Don’t get our hopes up!

Don’t we wish that Liz left the country for a while and we didn’t have to deal with her barrettes and piousness? Regina Morrow apparently handed Liz one brochure about some school called Interlochen and Liz had dreams of wiring her amazing short stories overlooking the alps. Liz found out about this place too late after the deadline but fuck me gently with a chainsaw! There’s still a scholarship that she is eligible to apply for! The possibility of Sweet Valley without Liz is too much for her friends and family to imagine. It would kind of be like Jessica without a halter top. Or Robin Wilson without a cheesecake. Or Todd without cheating. You get the picture. She’s INTEGRAL! So everyone reacts to this in the most illogical, irrational, immature way ever. Did we expect anything less?

Q: Liz notices that Jeffrey seems kind of bummed and quiet when she talks about going away. Why do you think this is, Liz?
A: Well, he probably doesn’t realize how important this is to me! So I think the solution is to talk about how much fun I am going to have there nonstop! That will make him realize how much I want to go, and then of course he will support me!

Q: Well, Liz, Enid seems kind of bummed too. Do you think it is for the same reason?
A: Of course not, she doesn’t want to see me be happy! She’s just SO SELFISH! I am just going to not talk to her anymore. Screw any feelings she may be having about the matter! She’s supposed to be my best friend and worship me unconditionally!

Q: Jeffrey and Enid, what are you going to do to make sure Liz stays?
A: Well, instead of talking to her about how we feel, we are going to make her a super-secret but super-special scrapbook filled with pictures of her with us. And we’ll sneak around suspiciously together to get it complete. And in no way would it give her the idea that we are seeing each other.

Q: Jessica and Steven, how will you handle this.
A: Well, in the most mature and reasonably way possible- by sabotaging her interview! Jessica will wear a slutty outfit, and Steven will act like an imbecile. In other words, like ourselves.

Q: Liz, how do you feel about the way everyone is acting?
A: Well, in the last minute, I decided that I don’t want to go anyway. I thought Switzerland was magical. but what could be more magical than Sweet Valley and all of my friends?  The people are too snotty and judgmental. However, I’ll just forgive everyone for the way they are acting! What? of course I won’t hold Jessica accountable for her hideous actions! I’ll just hig her and tell her that I’m so glad she’s my sister, thus enabling her selfish behavior! Yay for friends! let’s all get triple scoop Sundaes at Casey’s!

BUT! ALICE WAKEFIELD ACTS LIKE A PARENT!:

You seem to be asking an awful lot of [Jeffrey]. You suddenly announce that what you want more than anything in the entire world is to move to Switzerland for an entire year and study creative writing. The way you put it, Jeffrey would be a real chauvinist if he didn’t back you on the whole project. You keep emphasizing how important it will be for your development, your writing, your future. Have you even asked Jeffrey how he feels about the whole thing? It seems you’ve done an awful lot of assuming for him. You’ve assumed he’s behind your plan. You’ve assumed that he is going to wait around for you. And now you’re assuming that he’s interested in your best friend! Don’t you think it’s time you two actually sat down and talked?

Then, in a plotline best suited for an ABC Family original movie, Winston has some shenanigans with a lottery ticket. Somehow he accidentally switches his coat with a poor old man’s, and the lottery ticket in the pocket is the winning ticket! Winston is so con sumed with guilt that he returns the coat and the money to the old man, and now his little granddaughter can go to riding camp. Wait, there’s a poor man in Sweet Valley? He must live next to the Martins.

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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?”

Hostage! A play in two acts

Photobucket

You asked for it, you got it…

PROLOGUE

Evil Computer Guy: Blast! That Mr. Morrow has done it again! He invented the super microchip before I could! He is always one upping me! First he marries the model and now this!

Claire Lewis: Don’t fret, I have a plan! It will be so foolproof not even a bunch of teenagers can foil it….

