Tuesday, December 28, 2010

SVT Magna Edition- BIG For Christmas

Like I said, I don't remember reading this one. I always wanted to though, and I'm SO excited to start blogging this that I can barely concentrate on writing this intro, so let's get on with it...
The cover of this book shows Jess and Liz standing by a Christmas tree in their PJs, and it opens up to reveal a picture of the twins looking all grown-up like, still in the same pajamas (which have magically grown with them...somehow). They look like the Sweet Valley High versions of themselves. There is also a little circle on the cover bearing the statement "SWEET VALLEY HIGH- NOW A HIT TV SERIES!" I wish it still was.

Our story begins with the Unicorns having an emergency meeting at Janet Howell's house (OMG, "emergency"...I wonder what's going on!!!!) right after school lets out for winter break. Janet is wearing a red pleated skirt with a belt and a red, green, and gold VEST. She is described as looking "festive". (Excuse me, Janet, but as President of the Unicorns, YOU of all people should remember that you are supposed to ALWAYS wear something PURPLE...it's like the LAW!!!!) Jessica is practically shitting her white denim pants as she looks around the room admiring the Howell's Christmas decorations. She ponders what to get Janet for Christmas, and we get a description of her relationship with Janet.
Apparently, Janet and her SUPER HOTT older brother Joe (he's FOURTEEN!!!! and in HIGH SCHOOL!!!!) are throwing a joint holiday party (Hey, this is Sweet Valley, so by "joint" they mean TOGETHER, right?) this year. That means there will be HIGH SCHOOL BOYS in attendance!!!! Woohooo!!!! Jessica decides that this will be "the most sophisticated party of all time" (ummm, sorry Jess, but I went to a party at a billionaire's house last year, and I think that was a LITTLE more sophisticated than this promises to be...)
Janet goes on to tell her minions that, since this is a grown-up party, they MUST be presentable and grown-up looking for the event. This leads to more outfit descriptions- Lila Fowler is wearing black denim jeans, a black silk shirt, and leather boots (this sounds like the outfit I wore to work yesterday...); Mandy Miller is rocking candy-cane striped leggings, a red sweater, and some stupid hat...that outfit sounds OK, except for that damn hat. They look fabulous, as always (because NOBODY ever looks bad in Sweet Valley, even the poor kids have amazing fashion senses that make others overlook the fact that they are POOR!!!!), but then Janet has to go and be a total bitch, criticizing Jessica for her white jeans and unicorn t-shirt. Jess is super sad because she looks like a KID compared to the others (awww, it's OK Jess!!!! You're TWELVE, honey, not twenty!!!!).

