Posts Tagged ‘wow that was lame’

Except if those heads belong to two blonde twins with a serious case of the stupids. Because after reading Sweet Valley Confidential, I have come to the conclusion that there is no fate worse than the Wakefields. They are the worst twins ever!

Well except for maybe these twins, because, ew.

Anyway to prepare you for this, I ask you to think back to high school, or perhaps say, junior high. You remember how you had that one friend you thought was supercool and who could pretty much do no wrong in your eyes? But then, you got older and you realized they were kind of a gigantic dickbag loser? That is what reading this book is like. You start out with happy memories and then watch them get slowly destroyed by poor continuity and even crappier writing.

When I was much younger, I thought that the Wakefields were the $h!t. I related heavily to Elizabeth because I fancied myself a thoughtful literary type, but there was part of me that wished I could be a little more like Jessica and possess more of her sultry, boy-nabbing qualities. In fact, when I was very young and used to steal my babysitter’s Sweet Valley High books, I remember thinking that it would be awesome to be a cheerleader. I have no idea why I thought this considering:
a) I am not a joiner,
b) I find all sports except hockey incredibly boring,
c) I am so uncoordinated I was once stabbed by a tree,
but there you have it. The seven-year-old heart wants what it wants.

But enough complaining, it’s time to get to the meat of the thing and start my recap. Needless to say, if you want to read the book and haven’t got the chance yet, this is your warning because HERE BE SPOILERS!

The book starts off with Elizabeth, who is now living in New York like the serious-minded good girl she is. No more being a bubble-headed California girl! She’s a real writer now! She is returning to her apartment after a dinner out with her boss when the phone rings. Because this is New York and therefore a scary, crime ridden place according to literature, it takes them too long to get into the apartment to answer the phone because of all of her door locks, so Elizabeth’s answering machine picks up instead.

It is Jessica, whose voice is whining codependantly at them through the speaker. Elizabeth ignores it. Elizabeth’s boss is baffled by the fact that the voice on the machine sounds exactly like Elizabeth and is somehow not her. You know, for someone who is supposed to be the mastermind behind the crappy theatre magazine she works for, he seems a little bit dumb, like, if you worked at it, you could manage to convince him that Elizabeth was a sorcerer.

Anyway, Elizabeth doesn’t want to talk about HER INFINITE SADNESS, so she gives her boss a glass of wine and considers sleeping with him to stop his annoying questions. She spends a moment drooling over his apparently doable body, but then decides better of it because she cries after her orgasms now. Aren’t you happy that Francine Pascal mentioned your childhood literary pal Elizabeth having orgasms? How thoughtful of her! I mean think of how much more enjoyable Little Women would have been if Louisa May Alcott had been saavy enough to mention Jo March’s favourite sexual position! Totally pertinant to the story and not creepy at all, right?

Oh, and also as a minor note, Elizabeth also doesn’t sleep with him because he’s her boss and, you know, professionalism and all that.

So, having decided that there are no sexytimes to be had, Elizabeth unceremoniously dismisses her boss from her apartment. She briefly thinks of calling her best friend Bruce Patman (I think I speak for all of us when I say WTF?!), but decides not to so she can truly Garbo it up and feel sorry for herself. I don’t know what it is you guys, but I think something superbad happened between Elizabeth and Jessica! Cue the sad music! This is mucho serious!

The next thing you know, we’re treated to a flashback of the twins in high school. They are driving to school and stop to pick up Elizabeth’s friend Enid Rollins who Jessica thinks is the lamest of the lame. They also discuss uberdreamy Todd Wilkins a.k.a. The Todd who Jessica thinks is going to invite her to “the big dance,” as though they don’t have dances ever damn day of the week in Sweet Valley.

Anyway, two funny things about this sequence:

1) It’s supposed to take place 10 years ago which is awesome because, going by the timeline of the books, the twins started high school in 1983 which means that they were either incredibly stupid, which I would totally believe, or time in Sweet Valley moves at a practically glacial pace, which is also possible considering how much crap the twins got up to. I mean with all the spa-based face stealing and werewolf boyfriend having and white supremacist battling they were doing, I would imagine they would have pretty packed schedules!

2) If this storyline is true to what happened in the original books, this means that this is the dance from the first Sweet Valley High book Double Love. Many things happen in that book, but two of the most noteworthy are The Todd mistaking Jessica for Liz and subsequently thinking Liz is a slut and deciding Jessica is more worthy of dating him and Jessica getting so mad at the fact that The Todd has no interest in her she fabricates a story that he tried to force himself on her so that Liz doesn’t like him anymore. But apparently, neither the slut shaming or the supposed sexual assault are a big deal to anyone and everything ties up in a nice happy bow at the end of the book. Sweet Valley: perpetuating horrible sexual standards since 1983!

Moving back into present day, Jessica is kvetching to The Todd about how Elizabeth is ignoring her. The word “Facebook” is used several times to indicate that Francine Pascal is hip and with it. This is not your Meemaw’s Sweet Valley y’all! . . . you know, in case you didn’t get that from the orgasm talk. They don’t get into everything that happened to cause the rift between the two sisters, but they tell us enough so that we know that Elizabeth and  The Todd, Sweet Valley’s Original OTP!, were engaged and about eight months ago, he left her for Jessica and now they are getting married instead. Oooh burn!

