August 19, 2014

SVU #22, Elizabeth’s Summer Love: Everyone Loves a Brooding Hunk

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , , , , at 6:45 pm by Jenn

If you didn't know this book was from the '90s, this cover would clear that right up

If you didn’t know this book was from the ’90s, this cover would clear that right up

Summary: It’s been a month since the last book, and guess who’s not having a good summer? Jessica Wakefield, that’s who. She hates her job, Ben keeps bugging her, and worst of all, Elizabeth took the guy she wanted. She tells Nina she’s sick so Nina will go to work for her, which is a waste of a fake sick day, since the weather’s bad and they end up closing the beach. Perhaps a visit from Isabella will help? Jessica likes that…and would like it even more if Isabella brought Danny and Tom with her, so Elizabeth will have to put the brakes on whatever she has going on with Ryan. Jessica just won’t let her sister know her boyfriend’s coming, so Tom can surprise her.

Apparently Elizabeth and Ryan aren’t really together, despite their kiss in the last book, because other than being co-workers, they don’t have much of a connection. He doesn’t want to pursue anything because she has a boyfriend, and because it would cut into his time spent being emo. But Liz is still a dirty cheater, so whatever. Jessica, on the other hand, is still having to dodge Ben, who catches her at a salon on what’s supposed to be her sick day. Like he’s never gotten a manicure to cure an upset stomach. Nina catches them both at the salon and yells at Jessica for lying to her. Why is she so surprised?

Jessica tries to avoid Rachel by ducking into a fortuneteller’s, where she learns that a guy in her present was her husband in a last life. She’ll also hurt him very soon. Jessica’s sure the guy is Ryan. She heads out to find him; he’s with Elizabeth on the beach. He sees someone in trouble in the water, and the two of them go in to save her. As they celebrate after their rescue, Jessica spots them together and decides to tell Tom what his girlfriend’s been up. But then something hits her in the head and knocks her out.

Despite the fact that he just saved a life, Ryan gets yelled at by the captain guy in charge of all the lifeguards. It seems he didn’t put up “no swimming” signs, which is a big no-no during bad weather. Only Ryan DID put up the signs – it looks like someone cut the ropes tying them up. Also, one of the signs was the thing that hit Jessica in the head. Hee. Sorry, it’s not really funny, but…hee hee. Ahem. Anyway, Ben tells Nina that the signs were cut loose; that combined with Paloma’s poisoning makes him suspect that South Beach is trying to sabotage Sweet Valley Shore. Nina starts wondering if Paul is involved.

Elizabeth bugs Ryan a bunch about why they can’t be together, and he tells her that something happened last summer that haunts him. We already know what it is from the last book: Last summer, someone drowned. Never mind that it wasn’t on his watch and that it was in no way his fault. Ryan feels like Sweet Valley Shore is his beach, so everything that happens there is his responsibility. Maybe Ryan should look into a job that’s not quite so high-pressure. Anyway, he’s concerned about his reputation, and about losing focus on the job. But he’ll still go to an upcoming rave with her.

Elizabeth goes out to buy a new dress for said rave, and while she’s gone, Tom, Danny, and Isabella arrive in town. Liz gets ready for her big date, and just as she’s going down to meet Ryan, she runs into Tom. He thinks she was getting all prettied up for him. Ryan has no idea what’s going on. He and Jessica quickly pretend that they’re going to the rave together, which couldn’t make Jess happier.

After the rave, Ben discovers that Paloma’s missing, and apparently it was Jessica’s job to watch him, for some reason. I don’t know why the dog needs a sitter. They get into a huge fight and she screams that she hates him. Ben replies that he loves her. Ugh, no, you don’t! You’ve known her for 30 days, and she spent 29 of them yelling at you! Speaking of yelling, everyone else piles on Jessica for various reasons, so Jess decides she’s done with the shore and wants to go home with Isabella. It’s not like she’ll be a huge loss to the lifeguard squad.

The next day is July 4th, the beach’s busiest day of the year. Ryan is nowhere to be found – he left the rave with the captain and hasn’t been seen since. Nina takes charge, because Nina is awesome. She also tells Elizabeth about the person who drowned the summer before, and how Ryan blames himself. He skipped out on work a bunch of times after that, and now he’s going back to his old ways by not showing up to the beach. Nina thinks it’s because he saw Elizabeth and Tom together. Uh…that’s not a sign of stability. That’s not really something you want in a lifeguard.

A boat capsizes, with six drunk people on board. The Sweet Valley lifeguards rush out to rescue them, with Ryan making a surprise appearance to help out. Everyone is saved, and the lifeguards all come out looking good, including Jessica, who’s been having a good day. Ryan explains that he was off looking for a stolen boat holding all the fireworks for that night (though…why is that a lifeguard’s responsibility?). He has to reassure Elizabeth that he didn’t abandon the squad.

After the fireworks that night, Tom, Danny, Isabella, and Jessica the quitter leave, with Tom still having no idea that he hasn’t been the only person kissing his girlfriend this summer. She’s now more interested in Ryan than ever, and even imagines him while she’s making out with Tom. Dude, just break up with him.

Jessica’s almost back to SVU when she decides to go back to the beach and finish out the summer. She apologizes to everyone in the house, even though I don’t think she did much wrong, other than scheming against Elizabeth and lying to Nina about being sick. She’s starting to think that Ben, not Ryan, is her past-life husband, and that they’re destined to be together. Ben’s like, “I can get behind that.” Ick. He’s just not appealing.

The next morning, Elizabeth goes to see Ryan for some more making out. While their lips are busy, a kid almost drowns. Ryan blames Elizabeth for distracting him and for not following all the proper procedures in the rescue. Elizabeth cries. I bet the kid who almost drowned is, like, “Sorry to interrupt your relationship drama, but could I trouble you for some CPR?”

Paul, the guy Nina’s been hanging out with (but resisting romantically because of Bryan), tells her he’s been asked to join the South Beach lifeguard squad, the rivals of Nina and Co.’s squad. Nina still likes Paul, but she’s getting a little suspicious about him. First of all, he carries a diving knife, despite still working in a surf shop. Second of all, he happens to conveniently find Paloma after she’s fed poisoned hot dogs. (Poor puppy! She’s okay, though.)

The night of the rave, Paul takes Nina for a private boat ride, which is definitely sketchy. When the boat’s engine dies, Nina clues in that this might not be a safe situation. Her solution is to jump out and swim for the shore. Later, Paul swears that he didn’t do anything to sabotage Sweet Valley, and Nina decides to believe him. I don’t know why she thinks he’s telling the truth when two seconds ago she thought he wasn’t.

Winston’s summer is going badly, since he wasn’t picked as a lifeguard and hasn’t found a job anywhere else. Wendy encourages him to interview for a job at Hamburger Harry’s. The job is, unfortunately, as the restaurant’s mascot, which means Winston has to wear a big hamburger costume and try to get people to come eat there. He tries to quit after just an hour, but Hamburger Harry didn’t become King of the Hamburgers by being a fool. He guilts Winston into staying.

The next challenge Winston has to face is Hot Dog Howie. That would be the mascot of a hot dog place, for those of you who can’t keep up with this sophisticated literature. The two mascots pick a fight, and people on the boardwalk egg them on, placing bets on who will win. Winston and Howie secretly get together and organize a big fight so they can get a little extra income from everyone’s bets. Unfortunately, Howie’s been doing this a while, and he doesn’t go easy on Winston. It’s probably worth it for the money, though.

Wendy keeps getting flowers from Pedro, who is totally in love with her and can’t take a hint. I think she should stop accepting the flowers, which might send him mixed signals, but what do I know? Pedro has gone from kind of sweet to pretty much a stalker, what with all the flowers and pretending to be drowning so Wendy will come rescue him. Wendy, that’s not the behavior of a well man. You’re right to keep your distance.