Cut to Elizabeth and Amy Sutton (more like, cut to a NAP, because this promises to be a boring part...) in the SVMS halls, bitching about the fact that they're SO smart and have run out of books to read over Winter Break. (Yawn, go watch some TV or something!!!) Then the book randomly launches into the obligatory description of the twins. (Side note: WOW, SVMS has a 2 1/2 week Winter Break!!!! That seems extra long to me for some reason. We usually got a week off for the holidays, until I started high school and our Winter Break was the last 2 weeks of the year PLUS all of January...) Liz and Amy bitch some more about how they've already read ALL the Amanda Howard mysteries, and Liz gets the idea to buy Amy a book for Christmas.
Finally, after like 5 pages of HELL, Jess re-appears and joins Liz and Amy for the walk home. She's bubbling over with excitement about the party, and so are the ever-boring Liz and Amy (more like LAME-Y, haha) once they learn that Janet has also invited them (WHY?!?! Must be some sort of Bring-A-Dork Party...) As they walk, they discuss what to wear (well, Jessica does most of the talking), until an elephant rolls by (WTF?!?!) and they realize that a Christmas carnival is coming to Sweet Valley. Amy of course wants to go immediately, but Jess and Liz think it's babyish and decide to go shopping.
The next morning, the entire Wakefield family is gathered around the breakfast table. Steven is whining about how he's just too damn grown up to pick out a Christmas tree with his family. (I sort of agree with Steve on this one, most guys his age are out with friends and trying to get laid, but he is from Sweet Valley, where everybody is a virgin until they go to Sweet Valley University...) Jess and Liz are disappointed- they LOVE their tree-picking tradition, and so do their parents. After some guilt-tripping, Steven relents and agrees to go for Mr. Wakefield's sake.
The next chapter involves Jess strolling through Kendall's department store, looking for "adult" clothing. She tries on hats that are WAY too big, and the saleslady suggests that she try the kids' department. She also tries to get a makeover, but the lady is a total BITCH about it, and she tells poor Jess to run along and play. (As a makeup artist myself, I can attest that a girl Jess's age doesn't NEED makeup whatsoever, but I have no reservations about 12 year-olds wearing it for special occasions, it's like a rite of passage!!!!)
The book randomly cuts to Steven and Joe Howell. Steven doesn't want the twins at the party because he thinks they'll embarrass him in front of the ladies... End chapter.
The next chapter starts with Elizabeth in the book store, shopping for an early Christmas gift for Amy. She finds nothing in the young adult section, so the sales lady suggests that she try the "adult department". (Ummm, pause!!!! Why doesn't the ghostwriter simply say "FICTION department" or something that doesn't sound so DIRTY!!!!! All this talk about "adult departments" is kind of disturbing...) Liz does just that, but still finds nothing. The saleslady suggests that she get Amy a biography (because EVERY 12 year-old wants to read that crap...), so Liz chooses one about horses and her total comes up to $65.42!!!! (Oh snap, that's an expensive book...but I guess that Sweet Valley "adult department" has a right to charge whatever they want for that freaky equine-fetish porn, so whatevs!!!!) Liz is embarrassed because she doesn't have the money, so she leaves that damn "adult department" empty-handed (Thank god!!!! I was worried that I would have to call the Sweet Valley Police Department and report that that damn bookstore was selling adult materials to a freakin 12 year-old!!!!) and feeling like a kid. (Hahaha, I love when Liz gets knocked down a peg and put in her place!!!! Take that, Elizabeth!!!!) She walks home, laughing like a cray bitch for some reason, and Steven sees her. He's super embarrassed that she's walking around in public like that, naturally, and he even goes so far as to bribe her to not attend the Howell's party.
The next chapter starts with Jessica still shopping at Kendall's. All of the dresses SUCK, like really, really BADLY!!!! Everything looks like it's for BABIES!!!! Like, imagine lots of bows and lace and crushed velvet *shudders, imagining all of that*...it's really more Elizabeth's style, so Jess goes to the petites section, and SHOCKER! nothing fits her because she's TWELVE. *Exasperated sigh, why doesn't Sweet Valley have like a Limited Too?!?! That place was AWESOME when I was 12...* Jess gets re-directed to the childrens' department. *Sighs again*
Jess and Liz sit around bitching about how unfair it is to be 12. Fun fact: Elizabeth's favorite dress is blue, with a bow in the back. Jess calls it a "drip dress", whatever THAT means, I shall not speculate. She goes on to call it "dorky" and "dweeby", and I wonder if Mrs. Wakefield should ground her for such language. Liz goes on a crazy rampage through her closet and decides that all her clothes SUCK. (No shit, Liz, that's why Jess is a UNICORN and you write for The Sixers.) Then she randomly thinks about going back to that damn "adult section" and buying THREE books...hmmm, again with that?!?! (Really, they've beat that phrase into the ground, and all I can think of is how I always wanted to go into the adult room at the video store when I was younger. I went in there when I was of legal age and discovered that it was full of creepy dudes looking at porn and such...) Liz tells Jess to go out and find them some skanky/HOTT outfits for the party, but only after CRYING about it (real grown-up, Liz...). Jess promises to, because Lila's chauffeur is taking Lila to L.A. to shop the next day, and there's an outlet mall there. (What kind of parent hires a stranger to drive his 12 year-old daughter to Los Angeles to shop at expensive stores ALONE? I could understand if Janet was going with, but even that seems a little risky in this scary world outside of Sweet Valley.)
The twins go to the Christmas carnival with the Unicorn Club, super exciting. They buy some roasted chestnuts from a vendor who looks like an elf, and he tosses some of their change into a wishing well after making a wish for the twins. He wished for them to have an unforgettable Christmas, and I'm sure that they will...
Steven is also at the Christmas carnival with his BFF, Joe Howell. (What is up with these two? I'll have to pay closer attention to their relationship this time around.) Liz and Jess decide to go say "hello", and Jessica totally calls Steven on his earlier statement that "Christmas carnivals are for babies". He tells them to leave him alone, but one of his friends steps in and is all like "Dude, your sisters are HOT, and they're TWINS!!!! What's up, ladies?!?!" (Okay, I paraphrased, but that was pretty close.) His name is Tim Reed, and both of the twins think he's HOTT. A red flag pops up in my head when the ghostwriter makes this Tim character reveal that he reads Amanda Howard mysteries (*cough* gay *cough*) and wants to ride the carousel.
He apparently does just that, and Steven is upset with him for some reason afterwards. He thinks the twins will follow Tim around 24/7 because he rode it THREE times with them and their Unicorn friends. Tim even promises Jess the first dance, and Steven is still super-worried that his sisters will embarrass him at Jo-Ho's party in front of HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS. But, on the upside, everyone is jealous of Jess, and Liz found somebody else to bore with her incessant babblings about Amanda Howard mysteries (is Amanda Howard the write, or the fictional character, I wonder.), but Steven is still acting like a little bitch. He buys some chestnuts to cheer himself up, and sees a weird flash of light, which the twins also see, but nobody else notices.
Jess comes home from her shopping trip to L.A., and she has hit the JACKPOT!!! She found a "little person" having a yard sale and stocked up on lots of FABULOUS clothing. There's jackets, pants, accessories, AND skirts, with cool colors and glitter and beads and sequins and feathers, and I shudder at all of this tacky-sounding stuff. Liz is thinking about how nice it is to have finally met a boy who likes to talk about "the kinds of books they would like to write or edit when they grew up". (Sounds to me like he's either a) gay or b) trying to get in her pants...but again, this is Sweet Valley so it's most likely c) an A-sexual talking Ken Doll with a SVH letter jacket...a vision of Todd Wilkins 4 years in the future, I imagine.) Liz thinks (nauseating the hell out of me as she does) that she wants to look super glamourous "like a New York writer" at Janet and Jo-Ho's party, and then she worries that she's becoming "boy-crazy like Jessica". She also thinks about how bitchy Steven has been about them going to the party, and asks Jess to do her makeup for the party so she looks SUPER HOT and Steven feels bad about trying to bribe her not to go. (Oh, NOW who's the boy-crazy twin, Liz?!?! There you go, thinking about Steven again. Yeah, I know they're brother and sister, but I totally went there!!!!)
The next day (Party Day!!!! Wooohooo!!!) Steven and Mr. W are out shopping for special groceries for their family Christmas-tree setting-up thing, and they run into Mr. Howell. After some quick convo, Mr. W finds out that the party is for BOTH SVMS and SVH students, and there will be *gasp* SENIORS there!!! It will be properly supervised, of course, but Steven promises his dad that he will be babysitting the twins if things get "too wild". Mr. W is shocked and starts imagining all sorts of horrible scenarios involving the SVH athletes and his precious twins. Steven laughs inwardly as he tries to imagine "Joe's well-behaved friends getting rowdy in someone else's house". (Ummm, OK, Sweet Valley is full of perfectly dull and boring children, I get that, but look how much changed when Jess and Liz got to high school. It's those middle-schoolers that I'm worried about.) He pretty much talks Mr. W into forbidding the twins to go.
Meanwhile, the twins are getting all whored up in their new clothes,