To throw old Sweet Valley lovers a bone, Jessica and  The Todd head over to a party at Lila Fowler’s house. I have discussed my love for haughty Miss Lila before, so I won’t get into it again, but Lila is criminally underused in this book. If anyone should be calling the twins on their crap, it’s her, but instead she just stays in the background, wearing tiny shorts. Remember when your Viscount husband tragically died and then you hooked $h!t up with Bruce Patman in the forest, Lila? That was awesome! You are better than this! Now Lila’s only defining characteristic – aside from the tiny shorts – is that she is married to Ken Matthews. To jog your memory, Ken was the Aryan posterchild who played football in high school . . . and as a grown up, he plays in the NFL. That is what you call smooth character development, people! Actually just to stay on Ken for a minute as this is an interesting tidbit: in the high school, he dated Olivia Davidson who was crushed to death by a fridge during a horrible earthquake at the series’ end. However, when the twins came back from their first University break in SVU, Olivia was at a party they attended. So Ken has actually dated a zombie, which is pretty progressive if you think about it.

But back to the party. In attendance are:
– Elizabeth’s old soccer playing high school boyfriend Jeffrey French. He is now a dentist and has a boring nameless wife.
– Sweet Valley Gossip Monger Caroline Pearce. She apparently had cancer (SAD!) and now runs a gossip website that gets upwards of 500 hits a day!
– Elizabeth’s old Debbie Downer friend Enid Rollins. She is now a gyno doc and has become a crazy right wing conservative . . . but apparently, she’s not too conservative to knock boots with . . .
– A.J. Morgan. AJ Morgan was apparently some hot ginger kid Jessica was into. He works as a shoe salesman at the mall.
And to round out the group, we have:
-Former fatty cheerleading captain Robin Wilson. She is apparently a caterer now and Jessica is impressed she hasn’t gorged herself to death on all the free food.

It seems kind of weird to me that a bunch of these people were Elizabeth’s friends and are now at Lila and Ken’s party, but I guess that all of them are pals now. Or they all belong to some secret underground Stonecutter’s cult and this is a meeting or something. At least that would be interesting, which is more than what I can say for the book thus far. Let’s pretend, shall we?

Who condescends with every glace?
Who wears some nifty jumpsuit pants?
We do! We do!
Who has a sister looking mom?
Who spikes the punch at jungle prom?
We do! We do!

Sorry, but I really needed to listen to that song. So yes, we’re at Lila and Ken’s palatial estate for num-nums or whatever and everyone is kind of standing around bored, until Caroline Pearce makes the tragic mistake of asking about Elizabeth which sends Jessica into a rage. Jessica is so pissed in fact that she yells “You’re sick!” at Caroline who is currently regrowing her hair after chemo which . . . yeah . . . awkward. Jessica storms out of the party, The Todd in tow, but not before yelling at Lila for having the nerve to invite Caroline to her own house for her own party. *sigh*

Switching coasts back to New York, Elizabeth is heading out to interview some playwright guy for the crappy theatre magazine she works for. The playwright’s name is Will Connolly and addition to being a prick (language!), he is a dead ringer for The Todd! *gasp* Seeing this of course, sends Elizabeth into flashback land . . .

Where she and The Todd are in college and supposed to go to a party. However, Elizabeth’s superior physical makeup (stunning aquamarine eyes and size six figure!) wasn’t enough to keep her from catching the plague, so she is not well enough to go. Instead she suggests that The Todd go with Jessica . . .

In a weird bit of happenstance – perhaps they’re in the Matrix?- Jessica and The Todd are remembering the same party . . .
Where people mistake Jessica for Elizabeth and Jessica and The Todd decide that it’s fun and don’t bother correcting them because they are both kind of into it . . . and in a creepy turn, they sort of forget that they were pretending and then head back to The Todd’s apartment to bone. Just . . . so many . . . wrong things about that.

Back in present day NYC, Elizabeth runs into Will a.k.a. Prick Todd at a bar and they start drinking together. They are served by random Irish stereotype bartender Liam who Elizabeth notes, is so hot her favourite cheaty twin sister Jessica would be all over him. This of course leads to a discussion about family and relationships and drama, things that Prick Todd and Elizabeth have in common. They bond over this and then Prick Todd invites her back to his apartment where they fool around a bit. Go Elizabeth! You get your mack on!

Elizabeth heads home after some decent heavy petting and gets a call from her mom. Apparently, her grandmother is celebrating her 80th birthday and they want Elizabeth to return to Sweet Valley for her birthday party. Elizabeth says no way, but then thinks that perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad if she had Prick Todd come with her as her date. She calls him up and tries to lure him into her trap asks him to come with her but with his play only a couple of weeks from launching, he tells her that he can’t afford to get away. He does however joke that Elizabeth should bring hot Irish sterotype Liam with her to use as boy bait for stupid flaky Jessica. So the fool, I’m afraid she gets thinking . . .

A dangerous pasttime I know. But that crazy blonde bitch is her sister and her fidelity’s only so so . . . So the wheels in her head they get turning as Liz thinks of that loony old tart, see, with quite cunning use of that dumb Irish dude, little Lizzy can split them apart!