Pedro shows up at the gang’s house the night of the rave and tags along with Wendy and Winston. Wendy has such a fabulous time with Pedro at the rave that she doesn’t seem to care anymore that he only asked her out originally because Winston made him. Pedro also says he loves her, so Wendy’s on her way to fulfilling every fangirl’s dream of dating her celebrity crush.

Thoughts: Winston’s hesitant to take the hamburger job, but how is dressing as a hamburger any different than being SVU’s mascot? At least as a hamburger, Winston gets paid.

The mental picture of Jessica getting hit with a sign is hilarious.

Nina wears “a long, red flannel granny gown with little black-and-white cows all over it.” Thumbs down for a nightgown, but that would make a cute pair of pajama pants.

These people are spending a lot of money for college students who can’t be making much over minimum wage.

Nina would rather dive into cold water and swim home than stay in the boat with Paul. And that’s why she’s awesome.

The rave features line dancing. Yeah, sure, okay.

August 17, 2014

BH90210 8.4, The Way We Weren’t: David (and Donna) and Goliath

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 2:16 pm by Jenn

See, I'd keep the picture of Noah out so I could look at it all the time

See, I’d keep the picture of Noah out so I could look at it all the time

Summary: Kelly has amnesia, and Brandon thinks he can help jog her memory by showing her the engagement ring he once offered her. She asks if they were engaged, and he says, “Yes and no.” Really? Really, Brandon? Noah shows up, and Kelly’s happy to meet the guy who donated blood that helped save her. Brandon then talks to Jackie and Kelly’s doctor, who’s not satisfied with Kelly’s mental progress. And then the recording jumps, so I miss the rest of the scene.

When we pick up, Brandon, Steve, David, and Valerie are at the Walshes’, discussing how Kelly’s both lost the past couple years of her life and is having trouble retaining new information. They’re supposed to bombard her with information to help her remember. Valerie’s like, “I’ll help by reminding her how horrible I am!” Steve plans to visit Kelly after he tries to convince some of CU’s female basketball players to let him be their agent.

Brandon gets a job offer from the Seattle Times and tries to delay making a decision so he can stay with Kelly. He’s allowed an extra week to make up his mind. Noah visits Kelly again, and she asks him to bring Winston when he comes back (apparently Jackie will know what that means). Donna gets instructions from her new boss for errands, and offers to take her dog, Goliath, to the vet. Steve meets up with Charlotte, his basketball buddy, and gives her tickets to a Chemical Brothers concert to try to remind her how great he is.

As soon as Goliath learns that he’s going to the vet, he runs away. Yay, more dog wackiness for Donna! Kelly tells Brandon he shouldn’t give up the job in Seattle on her account. He doesn’t want to be miles away if she starts to recover her memory. He shows her pictures from Hawaii, but she doesn’t remember anything. The detective from the previous episode returns and tells Brandon that he needs to look at more pictures – his ID of the possible shooter hasn’t been confirmed 100%. After he leaves, Kelly turns her focus to a picture of Noah.

At the Peach Pit, Steve invites Carly to join him in celebration of his inroads in being a sports agent. She doesn’t want to hang out with him if it means she’ll be pursued romantically. Next door at the After Dark, David complains to Noah that he’s still having trouble getting the place popular again. Noah’s like, “Yeah, that sucks. Talk to me about Valerie.” David warns that she only goes after guys with money. Noah offers to help him find some new bands.

Donna runs in to get David to help her find Goliath (ha ha, David and Goliath). David tells her to tell her boss that Goliath has to stay overnight at the vet’s, which will at least buy her some time. Valerie brings Kelly some yearbooks, then quizzes her on her feelings for Brandon. She tells Kelly not to believe everything people tell her about their relationship; after all, despite the fact that Kelly kept her ring, they weren’t engaged. Kelly’s more interested in talking about Noah anyway.

Steve meets up with some supposedly popular sports agent, talking up Charlotte as a possible major catch for his agency. The agent admits that he only agreed to meet with Steve because he knows Rush. He gives back the concert tickets, warning Steve to deny giving them to Charlotte if anyone asks. It’s a big no-no to offer an athlete presents, something Steve should know if he plans to become a real sports agent.

Donna continues her list of errands for her boss at a boutique where Valerie was supposed to have a job interview. Donna’s having some trouble juggling all the phone calls her job entails, and keeping straight which client wants what. Val helps her sort everything out. Noah delivers Winston (a teddy bear) to Kelly, then convinces her doctor to let her leave the hospital for a few hours.

Steve complains to Rush about his latest screw-up, but Rush is, as usual, unsympathetic. But he does think Steve would do better with his own business, because he would have no choice but to succeed, since he’d be the only one responsible for his success. He has a little newspaper, the Beverly Hills Shopper, that he’s willing to let Steve run.

David’s stunned to hear that Donna’s willing to take Valerie on as a partner. Of course, if she doesn’t find Goliath, Donna won’t have a job she needs a partner for. She considers telling her boss the truth and offering to pay her, but David thinks that’s crazy. Steve has a job offer for Brandon: Brandon’s the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Steve’s the publisher, and they split everything 50/50. Brandon, like David, thinks his conversational partner is nuts.

Noah takes Kelly for a walk on the beach, and somehow the conversation turns to Kierkegaard. Kelly remembers reading him in college, and that memory leads to a few more, like living in the beach apartment with Donna and Clare. She’s not sure she wants to remember everything, though, since forgetting has allowed her to have a new start. When Kelly and Noah return to the hospital, Brandon throws a fit, then mopes because Kelly still doesn’t have any memories of him.

Donna still can’t find Goliath, so she again decides to call her boss and tell the truth. It’s too late at night, though, so David tells her to wait. The next morning, Brandon visits Noah to yell at him about taking Kelly to the beach. Someone’s feeling territorial. He’s mad that Noah was supposedly just involved with Valerie and is now spending time with Kelly. Noah promises that he didn’t mean to cause any problems for Brandon and Kelly, and he’ll back off if that’s what Brandon wants.

Donna goes to her boss’ house for her big confession, but just as she knocks on the door, someone (he looks like a gardener) brings Goliath to the house. Donna’s job is saved! Noah takes Brandon, Steve, and David to a bar to listen a band; a waitress recognizes him, but Noah doesn’t want the guys to know how they know each other. Steve asks about Noah’s background, which Noah’s tightlipped about.

I guess Brandon doesn’t hate Noah that much, because he confides that he feels stuck: He wants the job in Seattle, but he doesn’t want to leave Kelly. He’d rather have her than the job. Noah tells him to seize the day because he’ll lose the chances he’s being given. “Without Kelly, you’re still Brandon,” he says. If he wants to wait for Kelly, that’s fine, but he needs to keep the passion. I’m still not sure what he’s advising.

But apparently Brandon gets it, because he wants to work on Steve’s newspaper. His conditions: Steve does all the business stuff, and Brandon gets complete editorial authority. Also, no ads for massage parlors. Later, Brandon goes to see Kelly, telling her he misses her and won’t be going to Seattle. She’s wearing the engagement ring on a chain around her neck, but after he leaves, she takes it off.

Thoughts: What a stupid plot with the dog. Donna didn’t even do anything to fix it. It was just luck.

If I called to offer someone a job and he said his girlfriend had been shot, I wouldn’t believe him, so Brandon is lucky, too.

Steve: “What do I have to do to get you to go out with me?” Carly: “Uh…be someone else?” Nice!

Color me impressed that Valerie doesn’t use Kelly’s amnesia to try to swoop in on Brandon.

Kelly and Noah have more chemistry than Kelly and Brandon. Just saying.

