On the Run: The ending gives away the story, dumbass

It’s the clip-art magnifying glass of doom! Despite witnessing the murder of their houseguest’s girlfriend and then almost being butchered in a garage, the twins lives are pretty much back to the ho-hum of Sweet Valley. They are back interning at the Sweet Valley news for free, and Elizabeth is still believing that one day the editor will give her the assignment of her life, she’ll write it and win the Pulitzer Prize. Keep making coffee and making photocopies, loser.

Meanwhile, the news has a new intern named Darcy Kaymen, who is a redhead and immediately takes a dislike to Elizabeth, who she deems as pompous and boring. We love Darcy! The great thing is, Liz doesn’t try to win Darcy over and concert her to a Wakefield-worshipping zombie, she just kinds of sits and takes it. Awesome! Meanwhile, Darcy and Jessica become besties, because they both enjoy lipgloss and psychopathology.

But oooooo, there’s national news about a well-known criminal case in New York. Frank DeLucca, a notorious mafia leader was arrested but people are afraid to testify against him. Ned has something to say about it: He “feared that DeLucca might be let off and horrible chain of underworld crime would continue.” Because they live in a 1930s film noir. And this guy’s conviction would make New York virtually crime free. Rumor has it that they found a witness but he was going into the witness protection program.

Meanwhile…there’s a new guy, Eric,  that works in the coffeeshop downstairs. He just moved to town and seems very mysterious. I WONDER HOW THAT IS RELATED TO THE SEEMINGLY PASSING MENTION OF SOMEONE GOING INTO THE WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM. Darcy gets hard on for him, but Liz gets a bigger hard on when she finds out that Eric likes sappy love poetry. This makes Darcy mad, so she hates Elizabeth more. Some other business comes up where Darcy thinks that Eric is really some guy who murdered a girl in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and that Liz is in trouble, but meanwhile some weird guys in suits are following the twins around but meanwhile, some kid starts choking in the coffeeshop and Eric’s father is revealed to be…dum dum dum….the doctor who testified! of COURSE they moved to Sweet Valley of all places.

Just when everyone has a big laugh about the mixup and about to head to Casey’s for a deep fried quadruple scoop of bacon and nutella ice cream, some of DeLucca’s guys come in and hold Eric’s family and Liz hostage! Liz somehow saves the day by teaching Eric and his father about the power of trust and they are saved, the bad guys are arrested, and the seedy crime underworld is virtually eradicated. Yay!

I couldn’t deny you the pleasure of hearing Eric’s poetry that caused Elizabeth’s high-wasted briefs in a knot.

No sparrows light here

the sheaves picked clean,

and summer gone

with nothing left to stave off cold

or hunger.

Maybe to love

is always to hurt deeply and not just

to hurt, but to destroy,

knowing this

awful farewell

has been in store for us.

Liz was ready to cheat on Jeffrey with this sap. The only thing stopping them from getting to third base was that Eric and his dad needed to leave Sweet Valley and go ON THE RUN again. See what they did there? Good thing that the nothing else crazy and murder-related happens during this summer….except when it does.

Stepsisters: A Dramatic Reading

Cover courtesy of The Closet

MRS. WHITMAN: Annie, I’m back from another modeling gig in New York! Nevermind a boozy, single mother in a small town in California works as a model in New York, but I have some wonderful news!

ANNIE: You’ve found me a new Daddy? Because being from a single-parent household caused me to become a slutty suicidal basket case.

MS. WHITMAN: That’s right! He’s a famous fashion photographer!

ANNIE: YAY! How sophisticated!

MS. WHITMAN: But there’s just one thing…..he and his daughter are…black.

ANNIE: OH NO! WHAT WILL EVERYONE SAY?

MS. WHITMAN: Don’t worry kitten. They are totally and intentionally not at all stereotypical! They live on the Upper West Side! Cheryl loves opera! Everyone will love them! Plus, I just bought a house next to the Wakefields! What can be more perfect than living next to that wonderful family?

ANNIE: Probably not having a black stepsister. What will I tell everyone! Wow, this is going to be so hard for ME!

—–
ELIZABETH: Hi Cheryl! Welcome to Sweet Valley! I’m Liz, I write for the school newspaper, wear sensible skirts, and I am so welcoming and inclusive of all races.

JESSICA: Hi Cheryl, I’m Jessica, I am a cheerleader, I like headbands and lip gloss, and I am not even noticing that you are black! Wakefields are so open and welcoming of all races.

CHERYL: Hey, hi guys. Wow, people in Sweet Valley are so nice. Sweet Valley is the most beautiful place ever, even though I grew up in New York City. I’m not at all bitter for my father dragging me out of NY to live in a small, all-white town. I look forward to getting to know more kids.

