Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Great TV Viewing (Season 1, Episode 5) "What, Me Study?"

I wanted to recap one of my books for you, but then I realized that I would have to actually READ the book to do so. In true Jessica Wakefield fashion, I wish I had an identical twin sister to read it for me, but sadly I don't. I'm still working on my next story, but my hands are tired from writing (yes, I said HANDS, being ambidextrous is AWESOME!!!!), so I'm taking a break and recapping yet another fabulous episode of SVH. I don't remember this episode (what else is new!!!), but the title implies that somebody hates to study. I wonder whoever that could be...Todd?! Bruce Patman?! Elizabeth?! Crazy Margo, perhaps?! (Please, please let it be Crazy Margo!!!! This show would be like 137 times cooler if she showed up...)

We begin, as always, with my favorite theme song. Oooh, here comes my favorite part!!!! "Look right down any crowded hall/you'll see there's a beauty standing/is she really everywhere..." OK, I'll stop now. Still, I wish all TV theme songs were this catchy.
We begin with Jessica (yay!!!) and the SVH cheerleaders doing a cheer that goes something like this:
"You, hey you! Better move, we're coming through!!!"
There's some booty shaking and a few turns. Nothing too spectacular as they are standing in the school hallway doing this. Jessica seems impressed, but I (being a 2 time state champion in both cheer and dance, co-captain one year, AND winner of the MVP award, thank you very much!!!) fail to see how this cheer motivates anyone to do anything. Are they practicing, or simply cheering just for an excuse to wear the uniforms? Jess looks cute, of course, and Bruce Patman seems to agree with me. He and Manny are standing behind Jess- like SUPER close to her, damn those narrow public school hallways!!!- checking out her ass. Jess mentions doing the splits, and the boys high five like a couple of creepers as they slink away to go do something homosexual- I mean, to go to CLASS. A teacher walks by and says "Lookin good, ladies" and it's super creepy. I thought it was Mr. Collins at first, but Jess called him Mr. Russo (whoever that it, must be Mr. C's student teacher or something). Appropriately so, Jessica is failing his class and needs an A on his next test, or else she's on academic probation (damn, who gon' be her PO?!?!, points for anyone who got that reference!!!!) and she can't cheer...Oh shit.
Winston is lurking nearby in a classroom. For some reason he hacks into Mr. Russo's computer randomly (I never knew he was a computer nerd, I thought he was just a regular nerd...modernization, I guess) and finds a suggestive letter. It's apparently from Mr. R and it's addressed to a Rosemary. Winston prints this out and runs off, super excited for whatever reason. Maybe he found some porn on the desktop and printed that out instead...
Cut to Elizabeth. Damn, I had hoped she was home sick that day, or in a coma, or kidnapped, or out solving homicides for the renowned SVPD...but no such luck, she's at school (of course she is) and her locker has been decorated by Todd in honor of their anniversary. He's all super excited about it (probably thinks he's gonna get some sweet, sweet anniversary booty or something, or at least a sweet ass homemade anniversary card and poem from Liz...whatever, Todd) but Liz has FORGOTTEN. Wait a second, I thought Liz and Todd's anniversary was a national holiday...you mean Sweet Valley does not observe this as a federal holiday?!?! I imagined that school would be cancelled for the occasion, and that the mayor would throw them a parade or unveil a monument at least, but apparently nobody gives a shit about it except Todd. Todd looks mad when he realizes Liz forgot, and I wait for him to start punching lockers or pushing people into pools, but he just stands there while Liz convinces him that he messed up the dates and their anniversary is actually on Wednesday...he doesn't seem convinced, but he lets it go (probably still thinking he's going to get laid, poor Toddy!!!). Jessica randomly walks up, still in her uniform (HOTT!!!), and Winston runs over to show Liz and Todd the letter he has found. Sadly, it IS the letter (no donkey porn or lesbian porn, or even regular porn... sorry again, Todd!!!!) and we learn that "Rosemary" is the Principal's secretary...wow, who cares, Winston?!?! Liz and Todd wants to know where he got it (again, WHO CARES?!?! Show me something from Mr. Collins' computer, we all know he's got some freaky shit on there...) and he tells them. (Of course Jessica, who needs to improve her grade in Mr. R's class, overhears that Win can access said teacher's computer...cue that evil little gleam in her blue-green eyes.) Liz gives Win some crap about invading privacy, but Todd thinks it's cool and so does Winston. He goes to copy the letter, and I wonder at what point did Sweet Valley get so dull that the students have resorted to caring about their teachers' personal lives? These kids need a party (it's been at least 2 episodes since they had one, Lila must be on vacation...) or a prom or a spring break or something...
