Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Great TV Viewing (Season 1, Episode 8) "Prince of Santa Dora"

Since my work day was cut short (yet again, but unemployment is a wonderful thing so it doesn't bother me...), I decided to post a few more recaps. I had lots of fun re-watching and recapping yesterday, so let's hope today is just as much fun!!! Today I present to you "The Prince of Santa Dora". I know it involves Prince Arthur of Santa Dora, hence the cleverly descriptive title of the episode!!!!
Here's what I remember about Prince Arthur, who I will refer to as PA from now on:
*He's a prince, and he's from somewhere named Santa Dora
*He was penpals with Liz in SVT and he came to SVMS in disguise so he could live a normal life (because Sweet Valley is SO normal, I guess...).
*Todd isn't too fond of PA and Liz's relationship (maybe because she cheated on him with PA, just a guess...)
*He came back in SVH and fell in love with Dana Larson and had to marry her for some reason.
*Dana Larson doesn't exist in the SVH-TV universe, so this episode will be nothing like the book, I'm sure. He probably falls in love with Enid or somebody equally lame.
*The Wakefields had a dog named Prince Albert, no relation to PA, just a random fact.

We begin with Jess running through the halls of SVH, looking for Liz. She finds her in the Oracle office (where all the cool kids hang out!!!) and pulls her into the hallway. Jess is all excited about something, and seconds later we meet PA. In a shocking departure from continuity, PA greets Liz with a "It's nice to finally meet you." (Okay, so I just wasted like 2 minutes in my intro talking about how they met in SVT, thanks a lot writers!!!!) Arthur is looking quite Princely in a striped tie, striped shirt, and a suit coat with a crest on it (I assume it's the official seal of the royal Santa Dorian family) and he has bodyguards.
I Google 'Santa Dora' to see what kind of info I can find on PA's homeland, and nothing comes up except a Christmas episode of Dora the Explorer. That show is cool, I learned like half of my Spanish vocabulary from casually watching Dora while I waited for Spongebob to come on... So I guess Santa Dora is NOT a real place (I wonder if Liz knows this as well, since she's so smart) and I start to wonder if this PA character is actually a con artist...
All that aside, Jess is crushing on PA (I bet NOBODY saw that coming) and he's super happy to meet Liz. Apparently they've been penpals forever (continuity points, but explain HOW Liz came to be penpals with a Prince, and tell me where I can sign up to be Prince William's penpal...). He kisses Liz's hand, and guess who is lurking nearby, just waiting to kick some royal ass- TODD!!!! He is not pleased by this, so he storms up looking like he's about to punch PA (I say go for it, if PA punches him back he has diplomatic immunity). Liz smooths it over by introducing them (damn, Todd makes SO many threats but he just can't follow through, EVER!!!!) and Todd suddenly gets all respectful when he learns PA is actually a Prince. He even allows Liz -and Jess- to go to lunch with PA, which we all know is basically like giving Liz license to cheat.
They go to the Moon Beach (where the hell is the Dairi Burger, and Guido's, and the Beach Disco?!?! I guess the MB ran them all out of business) and PA rents the entire place out so he, Liz, Jess, and Todd can have a safe dining experience (watch out, PA, nothing is safe when those Wakefield twins are involved), and we learn his bodyguard is named Paulo. (Paulo is Italian, right? So I can assume Santa Dora the Explorer is somewhere near Europe. Whatever, I'm bad at geography and everybody has a GPS now, so who cares?!?!) PA is in town to work on some business for his Daddy (the King of SD, I can safely assume), and then he's off to Washington to address Congress. Because foreign countries send 16 year old Princes to America to handle things like that...ok. Much to Paulo's disdain, Liz and Jess try to talk PA into letting them show him around Sweet Valley (because I'm so sure that the Moon Beach and Fowler Crest and Sweet Valley Mall can compare to a ROYAL KINGDOM!!!!) and he seems to like the idea. Not wanting to be excluded from the meeting of royalty, Lila busts into the Moon Beach and Paulo tries to throw her out (THE NERVE, Paulo, you're SO fired!!!!) but Lila pushes through and practically gives PA a lapdance as she introduces herself. Jessica -sarcastically- refers to Lila as "our resident Princess" (that's right, better recognize!!!!). Lila invites him to a very exclusive party at her house, and PA tries to decline, but Jess asks him to be her date and no man -not even a PRINCE- can refuse the request of a Wakefield, so he and Paulo are going to a party!!!! (Count it- PARTIES, THREE EPISODES IN A ROW!!!!)