But before it gets too good, we’re back in flashbackland again. This time we’ve moved up from Jessica and The Todd boning on his futon to a mere 8 months ago where Jessica is married to a dude named Regan. You remember the name Regan, don’t you Jess? He was president when you first started high school! Anyway, Regan is Jess’ husband (second one by my count!) and he’s much older and basically pays for her to shop and jetset around the world. However, Jess is unhappy. Apparently, he doesn’t like to party enough and he gets jealous when she flashes her boobs at other guys. I know, right? What a monster. So, six months into being married for a second time before she hits 30, Jessica decides that she wants to end the relationship. Instead of talking to him about it like an adult, she lets him believe that he’s taking her shopping for the millionth time and then ditches him to run off to the airport where she catches a plane back to Sweet Valley. My eyes are rolling so hard in my head right now, I am afraid they’ll get stuck at an odd angle.

Oh and a couple of sidenotes before we head back into present day:
1) Steven Wakefield is now a successful lawyer and is married to Cara Walker. According to Jessica, Steven cheats on Cara regularly and Cara copes by turning into one of those girls who eat their feelings.
2) Winston Egbert developed some software or something that he made a bunch of money on and now everyone says he’s a jerk. You know, considering what a prick everyone else in Sweet Valley is, I have to wonder what the hell Winston did to make everyone hate him. I mean is he running a child prostitution ring or hosting dogfights? Because from what I’ve seen so far, I think Winston’s golden.

Back to present day for a double shot of the twins!
In NYC, Elizabeth goes back to the bar where Liam works and pumps him for personal information. When she finds out that he in fact has family in California, she manipulates him into coming to the party for “Grandmommy” (yuck).
In Sweet Valley, we learn that Jessica works for an environmentally conscious cosmetics company. We also learn that her boss has the hots for her, but Jessica has too much integrity . . .

Sorry, I had to stop for a minute there since my eyes were watering from the hysterical laughter . . . Jessica has too much integrity to sleep with him and instead heads home to The Todd. This gets her to thinking about the past and when she came back to Sweet Valley after escaping her tyrannical husband.

In flashbackland, Jessica is living with Elizabeth and The Todd. Elizabeth thinks that Jessica and The Todd are getting on eachothers nerves, but anyone with eyes can see that they are really just sporting wood/ladywood for eachother. To get out of the house and away from The Todd so they don’t accidentally have sex again, Jessica goes for a walk on the beach and comes upon her brother who is locked in a loving embrace with . . . not Lila as many first supposed, but Aaron Dallas!

Steven Wakefield’s totally gay, everybody! I think this deserves a super sassy dance break because it is the first interesting thing that’s happened all book!

It’s Mercutio from The Edge! He seems to be having a much better time in this video than he ever did being mauled by THE EVIL BEAR.

There are many back and forth flashbacks to Steven’s new gayness but for the sake of not jumping around so much, let me just keep it all in one tidy section.

Steven was out and about running Wakefieldian errands one day when he ran into Aaron. They had been friendly in high school but never really close, so Steven gets caught up with Aaron quickly. Apparently after high school, Aaron went off to a real University (Stanford) and studied architecture. After that, he lived in San Francisco for a while (I think this is Francine Pascal’s version of a pink flag) before coming back to Sweet Valley. I am not  really sure why, after living in a place as exciting and progressive as San Francisco, one would want to come back to Sweet Valley. It’s like a crazy sinkhole for hopes and dreams! But yeah, he’s back and they arrange to get together. The night that they are supposed to meet, Steven doesn’t tell Cara where he’s going and he gets really excited at every dude who walks in the door thinking it’s Aaron. They hang out in the bar for a bit before Aaron tells Steven that they are heading back to his (Aaron’s) place. Holy $h!t, you guys! Steven Wakefield is keeping it on the downlow! Fifteen minutes in a Chili’s with Aaron Dallas and he’s totally up for gay sex! And those jalapeno poppers weren’t even laced with anything so he can claim ignorance later! And now I am wondering if he is a top or bottom! Aah! My head is so filled with questions! Why, Francine Pascal? Why are you putting these things in my head?

So Jessica knows and Steven is freaking out because everyone else still thinks he’s straight and he’s not ready to tell them that he isn’t yet . . . and you know guys, I’m not really one for advocating spousal deception, but knowing a lot of people who have come out, it can be heart-breakingly difficult. Coming out, even when the people around you support you, is hard. Because there are a lot of people who won’t support you and those assholes can be loud and mean and sometimes they carry rocks as one of my awesome friends learned the hard way. Hell, putting aside other people, even just admitting it to yourself can be a major emotional struggle. According to this book, Steven not only just discovered he liked dudes in his late twenties, but he just discovered it like a month ago and now he’s forced into the awkward situation of having to incidentally come out to a family member. It’s scary.

Steven begs Jessica not to tell anyone yet because he kind of needs to process this himself and figure out how to deal with his own personal situation and Jessica agrees. Well, let me amend that. Jessica agrees for about five seconds, then drives over to Steven’s house and interrupts one of Cara’s marathon pie baking sessions to out Steven to her. Jessica does this as she thinks it is her duty to get involved and believes that Steven will thank her for it later. Because it’s better to be dragged out of the closet than to come out of your own accord. Man, Jessica, sometimes (by which I mean all the time) you are one cold, conceited bitch.