ACT 1

Scene 1: SVH

Liz: what’s up with Regina? She’s home from Switzerland and not wanting to talk to any of us. I wanted to give her some advice on how to overcome her disability.

Bruce: What? I luff her! How can she not talk to me! Oh, my bruised ego!

Jessica: Somehow I have to make this about me!

Scene 2: THe Morrow Estate

Regina: help! I’m being held hostage! Don’t involve the po-po! They’ll murder me and my parents!

Scene 3: The Wakefield backyard

Jessica: She’s right! I’ve been reading the BSC mysteries and they never involve parents! We should solve this ourselves!

Liz: Hey, I didn’t know you read!

Nicholas Morrow: Hey! I have a plan that is sure to not be dangerous. Let’s go and free the Morrows while Regina is at the plant being held at gunpoint while he steals the microchip! Despite the fact that these guys are violent criminals and have weapons shouldn’t mean anything

Jessica: And I’ll use my super sexy seduction powers to distract the kidnappers teenage son.

Everyone: Good idea! We knew you were good for something.

ACT 2:

Scene 1: Mr. Morrow’s super microchip factory

[SHOTS FIRED, LOTS OF SCREAMING!]

Evil Computer Guy: Ha! Thought you could outsmart me! I am holding guns at you know, you stupid idiots!

[Bruce, Nicholas and ECG’s son attack him and knock the guns out of his hands.]

ECG: Ah, nuts! Back to jail! I fucking hate these size six twins.

Scene 2: The Morrow Estate

MRS. MORROW: Well, I’ve been held at gunpoint for about a week and I thought my daughter was murdered. One would think I would need to recover from my PTSD and spend time with my family, but I think there is really only one thing to do in a situation like this…

EVERYONE: Throw a party!

Scene 3: Rockin’ party at the Morrow Estate

Liz: Well, wasn’t it nice of the Morrows to throw a party in our honor? Instead of celebrating the fact that Regina has been cured of her deafness?

Jessica: See, I told you I would make this all about me!

—–

Unrelated, this is the one book where Jessica was barely tolerable. Also, is that a guy about to shove a chloroform-soaked rag to Regina’s mouth? That never happened.

Boxing Helena 2: This time it’s personal; or #13 Kidnapped!

Kidnapped! With an exclamation point! It’s scary! Firstly, the cover never happened in the book. Liz was abducted from her car and the guy came at her head on with a chloroform-soaked rag. But I am getting ahead of myself. Check out Liz’s arm and hand. It’s freakishly huge.

The theme of this book is that the Wakefield twins are so gorgeous and so desireable that it isactually dangerous for them. Like, people would commit crimes to be with them. It’s like the opposite of a hate crime! Someone pass some laws!

Carl is a loser orderly in the hospital who develops the hots for Liz and decides that he is going to kidnap her because he is in love with her and if he keeps her prisoner, she will learn to love him. When has that ever worked? Okay, maybe once. He keeps her in his loser apartment. Because he’s not a blond surfer and married, he needs to live in complete filth and exile. He feeds Liz frozen pancakes, and she’s really judgemental about it. She tries to talk him out of it, but Liz, this is one situation you can’t counsel/condescend your way out of! Cue the music. I don’t mean to be harsh here, but I think most women’s fear about being abducted by a strange man is some fear of sexual assult. Of course that is never brought up here. Especially after being abducted by a man that is obsessively in love with you? One thing is that Liz has to be freed so she can go to the bathroom. THAT’S THE FIRST TIME ANY CHARACTER HAS ACTUALLY EXPRESSED AN URGE TO URINATE! It’s a miracle. The never mention bodily functions. Except when Jess poisoned her family with her cooking.

