Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Great TV Viewing (Season 1, Episode 7) "Curse of Lawrence Manson"

I always mis-read the title of this one. I remember being disappointed because I thought it was about a cursed MANSION (like the Sullivan house back in SVT...yes, I was expecting an Eva sighting!!!!), but apparently it's about a dude named Lawrence MANSON. Not so frightening anymore, I have a friend named Lawrence and he's super nice!!! And my sister's ex father-in-law was named Lawrence, he was a millionaire (like Lila!!!), and also super nice, so guys named Lawrence don't really scare me. But the fact that his last name is Manson kind of does. Charles Manson was a pretty scary guy, and he had lots of children with his followers, so maybe Lawrence is related to him...
If memory serves, he ISN'T (sad, I know), and Lawrence is just some dude that used to go to SVH. I think this is a Halloween episode, and his ghost is haunting the school. I also recall something about him being killed by accident as part of a fraternity initiation, but I may be confusing this with an episode of Dawson's Creek. For whatever reason I would confuse those two, I'm not really sure. So, in other words, I obviously don't remember what this episode is actually about, I just remember that I was disappointed by the lack of a haunted mansion...

Interesting side note, the YouTube version of this episode (STILL searching for my lost disc 1!!!!) lists the title as "Curse of Lawrence Mansion", and so does the description. I guess I wasn't the only one who got confused by that...
Theme song...Where is Brock Burnett (aka- BRUCE #1!!!!) now? Wiki knows nothing, but iMDB says he was last seen playing a Christmas tree salesman in some movie that I have never heard of. I don't remember this alleged Bruce #2, but apparently Brock was replaced after the first season...I wonder why.
We begin today's installment with an exterior shot of the Moon Beach with a familiar red Jeep parked outside. Bruce is sitting inside (yay!!!! Less than 2 minutes in, I assume this will be a GREAT episode) wearing a green sweater with a collared shirt underneath. He and Manny are sitting at the counter in front of a french fry tower (yumm!!!), fighting over a waitresss with a super hot ass. But then she turns around and her face is seriously in need of Proactiv!!!! She has HORRIBLE acne and boils everywhere, and I wonder who let her into Sweet Valley?!?! I thought they sent all the ugly people to Big Mesa at birth (like in that weird book- "The Giver")... Bruce is unimpressed, and tells Manny that pizzaface is all his.
Liz and Enid are sitting at a booth with Winston and a black guy comes up. Liz screams, because diversity and acne have invaded her precious Sweet Valley. (Sigh, I wish!!!!) Liz says hi to the token black guy (Carl is his name, REAL original...but he doesn't work at the hospital, so I feel no need to call the police on their behalf) and he reminds them to wear costumes to the party that evening. (YAY, after three party-less episodes, we get TWO parties in a row to compensate!!!) Carl, out!!!!! Enid asks Liz what her costume is, and Liz suggests that she and Todd should go as Romeo & Juliet (who waits until the DAY OF a party to choose a costume?!?! Oh wait, this is Sweet Valley, and the costume shops probably have entire aisles of size 6 Halloween ensembles just waiting for a Wakefield twin to choose them...), but Todd isn't about to wear tights (thank god!!!!, shirtless Todd was bad enough). Winston says wearing tights is nice, and everybody stares at him, including me. Awkward. Luckily, Bruce saves the scene by sauntering up to the table with Manny in tow. Bruce asks Win if he's "breaking out the Spider-man Underoos again this year" (whatever that means, I'm not touching it!!!), and Win so wittily replies that he is going as a rich snob and needs to borrow Bruce's clothes. Ooooh, good one...NOT!!!! Bruce rules!!!! Bruce brushes the dirt off his shoulders and introduces the group to his newest friend, some dude named Gary who is new in town. (My dad's name is Gary and I hate him, so I automatically dislike this new guy) I wait for Jessica to catch the scent of this NEW GUY, hopeful that she suddenly pops up, ready to pounce. But Lila sees him first, so uh-oh!!!! Li invites New Gary to the costume party, and strangely enough he only wants to go if BRUCE is going (*cough* gay *cough*). Sadly, Bruce is NOT going (and neither am I, if Bruce is going somewhere then I am sure as hell going with him!!!!) because he's going to SCHOOL (WTF?!?!)...not to learn (thank god and luckily for me!!!!), but to see the ghost of Lawrence Manson. (I wonder if he knows that this Larry guy is CURSED, as the title implies...I tried to warn him, but the mic on my computer must be broken cuz he didn't HEAR me...) This leads to Bruce telling a story...