August 16, 2014

Party of Five 5.6, Forgive and/or Forget: Everyone Wants Everyone Else to Go Away

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 1:19 pm by Jenn

There are never any pictures from this show. These otters say, "We're sorry"

There are never any pictures from this show. These otters say, “We’re sorry”

Summary: The Salingers, Daphne, Kirsten, and Sarah are all at the hospital to see Diana, who remains in an incubator but is doing better. Everyone fusses over Daphne, who’s overwhelmed. Sarah talks to Bailey again about what he would do if she had a surprise pregnancy. He tells her he’d like to have kids someday, and he wouldn’t walk away if she got pregnant, but right now he doesn’t have room in his life for a child.

Julia returns to school, where she and Maggie are stuck sharing a room until one of them can transfer out. That must be fun. They decide to try to avoid each other as much as possible. Diana’s gained enough weight to be released from her incubator, and though Charlie, Claudia, and Owen are thrilled, Daphne’s nervous about holding her. Bailey’s surprised that Claudia hasn’t gone back to school yet. She lies that she’ll call her school and let them know where she is.

Julia spends her exile in Ned’s room; they both feel bad about hurting Maggie, but that doesn’t stop them from making out. Ned’s virginal Christian roommate would prefer if they would keep their godless sex out of his room. Speaking of godless sex, Sarah’s not in the mood for it with Bailey. In fact, she’s not in the mood to spend time with Bailey at all. Daphne’s woken up in the middle of the night to nurse Diana; she’s the only person (of the four in the room) who thinks this is weird. Someone’s not taking to motherhood very well.

Sarah tries to get Bailey to leave her alone when they wake up in the morning. Julia works on a group project with Maggie, who questions some of her work. Daphne declines to nurse Diana, thinking the baby likes Charlie more anyway. Julia asks her professor if she can change groups; he thinks she’s being ridiculous. She heads home, where Claudia and Griffin are putting together Diana’s nursery. She reveals to Griffin that she’s going to drop the course so she doesn’t have to work with Maggie.

Daphne’s released from the hospital and decides to go home, not wanting to spend 24 hours a day with Diana, like Charlie does. Claudia finds a window open in the nursery, and a bunch of Diana’s things on the lawn. Sarah rejects Bailey again when he wants to have sex, though at least this time she tells him that it’s because she’s worried about getting pregnant. He reminds her that he’d support her if she did, but Sarah knows that she’d still be parenting alone.

One of the nurses at the hospital is shocked – SHOCKED! – that Daphne would go home when her baby’s still there. Charlie defends her and basically tells the nurse to shut up. Ned finds Julia in the library, where she’s trying to avoid Maggie without spending time with the other person who made Maggie mad. He thinks she’s doubting her decision to have a relationship that started with cheating after she left Griffin for cheating.

Charlie takes Diana home, where he, Claudia, Kirsten, and even Owen rush to help him with the baby while Daphne just looks on. Owen is definitely feeling like he’s Jan Brady now. Sarah’s still trying to avoid Bailey, staying away from the apartment until just before he leaves for work. Claudia tells Charlie that Owen’s displaying signs of sibling rivalry (well, uncle/niece rivalry), but Charlie isn’t concerned, since that’s normal.

Julia spends the night in Ned’s bed, which I’m sure his roommate is thrilled about. She’s happy that she took another step in moving on from her marriage. Sarah wakes up in the middle of the night to find Bailey sitting by the bed; she inadvertently aroused him, and he got up so he wouldn’t pursue sex. He’s frustrated that they shared so much intimacy (beyond sex), and now she wants it to stop. He thinks they should take some time apart.

Charlie wakes Daphne up to nurse, because that’s been going so well. Daphne admits that she doesn’t feel like she’s a mother. Diana should be everything to her, but Daphne’s first instinct was to run away. Charlie thinks she’s just tired and experiencing postpartum depression. She points out that he named the baby after his mother not just because they were related genetically, but because of how Diana cared for him. Daphne doesn’t feel that same connection to this Diana.

In the morning, Daphne asks Charlie to take another day off of work to take care of Diana, but he can’t. He also wants her to dive into being a parent without a safety net. (That’s probably not a good idea, Charlie.) He decides to call Kirsten to come over and serve as backup. Bailey moves out of his and Sarah’s apartment for their time apart as she slams him for not being able to be a grown-up about their problems. Um, excuse me? You’re the one rejecting him every other minute; he’s giving you a chance to figure your crap out. I think that’s very grown-up. Shut up, Sarah.

Claudia’s still in San Francisco, having never called her school to ask for more time off. She claims it’s because Charlie needs her help, though Charlie seems to be doing just fine on his own. Bailey tells her to stop trying to be an adult and go back to school. Julia goes to her room to get some things for another sleepover with Ned. Maggie’s there and mocks that Julia’s just trying to convince herself that she made a good decision. But Julia and Ned don’t have the same intimacy that Maggie and Ned had – sex is all they have.

Kirsten goes to the Salingers’ and finds Daphne trying her best to calm Diana. She finally picks up the baby and sings to soothe her. Kirsten leaves without letting Daphne know she was there. Griffin takes Claudia to the airport so she can reluctantly leave Owen and Diana. Bailey crashes on the Salingers’ couch; he and Owen commiserate over feeling like there’s no room for them in their respective homes. Charlie comes home to see that his throw-Daphne-into-the-deep-end plan worked. She even nursed successfully. Yay, Daphne’s cured! Yay, Charlie! You did it!

Thoughts: How weird that I recapped the Beverly Hills, 90210 episode “Forgive and Forget” just before this episode with a similar name. Except this episode has very little to do with forgiving or forgetting.

Sarah, unless you’re pregnant right now, chill out. You’re upset that Bailey won’t stay with you through a hypothetical situation that, if you’re using birth control, is likely not to ever happen. Go take some deep breaths, eat some ice cream, and stop talking for two minutes.

Dear hospital: Unless Daphne checked in as Daphne Salinger, stop calling her Mrs. Salinger. Come on.

Okay, first of all, they wouldn’t send Diana home if she only weighed three pounds. Second of all, that baby definitely weighs more than three pounds. And she has no medical problems? None at all? Really, show?

August 12, 2014

SVT #14, Tug of War: Wakefield vs. Wakefield

Posted in books tagged , , , , at 6:48 pm by Jenn

Elizabeth would totally wear that dress

Elizabeth would totally wear that dress

Summary: Some girl we’ve never heard of is moving to Texas, which normally wouldn’t make a difference, but since she’s the president of the sixth grade, that means they need to find a new one. I’m not sure why the vice president can’t just step up, but that’s never mentioned. Elizabeth would like to be the new president (despite already having a student government role), but the Unicorns want a Unicorn president. Never mind that there are only three Unicorns in the sixth grade, and one of them is Ellen, who I wouldn’t trust to run a lemonade stand.

No one actually knows what the class president does, but this time around, he or she will get to make a big decision. The class is holding a book fair, and the president gets to decide what to do with the money they make. Jessica thinks they should have a big party. Everyone will come in costume as a favorite book character (this is later expanded to include movie characters), which is the only tie-in to books. Elizabeth thinks the money should be used to buy a VCR. Yeah, this book is a little dated.

When it comes time to nominate candidates, Amy names Elizabeth, and Lila names Jessica. Probable future dropout Jim Sturbridge nominates uber-nerd Randy Mason, wanting to embarrass him. Little does he know that Randy actually wants to run, so Jim did him a favorite. I love it when bullies’ plans backfire. Jessica is sure she’ll win the election, since she’s the most popular of the three candidates and this is, after all, a popularity contest. (Kids: Don’t ever let anyone tell you a school election is about the issues or anyone’s platform. It’s not. Sorry. Also, a good number of high-schoolers who run for student government do it because it looks good on their college applications.)

Elizabeth actually wants to be an effective president, bless her heart, and she comes up with ideas like giving an award to the best teacher. Jessica’s more focused on getting votes. She decides to have a party at Lila’s so all the popular kids will know how cool she is. Elizabeth makes up a bunch of flyers with her platform, but before she, Amy, and Julie can distribute them, they disappear. They wind up in the school’s fountain – and who knew the school had a fountain? Liz doesn’t want to believe that Jessica had anything to do with them getting dumped there, but it’s pretty clear Lila and Ellen were involved, and it’s possible Jess put them up to it. (She actually didn’t know about it until later.)