Jess lets many hours go by because she is do busy rubbing her genitals up against Nicholas Morrow at his party. The Morrows just moved to town and they are throwing a party. Jess is at home getting ready and is wearing a new dress that “leaves little to the imagination”. Doesn’t she always dress like that? And what does that even mean? Her vagina is showing? She asks Steven to zip her up, who comes out of the shower in a towel to help her. Scuse me what? This gives ghostwriter an opportunity to launch into the perfect-size-6-aqua-eyes-tanned-body description, using Steven’s view as a device to mention it. What? WEIRD! Also, Steven, please go back your dorm for once. Your parents are working extra hours to afford it.

So they get to the Morrow’s house, and the place is so over the top dripping with money it’s like an epi of Cribs. You know, like the one where mariah Carey is drunk and changes outfits about five times. I thought the Morrows were modest: “Flanking the main entrance were twin rows of neatly manicured cypress trees, all planted in huge brass urns. In the center of the circular drive were three pure-white marble fountains that sprayed mists of water into the crisp white air.” Basically, the Bellagio hotel. Furthermore, they have a Ferrari.

Also, Jessica is all judgy when she meets Regina and concludes she is a drunk (not knowing she is deaf). After she finds out, her first thought is gee, I hope Nicholas isn’t deaf! Oh Jess, you never disappoint. Todd is at the party and is all worried about where Liz is, and Jessica only being Jessica lies and says Liz is on her way so she can continue to dry hump Nicholas’ leg. He is so pissed he pushes her into the pool. NOYCE!

Oh, there’s this whole thing where Max Dellon is implicated, snoresville, but he and Jess go to the hospital and Carl thinks its Jessica who escaped from his creepy house and implicates himself. My question is: did he not know they were identical twins? Wasn’t he stalking Liz like crazy when she worked there?

After Liz is rescued, they all have a fucking pancake breakfast at the Wakefields and everyone is ok, making kidnapping jokes. Ok, kidnapping, coma…why isn’t this gal in therapy? Finally Nicholas stops by and of course when he sees Liz is love at first sight. I don’t know why, he’s already seen Jessica and aren’t they supposed to be absolutely identical? Maybe he was attracted to Liz’s barettes and sensible cardigan.

I need to share some direct quotes because I can’t do it justice with a summary:

[Cara] knew that Jessica was like the Royal Canadian Mounted Police- she always got her man.

[Nicholas] was blessed with a full head of black, wavy hair, which he wore swept back off his face, the waves falling in perfect layers down to the nape of his neck. From his piercing, deep-set, emerald green eyes to the cleft in his chin he had a face that would make any male model burn with envy. Nicholas?

Regina’s overdose, or #40 On the Edge

Let’s talk about this cover. Regina? Quite pretty in a “normal” kind of way. Also? Not looking like model material. And the pic of Bruce- is that a headshot? I wouldn’t be surprised if he had some made up. Also, thanks to Merrie who pointed out that Bruce looks like a young John Barrowman.

Good call. Also, Torchwood is pretty good.

Bruce, reverting back t0 his old ways, is fooling around with Amy Sutton. They are working on a project together about teen drug use. (Foreshadowing! Dun Dun Dunnnn…) Regina doesn’t know and Liz decides not to tell her. You could say that’s asinine of Liz, but I have been in the same situation and it is hard to be the bearer of the bad news. (Did I just defend Liz?)

So the Wakefields have a BBQ and Amy and Bruce fool around and everybody knows it is going on and Regina feels like an idiot. She gets mad at Liz for not telling her and basically tells Bruce to shove it. And he does, right up Amy Sutton.

Regina ends up hanging out with Justin Belson, who is a troublemaker with bad grades, who also hangs out with Molly Hecht and some badass named Jan. Honestly, these people actually seem interesting. She is invited to a party at Jan’s house, which will be WILD because Buzz the drug dealer will be there. And he doesn’t get his name from a bumblebee, if you know what I’m saying.Everyone warns Regina that he is bad news. God, they are so judgmental! Like BRUCE is so perfect?

