The Stolen Diary, as performed by the cast of Battlestar Galactica


[cover photo from The Closet]

Cast:

Caprica Six as Jessica

Natalie as Elizabeth

Lee “Apollo” Adama as Todd

Gauis Baltar as Kris Lynch

Samuel Anders as Mr. Collins

Hi Todd, I missed you at lunch! We were supposed to feed each other french fries!

God woman, you’re suffocating me! We should see other people! Namely, I should start dating Peggy, who just wants to make out and doesn’t want to tie my balls up with a gold lavaliere and lead me around.

Well, two can play at that game!

Ah, Liz, I know I’ve never been mentioned before this, but I’m Kris Lynch and  I work at the Oracle and have been masturbating to your Eyes and Ears column all year.

Ok, let’s go out and go to the dance together! That’ll show Todd!

Ah Liz, I am so glad you decided to go out with me. I’ve been dreaming of this moment forever.

Did you just inhale oxygen? Todd does that when he breathes! Speaking of there he is! Omg! He’s dancing with Peggy! I can’t take it!

Then let’s get out of here and go to Miller’s Point!

Um, I’d rather not. In fact, I don’t like you?

WHAT? You little tease! I know you like me! I’m going to force you to make out with me!

Let me go! Although I think this is my fault for leading you on, you’re a creep! You don’t even go to football games! What kind of freak are you?

FINE! You’ll be sorry.

Hey everyone, your midterm is postponed because there is some gossip about the Wakefields. Apparently, Kris Lynch and Elizabeth Wakefield are going out and apparently she goes to second base. Whatever, that’s old news to me.

Omg! I can’t believe everyone is talking about me! And Kris keeps telling my friends about the secrets I swore not to tell anyone! Oh, on an unrelated note, I can’t find my diary! But anyway, I WONDER HOW HE KNOWS EVERYTHING ABOUT ME!

I’ll get to the bottom of this. I’ll bet Kris Lynch stole Liz’s diary. I know this because the title of this book gave away the plot twist.

Jessica, Enid, Todd I am sorry that I blackmailed Liz and tarnished her reputation after I tried to force her with violence to have sex with and she refused. It was just a goof! Will you forgive me?

Well, okay, I guess it happens to the best of us. Let’s just laugh it off over a double-cheese bacon and ham pizza!

Kris: Okay, but what are you gonna order?

All: HAR HAR HAR HAR! [All link arms and skip to the pizza place.]

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Single mothers are chased out of Sweet Valley with torches and pitchforks, apparently

[cover courtesy of The Closet]

Sometimes it is ridiculous how convoluted and complicated these plots are. They’re like the Rube-Goldberg of plots. There’s a completely obvious way to simplify the story, but they decide to take the dubest, most unlikely route. Isn’t there some Occam’s razor theory that the simplest explanation is the best? I think Matthew McConaughey taught me that.

Ok, so here’s the ridiculousness. Susun Stewart, who we are hearing about for the first time in this book, is pretty and sophisticated and mostly hangs out with the rich kids from Bridgewater. Her boyfriend is Gordon somebody, a lesser version of B-Pat.  Also, Susan doesn’t have am mother, but lives with a “guardian” she calls her Aunt Helen. Aunt Helen has promised to let Susan know who her real parents are when she turns eighteen. It may seem like a mere two years away, but in this world, it’s more like 20 years, so Iunderstand Susan’s frustration. Susan’s mysterious guardian also supplies her with money so she can have fancy clothes and hang with the rich kids. Susan is going with Gordon to the Bridgewater Ball, which is THE event of the season for white people. Lila is super jealous that Susan gets to go, and goes all psychopath and starts a rumor that Susan’s mother is really in a mental hospital, and Gordon breaks up with her because he can’t stand the shame. Why do these kids care so much about people’s parents anyway? I never really knew that much about my friend’s parents’ repuations. I’m pretty sure my friend’s father was a mob boss, but I didn’t care because she had her own tv and vcr in her room, so she was like a goddess to me.