Fearing retaliation from her sister, Jessica snoops in Elizabeth’s room and finds out that she’s going to hold a campaign rally after a school soccer game. I’ve never heard of a student doing that, especially a middle-schooler. Lila enlists her father and his connections to come up with a counter-plan: They’ll have their own gathering and distract people with copies of Johnny Buck’s newest single.

Steven urges Elizabeth to start fighting dirty. I kind of enjoy Steven in this book; he’s really entertained by his sisters competing against each other, and basically wants them to drive each other crazy. SVT Steven is so much more fun than SVH and SVU Steven. Anyway, Elizabeth draws mustaches on Jessica’s campaign posters, like, way to be creative, Liz. When Ned and Alice find out, they announce that the girls will both have to drop out of the election if they can’t be civil. That’s an actual parenting moment, there. Good job, Wakefields!

Elizabeth thinks about quitting the race, since it’s not worth it if she and Jessica are going to end up hating each other. Amy tells her that they have to keep going to show Jess that she can’t get what she wants all the time. That’s probably half the reason Amy’s backing Liz. Elizabeth goes to Randy’s teeny, tiny, pathetic rally, since he went to hers, and realizes that he has some great ideas for the class. He’s also come up with the plan to have the party Jessica wants, charge admission, and use the proceeds to buy the VCR.

Liz likes this idea so much that she thinks about incorporating it in her platform (though she would give Randy credit). She asks Alice about it, and Alice advises her to do what she thinks is right. On election day, Elizabeth does that, and then some: She announces that she’s dropping out of the race and supporting Randy. This is especially bold because Jessica has no idea what she’s doing, and Elizabeth probably could have easily won. But her votes go to Randy, who ends up winning.

Elizabeth is worried that Jessica will be furious at her for what she did, but Jessica couldn’t care less – she gets to have her party, and she doesn’t have to do any work. Can you imagine if she’d won, though? That would have been a disaster. And she wouldn’t have time to go roller-skating and run into cute older boys in a set-up for the next book.

Thoughts: We just did a campaign storyline! Why are they doing another one?

I watched Election while I was reading this. Tracy Flick would laugh in Lila’s face over her campaign tactics.

Johnny’s single comes in record form. In 1987? Hadn’t most people moved on to cassettes by then? Especially rich people like Lila?

August 10, 2014

BH90210 8.3, Forgive and Forget: This Is Not the Time for Your Stupid Problems, Everyone Who’s Not Kelly

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , , at 3:04 pm by Jenn

Felice has no suspicions about Donna's completely natural pose in front of her closet (which definitely doesn't contain anything or anyone concerning)

Felice has no suspicions about Donna’s completely natural pose in front of her closet (which definitely doesn’t contain anything or anyone concerning)

Summary: Kelly is rushed to the hospital after her shooting and quickly taken to surgery. The rest of the gang is questioned by a detective who wants to find the shooter. Most of them didn’t get a good look at the guy or his friends, so no one’s stories match up. Brandon, however, remembers exactly what the shooter looked like and vows to kill him if he comes across him again.

Someone calls Jackie, who arrives just as Kelly’s doctor comes to tell everyone how she’s doing. Despite multiple injuries, she’s expected to recover. Brandon sends the rest of the gang home to rest but refuses to leave the hospital. Steve goes to the Peach Pit, where Nat hasn’t heard what happened. KEG’s new rush chair wants to chat with his predecessor, who’s not in the mood.

Steve tells Nat about the shooting, then asks for the keys to the After Dark so he can get a drink. The rush chair pulls him over to talk to his friends, and Steve invites them to join him at the After Dark. Meanwhile, David and Donna go to the beach apartment, but he doesn’t want to stay the night or move in until she fulfills her promise to tell her parents they’re going to live together. Noah has Valerie take him to a random house to go swimming. Ugh, just have sex already.

Back at the hospital, Jackie says that the detective told her Brandon tried to protect Kelly. Brandon, however, blames himself for causing the shooting, since he picked a fight with the car thieves. In the morning, Noah wakes up in Valerie’s bed and sneaks out while she’s still asleep. Kelly wakes up to find Brandon by her side.

Apparently David spent the night after all, or maybe just came by the beach apartment early in the morning, in his pajamas, to help Donna make the bed. Felice shows up, and David thinks this is the perfect time for Donna to tell her they’re living together. She makes him hide in the closet. Felice asks Donna why she’s acting weird, and Donna tells her she got fired in Hawaii.

Kelly tells the detective what she remembers about the shooting, and he invites Brandon to the police station to check out a line-up. Jackie asks Brandon and Noah to have their blood typed; Kelly has a rare blood type, and the doctors want to be prepared in case she needs a transfusion. She also asks Steve to take Erin to her soccer practice again.

The After Dark’s accounts are overdrawn, and the latest liquor delivery is COD because David’s been late on some payments. It’s hard to feel sorry for him when Kelly’s in the hospital after almost dying. Valerie finds Noah on the Martins’ boat and tells him she’s not happy that he left without leaving a note. He tells her he left one on the fridge that said, “See ya.” He wants to go for a sail with her, but she’s not interested in him anymore.

Steve bickers with Carly at Erin’s soccer practice. She tells him he smells like tequila; he tells her she smells nice. She thinks he spent the evening with a girl he picked up at a bar. He tells her he actually spent it worried about his hospitalized friend. Steve feels bad about getting Carly fired from her job and offers to help her get another one.

Donna visits Kelly, sharing that her father got her an interview with a designer. She admits that she chickened out of telling Felice that David’s moving in. Kelly gives Donna her apartment key to give him. She tells Donna that she told Brandon she loved him before the shooting, and after she was hurt, she was grateful that she’d gotten to say it.

Brandon goes in for the line-up and immediately pegs the person he thinks is the shooter. Meanwhile, David and Felice join Donna in Kelly’s hospital room, where everyone continues to not tell Felice about her daughter’s living arrangements. David and Donna bicker, like, is this really the place?

Steve takes Carly, Zach, and Erin to the Peach Pit, where Nat quickly asks Carly to come on board as a waitress. Steve tries to further impress Carly by telling her he’s a sports agent. Apparently he really wants to be one, since he talks to Charlotte (a girl he met the night before) and tells her to contact him when she’s ready for the WNBA.

Donna goes on her job interview and is told she’s too stylish for the job. (I guess the designer hates her own clothes? I don’t know.) Instead, she’s offered a job as the designer’s personal shopper. Later, Donna heads to the After Dark, which is pretty dead. At least Steve’s having a good night, what with Charlotte showing interest in him. Carly isn’t happy to see them together.

Brandon has gone to the club, for some reason, and while he’s gone, Kelly develops a complication. The nurse who finally answers his call tells him to come back to the hospital. The doctor explains that Kelly had a blood clot, but a blood transfusion from Noah helped get things under control. Unfortunately, there may be more complications the doctors won’t know about until Kelly wakes up.

Noah takes Valerie a snow globe as a peace offering. They listen to blues music and Valerie reminisces about hearing it from her neighbor’s house when she was growing up. Donna finds Felice praying in the hospital chapel and decides this is the right time to tell her she and David are going to live together. She adds that they had sex, and she doesn’t feel guilty about it. Felice isn’t pleased. Donna tells David that she talked to Felice, and that she’s glad she’s no longer keeping secrets.

Brandon looks through pictures from the trip while Kelly remains unconscious. He admits that he’s having trouble staying strong. A few moments later, she starts to wake up. Because this is now officially a soap opera, Kelly asks Brandon, “Who are you?”

Thoughts: Oh, amnesia. Always so fun on paper, always so poorly executed.