So Bruce and Amy meet with Amy’s cousin Mimi about their drug project. I get the impression that Mimi is a social worker or someone who works in drug rehabilitation, but apparently she’s all that ans a police detective or something. She’s all, “we are hearing about a drug deal that is going to go down at a party with some guy named Buzz”. The fuck? Like there is only ONE drug dealer in all of Sweet Valley?

So 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, I think, 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!”My head is in my hands.

Meanwhile, the party is in full swing. it seems WAY more fun that any party that Lila has with her fucking finger sandwiches and dumb decorations. Molly is peeved at Regina for hanging out with Justin, who is her ex-boyf and Regina actually feels bad because she knows the feeling. She wants to come clean with Molly, but big mean Jan decides to give her a hard time, goading her on to snort the cocaine. Regina does like three lines in a row, and I am no drug addict, but I know that is kind of a lot. She goes into cardiac arrest just as the cops and Nicholas burst in.

Okay the Scooby Gang are hanging out at Lila’s when they hear the news. Of course, Regina is kind of conscious for a bit and the first person she asks for is Liz. Because of course, the Wakefields are in the center of EVERYONE’s world, and if course you don’t want to walk into the light without getting one last glimpse of their sun-streaked hair!

Anyway, it’s too late. Regina is dunzo. It seems she suffered from a heart murmur and the cocaine gave her a heart attack. Ok, so, if the ghostwriters wanted to send a “drugs are bad” message, they totally fucked up. It comes across as, “if you are going to drugs, make sure you don’t have a rare congenital heart disease. Otherwise, go for it. Especially if you are ugly.”

Liz gets a letter that Regina wrote to her before she went to the party and mailed it. Who MAILS letters to their friends? Oh yea, this is before cell phones and emails. What would SVH look like with that technology? It forgives liz for everything and practically anoints sainthood on her for being a good friend.

Then, as you know, Justin and Molly become outcasts and of course Liz saves the fucking day.

I find it HIGHLY unlikely that Bruce or Lila have never done coke before.

Also, why is Enid and Liz invited to Lila’s? Don’t they all hate each other?

Speaking of Enid, she is all “I know what it’s like to run with the bad crowd”. Oh yea, like that one time you got a parking ticket? Shut up.

Grade: A-

The one where the Swiss invent the miracle cure for deafness, or #18 Head Over Heels

Sorry, going old school for this one. Regina and Bruce are in lurrrrve. You know how we know they are in lurve? They sit in Bruce’s Porsche and murmur sweet nothings to each other. Except Regina needs to be looking right at Bruce, since she lipreads, so I don’t know if and how that interferes with the cuddling. Anyway, Bruce is a changed man. No more date raping girls with amnesia or anything like that. In fact, Regina is the first girl he tells he loves, and Bruce is the first boy that Regina has kissed. For a second, and I mean a SECOND, it kind of softened my heart a little.

Lila is still totes jealous of Regina, because there is only room for one rich brunette. Apparently there is room for two size six blondes, thank god. Jessica is still bitter Bruce dumped her ass and is basically a selfish heartless cunt, so she doesn’t want to see anyone happy, so she really wants them to break up. Jessica and Lila make a bet about their longevity- and the loser has to write the other person’s history term paper. AND it’s 15 pages long. Remember is high school when anything over 5 pages was like writing a novel? Of course this is the mid-80s so no computers, so maybe it’s handwritten. Anyway, why I am fixated on that?

Meanwhile, SVH is holding a carnival (along with dances, they have picnics, carnivals and talent shows ever week) and oh guess who is chairing the committee. Yes, fucking Liz Wakefield. The committee consists of what I guess is the only members of the junior class, so Liz, Todd, Enid, Ken Olivia and Roger, and Todd. Todd acts like a tool at all the meetings and makes bad puns. Winston won’t shut up and keeps trying too hard. Mr. Collins is advising, duh. Apparently you have to run a campaign to be president of the Centennial Committee. [Did I dream it, or is there another book in which they have a Centennial Carnival? Anyone? Anyone?] Ken wants to job, put is peeved when Bruce signs up to run also. Bruce is actually doing it as a surprise fo Regina (yea, cuz that’s the way to woo a high school girl).

