March 24, 2015

SVT #28, April Fool!: Joke’s On You

Posted in books tagged , at 8:06 pm by Jenn

Actual outfits from the book!

Actual outfits from the book!

Summary: Even though most normal places don’t care about April Fools’ Day, Sweet Valley considers it a big deal. And the twins consider it an even bigger deal. Usually they switch places, but this year they want to do something different, since everyone will be anticipating a twin swap. Jessica comes up with the idea to PRETEND to switch places, so the real trick is that there is no trick. They’ll be somewhat exaggerated versions of themselves, to make people think they’re trying to accentuate the swap. I don’t know, it sounds pretty clever to me.

Elizabeth agrees to the plan, so on April Fools’ Day, the girls just act like they normally would. Their parents and Steven think they’ve swapped like they always do. At school, everyone plays pranks on each other. The ghostwriter seems to think that April Fools’ Day is this big event, like Valentine’s Day. There’s even a party scheduled for that evening. Any excuse for a party in this town, right? Anyway, everyone, including the teachers, thinks the twins are pretending to be each other, no matter how much they insist they’re themselves.

It’s all fun and games until Elizabeth is announced as the winner of an essay contest, but Jessica is given her prize. The prize is a subscription to any magazine the winner wants, and Jessica picks Teen Rock. Elizabeth is devastated, since she wanted a magazine about horses. Then she’s given detention for a note Jessica wrote about a teacher. Liz is a little upset, but also thinks it’s great that her and Jessica’s scheme has fooled everyone.

Late to class because she was being punished, Elizabeth runs into the vice principal, who gives her another detention. I think normally he’d let it slide, but last week he chastised Jessica for running in the halls, so he thinks this is a second offense. Elizabeth’s like, “Whatever, I’m already in trouble; another detention isn’t a big deal.” She goes to cooking class and makes a perfect soufflé while Jessica goofs off and screws hers up. The girls are given each other’s grades, so now Elizabeth has her very first C in the class (though I suspect she doesn’t get many C’s in other classes).

After school, Elizabeth reports for detention, but her teacher has an emergency dentist appointment and the vice principal has a meeting, so she’s off the hook for both. She heads to the gym to help decorate for the party that night, but everyone thinks she’s Jessica and doesn’t want her there. Also, they’re ticked that Elizabeth hasn’t shown up.

At this point, I would probably start developing an identity crisis. But Elizabeth doesn’t have time, since the Unicorns whisk her away for a fundraising car wash. They all say they’ve already washed cars and there’s only one left (though their clothes are suspiciously dry). Elizabeth is ticked but washes the car so Jess won’t get in trouble with her friends. Dude, Liz, you already almost had to serve detention for her. It’s time to put your foot down. This is why Jess always gets away with everything – Elizabeth is the world’s biggest enabler. Anyway, it turns out to be an April Fools’ joke on “Jessica.”

Liz heads home, where Steven warns that Alice is angry that Jessica didn’t mail some plans for her. Her punishment is that she can’t go to Amy’s house to swim and have dinner, and she has to miss the party to go to a town council meeting with her parents. Geez, really? Also, when Jessica gets home, she says she mailed the plans, so Alice’s overreaction is ridiculous. Why give Jessica a task if you’re not going to believe her when she says she’s accomplished it?

Jessica wants to keep up the scheme even though Elizabeth is fed up. Jess, of course, is having a great day, because every day is great for Liz, and even greater when people just think you’re Liz. She even goes to Amy’s house in Elizabeth’s place, as if Jessica would want to hang out with pre-high school Amy. Elizabeth goes to the town council meeting with her parents, hating that it’s held at the school, which means she might run into her friends. At this point I’d be furious with Ned and Alice for supposedly not being able to tell the twins apart.

When Elizabeth gets to school, Alice sends her into the gym with a change of clothes for Jessica. As soon as she walks in, everyone applauds. Jessica announces that the entire day was a trick – everyone knew there was no switch. It was just a big joke Jess was playing on Elizabeth. The only person who wasn’t in on it was the vice principal, but Jess filled him in, so Elizabeth won’t have to serve her detention.

Instead of screaming at Jessica or pulling a Carrie on everyone, Elizabeth is just relieved that her horrible day was all a joke. The Unicorns make her an honorary Unicorn, like, way to kick her while she’s down, girls. Elizabeth gets a tiny bit of revenge on Jessica by telling her that Bruce called to ask her out and Elizabeth turned him down in her place. (Jess, she did you a favor.) Here’s hoping Liz spends the next 364 days coming up with a scheme to get Jessica back.

Thoughts: Of course Elizabeth irons her jeans.

Ned’s idea of a joke is to wear his tie backwards. Stop trying, Ned.

I think it’s a little much to grade 12-year-olds on how well they can make soufflés on the first try. If every 12-year-old could make a perfect soufflé the first time out, no one would need to go to culinary school.

March 22, 2015

BH90210 9.3, Dealer’s Choice: It’s Sin City, So Why Not Sin?

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

Ick ick ick

Ick ick ick

Summary: It’s morning at the beach apartment, and Kelly remarks to Donna that Noah has spent the night three nights in a row. Yeah, maybe he doesn’t want to be alone after his father killed himself. Donna’s assistant Carrie comes by, followed moments later by Brandon. Kelly thanks him for a recent job recommendation. Noah heads off with Brandon to get his father’s things. Donna tells Kelly that she wishes Noah would move in with her.

Noah asks Brandon to write Mr. Hunter’s obituary; any other writer would write about his successes and skip over the realities of who he was. Brandon says he’s too busy. Noah is horrified to see that his father’s gun is in with his belongings. Valerie is being super-nice to Abby and Carl while they’re in town, buying them theater tickets and having brunch with them. David reminds her that she was originally going to confess to killing her father. Abby announces that she and Carl are getting married in Vegas in a couple days, and they want Val to come along.

Sophie has a new car, a ’65 Mustang, and somehow thinks she’s about to make it big in show business. Steve invites her to the party Donna’s throwing for her parents. Sophie heads to “class” without her books. At the After Dark, Donna learns that Carrie’s been meeting with a client behind her back, pretending to be Donna’s partner. On the plus side, her dealings have been very successful. Noah shows up with Mr. Hunter’s gun, showing it off to Donna by firing it in the air. She predicts that he’s going to fall apart pretty soon.

While Steve chases after Sophie to give her her books, Brandon meets with Mrs. Hunter, having decided to write the obituary after all. Mrs. Hunter says that her husband worked for a company he hated and money he didn’t care about. He was miserable because he wasn’t able to spend more time with his family. When the company collapsed, so did he. Mr. Hunter always wanted to be an artist, but gave it up for business.

Sophie meets David at a coffee shop and gives him some suggestions for his new radio gig. Steve sees them together and realizes that they’re more than friends. At the Walshes’, Valerie asks Carl to zip up her dress. He’s uncomfortable since he’s practically her father, but she says she’s used to having an affectionate father. Holy crap, Valerie. Kelly arrives to return Brandon’s phone, and learns about the Vegas trip. She’s annoyed to see that Brandon has thrown her stuff in a box. After answering Brandon’s phone and hearing a woman’s voice, Kelly begs Val to let her tag along to Vegas.

Brandon visits Victor on his boat to basically say that his father was justified in killing himself. Noah plays with the gun, wondering why Mr. Hunter should shoot himself in the head instead of the heart. He thinks his father made a selfish decision. Brandon’s sure Mr. Hunter loved him, though. Steve sees Sophie off to “class,” pretending he has a date with an actress at the same coffee shop where he saw her and David. Sophie lies that she’s never been there, then says she ran into David there.