Kelly’s doctor is played by Daniel Dae Kim. He hasn’t aged a day since this episode. The nurse Brandon talks to on the phone is played by Sonya Eddy, who also plays a nurse on General Hospital (but she’s much more fun on GH).

How did Noah know where to have Valerie take him? How did he know the house had a pool? How did he know no one would be there? That whole thing was so dumb.

Donna, freaking A, you are 22. It’s none of your mother’s business who you live with.

This might be the first episode where I haven’t hated Brandon even a little bit. I even felt sorry for him. I’m sure that won’t last.

August 9, 2014

Party of Five 5.5, The Baby: “Look What I Made”

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 1:25 pm by Jenn

I'd like to know how Owen feels about having a new baby around

I’d like to know how Owen feels about having a new baby around

Summary: Julia and Ned study together in the library, or at least try to, since all they can think about is how they’re secretly involved. Julia thinks Maggie deserves to know. Ned’s like, “Can we have sex first?” Daphne’s having some health issues; her liver isn’t functioning properly, and the consequences could be serious. Sarah takes Hannah to a motel in a sketchy part of town, trying to help her determine what her options are for the baby. Hannah’s leaning toward keeping it, even if Will isn’t on board.

Ned and Julia prepare to tell Maggie about their affair, but she’s already crying – her dog died. They definitely can’t tell her about them tonight. Bailey slams Will for not telling him and Sarah why he was really back in town. Will claims that Hannah never told him about the pregnancy (he heard from a friend of a friend); he assumed she was going to have an abortion and never mention it. Bailey points out that she followed him across the country, so he needs to talk to her. Sarah returns with Hannah, announcing that the person staying in the sketchy motel should be Will, not Hannah.

Daphne wakes up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, but starts feeling sick. Charlie rushes her to the hospital, where Daphne’s doctor reports that her liver problems are getting worse. The news passes through the family, and Claudia decides to come home. Kirsten visits with Daphne while Charlie tells Bailey he’s having trouble being strong for her. Griffin offers to stay with Julia while she watches Owen at the house.

Will tries to offer Bailey support, but Bailey’s still mad at him for ditching Hannah. Will says that having a baby at this age would ruin his life. He’ll be stuck as the person he is right now – without a job or a college education. Bailey’s like, “Can you maybe shut up about your problems for two minutes?” Daphne’s doctor tells her and Charlie that there are risks with either delivering the baby early or not delivering early. Charlie realizes that it’s possible Daphne and the baby won’t both survive.

Having not heard from Julia after she went home, Ned shows up at the Salingers’ to find out what’s going on. Julia tells Griffin they’re just friends. Daphne’s doctor presses Charlie to make a decision, but Daphne’s too emotional to put in a vote, so Charlie doesn’t know what to do. He cries, saying he loves both Daphne and the baby, so he can’t pick which one of them to prioritize. The doctor has zero sympathy and asks again for a decision. This doctor is awful. Charlie ultimately chooses early delivery.

Julia asks Ned to distract her, so he tells her he’s in love with her. Thanks for playing, Ned. Julia tells him to call Maggie, who thinks he came to San Francisco to do research for a paper. The baby is delivered by C-section, but no one will give Charlie any news on her or Daphne. Charlie decides to go with his daughter, leaving Bailey to wait for news on Daphne. Sarah takes Hannah for a prenatal appointment at the same hospital, accidentally making her feel bad that her child won’t have as much love and support as Charlie and Daphne’s already does.

Claudia’s flight home is delayed because of fog. Griffin tries to avoid the house while Ned’s there; he’s figured out that Ned is more than just Julia’s friend, since he’s lying to Maggie about his whereabouts. Julia admits that he’s lying to his girlfriend. Hey, look, Julia’s involved with another cheater! Paul becomes the first doctor at the hospital to actually give helpful information, telling Bailey that Daphne’s still in surgery and has lost a lot of blood.

Griffin tells Julia that she’s making a big mistake getting involved with Ned. Julia points out that she was involved with Justin when she started developing feelings for Griffin. It’s hard to find someone who isn’t already attached. (No, Julia, it’s really not.) Griffin admits that he’s not dating someone; he wanted Julia to feel free to start dating again. You know, just not Ned. Sarah and Hannah meet back up with the Salingers, and Hannah tells Bailey that she’s decided not to have the baby. He gives her money for the abortion and offers to go with her.

Daphne gets out of surgery, and though she’s stable, she’s not out of the woods. Cue montage of everyone waiting for news, and Claudia waiting for her flight. Charlie prays in the hospital chapel until he’s allowed to see Daphne. He tells her the baby’s fine. The doctor reports that Daphne’s improving, then tells Charlie that the baby’s small and having trouble breathing. She thinks he made the right choice in having Daphne deliver early.

Sarah goes home, where she catches up with Hannah, who’s already had the abortion. Sarah pretends she’s not disappointed. Charlie’s also disappointed – it’s past midnight, so he didn’t get to see his daughter the day she was born. He tells Kirsten that the baby was the only thing in his life that felt right, and he might not get to keep her. Julia and Ned head to the hospital, where they run into Claudia, who’s finally made it to San Francisco. Meanwhile, Maggie shows up at the Salingers’ and meets Griffin.

Daphne’s upset that the baby was delivered early before she got a chance to give her opinion on what they should do. Charlie tells her that if they’d waited, Daphne might have died. She realizes that he chose her over the baby. She doesn’t understand why, after she was horrible to him and he went to such lengths to have the baby. But suddenly there’s good news – the baby is breathing on her own.

Charlie and Daphne finally get to see their daughter. Daphne has decided to go with Charlie’s name choice, Diana. Julia and Ned return home, thrilled with how things have turned out, and are immediately sobered by Maggie’s presence. She quickly realizes that they’ve been fooling around behind her back. At Bailey and Sarah’s, Hannah is totally fine with talk of someone else’s baby, which means she’s probably going to have a breakdown at some point in the future.

Sarah admits that she’s upset with Bailey for financing Hannah’s abortion. Bailey tells her that Hannah had already made up her mind, and giving her the money didn’t make a difference. Sarah promises that if she got pregnancy unexpectedly, she would have the baby, and she’d like to know that Bailey would support her. Charlie visits his parents’ graves with a picture of their first grandchild, telling them, “Look what I made.”

Thoughts: Doctor: “So…go ahead and pick who you would prefer to survive.” Me: “I pick a different doctor.” I mean…freaking A. At least pretend you have some bedside manner.

Then a ticket agent at the airport is condescending to Claudia, even after she tells him there’s an emergency. Why is everyone in this episode a jerk?

Sarah should have introduced Hannah to Kirsten. Kirsten might have talked her into having the baby, then letting Kirsten and Paul adopt it. Also, Kirsten served no other purpose in this episode, so it would have given her something to do.

So what happened to Will? He had two scenes with Bailey and then disappeared. We didn’t get to see his reaction to Hannah having the abortion.

August 5, 2014

SVU #21, For the Love of Ryan: Maybe These People Shouldn’t Be Dating Their Co-Workers In the First Place?

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , , at 6:54 pm by Jenn

Twin on the right, burn those shorts right now

Twin on the right, burn those shorts right now

Summary: Another summer has rolled around, and this year, the twins plan to do something useful with their time: They’re going to be lifeguards. Apparently there is a Sweet Valley Shore, which is a happening place for celebrities. I think it’s supposed to be like the Hamptons, but less upper-class. Nina worked at the shore the previous summer and has arranged for the twins and Winston to stay in a house with her and two others, Ben and Wendy. They’ll all try to make the lifeguard squad Nina worked on. It seems dangerous to rent a house with people who don’t have a guaranteed paycheck, but when you’re in college, you do wacky things like that.

The head of Sweet Valley Shore’s squad (there are four other squads) is Ryan Taylor, the hottest guy who ever hotted. Jessica is immediately smitten. She’s also super-good at lifeguard stuff. Elizabeth, however, screws up repeatedly and is shocked to discover that not everyone loves her and wants to give her things just because she’s awesome. Ryan doesn’t think she’s good enough for his squad, and Elizabeth has to actually work to prove herself, for once. Winston also sucks, but everyone figured that would happen.