—-

CHERYL! OMG! I have to throw a party for Cheryl. Let me invite all our token students of colors Cheryl will feel better. Let’s pull Manuel Lopez and Jade Wu out of hiding. And, thank god Patty Gilbert was recently introduced in a previous book. And maybe some others that were never mentioned before.

ELIZABETH: Steven! You’ll be home that weekend! Why don’t you invite some college friends!

STEVEN: Good idea, I need to make some first. Plus, I’ll put an ad on the dorm bulletin board advertising for a black friend.

ANNIE: PERFECT! I am so glad we are neighbors. Nevermind that Jessica drove me to a suicide attempt once.

(At the party)

CHERYL: Why are there so many students of color here, Annie? And why do most of them say they don’t know you?

ANNIE: I, well, I just thought…it would make you feel more comfortable…I’m sorry…WAAAAHHHHHHHH (goes crying out of the room)

ELIZABETH: Oh Cheryl, you should not be so mad at Annie. I mean, this has been really hard for HER. She didn’t know how to make you comfortable, and was worried that other kids would be mean to you. Your move has been really stressful on HER. Come on, everyone, let’s go comfort Annie. Oh, but by the way, I am tolerant of all races. (They all leave)

CHERYL: Really? Really? Dad wanting a piece of ass from that model, and I have to live in crazy WASP town?

[At the football game]

STEVEN: So Cheryl, how are you liking your first football game??

CHERYL: I thought I’d miss New York City, but this is way better than all the museums, shows, culture, and shopping combined! I see why you all like it here! It’s the best place ever! It looks like things are going to be ok. Sweet Valley really seems to have a handle on this racism thing.

STEVEN: Well, get used to it, soon your days will be filled with football games, picnics at Secca Lake, and food binges at the Dairi Burger. And if your lucky, you may even be struck by a rare disease or attacked by a sociopath.

CHERYL: Gee, I hope so! Except that…I can’t drive!

STEVEN: What? You can’t drive? Let me withdraw from my college classes this semester so I can hang around here and teach you to drive.

CHERYL: Great! Our driving lessons will be a metaphor for the struggles we will have as Sweet Valley’s most famous interracial couple.

ANNIE: Cheryl, I’m really sorry. I just wanted to make things welcoming for you here. You don’t know how stressful you being black has been for ME.

CHERYL: That’s okay. I’m sorry I am black and this was stressful for you. Will you ever forgive me?

ANNIE: Sure. To show how much our friendship means to you, let’s go get our picture taken. I’ll wear stripes, you’ll wear polka-dots, and we’ll make ourselves look like a mid-40s lesbian couple.

CHERYL: It’s a deal! Then I’ll take you out for a double-scoop Sundae at Casey’s!

ANNIE: I hope it’s a vanilla AND chocolate sundae! Get it?

CHERYL: I think I do! It’s going to be all right after all.

A note: welcome to all new readers! I’m flattered that you all have been checking out the site. While you are at it, become a fan on facebook.

Another Todd and Liz breakup and death threat for the twins; it must be a Tuesday.

Silly me for assuming that these Super Star Editions would give some insight on the characters that the regular series didn’t have time to do because they spent too many pages talking about sea-green eyes and lavalieres. So, class, what have we learned from this book? Todd is boring and has Daddy issues and spends most of his time playing basketball and thinking about how sweet and kind Liz Wakefield is.

It’s summer again. Again. Liz and Todd are feeling the fizzle go out of their relationship, so they decide to sign up to be camp counselors for a two-week camp run by the parks department or something. Yea, nothing says romance like working like crazy for two weeks running around chasing kids and the only time spent together is in the company of children. And also, this rekindling thing? Are they on Yes Dear? What teenagers talk about their relationships like that?

So, because Sweet Valley is the #1 vacation destination for sociopaths to move to so they can enact revenge, Kevin Holmes turns up as one of the counselors in the camp. The back story is that when Todd was “living” in “Vermont”, he witnessed this guy Kevin mugging someone, and Todd being Todd, pinned the guy down until the police came. Then Kevin’s father tried to bribe him to not testify, but Todd being Todd, did his civic duty and went ahead and testified and Kevin got a jail sentence. Kevin vowed to get back at Todd.

Margo should take pointers from this guy. Kevin manipulates everyone into liking him and hating Todd, and threatens Elizabeth’s life if Todd reveals his identity. Meanwhile, Kevin also starts working at Todd’s fathers’ firm, and take an interest in the business, something Todd never does. So now Kevin has turned Todd’s dad against him too. This Kevin guy is a really good sociopath! Which is no wonder why Jessica spends no time rubbing up his non-existence Ken Doll genitals.

