April 29, 2012
Summary: Remember how Elizabeth decided she was going to stay at SVU? She tells Todd, and he is TICKED. And remember how Jessica was dating a college student named Zach? And how Magda, a girl from the sorority Jessica wants to join, also likes him? Jessica actually makes Zach leave a diner through a bathroom window before Magda and some Theta sisters can see them together. (I’m assuming they also dined and dashed.) Somehow, Zach still wants to be with Jess, and she decides she’ll stay at SVU, too.
Everyone thinks this is a horrible idea except the twins, and their friends decide to use some good, old-fashioned reverse psychology to make them change their minds. Headed by Enid, Lila, Todd, and Ken, they pretend they’re thrilled that the twins are leaving, rather than trying to talk them into staying. Their reasoning is awesome: Ned and Alice can travel instead of parenting, Lila will now be the most popular girl in school, and Enid will be the smartest, and will take over Elizabeth’s Oracle column.
Elizabeth starts her internship, which she won in the essay contest, but the editor-in-chief is sleazy, especially when you consider that he keeps checking out a 16-year-old. Also, Elizabeth hates doing what are basically secretarial tasks, though I don’t know what more she expected from, you know, an internship. Still, no one makes Elizabeth Wakefield fetch coffee, so she quits after two days.
Jess is still trying to hold onto Zach and pretend she’s in college. Billie knows about her scheme and is, for some reason, going along with it. Jessica finds out she wouldn’t be able to join the cheerleading squad until the next year, and that’s enough to make her second-guess her decision to stay at SVU. Keep in mind that neither twin is actually attending classes, so they’re only seeing the social part of college and making decisions based on that. Whatever, Jessica also misses Ken, even when she’s making out with Zach.
But there’s a big formal party at the end of the week, and Zach invites Jessica, so she’s obviously going to stick it out until then. However, she doesn’t want Magda to see her with Zach. She convinces Elizabeth to go to the party with Magda and two guys, but pretending to be Jessica. Jessica will in turn pretend to be Elizabeth with Zach, but only as far as Magda is concerned. In other words, Zach knows she’s Jessica, but Magda thinks she’s Elizabeth. Yes, that means two Jessicas. Just go with it.
Liz tells Magda that her sister (Elizabeth, as far as Magda knows) is all over Zach, and Magda’s surprisingly fine with it: She found out that Zach is also a high school student pretending to be in college. Elizabeth hilariously decides not to break the news to Jess.
The SVH kids are still on the Get the Girls Back bandwagon, so they all take a trip to SVU and, with help from Steven and Billie, arrange a surprise goodbye party. While they’re setting up, Todd and Ken crash the formal to get their girlfriends back. Todd sees Elizabeth (really Jessica) with Zach and thinks she’s happy. When the real Elizabeth sees him, she’s thrilled. Ken sees the real Jessica with her real new boyfriend and is rightfully angry. Zach is angry, too, when Jessica pretends they were just set up on a blind date. Then Magda spills the beans about Zach being in high school, which leads to a fight between him and Jess, but they ultimately laugh it off because the whole thing is ridiculous.
The action moves to the surprise party, where the twins’ friends run an actual slide show full of pictures of all their happy times in high school. I hope with all my heart that it was set to “I Will Remember You.” To the surprise of absolutely no one, the twins decide to go back to SVH, and Ken forgives Jessica, because why would he let a little cheating get in the way of his relationship with the hottest girl in school?
Thoughts: Magda and the Thetas would be a good name for a ’50s girl group.
Elizabeth is excited because the newspaper where she’s interning has Lexis/Nexis. Wasn’t that outdated even in 1995?
You’d think the newspaper’s editor-in-chief would know that “editor-in-chief” is hyphenated.
Also, if he called me “sweetheart” or any of the other names he calls Elizabeth, I would walk right out of his office within the first 30 seconds of meeting him, instead of putting up with it for two days like Liz.
Lila calls Todd a Philistine. I need Lila in my life for real.
Oh, wait, then she says an all-chocolate cake “goes against all the rules of dessert.” Never mind.
SVU’s football team is the Vanguards. What the–?
Zach: “How could I have been so stupid?” Jessica: “It is kind of amazing.” HA!
Todd, don’t make out with your girlfriend on her brother’s bed. That’s gross.
April 19, 2012
Thoughts: Jessica and Elizabeth’s “reward” for retaking the SAT is to visit Steven at SVU. (Apparently Steven doesn’t get a say in this.) They immediately take over his and Billie’s apartment, and Jessica throws a big party with a bunch of college kids. Steven and Billie go to a bed and breakfast but have a horrible experience and come back early, before the twins can clean up the post-party mess. So they’re off to a great start.