Back to our present non-outing time, Liz has lunch with Prick Todd and tells him she took his advice and is now bringing yummy yummy mantreat Liam with her to her grandmother’s birthday. Will is like “Yeah, I was joking about that, you lunatic. That is a supreme bad idea and you will live to regret it.” You know, Prick Todd, you actually speak some decent sanity! I’m changing your name to Nonprick Todd! Unfortunately, the sanity is not really working for Liz who is annoyed that someone is finally calling her on her bull$h!t and, instead of directing her anger at her stupid no-good sister and stupid no-good The Todd, she turns on Nonprick Todd and yells “Fuck you!” right in his face. According to Elizabeth, she is 27-years-old and that is the first time she has ever said those words. Seriously, Liz? You’ve never even song along to this song?

(Yes, this is the real song with the real swear word in it so if you’re at work, sport some headphones. The clean version drives me crazy.)

After she swears at Nonprick Todd like a Tourette’s Sufferer and runs back to her apartment, she decides the most awesome thing to do is to call up her bestie Bruce and discuss the grandmother birthday party happenings. As it is, he has already been invited to the party by Mrs. Wakefield to act as Liz’s pseudodate, so he’s feeling a little put out that Liz is now bringing her own party guest. And why is Bruce feeling so put out, you might ask? Because he secretly loves her!

Flashing back to some years ago, Bruce’s parents got in a horrible accident and were both rushed to the hospital where they both later died. However, while poor Bruce was waiting to discover their fates in the hospital, Elizabeth came to be with him. In fact, she came every day and held his hand when no one else would. It was one of the few things that got him through that horrible time and it made him realize that he truly loved her. Oh my God, you guys, is Bruce Patman my favourite character in this book? Because I think he is.

At some point, before the truth is revealed to Liz, Bruce finds out that Jessica and Todd have been carrying on behind her back. Bruce wants to tell her, but is incredibly conflicted because he feels like he would just be telling her for his own personal gain and that would be kind of malicious. These doubts are removed from his mind when, over burgers at local restaurant, Elizabeth tells him that she and The Todd are close to setting a wedding date. Not wanting her to marry a man who is secretly horrible to her, Bruce bucks up the courage to tell her the truth when Ken Matthews runs into the diner they are sitting in (because there was an APB out on them?) to announce what is the most surreal and thankless thing that happens in the entire book.

Winston Egbert is dead.

. . .

I cannot even tell you how annoyed by this I am. Winston gets one scene in this entire book where he is actually present and do you want to know what that scene is? He almost unknowingly spilled the beans about Jessica and The Todd cheating (he shared the apartment with The Todd and thought he and Elizabeth were having sex in it) and then The Todd moved out and totally dumped him as a friend because he was scared Winston would rat him out! So from there on out, none of his friends talked to him and he was completely abandoned! And then, all anyone did was talk about what a dickbag they thought he was! Until one day, when he got sad and drunk and fell off his balcony and died! All Winston ever wanted to do was to make people laugh and have friends and wear glasses and then, for the sake of drama, Francine Pascal unceremoniously offed him! What the suck, dude?!

While Elizabeth and Bruce are off at the diner hearing about poor dead Winston, Steven has been home and I guess been confronted by Cara about the whole gay thing and the fact that Jessica told her. So, as he is super angry at Jessica – and kind of rightly so since it was not her secret to tell – he barges over to Elizabeth and The Todd’s where Jessica is staying and yells in her face about it. Steven calls Jessica a selfish bitch (AMEN!) and because she can’t deal with being confronted with her $h!tty behaviour (doesn’t that sound familiar, LIZ?!), she starts to cry. The Todd, being a sucker for a damsel in distress, goes to comfort her and the comfort turns to kissing and Elizabeth walks in on them . . . except she isn’t really looking at them and doesn’t see what they’re doing so, instead, she assumes someone told them about Winston and they are comforting each other. Bruce, however, totally sees them and thinks they’re jerks.

Later at Winston’s funeral, Jessica gets all sappy and sad about his passing and Elizabeth actually thinks that Jessica is sorry for how crappily she treated Winston, but it is totally a ploy to get Elizabeth to agree that forgiveness is important. If it’s not a self-serving bitch, then it’s not Jessica Wakefield.

Sometime after the funeral, Jessica’s rich old husband Regan shows up at Elizabeth and The Todd’s place in Sweet Valley. I am not really sure to what real end since he doesn’t seem to have divorce papers or even be all that invested in getting Jessica back. But Regan does totally see Jessica and The Todd jonesing for each other which he manages to point out to Elizabeth before scooting away in his sports car.

Elizabeth finally totally notices the fact that they’re kind of inches away from doing it again and she confronts them. They are so lame that they neither try to deny it or apologize for it. C’mon The Todd! At least, play her a meaningful song or something! In fact, I have the perfect one!

“I know you won’t believe it’s true, I only went with her ’cause she looks like you!”

And that is the last flashback! THANK FREAKING GOD!