and Mrs. W comes in and asks if they're going to a costume party (oh, sad!!!), which makes the twins feel sorta stupid. She goes on to suggest that Jess wear her green satin skirt and vest (shouldn't she wear a SHIRT as well? What is with these Sweet Valley girls and VESTS?), and Liz should wear her blue velvet pinafore. (I Googled "pinafore", and they're hideous. It's like a jumper/dress, and it usually needs a shirt under it, but again Mrs. W fails to mention a SHIRT.) The twins are all like "Hells no, mom!!! There's HIGH SCHOOL kids there!!!" And Mrs. W is all "Pause, HIGH SCHOOL KIDS?!?!" She had apparently assumed that Steven was going to the Howell's to help with the Unicorn's party by setting up, decorating, and serving food. Because, you know, teenage boys in Sweet Valley do that kind of thing. She doesn't think the twins should go, and when Mr. W arrives home all freaked out about the same thing, they call the Howells and learn that there will be SENIORS there, so the twins aren't allowed to go, which makes Elizabeth burst into tears. (I smiled when this happened, I won't lie.) She only stops after an equally-sickening self-absorbed thought session. She goes on for an entire paragraph about how she's SO responsible, mature, capable, not stuck-up at all...I want to vomit, but luckily the chapter ends there.
Steven goes to the party, while the twins sit in the den (what exactly is a den? Is that like some ancient Man-Cave?) and pout about how they're 12...this is getting tiresome. Luckily, Mrs. W comes in, gives a little speech about 12 being a "special age", and Elizabeth runs out of the room in tears (seriously, what a BABY). Mrs. W, not wanting to do any parenting that evening (too much eggnog, I assume), sends Jess to talk to her. Jess is all like "Stop whining, Liz, I'm a genius, remember?" And she convinces Liz to sneak out, but Liz complains the whole time and acts so stuck-up about it, but she goes along with it. Liz's party outfit is white silk trousers and a ruffled blouse, while Jess wears a sequined blouse. They put on some lipgloss to look more "festive", and attempt to BS their parents into believing that they're going back to that damn carnival. Of course, Alice and Ned are not complete idiots (and I'm assuming that Elizabeth is a terrible liar, so that was probably a dead giveaway) and they decide to make it a family thing.
Jess and Liz are understandably upset, and their parents totally embarrass them by acting like a couple of horny teenagers, prancing about the carnival holding hands and kissing, and (I think) doing each other in the Tunnel of Luv. So Jess and Liz decide to ditch them and go make a wish at the wishing well. They both wish they were grown up at exactly the same time, throw in their money, and feel a weird breeze immediately afterwards. (At this point, I'm about halfway through the book and I'm starting to get frustrated by the fact that they are still 12...they're right, them being 12 is super-annoying!!!)
We then find Steven at the party, not enjoying himself very much. He likes the music, there's a band, AND mini-hamburgers!!! Plus some other food that sounds really good (and I'm wondering why I wasn't invited, maybe the cost of postage changed and my invite was lost in the mail?), but apparently the cookies suck. Tim comes up and starts yelling in Steven's ear. First, he asks where the twins are (underage blonde twins!!!! Oh yeah *Kool-Aid Man Voice*!!!!!), then he comments on how good the food is (bastard!!!)...but then it gets kind of awkward when he asks Steven why he isn't dancing. Steven retreats to his own thoughts after that, natch, and comes to realize that he was wrong about his sisters. He's proud of them, and they would have had a great time at the party, which makes him feel super-guilty so he decides to leave. He thanks Jo-Ho (of course they had to throw that in, those Sweet Valley boys ALWAYS thank their hosts) and departs for his house, thinking creepily that he is going to take the twins out for pizza and invite Tim to go along. Ummmm...okay then, moving on...
Liz and Jess are STILL pouting, and their parents are totally making fun of them. Haha, I love it!!!! Mrs. W is especially picking on Liz, which makes it even funnier. Liz realizes her mother is laughing at her (HOW DARE SHE!!!! Liz is perfect...NOT). They get home and discover that Steven is already asleep, so the pout for a bit and finally go to bed.
ABOUT DAMN TIME!!!! Liz and Jess wake up and discover that things have CHANGED!!! Liz gets up and her nightgown is too tight...oh, no!!!! It eventually rips, which amuses me slightly. She runs into the bathroom, sees her reflection in the mirror, thinks it's a stranger, and totally trips out. When she sees Jess, they both freak out and run around screaming like crazy ladies for a bit. Luckily, Ned and Alice are passed out drunk (at least in my mind), so they don't come running to check on their babies.
Their parents finally do appear, at the beginning of the next chapter, and the twins bullshit them into leaving them alone so they can figure out what to do about the fact that they both have aged like 8 years overnight. Jess puts on a towel (because none of their clothes fit anymore, obviously) and raids Mrs. W's closet. She throws on a black jumpsuit (WTF?!?! Google is showing me some pretty cool ones...that really dates this book if they have in fact come back in style since it was written, scary thought) and heels, and she grabs a few things for Liz too. Liz chooses a blue tweed suit and flats (sounds boring) and the twins escape the house.
Once outside, they ponder how much they've aged and are surprised to see that they've got "a bust" (Jess's words, not mine), but Jess is even more excited about the fact that she is NOT FAT!!!! Because she eats LOTS of junk food, as you well know.
Speaking of junk food, Liz and Jess are STARVING, so they go to the Sweet Valley Bakery and trick a supervisor into giving them free donuts (because they're SMOKIN HOTTIES!!!!), which leads to them getting a job as truck drivers for the bakery. Meanwhile, Ned and Alice are FREAKING OUT!!!! Their precious twins are MISSING (even though it's only 8:30 in the morning at this point) and the caught a glimpse of a mysterious blonde woman (Jessica) leaving their house. The police are skeptical and accuse the twins of running away, which pisses Mr. and Mrs. W off pretty badly. No police report is filed, since they haven't been missing for the required 24 hours (not even an Amber Alert?!?! WTF?!?! *Googling* Amber Alerts started in 1996, and this is 1994, so my bad.) Steven still feels super-guilty, so he goes to look for his sisters while his parents stay home.
The second half of the chapter is devoted to Jess and Liz driving the bakery truck. Jess is a bad driver, hate to say it. She causes a 5 car pileup, which results in the twins having to make a crazy run from the cops. Conveniently, Steven witnesses some of this, and his sisters are able to grab him and pull him into an alley.
They manage to convince him of their identity, and he gives them his allowance money (awwww, points to Steve for being a good big bro!!!) so they can survive for a while without starving to death. He also agrees to get them some other necessities and set up a temporary living area in the room above the garage (I did not recall them ever mentioning this room before or after, but I have a bad memory...Did Margo in the SVH books know about this place?). Liz is all responsible and shit, so she makes Jess get a job at a temp service.