So after about eight chapters of Todd being emo and he and Liz squabbling, they decide to break up. Then something not exciting enough to go into detail happens in which another female counselor is mugged, and Kevin frames Todd for it. Todd threatens to turn Kevin in and while Todd is in jail briefly, Kevin lures Elizabeth into the woods and starts to strangler her but Todd gets out of jail and there just in time! Lovers reunited, justice served, and another 45 minutes of my life I will never get back.

By now I am pretty sure that the publishers over at Bantam took the first draft of anything anyone wrote and released it in the series.

Here’s an excerpt of Kevin talking trash about Todd:

Kevin lowered his voice. “There was an…incident with a girl. Nobody knows exactly what happened.” Kevin paused significantly. “But she had to jump out of the car to get away from him. She walked home.” Jessica’s mouth went dry. At that moment, she was relieved that her sister had broke up with Todd.

I’ll tell you what happened. This girl was trying to get some action from Todd and all he wanted to do was give her butterfly kisses and make metaphors about the colors of her eyes. So she bailed. And is Jessica most appalled by the girl having to walk home? And listen Missy, let us not forget when you tried to claim that Todd attacked you. She was probably pissed that someone stole her scheme.

Friends, if you’ve been keeping track, I’ve only a few more recaps to finish the first hundred. The end is nigh…

Stop the Presses, I want to throw up in my mouth.

Book Cover from The Closet

You are going to think I’m kidding here, but this is yet another friggin’ time that the twins are almost murdered. And recover quick enough to celebrate being alive with a nosh at the Dairi Burger. It’s like some sick game from Saw with these Wakefields. Get a pimple and gut and your family and friends are allowed to live, or stay perfect and others suffer! Hahahaha!

We’re back in the summer, and I realized that the first four super thrillers are a miniseries, including later when Nicholas falls for crazy Babs. So that means the timeline jumped all over when these came out? It’s the summer and Liz is with Jeffrey, who is working as a camp counselor in San Francisco. Which is code for sleeping with men in San Francisco. Seriously, there are no sleep away camps in SF, if they wanted to be realistic, they would have said Marin or something. Seriously, don’t fuck with my city ghostwriters!

Steven is home (duh) interning at a law firm, and the Wakefields are hosting his friend Adam who is also interning. Adam is too poor to live on his own, so the Wakefields got a collective boner when they heard that and agreed to house him. Jessica is sick of Elizabeth mooning over Jeffrey being away, so she tries to get her interested in Adam. She writes a fake love note from Adam to Liz. COINCIDENTALLY, the same day, Adam’s girlfriend is murdered by an ex-boyfriend and Jessica witnesses the guy trying to hide the body but gets away before the guy can confront her. There’s a backstory about this girlfriend being rich and her parents not approving of Adam, but really you don’t need to give a fuck.

Let me back up. The twins are interning at the Sweet Valley News during the summer. of course Liz thinks by the end of the summer she will win a nobel prize, and Jessica is forced to by her parents. Jessica’s new dry-hump target is star reporter Seth, who is twenty-two and writes mystery novels on the side. Hubba hubba! Sounds like my kind of nerdy guy. Jessica tries to get Seth into her by making up false leads so they can go solve crimes together. Again, it is SO BEYOND JESSICA’S COMPREHENSION that Seth is maybe not interested in her so she persists on with the bullshit. Also, no one believes her when she says she sees the murder.

Oh yea, and then Adam is arrested for his girlfriend’s murder because everyone thinks he wrote Liz a love note and that made the police think he killed his girlfriend so he could be with Liz. Nice detective work there, Sweet Valley police. Then again, the twins insane beauty and awesomeness can drive people to murder! They just can’t help it! Anyway, Jessica refuses to tell the police that she really wrote the note, SO ADAM STAYS IN JAIL AND ACCUSED OF MURDER. But the important thing is, Jessica isn’t in trouble!

Ned and Alice forbade the twins to drive the Fiat, because the  murderer may recognize the car. There’s an office party at the news, and Jessica gets a ride with Seth, and Liz is supposed to drive Steven’s car, but he didn’t come home in time (the ONE time he is not home, right?) so she says fuck it, I’ll take the Fiat. Jessica is at the party and realizes that the killer is there and is actually a friend of the news editor. Jessica somehow convinces the killer to leave the party, probably with the help of her alluring magnetism, but oops, Liz pulls up in the Fiat as he goes into the garage. Killer guy tries to kill the twins by running into them with his car and beating them with a pipe. You think I’m kidding when I say that. Somehow the twins overcome him and knock him unconscious (they also have super strength) and become the heroes. Jessica somehow does not get in trouble for keeping information from the police, and also is awarded the opportunity to write a front-page story about how she cracked the case.