At the party, Jessica meets a guy named Zach who thinks she’s a college student. You might be shocked to learn that she does not correct his misperception and instead goes along with it. Elizabeth meets a guy named Ian, but they’re totally just friends! You guys, seriously! Just friends! She loves Todd! Don’t even think like that!
Jessica loves college life because a) there are no parents to tell her what to do, b) the sisters in the sorority she wants to pledge like her, and c) Zach is hottt. They hang out a bunch, and Jessica keeps pretending she’s a college student, even getting poor, patient, doesn’t-deserve-this-crap Billie to go along with her lies. But then Jess finds out that Magda, the treasurer of her desired sorority, likes Zach, and she worries that that will keep her from being asked to pledge. Despite the fact that she won’t be in college for two more years, and Magda probably will have graduated by then.
Elizabeth goes to a journalism class with Ian (who is totally JUST A FRIEND, I swear!) and gets yelled at by the professor for thinking she’s just as good as anyone else there. It’s awesome. The professor announces an essay contest, with the essay being due first thing the next morning. When she asks if Liz is going to write one, of course Elizabeth can’t say no. She stays up all night working on it and wins the contest, because Elizabeth is awesome at everything, which means that hanging out with a boy she has feelings for is NOT CHEATING, because awesome girls don’t do that.
Anyway, the prize is an internship and publication in a national magazine. (AS IF.) The professor tells everyone that Elizabeth is awesome (thank you, but we already knew that), and encourages her to leave SVH, get her GED, and enroll at SVU so she can become a famous journalist faster. So of course, Liz listens to her, because when people say nice things about her, she believes them.
Meanwhile, Steven and Billie keep trying to get some alone time so they can…I don’t know, make out? ‘Cause they’re not having sex (see below).
Thoughts: Why is this book called College Weekend when the twins are at SVU for a week? And why is this miniseries called “Loving Ambitions” when that makes no sense?
I highly doubt that the people who brought the keg to the twins’ party would just abandon it there, especially since it wasn’t empty.
Steven and Billie really confuse me. It seems like their apartment only has one bedroom, but when Billie first moved in, they had two bedrooms. That was the whole point of Steven getting a roommate. So we can assume they’re sharing a bed, right? But when they go to the bed and breakfast, Steven sleeps on the couch. And there’s no way a Wakefield would have premarital sex, right? I mean, he’s not Annie Whitman.
Zach and Jessica drink wine at dinner, so enjoy your arrest for giving alcohol to a minor, Zach.
August 8, 2011
Summary: So, yeah, Elizabeth’s still on the hook for Sam’s death. The Wakefields are basically falling apart, with the twins not speaking to each other, Ned trying to come up with a defense, and Alice slowly losing it. Jessica is still trying to stick it to Liz by dating Todd, who’s only with her out of pity and wants to get back together with Elizabeth. Todd writes Liz a letter, but Jessica intercepts it and tells him Elizabeth tore it up after she read it.
Elizabeth still can’t remember what happened the night of Sam’s death, so things aren’t looking so good for her. Until she gets a deus ex machina in the form of a guy who was driving drunk on the same road at the same time. He confesses to running Elizabeth’s car off the road and killing Sam. Suddenly, Elizabeth’s hopeless defense is moot, and she’s free. Jessica is only pleased because she still hasn’t been busted for spiking Elizabeth’s drink. Now she’s jealous that everyone’s happy about Elizabeth but doesn’t seem to care that Sam’s still dead.
Lila’s mom is still in town, and Lila thinks her parents are finding their way back to each other. Grace wants to stay in Sweet Valley, but she admits to Lila that things with her and George are complicated. She was very young (19) when she married George, and they’d only been together for a couple of months. He was poor when they got together, while her family was rich, and he felt threatened by her wealth. Eventually Grace left, taking Lila with her, but George, now rich, threatened her with a custody battle if she didn’t leave Lila with him. Grace felt her hands were tied, so she gave in, then went to Europe to get away from the situation. Now Lila wants to reunite her parents.
Pamela’s at SVH but everyone thinks she’s a slut, especially Bruce, so she has no friends. Amy realizes that they haven’t treated Pamela fairly, so she and Lila befriend her. Amy then goes to Bruce and gets him to see that people’s reputations aren’t always accurate. He finds Pamela basically being kidnapped by some Big Mesa jerk, saves her, and gets the girl.
Steven and his roommate, Billie, are falling in loooooooove. When people start talking about how Alice is losing it, Steven thinks Billie spilled what he confided to her. They get into a big fight and she moves out. Then Steven finds out Jessica was the blabbermouth, and he and Billie make up. Yes, that’s really it.
And then there’s Margo. She’s about to get to Sweet Valley when she encounters the brother of the kid she killed in The Arrest. He tells her the police are looking for her, so she makes a brief detour to San Diego. Sometime later, she does make it to Sweet Valley, where she learns that Elizabeth has been cleared of killing Sam, and that she has a twin sister. Margo buys a blond wig and decides she’s going to take Elizabeth’s place.