Jess and Liz are in their shared bathroom, talking about PA. Jess thinks he's hot, but way too uptight because of that damn Paulo. Liz says that he's only uptight because he's used to living a Prince's life- ummm, DUH!!!!- and they decide to "loosen him up", which they say in a really dirty way.
Winston is at his locker, which is covered in pictures of JESSICA (super creeper!!!! Seriously), when Lila invites him to her formal party. Win -and I- are shocked!!!! HOW IS THIS AN EXCLUSIVE PARTY?!?! What's next- Enid?!?! Lila must be inviting him to be a waiter... Lila's got a plan (of course!!!!)- she wants Win to stick to Jess all evening long, so she can have PA all to herself, and poor Win agrees to it.
Liz and Todd are still at the MB. It's still closed to the public, and everyone is trying to see PA outside. He sneaks inside and Liz and Jess present him with a SVH baseball cap (wait, why are Lila and Winston stuck at school, while Jess and Co. get to skip to hang out at fast food places with Princes?!?!). Liz distracts Paulo by luring him to the payphone to take a call from the King and Jess helps PA and Todd switch outfits. It's a horrible trick, and I can clearly tell who is who, but Paulo is a moron, so he falls for it. Jess and PA run outside to where Winston is sitting in the Jeep, pretending to be the King on a cell phone (impersonating royalty and kidnapping Princes...perfectly legal, I'm sure). They drive away, and Paulo runs outside the MB- finally getting it, what a dumbass!!!!
Jess takes PA to Fisherman's Warf and they're having a good time being all flirty until PA GETS RECOGNIZED!!!! Oh snap, they quickly change clothes and go into hiding. Switch to -what else?!?!- A MONTAGE!!!! PA has a disposable camera, and he takes pictures of Jess with a fisherman statue, then they go rollerblading, walking on the pier (possibly the same one that Crazy Margo pushed James McDirtbike off of...), playing in the waves (Jess is in a black bikini and I STILL cannot get over the fact that she is so gorgeous!!!). There's a disturbing amount of camera shots featuring Jess's backside, and I wonder for the 137th time just what the hell the director was trying to do here, while hoping that the Daniels sisters are of legal age (judging from Wiki info, they would have been approximately 18 years of age at this time...WOW, I did not look like that when I was 18!!!!). Sexual exploitation of characters that are supposed to be SIXTEEN YEARS OLD aside, it looks like they're having a fun time, and I'm more than a little jealous because it's the middle of winter where I live and my tan has suffered horribly this season. They roll in the sand and almost kiss (!!!!go for it!!!!!), but Jess pulls away, leaving me to wonder who picked the music for this series. These songs are annoying, so I don't blame Jess at all for wanting to get to the next scene.
