To whomever told me I should read this, we are so fighting right now

Shut up shut up shut up. You’re a teen soap opera star and life is hard, wah. Shana is a bigger pain in the ass than Jessica Wakefield. Although, being on the soap opera does seem rather boring. Aren’t their child labor laws? And she mostly does scenes with her grandmother, another famous star. Who, apparently, has switched over from another soap opera just to monitor Shana’s progress. Shana’s grandmother is a slave driver who makes Shana practice all the time. Gee, imagine that? Having to work at your craft.

Also, Shana is dating Mitch, the male lead on the show. I think Mitch is about thirty five years old. They break up near the beginning, and Shana suspects her bff on the show, Katie, who plays Mitch’s love interest, is interested in him. But, Mitch treats Katie like shit and berates her in front of everyone, but Katie can’t help loving him. See, it really is a soap opera! ON SCREEN AND OFF SCREEN!

Meanwhile, Shana gets involved in the hottie guest star, some famous tennis player. She takes him out to impress him at- get this- THE HARD ROCK CAFE! What’s next, the Red Lobster in Times Square? Meanwhile Shana learns that her grandmother is only pushing her for her own good. Also, Shana does have a mother, who apparently just doesn’t want to raise her. So I guess I could give her a break.

The whole time I was reading this inside I was screaming DO THESE GIRLS GO TO SCHOOL? About three-quarters through it was revealed they go to a special school for kids in the biz and is very flexible. Well, that’s convenient.

Someone somewhere commented that they would rather read about the popular, glamorous rich kids when they read teen books instead of the shy regulars, but I disagree. Especially when…her life doesn’t seem to be much fun. Most of the other stars on the show are older and Shana doesn’t even seem to enjoy it.

Also, I had that sweater in about 4 different colors. I got them at G&G at the mall. Did that store even exist? Did I dream it?

I was never totally into sop operas, but for a few months in 1995-1996ish I was way into General Hospital. Mostly because I had an obsession with Steve Burton [who I first fwell in luv with on Out of This World]. There was some pretty kick ass plots and some hotties then. Sonny, the hard gangsta guy, was falling in love with Brenda [Vanessa Marcil] who was just rejected by one of the smokin’ Quartermain brothers. I was also obsessed with the Quartermains because they were rich and cocky bastards. Well, Jack Burton was the nice one.Β  Rena Sofer played a manager to a guy who was a rock star in his secret life, and an accountant by day and poor Rena Sofer didn’t know that. [He was the middle-aged male Hannah Montana].

This is a recent picture. Are they still on the show? Just make out already.

The other thing that was pretty kick-ass is that each year the hospital would put on a benefit and the characters would put on a hokey variety show. And it would last all week. Lucy, the town bitch, would host it and wear a different outfit each scene. Robin, the town’s Elizabeth Wakefield, was dating a guy named Stone that I thought was super dreamy but then he died of AIDS. Ruh roh! Also, some mean guy Damien was playing a Dangerous Liaisons type game with the town bitch and played some woman, who turned psycho and tried to kill Damien to get her revenge.

must. find. copy.

I am equally ashamed and impressed with myself that I remember all those plot points.

46 thoughts on “To whomever told me I should read this, we are so fighting right now

  1. jms says:

    In the late 80s, I would have wanted to be the girl on the left. Blond? Check. Blandly pretty? Check. Totally awesome pastel patterned sweater? Oh, check.

    Never read this series. It seems to lack the magic of SVH.

  2. Fi says:

    I had totally forgotten that this series existed! I remember reading a few of them from my local library – can’t remember whether I thought they were any good mind. I suppose I must have done to read more than one.

  3. Rio says:

    MTV would have totally made this book into a reality show if it were printed in this decade.

    Is the girl in the white dress wearing a flesh-coloured tank top under it? It sure doesn’t look like a bra.

  4. rma910 says:

    I watched “one life to live” for a bit in college, and am SO glad I kicked the habit. πŸ™‚ I can’t remember any plot though… just a lot of drama (surprise, surprise).

  5. Marie says:

    The G+G store totally existed! I had forgotten about it too until you mention it. The store sold cheap and trendy clothes made from synthetic materials (not unlike Forever 21 today). It was kind of like the other cheap and trendy store in the mall Rave. I haven’t seen one in years!