25 years ago, the football team dared him to steal an exam on Halloween night, so he broke into the school and they were waiting for him...and then they scared him to death. So now he walks through the halls every Halloween to get revenge on SVH students. Lame, hardly a curse, just an unfortunate accident, not really much of a story. But Bruce is into it, so I guess I'll just keep quiet and let him ghost hunt with Manny.
Todd says this is BS (and he seems angry as he says this...), but Liz says she read about it in the Oracle archives so IT MUST BE TRUE. (Because school newspapers write about stuff like that...) Gary wants to go, so Lila automatically wants to go as well. Winston complains that he spends enough time at school, and Bruce -GET THIS- CLUCKS LIKE A CHICKEN AT HIM...(I call CONTINUITY ERROR!!!!! Everybody knows my Bruce is ascared of birds!!!!)so Win is in, lest Bruce accuse him of being poultry. He makes Todd go too, and Liz totally pushes Todd into going. Since Liz is going, of course Enid is coming as well, and Winston's random girlfriend- another token character, she must be friends with that Carl guy. They decide to leave Carl's party early (*gasp* they must be serious about this!!!!) and go ghost hunting, despite Manny suddenly chickening out and telling them not to go mess with the dead.
We cut to Jessica (finally!!!) and Lila. Jess wants to go to a frat party after Carl's, but Lila informs her that she has other plans- WITH A BOY!!!! Liz comes in and tells Jess about New Gary, and Jess and Lila are shocked by Liz's tight-fitting witch costume. It's actually pretty cute, despite being a long dress, and her size 6 figure looks good. She asks Jess about her costume and Jess holds up two small pieces of fabric. One is apparently a Catwoman costume, and the other is a Genie. (I seem to remember her dressing as a Genie in the books, once as a kid and again in high school, but I may be wrong) Jess decides to be Catwoman, and I can't wait to see her costume!!!!
Ooooh, spooky!!!!! Full moon in Sweet Valley!!!! Obviously, it's evening, and we find our heroes in the hallowed halls of SVH. Jess is dressed as a Genie- and so is LILA!!!! Oh no she didn't!!!! Lila is upset, especially when Jess goes up to Gary and pretends to be scared. Gary is a Gladiator, Bruce is the Devil (haha, love it!!!!). His costume reminds me of The Noid, actually. (Yo! Noid! = BEST NINTENDO GAME EVER!!!!) Both Lila and Jess are all up on Gary, and he seems to be enjoying it.
Enid and Winston aren't there- oh no!!!! Winston is a vampire, and Enid is Pebbles Flintstone (her costume is really bad), and they're having car trouble so they decide to walk to the school. Win falls down in some mud on the way, and Enid laughs at him. I don't, because it really wasn't that funny and he's going to have to do laundry when he gets home (I HATE LAUNDRY!!!! I've lived on my own for 8 years and I STILL bring my dirty clothes to my mom because she knows how to use bleach and fabric softener and all that magic stuff!!!! Plus, she folds my clothes for me when she's done!!!!).