Oh yea, somehow in all the celebrating someone remembers to release Adam from prison. No bother that his reputation is ruined and his girlfriend is dead, it’s okay because the twins are okay and the beating didn’t ruin their California-girl good looks.

Also? Double Jeopardy does not mean that two people are in jeopardy. Just sayin’.

The real question here is: the Sweet Valley News actually exists, and has more then two employees? What breaking news could they possible have to cover? Well, let’s check out some recent headlines:

Alice Wakefield Tapped to Lead New Town Hall Redesign; Spanish-Style Tiles Expected to Be Involved

Enid Rollins’ Past to Be Revealed as Dangerous and Outlandish, No One Gives Shit

Tricia Martin Still Dead, Sources Confirm

Cheryl Thomas Moves to Sweet Valley, Black Population Up 25%

Jessica’s New Bikini Said to Be Small, Revealing

Local Teacher Roger Collins Proposes New Sleepaway Teen Summer Writing Camp at His House

Toilet Store Opens in Downtown Sweet Valley, No Customers Yet

Local Teen Winston Egbert Beats His Own Record at Taco Eating Contest, Awarded Nothing

Hidden Camera Found in Boys’ Locker Room, Local Teen Tom McKay Tipped Off Police

Local Couple Alice and Ned Wakefield to Publish Book on Parenting

Annie Whitman Goes on Ninth Date this Week, Slut Status Solidified

Bruce Patman Switching to Boxer Briefs, Sources Confirm

Susan Stewart Reveals Identity of Real Father, Sweet Valley Residents say Susan Who?

Local Survey of Sweet Valley Residents reveal that Sweet Valley is the #1 Favorite Place in the World

Local High School Dance Canceled, Project Youth Flooded With Calls from Depressed Students

Police Catch Twenty-Seventh Serial Killer This Year

Town Council Passes a Measure that This Year will have Six Christmases and Eight Summer Vacations

Lois Waller Still Fat, Sources Confirm

Local Sweet Valley Residents Pondering if Jews Really Exist

Wow, did anyone ever tell you that you should be a model?

Well, this will be an easy one to sum up. Just reread Alone In the Crowd and replace songwriting with basketball. And being frizzy-haired with being very tall. And Guy Chesney with Jim Roberts, who is apparently 43 years old.

Shelley Novak? Really tiresome. She’s super awesome at basketball, but that doesn’t stop her from moping around 24/7 because she’s too tall for boys to like her. She meets Jim at a dance lesson** and he takes pictures of her. CONVENIENTLY there’s a photo contest but Shelley makes him promise that he won’t submit any pictures of her because-my god, she’s so tall! And so thin! And athletic! God, it is so embarrassing! Well, Jim does submit it, he wins, Shelley gets mad, makes a hundred people tell her a hundred times that she’s gorgeous and should be a model, realizes Jim is the same height as her, they kiss, and everything is fantastic. Nevermind that she’s a talented athlete. At the final game, everyone in the universe shows up to cheer her on and of course she wins the championship game through the power of having a boyfriend. Aaaaannnd the women’s basketball team is never heard of again. The SVH cheerleaders also cheer at this game- I am surprised Jessica doesn’t protest because it’s not a men’s game.

Again, Shelley’s life problems are solved once she gets a boyfriend. And is being tall really that awful? Shelley is six feet tall and very thin and pretty, and apparently in Sweet Valley, there are model scouts crawling the place, but they never see Shelley? I’m also sick of these non-Wakefield characters moping around and thinking their lives suck and being totally self-absorbed. Yes, they are teenagers, but please, Sweet Valley needs to put Zoloft in the water pumping to all non-Wakefield homes. That or their parents need to smack some sense into them. In Ms. Novak’s defense, she does try. But of course, a mother’s love is no match for the kiss of a teenage boy.

**Yea, this happened. In order to create a plot device where Jim and Shelley meet, they have a college student majoring in dance just randomly offer to teach dance classes after school. And Jim and Shelley sign up, which is so ubnlikely because they are both really shy. There are no  other teachers/chaperones present, of course. It turns out this dancer guy is the most!gorgeous!guy!Jessica!has!ever!seen! and she and Lila and Amy make fools of themselves trying to get his attention. Turns out he has a girlfriend. In reality, he would likely be gay. Wahhh-waaaahhhhh. Wacky hijinks all around.