I'm most concerned by the fact that we are 4 whole minutes into the episode and Jessica has yet to meet a guy...and she's wearing her cheer uniform, which we all know has magical powers when it comes to attracting cute guys...
We have to wait even longer for Jess to fall in love as we again cut to Liz and Enid. The Wakefields have a pink couch and pink curtains, and their kitchen is WHITE, not Spanish-tiled (OMG, Alice must have gone the way of Grace Fowler and taken off!!! This decor is unforgivably ugly...) Liz is still upset that she forgot their anniversary, but Enid is way too into the TV (some shopping show selling porcelain pigs...she got one in ecru, which is an UGLY color, but I digress). Liz calls everything on the shopping channel "junk", until she sees something Todd might like...a pair of basketball shoes autographed by Shaquille O'Neal (my BF collects shoes, and I know for a fact that Shaq's feet are HUGE, so I wonder if these are game-used shoes...and he played for Orlando at this time, so I'm guessing that these shoes would cost like $200 now, if they were Lakers shoes they would go for like 10 times that amount, and my sensible side wonders where Todd is going to put a pair of size 23 sneakers as I have enough trouble finding places for all these "average-sized" *US 15-18* NBA shoes that I have...). Anyways, Liz buys the shoes for Todd (and I cannot wait to see them!!!!). I personally would NEVER spend $200 on something that will be out of date the next time the NBA season starts (*spoiler alert* Shaq becomes a Laker!!!!) and it's not like Todd can actually WEAR the shoes...and they won't go up in value, plus the autograph will fade over time and discolor.
Winston is passing Mr. R's letter out to everyone at the Moon Beach when Bruce (!!!!) and Manny walk in. Bruce is wearing a magenta polo with a mint green sweater knotted about his strong shoulders, and my heart melts at the sight of the most perfect man on the planet (say what you will, B-Patz 4EVA!!!!!). Bruce grabs one of Win's letters and Win makes some lame joke about Bruce buying his friends, whatever. Bruce is awesome, deal with it!!!! Jess comes in and sucks up to Win and I totally know what she's after...it's SO blatantly obvious to me (but not to Winston, hahaha, poor Win!!!!) Jess gets Winston to go home with her, and she searches through his stuff, looking for the password to Mr. R's computer. Obviously, Winston is not that big of an idiot, so Jess finds nothing. Liz comes in and demands to know if her package from home shopping has arrived. It hasn't, so she gets bitchy and starts to call out Jessica for digging through Winston's stuff. Jess is like "Shut up, bitch!!! I need the password!!!" (OK, I made it up, but I totally would have said that, and maybe smacked Liz for not minding her own business) and Winston just stands there like three feet away, oblivious as always, while Jess continues to search, and of course she finds nothing so she drags Win to school (at night!!! How did she get in? Do the Wakefields have their own keys to everything in Sweet Valley?) Jess claims she finds the school environment "stimulating"...and Winston is like "Stimulated is good..." *red face*. He thinks he's getting laid like Todd, I guess. I laugh at how dumb the Sweet Valley boys are. Imagine if these Wakefield girls really did put out... Instead, we're subject to a really dirty Jessica speech (complete with softcore porn-style music, for real) about how "computers turn me on with all that inputting and outputting..." and Win looks like he needs to excuse himself to attend to some...business in the boys' room (sorry for the mental image, but this is really uncomfortable for me to watch!!!). Winston totally falls for it and proceeds to show Jess how he hacked the computer. Mr. R likes soccer, so Win guessed that his password was 'Pele', and he was right. (I don't like soccer, but even I know David Beckham is HOTT, so I would have chosen him instead, but whatever...)