The twins go for their interviews (who interviews at a temp service? I thought they hired everybody) at the Zippy Temp Service, AND they get a $20 signing bonus!!! Elizabeth thinks that the service "must be desperate for help" since "a lot of people take days off around Christmas", no shit Liz!!!!
Luckily, the temp service is in an office building connected to...THE SWEET VALLEY MALL!!!! And who do our blonde heroines encounter but the UNICORNS!!!! Jess goes for the dramatic and pretends to be a Supermodel shopping for a dress for Johnny Buck's Christmas party, and the dumb bitches totally fall for it. Lila and Janet ask Jessica for advice, because they both want to be Supermodels when they grow up. Jess feels kind of sad that they didn't recognize her as Jessica, and Liz spouts some BS about how it's like they DIED or something. Liz also comes up with the brilliant idea to go by Jessica and Elizabeth SMITH, because nobody will think that's obvious or anything.
Liz gets interviewed for a job in publishing, and I have to sit through a couple pages where she brags about being an A-student, editor and founder of The Sixers, ect. The only redeeming moment of that scene is when the interviewer points out that The Sixers was only started THAT YEAR, so 20 year-old Liz could NOT have worked on it in middle school. Liz comes up with the lame excuse that she went to middle school in Kansas, and their paper was also called The Sixers. She says she suggested it to her niece who goes to SVMS, and the lady totally kisses her ass for that. It's nauseating, to say the least, but luckily we get to read about Jessica's interview as well. Jess gets a job in FASHION, obviously.
On the bus ride to work, Jess meets a guy and pretends to be a Supermodel again. Dude totally seems to fall for it, until they get off the bus and Jess realizes that he's a photographer at her temp job...ooops. Needless to say, Jess HATES her job after like 5 minutes. There's lots of boring filing and getting yelled at, so Jess thinks about how simple life was when she was 12 (like, yesterday!!!!).
Liz also hates her job. There's too much stress and she has NO IDEA what to do. So she, in typical Liz fashion, thinks about how she NEVER feels challenged at school *gag*, and how different the adult world is, and she too wishes she were 12 again.
Meanwhile, Ned and Alice are still at home, still freaking out. Steven STILL feels guilty as hell, but even more now that he actually knows what happened to his sisters. He wants to tell his parents what happened so they stop worrying, but obviously he can't, so he gets grounded.
The next chapter begins with Jess at work, punching holes into pieces of paper because her boss thinks she's an idiot and can't possibly mess that up. Naturally she gets bored and starts to doodle on said papers, sketching out outfits for herself and Liz (the 12 year-old versions), and they're pretty AMAZING. The bosses somehow get to seeing them, and they too fall in love with the designs, because they oh-so-conveniently run a preteen-oriented design business that is failing because none of the have any idea what 12 year-olds actually like, so cue Jessica Smith!!!! They want to make a new collection called "The Jessica Collection"!!!!! *Excited screams* Jess even ends up getting asked out by that cute photographer from the bus, but she declines in favor of dinner with Liz. (Good move, Jess, I'm pretty sure that's still ILLEGAL, even if you did wish to be an adult and it actually happened, you're still technically TWELVE, and plus, dude obviously doesn't have a car because you met him on the BUS...*cough* loser *cough*)
The second half of the chapter is devoted to Liz at a business meeting for the book publishers. *Yawn* They want to do a new YA series, but all their ideas already exist, so they fight over which one to rip-off. Liz interjects (without being asked) that they should write a series about TWINS (because that has never been done before...), and they of course shit their pants over the idea. They decide to call the series Sweet Valley Twins (and I decide that I hate when they bring reality into these books, it like messes up the time-space continum and creates a massive black hole on page 212 or something), ands the want to model one of the twins after Liz. (Because EVERYBODY loves her SOOOOO much *gag*)
The work day ends (thankfully, I was starting to think that I should be getting paid for having to read about people at work on MY day off!!!!) and the twins meet for dinner. Jess is thrilled that she got promoted, but deep down both twins still wish they were 12 because this adult world is just so complicated, but they can't express this because each thinks that the other is HAPPY in this new world. (They really are BAD twins, not picking up on each other's emotions.)
Later that evening, Steven sneaks out to meet up with the twins. He wants to find a way to bring them back to childhood, but they just seem so damn happy that he can't bear to do so. The three of them walk around, discussing vehicles they want to purchase and future road trips. Suddenly, they encounter a large group of their friends out caroling (apparently, they made plans to do this at the Howell's party, because that's how it goes down at Sweet Valley parties), and we get the book's ONLY appearance of Todd Wilkins (aka- T-Wilk), but he's only mentioned in passing. Liz sees Amy in the group and calls out to her. Amy is confused, natch, and she runs away. This makes Liz cry, bringing the Liz Wakefield Cry Count to THREE times in one book (but it IS a Magna edition, so I expected that).
When they get to their hiding place above the garage, the twins can see their parents walking around the house, looking super-sad and obviously missing them. This leads to a 3-way fight between the twins and Steven, each accusing the other of being totally selfish...blah, blah, blah, ect. It ends with the twins agreeing to go back to being 12, and they decide that the only way to accomplish this is to return to the Christmas carnival and un-wish their wish.
They sneak out with Steven in tow, but when they get to the carnival, they discover that it has packed up and moved on...FOUR HOURS AWAY!!!! So their only option is to take a bus to the new location. They do, but the carnival is closed when they arrive. So they stand outside screaming until somebody comes to see what's up. It's the little chestnut-selling elf-man!!!! And his little elf-wife, who happens to be the lady that sold Jessica all the fancy party clothes back in like chapter 6!!!! He lets them in and everything lights up magically as they run to the wishing well. All three of them make the same wish (or would it be an "un-wish"?) and nothing happens. Disappointed, they get on another bus and head home. (How convenient is it that the return bus to Sweet Valley comes along like 10 minutes after the arrival bus...) The twins fall asleep in the back of the bus, and Steven spaces out for awhile, worrying about the wish not working. When they reach SV, the twins wake up and realize that they are 12 again!!!! Woohooo, most cop-out ending EVER.
The twins return home, Liz cries AGAIN (4 times total, a new record thus far!!!) and everybody's happy to see them. Mr. W "grounds" the twins to a solid week and a half of Christmas festivities with the fam, and nobody bothers to ask where they were all this time, or even yell at them.
The End.