Anyhow, there’s also a famous movie director coming to Sweet Valley to cast his movie. Because everywhere else the shit stinks, and the sewers of Sweet Valley smell like roses. Turns out he is really Susan’s father, and he wanted an excuse to come to Sweet Valley and see her. So why not get on his fucking private jet and just go? And the rumor makes Aunt Helen tell Susan the truth- she’s really Susan’s mother! She had a baby with Mr. movie director before she was married and then he left her, and when she moved to Sweet Valley, she was afraid of what PEOPLE WOULD THINK OF HER IF SHE HAD NO HUSBAND. So, the solution is, lie to your child her whole life! And then, poor Aunt Helen worked a waitressing job so Susan would think she was rich! And Susan of course, forgives her in a heartbeat. Because teenage girls are so rational.So, that adds the the list of people that are not allowed to live in Sweet Valley, including black people, overweight people, divorcees, kids without fathers, poor people, and now, single mothers. Got it. Check.

Meanwhile, Susan starts going out with Allen Waters, a shy guy. If it weren’t for Elizabeth’s help, he never would have the courage! Another poor piece of shit saved by Liz! Gordon wants Susan back, but she’s having none of it. She’s just a plebian now!

Having babies out of wedlock is the them here. The twins think Alice is pregnant but afraid to announce it to the family. So they come up with the brilliant plan to talk awkwardly about how much they love babies. Meanwhile, Alice and Ned think it’s because of the the twins is knocked up and get mad. Hilarity ensues! Alice isn’t pregnany, because she and Ned sleep in single beds in the same room like on old 50s sitcoms. I’m just so glad they acknowledge the concept of sex. Also, it’s a relief when the twins are only the subplot, because it means some sort of wacky Brady-Bunch hikinks, instead of rape and werewolves.

In other news, I watched The House Bunny [please don’t ask why. It was an abomination of a movie.] But the screenplay read like the ghostwriters wrote it. It was like a Super Special, “Jessica runs a Sorority”. With the same dumb plot twists.

And if you are feeling Christmasy, feel free to reminisce about Sweet Valley Christmases past, with grossly misdiagnosed diseases, and almost being murdered by your lookalike…and again.

The one where Liz and Todd go to the videomat, or #102 Almost Married

Alrghty, if you remember last time, Bruce’ Dad and Liz’s mom were supposedly having an affair. Liz’s Mom is jetting off again to Chicago to work for Hank “Hanky Panky” Patman and Ned is off in a lawyer business trip. I think these ghostwriters actually have no clue what lawyers/interior designers do. You’d think they wouldnt be so keen on leaving when last time, say, AN EVIL PSYCHOPATH TRIED TO KILL LIZ. Just a thought.

Todd’s parents are away too, so they decide to live together! Wh Wh Eh what? Don’ even worry, Todd is sleeping on the couch. What is the point? And they can’t tell anyone because it is seeewww scandalous! And we know that SVH loves meaningless, non-scandalous gossip!

So in order to keep Jess fom yapping, she has Todd do all her chores like cook her breakfast. You would think this is awkward, considering he and Jess had a thing. But hilarity ensues when Todd tried to make bacon and French Toast.

So Liz is a total BEAST this whole time. You would think I couldn’t hate her more. Oh, but wait. Liz is supposed to be all sensitive and shit, but she keeps running off with Bruce because they have a connection. And if Todd looks at her the wrong way, she has a hissy fit and the world stops, but she can blow off Todd while he is living at her house to go splash around with Bruce in the pool. Her parents aren’t here, and she can bone her boyfriend on the kitchen table whenever she wants, and she is running off to do research on her parents.

Bruce and Liz spend time on campus where her parents met and relive the memories. Alice was a activitst (read: dirty hippie) and Hank was a frat boy, but there ws a sit-in and and Hank drove a fucking helicopter and dropped some food for the activists. Uh, okay. Liz declares she’s in love with Bruce and its weird because they may be siblings. They really throw around the word love too much. I know they are teens, but come on here.