In now permanent present time, Elizabeth has arrived at Grandmommy’s birthday with man-bait Liam. There is some reference to how this is just like a movie (Picture Perfect?) except that Liam doesn’t sound as charming as Jay Mohr. Much to Elizabeth’s irritation, Jessica doesn’t seem interested in Liam but Liam seems hella-interested in Jessica and keeps fawning all over her. This makes The Todd pretty angry and before you know it, all the Wakefield siblings are fighting and Alice is yelling at Ned to “bring out the fucking cake!” I kind of like that Alice has finally reached her limit with her stupid scheming children to the point that she starts yelling about fucking cake in the middle of her octagenarian mother’s birthday. That’s kind of boss.

Elizabeth leaves Sweet Valley and heads back to New York where she still has to interview Nonprick Todd. I’m going to switch it back to Will now because I am tired of typing the word Todd more than I have to. She is a little stressed out about how it’s going to go due to the “Fuck you!” face-shouting incident, but he somehow apologies to her and they manage to get through the interview relatively painlessly. Then, when the interview is over, out of both horniness and a desire to keep him from asking questions about her family, Elizabeth has sex with Will. And she doesn’t even cry once! Hooray? I don’t know about you, but I think it’s kind of creepy that Elizabeth is constantly using sex to shut dudes up. Is her vagina some sort of crazy cone of silence? Does sex with her cause select muteness? I don’t get it.

So after sex with her interview subject (at least it’s slightly more professional than sex with her boss?), Liz returns home to her apartment to find Jessica waiting for her. Jessica has apparently left The Todd! *sigh* For Christ Sakes, you stupid moron! You are pushing 30 now! Running away should no longer be your go-to relationship move. Because, seriously? Relationships can be hard. Sure, there are awesome, kick ass, fun times, but there are other times that are not so fun where people lose their jobs or your sex drives are at odds or one of you gets sick or whatever. And part of loving someone – I mean truly loving someone – is realizing that no matter what you are enduring at the moment, you’re enduring it with your partner because you are a team and they have your back. That’s what love is. Getting through life together. And you know what? At the end of the day, sometimes getting through the crappy parts together means more. Getting through all the great stuff together is nothing, because anyone can stand by you through the great stuff. It takes someone who loves you to hold your hand and help you make it through the hellish parts. Grownups don’t run!

And yes, readers, I do realize that I just lectured a fictional character but it annoyed me so much I had to. Make of my mental state what you will.

Back to the twins. Jessica starts crying over The Todd and Elizabeth sees that she loves him and with like five teardrops, their 8 month feud is at an end. Can you believe it? Jessica’s tears must be made of diamonds or something because I have never gotten out of anything that easily.

Jessica heads back home to be with The Todd and Elizabeth stays in New York to finish her article and see Will’s play. The play does pretty well and Liz is happy for Will but she realizes when she sees him with his ex-girlfriend that she is not in love with him and that they are better off as friends. Is this a mature decision from Miss Elizabeth Wakefield? Did someone switch the book I am reading? Because I don’t believe it.

I also don’t believe it when Elizabeth heads back to Sweet Valley to be Jessica’s Maid of Honour in her Wedding to Elizabeth’s long time boyfriend. When Wakefields mend fences, they do it with iron posts, bitch! But before she goes and deals with wedding stuff, Elizabeth pops by to see Bruce Patman who has big news. First, he tells her he sold his house in Sweet Valley (for $10,000 less that they buyers were willing to pay because he doesn’t care about money anymore. Is this really Bruce Patman?!) and second, he’s moving to New York because he loves her and wants to be where she is. Bruce Patman is my favourite character in this whole book you guys! What is up with the universe?!

Now I could go into the description that follows of them having sex, but I am going to forego that creepiness and instead post another song because that is how I role today. But know this – Elizabeth Wakefield has taut nipples!

Let the soothing sounds of Mr. Big wash that mental image out of your head.
I know bands don’t have slogan, but if they did, theirs should have been “Mr. Big = Huge hair. Rhythmic clapping. Denim.”

So both Wakefield sisters end up with people who have personalities that match their opposing twin. Snarky and brash Jessica marries sensitive and thoughtful The Todd and sensitive and thoughtful Elizabeth is lovers with snarky and brash Bruce! I am sure there is some sort of weird Freudian theory that this is an example of, but the book’s happy ending is Jessica and Todd’s wedding, so I don’t want to get too far into that.