*The back of this book has an ad for the SVH Fan Club. For only $6.25, I can get a year membership and TONS of cool shit, like a memory box, a flower barrette, Oracle stationary, AND a pencil!!!! Wow, I am SO sending this in next time I go to mail some bills!!!!
*Jess gets a raise AND a promotion her first (and only) day of work!!!! I wish real life worked like that.
*Liz is NOT as successful as her twin on their day of work. Jamie Suzanne wrote this book, and if memory serves, she was more pro-Jess than pro-Liz.
*Todd Wilkins only appears ONCE in the entire book, and he doesn't speak. Thank god for small favors.
*Lila and Janet are totally in awe of grown-up Jess. They're so mean to normal Jess sometimes, this actually made me feel a little better about them because now (in my adult mind) I can see that they're actually two very insecure girls under all that money, makeup, and purple.
*Tim Reed is obviously gay.

*Nobody bothers to ASK where the twins were after they return home. And they don't get punished, nor is the incident ever spoken about again. It seems unrealistic to me.
*This book was SO long, and they were only grown up for like two chapters, all in all.
*Lila has a CHAUFFER?!! This just seems unrealistic to me that ANY father (even one as distant as Mr. F) would let his 12 year-old run around unsupervised with only a paid employee to watch over her.
*No Bruce Patman...BOOO!!!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Great TV Viewing (Season 1, Episode 4) "Critical Mass"

Another episode that I do not recall. Wikipedia says this episode involves Bruce Patman's uncle. I don't know what's up with that, but any episode that involves Bruce Patman is sure to be a winner!!!

What the hell kind of name is Amarilis? Wiki gives no information about this girl whatsoever.
Bruce's uncle is a director, apparently, and he's coming to Sweet Valley!!! All kinds of grapevine rumors twist this way out of proportion. He goes from simply visiting to making this huge budget action film... Everybody shits their pants, but Jess isn't phased. She's like "whatevs" and goes on with her day. She's playing Lady MacBeth in a play and invites Bruce and his uncle Andy to go watch her. He declines.
Jess tricks some dork from the Oracle (he's reviewing the play, I guess) into going to a Pearl Jam concert instead of going to the play. Liz gets reassigned to covering the play. Well played, Jess.
Winston is playing MacBeth *gag* and he wants to "practice" being married to Jess. *double gag* She smartly brushes him off, AND gets him to do a long list of things (including getting an issue of "Sassy" magazine for her!!!! I totally used to subscribe to that magazine back in the day, probably when this episode first aired).
Lila is wearing YELLOW overalls. I had those exact same pants back in second grade. Jess pulls out a picture of her in the leopard bikini and sends it to Bruce's uncle...because he might be into that, I guess.
Fast forward to the play. Winston is a dork, enough said. Jess looks SMOKING in her costume, and she totally steals the show. Lila looks like hell in her witch costume...oh wait, that's ELIZABETH and it's NOT a costume!!!! Lila does look nasty, though. Jess continues to cavort about on stage, stealing every scene.
Apparently, the play is NOT like this, and Liz is a total wet blanket, pointing this out very loudly. I just know she's going to trash Jess in her stupid review. Luckily, nobody will read that crap anyways.
Winston gets a good review, so do the witches (especially Lila). As expected, Liz totally trashes Jess. Jealous ho. Ruin her life some more.
Jess goes looking for Liz. "Now we know who the evil twin is"...hahaha. Lila gets the role in Andy Patman's movie, or so she claims. And Lila calls Jess "tacky" for sending the bikini pic, whatever.
Jess is still mad at Liz, rightfully so, and Liz tries a lame apology. Jess blasts her '90's music, and Liz busts in, still yelling. She calls Liz jealous and blames her for losing the movie role.
Cut to the Power Rangers fighting!!! No, seriously!!!! I love crossover episodes!!! And MMFP was my SECOND favorite show of that era. I hope Jessica shows up and becomes the new Pink Ranger...Damn, Red Ranger (at this time...Jason? I think he was Rocky in later episodes, followed by Tommy? If MMFP history serves, the RR was the most powerful, and typically played the leader role...) has a hot girlfriend. Sadly, Jess isn't around, just Liz and Todd (in his preppy ass BMW, no less), looking to beg Jess's way into AP's new film, which is RUMORED to star Christian Slater (who?), Keanu Reeves, Brad Pitt, and like every other male celebrity that was big at the time...
Liz finds Bruce's uncle on set and is all like "I fucked up and gave Jessica a bad review, and then you hired Lila Fowler because I gave her a great review", and AP is all like, "Pause, ho, you think I hired Lila because of YOUR review? Conceited bitch, I hired her because I needed somebody of her size and shape for this and she was right there. WHAT?!?!". Okay, so I made SOME of that up, but this is so far very dull, and the lack of Bruce is upsetting me right now. They could at least have him in the background, texting somebody, or something...Oh wait, there was NO texting in 1994. I don't think anybody but Zack Morris even had a cell phone back then...although, Bruce is LOADED, so maybe he did have the only other cell phone on the planet, so he could in theory be texting Zack Morris...
AP offers Liz a part in his project, and of course she acts like she's humble and suggests Jessica. The "movie" is in fact a COMMERCIAL...BFD. But Jess is happy, so it's cool...or is it?
Lila slips on the floor and breaks her leg. Worst fake fall ever. Then Liz shows up and tells Jess about the part. Fast forward to the next day. BRUCE!!!!! FINALLY!!!! Jess is getting her hair and makeup done, and Lila's on crutches. AP cuts her ass, and Jess takes over her part...
It's a fucking SOUP COMMERCIAL, and Jess is a giant, dancing tomato. Somehow, she still looks amazing, even while being humiliated. I would totally kill Liz for that, but that's just me.

