn’t know it’s her. She “takes his mind off his troubles.”

  9. Janelle says:

    I agree that the Margo stuff is a little extreme, however, in the book’s defense (I know, weird right?!), they don’t necessarily generalize that ALL foster children are like that, simply that Margo is. Same deal with Lila, I don’t think we’re supposed to believe that ALL victims of sexual assault would recover by a reunion with their mothers, just Lila. Granted, a little kid reading it might see things differently, but I think a teenager should be smart enough to figure it out!

  10. Jade Wu's Toe Shoe says:

    I remember being totally unimpressed with the Pamela on the cover, considering Bruce went on and on about how she was even more perfect and beautiful than poor dead Regina.

    Also, I love that we know it is Bruce because he is wearing a collared shirt and has a sweater slung over his shoulder, whereas the other guy is a peasant in his t-shirt and jeans.

    And finally, I seriously think the picture of the twins was based off of Lucy Lawless, as Xena, with blond hair.

  11. Deathycat says:

    I looooooove this series! Forever and always it will be my favorite. Probably because I read it first. I can see now why the Margo stuff would disturb people, especially being in SV. But I went from Fear Street to SVH so it didn’t bother me. Margo was actually my idol when I was 10-11. Yeah, her and Kimberly Shaw from Melrose Place (who blew up a building and tried to kill a bunch of people among other things).

    “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?”

    I did. But I always made sure to unplug it first. ^_^

  12. Jennifer says:

    I remember reading The Arrest before reading this one. I was in the store, and the name called out to me, because I just couldn’t imagine who was getting arrested and why. So I guess that’s why this one didn’t have that much of an impact on me, because I already knew what was going to happen.

    I agree that Margo was creepy. The ironic thing is, when I first read the book, I didn’t really feel that way, but now, after re-reading them, it creeps me out. Weird, huh? And I mean, with her killing all those kids, it was kind of pointless. They were still looking for her, right? But oh well. And to be honest, I was always intrigued by Margo, and later Nora. Enough to wish that there was a spin-off starring them.

  13. pillshop says:

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