Mini character recaps for anyone who is interested:
Bill Chase – The surfer dude who dated Dee Dee Gordon back in the day married a female basketball player.
Mr. Collins (Roger, if you’re nasty) – The twins’ old English teacher is in a long term relationship but never got remarried. His son is at UCLA.
Lila Fowler – Divorced Ken and attended Jessica’s wedding with Jeffrey French who seems to have lost the wife he was saddled with a couple of hundred pages ago.
Ken Matthews – Divorced Lila and was injured in the NFL but now works as a commentator.
DeeDee Gordon – Bill’s ex is a working artist.
Charlie Markus – Married Annie Whitman, the slutty cheerleader that Jessica and her friends almost pushed to commit suicide. He is a writer.
Annie Whitman – Married Charlie and has a baby now (see what all your slutty, slutty sex has led to, Annie?)
Betsey Martin – Still the crazy drunken sister of beautiful dead Tricia Martin, Steven’s first girlfriend.
A.J. Morgan – Broke up with Enid but still selling Reeboks.
Enid Rollins – Broke up with A.J. Morgan, planning to run for city council.
Roger Barrett Patman – Bruce’s illegitimate cousin. Works as a music producer and is married to a rock star.
Caroline Pearce – Still recovering from cancer. Still a gossip.
Nicky Shephard – Former Sweet Valley bad boy. Now in AA.
Cara Walker – Divorced from Steven. A math student baking her way to a Masters degree.
Robin Wilson – Still a caterer. Still surprisingly thin according to Jessica.
Bruce Patman – Once a snide rich kid, now reformed by the love of Elizabeth.
Aaron Dallas – Steven Walkfield’s boyfriend.
Alice Wakefield – Still the twins’ mom and survivor of breast cancer because Francine Pascal needed to give her another character trait in the epilogue.
Ned Wakefield – Still the twins’ dad and a successful lawyer.
Todd Wilkins – Married to Jessica and clueless about what a harpy she is.
Elizabeth Wakefield – Twin sister of Jessica, now happily sexing it up with her lover Bruce.
Jessica Wakefield – Married to Todd, twin sister of Elizabeth and learner of no pertinant lessons whatsoever.

As for poor Winston, if you were hoping he might get a last second reprieve from his drunken balcony death like Olivia got a last minute reprieve from that stupid refrigerator, it looks like you are shit out of luck as he remains dead.

Poor, poor Winston.

So that is the entire book. Now don’t get me wrong, it was pretty awful, but I also fully acknowledge that if she writes another one, I will still be all over that garbage because there’s nothing quite like a good train wreck. Oh Sweet Valley, you are totally, yet fascinatingly, awful.

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A few years ago, kind of by accident, I got in the habit of watching really crappy Christmas movies on the Women’s Network here in Canada. I saw it as a test of will – how awful would things have to get before I turned it off. So I’ve watched a lot of horrible flicks. I’ve suffered through movies about stolen babies (featuring Michael Cera!). I’ve suffered through movies about rental families and kindly Mexican angels. I’ve even suffered through movies where cold career women discover their lives would be so much better as Stay at Home Moms. But nothing quite prepared me for the awfulness that was Home by Christmas, a particularly horrible movie featuring Linda Hamilton of Terminator fame.

Modern Day Linda Hamilton - She Will Haunt Your Dreams.

Anyway, the movie starts off with Linda Hamilton (whose character’s name is Julie but I will never call her that) packing up boxes with some of her high society friends to donate clothing to a homeless shelter (dramatic foreshadowing anyone?). One of Linda’s society friends is giving away a red dress that they all covet and Linda Hamilton jokes about how she’d steal it from the homeless people if only she was two sizes smaller. Blah-de-blah-de-blah boring housewife talk.

Later that evening, Linda Hamilton’s dick husband leaves his coat on a chair and walks off. Linda Hamilton, of course being a saintly housewife, goes to hang up the coat when a note falls out of it’s sleeve (seriously, that is like the only place it could have fallen from because the coat didn’t have pockets) which turns out to be a love note from the husband’s 27-year-old-mistress. Linda Hamilton confronts jerky husband about it at his office (loudly with the door open) and he announces he’s leaving her.

Never one to give up her eternal housewife pluck, when Linda Hamilton meets with her divorce lawyer, she says she needs virtually no money in the divorce settlement (she settles for $25,000 even though he’s like a millionaire) because she just wants to get the divorce over with for her sake and the sake of her Stupid Daughter. She’ll get a job and be just fine! (Woohoo! She’s going to make it after all! Sisters doing it for themselves! Etc.)

So Linda Hamilton leaves the divorce lawyer’s and goes to this coffee/furniture shop where she befriends this Kindly Old Man who serves her coffee. Across the way, she sees a Stylish and Sassy Black Lady, who smiles at her but she doesn’t really speak to her because she’s too hoity toity or something. Instead, Linda Hamilton dramatically circles ads in the newspaper for apartments. For some reason, she circles a bunch of ads for Studios, even though her Stupid Daughter is coming to live with her. I guess the prop person realized how lame the movie they were working on was and just did the bare minimum.

During this apartment-hunting time, she goes out with one of her society friends who runs a design business. She commiserates with Linda Hamilton’s plight (being a working mother), but then when Linda Hamilton asks for a job, Society friend totally shuts her down and then stiffs her on the cheque for their meal. Burn, Linda Hamilton!

Bored and not sure what to do, she goes back to the coffee shop, where she and the Kindly Old Man appear to be the only ones present. They talk a bit about his business and whatnot, and out of the kindness of her heart, offers to spruce up the place for him so he can get more customers. Apparently, finding a job is not all that pressing and she can just do a bunch of stuff for free. I thank my lucky stars she is not my financial planner.

A Handsome Silver Fox Guy shows up while they’re renovating and does that whole “Aren’t I handsome and charming?” thing that men in movies do, but Linda Hamilton is having none of it and basically shames him into going away. In this moment, I think I might actually like her, but sadly, she heads right back to sucking before I know it. *sigh* Anyway, Linda Hamilton somehow manages to secure a ONE bedroom apartment and so her Stupid Daughter comes to live there with her. Stupid Daughter is pissed off. Now, not only are her parents getting divorced, but she has to live in an Ikea showroom apartment and she has to suddenly change from her prepster high school to one with kids with dyed hair and boomboxes! (Hair Dying and Boomboxes – Cliché signs of toughness since 1983!)

