November 18, 2014

SVT #20, Playing Hooky: The Six-Minute Escape

Posted in books tagged , , , at 6:28 pm by Jenn

I know I've said it before, but...Precious Moments figurine, right here

I know I’ve said it before, but…Precious Moments figurine, right here

Summary: The twins are at the mall when Jessica gets the best news of her life (or at least her life this week): Kent Kellerman, star of her favorite soap, is coming to town. In fact, his show will be taping some scenes at the Sweet Valley Mall. I guess a lot of people watch this soap, because a ton of girls in the mall are freaking out about the news. I don’t think 16-year-old soap actors were all that big in the ’80s – weren’t people mostly into Luke and Laura, Frisco and Felicia, and whatever craziness was going on over on Days of Our Lives? Anyway, this is a Big Deal. And I will say that if Jonathan Jackson were coming to my town when I was a preteen, I would have been just as excited.

The bad news is that the scenes will be taped while the girls are supposed to be in school. The good news is that Brooke has an in: Her father, a Hollywood screenwriter, is working on the soap (which: no) and may be able to get Jessica and Lila access to the taping. Brooke is upset that her father is spending so much more time with Kent, his new project, than with her, but we’re not supposed to care about that. We’re supposed to care about the fact that Jessica has a potential new minion to do her bidding.

First Jessica and Lila offer Brooke the chance to try out for the Boosters. (How convenient that there’s suddenly an open spot because someone moved away!) Elizabeth had already asked Brooke to hang out with the staff of the Sixers to see if she wants to join them, so Jess and Lila keep her from that meeting. When they start talking about Kent, Brooke mentions that her father might be able to get them passes to the set. What a great idea, Brooke! That thought had never even occurred to Jessica and Lila!

Brooke is able to get the passes, but there’s something about the filming location changing, and the girls not being able to get there. It’s not really clear. But Caroline Pearce reports that the gym teacher has been called for jury duty all week, which means they’ll have a sub. Jess and Lila realize that they just need to get a couple girls to say “here” during roll call, and no one will know they’re not in class. They can leave school during lunch, catch a few minutes of the taping, and get back to school without anyone noticing they were gone.

Unfortunately, Caroline has produced faulty information. The gym teacher was dismissed from jury duty, so there won’t be a substitute. Elizabeth decides that she needs to go get Jessica and Lila and drag them back to school before class starts. This means Elizabeth, the perfect, golden child, also cuts class. EMTs, please stand by while the readers all have heart attacks. Liz rushes to the set and gets Jess and Lila (who were there for all of a few minutes), but on their way out, the principal’s secretary spots her.

Back at school, the principal summons Jessica and Lila. His secretary only saw two girls on the set, and mistook Elizabeth for Jessica, which makes sense, because Jess is definitely the twin more likely to skip school. Jess and Lila are sentenced to wash blackboards after school, and must sit out their extracurriculars for two weeks. This is a huge blow to Jessica, who has recently become a star basketball player, leading the middle school girls’ team to the championships. Her teammates are ticked, and Jessica is afraid of losing her star status to newcomer Billie Layton.

But the mistake that got Jessica into this mess will surely get her out of it. She just needs to switch places with Elizabeth. Liz is willing to agree, since she wants the team to win just as much as Jessica does. However, she also has to wash blackboards so Jessica can pretend to be Liz and go to practice all week. This means she has to miss a Sixers interview with a famous ballerina. Jessica’s supposed to sub for her but doesn’t want to leave practice, so she sends Brooke in her place. However, she screws up the location and Brooke misses the interview.

So now Mr. Bowman is mad at Elizabeth, and everyone else is mad at Jessica. Plus, Liz and Brooke have to find someone else to interview for the paper. Brooke thinks she can interview someone coming to a dinner party her father’s throwing that weekend. Elizabeth is invited to dinner, but she’s so tired from doing Jessica’s punishment that she almost cancels. She changes her mind when Brooke tells her who will be at dinner, and who she can interview for the paper: Kent Kellerman.

Jessica misses out on meeting her favorite actor, but she does get to play in the championship game. However, Billie gets to start, and Jessica, posing as Elizabeth, isn’t able to shine until the end. Of course, she wins the game for her team, and manages to snag the MVP trophy, though it has Elizabeth’s name on it. Heh. Then Elizabeth decides to confess to the principal that she also skipped class, so she’s given the blackboard-washing punishment she already completed. She passes it along to Jessica, which is only fair. So for once, Jessica has to suffer the consequences of her actions.

Thoughts: Maybe it’s because of Kent Brockman from The Simpsons, but the name Kent Kellerman makes me think news anchor, not soap star.

If Brooke’s father is a “famous Hollywood screenwriter,” why is he working on a soap? Is this like when James Franco was on General Hospital?

I assume that the twin switch at the basketball championship game is only successful because Ned and Alice aren’t there to bust it. That means they missed their daughters’ championship game. OF COURSE THEY DID.

Speaking of Ned and Alice… “Jessica has to learn to be responsible for herself.” HA HA HA HA HA HA! Ned, you’re hilarious.

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