  6. girlonthepark says:

    Aw! I loved General Hospital at that time too . . . or maybe slightly after when original hot Nikolas joined the cast. The Nurses’ Ball episodes were so much fun – I wonder if they still do those?

  7. Katy says:

    I read a couple of this series, and I owned the one where they go to the Emmys or the Soap Emmys or something, and the dresses on the cover are ’80stastic! And rather cheap looking. Like Barbie dresses in biggere sizes. Even back then, at a tender age, I remember thinking, “Are you supposed to wear something nicer than a dress from Sears to the Emmys?”

    There was a vaguely similar story called Make Me A Star about a bunch of teens on a primetime drama that was much better than this.

  8. Misti says:

    Whee! General Hospital in 95-96 was Soooooo Awesome! I still get a lil’ misty thinkin about Stone n Robin!!! Sonny n Brenda forever!!!

  9. Magpie says:

    I’ve never read any of these, but it seems I wasn’t deprived of anything great. It kind of looks like one long version of that boring SVH book, “Soap Star”, even down to the girl dating the male lead who’s a bit of a jerk. Is there nothing SVH didn’t rip off?

  10. EQH says:

    I definitely had that outfit on the left. And I WISHED I had that hair. She looks like Stacey McGill. Sigh, I wish pining after pastel sweaters and perms still made me happy……..

  11. Sadako says:

    I felt that way, too, EQH, except replace Stacey McGill with Claudia Kishi. I wished I could wear an outfit that on anyone else would look ridiculous!

  12. Jen S. says:

    Days Of Our Lives for me. Loved that show in high school. And years later the guy who played Roman came through my checkout line of my job at the time and was super nice and cool! Yeah!

    Shana, your grandmama wants you to practice so you’re not trapped on a soap with its insane scheduling and hideous hair/wardrobe for the rest of your freakin’ life like she is. Sarah Michelle Gellar was one in a million.

  13. nichole says:

    I loved the All That Glitters series. I read a lot of them. I was so into soaps when I was growing up. I’d watch with Grandma after school and during vacations. So this series appealed to me on that level. I am still addicted to General Hospital and Steve Burton is still hot.

  14. adventurepants says:

    Nowadays Robin is totally cooler than Elizabeth Wakefield.

    Also, I can’t even remember plot points to soaps I’ve watched way more recently than 1996. We’re talking, like, 2006ish. I barely remember a thing.

  15. 1979semifinalist says:

    Oh my shame that I know all those plot points from GH that you’re talking about…and also that I too fell hard for Steve Burton…though I came on slightly later than you did, when Burton was no longer a “Quartermaine” and instead was badass Jason Morgan.

    I have to disagree with you on Robin though. Yes, she was too perfect and too sweet, which was often annoying, but I loved her anyway…she was WAY better than Elizabeth Wakefield. The only thing better than the Jason/Robin love affair was the Lucky/Elizabeth love affair. I had some episode on tape for years unable to throw it out because I was still so secretly smitten with the whole Lucky/Elizabeth thing. For me, soaps are largely terrible things and a massive waste of time, but having been subjected to One Life to Live (and loved it when I was very young and my mom watched it) and Days of Our Lives (when roommates in college watched it), I have to say that at least for the time period I watched it, General Hospital was a cut above the others…it was like the upper echelon of soaps. And it had Vanessa Marcil! And whoever the actor was that played Jax who was also super dreamy.

    That said, seeing my nerdom/fandom of writing all the above makes me really glad I kicked the habit many many years ago.

    Just this past weekend I also have to confess, I stopped on something on TV that had Steve Burton in it – and Robert Redford – what a shock to see them on screen together. It was a not good film called The Last Castle…I’m ashamed to say I watched the entire thing because of Burton and not Redford (or even Mark Ruffalo, who I also like). I must admit though Burton held his own well enough on screen (not a tough role) his hair was ridiculous.

  16. Seahag18 says:

    I have to throw one more 80’s / really early 90’s store in here; and one mentioned in the BSC series: Merry Go Round! Ahh the days of Skidz, Z cavariccis & champion shirts.

  17. WIllowtreeling says:

    That book reminded me of this one, which I remember checking out from the library and quite liking!
    And, I totally went to Contempo Casuals, Wet Seal and Annie Sez. There was one other one in our mall, but I can’t remember what it was called. I bought many a pair of shorts with that weird denim fold-over thing at the waist. They all came with the same white belt.