In Vegas, Kelly picks roulette numbers based on the number of letters in “cheater” and “Susie” (the name of the woman on the phone). Valerie rolls her eyes at how affectionate Abby and Carl are. While Abby heads to bed, a guy named Henry hits on Kelly. Donna helps Noah pack up the boat, but he doesn’t appreciate her assistance. He laments the hours he spends thinking about his father after Mr. Hunter spent so much time ignoring him. He tells Donna he’ll live in his office for now.

Brandon asks Janet to put Mr. Hunter’s obituary on page 3, but she says it doesn’t fit since she cut some things out. She and Steve don’t think that people will care enough about Mr. Hunter’s life for them to put the obit on page 3. Brandon thinks it’s a cautionary tale about doing what you want with your life and not settling for average. Janet and Steve aren’t moved. Carl and Valerie people-watch together, and after a while, she kisses him. He pushes her away just before Abby can catch them.

Noah sticks to the bar at Donna’s party, which is for her parents’ anniversary. Steve confronts David for spending time with Sophie after insisting they’re just friends. Dr. Martin introduces Brandon to Lou Jessup, a reporter from the New York Chronicle who claims to read the Beverly Beat. Brandon calls his bluff. A drunk Noah raises a toast to the Martins (he calls Felice “Felicia”), then says that he and Donna will half a bunch of guests at their own wedding, but everyone at the party will be dead by then. “To the Martians!” he toasts.

The next day, David calls Noah “the toastmaster” and fills in his memory. He tells Sophie they need to stop whatever they have going on to spare Steve’s feelings. Donna goes to see her client and catches Carrie there; she’s already been hired. Donna notes that she was hired for a lower rate but isn’t capable of doing the work. Carrie taunts that the client said she was better than Donna.

Steve continues to refuse to put Mr. Hunter’s obit on page 3, despite Brandon’s protests that now he has no legacy. Steve thinks he’s bitter that he doesn’t have a great job like Jessup. Brandon says everyone wants what they can’t have – after all, Steve wants Sophie. Steve encourages Brandon to get Jessup to see how good he is.

Noah apologizes to Donna for ruining the party, but she doesn’t accept. He says her father has already forgiven him. She’s annoyed that Noah won’t let her help him through his grief. Instead, he comforts her when he learns that Carrie stole her client. David broadcasts a live set from the After Dark, where Brandon, Janet, and Steve celebrate that Brandon got a meeting with Jessup. Sophie tries to convince David that he’s doing a good job. He tries to resist her flirting.

In Vegas, a similar scene is playing out, with Carl trying to resist Valerie’s flirting. Kelly’s hanging out with Henry again, thinking she’s doing a good job forgetting her problems. Just as Henry rolls double sixes, his hoped-for roll, Kelly sees a bride. Carl has failed to resist Val, and has wound up in her bed. Kelly sees him leaving the room, then finds Valerie half-naked inside. Kelly announces that she’s leaving first thing in the morning. Val has the good grace to feel bad about what happened.

In the wedding chapel the next day, things are going fine until Valerie fumbles the rings, having touched Carl’s hand. Valerie actually feels bad that she slept with her new stepfather. Carrie goes to the beach apartment to tell Donna that the client hated all of her ideas. She apologizes, but Donna shoots back, “Why do people think it’s okay to act horribly as long as you feel badly about it afterwards?” She doesn’t think Carrie actually feels bad anyway. The client calls Donna to take her back, but she declines.

Brandon meets with Jessup, surprised to learn that Jessup is trying to impress him. He wants Brandon to know that the Chronicle is considering Brandon for a job at their L.A. branch. Donna finally tells Noah straight out that she wants him to move in with her. Noah tells her that if she wants to help him, she needs to leave him alone. He shows her his father’s suicide note, which apologizes for not spending more time with his family, especially Noah.

Kelly heads back to the Walshes’ house and asks Brandon about the woman on the phone. Brandon tells her it wasn’t his phone. Womp womp. Brandon promises that he’s not dating anyone. Kelly calls him on putting all her stuff in a box, but he says he needed to get rid of the things that reminded him he was alone. Kelly says she tried to forget about him, and it makes her sad that she almost succeeded. Steve drops by David’s house looking for Sophie, who went out late the night before. David says she’s not there, but she is. She wonders if Steve has figured things out.

Thoughts: Why would Kelly voluntarily spend the weekend with someone she hates?

Carrie’s little butterfly hair clips earn her the award for most ’90s style this week.

Valerie to Henry, re: Kelly: “By the way, she doesn’t blow on dice.” Was that…was that a…?”

March 21, 2015

Party of Five 6.12, Bad Behavior: Teach Your Children Well. Or Not at All. Whatever

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 1:26 pm by Jenn

Julia's new boyfriend. Maybe this one won't be a big mess

Julia’s new boyfriend. Maybe this one won’t be a big mess

Summary: Bailey comes home after a night out and pretends he got up early to go to the gym. Owen notices that he’s wearing the same clothes he wore the day before. Will and Victor know that Bailey’s been hooking up all week; they approve. Will mentions that he’s in a new relationship with a woman named Deborah, and things are going slowly. They’re about to go even slower since Deborah’s sister is coming to visit. Bailey offers to entertain the sister so Will and Deborah can be alone.

Daphne accidentally interrupts Charlie’s work presentation, then saves it by making a sale. Julia has trouble with a class assignment that doesn’t give her any specifications. One of her classmates gets right to work while Julia faces writer’s block. Victor tries to clarify arrangements for a sleepover Owen’s having with a friend, but the friend’s father changes the plans to keep his kid from going to the Salingers’. Julia’s surprised to see that her classmate wrote something good in a short amount of time. She asks him for tips to overcome writer’s block.

At a concert, Claudia runs a guy named Todd, who she used to compete against in strings competitions. He’s stuck with music and is surprised that she gave it up. He invites her to sit with him. Charlie tells Kirsten that Daphne’s a surprisingly good salesperson. Kirsten falls asleep, but I don’t think it’s personal. Deborah’s sister Megan wants to go to a club after their double date with Will and Bailey; Deborah objects, but Bailey agrees to go. After he leaves, Deborah tells Will that she doesn’t like Bailey.

Claudia hangs out with Todd, who plays violin on hip-hop tracks for a living. He asks her to a party, and she balks until he assures her that he just wants her to meet some of his friends. Julia tracks down her classmate, Adam, who works on a historical ship. She’s thinking about using him as her character in the writing assignment she’s struggling with. She reveals that she’s figured out that he doesn’t really go to her school.

Victor tells Bailey that he thinks Owen’s friend’s father had a problem with his son spending the night under the guardianship of a gay man. Bailey decides that he doesn’t want his brother hanging out with homophobes. Victor advises him to explain things to Owen so he gets what’s going on. Charlie goes to a work party with Kirsten, who encourages him to leave early to help Daphne get some furniture ready for a convention.

Todd praises Claudia after a jam session, telling her she may already have a job offer in the works. He tells her that this job involves really listening to the music and trusting your instincts. He kisses her, but she runs off. Adam tells Julia about his dead father and runaway mother, who left him with no money. She thinks he should apply for financial aid. Adam’s worried that he’ll get busted for auditing classes; he doesn’t want to take the risk.

Bailey’s late to the restaurant, and Will accuses him of hanging out with Megan. Apparently Bailey slept with her the previous night, and she was a virgin before that. Now Megan’s upset that Bailey didn’t call her. Bailey tells Will that Megan basically begged him for sex, and if he hadn’t slept with her, someone else would have. Will still thinks Bailey’s a bad guy for…sleeping with a virgin, I guess. I don’t know.

Kirsten’s late getting to the convention, which Daphne has jazzed up with naked women (might as well put pretty women in a bed to sell the bed, right?). Julia finds Claudia practicing her violin in the shed, apparently trying to hide that she’s playing again. She tells Julia about Todd and how stable and adult he is. She wanted to kiss him back, but after the situation with Derek, she’s not sure she can trust her instincts.