*Bruce Patman!!!!
*Jess totally ROCKS the tomato costume. I think pink is more her color, and blondes usually look horrible in red, but Jess makes it work.
*Jess's dress for Lady MacBeth is also red, and the result is very much the same.
*Jess's performance as Lady MB. Plays bore the hell out of me, but I would have sat through that one!!!!
*Mention of "Sassy"!!!! I love that!!!
*AP telling Liz that her review had nothing to do with Lila being cast. I love when an adult has the balls to tell Liz she's wrong.

*Why the hell is Winston at the commercial shoot? He has NO purpose being there. Nobody likes him except for Liz...and of course T-Wilk has had a boner for him since SVT. But Lila, Jess, and Bruce all despise him.
*Liz trashed Jess's performance, but still found a way to take ALL the credit for Jess getting into the commercial.
*Lila Fowler with RED hair. I just don't get it. I pictured her as a brunette for FOREVER. Way to shatter my childhood illusions, TV.

Great TV Viewing (Season 1, Episode 3) "Skin and Bones"

Again, not a SVH book title. I do not remember seeing this episode at all, so I really have nothing else to say...
Upon further investigation, Wikipedia reveals that this is the episode where Jessica poses for a painting... With that said, I recall Jessica in a leopard print bikini, (is that shot used in the opening/theme song? I'll have to pay closer attention to that...) posing with a tree. I think that was this episode? And, if memory serves, this slimeball paints Jess NAKED!!!! But this is PG TV, so we don't get to see it...

Theme song!!!! I STILL love this part!!!! And, yes, the fanous leopard bikini DOES appear in the opening. Jess looks like a complete ROCKSTAR in that :) Why does the song have to be so short? It should be much, much longer, if you ask me.
Oooh, Jess in a cheerleader outfit. Cue cute guy alert!!!! Oh snap, he's dating ENID?!?! Umm, gross.
Speaking of gross, Liz and Todd are making out in the halls, while Winston hovers nearby. Pointless, for sure.
The principal shows up, and rather than expelling Liz and Todd for the gross PDA, he rips down a stupid joke photo of himself that somebody (I think you know who...LAME PRANK #456374) posted on the school bulletin board. Liz gets all preachy and up in the principal's face about him "taking away their freedom of speech" or something. What a bitch, and the principal just lets her speak that way?!?! I would have at least suspended her. Blah, blah, blah, Liz decided to protect their First Amendment rights...Can we get back to Jessica, please?!?!
Thank god!!! Cut to Jessica's love interest for the episode. No use remembering his name, because we all know he won't ever return to SVH after dating Jess. I swear, that girl is like a black hole when it comes to exes, they just VANISH. Anyways, this guy looks like a guy that went to my high school. We called him "Tarzan", because he had long nasty hair. He was a painter, and he was just BIZARRE, like he would paint nudes in art class- but they were GIRLS IN THE CLASS (and no, none of us agreed to that), so I think he ended up getting expelled. But again I digress...
Jess still has her cheer outfit on, and what man can resist THAT?!?! Horrible '90's music plays, and Jess shuts it off (again, thank god) and begins to make her move. "Creative men are so...creative". Dude responds by asking her to clean brushes. Then Enid show up, and makes a date with dude for the next day. Of course, Jess observes this...so we know where this is going.
Enid accuses Jess of being jealous...hmmm, I'm bored. Jess bullshits her into believing that dude (his name is Dakota) wants to paint her nude. Jess "promises" to take care of it and tell Dakota off. Hahaha.
Liz writes an article for the Oracle, "standing up for students' rights"... I'm sure it was boring. Again, she has to speak to the principal. Good, expel her ass!!!!
Jessica steals Enid's date, and Dakota is desperate for a model, so she shows up in the leopard bikini and saves the day!!!! She models for a PAINTING like it's a photo shoot...wtf?!?! At least, I'm enjoying this!!! She is GORGEOUS. Love it.
Ohh, Bruce Patman!!! Gratituitous, at best.
Liz is still preaching, blah!!! Jess doesn't give a shit, so...who's going to go see her painting? Ev'rybody!!! Uh-oh. This is a national thing, I guess.
Jess has a speech prepared for the unveiling, haha. Poor girl, she did ALL that hard work for nothing. See, this is why she doesn't do hard work. And Liz says she's never worked on anything, hahaha, the bitchy Wakefield twin is WRONG!!!! Mark that for Sweet Valley history.
Dakota is SO UGLY!!! He unveils his painting and, yes, Jessica is NAKIE!!! Poor girl. Winston snaps a picture, people applaud. I died a little inside. Now everybody's all hating on Jess, and NOBODY believes she didn't pose nude. Like a NAKED 16 year old in public would go unnoticed. And I sincerely doubt that 16 year olds are allowed at nude beaches.
Poor Jess cries, and even her own twin isn't much help. She doesn't even believe her, and she just throws everything back in poor Jessica's face. I want to smack Liz, especially where she says "It's humiliating for both of us. I'm in the picture too!!!" Because, like, they're IDENTICAL TWINS, haha. I want to vomit, Liz is such a selfish little BITCH!!! If I were Jess, I would have totally been like "ELIZABETH DID IT!!!!" and convinced EVERYBODY of that fact.
Liz goes to talk to that asshole Dakota. He's painting another girl already. I like his paint shirt, hahaha. He admits Jess wasn't really nude, and bitch believes HIM. Liz trips out and Todd theatens to kill Dakota, but luckily they videotaped his confession, so everybody believes Jess, never doubted her at all...rigggght.
Jess goes to see Dakota and plays it all off like she's happy and fine with it all. She tells him she doesn't give a fuck what anyone else thinks, and she's very excited for the opening. Well played, Jess!!! Why isn't Steven Wakefield in any of these episodes?!?! If this was a book, he would totally be right there to cut Dakota's nuts off, just sayin. Dakota is wearing overalls *gag*. Jess convinces him to go to the beach with her...and what man would resist that?!?!
She tricks him into agreeing to go swimming and, while he's stripping, all of SVH's lovable losers pop out and take pics. Told you Winston was gay!!!! They blackmail him and he relents- painting the leopard bikini on her.
Liz apologizes for the mean article about the principal, and he's all like "No, precious Liz, this is my fault, I'm sorry" *gag again*. Bitch ALWAYS gets her way, damnit!!!! Makes me sick.
So everything's good again in Sweet Valley, and that wraps it all up.