They walk on the beach at sunset (Paulo is nowhere to be seen...what an incompetent excuse for a bodyguard, I'm SO calling the King and telling- as soon as I find out where exactly Santa Dora is so I can get the area code!!!!) and it's super romantic. PA gives her a necklace- it's a piece of the wall that used to surround Santa Dora, so it's a symbol of Independence in SD. It's ugly, but he's a PRINCE so the chain is probably real (and Sweet Valley Pawn will probably give Jess like $50 for it!!!). He says the wall used to surround the ISLAND of SD, and I really don't understand WHY they built a WALL around an ISLAND. That seems kind of...bitchy- like dude, you're already surrounded by water with no neighbors (haha,take that, Trinidad and Tobago!!!!)...are you just that SPECIAL, or are there like, killer dolphins in the ocean around SD?!?! I still don't understand why anyone would build a wall around an island...were they prisoners? Whatever, moving on... PA says this has been the best day of his life (No Elizabeth = Best day of MY life, too!!!!) and he's enjoyed the freedom Jessica has given him, so of course he's falling in LOVE with her!!!! (I am now waiting for something horrible -like an untimely death- to happen...rule #1: NEVER fall in love with Jessica, even I know that!!!!) They kiss (and I am not nearly as grossed out as I am when Liz and Todd do it!!!)
That damn Paulo is STILL sitting at the MB with Liz and Todd (Lila has joined them, WTF?!?!), wondering where PA is. (And SarahLynn is getting upset that Paulo did not even go looking for him or notify authorities or anything...I could be a way better bodyguard.) Liz and Todd lie their asses off trying to reassure him (Maybe a shoulder-pat would have done the trick...or maybe Todd should punch Paulo for losing the Prince...), but Lila is being Lila, and she tells Paulo that Jess and PA are probably eloping by now. Paulo is like "No way, Arthur is already engaged to this bitch named Isabella, he's probably just holed up in a motel room somewhere in Jessica's Sweet Valley..." OK, so I elaborated, but that's pretty much how it went. Uh-oh!!!! PA is now a LIAR and a CHEATER and (possibly, still not sure) a con artist impersonating royalty to get in a Wakefield's pants.
Scene switch- we go to Jessica, who is standing on a balcony, greeting royal subjects as the crown Princess of Santa Dora (yay!!!! Hail Princess Jessica!!!!) and Lila is her maid. But it's just a daydream. Jess is actually in the bathroom in a purple towel. She's curling her hair, which is in a hideous style- French twist, with a bun, braided sides, and curls...Oh, the 90's!!!! Captain Buzzkill -I mean, Liz- comes in to shatter her fantasies. Jess is SO happy and so in love and Liz can't bear to break it to her, so she just lets it go (real nice, bitch, set your twin up for heartbreak) and tells Todd that she couldn't stand to tell Jessica about PA. Todd gets all noble and tells Liz she HAS to tell Jess, so she caves and promises to, after the party.
Jess comes downstairs and she looks like a Princess. Her dress is flowy long, white, and SPARKLY, and she has white gloves in. *Jaw drop* Sadly, PA has yet to arrive, so Jess goes upstairs to wait so she can make a grand entrance for her Prince (awww). She's super excited and happy, and she thinks PA is going to propose (awww, again. I want to jump into my computer and kick his ass for hurting Jess...and for having a story that's nothing like the book. Dana Larson would have been a cool character). They go to Lila's party (I guess PA finally showed up during the commercials) and get a grand introduction to the large crowd. PA tells Jess she looks beautiful, and I agree (she is wearing a dress almost exactly like one of my prom dresses!!!!). They dance, and everybody joins in after a minute. This song isn't terrible, but Dawson's Creek had way better music, I must admit. Manny's there, and his date is WAY taller than him (this amused me), so I start to look for Bruce. I think I see that Carl guy from the Lawrence Manson episode, but still no Bruce. Oooh, there's the black girl from the aforementioned LM episode (I stand corrected, her name is PATTY, not Penny as I stated in my last recap...ooops), and she's super excited that Jess is going to be a Princess, so she goes to tell everyone (where the hell is Caroline Pearce?!?! She would have spread this little bit of gossip around like LAST WEEK...). Winston is sad when he finds out, and he wonders what PA has that he (Win) doesn't. Patty's answer: "a kingdom". True dat, Patty!!!! Lila is standing with them for some reason and she suddenly proposes a toast, announcing that Prince Arthur is that bitch Isabelle!!!! *gasp, Lila, that was super mean!!!!