Meanwhile, Regina’s fam breaks the news to her: there is a doctor in Switzerland that can cure her deafness. Wow! That’s amazing! That is great news for the deaf community! It’s a mirac–oh. It cost a thousan jillion dollars and only super-rich deaf people can benefit. Fantastic. Regina has to move to Sweden to undergo the treatment. She doesn’t want to go because she doesn’t want to leave Bruce. She doesn’t tell Bruce so she won’t feel guilty.

Jessica, wanting to win her bet, tells Regina that Bruce is only dating her so he can gain credibility and win the Centennial committee election. Only a moron would believe that. So, naturally Regina does. So she breaks up with Bruce and decides to go to Switzerland after all. Liz of course becomes Meddley McMeddlesalot and and tells Bruce about Regina’s cure and how he can’t tell her he loves her so she may not go. So essentially, they manipulate her. Bruce writes Regina a letter to read on the plane, and it is so awful (awesome) I have to reprint it.

Dear Regina,

By the time you read this, it will be too late to change your mind about the treatments. And you musn’t change your mind, my dearest. [Yes, teenage boys love to use musn’t. And dearest? Is he in the Victorian era?]- not for anything. Elizabeth told me everythind, and I must admit that at first all I could think of was rushing over to your house and putting things right again. I never cared about anything but you. I signed up to run in the election last Thursday- exactly five days ago. I was wrong not to mention it to you at once, but I wanted to surprise you if I won. I can’t believe you could ever imagine my using you. I love you with all my heart, and always will [unless you one day die from a drug overdose]. In fact it’s because I love you that I can’t explain this all to you before Friday. If there’s the slightest chance that you might be able to hear again one day after these treatments, you must go through them. I’m, not selfish enough to let you stay in Sweet Valley for my sake, Regina. But I’m too selfish to let you go thinking badly of me. You must know that I’ve loved you with all my heart from the first. [first what? Ghost writers, finish the phrase!]

Awwww. This sounds like my fifth grade self attempting to write a romance novel. Which I did attempt, by the way. Don’ even ask me about it, it is long gone. I made sure I burned that shit. Anyhoo, Jessica obvs loses the bet and Lila writes her history paper and gets a bad grade. So I guess that is supposed to teach you not to cheat? Or that if you do cheat, make sure you pick someone who is smart? Oh and the carnival is a success, blah blah.

Covergoodness! Sorry to say, but Regina does not look like model material. And Bruce is a hottie pitottie. It’s that cleft chin, gets me everytime. Or maybe it’s the pleated chinos. And the fearthered hair. He looks about 30 years older than her.

Other stuff:

Regina has dinner at the Patman estate. Bruce’s mom yells when she is talking to Regina. Marie Patman is such a peach.

Winston runs a booth at the carnival where people can pay to throw pies at him. Oh Winston, making people laugh with you is not going to stop them from laughing at you.

Jess describing Olivia Davidson: “she dresses like a freak in Indian cotton dresses and funny sandals and doesn’t care about anything but drawing and poety. A fate worse than death”. Actually, for me, a fate worse than death is to hang around with a vapid blond twin. But that’s just me.

Oh, Lila flirts with a construction worker she meets at her dad’s office. Ooooo, a working class man! Hawt. I think it’s the setup for the next book.

In the back of the edition of the book I have, there is an exerpt from a Francine book called Loving, about a rich, pretty vapid girl in a boarding school. I think I did read this series. Anyway, if you have the book and read it’s it’s awesome, and actually even more awesome (worse) than SVH. I wish I could find it somewhere.