Owen tries to avoid Victor, eventually calling him an extremely offensive word he learned from his friend. Victor calmly asks him not to use it again. Owen doesn’t know what the word means, but he knows it’s bad. His friend said Victor would turn him gay. Victor’s annoyed that Bailey didn’t explain things to Owen. Victor tries to use people’s likes and dislikes to explain that everyone is different, and it doesn’t make anyone good or bad.

Kirsten arrives at the end of the convention, and she and Charlie bicker about how they’ve been unable to be there for each other at work functions. He points out that he was able to make time to go to Kirsten’s work party. One of them will need to make a concession. “Are you volunteering?” Kirsten sasses. Adam blasts Julia for using him for her assignment, because a professor figured things out and he’s been banned from campus.

Victor confronts Bailey for not talking to Owen, who now has that new vocabulary word. Bailey claims that he just got Owen out of the house because he didn’t know how to explain things with him. Victor reminds Bailey that he’s not Owen’s parent. He’s considering leaving so Bailey will have to take care of his brother instead of passing him off to someone else.

Julia tells Adam that she talked to someone on the school’s board (uh-huh, sure), and if he applies, he might get a spot. Adam admits that he never finished high school. His mom left and he had to work to support himself. Julia encourages him to finish and then apply to college. Adam doesn’t want her help. Bailey finally pretends to be a responsible adult, telling Owen that he’ll always be there for him.

Claudia asks Todd to meet her for a talk, which he commandeers by admitting that he’s still the same geek he always was. His sister has been helping him seem cooler, but he realized he couldn’t keep up the charade forever. Claudia asks him to help her get the job he thought she might get offered. Julia bugs Adam again, advising him to let her help him study for the GED. She accuses him of being afraid of having his work judged along with everyone else’s. He accuses her of being afraid to try new things. When she agrees to work on that, he makes her create a character on the spot.

Charlie calls Kirsten at work so they can discuss staying connected while they’re both so busy. Their conversation veers toward phone sex, so…I guess that’s their solution. While cleaning up the kitchen at the house, Bailey casually grabs a beer from the fridge and takes a few sips. Dun dun!

Thoughts: Adam is played by Sean Maher (Firefly). Todd is played by one of my childhood crushes, Thomas Ian Nicholas (Rookie of the Year, the American Pie movies).

As a writer, Julia would know to NEVER read someone’s writing without asking. Adam was right to try to avoid her.

Victor: “You know how some people like D.C. Comics and some like Marvel?” Owen: “Right. I like both.” You heard it here first, folks: Owen is bi.

Ugh, I hated this he’s-not-really-a-student plot on Dawson’s Creek, too. At least that one had Roger Howarth as an entertainment factor.

March 17, 2015

SVU #33, Out of the Picture: You’ll Find Me in Da (Country) Club

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , , at 8:08 pm by Jenn

Twin with bangs: No

Twin with bangs: No

Summary: For this book, we have to pretend that the previous four never happened, and that it’s only been a few days since Gin-Yung died. We start at her funeral, where everyone is understandably somber, but somehow Elizabeth is the saddest. Interesting, since they were never friends and both wanted the same guy. Todd is also wrecked, and he decides he needs time to himself to mourn, so he and Elizabeth are over. Again. For the 19th time. After the 20th, they get a free sub!

Elizabeth decides to sweep aside the breakup and all the other messes she’s been in through the SVU series, and make a fresh start. She quits the TV station and joins SVU’s paper, the Gazette. What’s awesome is that Liz, star reporter and editor of the Oracle, is a big ol’ nothing at the Gazette. No one cares that she edited her high school paper because everyone at the Gazette did the same. I think a lot of the time Elizabeth forgets that she’s a freshman, and that freshmen have no standing anywhere.

Pretty much the only person who’s happy to have Elizabeth at the paper is Scott, who’s obviously in love with her. He keeps trying to spend time with her, and he’s gotten a little touchy-feely. It makes Liz uncomfortable, but she tells herself that he doesn’t mean any harm. Yeah, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tell him to stop. It doesn’t matter what someone’s intentions are – if his/her behavior makes you uncomfortable, speak up. Okay, end PSA.

Elizabeth is assigned to do a fluff piece about the Verona Springs Country Club. She’s mad that she’s given such a softball, and the editor reminds her that she’ll have to work to get to the juicier stories. But Liz does some research and comes across a better story: a murder. The body of Dwayne Mendoza, an SVU student who worked at the club as a caddy, was found in the lake. The club kept the murder quiet for a week before going to the police, more worried about protecting their reputation than getting justice. Yeah, that’s not shady at all. Also, no one at SVU seems to know about the murder. Dwayne’s things were found in another caddy’s locker, so it looks like that caddy robbed and murdered Dwayne, but obviously that’s not the case, since the police are still investigating (more on that later).

While this is going on, Tom’s father, George, is still trying to reach out to him, because he thinks Tom should be over the fact that George hit on Elizabeth. He sends Tom two memberships to Verona Springs, encouraging him to give one to Elizabeth. Because there’s nothing a college freshman wants more from her ex, who dumped her because he believed his father over her, than permission to wear tennis whites and hang out with snobby rich people. Shut up, George.

Tom takes Dana to the club instead, even though Dana is, like, totally punk rock, yo, and completely the opposite of everyone at the club. I’m surprised they let her through the gates.  They run into Elizabeth and Scott, and everyone is really awkward with each other. Then they encounter a gardener named Juan, who’s Dwayne’s uncle. He obviously knows something about Dwayne’s murder but is too scared to say anything. Tom decides to investigate as well, and hopefully beat Elizabeth and Scott to the scoop. Oh, and then Scott kisses Elizabeth, and she’s like, “When did I ever give you the impression that I wanted your lips on me, creep?”

Jessica is obsessed with playing cop – she wants to go on a stakeout with Nick, who keeps insisting that it’s too dangerous. Also, they don’t just let random people go on stakeouts. Of course, Jessica has never heard a “no” she can’t turn into a “yes,” so she keeps bugging Nick no matter how many times he refuses. This somehow turns into her saying that she wants to be a cop herself. It also somehow leads to Nick deciding that he needs to choose between his job and his girlfriend. He decides he’ll take one last case – the murder investigation at Verona Springs – and then quit.

Nick is paired with another cop, Eileen, and they go undercover at the country club. Jessica goes nuts over this. How dare her boyfriend work with a woman who’s not her, after he told her the job was too dangerous for her! How dare he do his job and accept the partner who was assigned to him! How dare he speak to another female! Eileen has to leave the case to be with her ailing father, so Nick’s chief suggests that he take Jessica to the club in her place. Yeah, okay.

Jessica thinks Nick’s cheating, so she takes all his stuff to the police station and throws it at him, screaming about what a jerk he is. Hilariously, other cops can be heard in the background, egging her on. Nick tells Jess that she wins – she can be his partner. Because the best way to handle Jessica is to give her exactly what she wants.

Lila is affected by Gin-Yung’s death more than you would expect – it makes her remember losing her husband, the count. Bruce can relate because he lost Regina. Not really the same, but okay. He tries to cheer Lila up with trips to the country club, and she develops a new obsession: VIP membership. She and Bruce are currently just “couples only” members, which I guess means they can only go to the club with each other, but being VIP members would give them access to more areas of the club. I find it hard to believe that they’re not VIP members because of their families, or that they haven’t just bought their way to the top echelon.

Lila’s in for VIP membership is Pepper Danforth, and you can tell from her name exactly what kind of person she is. People named Pepper are usually snooty (exception: Pepper Potts). Pepper is a horrible human being, and hanging out with her makes Lila start acting like her. Amazingly, Bruce doesn’t like her new behavior, and is actually offended by how horribly they treat the staff at Verona Springs. When did Bruce develop human feelings?

