Regina’s Legacy

Liz: Broad-shouldered and...constipated?

I was going to try to make this one into a one act play or some other format, but it is so goddamn horrible I have to spell it out for you. I couldn’t have made this worse if I tried.

Elizabeth is the center of everyone’s world. The Morrows are going through dead Regina’s stuff, trying to decide what to do with it. Her most prized possession is her camera, so instead of giving it to Nicholas, or, say, the doctor that cured her deafness, they give it to Liz because Regina liked her so much. Of course.

Sweet Valley High is the most unrealistic school in the world. Some guy Jim (who?) starts a photography club and it’s all the rage. BAM! Suddenly SVH has a state of the art darkroom. Wow, Liz, how convenient that you were just given a camera! The club decides to work on a project together. They could do anything in the world, like to a photo essay about the elderly, endangered species, still-lifes…Of course, what do they do? “I could be about life at Sweet Valley High”, Elizabeth suggested. “It could be aphoto essay. Barf! Vom! More navel gazing. And apparently the whole school is supposed to care about the activities of these kids. It’s almost like in High School Musical 3 when their school musical is based on the lives of the main characters, as if the whole school gives a crap. Or, even better, remember in their senior year, the kids of Beverly Hills 90210, had a senior breakfast, and they highlighted the activities of only Brenda and Brandon and their friends? As if West Beverly High cared about their camping trip? I digress.

The kids get entangled in a crime and seek no help from the authorities or their parents. Liz is out taking pics at the beach, and photographs some shady looking guys. They try to attack her to get the camera, and she doesn’t tell any adult. She decides to enlist Todd in investigating the crime, and Todd is happy to go along because it means no fighting and Liz gets all worked up about fighting crime he probably saw a chance to grab some boob. It’s like when Tobias and Lindsay rekindled their passion while spying on Michael’s blind girlfriend.

Jessica is a total idiot and will do anything for the attention from a guy. The creepy criminal who chased Liz sees Jess in her car, pulls her over, and asks about the photograph. Jessica pretends to be Liz because she thinks this creepy thirty-something guy, Chad, is in to her. They go out and Chad demands the picture, so she tells him its in the SVH darkroom. The darkroom gets trashed, and JESSICA TAKES NO RESPONSIBILITY.

Sweet Valley is in an alternate universe. The bad guys…get this… are into DRUGS! ZOMG! How can anyone be that horrible awful? Liz and Todd trail Chad as he tries to take Jessica captive, they get stopped by a cop for speeding, and…

“She’s in terrible trouble,” Elizabeth continued. “The man she is involved in may be involved with drugs!” Elizabeth had never been so serious in her life. The police officer must have sensed this.

After the bad guys are caught, their trial makes national news. Because selling drugs is so horrific! It almost never happens…IN THE FUCKING WORLD! I think the ghostwriters are raised in caves in isolation and have to write in order to be fed. That can be the only explanation for the fucked up, out of left field ways they view teenagers and the world.

Once again, the twins are the center of the universe. The photo club has been keeping their secret photo essay project a secret from anyone, all to the extent that their friends get mad and Jim’s girlfriend breaks up with him. All over this fucking stupid photo essay. Also, the Morrows decide to donate money to rebuild the darkroom so the twins and their friends can continue to have a photography club, and it’s something Regina would have enjoyed.

And here’s and ending that will bring tears to your eyes and chunks to your throat:

“Todd, do you think it might have been partly due to my memory of Regina, and the fact that I was using her camera, that I felt so driven to discover the connection between the photo and the three men on the beach and the news story about the drug ring?”

“You mean because drugs caused Regina’s death?

Elizabeth nodded. “It’s almost as if, in a weird sort of way, some justice has been done. With the help of Regina’s camera, a major drug ring was exposed! Who knows how many lives have been saved?”

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51 thoughts on “Regina’s Legacy

  1. Laura @ Hungry and Frozen says:

    That last exchange between Liz and Todd is nothing short of glorious. The bit where Liz says that the crims are involved in drugs reminds me, of all things, of that bit in Austin Powers where Dr Evil says “one million dollars” and everyone laughs.

    Also, Saved By The Bell is completely guilty of that whole, “the protagonists ARE the whole school” thing. Whenever there was a cheesy clip show all the important moments in the school year were of course related to the main characters.

    Finally: “a chance to grab some boob” made me laugh and I hope to be able to work it into everyday conversation. Somehow.

  2. Carly says:

    It kind of saddens me to think I read that last paragraph as a teenager and never saw anything vomit inducing about it. Was there something wrong with me?

  3. Bart_Templeton says:

    I’m getting glimpses of Franny’s evil plan. Here I’ve been operating under the assumption that she had none at all.