This whole plan lasts about five seconds before Stupid Daughter decides she’d much rather live with Dad, a revelation she makes during a surprise meeting at her old school with her old principal, her dad and Dad’s 27-year -old chippy. This meeting is a surprise to Linda Hamilton, because apparently, Stupid Daughter called her at work (she somehow landed employment at like a Photomart/Sears Portrait Studio) and lured her to the school claiming there was some kind of medical emergency. Being a whiny bitch is a medical emergency now? If that’s true, I know sooo many people who would constantly be in the emergency room.

Anyway, so Stupid Daughter is off with the Dad and then heads off to Spain for a semester. After she leaves, Linda Hamilton is left to stew in her own juices at the Photomart/Portrait Studio, but she doesn’t get to stew for long since, suddenly from out of nowhere, she is attacked by a random thug. For a moment, she fights him off with incredibly bad dubbing, but he is bigger than her so he knocks her down and steals her purse which contains all of her Christmas money! Man, Sarah Conner wouldn’t have put up with that $h!t! You kind of suck now, Linda Hamilton!

Because she is incredibly fragile now, compared to her Terminator days, Linda Hamilton is completely knocked out by the one shove and ends up in the hospital, admitted as a Jane Doe. After a day or so, she comes to and her purse is returned, so she has to go to see the hospital administrator about settling up her bill. The administrator is played by the same woman who played Dolores Herbig from Dead Like Me and although she starts off all nice and sweet, before you know it, she’s demanding Linda Hamilton pay the hospital $6,000 for her stay. See, this is where it would have done Linda Hamilton some good to claim that she had a sickly cat at home named Murray. That might have earned her some Brownie points right there.

After she gets discharged, she goes home to her apartment, only to discover that she is evicted because her rent cheque bounced. Apparently she banks at the dumbest bank in the world because they closed her account and turned all of her money over to the thug that attacked her because he had two forms of ID. Considering all the hoops I had to jump through to close my bank account and considering that the person closing Linda Hamilton’s account was A MAN, I am not quite sure that this was realistic, but whatever. Linda Hamilton is looking pretty gaunt these days, so perhaps there was some confusion. Anyway, Linda Hamilton tries to argue with Grizzled Landlord Stereotype, but no dice. She goes to sleep in her car.

The next morning, she walks up the street to an open house and attempts to steal a bunch of sandwiches from the welcoming platter. While she’s there, the Stylish and Sassy Black Lady from the coffee shop approaches her and calls her out on sleeping in her Corolla. Before Linda Hamilton can even explain, SS Black Lady jumps right up and volunteers that she too lives in her car (Vagrant Sistas 4 Eva!) and that the clothing she is wearing is from the shelter Linda Hamilton and her friends were donating to at the beginning of the movie. Shocker!

Anyway, seeing that Linda Hamilton is new to this whole homeless person game, SS Black Lady teaches her the ropes, which apparently involve eating samples at open houses and malls, getting your haircut during Stylish Homeless Person day at a local salon and partaking in a Homeless Person Workout which involves running up and down the stairs of an office building. I have three issues with this strategy:

1) Since there appear to be security cameras in said stairwell, wouldn’t you get busted by security for doing this?

2) Are six pack abs really a great concern for homeless people?

3) If your diet is primarily little sandwiches from open houses or little Swedish meatball samples from the grocery store, do you really want to go around burning away the few precious calories you ingest each day?

I know this movie kind of defies logic but UGH!

During one of their visits to the same open house (because apparently it’s not too conspicuous to show up at the same open house every week to steal sandwiches), Linda Hamilton and SS Black Lady are chatting with the realtor. Apparently the most forth coming realtor ever, Realtor Lady admits that no one wants to buy the house and that she’s sick of wasting her Sundays sitting in the empty house (The family who is selling it has moved overseas FYI) when she could be out at her son’s soccer games (Kids play soccer in December? Really?). SS Black Lady, seeing an opportunity, completely lies and volunteers Linda Hamilton to housesit during this time as they supposedly run a company together called Home Sweet Home which specializes in this kind of thing (Sitting in houses by themselves? Doing the jobs of lazy people for them? I don’t know!). Even though this would seem incredibly suspicious to anyone with half a brain, Realtor Lady is happy to have such luck and, without asking any additional questions, gives them the lockbox combination and flounces off. I kind of hope the house burns down while she’s gone. It would totally serve her right for being such a dumb ass.

Anyway, since we haven’t seen him in a while, Linda Hamilton pops back over to Kindly Old Man’s place where she discovers that Handsome Silver Fox Guy, who came around before while she was there, is actually Kindly Old Man’s son and has apparently been jonesing for a date with Linda Hamilton ever since.

Linda Hamilton, never one to let her homelessness get in the way of a good time, agrees to go out with him for dinner . . . but not before she stops by the Shelter and STEALS the red dress. It fits her now because of her crazy homeless work out. Woohoo!