Thoughts: All right, Alice finally cracked! I knew it was only a matter of time.
“Maybe a guy should be there for his girlfriend instead of turning around and dating her twin sister.” That Todd, he’s a sharp one.
“Even at Big Mesa, everyone knew that Elizabeth Wakefield was one of the nicest kids at Sweet Valley High.” Are you freaking kidding me?
Phew, Maria’s last name is back intact.
Why do the cheerleaders cheer at soccer games? Is that normal?
I can’t believe Elizabeth doesn’t get a big celebration when she goes back to school after being exonerated. No slow clap or anything!
July 25, 2011
Summary: Elizabeth is officially in trouble. She’s been arrested for involuntary manslaughter, and her reward is a night in lockup. Her defense attorney is kind of a jerk, so Ned fires him and plans to take on her case himself, with help from Steven. (Yes, Steven is exactly the person I would want working to keep me out of prison.) Though Liz still can’t remember most of the night of the accident that killed Sam, Steven gets her to focus enough to remember seeing lights, which makes them think there was another car on the road.
Elizabeth is also dealing with everyone at school shunning her, except Enid. Todd wants to reconnect with her, but she avoids him, and he winds up spending time with Jessica. Jessica’s decided that she needs to get revenge on Elizabeth for killing Sam, and stealing Todd is the best idea she can come up with. She uses Sam’s death a bit to get his sympathy (though part of her emotions are sincere), and by the end of the book, Jess and Todd are making out, though Todd is thinking of the other twin the whole time.
Margo continues her cross-country tour of horror by killing the kid she was babysitting, stealing from his parents, and taking a bus to Texas. She only gets off there because the voice in her head, which she thinks is too tired to speak to her directly, sends her a sign in the form of the song “Money.” Margo sees a photo in a newspaper and thinks it’s of her, but it’s really of Elizabeth. And then, for some reason, she kills the old woman who’d bought the paper.
Lila’s mom Grace is coming to visit from Paris, and Lila will NOT shut up about it. Grace brings her annoying boyfriend along with her, so Lila isn’t able to get the one-on-one time she’d hoped for with the mother she hasn’t seen in 14 years. She’s understandably ticked, but also doesn’t make much of an effort to reconnect with her mom. She comes home one day and finds Grace crying in the house, which makes her realize that she’s not the only one dealing with a difficult situation.
Olivia gets Nicholas cast on a reality dating show called Hunks, where a guy goes out with three girls and the girls get to talk about the experience on TV. The first date is with a biker chick and the second is with a girl who won’t stop giggling. The third is with a very nice girl named Ann, but the events of the date don’t go smoothly, so Nicholas thinks he’s 0 for 3. When they go back on the show, the first two girls trash Nicholas while Ann gushes over how romantic their evening was and agrees to go out with him again.
Pamela tries to tell Bruce that her reputation is all a rumor: She went out with a guy named Jake and would only kiss him, but he told everyone at Big Mesa that they had sex. Every subsequent guy she went out with told the same lie, and eventually everyone started to believe that Pamela was giving the milk away for free. Too bad Bruce and Pamela are harassed by some Big Mesa before she can explain everything, so he never finds this out. Pamela also decides to transfer to SVH but doesn’t get a chance to tell Bruce before it happens, so he’s surprised to see her at school one day.
Steven’s been hanging around the house a lot, despite his parents’ insistence that he stay at school, and Jessica’s mad that he’s paying more attention to Elizabeth than to her. Whatever. Steven needs a roommate, and someone named Billie is interested, but since Steven’s at home, there’s no time for them to meet. Eventually Steven gets a message to Billie saying to just move in whenever. He doesn’t learn until the move-in is already underway that Billie’s a girl.
Thoughts: Why did Steven get a two-bedroom apartment if he doesn’t have a roommate yet?
Nicholas considers himself “business-like, but with an edge of flamboyance and originality.” Since when?
Maria Santini? Shut up, ghostwriter.
Lila says she’s pretty sure Grace doesn’t like purple, but when she goes to meet her, she wears purple. Ghostwriter, it’s like you’re not even trying.
There’s a weird section where all of the characters interact in some way (Todd almost hits Pamela with his car, Lila and Nicholas almost get into an accident) that seems like a lot of work for nothing. Maybe the ghostwriter was spending too much time on this section to get other important details right, like Maria’s last name.
Nicholas wears green slacks. Dear Nicholas: why?
Nicholas: “I’m swearing off women forever after this.” Oh, yeah? I hear Tom McKay is single….
I know I’m talking a lot about Nicholas, but when did he become friends with so many people at SVH? He never went there. And why do they all call him Nick?