Wow, and the title- see what they did there? It’s a pun. And has not two- but THREE different meanings! Shelley does “perfect shots” in basketball, and she has the “perfect shot” at love, AND Jim takes the “perfect shot” of Shelley to enter in the contest. Bravo, writers. [slow clap]

Choose your own (mis)adventure: Two Boy Weekend

You’re a popular, blond teenager. Your boyfriend is going to be away for four days. Do you:

  • (A) Pine after him by listening to your favorite songs that remind you of him, and spend the time hanging out with your girlfriends- it’s fun to have some girl time anyway!
  • (B) throw a massive temper tantrum, try to convince said boyfriend to cancel his plans despite it being important to him, practically threaten suicide, and sit on the beach for hours crying and feeling sorry for yourself

Great! You chose (B). Now, while you sit on the beach contemplating how awful your life is, you see a cute guy on the beach. Do you:

  • (C) Be faithful to your boyfriend for two fucking seconds. Maybe just admire him.
  • (D) Decide that he is the best looking guy you have ever seen and declare yourself in love with him. Of course agree to go out with him because he is instantly in love with you.

Great! You chose (D) You guys spend the whole weekend together. He doesn’t share anything about himself, but spends hours listening to you babble on about yourself.  After that weekend, and after your boyfriend returns, this guy, Christopher calls you incessantly after you ask him not too. Finally, you agree to go out with him one more time, and he threatens to smash into a brick wall with you in the car unless you promise to go out with him. Do you:

  • (E) tell your parents and seek help immediately. Maybe even call the police?….
  • (F) Decide to go out with him anyway, because you don’t want your boyfriend finding out about him. After all, your boyfriend is getting an award at a dance at the country club, and that will make you and him king and queen of the party, so you don’t want to miss that opportunity and therefore will continue to let Christopher harass you and threaten you. After all, you got a new dress!

You’ve chosen (F). Great! It’s the day of the party. However, Christopher finds out about the party, since he’s been stalking you. He shows up to break the news to your boyfriend, and probably to physically harm you for not choosing to be with him. When he arrives, he sees your identical twin sister and thinks it’s you. He starts talking to her and trying ti win her over. Should your twin sister:

  • (G) avoid this psycho, reveal herself to be your twin, alert some security at the party…or get the fuck away from this guy, or
  • (H) pretend to be you and agree to take a walk in the deserted woods with Christopher, so he won’t ruin your chances of being queen of the country club dance.

Well you chose…(H). Way to go…I guess? Still thinking your sister is you, he ties her up and shoves her in the trunk of his car in hopes of kidnapping her. This brings up some major issues because this is not the first time your sister was kidnapped. Not long ago, she was held hostage and fed frozen pancakes. Finally, after about an hour of dancing in the spotlight, you begin to feel a TAD BIT worried about your sister. You find her boyfriend and go off to find her. Just your luck! You catch them just as Liz is being thrown in the trunk. Jeffrey punches him out and you free Liz from the ropes. Yay! Does Liz:

  • (I) freak out from the incident, go ballistic on you, screaming for the police and have a flashback to her earlier ordeal?
  • (J) Hop out of the car, smooth her sensible skirt and laugh the whole thing off.

Great, you chose…..give me a fucking break. You chose (J)? Really? Really? Well, ok. So Christopher gets hauled off by security. Turns out he’s an escaped mental patient who has done this to girls before. Tee hee! Silly you! You probably should have asked more about him and not talked so much about yourself. You all head back to the party. Your boyfriend, A.J., asks you where you’ve been. You:

  • (K) Explain that you were cheating on him and because of your selfish actions, almost got your sister raped and/or killed.
  • (L) Say that things just aren’t working out, maybe you need time apart, and end up parting amicably so that the break up is NO FAULT of yours and he actually apologizes to you.

of COURSE you chose (L). You’re Jessica Wakefield.

—-

Francine, stop trying to make rape-chic happen. Seriously, were we supposed to think Jessica was dumb? Or that this was funny? What is the lesson learned? That they should just expect it because they are Wakefields, it’s part of life, if this happens it will all work out? That if they just ignore the guy threatening them, they can work it out themselves? That girls are powerless about the men that threaten violence against them? There was no lesson learned….Jessica has NO consequences from cheating on her boyfriend, not telling anyone about the guy threatening her, almost getting Elizabeth killed. She learns nothing. Elizabeth, as usual, enables her by cleaning up her mess.

Meanwhile, Jessica may be an even bigger sociopath than this Christopher guy. I’ve GOTTA transcribe Jessica’s reaction to A.J. having the NERVE to go away for four days. And when her friends wouldn’t wallow in her self-pity with her.