Finally there is a party and Bruce and Liz make out and Todd finds them and then Liz dives in the pool, hits her head and Todd relalizes he loves her and all is well.

Edited to add: the parents come home during the party and Liz gets in trouble for having a party and have Todd stay over. In yer FACE Liz! Also, the parents are not having an affair. Alice left Hanky at the altar. They are just friends now.

Bleccccchhhhh.

Thoughts:

Gradually people find out they are living together and it is the talk of the school! Because the Wakefields are always the center of attention.

Bruce is supposed to be in love with this Pamela gal, who- you won’t blieve this- ia actual nice and down to earth, and not annoying. Bruce dumps her ass.

I actually like the way the twins look at the top of the cover. They have some wicked bangs, the kind that start way far back. And actually their faces are round and full, which I am inclined to say look really great but we really know what it means…bulimia bloat. And Todd actually looks 16. He has an overbite, it’s kind of cute.

In the back of this book, there is the opportunity to join the SVH fancub! Here’s what you get for the low price of $6.25:

  • A membership card with your own personal Fan Club ID number
  • A Sweet Valley High Secret Treasure Box
  • Sweet Valley High Stationery
  • Official Fan Club Pencil (for secret note writing)
  • Three bookmarks
  • A “Members Only” Doorhanger
  • Teo Skeins of embroidery floss with flower barrette instruction leaflet
  • Two editions of The Oracle newsletter

Did anyone have this? Sounds like a fucking blast. Did it also come with a raging STI and some laxatives/diet pills?

Anyone join this?

My grade: C-

Next time: Jessa Fields, anyone?

The one in which we learn about the seedy underbelly of Sweet Valley, or #41 Outcast

I chose this one to read strictly based on the picture. First off, love Molly’s hair. That kind of feathering takes serious effort. Plus, who are those wicked old harpies in the back? Does this take place at a high school or on the Golden Girls’ set?

Ok, this is the book directly after the one where Regina dies (she was the one who “tamed” Bruce Patman) from taking cocaine at a party. Molly had the party where Regina overdosed, and feels guilty and like an outcast. Her bff Justin won’t talk to her and she feels close to the edge. Because SVH is the moral police and apparently she is the only one at the school who has dabbled in drugs. Pshaaaah, right. Like Bruce Patman hasn’t done a couple lines off of a hooker’s ass? Like Lila Fowler hasn’t snuck into Daddy’s liquor cabinet? Like Jessica wouldn’t do some mushrooms if a hot college boy told her to? I’ll bet Liz would take Aderol to get better grades. I hate these people.

So, Jessica seemingly does an unselfish thing and decides to set up a scholarship fund in Regina’s memory. Because Regina was deaf and overcame odds. Or something. Really she is doing it to be in the spotlight and to make the Pi Beta Alphas and the cheerleading team look great. Asshole. Her father decides that his law firm will handle the collection and investment of the money. Shouldn’t a financial planning firm do that? Isn’t Ned a civil lawyer? Why am I even questioning this? Oh, and they will sponsor a dance marathon to raise money. Seriously, these kids wouldn’t know what to do if their school didn’t have a dance every week.

Where was Bruce in all this? Didn’t his girlfriend just die? Oh right, he takes out his anger on some innocent pledges later on.

So Molly’s all wah wah poor me and decides to visit Regina’s grave to ask for forgiveness. Nicholas Morrow, her brother, is there and yells at her and tells her to eat shit and die basically. [I totally forgot about Nicholas Morrow and what a BABE he is.] So then Molls decides to run away with Buzz, the dealer who gave Regina the coke at the aformentioned party. Buzz lives in a run down apartment in the run-down area of Sweet Valley. And hangs out at….you guessed it, Kelly’s. The ONE seedy bar in Sweet Valley.