Back at the school, everyone's sitting in a circle. I have no idea what the hell Todd's costume is, but Liz's SUCKS. Jessica's sparkly Genie top is VERY boob-flattering, and I LOVE IT!!!! (Gorgeous, whatever Daniels twin that is, she's smokin HOTT!!!!) Lila is skinnier though, but she's still ugly. Bruce leads a seance to summon Lawrence. Everyone chants and thunder flashes, knocking out the power. They light candles after the girls scream, and suddenly a dress maker's dummy floats ominously towards them (OMG, I'm SO scared!!!! NOT!!!!), but Todd saves the day (and everyone's sanity) by pointing out that it's rigged up with fishing line controlled by Bruce. (Wow, Lila's Genie pants are basically a pair of underwear with some see-through fabric over them, scandalous!!!! Nobody told Liz that Halloween is an excuse for slutty girls to wear lingerie as clothing, apparently. Liz's costume = Cady from Mean Girls...where's Aaron Samuels, I mean- Aaron Dallas?!?!) Way to spoil my future ex-husband's fun, Toddy!!!! (DICK!!!!!) Random token black girl is dressed as a Gladiator as well (her name is Penny, we're told) and she gets up to use the restroom, but she's stopped in her tracks by a CREEPY MONSTER!!!!! No, not Eva Sullivan or Crazy Margo, it's just Enid in her ugly costume (and a mud-covered Winston, who appears to have rolled about in the mud after falling into it...ewwww). They turn on the lights and laugh at their friends for being scared and Winston goes to the gym to shower (he'll be right back, haha).
Somebody locks them inside the school (using a padlock and a large chain for some reason) and everybody hears the noise from all of this. Like a complete dumbass, New Gary goes to investigate (god, have NONE of these people ever seen the movie 'Scream'?!?!) and Jess and Lila follow him. (He doesn't complain about this, I'm sure he's enjoying having two half-naked Genie girls fight over him.) The power gets cut, and Jess and Lila clutch each other in fear (Whoever directer this episode had a dirty mind, IMO) as New Gary's scream echo through the halls (He must have thought he was pretty clever, trying to cheat death by NOT dating Jessica Wakefield...too bad, I don't care about him anyways so can we go back to Bruce?!?!) and the girls see his discarded Gladiator costume. (So he's NAKED somewhere?!?! Gross. And I notice that the bottom of Jessica's costume is even sluttier than Lila's...let's hope Mr. Collins isn't lurking in the shadows somewhere, because he would totally be picturing Liz in that outfit and then Todd would have to kill him...wait, that would be COOL, so let's hope he's lurking!!!!) Something's coming for Jess and Lila!!!! Oh no!!!! *More girl on girl hugging*and*Fade to commercial* (Whoever directed this episode should be expecting a visit from Chris Hansen and Dateline NBC any day now...)
Everybody comes running, of course, and they calm Jess and Lila down. Then a shadow person shows up, but it's only Winston. Liz suggests they split up (again, 'Scream'!!!! Somebody PLEASE call Wes Craven and have him give a speech about Halloween episode safety tips for these poor, dumb SVH students!!!!) and find Gary, but Penny has had enough. She goes to leave but -OMFG- the doors are LOCKED FROM THE OUTSIDE!!!! Oh no. Everybody tries to find a way out, to the theme of a montage, of course!!!! eerie 90's Halloween music plays as clips of old black and white horror movies are spliced in with shots of everyone trying unsuccessfully to escape. It reminds me of a bad Scooby-Doo episode. Jess and Bruce are holding hands through most of this, strangely.
It finally ends!!! Evrybody finally figures out that they're trapped, and naturally they blame Bruce. Lila and Winston are now missing, and I don't care. Oh, they found each other in an empty classroom (RUN WINSTON!!!! LILA MAY ACCUSE YOU OF RAPE IF YOU STAY!!!!), but still no sign of Missing Gladiator Gary. Winston checks for him in the closet (subtle!!!!) and a skeleton falls out. (It's a SCIENCE class, so it's FAKE of course.) Win screams like a girl, and I roll my eyes, this episode is almost over and I have yet to see anything ghostly...Gary's probably just off taking a poo in the boys' restroom or eating some Twinkies from the vending machine, or possibly searching Bruce's locker for something to slip in the twins' drinks (or possibly Bruce's drink...I don't know Gary that well, so I can't be 100% sure). All that's going on is they're locked in the school and the power's out...I've had WAY scarier Halloween experiences. Suddenly, someone (who is so OBVIOUSLY Manny in a lame mask) locks Lila and Winston in said closet.