Her friends’ laughter drifted to her, and Jessica felt a surge of loneliness and betrayal. They were acting as if nothing was different, she thought. They weren’t making the least effort to cheer her up, and they were all going to Ken Matthew’s party later and didn’t even care if she went or not. I could disappear off the face of the earth, and they’d never know the difference. Feeling completely rejected, she dove into an oncoming wave and swam a few quick strokes out. She cut through another wave and felt her hair drag out behind her. They’d be really sorry if I drowned, she added silently. Then they’d wish they’d been nicer to me when they had the chance.

I call your bluff, Jessica. Drown yourself.

Mean People Suck.

[Cover from The Closet]

So, Enid’s grandmother movies in with Enid and her mom and…

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Yea really, it’s that bad. There’s a reason that this was one of the first books I found but put off reading it. Grandma Rollins, who throughout the book is referred to as Mrs. Langeven, which really annoyed me, moves in after her husband dies, and proceeds to act like a manipulative self-centered wench. Enid feels bad and drops plans with her friends and her boyfriend Hugh to spend with her co-dependent grandmother. Gram, ehm, excuse me, Mrs. Langevin, sees the error of her ways after one outburst from Enid and decides to move back to Chicago. Case closed. The end. Whatever, I don’t even need to go into detail. (Although props to Ms. L for saying that Liz seems bossy.)

The subplot is infuriating. Susan Stewart’s famous director father (wow, she’s mentioned again?) has too much time on his hands, I guess, and sponsors a documentary film making contest. The Scooby gang decides to enter and make a documentary about…what else…. A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE TOWN OF SWEET VALLEY. We.get.it. You love it, it’s wonderful. Of course, Jessica is the host, and of course what’s featured is the beach and all the students of SVH. Of course, there’s no mention of the poor shitty area where Betsy Martin lives and where the Good Friends cult house is, or the Shady Lady. During one taping, Winston Egbert comes out of a joke shop (yes, in Sweet Valley it is possible for a joke shop to thrive) wearing an arrow through his head and follows Jessica around and stands behind her in the shots. Omg, he is HILARioius! He should be a comedian! They have a world premiere at the Wakefield’s split-level house, but then…the winner is never announced? This writing is so sloppy.

What I want to talk about is the very weird friendship between Liz and Enid. I know people have joked that they are lesbionic for each other, but I’m not really referring to that. Best friends in high school, no matter what “type” you are, share private jokes and laugh a lot. I mean, at any age, that’s what a best friend is. They just don’t do that. Enid’s whole world revolves around Liz, and doesn’t really have any other friends. They go to craft fairs and play recorders together. Whenever Enid is upset I half expect Liz to run over, whip out a boob, and start nursing Enid. Check out this exchange.

Elizabeth and Enid found an empty table [at the Dairi Burger] across the room and sat down gracefully. “You stay here,” Enid suggested, instantly rising to her feet, “and I’ll go get us some sodas. It’s so crowded today we’d probably lose the table if we both went. ” Elizabeth grinned up at her friend. “Ok- make it my usual, bartender. ” “One root beer, coming up!” With a salute, Enid turned and picked her way across the popular after-school hangout.

Shut up. Just shut up.

In other news, please read my column in the Oakland Examiner.

The ten commandments of the Wakefields

1. Jessica acts like a sociopath but everyone forgives her because…gosh darn it, it’s so hard to stay mad at her for long!

Jessica wants Liz to try out with her for a part as twins on a soap opera. Liz is like, above all that nonsense (despite filling in at the Miss Teen Sweet Valley Pageant, and appearing on the talk show as Jess) so Jessica tricks her into going by making her believe she’s been invited to a focus group about twins. Which of course, Liz is stoked about, because it’s super-important research . Then they have a fight in the waiting room for the audish, and they are so awesome they are hired right on the spot!

2. Liz Wakefield is an amazing writer and reporter, and we always need to be reminded.

Jessica finally convinces Liz to do the show when she sends her stuff to the Los Angeles Times and offers Liz up to write articles about the experience for the. The editor of the times says he knows her work because HE SCOURS HIGH SCHOOL NEWSPAPERS LOOKING FOR TALENT. Oh, jesus.