Not only does SVH have Saved by the Bell syndrome, but it also has what I am calling Little House on the Prairie Syndrome. Have you ever noticed that when other people in Walnut Grove are having problems, like personal or family problems, the Ingalls always swoop in and solve it, invited or not? They tell other families how to raise their kids and shit. It used to piss me off. Elizabeth does the same thing. She thinks that Molly needs help and calls Josh and some others to tell them to be nicer to Molly. Back off, you condescending meddler. It reeks of holier-than-thou-ness. So all is solved and everyone is happy. Molly decides to stay and quit drugs. They hint that Molly may even win the Regina memorial scholarship when she turns her life around and quits drugs. Or something.

I’ll bet that Molly and Justin Belson are never mentioned again.

Also, I’ve realized that the books become sucky once Jeffrey French is in the picture. Even if he isn’t directly involved with the plot, they are of lesser quality (quality being relative). Plus, he is SUCH a closet case. He comes over Liz’s house and they watch a PBS special together. GAY!

My grade: D-

The one where Jessica blushes a lot, or #48 Slam Book Fever

Let me start by saying that I love describing anything as ____ fever. I’m going to make a conscious effort to use it in my everyday vernacular. I am moving next week and my apartment is like “box fever”. Like tomorrow at work I am going to casually say, “It’s like paperwork fever in here!” I’ll let you know if it catches on.

Also, this is a PRIME SVH book. Blackstabbing, gossip, crushes, etc.- this is SVH at its best! (worst)

Ok. Amy Sutton wants everyone to start Slam Books. Apparently, they were all the rage when she lives in Connecticut. Wait, hold up. I lived in CT for three years and I did not see one Slam Book. Damn, Francine, everything else is so realistic, why make stuff like this up? For those of you not in the know, Slam Books are where you write categories like “biggest flirt” and “best couple” and all those catty categories and people anonymously write in people’s names.

So, are you ready? This one is confusing. So, Jessica has a crush on the new boy, A.J., but feels all awkward and shy around him, so she doesn’t want anyone to know she likes him. Meanwhile, Elizabeth is jealous because her boyf Jeffrey (Todd moved to Vermont like, 20 books ago) is spending time with Olivia Davidson working on a literary magazine. So, someone writes in the Slambooks that Jeffrey and Olivia are the “couple of the future” in order to make Liz suspicious. So she gets mad at Jeffrey and decides to flirt with A.J. after someone but her and A.J. as the couple of the future, which makes Jessica furious at Liz. Finally, they find out Lila is behind all of it, because she wants Jeffrey for herself. Oh, that Lila. Also, A.J. is interested in Jessica, because he thinks she is shy and reserved, and Elizabeth is too pushy and flirtatious. OH THE IRONY!

Some thoughts:

I love how Amy Sutton introduces the concept to them and is all “make sure everyone knows it was my idea”. That’s kind of something I would do.

I am pretty sure Jeffrey French is gay. I am going on pure stereotypes here, but

1. He insists on being called Jeffrey, not Jeff.

2. He works on a literary magazine.

3. He mostly hugs Liz, whereas she and Todd would suck face all the time.

This was totally fake. A.J. was standing around talking with Aaron Dallas (captain of the soccer team) and som other jock discussung the twins. He says something like “Jessica seems so quiet and friendly. I’d love to get to know her.” Yes, I am sure that is exactly how high school boys talk.

Mr. Collins, The Oracle Faculty advisor, threw a party for Olivia when she finished the literary magazine. As in, brought in tons of food and hung up banners. Get a life! Also, you’re a pervert! Stop spending times throwing parties for high school girls.

Someone wrote Jessica in the category: “Most Likely to Have Six Kids”. Hahahaha, they called her a whore.

At the beach, Lila’s beach towel says “THE RITZ HOTEL” on it, and she perches on the edge so everyone can see the writing on it. Bwah.

Blech, Elizabeth and Jeffrey. Their dates consist of things like a picnic in the park after school. They are sixteen- what happened to groping each other in her parents’ living room? They act like they are 80. I never thought I’d say I prefer to read about her fights with Todd.

Now, the cover.