* Jess is understandably upset, and she throws PA's wall-necklace back at him as she storms away. He chases after her and she begs him to tell her it isn't true. He whines that it's an arranged marriage, a very old custom. (Umm, no, not so old, one of my friends is from Guinea and her parents made her marry a 26 year old when she was FOURTEEN YEARS OLD. She had a baby at 16, moved to America, and divorced his ass. And she isn't the only of my friends that was raised with this abomination of human rights, so I frown at PA for glossing over this issue like he did.) Poor Jess cries as PA tells her that he barely knows that bitch, and that he doesn't want to do it because he loves Jess. PA swears he's going to tell his father about his desire not to marry this strange girl, but he needs time (BULLSHIT!!!! I'm sure Jess will learn as she grows up and starts dating married men that THEY ARE NEVER GOING TO LEAVE THEIR WIFE!!!! Sorry, but guys like PA marry brunettes and cheat on them with blondes, but in the end they rarely leave the brunette for the blonde, that's just how it is). Jess kisses him (much to my objection) and tries to get him to leave the party so they can be alone (smart girl, she probably wants him to knock her up 'by accident' so she can at least get some royal child support from his lying, cheating ass!!!!), but Paulo's there so PA tries to get her to go back to the party. Jess refuses and cries some more, but then she kisses him and they agree to meet the next evening at the pier (oh, no!!!! Actually, wait, I HOPE that Crazy Margo shows up and drowns his ass in Secca Lake!!!!).
Quick fade to black, cue sad 90's love song and montage of Jess standing on the pier, waiting for that asshole PA to show up. (And I continue to hope that Margo has intercepted him, and that he is no more!!!!!) He never shows (and I am quite happy because that means that Margo has gotten him FOR SURE!!!!!), so Jess leaves and goes back home. Liz is waiting, and she has a letter for Jess. Poor Jess is crying, and Liz gives her the letter, saying it's from PA. I wonder why Liz made Jess wait so long if she knew Jess was outside alone, waiting for her asshole Prince. Why didn't she drive to the pier and save her twin from humiliation, I wonder. Maybe Margo (or Nora) has taken over as Liz...
Jess reads the letter (I yell at her to RIP IT UP AND FORGET HIS ASS!!!!). Basically, PA had an emergency and had to leave, but he loves Jess forever, even if he doesn't know what the future holds. It sounds like he's letting her down slowly, but then Liz pulls that damn wall-necklace out of the envelope and Jess puts it on. Liz says, "He really is a Prince, isn't he?" And I laugh at the stupidity of the statement. HE BROKE JESSICA'S HEART AND THEN SENT HER A DAMN LETTER, Liz, WHAT IS SO PRINCELY ABOUT THAT?!?! And Santa Dora doesn't even exist, so how can Jess write back to him? What an ass. Jess wonders how she can ever get back to dating regular guys after dating a Prince, and the episode ends. I feel like throwing up.

*This episode pretty much sucked, there was NO BRUCE!!!!
*Jessica's black bikini (disturbing semi-porn shots aside).

*Arthur is a creep. Simple fact.
*Todd didn't even threaten to punch anyone.
*Paulo is the worst bodyguard on the planet, which only gives proof to my theory that Prince Arthur is a FRAUD!!!!
*Glossing over of arranged marriages. Serious issue, better dealt with in the book. At least in the book, PA had to get married because of something in the SD Constitution...royal decree = much better than using a really serious issue as an excuse.
*No Bruce!!!! Where was he? Maybe he was out shopping for wedding invitations for OUR royal wedding...
*The sexual nature of some of Jess and Liz's scenes. I'm all for being HOTT and having fun, but they are supposed to be 16 years old!!!! No 16 year old I have ever met looks anything like these Wakefield girls (most 18 year olds aren't...and some 25 years olds, too!!!!). Plus, is it REALLY necessary to always have them in bikinis (with gross butt-shots disguised as a fun montage, nonetheless)?

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