Thoughts: The police hang out at a coffee shop called the Mug Shot, which is owned by a former crime-scene photographer. That is brilliant.

Jessica, after learning that Nick and Eileen are going undercover together: “Exactly what kind of covers do you two plan to be under?” Also brilliant.

With all the gossip we know goes on at SVU, how is it possible that a student died and no one heard about it? Wouldn’t the newspaper have run an article about it? Wouldn’t the administration have said something? Why is this the least believable part of the book?

Dana wears a purple dress and red sneakers to the country club. Even Claudia Kishi would class it up more than that.

Dana also calls Dwayne’s uncle “some old Mexican dude,” despite not knowing his ethnicity, which is awesome because I already hated her, and now I feel justified.

March 15, 2015

BH90210 9.2, Budget Cuts: In Case You Hadn’t Figured It Out Already, Noah and His Dad Are the New Dylan and Jack

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 3:11 pm by Jenn

Thanks a lot, Abby, for making me feel sorry for Valerie

Thanks a lot, Abby, for making me feel sorry for Valerie

Summary: Just seconds into the episode, Kelly learns why it’s called “Budget Cuts” – the foundation that funds the clinic is cutting its funding, and some people’s jobs are in danger. Kelly’s on the list to lose her job if the clinic doesn’t make some changes. At the Walshes’ house, David tries to convince Valerie that her claim that she murdered her father isn’t quite accurate. He was molesting her, after all, so she killed him in self-defense. Val has asked her mother to come to town so they can talk, and Abby actually shows up, with a man named Carl by her side.

Donna encourages Noah to reach out to his family now that they’ve lost all their money. Noah thinks they have money stashed somewhere and will be fine. Speaking of money, Steve offers to help Sophie pay for her books for school. She shoos him away, then goes to cash in her student loan, getting herself $5,000. Kelly asks Brandon to drum up some publicity for the clinic so they can stay open longer than the next few weeks. There’s going to be an auction, and of course, the whole gang will help organize it and/or attend.

Sophie runs into David downtown, and he notes that she’s buying some expensive things while telling Steve she can’t afford a place to live. She asks him for a tour of Beverly Hills. Valerie hangs out with Abby and Carl, annoyed that she hasn’t had time to talk to her mother alone. Carl believes that Mr. Malone was killed in a car accident. When they’re alone, Abby tells Val that she can’t admit that he killed himself because Carl would ask questions. She blames herself for her husband’s death. Abby reveals that she and Carl are engaged, and she sees this as a fresh start.

Sophie pulls David into a con to pretend they’re staying in a hotel just so they can get access to the pool. Noah goes to his father’s office to offer help, but Mr. Hunter says it’s too late. Kelly reads over Brandon’s article on the clinic, lamenting how many people will lose medical care if it closes. She wants them to keep their distance while they’re working together. Then she kisses him, so that didn’t last long. Brandon puts on his confused face.

Steve’s disappointed that he and Sophie haven’t hooked up yet. She tells him she spent the previous night looking for a waitressing job. He wants to go on a date, but she tells him she’s still dealing with her feelings for an ex. Kelly contacts a reporter from the L.A. Chronicle to do Brandon’s article so the two of them don’t have to spend time together. Then she considers auctioning off her wedding dress to raise money for the clinic. Sophie tries to get David to keep his mouth shut about the two of them spending time together so Steve doesn’t find out. David doesn’t see the point.

Mr. Hunter comes by the After Dark to try to make up with Noah. At the Beverly Beat, Steve asks Janet to decipher things Sophie has said to him. She informs him that Sophie’s never going to sleep with him. The Chronicle reporter Kelly comes by to get Brandon’s notes, then asks if Kelly’s single. He admits that the story isn’t going to make any difference. Noah’s father tries to act like a good father, reminiscing about playing baseball with Noah when he was a kid and getting him a signed Reggie Jackson ball.

Valerie gets Abby alone and tries to talk about her father’s abuse. Abby doesn’t want to talk about it. Val reveals that her father blackmailed her to keep her quiet, telling her that Abby would be mad if she found out. She now knows that she did nothing wrong. As Valerie implies that she killed her father, Abby slaps her, blasting her for threatening to go to the police. Val is shocked to realize that Abby knew about the abuse but didn’t do anything. Abby insists that her husband was getting help. She doesn’t understand why he killed himself.

The auction starts, and Sophie wonders who’s modeling the wedding dress. Donna tells her they’re just displaying it. Brandon tells Kelly that he won’t give the Chronicle reporter his notes because the guy isn’t going to take the article seriously. Sophie thinks Kelly should get revenge by modeling the wedding dress. Steve and David talk about Sophie while she models, but David decides to stay quiet about their developing relationship.

Carl tries to reach out to Valerie, who’s been mean to him the whole time he’s been in town. He thinks she just has a problem with cops. He admits to killing a former classmate in self-defense while investigating a break-in. Valerie thinks Carl was in the wrong, but Carl says that the robber was the one who committed the crime. Someone from a radio station happens to be at the auction and tells David that there might be a job for him. Oh, great, back to radio stuff.

Kelly models the wedding dress, but instead of bidding on the dress, people start bidding on dinner with her. Brandon shuts it down by bidding $1,000. Noah tries to convince his father to walk away from his failed business and move on. Mr. Hunter is back to being a bad father and doesn’t want his support, even now that Noah has listed his boat for sale. Noah gets mad and knocks over Mr. Hunter’s martini, which he says was the only thing he had left to look forward to. Noah stomps off, and moments later, there’s a gunshot. ‘Bye, Mr. Hunter!

Valerie tells David that her mother knew what her father was doing to her. David advises her to forget Abby and take care of herself. She needs professional help, since David can’t understand what she’s going through. Val thinks talking to Carl is all the help she needs. The Chronicle article has convinced the foundation to keep funding the clinic, but the staff will still need to be reduced. Kelly offers to give up her job, saying she needs to move on anyway.

Sophie meets David at his house, where he tells her he got a tryout for a job at the radio station. He’s disappointed in himself for lying to Steve about the real nature of that relationship. I’m not sure what that nature is, but they kiss, so I guess they’re dating? Brandon wound up giving the reporter his notes after all, so Kelly thanks him for supporting her. He asks her to finish up their auction date with dessert, but Kelly doesn’t think it’s a good idea. They’re starting to accept that they’re really over.

Abby lets Valerie know she’s leaving town, so Val goes over to say goodbye. Abby admits that she confronted Mr. Malone about his abuse; he lied, then said he’d get help. Valerie thinks they need to spend more time together to get past the damage. Donna finds Noah at a park, playing baseball by himself and drinking alcohol he took from his father’s office. He hits a homerun with the Reggie Jackson baseball, saying he wanted it his whole life.

Thoughts: Carl is played by the same actor who played Joe’s brother Hank. He was also the UPS guy in Legally Blonde. I love that guy!

So to sum up: The only good parents on this show are Jim, Cindy, Dr. Martin, Mel (sometimes), and Samantha (sometimes). No wonder these people are so screwed up.

I’m confused about the specifics of Valerie’s storyline. I was under the impression that the abuse happened when she was a child. But she killed him right before she came to Beverly Hills, when she was 18 or 19, right? Was he still molesting her then? Also, unless she plotted out his murder beforehand, there’s no way the police could have mistaken a heat-of-the-moment shooting for suicide. The plot just doesn’t hang together.

David is a horrible MC/auctioneer. Steve should have done it.