Liz is still freaking out that her package hasn't arrived (haha) when Todd shows up to celebrate their anniversary. Liz stalls him by claiming that her diary says the anniversary is the following week (really the day when her package is supposed to arrive, LIAR!!!! Liz is acting like Jessica...), and we all know that diary is the Sweet Valley equivalent of the Bible, so she must be right. Todd is like "whatever", probably hoping that Liz will finally admit to forgetting and feel so bad about it that she gives in and has sex with him...but NO, Liz is a stubborn bitch and she won't take the easy way out, so we continue.
Test-taking day!!!! Everybody is in that class, conveniently. Needlessly long test-taking montage, almost as boring as actually taking the test, thanks writers!!!! Lame 90's music is the backdrop, thankfully it ends eventually. Enid's all freaked out that she failed, so she drowns her nerves in shakes and cake (I guess Lois Waller is dead, because I expected her to be right by Enid's side during this binge...) and Liz tries to reassure her, but Enid doesn't give a shit what Liz is saying (that's TWICE in one episode now...some best friend she is!!!! Maybe she's getting high again...that explains her food binge, and why she is so into watching home shopping.) Winston tries to get Jess to celebrate taking the test, but she's like "Ewww, go away, loser!!!!" and Todd comforts Win by saying Jess is a phiranna and a man-eater. (Dick!!!! Nobody talks shit about JESSICA WAKEFIELD!!!! You're one to talk Toddy-Boy, you let your GF kiss other guys and forget your anniversary AND THEN you insult her twin sister right in front of her...asshole.)
Back in class, Jessica gets an A+!!!! Mr. R is a dick, and he accuses Jess of staeling a copy of the test so she can cheat. He threatens to suspend her and she gives up Winston. Mr. R doesn't believe her and he suspends her (whatever, totally NOT something he could personally do. The Principal would have such authority, but a teacher would have to AT LEAST discuss it with his boss before doing so. Trust me, I used to get suspended every month!!!!), but she says she has proof that Win was the one who copied the test (technically, she IS telling the truth, but she's smart enough NOT to implicate herself, and I love her for that). Jess pulls out the letter Winston found and *dramatic music* poor Win gets suspended for AN ENTIRE WEEK!!! He thinks his life is over...awwww. Liz is all pissed about it, totally on Win's side, and she tries to console him. Todd points out that he gets a week off from school (haha, I have to admit that was always my way of thinking too!!!! Todd had probably been suspended lots of times.) Winston hopes nobody finds out, but of course Bruce and Lila and Manny (in tennis clothes!!!) come right over and give him shit about being suspended. Again, I wonder why these cool kids are suddenly so lame, caring about teachers and Winston and all...and I lament to myself that they better have a party soon or I will have to jump into my computer (watching the episodes on YouTube since the BF lost my SVH disc 1...HATE!!!!) and throw my own party to out me out of my misery- Jungle Juice, anyone?!?! Winston admits that Jessica knew the password, and Lila laughs at him for being SO stupid.
Liz bitches out Jess for setting Winston up, like it's any of her business!!! Jess totally calls Liz out on her bitchiness and Jess claims that she'll get away with this because she gets away with EVERYTHING!!!! (*evil laugh*) She bites her Popsicle suggestively and prances off, leaving Liz to stand there looking pissed. I personally think Liz is just mad because Jess is still looking cute as hell in her cheer uni, and Liz is wearing some ugly khaki vest over a blue shirt...nice compliment to the ponytail, Liz. Blah!!!!
Liz changes into a belly shirt and incredibly high-waisted Mom jeand and goes to bitch to Mr. R. Liz claims she can prove that Win didn't cheat, and SHE CAN PROVE IT!!!!! Oh snap. Mr. R calls a pop quiz. Jess, being the evil genius that she is, goes back to the scene of the crime and re-hacks Mr. R's computer (she can't remember the password, incorrectly guessing 'POLO') and, once she's entered 'PELE', a screen pops up with some awesome 90's graphics and says BUSTED!!!! She turns around and Todd, Mr. R, Winston, and Saint Liz are all standing behind her. Liz makes a snotty remark, and Jess has to go to the Principal. Win is un-suspended, but he gets detention for the letter incident, no big deal. He was probably just going to waste that hour in the AV room anyways...god only knows what he DOES in there *shudder*.