  18. Heidi says:

    Oh, man. I had the first book in this series when I was a pre-teen and wanted to get the next two but couldn’t find them anywhere. I’m not even sure I made it through the first book it was so awful, even back then. I guess I just liked looking at the covers.

  19. maybeimamazed02 says:

    Ah yes, Merry Go Round. I remember buying matching necklaces for my best friend and me…mine had a red stone, hers had a white stone.

    Does anyone remember Gadzooks? I totally bought baby T’s and a glow in the dark claw clip with yin-yangs on it. Christ.

  20. Bridget Locke says:

    Oh, GH. *sigh* I go through spurts (even now…don’t hurt me) where I watch it. The thing that’s scary? All the actors who were hawt way-back-when are now…scary. Even Steve Burton. *icky shiver* I loved the Robin/Stone storyline, esp. the epi when he died and could see her seconds before he kicked the bucket. My 17 year old heart bled. *sniffle*

    Brenda & Sonny were awesome. I always thought she was nuts for blowing him off for Jax. I mean, dude, the guy’s name was JASPER! Ack, ack, ack! That’s always been my biggest pet peeve with soaps. They name their characters the most ridiculous things. *shakes head*

  21. Fuzzy says:

    G+G, Contempo, Wet Seal, and Deb supplied my entire wardrobe from 1994-1998. If I had had the money, it would have been supplemented by clothes from Delia’s. I coveted every item in their catalogue. Yes, I got a catalogue.

    Now that I think about it, I’d say that at least 25% of the clothes that I still wear came from one of those stores at one point. No wonder why my mom wants to put me on What Not To Wear. Whatever, mom, I look slammin’ in my polyester skin-tight chartreuse top.

  22. nikki says:

    I totally shopped at Deb. I remember the garish purple carpeting and the fact that the clothes racks hung from the ceiling by chains. I thought that was awesome. I also shopped at Rave every now and then….

  23. Maureen says:

    OMG! THANK YOU for reminding me of my former love for the craptastic-but-awesome GH years, circa mid-90s! Remember Jagger and Karen? And how she became a “stripper” and would swing around on a pole to “Angel in a Centerfold?”

    I seriously wonder how I can remember this stuff yet forget my ATM pin number on a regular basis…

  24. Jan says:

    I LOVED Merry Go Round as a teen OMG! Does anyone remember 5-7-9? Or Weathervane?? My high school days were pretty much filled with clothes by Merry Go Round, 5-7-9 and oh yes- Fashion Bug. I believe Fashion Bug is still around.

  25. 1979semifinalist says:

    But Bridget – how is Jasper a worse name than Sonny or Stone? πŸ™‚

    I’ll give you Jasper Jax is ridiculous, but Jasper on it’s own is a great name I think…certainly in comparison to Stone…

    Ah GH, I almost watched it today because of this posting ihatewheat.

    I’m happy to say I managed to slide through my unemployed afternoon without checking it out…barely.

    Cnesto: Contempo Casuals. I had somehow managed to repress that…thanks for bringing it back! πŸ™‚

  26. ihatewheat says:

    Great. Now I added GH to my TiVo. Sonny is still on it- I wonder how he looks? Also, it seems that several of the characters have been on it for more than 10 years. I guess being on a soap is a steady paycheck.

  27. Seahag18 says:

    fashion bug IS still around! 579 too I think, and Wet Seal. Oh the flashbacks. Garish fluorescent lighting & bad clothes.

    GH in the mid 90’s is when I watched it – totally remember the Karen/Jagger/Brenda triangle…and when Karen & Jagger got married they left; then Karen played by a different actress went on the spinoff soap Port Charles, now divorced. I think I read somewhere that Jagger showed up again on GH not long ago.

  28. ihatewheat says:

    Was Jagger Antonia Sabato Jr? I kind of remember they were supposed to get married in the local pub but then Jagger was shot and didn’t make it. Then they eloped. Karen was boring.

  29. Bridget Locke says:

    1979semifinalist-True, very true. πŸ™‚

    I loved Stefan Cassadine played by Stephen Nichols? Crap! He played Patch on Days of Our Lives (talk about history). When I was a kid (as in 6) my babysitter was totally into Days and Santa Barbra (anyone remember that one?). This was back in the days of the fun DooL. πŸ™‚

    Speaking of oldies, anyone remember Swan’s Crossing the “pseudo” soap that starred Sarah Michelle Gellar? It lasted exactly 13 weeks and was HORRIBLE! Here’s the linky- The sad thing? I watched every single episode. I was 15! Sheesh! I can still remember Sydney’s (SMG’s character)bedroom. I think it was because of the HUMONGOUS bed that took up 90% of the room. Huh…

  30. Kathryn says:

    Swan’s Crossing! That show was so horribly addicting!!! And the blond check went on to be one of the Wakefiled twins!