My grade: B-

Okay, let’s get down to the nitty gritty with this week’s poll. It’s going to be your old standard “who would you rather do”

Nicholas Morrow / Steven Wakefield

Bruce Patman / Ken Matthews

Next time: the miniseries where the twins’ mother and Bruce’s dad supposedly have an affair, Todd moves in, and Liz gets with Bruce again. In other words, awesomeness. I know lots of you have been requesting stuff, but some of the books I don’t have (yet). I am currently on ebay bidding on Return of the Evil Twin and the pom-pom wars miniseries, but I don’t want to jinx it.

The Fresh Prince of Sweet Valley, or #16 Rags to Riches

Just a warning, this one is so beyond ridiculous. Everyone’s annoying personality traits are magnified by about a thousand. And I want to fucking kill them all.

Jessica’s boobs look really weird. And Roger looks…not right. Like he has the smirk of an annoying sitcom little brother. On the body of a 35 year old. If his collar was popped anymore, it would turn into a display rack at Hollister.

If you remember, Roger is so poor that -gasp!- he has to work as a janitor after school to support his single mother. Apparently, at the end of the past book, Roger’s mother dies of cancer. After she dies he finds out he is part of the Patman family and heir to the Patman inheritance- his father was actually Bruce’s dad’s brother. So now he is living in the Patman estate. And the patmans are planning on throwing a big party at the Sweet Valley country club to instroduce Roger as a patman into a society. Almost like a debutante coming out thing, I guess.

How convenient that at the beginning of the book Roger is recapping the last few weeks’ events to his girlfriend Olivia. Ok,so his mother worked for Henry (Bruce’s dad) and Paul, his brother. Paul had an affair with Mama Barrett, got her knocked up and then died in a fiery crash. Unbeknownst to everyone, he left his inheritance to Rog. As he tells it,

“I guess my mother fell in love with Paul Patman, and they spent more and more time together, and-” Roger stopped, his face turning red. “I understand, Roger” Olivia said softly.

Mama Barrett was fooling around with Patman and gets knocked up. AND ROGER IS TOO EMBARASSED TO TALK ABOUT IT. Like 16 year old boys are embarassed to talk about sex. I swear, everyone in Sweet Valley has no genitals, like Alan Rickman in Dogma.

Jessica feels she lost her chance to hang around the Patman family when she struck out with Bruce, so she decides she wants to be Roger’s date to the big party, not Olivia. So they are at a BBQ at the patman’s and she sucks up to Mrs. Patman, Bruce’s mom and Roger’s aunt. Mama Patman likes Jessica’s je ne sais quoi (i.e., her Aryan good looks) and helps Jessica plot to get Olivia out of the picture. See, the Patmans don’t approve of Olivia, because-gasp!- she has frizzy hair! And wears flowy skirts and sandals! And likes poetry! How is she not stoned on the streets of Sweet Valley?

Meanwhile, Roger is having a hard time living at the Patman’s. Bruce is being a big dick to him, and Mama Patman hates him. Because he likes to run and not play tennis. Or some other dumb reason. He feels out of place at the Patman estate. His bedroom is large and wooden and has a large four poster bed. What? They don’t let him decorate? He has to live in a replica of a Tudor’s bedroom? He is at a dinner party for the Patman’s friends and he spills wine or something and Bruce and mama P act as if he killed someone. Papa Patman (who we are told is called Henry Wilson Patman) is the only one that is nice to Roger and tried to make him feel welcome. How is he not aware that his wife is a wicked old harpy and his son is a date rapist?

Meanwhile, Jess starts sucking up to Olivia and pretends to help her become someone the patmans would approve of. Liv continually feels like an ass and assumes she is embarassing Roger. For one, at a BBQ she feels like an ass because…she has a full plate of food. Yup, that makes her an ass because she eats more than 400 calories a day.

HOLD IT RIGHT THERE.

This is incredibly infuriating. If Olivia is supposed to be all independent and free spiritied, why should she care about changing her image and fall for Jessica’s manipulations? And if she and Rog are supposed to be so close, WHY DOESN’T SHE JUST TALK TO HIM ABOUT IT? Ugh. Way to make your semi-respectable characters act like shitheads.