March 14, 2015

Party of Five 6.11, Fear and Loathing: Use Your Words (or, Failing That, Kick Someone in the Chest)

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

Charlie wants to build this? Cool! I don't think it'll make a comfortable chair, though

Charlie wants to build this? Cool! I don’t think it’ll make a comfortable chair, though

Summary: Claudia’s packing for a big East Coast college trip, which is news to Bailey. She’s still planning to apply to college early so she can get away from high school. Julia knows about the trip since she wanted to go visit Justin at Yale, but she didn’t realize it was happening so soon. Claudia’s determined to go on her own if no one can accompany her. Julia volunteers to chaperone her, all excited about a sister road trip.

Kirsten calls Charlie at work to report that the surgical procedure she wanted is going to be mostly covered by insurance. This means they might be able to conceive without fertility treatments. She schedules the surgery, though she’s worried about Charlie making a tight deadline at work. Owen tells Victor about a kid named Morgan who’s been bullying him. He doesn’t want Bailey to know. Victor encourages him to stand up to Morgan, which will definitely, 100 percent work.

Claudia and Julia head to Yale; Julia’s staying at Justin’s apartment while Claudia stays on campus. Since Victor is now effectively raising Owen, Bailey has more time for sex with Holly. Yay? She wants to spend more time together, because being apart for 48 hours was too much for her. He’s hesitant to push things too much. Charlie’s late picking up Diana, thanks to work, and discovers that Luke has moved in with Daphne.

Julia meets Justin’s girlfriend, Laura, who’s full of energy and has turned Justin into a runner. (She also broke the nose of a guy who once tried to assault her, so: new role model.) Charlie’s still working on finding ways to spend money, with no luck. He’s also stressing over Daphne’s new living situation, and the possible complications of Kirsten’s surgery. Kirsten thinks he should be focusing on his work project instead.

Owen stood up to Morgan, but it didn’t work. Womp womp. Claudia meets up with her student guide, Peter, who thinks they should skip the standard freshman tour since it won’t tell her what she really wants to know about college. He’s going to take her on the insider’s tour instead. Claudia, if he makes a move, pull a Laura.

At a bowling alley with Owen, Victor encourages Bailey to take Holly up on her suggestion that they spend more time together. Bailey doesn’t want to change their schedule since then they won’t be casual. (Because nothing says “casual relationship” like a schedule.) Owen runs into some musclehead, spilling ice cream on him, and when Victor steps in, the musclehead threatens to hit him. Victor bends the guy’s arm back, so now Owen has a new role model, too.

Daphne takes Diana to visit Charlie at work, because that’ll help him meet his deadline. Daphne suggests that they alter their custody arrangement so Diana spends a few nights with her. After all, Charlie’s working later hours, and Diana’s already falling asleep at Daphne’s. Charlie declines, and Daphne immediately guesses that it’s about Luke. Charlie’s worried about leaving his daughter alone with a guy they don’t know well. He doesn’t think Daphne’s being as responsible as she wants to be.

Julia has dinner with Justin and Laura, hearing all about Laura’s goodwill work in Kenya. When she leaves the table, Justin tells Julia how being with Laura has made him a better person. He admires how she’s already planned out her life. He’s been thinking about proposing, and has decided that he’ll just do it instead of talking about doing it. Julia’s like, “No, yeah, she’s totally great! I’m not exhausted just listening to her talk!”

Outside Holly’s building, Bailey – who has apparently become a stalker – sees her with another guy. Daphne goes to Charlie’s to get Diana, but he’s dozed off and lost track of her. Fortunately, Diana’s just wandered into the bathroom to play with the toilet paper. Daphne remarks that things like this happen, “even to responsible parents.” Nice one. Claudia’s enjoying her time with Peter, experiencing actual college things like attending classes and hanging out at coffee shops.

Victor teaches Owen some self-defense, reminding him that violence is always a last resort. Owen would also like to learn some wrestling moves in case words aren’t enough. Claudia stops in at a restroom before going to class with Peter, but he surprises her by meeting her inside. She’s understandably upset, lecturing him that a girl being nice to him doesn’t entitle him to anything. Peter tells her that it’s a co-ed bathroom and he wasn’t there to do anything sketchy.

Charlie decides to take the night off to spend time with Diana and Kirsten. Kirsten’s surprised to hear that he’s put his big project on hold for a while. She thinks he’s giving up because he hasn’t come up with any ideas he likes. Charlie says he’s just focusing on more important things right now. Kirsten encourages him to face challenges rather than avoid them. He’s dreamed about making furniture for years, and this is the first time he’s gotten the chance to actually do it.

Bailey asks Holly for clarification on their dating arrangement, which she says is open, but only between each other (whatever that means). He wonders if she would tell him if she wanted to go out with someone else. She asks if he would want her to. He would, so Holly says she will if that ever happens. Bailey questions her recent social activities, and she says she’s spent some time with a co-worker, but nothing’s going on between them. She’s not happy with him for stalking her.

Julia confides to Claudia that she doesn’t think Justin should propose to Laura, since they haven’t been together that long. Claudia announces that she doesn’t care. She’s skipping the rest of the trip and going home tomorrow. Julia asks what she can do to make things better. Claudia asks her to go back in time and stop her from going into the bedroom with Derek.

Charlie drops Diana off with Luke, seeing that Luke has done a lot of decorating in Diana’s room. He agrees to let Luke and Daphne keep Diana overnight. So I guess putting up pictures of sheep is all it takes to prove you’re responsible! Justin thanks Julia for being supportive of his decision to propose to Laura – he’s officially decided to do it. Julia pretends to still be supportive.

Owen is sent home from school for using his newfound self-defense moves on Morgan. Bailey confronts Victor for not telling him about the bullying, and for teaching Owen to fight. Victor thinks he’s justified in using violence if using words has failed. He spent years feeling ashamed and afraid because of the way other kids treated him. If Owen can get through his childhood by taking care of himself this way, he should.

Julia tracks down Claudia and asks for more information on her decision to go home early. Claudia refuses, ordering Julia to leave her alone. Julia also refuses. Claudia cries, unable to figure out what to say. Kirsten’s surgery goes well, and Charlie tells her that the doctor thinks it could be successful. Kirsten admits to being scared because conception is dependent on her now; there are no more excuses for failure. Charlie admires her courage, saying he also has no more excuses for his career.

Bailey tells Holly that he needs to face his fears about commitment – they should become exclusive. Holly knows he’s not over Sarah, and that she’s a rebound for him. She knew that going in, but she thought dating for long enough would help him work through his breakup with Sarah. Holly wants Bailey to take more time before he gets into another serious relationship. However, she can’t promise she’ll still be available when he’s ready to commit.

Charlie gets up in the middle of the night to work on a design after having a Frank Gehry-inspired dream about unfinished work. Julia and Claudia are also up late, getting ready to head home. Claudia asks Julia if it took her a long time to trust another guy after she and Ned broke up. She thinks that’s what’s hurting her the most. She’s ready now to tell Julia what happened with Peter.

Thoughts: What a waste of a title. No one went to Las Vegas!

Hello, Charles Esten’s biceps! How you doin’?

Victor, please teach Claudia some self-defense as well. Maybe it’ll help her feel better.

March 10, 2015

SVT #27, Teamwork: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Backyard

Posted in books tagged , , , , at 8:08 pm by Jenn

Puppyyyyyy!

Puppyyyyyy!

Summary: The twins are bored and want to do something exciting. Elizabeth finds some fun recipes, so the girls decide they want to throw a fancy dinner party for their friends. But Ned and Alice think they’re too young for something like that and tell them to have a cookout instead. Boring! Next the twins decide they’d like to visit their Great-Aunt Helen on an upcoming long weekend. This means taking the bus to Sandy Harbor, wherever that is, all by themselves. Again, their parents think they’re too young, but the twins manage to negotiate with them. Ned and Alice agree to let them go if they can earn the money to pay for the trip.