Jessica starts getting to know Ryan, who is nice enough but is very serious about his job and about safety and following the rules. Through conversations he has with Nina, we learn that while he was off-duty the previous summer, a girl drowned, and Ryan blames himself. He thinks that because he’s the boss, all responsibilities fall on him, so all of his lifeguards need to be the best. Fair enough, but he needs to loosen up a little.

Ben also takes an interest in Jessica, but she finds him annoying and tells him she and Ryan are dating so he’ll back off. Except she doesn’t tell anyone else to back up that story, so when Ben brings it up, everyone laughs at her. Ben really is a jerk, by the way; he won’t leave Jessica alone after she asks him to repeatedly, and doesn’t get the hint that she’s really not interested. He’s restraining order material.

Elizabeth continues to make stupid mistakes, and tries to get Nina to defend her to Ryan. Nina won’t, because they’re there to work, not be buddies. I understand Elizabeth’s frustrations with the girl who’s supposed to be her best friend, but I have to side with Nina here. It’s not her fault Liz is screwing up, and she can’t use her friendship with Ryan to get him to go easy on Elizabeth. If Liz can’t do the job, Nina can’t get the rules bent for her. Anyway, Elizabeth gets left behind during a group run, and almost drowns when she goes for a swim. Ryan berates her in front of everyone because no one should go in the water alone. I’m surprised he lets her keep going in the tryout process; I probably would have cut her right then.

Time for a dance! I mean, of course. Nina meets a guy named Paul who’s a thousand times more fun than Bryan (though, let’s be honest, salmonella poisoning is a thousand times more fun than Bryan). Elizabeth stays behind to mope and try to call Tom, who’s in Colorado for the summer, but she can’t reach him. She starts thinking that he’s cheating on her. Ben’s ex-girlfriend, Rachel, who’s on a rival squad, thinks Jessica is interested in Ben and goes psycho on her.

Elizabeth and Ryan run into each other, and she laments that she sucks so badly at lifeguarding. He tells her she’s overthinking everything, and she needs to stop being overconfident. He needs lifeguards who think they’re above making mistakes, because that’ll just make them screw up. Elizabeth cries. Okay, I don’t think she should be a lifeguard. I wouldn’t want my life to depend on this girl.

On the day Ryan will make his final decisions about the squad, Jessica spots someone struggling in the water and saves him. Ryan’s so impressed with her skills and how well she followed protocol that he tells her she doesn’t have to complete the tryout process. It’s nice to see Jessica excel at something important for once. Nina, Ben, and Wendy all make the squad as well, and Elizabeth surprises everyone by getting the last spot. Winston is out, which means he needs to find another job if he wants to stay in the house.

Elizabeth almost gets her butt fired just minutes after being hired, in a really stupid scene. Wendy gets in a fight with a rival squad at a hot dog stand, and they throw condiments at each other. Ryan yells at Liz for not stopping the fight. This is the one time I think he’s too hard on her. She’s not a babysitter, and the other lifeguards are adults – they’re responsible for their own actions. Nina gets on Elizabeth’s case as well, wondering why Liz is so flustered by everything. Liz starts to realize that it’s because she finds Ryan so attractive.

Time for more socializing! Ben helps Jessica get rid of a guy who’s bugging her by pretending to be her boyfriend. Go away, Ben. Elizabeth and Ryan end up in the lifeguard station together, and suddenly they’re both attracted to each other and they kiss. Uh-oh! Jessica goes in to get Ryan to make Rachel leave her alone, and catches her sister kissing her crush. She’s furious, and rightfully so.

Throughout the book, Winston and Wendy have become close friends (but they’re not interested in each other romantically, so Denise has nothing to worry about). She gives him a tour of the shore and points out where all the celebrities live. They also take in a stray dog, which Wendy names Paloma Perro after her favorite singer, Pedro Paloma. (I don’t know why they don’t name the dog Perro Paloma, which makes more sense, but whatever.)

Coincidentally, Pedro has a house at the shore! And when Winston decides to find a way to make money that doesn’t involve lifeguarding, since he’s not sure he’ll make the squad, he decides to conduct celebrity tours. All goes well until his tour group makes a scene at Pedro’s house and the police shut down Winston’s operation. Not realizing that the tour has been canceled, Pedro tracks down Winston and offers him money to stop bringing people by his house. Instead, Winston asks him to ask out Wendy. Pedro resists, so Winston threatens to bring back his tour group. Winston Egbert: blackmailer.

Pedro later calls the house to set up a date with Wendy, and Winston shoots down his suggestions, wanting him to do something memorable. Pedro agrees to dinner and dancing. The date goes really well, at least until Pedro accidentally mentions that Winston got him to ask Wendy out. Wendy won’t listen when Pedro tells her that he really does like her. She’s just furious with Winston for using her.

Now everyone in the house is mad at each other, and Nina comes home to a screaming fight. She awesomely takes charge, getting everyone to shut up and reminding them that they have to work together all summer, so they need to put aside their personal differences. (Nina is fully awesome in this book; I’ve never liked her more.) Except this doesn’t really solve anything, because Jessica’s still going to be mad at Liz for stealing her potential boyfriend. Then the toilet explodes because Winston sucks as a plumber. Womp womp.

Thoughts: This probably makes me sound old and cranky, but they should probably have a rule about lifeguards not dating each other. They don’t need all the drama and distractions while they’re trying to keep people from drowning.

The Sweet Valley Shore is “several hours” from SVU. I don’t understand the geography of this town.

Bryan was supposed to work with the gang, but that makes no sense – we know he only recently learned to swim. No way is he qualified to be a lifeguard.

Winston wears Bermuda shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. Guys, I finally figured it out. Winston is Pacey Witter.

“Hey, Blondie, how do I start a conversation with you?” Do you think that line has ever worked on anyone? You’re not even trying, Ben.

Not one person mentions that Wendy gave a male dog a female name.

There’s a Hollywood couple named Dan Jamison and Melody Geffin. I assume they have a daughter named Decatur who will be starring in Forty Hues of Beige.

Nina, when Winston struggles during rescue drills: “Come back here and save me.” I love Nina.

August 3, 2014

BH90210 8.2, Aloha Beverly Hills, Part 2: Noah Hunter, You Are Not Dylan McKay

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 1:05 pm by Jenn

I think it's safe to say this is Kelly's worst birthday ever

I think it’s safe to say this is Kelly’s worst birthday ever

Summary: The gang (minus Kelly) is in Waikiki, but Brandon is mopey because he and his girlfriend are having issues. The two of them consider calling each other, but don’t. Donna’s also not in the best mood, worrying about her job. David apologizes for pressuring her about their living arrangements. He tells her he’ll wait until she’s ready to decide if he should move in. Steve and Valerie are sharing a room, and he expects them to share a bed. She quickly sets him straight.

Donna’s new boss, Vanessa, is sick, so Donna will have to be in charge on the photo shoot. David promises that the whole gang will help her. Vanessa warns that the photographer, Fernando, is touchy, and they shouldn’t make him mad. Steve heads off alone to hit on women while Valerie pointedly reminds Brandon that his girlfriend isn’t with them. She claims she wants to protect him from himself, which I think means she wants to break up him and Kelly.

Donna and David meet with Fernando, who isn’t happy that Vanessa isn’t going to be working with him. Donna assures him that she’s done everything necessary to get ready for the shoot. Fernando isn’t pleased and calls her a poser. David defends her, saying she graduated first in her major. Donna remains confident as she asks Fernando for a chance, which he reluctantly gives her. After they leave, Donna freaks out privately to David.