So, decked out in her stolen dress and with her glamorous bouffanty hair do from Stylish Homeless Person Day at the salon, off she goes to dinner with Silver Fox Guy and he flirts with her in a way that was probably designed by the writers to be romantic, but actually makes me nauseated to listen to since he seems really enamored with the sound of his own voice and is already planning a bunch of dates for them. Yuck! I guess thinking this is the best a girl who lives in her car can do, or perhaps seeing him as access to a hot shower and indoor heating, Linda Hamilton is charmed by his behaviour and tells him a heartwarming story about her heart shaped gold locket (which she NEVER TAKES OFF!), before bringing him to a charity ball she helped organize B.C. (Before Corolla).

Showing up with Silver Fox Guy, who is a doctor, and rocking her stolen dress, she shows up all her friends and makes her husband look wistfully after her when she dances. Being homeless apparently makes you more desirable! Eat your heart out you 27-year-old housed chippy!

Anyway, he brings her “home” and totally slips her the tongue during their good night kiss, but after he leaves, she climbs into the car and tears up his business card because he can never know her SECRET SHAME! *sniffle*

The next day, Linda Hamilton goes to check the PO box that she rents with S.S. Black Lady and discovers that Stupid Daughter felt so bad about the way she left things that she’s coming home from Spain to spend Christmas with her mother (even though she just left at American Thanksgiving, because plane tickets are cheap like that). Don’t worry, Linda, if it’s a hatchback you can just put the backseat down and they’ll be plenty of room!

Linda Hamilton starts to panic, but discovers, thanks to Realtor Lady, that the house won’t be shown during Christmas so, quick thinker that she is, Linda Hamilton decides to basically squat in the house over Christmas. You know, as you do.

But before Linda Hamilton can have her Stupid Daughter there, she needs furniture, so off she goes to Kindly Old Man’s coffee house/furniture store and he gives her a bunch of free furniture to rent for “(her) new house” until the real furniture arrives. Kindly Old Man makes mention of his Silver Fox son being completely heartbroken she never called. Linda Hamilton smiles to conceal her SECRET SHAME, but says nothing. If I were Linda Hamilton, I would have told him to get his son to back off. Just because they went on one date doesn’t mean she’s indebted to you forever, Creepy.

Next stop after the furniture store is the pawn shop where Linda Hamilton pawns the gold heart locket that she NEVER TAKES OFF. She looks torn for a moment, or at least as torn as Linda Hamilton can muster through her botox, but, saint that she is, she can’t have her Stupid Daughter come home to no Christmas presents. At the Mall, she catches Santa’s eye during one of his kid photo sessions and mouths “I believe in you.” Instead of finding this certifiable, Santa laughs and winks back. Ugh.

After her Santa Shenanigans, Linda Hamilton returns to her squat house and sees the truck pull up with the fake furniture. She gets all excited and goes down to thank Kindly Old Man, but it turns out that Silver Fox, who apparently didn’t have to be doctoring anywhere that afternoon, is the one who has come to drop off her stuff. Stalker, much? Silver Fox almost immediate starts bugging her about why things never worked out with them after that one date they had, and apparently, the interrogation is too much for Linda Hamilton and she breaks down, finally revealing her SECRET SHAME to him (live in a car, no job, squatting in the house, daughter coming to visit, pawned locket etc.) She bids him a dramatic adieu and heads off to the airport to pick up her daughter because apparently she doesn’t need to lock the door or supervise the movers or anything.

However in the next scene, I guess it’s good she didn’t look the door because when she returns to the squat house, it is all dolled up for Christmas! It’s a Christmas Miracle y’all! (Or Silver Fox Guy trying to get into Linda Hamilton’s pants – you decide).

Anyway, Stupid Daughter and Linda Hamilton are having a glorious Christmas feast when another realtor shows up to show the house. She leads a cliché family (clean cut husband/pregnant wife) into the house and, when she sees the house’s interior, asks to speak to Linda Hamilton alone. However, just when you think Linda Hamilton is about to get her comeuppance for stealing and breaking and entering, it turns out that the couple love the house and want to buy it AND not only that, the Real Estate Company wants to hire Linda Hamilton to stage all of their houses. Hooray!

Linda Hamilton and Stupid Daughter are so excited by this that they open presents and have the best Christmas ever. Until Stupid Daughter ditches Linda Hamilton to go hang out with her friends. But even then, Linda Hamilton can’t be that annoyed because she discovers that Silver Fox Guy went to the pawn shop and bought back her necklace for her. (Wouldn’t he need the pawn ticket to do that considering she just sold it to the pawn shop yesterday?) Delighted that her stupid necklace has been returned to her, she goes to a pay phone to call Silver Fox Guy (even though she tore up the card he gave her) and discovers that he is in the hospital with Kindly Old Man. Oh no! But of course, since there are only five minutes left in the movie, this is a complete fake out and he is perfectly fine. Not only that, but all that hospital drama about Linda Hamilton needing to pay her bill seems to have been completely forgotten, so we jump ahead to the next year where we see that Linda Hamilton and Silver Fox Guy are together and that she and SS Black Lady have actually started up that Home Sweet Home business they lied about previously.

I have to admit, this ending kind of bummed me out since I was really hoping that they’d join together to organize some sort of Homeless Jazzercize program. Well a girl can dream, can’t she?

Anyway, I hope you got as big a kick out of/are as traumatized by this story as I was. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a much better holiday than the one featured in this movie!

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