Next comes a brainstorming session. Elizabeth makes really good cakes, so she decides that they can sell them to raise the money. Alice squashes that idea pretty quickly by noting how expensive that would be. The next idea is walking dogs – if they charge $2 per dog per day, they just have to walk [insert math here] for [more math] days. (Yeah, I don’t do math. We’ll just say that the twins think they can get by with minimum work for the minimum amount of money they need.)

But to provide a service, you first have to advertise that service, and that costs money. The twins borrow $5 from Steven to copy some fliers, which means they’ll have to make back that $5 on top of the $80 they need for bus tickets. Oh, and Steven charges them 50% interest on the loan, so they really need to pay him back $7.50. The idea of Steven charging his sisters 50% interest makes me laugh. Though he might consider the fact that they’ll be gone for a long weekend enough of a reward for loaning them the money.

The girls pass out their fliers, and Jessica starts to realize that having a job actually requires work. Part of me is surprised that she went along with this plan in the first place, since she doesn’t like dogs or any job that might result in her getting dirty, but the rest of me thinks she didn’t actually think this through. She thought about making money and getting what she wanted, but her brain skipped the part about what she’d have to do to make money. Anyway, Elizabeth runs into Ken Matthews, who loves the idea of hanging out with dogs every afternoon. See, Ken is smart. Playing with dogs + money = good times.

Apparently there’s a big need for dog walkers in Sweet Valley, because the twins quickly get some clients. Of course, Jessica isn’t really on board with this whole thing, especially when it means having to miss out on Unicorn hangouts and Booster practices. Ken offers to fill in for her and even refuses to take any money. Hanging out with dogs is enough of a reward. I get it, Ken. Plus, he really wants a dog but his parents don’t think he’s ready for the responsibility, so this is his chance to play with puppies.

One of the clients asks if the twins can keep a couple of dogs at their house over the weekend, and though Ned and Alice aren’t thrilled with the idea, the twins work out arrangements (the dogs will stay in the backyard) and demonstrate that they’re serious about being responsible. Elizabeth has plans to go roller-skating with some friends (ahh, the ’80s), so Jessica’s left looking after the dogs one afternoon. Lila comes by with plans for something much more interesting. Ken comes by to visit and offers to watch the dogs while Jessica’s gone. Elizabeth isn’t happy, but at least the dogs are looked after.

Then a guy named Mr. Quincy shows up. He has a dog named Joe and needs someone to watch him for a week while he’s out of town. He’ll pay them $20 and another $20 at the end of the week, which is the rest of the money the twins need. As soon as Mr. Quincy leaves, Ken realizes that something’s wrong with Joe. He doesn’t like being touched, and he gets scared when he’s approached. Ken discovers that the dog has cuts and bruises all over him. He and the twins realize that someone – most likely Mr. Quincy – has been abusing the dog.

The kids quickly show Joe some compassion, bathing him and fixing up his injuries. They’re just not sure what to do about Mr. Quincy. They don’t want to tell their parents, because Ned and Alice said they didn’t want to hear any complaining about their work. (Bad parenting alert!) As Joe gets better and becomes more and more friendly, the kids worry about having to give him back to his abusive owner. They think about telling the police, but now that Joe’s cuts and bruises have healed, they don’t think the police will accept their story without evidence.

Their next thought is to take Joe to a shelter and tell Mr. Quincy that he ran away. Of course, if Mr. Quincy went around to shelters looking for a runaway dog, he would recognize Joe right away. So the kids decide to cut and dye his fur to make him unrecognizable. They’re 12 and have no idea what they’re doing, so the dog ends up looking kind of strange, but at least he looks different now.

Ken tries to talk his parents into letting him keep Joe (pretending he’s a stray), but they still don’t think he’s responsible enough. Ken tells the twins that his cousin Fred lives a few miles away on a ranch and already has some dogs – maybe Fred would take Joe. The kids go visit Fred, who happily accepts Joe. Problem solved! Except now they have to tell Mr. Quincy that Joe ran away. Mr. Quincy is furious and threatens to sue, which I don’t think he can do, but whatever. Also, the twins can forget about their second $20.

Then Joe really does run away – he disappears from Fred’s ranch. He ends up at the Wakefields’ after walking ten miles in the rain, which washes away the dye. Ned calls Mr. Quincy, wanting the guy off his back. When he arrives, Ken and the twins admit what they did and accuse Mr. Quincy of abusing Joe. Ned, to his credit, believes them and refuses to let Mr. Quincy take the dog. Mr. Quincy decides he doesn’t need the hassle and tells them to do whatever he wants with Joe. Ned warns that if he ever sees Mr. Quincy with another dog, he’ll report him. Yay, Ned!

Ken’s parents come by, having heard from Fred that Joe ran away, and Ken tells them how he’s been helping take care of a dog. They realize that he’s responsible after all and decide to let him keep Joe. The Wakefields are a little ticked that the kids didn’t tell them what was going on, but they’re also proud that the kids did something so good. They reward them with the rest of the money they need for their trip (including the money they need to pay Steven back). Everyone’s happy, but probably not as happy as Joe is.

Thoughts: Ned and Alice are no fun. If I had preteens, I’d let them throw a fancy dinner party. What’s the problem?

Between them, the twins only have $3 before they start walking dogs. How is that possible? I don’t believe for a second that Elizabeth doesn’t have any savings. How does she pay for her Amanda Howard mysteries and horse figurines?

Jessica, confused as to why a dog ran away from her: “I told her to stay.” This reminds me of Hildi from Trading Spaces. She was once advised not to use straw in a design, not just because it was stupid but because the kids in the house would pull it off the walls. Her response was, “Well, tell them not to.”

March 8, 2015

BH90210 9.1, The Morning After: You Can’t Handle the Truth

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 3:19 pm by Jenn

Congratulations, Sophie, you are fully late '90s

Congratulations, Sophie, you are fully late ’90s

Summary: We pick up where we left off, just after Kelly and Brandon’s cancelled wedding. Only the gang remains at the Walshes’ house, and Kelly sends everyone else off. She and Brandon try the cake, which somehow leads to kissing, which leads to them going upstairs. David and Valerie spend the night at an overlook, talking about how her HIV test came back negative, which means she doesn’t need to worry about it again for six months. Val isn’t happy yet, though.

In the morning, Brandon tells Steve that he and Kelly spent the night together. Kelly wants to avoid a discussion with Brandon about what they did. They start to bicker, but Kelly still won’t discuss it. Steve’s like, “You guys are handling this awesomely!” Noah’s mom calls to bug him about seeing his father on his birthday, but Noah, like Kelly, won’t discuss it.

While returning some wedding presents, Steve tries to chat with a woman who isn’t interested. She cons a saleswoman, pretending to pay for something with a $50 that’s actually a $10, then uses Steve as a getaway driver. Her name is Sophie. Donna’s helping Kelly wrap up loose wedding ends when a guest returns to the house to get her purse. She’s interested in the person who designed Kelly’s dress, so Kelly gives her Donna’s name, encouraging her to accept whatever comes.

Valerie’s not sure she deserves good news after all the bad things she’s done. David thinks she just needs to do good things. She decides to start being honest, though it borders on harshness when she tells Nat he needs to update his menu. David is more hesitant to apply total honesty to every situation, since he needs to finesse one of his clients. Kelly and Brandon bicker again at his office; she’s upset that he’s acting like nothing happened. She thinks breaking up was a mistake.

Steve takes Sophie to the Walshes’, where she tells him she’s studying biology at CU. She’s looking for a place to stay, so he offers her a room at the house. Donna meets with someone who wants to put Kelly’s dress on display at his store. She’s not sure Kelly would approve. Noah tells his mother again that he and Donna won’t be having dinner with her and his father. Donna has already bought a present, though, and secretly calls Mrs. Hunter to accept the dinner invitation.