    It seems that though she treated certain characters like word maps (remember those, from middle school?) and placed each one in the center of a paper, with various storylines emanating out from them like sunrays. And off of each sunray was spawned another, mini-sunray. At the very top of the page was the large mother sun of the Wakefields, from whence the little rays derived light and to which they ever reached.

    Now the mystery remains as to why some characters (Regina, Tricia Martin and her many “ghosts”) got this treatment while others (Jade Wu, John Pfeifer) just got their one-off moment in the sun, begging pardon for the pun.

    My guess is Franny grew up envying the attention a terminally ill friend got, and forever associated dying with popularity.

    Oh, and this plot barely merits a stroke of the keyboard, but IHW’s gotta put in the hard labor for us.

  4. gnatalby says:

    Seriously. I was freaking TERRIFIED of drugs when I was a teenager because of stuff like this (um, and my nerdliness) and I have a good friend who was afraid as a child of drug dealers under the bed/in the closet, and measured her mattress to see if a needle could get all the way through it to shoot her up with drugs.

    Over at my place I wrote about the drugs on 90210 here: http://theboozetube.wordpress.com/2009/05/01/on-a-very-special-90210/ and here: http://theboozetube.wordpress.com/2009/05/14/9021oh-honey-no/

    But to sum up, maybe the person who left the bong at the dude who OD’d at the after dark’s weird parking lot memorial was thinking: “If only Dick Harrison had stayed home smoking his bong and eating doritos rather than snorting horse down at the PPAD, he’d still be with us.” I mean, practically the only way weed can leave you dead on the bathroom floor is if you have asthma.

  5. Malika says:

    The drug cartel smashing one! Yeah!

    Cover girl Elizabeth is trying to look suspicious, but just comes across as constipated. And why do we only see ONE barrette? Elizabeth, stop being such a tease and flash the other one.. And did we ever hear of the photography club after this book or is this yet another one off hobby?

    And as for the passage wherein Elizabeth ponders on whether she was guided by some deeper spirit after drug cartel smasing and appearing on national television… No wonder that we as teenagers thought that the universe should revolve around us.. Its all through the dastardly influence of Francine!

  6. The voracious Vegan says:

    Hahahaha! I seriously love this blog. I remember reading this book as a kid and just swallowing the whole thing like ‘uhuh, that is very logical and of course this is how it would happen, obviously liz will save the day and rid the world of drugs and criminals alike’.

  7. Nina says:

    This book holds a special place in my heart as the FIRST SVH book I’ve ever read.

    I love Liz’s logic at the end…so, Regina’s camera helped solve a crime and save lives, and Liz would have never had had the camera had Regina not died. Thank GOD Regina DIED so LIZ could save the freakin’ world!!!!

  8. Rio says:

    Amazing how cynical we’ve all become about drug dealers. I had a friend in high school who was one year younger than me, but dealt pot and talked regularly about he was trying to “get into coke.” A typical conversation with him might have gone:

    ME: “So, how’s the dealing?”
    HE: “Not bad. My supplier was late this week, but he finally got back to me on Sunday. That was a lucky break.”
    ME: “Cool, cool . . . wanna go meet up with everyone at Subway?”

    “With the help of Regina’s camera, a major drug ring was exposed! Who knows how many lives have been saved?”

    What she means is, “If Regina didn’t fall victim to TEH DRUGZ, she never would have given her camera to me, I never would have developed an affinity for photography out of thin air (just like surfing and cheerleading), and I never would have exposed all this drug dealing! I’m #1!”

    “remember in their senior year, the kids of Beverly Hills 90210, had a senior breakfast, and they highlighted the activities of only Brenda and Brandon and their friends?”

    YES. My God, I hated them all in that episode. Not that they’re particularly likable otherwise, but that episode seriously made me want to beam into their auditorium and tell them to stuff it. And that song they performed about Brandon’s love life was just . . . ewww.

  9. ihatewheat says:

    Rio, seriously, that ep was ridiculous. If I was a student in that school, I would want to shut them up. Emily Valentine had the right idea when she tried to burn down their homecoming float. Also, didn’t Brenda participate in the song about Brandon? Ick.

    I don’t think its the cynicism about drugs in general, but the face that this was a nation-wide search for some guys that were dealing drugs is so ridiculous!

      • ihatewheat says:

        O. M. G. Why do they even have those other girls standing behind them singing? As if they are some of Brandon’s friends? And the senior class looks so giddy about it. And Brandon’s whole “I’m going to throw this paper at you Dylan so you stay away!” bit gave me douche chills. Plus, Brandon likes to swallow faces when he kisses.

      • prettyhowtown says:

        i have never seen that before (i think i had stopped watching 90210 by then). extra points for setting it to the tune of the dobie gillis theme. apparently the girls of west beverly watched even more nick at nite than i did.