Oh wait, it gets worse. Olivia is supposedly one of Elizabeth’s bffs, so you would think she would get suspicious of Jessica’s interest and I don’t know, maybe defend Olivia? But no, Liz decides she should just mind her own business and let Olivia suffer alone. What an asshole.

Jessica takes Olivia shopping at a trendy boutique, and Olivia remarks that she can’t tell which are the salesgirls and which are the mannequins. Apparently, she’s retarded.

Liz is busy being a total douche to another friend- Reginia Morrow, the rich deaf girl, has been leaving early from school. So, instead of just, oh, I don’t know, asking her friend if she is okay, she and Todd gossip like little girls about it and sneak around and follow her when she leaves after school. They see her with an older ma downtown. Lila is totes jealz of Regina because Regina usurped her position as the only rich brunette teenager in Sweet Valley, and also sees Regina with the older guy and spreads the rumor round that Regina has a sugar daddy. Obvs, this is juicy news over in SVH because they give a shit about the dumbest things.

Oh, so it turns out the older guy is the editor of Ingenue magazine (I guess it is like Cosmo?) and his job is to scout out young teenage girls to profile and model for the cover. Yup, that’s his job. Also, how convenient that the headquarters of a major mag is in SVH.

Reginia is profiled because of her ability to overcome the struggle of being deaf. Okay, no disrespect to the deaf community, but….has Reginia really struggled? her parents are loaded and therefore have been able to get her every treatment available and even had her in a special private school for the deaf her whole life. Not everyone deaf child has that luxury. Also, she is lauded for being able to lip-read perfectly and speak “perfectly”. Again, isn’t that conforming to dominant society and seeing her deafness as abnormal?

In reading this I was already up to my armpits in ridiculousness, but here is the kicker. We learn why Regina is deaf. Her mother used to be a famous model, and when she got preggers with Regina, she was going to quit, but she got one more offer to do a swimsuit shoot, but was told she needed to lose ten ponds, so she took a lot of diet pills which ruined Regina’s ears in the womb. THE FUCK? This made mama Morrow have to give up modeling, and ever since Regina was born, she also had hoped that Regina could model omeday. EVER SINCE SHE WAS BORN? Isn’t that the most awful expectation for a child? Francine thought she was making a tragic background story, I guess.

So back to the Patmans. Jessica tells Olivia the dress she made for herself is fugly, and embarasses her while playing tennis with Bruce and Roger, and other stuid manipulative stuff. Olivia finally breaks up with Roger over it. Both of them are so fucking stupid about it. Jessica convnces doormat Roger to take her to the country club. When they are there he realizes his mistake and declares his love for Olivia in front of everyone, much to Mama Patman’s chagrin. Papa Patman sets her straight and says that Roger is part of the family, so fucking deal with it. Papa patman is the only bearable person in the story.

Other thoughts:

Roger really doesn’t ever mention his grief over his dead mother…

Mama Patman walks around is silk loungewear holding a martini glass. What is this, Falcon Crest?

The SVH cafeteria serves Hungarian ghoulash, in case you cared. Why is Lila eating school lunch anyway?

In his free time, Bruce heads up to the university to cruise on college girls. Do they really want to hang around with a high school boy?

Also, Bruce apparently wears a teeny tiny speedo. Todd says it looks like a band-aid. Gay much?

Contiuity error: is this really the first time Jessica is meeting the Patmans? When she was dating Bruce, didn’t she hang around with them at the country club?

Do these kids ever go to a class?

In every book, one of the twins thinks about how lucky they are to live in Sweet Valley and how they couldn’t believe anyone would want to live anywhere else. Except for the racism, close-mindedness and lack of bars, it sounds like a dream.

Starting a new tradition: a poll with each entry. Today’s question:

Who is more of a DILF?

a. Ned Wakefield
b. Henry Wilson Patman
c. George Fowler
d. Roger Collins