David tries to get a job doing a movie score, but his boss won’t negotiate with him. David says he’s too good to be writing jingles. His boss decides that he’ll just have to find another job then. Kelly, Donna, and Janet hang out at the After Dark, and Donna asks Kelly about the dress. She agrees to have it displayed. The guys go out somewhere else, offering Brandon support in his decision to break up with Kelly. Steve tells them he’s already over Sarah and moving on to Sophie.

Valerie tells Kelly that she’s proud of Kelly for moving on – she thought Kelly wouldn’t be able to make it work with anyone if she couldn’t make it work with Brandon. A guy asks Kelly to dance, but she says she has a boyfriend. The guys think Steve is crazy for falling for a woman he met in such a weird way. Kelly laments to Donna that she was supposed to be on her honeymoon tonight. Brandon watches their wedding video alone.

Noah learns of Donna’s deceit and is understandably mad. He tells her how strict his parents were when he was a child, and how he left because he hated being controlled. He wants to take Donna to hear Duncan Sheik at the After Dark instead of having dinner with his parents. Steve let Sophie spend the night in his room (he slept on the couch), and she’s happy that her plans are going so well. Her plans are for making it in show business: “1. Find a place in Beverly Hills. 2. Get money from college?? Get start in the business.”

David tells Valerie that her honesty policy backfired on him. He’s mad at her for giving him bad advice, as if she put a gun to his head and made him put it into practice. Brandon’s mad that Steve taped over the wedding video so he wouldn’t miss a golf tournament. Valerie thinks Brandon should get over it since he’s trying to hold on to memories he can’t get back. Brandon really doesn’t want to hear it.

Kelly and Donna go to the mall to see her dress on display. Donna assures Kelly that she’ll find someone else to spend her life with it. Kelly worries that Brandon was “the one.” “Then you would have married him,” Donna points out. Kelly wants everything back. That night, one-hit wonder Duncan Sheik plays his one hit, “Barely Breathing,” at the After Dark. Steve brings Sophie, who tries to pull the $50/$10 con on David, but he catches on. She recognizes his name from his brief music success.

Noah and Donna have dinner with his parents after all, but it gets really awkward when father and son start fighting. Bottom line: Mr. Hunter is a jerk, and Noah really doesn’t want to be there. Good job, Donna. Valerie tells Steve that Sophie’s not interested in him, though he still thinks he has a chance with her. David tells Valerie to stop being honest with everyone – she’s pushing people away. He doesn’t get why she thinks she doesn’t deserve happiness.

Brandon goes to the beach apartment to ask Kelly why she agreed not to get married. She says she thought they were only getting married because they thought they were supposed to. Now she thinks they made a mistake. He admits to being scared. Valerie overhears Sophie calling room service at the Bel Age for a couple supposedly staying there. Valerie warns Sophie not to hurt Steve. Sophie’s more interested in David, so Val tells her he’s not available.

Kelly thinks she and Brandon should go on their honeymoon despite not getting married. He’s not sure that’s a good idea. Sophie takes the room service order from the Bel Age and delivers it to David’s house as an apology for trying to scam him the night before. She assures him that she and Steve are just friends. At the Beverly Beat, Steve and Janet tell Brandon not to go on the honeymoon. David comes by to talk to Steve about Sophie, but they don’t actually communicate, so David thinks he’s free to pursue her.

Mr. Hunter comes by the After Dark to tell Noah that the family’s company is bankrupt, so they’re all broke. Brandon finally decides that going away with Kelly is a bad idea. She’s upset that he’s leaving her to deal with the fallout of their cancelled wedding on her own. Valerie goes to David’s and realizes that he’s moving on with Sophie. He asks her to tell him what she’s hiding. She admits that she blames herself for her father’s death. He didn’t commit suicide – she killed him.

Thoughts: Mr. Hunter is played by Ray Wise.

Donna has the oldest old-school Nokia cell phone. It’s hilarious.

David, re: Kelly: “She’s beautiful, she’s smart, she’s sexy…” Me: “She’s basically your sister, so choose some different words.”

Remember Duncan Sheik? I barely do.

Brandon to Valerie: “Would you go be a b%$@# somwhere else, please?” WHOA!

David to Sophie: “Try that often, or do I just look especially stupid?” Me: ‘Don’t answer that. He doesn’t like honesty right now.”

March 7, 2015

Party of Five 6.10, Dog Day After New Year: Another Tragedy for the Salingers

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 1:15 pm by Jenn

For us, too, Thurber

For us, too, Thurber

Summary: The Salingers (minus Charlie) take down their Christmas tree while discussing their plans for New Year’s Eve. Bailey’s going to Holly’s cousin’s wedding, though he insists that they’re just casually dating. His sisters think he’s being naïve. Kirsten had a rough day at work, so Charlie tries to cheer her up with news of a promotion. It means longer hours and only a little more money, but Charlie’s excited about the possibility of showing his boss, Gus, his own designs.

Julia helps Griffin with some paperwork, since his hand is still messed up. She’s been trying to get in touch a potential new editor – Evan dropped her – but the woman keeps cancelling their meetings and can’t see her until March. Griffin thinks she should just go to the woman’s office and ambush her. Bailey asks Claudia to help with some errands, including taking Thurber to the vet. She tells him she’s busy because she’s taking a test that will let her opt out of her senior year and go to college early. Bailey doesn’t get why she’s so eager to get out of high school.

Griffin and Julia go to the editor’s office, but she’s already gone. Griffin has done some reconnaissance and learned that the editor is mostly likely going to visit a psychic before she leaves town. Julia can “bump into” her, and the editor will see it as a sign that she should publish Julia’s book. Bailey and Holly shop for wedding gifts and debate signing the card as a couple. They determine that they’re exclusive, which she likes, though it makes him a little nervous.

Gus is impressed with Charlie’s chair designs, thinking he’ll sell a lot if he can get the right person to make them. Charlie’s like, “That’s you, right?” Gus doesn’t have the money, and admits that the company is dangerously close to going under. Holly’s family knows all about Bailey, though one elderly relative is confused about their relationship (and Bailey’s name – she calls him Barry Salender).

Julia and Griffin check out psychics, and Julia lets Trudy, who needs more experience, practice on her. Her “readings” are accurate, and she tells Julia to find the answers she wants by looking inward…or maybe outward, at a gathering. You know, one of those two. Griffin learns that the editor is going to a New Year’s Eve party, so Trudy decides that Julia will get her answers at a gathering. At the house, Owen sadly tells Claudia that Thurber’s sick.

Charlie and Kirsten go to dinner with Daphne but ignore her to talk about Charlie’s job. Kirsten thinks he should convince Gus to make and sell his chairs. Daphne suddenly has a new boyfriend, Luke, and the two of them are in that early-relationship stage where they’re just sickeningly cute all the time. Bailey freaks out when he’s pulled into a picture with Holly’s family and someone mentions that they could be at Holly and Bailey’s wedding in a year.

Julia and Griffin track down the editor, Elaine, who’s not thrilled to have party crashers. Julia reminds Elaine that she read and liked Julia’s book, but now won’t talk to her about publishing it. Elaine informs her that her managing editor has already signed someone with a similar book. Julia lost the race, so she’s not getting published. At the wedding, the bride throws the bouquet too far and Bailey catches it. He throws it back and it lands on the floor.

Claudia, Owen, and Diana take Thurber to the vet and learn that things don’t look good. Holly slams Bailey for what he did with the bouquet, but he points out that if he’d thrown it to her, her family would have started bugging them about getting married. He objects to her saying that her family’s just happy that she “found someone.” After all, just the day before, they weren’t even sure if they’re a couple. Holly thinks Bailey’s too focused on words when they should be thinking about their feelings.