3. Ned and Alice come in last place for parents of the year.

Not only do they let Jessica go and party with the cast, she allows her to spend the weekend in LA with Lila and Amy under the watchful eye of Mr. Fowler. She also lets the star, Brandon Hunter, take her to a rock star’s house in the Hollywood Hills. Where they just hang around playing charades, not doing coke off every surface like it would be every week (Hey, I’ve seen Californication). Speaking of…

4. Famous movie stars and rock stars fall in love with one or more of the twins.

Jessica starts dating Brandon,despite him being twenty-two and she sixteen. Really? parents are ok with this? And the tabloids? pedo much?This is not the first time this has happened- Didn’t Elizabeth date some rock star in Malibu? And then later Jessica dates some guy in Manhattan? Not to mention Jeremy Frank, Jamie Peters…

5. The entertainment industry has no realistic rules.

Wouldn’t Jess and Elizabeth have to be supervised on the set?  Aren’t there child labor laws? Do all actresses really get to keep their outfits? Also, when Jess and Liz decide to get back at Brandon for being such a douche, they fuck up the scene to make him confused. Sure, great, waste the director’s and the crew’s time to suit your own needs. Furthermore, the show airs the same afternoon as it’s filmed. Really? Also, the director did not like how one of their final scenes worked out, so they DECIDE TO DO THE SCENE LIVE during the airing. REALLY? REALLY?

6. Everyone gives a shit about what the Wakefields do.

Apparently, everyone hears about Jessica’s dates with Brandon because they are ALL OVER THE TABLOIDS. I know soaps were way bigger in the early 90s, but really? All over the tabloids?  Perhaps in a sad little soap opera rag you see at the checkout stand. Everyone at Steven’s college is jerking off to the twins pictures apparently. And probably also Steven.

7. Once again, everyone forgives Jessica because she’s just so…well, she’s Jessica!

Elizabeth thanks Jessica for tricking her into doing it because she had so much fun. And Jessica basically cuckolds Sam in the tabloids, but he forgives her only after Jessica realizes Brandon is a douche. So she goes to her backup boyfriend. Sam, dieing a fiery death is much better than having to deal with this fucking maniac Jessica.

Also, this is an Elizabeth gem. The director asks her how she likes working on the show.

“I have to admit that at the beginning, I was skeptical, maybe even a trifle smug. I thought soap opera actors were overpaid and underworked, and I really didn’t see the appeal of watching a bunch of people dig themselves into one problem situation after another.”

“Liz!: Jessica tried to shush her.

“It’d alright,” William said, his eyes twinkling. “I appreciate her honesty. What do you think now?”

“Now I realize how hard everyone works to put out a good product. I plan to talk about the glamor and the hard work aspects in my latest article. And I appreciate how the cast and crew has been so open and helpful with me. “

Oh, gee Liz, thanks for giving your approval to soap operas, they were going to cancel them because of your disdain. Oh, and people digging themselves into one problem after another? Shall I count the number of times you’ve been threatened by a killer? Or saved someone’s life? Or started a class war? And did she use the words ‘a trifle smug”?

But, as a postscript, this is one of the “better” SVHs. And by “better” I mean quite entertaining with all the random shit they throw in and the ridiculous events. Also, Lila is the schemer who comes up with the ways to trick Liz. Lila is at her best when scheming.

Oh yea, that’s only seven commandments. Whatevevs.

Poor Little Rich Girl

Courtesy of The Closet

Courtesy of The Closet

Oh Lila. Why do you have to be this way? We love your cool, snarky exterior but when you got your own Super Star, we thought we’d see the real Lila, one that was actually cool and smart and had it together. Unfortunately, it took for you to experience sexual assault until you had feelings and dealt with your problems and had emotions.

Mr. Fowler (who I imagine as John Hamm) has a new ladyfriend, Joan, who has a daughter Jacqueline. Fuck, I have to type that name every time. Lila suspects Joan is after her father’s money, because she never pays for anything and they always are staying at Fowler Crest (in the guest room of course!). Lila tries to tell her father but he won’t have it, he’s totally hot for Joan. Lila and her father have an odd relationship, but that’s the most obvious statement ever. Also, did you know that the Fowlers have a housekeeper named Eva? Who Lila has known since she was little? Not like we ever hear from her. And I hope Eva gets a good fucking salary, because you wouldn’t believe the crap she needs to do. Joan and Jacqueline are over for lunch, and Eva has to prepare lobster tails and shrimp cocktail, creme brulee and swan ice sculptures.

Meanwhile, Lila’s got problems of her own. She meets Evan Armstrong as a concert, and decides she’s in love. Evan is nuttin’ special. Kind of a cross between Todd and Ken Matthews, if you can imagine that snoozefest. Problem is, he’s dating some gal named Sonia. Lila enlists Bruce into luring Sonia away. And damn! The sexual tension between Lila and Bruce jumps out of the page. Bruce of course has Sonia dropping her panties at the first revving of 1BRUCE1, and Lila seduces Evan with her womanly wiles.