*Jessica's leopard bikini. Girl ROCKS that ensemble despite its hideous cut (high cut sides, high cut waist, bra-style top...uber-'90's all the way) and you just know Liz is JEALOUS as hell of the way she looks in it.
*Bruce Patman's "GUN SHOW"!!!!! Ohhhh, yeahhh (Kool Aid Man voice)!!!! I love when Bruce appears.
*Todd again theatens to kill someone. Why won't he make good and kill Liz to put me out of my misery?
*Jess in the cheer outfit. As a former cheer captain, I LOVE that they preserved this aspect of Jessica Wakefield.

*Needlessly extended Dakota stripping scene. Vomit.
*Elizabeth doesn't care about Jessica's misery, she's more upset that Jessica looks like HER (I think it's the other way around, hun, because you look like a pale, aged, Jessica wannabe to me...) in her nudie painting.
*Nobody comments that Jess is in fact 16 (or maybe 17 at this point) and that painting is still considered ILLEGAL (at least here in my state it is, not entirely sure about in California)...Where the hell is Chris Hansen when you need him?!?!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Great TV Viewing (Season 1, Episode 2) "Oracle on Air"

I don't know if this is actually a book. I don't believe it is. After that last episode, I would prefer if it was not, because "Dangerous Love" was absolutely nothing like it's written counterpart. I'm guessing this episode centers around SVH's newspaper, so I expect lots of Elizabeth worship and Jessica getting blamed for everything that is wrong with the world.

As I watch the opening credits, I wonder where these people are now. *Future blog idea*
We open with our two favorite blondes walking the hallowed halls of SVH. Liz is up on her soap box, preaching to Jess about her love of low-class guys and how she needs to find a guy that's as great and wonderful (and SO in the closet) as one Todd Wilkins. He's dependable and reliable and all that shit, to which Jess so cutely replies, "That's not a boy, that's a boy scout". Score one for Jess.
Oooh, SVH is getting in-school TV, and Liz practically shits her pants with excitement. Jess could care less, and I think we all know what's coming... Cue hot TV equipment guy!!!
(Jess has a Yankees hat on, BOO!!!! I'll assume she borrowed this from Liz/Todd...)
Jess wants to anchor the in-school TV, and Liz keeps talking her down, explaining all the boring stuff that she will have to do. Give your sister some credit, Liz, she'll get some dork to do it all for her.
Bruce Pattman glued Winston's ass to a picnic table, random. I think there's a gay joke here, but I won't be the one to make it. Winston gets revenge on Bruce by messing with his Porsche, but that backfires on Winston, hahaha. Bruce has also decided that he wants to join the TV project (as the sports guy) for whatever reason.
Jessica switches the labels on the twins' TV audition tapes, because hers is pretty bad, hate to say it. And of course she gets the coveted anchor position. Lila gets to do the fashion report, yay!!! Liz thinks there's a mistake (since she ALWAYS wins) and goes to tell on her twin, who is currently busy with the TV guy.
Liz keeps bitching, blah blah blah, and gets offered a job on the crew. She pouts with Todd at the Moon Beach. "They should change the name from 'Oracle on Air' to 'Airheads On Air'". Ouch Liz, bitchy jealous much?!?!
Bruce Pattman has a pretty sick Porsche, I must say. I would totally hook up with him. Winston's still trying to "get" him, zzzzzzzzzz.
Jess is having trouble writing her news report, so she smartly tricks Liz into writing it while she does her makeup and gets a bikini wax. (Do 16 year olds REALLY get bikini waxes?!?! That seems a little young, even for California.) Liz screws Jess over by giving her blank stories as she's about to go to air. That bitch. So Jess is forced to go live and make an ass of herself. I want to know what sister would be able to stand by and watch her sister be tortured and humiliated. Jess gives up and OF COURSE Liz is standing right there to jump in and take control. I swear that girl just lurks around and waits for poor Jess to breakdown.
Winston finally gets Bruce back by writing things like "Look how my nostrils flare when I talk" and "Money is my gerbil's name" on the screen while Bruce is doing his sports report. Lame. Like that's going to hurt the richest guy in SV's social standing any. Nice try Eggbert.

*Bruce Pattman subplot!!! Bruce is one of my favorite SV characters.
*Jess says 2 hours might be enough time to do her makeup. I fully understand this, as it also takes me hours to do my hair and makeup. Liz could stand to follow Jess' lead on this one, being that she usually looks half-awake and about 10 years older than her twin.
*Bruce Pattman's car was not hurt by any of Winston's lame pranks. Like I said, it's a pretty sick car and I would hate to see it harmed.
*"That's not a boy, that's a BOY SCOUT!!!!"