Claudia calls to tell Bailey about Thurber, so he tells Holly he has to leave. Holly’s like, “Really? You’re using a sick dog as an excuse?” While Daphne’s away from the table, Luke tells Charlie and Kirsten that he’d like their blessing, since they’re the closest thing Daphne has to a family. Kirsten wonders what Luke would do if they didn’t approve of their relationship. She knows that he would try to change their minds, and even if he couldn’t, he’d do what he wanted. Hey, Charlie, I think she’s trying to tell you something.

Thurber’s kidneys aren’t functioning properly, and dialysis, the only treatment available, is expensive and probably won’t fix him. Claudia knows that their only real option is to have him put to sleep so he won’t suffer. Bailey wants to call Charlie and consider dialysis. Claudia tells him that they wouldn’t be doing it for Thurber, but for themselves. At the house, Julia and Griffin get a message from Claudia summoning them to the vet.

Charlie and Kirsten go to Gus’ New Year’s Eve party, which looks pretty pricey for a guy who’s supposedly on the brink of losing his business. Gus says he’s just rewarding his employees for their hard work. Charlie doesn’t care if Gus uses his designs or not – Gus needs to do something to try to save his business. Charlie doesn’t want to be a manager anymore if it means having to give people bad news.

Julia and Griffin are stuck in traffic on the way to the vet, but at least they have a good view of the fireworks downtown. Julia’s too upset to enjoy them, since the psychic’s reading didn’t pan out. Claudia doesn’t want Owen to know too many details about Thurber, but Bailey wants to be honest. Claudia argues that some bad things shouldn’t be let out in the open. Owen deserves to stay young and innocent. Bailey notes that being honest will give Owen the chance to say goodbye to Thurber.

The next day, the Salingers, Kirsten, and Griffin take Thurber’s ashes to a park and share happy memories about their dog. Claudia’s hit the hardest by the loss. Gus calls Charlie in to ask him to reconsider quitting, though he’s not willing to take a risk to keep the company going. Charlie says that he needs to do something that creates a future for him. He can’t move sideways anymore. Gus agrees to take a look at a business plan if Charlie will draw one up.

Bailey and Holly make up, agreeing not to worry so much about what their relationship is, exactly, as long as they’re together. The family gets together to discuss who had the worst New Year’s Eve (I’d say Claudia). Claudia laments that she only got to watch the festivities on TV; she missed the big moment. Julia thinks they should decide for themselves what the big moments are. They do their own countdown to officially ring in the new year.

Thoughts: Luke is played by Charles Esten (Nashville). Before he started going to Charles and doing dramas, he was Chip Esten on Whose Line Is It Anyway?

How long have Daphne and Chip been together? Wasn’t she sleeping with Griffin two weeks ago?

This episode aired in 2000, so there are some mentions of Y2K, but no freak-outs, which is refreshing. (Remember Y2K freak-outs? We were so naïve then.)

March 3, 2015

SVU #32, The Boys of Summer: The Least Interesting Boat Theft Since Rory Gilmore Stole a Yacht

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , , , at 8:15 pm by Jenn

Hey, lifeguards, maybe do your job and make sure people aren't drowning?

Hey, lifeguards, maybe do your job and make sure people aren’t drowning?

Summary: Elizabeth is understandably upset that Jessica has snagged Ryan just minutes after Liz dumped him. She warns Jess not to get involved with him, but Jessica thinks she’s just jealous, and also thinks for some reason that Liz thinks she’s not smart enough to date Ryan. For some reason, Elizabeth doesn’t straight-out tell her that Ryan is an alcoholic and that their relationship is going to be a big mess. When she does eventually tell Jessica, Jess laughs, thinking it’s a last-ditch effort to break them up.

At first, Jessica thinks Ryan is just a big partier. Then he ticks her off by calling her Elizabeth when he’s drunk. Not long after, Jessica finds out firsthand how far gone he is. After he learns that Patti, his AA sponsor (who also relapsed), has put herself in the ICU by driving her car into a wall (possibly on purpose), Ryan goes on a bender, steals a boat, and takes Jess for a joyride. A bunch of lifeguards have to take another boat out and save them. Ben and Priya are there, and Priya and Jessica end up calling a truce.

But Jess and Ryan are definitely not on good terms, and he’s still a huge mess. Elizabeth babysits him that night, finally getting him to tell her that he’s gone off the deep end because of Patti (who, by the way, ends up dying). By the morning, Ryan has decided to quit drinking so he doesn’t end up like Patti. He doesn’t get back together with either twin, which is a little surprising. Jessica and Ben agree to be friends, and Jessica decides to try to move on with another lifeguard.

I was going to say that Nina has baby mama drama, but I’m really way too white to pull that off. While Rachel is over at Stu’s, telling him how excited she is that they’re going to be a family, Nina breaks into Rachel’s apartment to look for proof that she’s lying. She finds a bunch of negative pregnancy tests, plus a picture of a boy who looks a lot like Stu. The boy’s name is David, which is what Rachel wants to name the baby.

Nina and Stu confront Rachel, who’s fully nuts at this point, trying to kill Nina and all. In the middle of her psychotic break, she reveals that she saw her childhood best friend David get hit by a car and die. (David’s resemblance to Stu is never really explored; I think it’s just what put her over the edge to begin with.) This comes with Rachel reverting to being ten years old, so there is clearly something really, really wrong with her.

Nina wants to let the authorities handle Rachel, but Stu feels sorry for her and wants to pay for her to get some top-notch psychiatric treatment. Then there’s a random bit where Nina and Stu run into Paul, Nina’s love interest from the previous beach trilogy, who’s now a cop and knows a little about Rachel’s legal troubles. Then I guess Rachel gets committed and Stu forgives her for all her actions. Also, I don’t remember Rachel’s family being mentioned at all, so…what’s up with that? Shouldn’t Stu and Nina try to reach them?

With Pedro back in town, Winston is determined to get him and Wendy back together, partly because they still love each other and partly so Winston doesn’t have to deal with Wendy’s newfound crush on him. The two guys scheme to make Wendy think she’s visiting a psychic who can channel people’s feelings, or something like that. She’ll tell the psychic how she feels about Pedro, and the psychic will be able to tell her how Pedro feels. Except the psychic will really be Pedro. Wouldn’t marriage counseling be a lot more efficient?

Pedro puts on a great show as the fake psychic, and Wendy tells him that she still loves Pedro. He reveals himself to her by singing the song he wrote her. Suddenly everything is great between them, and Wendy will be going back on tour with Pedro for the rest of the summer. Pedro also hires Winston as a roadie. I guess it won’t be awkward that, five minutes ago, Wendy was all in love with Winston? Or that Winston will now be taking orders from a guy he considers a good friend? Are these people ever even mentioned again? How many alternate universes are there in Sweet Valley, anyway?

Thoughts: Pedro, trying on costumes to play the psychic: “I look like a deranged Pomeranian trying to pass itself off as Elvis!” If Wendy doesn’t want him, I’ll take him. I keep picturing him as Enrique Iglesias.

Rachel thinks the baby will be blond because Stu is and because she’s dyed her hair blond. So yeah, she’s definitely not playing with a full deck.

“Ryan had a few shots of whiskey last night and he was fine. How could only twice as many beers do him in this way?” Maybe because, assuming “a few” means three or more shots, twice as many would be t least six beers, which is a lot? I don’t drink and I’m bad at math, but even I get this.

Nina doesn’t like that Stu wants to finance Rachel’s stay in a “sanitarium.” First he’ll need to finance the construction of a time machine so they can travel back to when people still used that word.

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