  10. gnatalby says:

    @Rio: That song about Brandon is repulsive. There are few humans I hate as much as (fictional yes I know) Brandon Walsh. Since we’re regularly subjected to him solving the problem of racism (unless it’s “reverse racism” natch) I feel like it’s a constant countdown to a Michael Richards incident.

  11. ihatewheat says:

    Brandon Walsh is pretty much the Elizabeth Wakefield of 90210. Both wannabe journalists, both meddle in people’s lives.

    Remember when he dated the daughter of their housekeeper? And he was all, she shouldn’t have to serve my friends! And it was supposed to be this big interracial romance but turns out she was in the witness protection program.

    Wow, that show was crap. Yet I watched it and had a million pics of them all over my walls. And got bangs because I liked Brenda’s.

    • Rio says:

      Actually, the show wasn’t TOO atrocious in the beginning, when each episode discussed some relevant social issue. It really went downhill after Tiffani-Amber Thiessen joined the cast and they got into plotlines so contrived that Francine Pascal herself would call them contrived!

  12. gnatalby says:

    That is an incredibly apt comparison. I was just watching the S8 episode earlier where Brandon solves prison reform through journalism. A tv blog I read was talking recently about “TV NSA” and how the real NSA is just like, reading people’s email, but TV NSA is full of badass spies. I feel like the same applies to TV journalism.

    Remember the episode where a black family moves in down the street and Brandon gets in a fender bender with the daughter, and the whole neighborhood goes insane about the racial element and the Walshes start a neighborhood watch, but the the REAL racism is that the black family doesn’t want Brandon dating their daughter!

    90210 is like, half a step more progressive than 7th Heaven, and that, truly, is a best of the 50 cent prizes situation.

  13. Amy Slutton says:

    If doing some sort of project about “life in Sweet Valley” isn’t on the list of SVH cliches, it must be added.

    • Magpie says:

      YES! Without putting any thought into it whatsoever, I can instantly come up with two other examples: the video the SVH students make about Sweet Valley for the Chamber of Commerce (or something) with Jessica presenting, and a black-and-white film Amy makes for “video club” in the Jeremy/Jessica/Sue deception trilogy. What is with all these self-indulgent projects? I can’t imagine anyone being remotely interested in a film about my hometown.

  14. Magpie says:

    OMG that last exchange between Liz and Todd makes me retch. Because obviously Regina’s parents are going to feel totally OK about their daughter being dead now that Elizabeth Wakefield managed to bust some other drug-dealing ring!

    The “we are the centre of the universe” thing reminds me of Rory Gilmore’s valedictorian speech, in which she rabbits on about her mother and her grandparents, as though any of the other kids at her school care about any of that?!

  15. prettyhowtown says:

    at my high school graduation, the principal herself gave a long speech about how awesome the “popular” clique was…in it she called them all out by name and made wacky fun inside jokes with all of them. i remember sitting thru that whole thing wondering when i had been transferred to bayside, west beverly, or svh.

  16. ihatewheat says:

    Wow, I can’t believe that happens IRL!!!!!!!!!!

    I think in my high school yearbook, the yearbook staff included mostly photo montages of themselves working on the yearbook. Very meta.

    • Lauri says:

      IHW, you went to my high school. I actually one time numbered the amount of collages the yearbook staff was in. And they weren’t the popular kids.

  17. Mara says:

    Liz/Todd Lindsey/Tobias comparison=genius.

    These ghostwriters are ridiculous with their allusions to the horrors of drug use. It’s as if everyone who uses drugs in Sweet Valley dies immediately upon ingestion/inhalation.

    And you’re right, it’s totally 90210/Saved by the Bell 10-people-run-this-school-ism.

  18. yasoup says:

    Somebody should shoot Liz, and not with a camera. Since when was Regina such a close friend of Liz? BARF!!!

    I hear
    The sound
    Of a million writers
    Far better…a thousand stars better!
    Blood-stained pens falling
    Blooded keyboards silent
    Dying
    That this was published

  19. Malika says:

    The bits of high school fiction that you hated would be replicated irl ( Popular group being kowtowwed to daily), bits of high school fiction you longed to experience yourself ( Most attractive guy in the school noticing you in spite of questionable taste in clothes and habit of freezing up when he looked your way), No Chance!
    The popular guys at my high school were in the school party commision and basically made out as if it was a privilege to fork over the entry fee and attend ‘their’ party. Yawn.

  20. Malika says:

    And yes, please start a blog on BH 90210. Or if that is too much effort, just snark the odd episode as a pleasant diversion from tearing the Wakefields to shreds. I would say it would cleanse the palate, except for the eery likeness of Jessica/ liz Brenda/Brandon ( Seriously, you’d give your twins identical names?) dynamics.

  21. Jannie aka girl talk read says:

    OMG I was going to recap this book Wednesday night! But you did such a great job, not I am not sure I should! And oh God Liz Wakefield is sooo Brandon Walsh- great comparison!!!!!