God, Jessica looks so annoying. By the looks of Amy’s face, you can tell she’s thinking “bitch please, leave me alone so I can write your ass in my slam book.” I also had a sweater exactly like Jessica is wearing. Or did I have it BECAUSE Jessica was wearing it? Hmmmm.

WHERE ARE THE ADULTS TO MONITOR THE SLAM BOOKS? How is this appropriate for school? I also love how when Amy tells them about it, they all think it will be a great idea and it will be harmless fun.

Ok, so you would think the lesson of this story is that slam books and rumors and gossip are destructive. Good old Francine, trying to make a buck. Here was an add in the back of the book. Your for only $3.95! Plus $5.96 shipping and handling!

If you’ve read Slambook Fever, you know that Slam Books are the rage at Sweet Valley High. Now you can have a slam book of your own! Make up your own categories, such as “Biggest Jock” or “Best Looking”, and have your friends fill in the rest! There’s a four page calendar, horoscopes and questions most asked by Sweet Valley readers with answers from Elizabeth and Jessica.

Did she read her own book? Did she not see what damage it did? And before you ask, yes, I do want to get my hands on a copy. I’ve already combed ebay looking for it.

Ok, confession. I read this when I was 10, and I decided to try and start a slam book in my fifth grade class. I wrote people’s names on some pages, but ended up only writing descriptions of the people like, “Sue has brown hair”. God, I sucked at slam booking.

My grade: A-

The one where we find out that Enid was a slutty criminal, or #2, Secrets

What’s that pink thing? Is it a…phone? Why is there a cord attached to it? I don’t understand.

Ok, so the title is a little obvious. Enid, Liz’s nerdy best friend, has a secret. She has a police record! And she’s been writing letters to her old boyfriend! She has a new boyfriend, Ronnie, and she doesn’t want him to find out because he’s an abusive prick and she’s a pathetic doormat. Thanks Francine, I learned everything about how boyfriends should treat me in high school from you. Boyfriends are not about talking and joking and making life plans together, they are about not upsetting them and going to makeout point when they want. When we do talk to them, we should only talk in lovey-dovey flirty talk. I digress.

Jessica is an insane, manipulative cunt and she hates that Liz has any other friends but her (but she can hang out with Lila and Cara and the cheerleaders, and it’s okay). So she finds the letters to Enid’s old boyfriend and spreads it around school. Liz is the only one Enid told, so she gets mad at Liz and makes her cry about a thousand times. The funny thing is, the rumor is all over school! People actually give a shit that SOME GIRL WRITES LETTERS! Again, this is social suicide for Enid, because everyone in SVH are the uptight moral police.

So, blah blah, Enid reunites with her old boyf George who is now hot and has cleaned up his act, and Liz gets back at Jess by makinf sure that the class nerd Winston Eggbert wins Homecoming King so Jessica has to dance with him when she wins homecoming queen.

What, another dance? I think that SVH holds dances every night.

Francine has also introduced us to the timeless madonna/whore theory, best illustrated by the twins. Once can either be completely pure and no backbone and a pushover, or a raging slut with no other thoughts or ambitions.

When I first read the books, I imagined the characters as the drawings, but I am getting a Jake Gyllenhaal vibe from Todd.

God Francine, we GET IT! The twins are beautiful. You don’t have to make all the characters mention it all the time. If I hear one more thing about “perfectly toned legs” or sea-green eyes, I will scream. Funny, but today’s standards, the twins are LARD ASSES. Size six? Omg!!! Not size zero? Seriously.

I also love how this takes place about 5 seconds after the last book, and Todd and Elizabeth already have regular places and places they frequent. I think they’ve been dating for about a day.

Elizabeth is a fucking grandma. To cheer Enid up, she invites her over on a Friday night to bake cookies. Ok, so I think I did that last week, but believe me, it’s so dumb! “Enid Rollins was spending the night at the Wakefields’, and Elizabeth initiated Project C.C. Cookie in the hope it would distract Enid from whatever it was she’s been so jumpy about.” Oh my god, so stupid. Francine, hire a better ghost rider.

My grade: F