So, Lila’s scheming to get Evan is pretty much like Joan scheming to get George Fowler, amiryte? You’d think it was a parallel story, right? Let’s not give the ghost writers that much credit. Joan and George leave for the week and leave the gals at Fowler Crest. Jacqueline reveals herself to be a scheming shrew, and steals Lila’s car to go off and jaunt with Lila’s friends who love her.

Finally, Lila is able to reveal Joan’s true intentions by hiding microphones in her dressing room before the wedding, while she conveniently talks about her scheme to marry him and take his money. George apologizes profusely to Lila, and somehow is not too upset, and decides to make the wedding a party for Lila instead. Woopsies! No real adult reactions allowed in Sweet Valley. Meanwhiles, Lila finds out that Evan has been canoodling with Jacqueline, but dumps his ass before he can dump hers. So really, Lila didn’t really learn a lesson, she just got away with her bratty tactics. And the universe is aligned in the world of Sweet Valley.

You know what? I don’t even think Liz was in this book. So it had that going for it.

Project Youth: solving your teen’s problems, one condescending phone call at a time

I don’t think I even need to describe the plot of this. If you’ve seen The Truth About Cats and Dogs, you are all set. Denise and Ginny are best friends who obviously don’t matter because this is the first time they are mentioned. Ginny is shy and mousy, Denise is popular and pretty. Denise is tired of Ginny being such a sack of pathetic shit, so she convinces her to volunteer at Project Youth, where local teens call in the get help with their problems, like which silk jumpsuit to where to Lila’s party. On her shift, Ginny talks to Mike, who is having problems with his new stepdad, and wants to run away from home. Ginny talks him out of it, and Mike is in love with her. He asks to meet in person, and since Ginny is a brunette and “mousy”, knows he will vomit when he sees her. So she convinces Denise to meet him instead and pretend to be her. Mike is really hot and Denise gets all hot for him, so she continues to date him. Mike is a moron and can’t tell that it’s not really Ginny. Denise brings Ginny along for a date, and she and Mike hit it off. Okay, some mixups and tears happen, and Mike figures out what happened and he and Ginny fall in love and suddenly all of Ginny’s self-esteem issues are solved, natch. Also, Mike is not really all that (see cover pic). Also, did you know that Denise Hadley sits with Lila and Jess and the crowd at lunch? Yea, me neither until now.

Meanwhile, Amy Sutton shares with the twins that a girl called the PY hotline complaining that she was being sexually harassed by a teacher. (This is at a school other than SVH. Let’s say it’s Big Mesa. They’ve got all sorts of fucked up stuff going on there, like making the kids go to eight periods a day). Liz gets all in a huff and decides she MUST write an expose on this. Yea, of course Mr. Collins is a bit uncomfortable, but probably thinks it’s some sort of hint from Liz, and goes on and supports it. Liz goes off and makes love to her typewriter, meanwhile Chrome Dome gets word of it and decides to forbif it because…well, he’s the fucking principal and it’s a dinky student newspaper. Liz gets all huffy and claimes that the way the admin is shutting her down is akin to how some girls are shit down by being sexually harassed. Surprisingly, Bruce Patman and Rick Andover were not contacted for a counter-point editorial. Liz decides to print it anyway, on separate paper that she hads out. Ah, the world before blogs. Obvs, the article is so amazing and she is so strong in her convinctions that Chrome Dome backs down and apologizes to Liz profusely.

Let’s get back to Project Youth. What the fuck? Are they really that busy that they have like 5 volunteers at a time manning the phones? Also, they let Amy Sutton answer the phone. That should tell you something. It is also revealed that the Morrows gave a generous donation to Project Youth in memory of Regina. Because “If a teen line had existed sooner, Regina would have had someplace to turn when she was in trouble.” Uhhuh. Also, didn’t the Morrows contribute to the new darkroom? What’s next? A new hamburger at the DB named for Regina?

Some quotes too good to ignore:

Lila being awesome:

“It’s not nothing” Penny cut in. “I’m taking this very seriously.” “So am I,” Elizabeth said. “OK, now we’re all curious,” Enid said with a smile. “What are you two getting so worked up about?” Lila yawned. “Probably something like whether or not to change the typeface in the newspaper.”

Make sure you haven’t eaten anything for the last four hours before reading this.

Todd leaned against the wall and folded his arms. “Sometimes I get the sneaking suspicion that you care more bout your word processor than you do about me.” “Don’t  say that!” Elizabeth smiled. “My word processor doesn’t kisss the way you do.” “Yeah, but it’s better at spelling,” Todd murmured,pulling her close for a kiss.