  31. tinypants says:

    Ummm soooo… are we in a fight now?

    Technically I didn’t “tell” you to read this, but in my comment on “Taffy Sinclair Goes to Hollywood” I was like oh have you ever heard of these other series that are all about girls starring on crap television. I’d never read “All That Glitters” though, only “Hollywood Wars”! I think this is the first time I’ve ever even seen the cover of one of them… I’m pretty sure I mostly know “All That Glitters” as one of those ads with the order form at the bottom that they put on the back pages of series books.

    Also, why are they both looking at different things, and what’s with the hands? Are they miming eating chili dogs or something?

  32. Stephanie says:

    As soon as I read this recap and clicked on the comments I was *hoping* someone would bring up Swans Crossing. Ahhh, so bad, yet so good. So much love. And it was actually 65 episodes, not 13. They’re actually on You Tube in all their early 90s glory. Sarah Michelle Gellar with huge hair? High waisted pants and giant cell phones? A girl who lives on a sub and bald Russian spies? Check, check, check, check.

  33. Seahag18 says:

    Swans Crossing fun soap fact: the guy who played SMG’s boyfriend was also on AMC as Stuart’s son

    Swans Crossing fun life fact: The daughter of a former co-worker was on the show! I am pretty sure she played the girl on the sub.

    Santa Barbara was the first soap I ever watched – had Sydney Penny who was also on AMC & the best tv miniseries ever, The Thornbirds!

    Yes, Antonio Sabbato Jr was Jagger.

  34. Lindsay says:

    I loved the ATG series. Book 4 had Shana is an awesome red dress–ha ha! I always wondered what happened to the girls on the cover. I think the blond (Katie) was also the ballerina in the “Satin Slippers” series although at the time I never made the connection.

    Anyone remember a store called Jean Nicole or something like that? My mom too me in there as a kid & I was sooo intimidated by the older girls in there.

    I liked Jason, but Jagger & Sonny had more of a bad boy thing going on. Oddly though, when Jason had his accident, he became a bad boy & I was no longer into him. His brother A.J. was more my type. They actually looked like they could have been brothers, too.

  35. ihatewheat says:

    tinypants, I’m not fighting with you! Several people have mentioned it before.

    I watched GH on Friday. Jason was mad at something so he smashed a plant.

    So he had amnesia after an accident? Sounds like an SVH plotline.

    And AJ Quartermain! Yes! Loved him. He had a Bruce Patman vibe.

  36. Lindsay says:

    Yeah, Jason was in a car with A.J. who had been drinking & up till then Jason was the boring pre-med student (and used to date Karen), the good son & they crashed & he had a head injury and woke up all different. He left the family and took his grandma’s maiden name “Morgan” and went to work for Sonny. I stopped watching after the 80th time Sonny & Brenda broke up.

  37. Jade Wu's Toe Shoe says:

    I remember laughing at the cover of Taffy Sinclair Goes To Hollywood because of “Stacey’s” odd palms-face-up-in-the-air shtick . . . and here we have two more cover models striking nearly the exact same pose. Additionally, I hate myself for thinking that the blond girl looks like a mini Heidi Montag. I’m so ashamed that I even know who Heidi Montag is.

  38. IdenticleM says:

    Oof. I watch GH still. (I’ve even been to “fan” events…but I will maintain till the day I die that they’re for my mom, who I bring with me, and who, at 50-something, LOVES Jason. Me, I’m a Sonny fan.)

    Ahem. Anyway. Carry on. I definitely didn’t read this book, but looking at it now, it makes me cry that I never got the chance. I would have been so, so into it.

  39. shelly says:

    I am amazed that someone else remembers this series. I actually still have about 10 of these booked at my parents house in a box (though how i manaed to get so many while living in Germany I truly forget)

    You actually had a bunch of the books I used to read (Sunfires, SVH) If you find one you should read the “Swept Away” series – It was a time traviling love story series I read in Middle/Early High school

    As the Wonderful world to 80’s girl fics

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