Liz and Todd are wandering in the halls, and they start to make out. Now THIS is SCARY!!!! I may have nightmares tonight after all. I still don't know what Todd is supposed to be dressed as, and I wish someone would say something so I can stop thinking about Todd. Uh-oh, it's MIDNIGHT now... *scary music* and that's when the ghost allegedly walks the halls (if they knew this already, why did they leave Carl's so early?!?! They must secretly hate him, plus Penny is there, so they already have a token character for this episode), but Liz just wants to kiss Todd some more. Out of nowhere, the clock falls off the wall and interrupts them. So we go back to Jessica (yay!!!), Bruce (double yay!!!!), Penny (ehhh...), and Enid (BOO!!!! Her costume is the scariest thing about this episode so far) in the auditorium. They find an old piece of paper- from 1969!!!!! (Maybe Lawrence WAS related to Charles Manson after all...brother? cousin? doppleganger?) And then the lights go out yet AGAIN. (I suspect that SVH has spent too much of its budget on proms and trips to Europe and the electrical system is starting to go...) The girls run away from Bruce, screaming, and Bruce is also screaming- LOUDLY, and like a girl!!!! Awww, I'll protect you, Bruce!!!!!! Then Bruce starts to laugh, until someone puts their hand over his mouth.
Lila and Winston are still in the closet, and Lila pulls out her cell phone. Winston is pissed that they've been trapped FOREVER and it just now occurs to her to use her phone (this surprises him?!?! He's obviously forgotten about the 6th grade boat trip where the boat was hijacked and Lila did essentially the same thing, and I believe she did it on another occasion as well). Win's kind of a dick to Lila and she starts to cry. He plays it off like he was joking, and they end up kissing (ewww, poor Lila) until they hear someone jiggling the doorknob. It's just Todd, no worries. Everyone- minus Bruce- is reunited, and they wonder where Bruce has gone.
There he is!!!! He and Manny are walking through the halls, and their convo turns really awkward really quick.
Bruce: *arm around Manny* The best part was Gary's ripped costume!
Manny: No, the best part was when I grabbed you from behind...
Bruce shoves him up against a locker and pokes him in the chin with his...pitchfork (DIRTY MIND, I know you went there!!!!) and tells him that that was NOT funny. I disagree, this conversation is the best part of this lame episode. They go off to find Gary, who is obviously in on the prank.
Todd overhears this and now everyone knows it's all been a joke. Todd threatens to kill them (and I breathe a sigh of relief because it's been FOUR episodes since Todd threatened to kill someone and I was getting worried that he was losing his touch). But Liz won't let him (KILLJOY!!!! Total buzzkill), so Jess comes up with a plan for revenge.
Bruce and Manny have found Gary. Jess runs up to them in the hallway, screaming like crazy. The boys rush to her aid- but IT'S A TRAP!!!! They enter a room full of dead bodies- everybody's been killed!!!! (Who's behind all of this?!?! SarahLynn is going to guess...CRAZY MARGO!!!!) But it's just part of Jess's plan. It works- the boys are scared and screaming when everybody runs out of the classroom, very much alive (dammit!!!!). Everybody has a good laugh, and then the boys get another scare when the skeleton from the closet falls from the ceiling courtesy of Winston. SUPER LAME!!!!
But the light mood is short-lived, suddenly another shadow figure pops up in the background. They all run screaming out the door and we see that it's just the janitor. An evil laugh rings out and the janitor says "That's right, Lawrence, they're gone now..." End credits.

*BRUCE!!!!! Need I say more.
*Jess's Genie costume. HOTTNESS!!!!!
*Bruce's Devil costume, adorable.
*Todd FINALLY threatens to kill somebody again. I was starting to worry.
*PARTY!!!! Two in a row, can we go for three?!?!


*Probably the lamest Halloween episode of any show ever. The Dawson's Creek one was WAY scarier (even if the plot was a slight rip-off of this...Jack McPhee, I'm speaking to YOU!!!). Hell, the Zoey 101 Curse of PCA episode was scarier than this!!!
*Bruce's chicken noises. Everybody knows he's AFRAID OF BIRDS.
*Where was 1BRUCE1? Am I supposed to believe that Bruce WALKED to school that evening? Unlikely.
*Liz's witch costume. Ask Jessica for help next time.
*Enid. I can't stand her, she can go back to Big Mesa anytime she wants!!!!
*Gary- who the hell names their kid Gary nowadays?
*The ending was super lame.

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