Bright and early the next morning, the shoot kicks off, and Donna struggles to match Fernando’s pace. The gang is helping, if by “helping” you mean standing around and ogling pretty women. (Well, David’s helping in the regular sense of the word, at least.) Steve isn’t using sunscreen, because Steve is dumb. Valerie checks out one of the male models. Steve loses a prop in the water. Wackiness and physical comedy ensue. Brandon and Val are the opposite of helpful.

Donna has to row some models out to a boat, but she accidentally punctures their raft with her scissors. One of the models can’t swim. Now the guys spring into action to be heroes, as does the male model Valerie thought was hot. Fernando yells at Donna for ruining the shoot. The model defends her, punching Fernando when he gets too aggressive. Donna ends up getting fired. But now the gang has a new friend, Noah Hunter. And then suddenly they also have an old friend: Tracy’s in Hawaii.

Donna cries over getting fired, upset with herself for thinking she could pull everything off. She lost Vanessa one of her biggest clients. She asks David to leave her alone for a while. Tracy introduces Brandon to her fiancé, Eric, and they invite the gang to go to Waimea Falls with them the next day. David fills Vanessa in on Donna’s firing, but Vanessa isn’t mad. In fact, she feels bad that Fernando treated Donna so poorly, and that Donna had to jump into a difficult job on her own.

Valerie laments that she, Brandon, and Steve are all on their trip alone instead of with significant others. Then she spots Noah and shoos the guys away so she can flirt by herself. He flirts back and invites her to join him for a drink on the boat he’s working on. Brandon complains that he hasn’t gotten a job, and Steve urges him to stop worrying about his future. Yeah, Steve, and how are you paying your bills next month? Valerie joins them to tell them Noah’s coming to Waimea Falls with them.

The next day, the gang, Noah, and Tracy head to Waimea Falls (Eric can’t make it), so we get some nice shots of the scenery. Donna’s concerned with Brandon’s closeness with Tracy, and once she’s back at the hotel, she calls Kelly to tell her what’s going on. Steve ends up with a bad sunburn because, like I said, he’s dumb. Noah comes to the rescue with some special concoction, and thinks that since Val and Steve are sharing a room, they’re dating. Valerie quickly corrects him and scores a date.

Noah takes Valerie horseback riding in a place he hasn’t been to since…well, he won’t say since what. I think we’re supposed to care. He tells Valerie he has a job offer in L.A., so he’ll meet up with her again in California. They kiss, but he doesn’t want to take things farther because they barely know each other. He literally gives her the “it’s not you, it’s me.” If I were Valerie, I’d be offended that he thought they were going to do anything other than kiss. Then again, if I were Valerie, I’d probably want to do something other than kiss.

Brandon, Tracy, and Eric chat about the end of Brandon and Tracy’s relationship, and how Tracy and Eric are super-happy now. She’s not angry about Kelly anymore. Speaking of Kelly, she shows up just as Brandon and Tracy are hugging goodbye. Brandon informs her that Tracy’s engaged, which apparently Donna didn’t know, despite spending an entire day with Tracy. So now Brandon and Kelly are fine again, because she can only trust him with his ex if she’s not available.

The gang goes hiking with Noah while Kelly takes Tracy to breakfast to smooth things over. Valerie tells Brandon that Noah’s awesome, but she can’t get involved with him because he’s not rich. David and Donna discuss his potential living arrangements; he thinks moving in with Mel is his best option right now. While everyone moves ahead and David stays behind to tie his boot, he falls down a hill and into some water. The gang goes back to get him but can’t find him.

Brandon and Noah spot David’s hat farther down the hill and send Steve, Donna, and Valerie ahead, not wanting Donna to freak out about what might have happened. A semi-conscious David manages to pull himself partly out of the water, and Noah and Brandon are able to rescue them. So I guess Noah’s officially a member of the gang now?

That night everyone except Noah goes to a luau, because that’s the law when you’re in Hawaii. The scare with David has made Donna decide that when they get home, he’s moving in and she’s telling her parents. Noah arrives late, and with a date…for Steve. He announces that he’s heading to California with them the next day. Donna offers to ask her parents if he can stay on their boat. Kelly gets a birthday cake with really tall candles.

Back in California the next day, Donna tells Noah that he can stay on the Martins’ boat, and Dr. Martin will even pay him to do some maintenance work on it. Brandon and Kelly head off on their own to his car, which has a flat tire. She suggests that they go off with the others and come back the next day to change the tire. Brandon wants to take care of it now, though.

While they’re starting to change the tire, they spot some guys breaking into and stealing a car. One of the guys confronts Brandon, who pretends they didn’t see anything illegal going on. The car thieves drive off, then circle back, shooting at Brandon and Kelly. Kelly takes a bullet in the stomach. Brandon tries to keep her awake as the rest of the gang rushes over to help.

Thoughts: I like that Donna went into the shoot at least pretending to be confident. Otherwise Fernando probably would have ditched her without giving her a chance.

These unemployed fools are staying at the Hilton. I hate them all.

Two cute outfits in this episode: Donna’s pink plaid bikini and Tracy’s blue and white sundress. It’s a nice change from the hideous ’90s fashions we usually see on this show.

The actors seem to be having an especially good time with each other in this episode. I think they were high on Hawaii.

’90s music alert: Republica’s “Ready to Go.”

August 2, 2014

Party of Five 5.4, A Mid-Semester’s Night Dream: “Normal Future Freak-Out”

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , , at 1:20 pm by Jenn

Everyone's so angsty. Calm down with a seal pup

Everyone’s so angsty. Calm down with a seal pup

Summary: Daphne’s in the hospital after having contractions, but she’s going to be sent home for bed rest. She’s not happy with the idea of having to stay in the house all the time. Her doctor doesn’t care: The baby still has eight weeks to go, and her lungs aren’t developed yet, so if she’s born early, she’ll be in a lot of trouble.

Maggie leaves Julia and Ned alone in their room, not realizing that’s a bad idea. They both regret their kiss, since Julia has now betrayed her new best friend and Ned has cheated on his high school sweetheart. Will shows up in San Francisco for a surprise visit but won’t tell Bailey why he’s there. Charlie and Kirsten tend to a grumpy Daphne, and Kirsten suggests that they throw a baby shower. Daphne doesn’t care what they do.

Claudia also gets a surprise visitor, in the form of Jamie. Parker and Hallie are surprised, too, since they didn’t know Claudia had a boyfriend. Jamie’s hurt that she hasn’t been talking about him. Will has dinner with Bailey and Sarah, telling them he doesn’t like studying accounting. In fact, he doesn’t like school at all. He asks if he can stay with them for a while. Someone named Hannah calls for him, but Will tells Sarah to pretend he’s not there. She’s just a psycho with a crush on him.

Maggie tells Julia that something’s going on with Ned, who’s been moody lately. Josh pops in to ask a question just as Julia gets a message from a secret admirer. Charlie plans the shower, and Daphne complains that he’s not letting her give any input. He reminds her that she didn’t show any interest in the planning before. Daphne’s upset that everything’s about the baby and no one takes her into account.

Julia and Maggie discuss her possible admirers, though Julia thinks that if the guy isn’t brave enough to approach her, he’s not someone she wants to date. She discovers that someone managed to access a paper she’s writing and format her bibliography. Ned’s like, “The guy must be a genius!” Maggie thinks it’s Josh, which Ned finds ridiculous.

Hannah manages to find Will at the restaurant, so Bailey offers to call her and scare her off. Will decides it’s better if he handles it. Jamie wants to go to a haunted house with Claudia (they’re the only people so far to mention that Halloween is coming up), but she clearly doesn’t want him there. She claims it’s because she’s helping to run it and wouldn’t have time to hang out with him.

Julia confronts Ned about her bibliography, having figured out that he formatted it for her. Apparently he’s madly in love with her now and is having trouble keeping it secret. Julia is adamant that they not let Maggie know that there’s something between them. Her solution is for them to stay away from each other.