Bam, it's a week later and Jess is back at school. Yay!!!! I like how they skipped over that entire week she was suspended, obviously they realized that nothing important happens without Jessica around. The entire school probably got the entire week off because who's going to go if BOTH Wakefields aren't there?!?! My guess is NOBODY!!!! Jess talked on the phone (to who, I wonder...) and laid by the pool. Sounds fun, I'm jealous. Oh actually, not so much...Jess has 2 weeks of cheerleading probation (WTF is THAT?!?! Did they confiscate her poms??? Does she have to wear an ankle bracelet???) and she has TONS of missed assignments to catch up on. Winston refuses to help her (DICK!!!!)...maybe she should have asked Liz first, but I'm sure she'll think of it eventually being that she is secretly BRILLIANT!!! Oh, Liz is too busy with Todd at the moment. His gift has arrived at last, and I am anxious to see it!!!! He's like "are you SURE it's actually our anniversary?" and I laugh again at how stupid Todd is on this show. Liz is wearing this hideous floral print sleeveless button-up shirt (if this were a book, the ghostwriters would call it a "blouse") and her hair is in a bun. She looks like a soccer mom, and Todd's denim dress shirt is totally just as hideous, so they're perfect for each other. Liz says some crap about how that particular day is the anniversary of their first kiss (as opposed to their first date...or the day he actually asked her to be his girlfriend...) and he forgets all about how pissed he is (dammit, I wanted him to get violent and threaten to kick some ass... I'm losing valuable drinking game points here, Todd!!!!!) and they kiss. I'm grossed out. Liz has on red nail polish (bold choice for someone with such a vanilla personality, IMO) and her wristwatch has a brown leather band, just in case you care to know. She admits to forgetting (finally, and Todd acts like he didn't even notice...but she fails to admit to cheating, which we all know she did over the commercial break when we weren't watching...) and promises it won't happen again...(hahaha, it never ceases to amaze me how well-portrayed her high self opinion is. It just comes across so well on screen, good job, casting people!!!!) Todd gives her a gift- some ugly earrings that she loves, and we finally get to see the Shaq shoes... Todd's reaction: "WOW, Shaquille O'Neal originals!!!!" And they are, but they're NOT Shaq's actual shoes, I can tell that based on size alone. Todd's pair is a size 13 AT BEST, and the autograph is like no Shaq autograph that I have ever seen, so I think Liz got screwed by the home shopping people. Plus, Todd notices that they're BOTH LEFT FEET...Liz is rightfully pissed, and she threatens to kill the shopping people. I am happy that SOMEBODY finally threatened to kill someone (even if it was Liz), because sitting through a Todd episode where the threat level is ZERO is emotionally draining.

*Bruce Patman makes his first appearance :30 into the episode!!!! I knew it would be a good episode when I saw that he was in the opening scene.
*Bruce's tennis attire and obviously-1990's tennis racket...Who doesn't love a NEON racket paired with classic tennis whites WITH a red and black design on the shoulder. All tennis players should be as well-dressed as Bruce.
*The computers!!!! Wow, they really used to look like that?!?! I suppose those graffics were sweet back in the day. I wonder if SVH computers have Oregon Trail on them...or better yet- Dr. Quandary!!!! That game was the best!!!!
*Lots of Jessica in her cheerleading uniform. Hott!!!!
*Liz actually FORGOT something, mark that on my calendar!!!!
*Mention of Shaq!!!! I love the fact that he STILL plays in the NBA, but has played for 4 other teams since this episode was made.


*Todd didn't threaten to kill/punch/castrate anybody
*I still cannot get over Lila being a redhead on the show. She looks more like Caroline Pearce did in my head. Lila was BEAUTIFUL in the books, but on the show she looks SCARY.
*Jessica DID NOT have a love interest in this episode. Unless you count Winston, but she was just using him (as I'm sure many, many other girls did on future occasions).
*Who the hell is that super pretty black girl/cheerleader supposed to be? Patty? Maria? Sweet Valley lacks diversity, so I should totally be able to figure out who she is, but I'm totally lost on this one.
*I think this episode would have worked out better if Mr. Collins was involved...Jessica could have gotten out of everything by pretending to be Liz, just sayin.
*The Wakefields' home decor choices make me wonder WHO HIRES ALICE WAKEFIELD TO DECORATE THEIR HOMES?!?! Their house is tacky and hideous and I worry what every other house in Sweet Valley looks like on the inside...

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