*Lame Eggbert subplot. That guy annoys me SO much. I wish he would move out of Sweet Valley.
*Jess' Yankee hat. I hate to admit it right now, but I'm a Twins fan.
(Sidenote on that: This episode is from 1994, and my timeline puts it somewhere around the end of baseball season. This isn't significant in itself, but when you consider that Major League Baseball was ON STRIKE at the time, it makes Jessica's hat choice more interesting. The entire postseason was canceled that year and the Yankees had been on top of the American League before the strike happened. I became a Yankee fan the following season, but I am also a Simpsons fan and I remember an episode where Mr. Burns had a baseball team and recruited some striking MLB players to be on it- Wade Boggs and Dom Mattingly, I believe. The team also included Jim Abbot- a one handed pitcher who I remember mostly from his guest appearance on Boy Meets World. I guess the players had to do something while they were on strike...although I do wonder why NONE of them bothered to make a cameo on SVH (Quakefield Wakefield, I'm looking at you!!!!!). And that concludes today's baseball lesson. I'd like to thank my dad for that first part.)

Great TV Viewing (Season 1, Episode 1) "Dangerous Love"

Since I'm low on books, I decided to kick off my entries with the pilot episode of the TV show. It's based on SVH #6, which I know I have read, but my ever-forgetful mind seems to be blanking on the details. I remember that this particular episode was on a VHS with "Kidnapped", and it was for rent at our local video store. I even remember renting it one time for a sleepover when I was in the fifth grade.
Wait- some of it is coming back to me as I write. Todd gets a motorcycle (because every rich J. Crew-wearing, BMW-driving, Wakefield-dating Sweet Valley douchebag needs to mix it up sometimes and spend MORE of Daddy's money on a cool new toy) and Liz goes for a ride with him. I also seem to remember her parents forbidding her to do so... Whatever the case, I'm sure something horrible happens to poor Liz and she learns a valuable lesson in the process *gag*.

We begin with the theme song- WOO HOO!!!! Yes, I sang along. Now we cut to Liz and Jess in the Jeep. It appears Liz and Jess are going to a party. Jess looks HOT!!! She's wearing this sexy little belly-bearing number and her hair is curly. Liz, in contrast, is wearing a sweater-thing and this ugly dress-type-thing that makes her look like somebody's mom. This is an AWESOME party!!! There's a DJ, and all of SVH's finest are in attendance, including SVH's answer to Regina George- LILA FOWLER!!! (Side note- why was Lila's hair red on the show? The books always said she had dark hair, right?)
Todd walks in, sporting a hideous khaki/light shirt/tie combo, with his perpetual BFF, Winston Eggbert. Screw Todd, who's this hottie? Apparently, he's Scott Daniels, and of course Jess spots him right away. I think I know where this is going...
Jess and Liz and BOTH running for Homecoming Queen- what?!?! And Liz WINS?!?! I demand a RECOUNT!!! And what about the absentee ballots?!?! Cue self-righteous, obviously fake Liz acceptance speech. Winston wins King though, hahaha. What an idiot. Nasty, Liz and Winston are dancing. I don't see nothing wrong with a little bump and grind, but that was skanky as hell. Damn Liz, right in front of Todd?!?!
Oh snap, Scott Daniels just met his dream girl- and it's NOT Jessica. He's obviously gay, so moving on...Where's Bruce Pattman at?!?!
Good thing Jessica's a genius- she calls Scott pretending to be Liz and asks to meet him at HIS place instead of the Wakefield house. She dresses in true Liz fashion, cardigan and all, and goes off to get her man.
I think Scott is trying to get Jess drunk...sooo, cut to Liz and Todd. "I cancelled my date, he stood me up," is Liz's explaination for the day's events. Whatever Liz. Awww, *gag*, Liz and Todd are in love. Excuse me while I vomit.
I hate when they combine books in these TV episodes...I remember that the "Eyes and Ears" gossip column's mystery writer was the subject of book number one, not "Dangerous Love", but I digress.
Eventually, Liz and Todd figure out what Jess did. And good timing too, because I think Scott may be a date rapist. Jess just wants to dance, but he's slipping her alcohol... GO JESS!!! She told his creepy ass off. Luckily, Liz and Todd arrive just in time to give poor Jess a ride home. I think I see a Sister Moment coming up...
Back at home, Jess is trying to apologize to Liz, but Liz isn't hearing it. What a bitch!!! Poor Jess was almost date raped, and all Liz can think about is how Jess stole her date, even though she just got back with Todd. Greedy little ho.
The next day, Jess is thrown into a dumpster at school. Apparently, the students of SVH mistook her for Liz and decided to punish her for writing "Eyes and Ears"... Hmmm, that was the end?!?! Anti-climactic, and I hate how Jess got SO abused during this episode. Plus, where was the MOTORCYCLE?!?! And Elizabeth's head splattered all over the pavement?!?! Wow, that was SO not how I imagined.

*Jessica's outfit in the opening scene, so in for that time period, complete with braids/curls.
*Jessica stealing Scott from Liz, and later telling him off.
*Todd threatening to kill Scott for almost date raping Jess. I knew he had a few redeeming moments.

*Liz and Winston's King and Queen dance. I could have done without that filth.
*Todd telling Liz he loves her. I think I threw up in my mouth a little. No 16 year olds should throw that word around so casually.

Talking To Myself

Obviously, this is my first entry and I have no followers other than myself at this point. I hate when people skip introductions, however, so I shall introduce myself (and this new blog of mine) anyways. My name is SarahLynn, and I'm a Sweet Valley addict. I learned to read when I was 2, so I literally grew up devouring the pages of Sweet Valley Kids, Sweet Valley Twins, and Sweet Valley High. Sadly, my addiction has been forced to lay dormant for the past several years. I work full time, so I don't have much time to spare, but I promise to update as much as humanly possible. I'm currently experiencing a shortage of SV books, so my first few entries will be based on the Sweet Valley High TV series. Happy Reading!!!