Will’s awake in the middle of the night, and when Sarah wakes up, she asks him what’s going on with him. He tells her he’s just been thinking a lot about school and his future – a “normal future freak-out.” Charlie has to check Daphne’s vitals every six hours, which means getting up in the middle of the night. She’s very appreciative, and blames herself for her condition – she thinks her previous wishes for the baby to disappear have turned into something real.

Charlie and Kirsten go shopping for baby things, taking pictures for Daphne to look at later. Charlie saw a different side of Daphne the previous night, when she was panicking. He gets a 911 page from her. Will is now working at the restaurant but is proving to be less than trustworthy; he forgot to deposit some money, which led to a bounced check.

Julia and Maggie go shopping for Halloween costumes so they can have a girls’ night out. Apparently Ned broke plans he and Maggie had made. The costume store is mostly sold out and only has Gorbachev masks left. Daphne’s panicking because the baby isn’t moving; Owen suggests that she’s in a coma. Charlie uses candy to wake her up. Then he decides he can’t take Owen trick-or-treating, and suggests that he ask Griffin to go with him.

Maggie and Julia go to a Halloween party, and Maggie tries to play matchmaker for Julia and Josh. Julia’s pretending that she thinks Josh is her secret admirer. Ned’s also at the party, but Julia avoids him. Charlie tries to cheer Daphne up by going on bed rest with her. Will packs to leave Sarah and Bailey’s, telling them he feels horrible for making so many mistakes, including running away from school. Sarah points out that he doesn’t have anywhere else to go.

Jamie shows up at Claudia’s haunted house after all, thinking she’s been cheating on him. He doesn’t know why else she would be acting like she is. She admits that she doesn’t know either. Ned finds who he thinks is Julia and declares his love for her; he doesn’t realize that she and Maggie are wearing the same mask. Maggie, however, doesn’t realize that he didn’t know it was her. Julia publicly tells Josh to stop bugging her and get over her.

Claudia tells Jamie that she’s so in love with her new school that she has trouble thinking about people and things from back home. She doesn’t want to miss him, so she needs to break up with him. “I’m being dumped for a campus?” he asks. Charlie presents a slide show of baby things so Daphne can pick one. There are also childhood pictures of him, which Daphne loves. The two of them share a moment and kiss.

Will’s still out at 1 in the morning, and Sarah presses Bailey to confront him when he comes home and find out what’s going on with him. Bailey thinks they should keep their distance and let him talk when he’s ready. Maggie’s also late getting home, having stayed at the party while Julia left. She tells Julia that she’s too controlling because she’s afraid of getting into another relationship. Julia needs to just kiss someone (read: Josh) and loosen up.

Charlie and Daphne make out, then call her doctor to make sure they’re allowed to be doing things that might elevate her heart rate. Hannah shows up at Bailey and Sarah’s, and Bailey tries to get rid of her. Will attempts to keep up his story about her stalking him, but Hannah busts him by revealing that she’s pregnant with his baby. Even though it’s the middle of the night, Julia goes to Ned’s room to make out with him. Oh, Julia

Thoughts: How mad do you think Kirsten is that people keep getting pregnant without trying?

60 books in a bibliography? Shut up, Julia.

Charlie’s so sweet in this episode. He deserves better than Daphne.

July 29, 2014

SVT #13, Stretching the Truth: Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

Posted in books tagged , at 6:42 pm by Jenn

Why isn't Mary on the cover of a Mary-centric book? Darn you, Jessica Wakefield and random guy!

Why isn’t Mary on the cover of a Mary-centric book? Darn you, Jessica Wakefield and random guy!

Summary: Mary’s mother has been dating a guy named Tim, and Mary is annoyed that he’s spending so much time at their house. She feels like Tim’s taking her mother away from her. For some reason, she tells everyone that Tim is rich and building them a mansion, as if she needs that to be liked. I mean, she was liked when she was a foster kid. No one cares about her family situation or how much money she has. Also, if Mary just got some much-needed therapy, everything would be a whole lot better.

Anyway, Mary’s mom quickly marries Tim, and that definitely doesn’t make things better. Because Tim’s been around so much, Mary tries to grab any time she can with her mother, which means her grades and her friendships are suffering. In fact, she’s missed so many Unicorn meetings that she might get kicked out! A fate worse than death! Mary doesn’t like Tim, who acts like, as described by the person who recapped this book for 1bruce1, “a creepy youth minister.” This is completely accurate. He’s super-friendly and seems to walk around with a guitar, making up songs all the time. That’s annoying for anyone, especially a 13-year-old whose entire life has recently changed. Also, he has a tugboat. I don’t know.

There’s a dumb part where Janet calls a Unicorn meeting, announcing that Mary will be out if she doesn’t come, so Jessica rushes to warn her that she needs to be there. But she and Lila run into Bruce and a guy named Rick Hunter, and help them put up posters, because hanging out with older guys is more important than maintaining a friendship. Fortunately, Elizabeth saves the day (what a surprise) by making sure Mary gets to the meeting. I’m not sure why Elizabeth cares about anything involving the Unicorns. I guess she’s just doing things out of the goodness of her heart now.

The meeting’s at the Dairi Burger, and Tim and Mrs. Wallace happen to show up for milkshakes. All the Unicorns fawn over Tim, thinking he’s cute. I’ve never found any of my friends’ fathers cute, so this is weird to me. They also think Tim has a yacht, not a tugboat, thanks to some misleading comments by Mary. Mary pretends to be sick so she can escape, and her mom and Tim take her to the doctor, which is probably an overreaction, but whatever. The doctor’s like, “Your kid has psychological problems. Keep an eye on that.”

Tim and Mrs. Wallace decide that Mary needs a big surprise birthday party to help cheer her up. They invite all her friends to have a party on the tugboat (which everyone still thinks is a yacht). Mary freaks out because now her mom and stepdad are having secret planning sessions, and her friends keep having whispered conversations and are obviously excluding her from something. Apparently her friends have never been invited to a surprise party before and don’t know how to act around the person they’re supposed to be surprising.

Cue Elizabeth coming to the rescue again. She realizes that Mary’s falling apart and spills that everyone’s throwing her a big party because they love her so much. While Mary’s happy to hear it, this just creates another problem: Obviously her friends are going to find out that the yacht isn’t a yacht. She tries to play sick again so she has an excuse to miss the party, but her mom brushes it off. Then Mary decides to just run away, since her family doesn’t care about her. She’ll go looking for her biological father, who…obviously loves her so much that he’s had nothing to do with her for the past nine years. Yeah, that makes total sense.

Mary gets, like, five feet out the door before hurting her arm and realizing her plan isn’t going to work. Tim finds her and comforts her, promising that he’s not trying to come between her and her mom, and that he loves them both. This is all it takes for Mary to see that she has a great family. She even agrees to let Tim adopt her, and to take his last name. The party goes really well, since everyone thinks tugboats are awesome, apparently. I still think Mary needs therapy, though.

The underdeveloped B plot, if you want to even call it that, is that the Unicorns want to have a party but have no money, because they all bought matching purple sweatshirts. (I mean, of course.) Jessica invites a movie star named Tom Houston to come sing for them. He declines through a form letter. I don’t know why this was in the book at all. There’s also a lot of talk about an after-school jewelry-making class everyone wants to take, but nothing comes of that.

Thoughts: Mrs. Wallace: “Mary never acts like this.” But…how would you know? You’ve only known her for six books.

Mary tells the Unicorns that they only have $3.10 in their treasury. (Who knew they had a treasury?) Janet asks if she’s sure, and Mary says she “double-checked the figures.” So she…recounted? It’s $3.10. It doesn’t take a formula to figure out that’s what you have.

Jessica wants to make Mary a bracelet to let her know how much people love her. You guys, Jessica has a heart!

Tim, somehow trying to reassure Mary: “If anyone leaves, it’s going to be me.” That’s…not helpful at all, actually.

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