  22. Jen S. says:

    *snerk*

    TEH DRUGS! TEH DRUGS! THEY IS SO BAD!

    I love how you never even find out what the hell kind of drugs are being sold by this super evil drug cartel, because selling dime bags of pot to your freinds is as fully evil as running a Mexican drug ring that holds entire regions in its grip of terror. It’s like the ghostwriter read one D.A.R.E poster and based the whole book on it. Her friends are like “Ya know, there are several different kinds of…” “NO! DRUGS ARE BAD! THE DETAILS ARE UNIMPORTANT!”

    And Nina, LOL! Yes, thank God Regina perished so that Liz may avenge her. And to be fair, when the hell did Regina ever take pictures? You know that damn camera was in the hall closet next to the skis she outgrew and the tennis racket that needs restringing.

  23. maybeimamazed02 says:

    The pull quotes. Genius. That’s all I have to say.

    I remember Liz and Todd having to order all that food at Rick’s Cafe to kill time. I wasn’t allowed to eat junk food so I salivated over all the fried goodness.

  24. j says:

    Jade Wu was actually a main character in Senior Year. She was kind of a bitch, but sometimes could be interesting and likable.

  25. RollingStone says:

    Here’s something interesting. Compare this scene from “On the Edge”…

    “Nicholas Morrow gets word about the party and jumps in his car and speeds towards the party. He gets stopped by cops because he was doing a hundred in a thirty-mile-an-hour zone and doesn’t have his license. He’s all ‘but there is a teenagers having a party! We must stop them!’ Instead of cuffing him right then, the cops are all “we MUST get to that party! You’re right!'”

    …with a similar ridiculous scene in this book:

    “Liz and Todd trail Chad as he tries to take Jessica captive, they get stopped by a cop for speeding, and…
    ‘She’s in terrible trouble,’ Elizabeth continued. ‘The man she is involved in may be involved with drugs!’ Elizabeth had never been so serious in her life. The police officer must have sensed this.”

    In both books, someone gets stopped for speeding and is forgiven because OMG DRUGS! Regina’s legacy apparently includes an incredibly stupid police force.

    But did the ghostwriter actually READ the earlier book and INTEND to include a corresponding scene in this one?! Nah…

  26. Eli says:

    Oh man, if Elizabeth came to Baltimore, she could clean up all the drug dealers and my job would be redundant!

    • Amber Tan says:

      Don’t worry, Eli, your services would still be needed due to the high occurrence of Wakefield kidnappings. 😉

  27. Bridget Locke says:

    Just…EW!

    I always thought it was funny on BH90210 that Brandon had a mullet. And that he was considered hot. I was a Dylan girl all the way. The bad boy. When he took Brenda’s virginity. Oh, man! Too, too funny & completely unrealistic. *sigh* I miss that show. *snicker*

    And I agree, someone should start a BH90210 rehash blog. Maybe I could, maybe. Hmm.

  28. imnotscared says:

    I watched that Beverly Hills episode on DVD. I was complaining to my sister why these characters are so selfish and showing their personal life to their peers? Nobody cares!

  29. Ellen K. says:

    Brandon Walsh and Liz Wakefield… a match made in self-righteousness. The senior breakfast episode was just on SoapNet last week, and it was beyond masturbatory. I did love how Brenda sang about her brother’s man-whoring. Any cause in the dark…

  30. Tiff says:

    This SVH book sounds amazing! It’s like a ghostwriting experiment to see how many anvils and palm-to-forehead moments one can write before the reader hurls. I can’t believe I never picked this one up as a kid. The self-righteousness! The idiocy! Those pull-quotes were unbelievable. Must run out and read this for myself.

    Also, Brandon Walsh and Liz Wakefield would probably explode from self-righteousness if they ever got together.

  31. Monic says:

    I’m so glad I found this site! One of my basketball buddies from high school used to make fun of me for reading them. She even made up a song: She loves Sweet Val-ley High. She’s living in a Sweet Val-ley world….
    Anyway, even back in middle school when I read this one, I couldn’t help feeling that the writer killed off Regina because she was starting to out-shine the twins. Remember how she was a model and she was super-rich and she was the only girl who tamed Bruce Patman (for a little while anyways)?

  32. K.C says:

    ^^ It seems like all pretty, striking and thin high school girls were or are models at Sweet Valley High. No wonder I suffered low self-esteem and was extremely conscious about my looks.

    What i dont understand is that why Jess didnt get blamed for the whole darkroom being trashed?? Arrghh. It was partly her fault. Her and her manipulative cock-teasing ways.

    Once I read the title..I knew it would center around Liz. Only read the book once…and never again. It was horrible!

  33. Karla Keffer says:

    Elizabeth had never been so serious in her life. The police officer must have sensed this.

    Guh…uh…huh…flames. The side of my face. Heaving, heaving breaths…

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