Thanks to the modern-day wonder that is eBay, I recently acquired the first season of Sweet Valley High, and I'm not disappointed. It's trashy, it's cheesy -- it's absolutely everything a TV show based on the SV books ought to be. I love it. And while the first six episodes were pretty much Jessica doing something sociopathic and then getting her comeuppance in the end, this one finally took a different road. Don't worry, comeuppance is dished out. A moral lesson is learned. It's just not Jessica this time. (She never seems to learn, anyway.) This episode is absurdly hillarious, as you will soon discover.
You guessed it. It's Halloween in Sweet Valley. Bruce and Manny seem to be playing Jenga with a ridonculously large plate of fries, and making eyes at the cute waitress, who when she turns around, we discover she has three. Eyes, that is. It's a costume. Get it? It's okay, it wasn't really that funny to begin with. Bruce and Manny certainly don't think so.
Todd, Elizabeth, Winston, Patty and Enid are hanging out, talking about some random guy's Halloween party and how excited they are. Elizabeth and Todd are doing the couples costume thing. Aww. Bruce and Manny head on over there, and get this -- Bruce puts his hand on Enid's back, and they proceed to greet one another the way friends would. Yes, Bruce Patman and Enid Rollins. I do not like this. I can't explain this, except that they must've entered one of those parallel universes Jake Gyllenhaal was going on about in Donnie Darko.
Bruce and Manny introduce their new friend, some transfer student named Gary who's about thirty-three and dressed in plaid. For some reason, Lila finds this sexy. She comes up to him and starts flirting, even though she could do way better and her soulmate-but-she-just-doesn't-know-it-ye
So Bruce and Manny start talking to their...friends (I feel dirty just saying that) about the legend of Lawrence Manson, a football star who died during a freak hazing accident in the school in 1969, and whose ghost roams the halls each Halloween. Bruce suggests they go there and call him out again, and everybody thinks this is a good idea, except Winston. Bruce starts clucking like a chicken. (Quite melodically too, I'm somewhat impressed.) As you may be aware, them's fighting words, and Winston, who apparently is the Sweet Valley Marty McFly, agrees to go. Manny, it seems, isn't as easily wooed, and he makes it clear he's not going by running out of the Moon Beach dramatically, saying, "You don't mess with the dead." Sounds like good advice to me. Everyone has a big laugh about this, but I noticed none of the boys made any sort of comment about the fact that Lawrence Manson died in the year '69. Hello? What sort of high-school boys are these?
Lila, Jessica and Elizabeth are at the Wakefields'. Surprise, surprise, Ned and Alice aren't home. I wonder what they would've said to their teenage daughters if they had been -- "have fun breaking into your high school and summoning up a dead classmate for sport, girls." Elizabeth's wearing a Morticia Addams costume, and Lila thinks it's a little revealing for Liz. I suppose it is a tad figure-hugging, and Jessica doesn't like that, so she decides to go as a slutty Catwoman.
When they get to the school, though, Lila and Jessica are both dressed as genies, and Jessica's making a play for Gary, who Lila so clearly claimed before. Not cool, Wakefield. It should be noted that she cockblocked Lila in the last episode, too. She's so annoying. Todd makes a really freaky-looking Gomez Addams, Liz actually looks really hot in the long dark wig, Gary's dressed as a gladiator, Patty's a viking and Bruce comes (quite appropriately) as the Devil. His horns are a bit weird and it actually looks less like Satan and more like a red bull-type creature, though, or a cockroach or something. It's not a good look. You'd think with all of Bruce's money he could've made a bit more of an effort than an ill-fitting half-demon half-bug. You've let us all down, Brucie. Go to your corner.
Enid (dressed as Pebbles Flinstone) and Winston (dressed as a surprisingly sexy vampire) get a flat tyre on the way to school, and Winston somehow manages to convince Enid to walk the rest of the way -- through the woods, in the dark, on Halloween -- by saying "I know these woods like the back of my hand." (Why does he know the woods so well anyway? That screams 'pedophile' to me.) Then he falls face-first into a mud puddle. Yes, we're missing two Stooges, but the sentiment is there.
The gang start their seance without Winston and Enid. Jessica is unashamedly all over Gary. It's sickening for both Lila and myself. Bruce gets everyone to hold hands and repeat some chant after him to summon the spirit of Lawrence Manson. Bruce and Lila are holding hands. (Aww.)
Jessica and Gary are holding hands as well -- more excuse for Jessica to touch him, I suppose. Not that she needs one. There's nothing subtle about her advances, either. She's being full-on slutty, and unashamedly so, and If I were Lila, I'd have smacked the crap out of that bitch by now. Anyway, Patty and Todd are holding hands as well. Patty thinks Todd's hands are slimy, which I doubt only because I don't think Elizabeth 'spick and span' Wakefield would ever let Whizzer Wilkins touch her with slimy hands. But I digress. Oh, and before I'm done digressing -- Bruce is wearing black nail polish. Okay, now I'm done.
Lila hears a noise, and everybody stops their mad chanting. It's some sort of mannequin, coming towards them as though possessed with a life of its own. Todd turns all Veronica Mars and deduces that it's just Bruce, playing a joke. Want to know how he worked it out? "It's fishing line. And if I trace the line around the room..." is Todd's explanation. Considering Bruce is sitting right next to him, the fishing wire plainly visible in his hand, I'm not all that impressed by this feat of investigational prowess.
Patty randomly announces to the entire group that she's going to the bathroom to rearrange her armour, saying "This metal bra is chafing me." To be honest, Patty, that's a little too much information. I think I would have been alright not knowing that. Of course, Patty opens the door, and out pops this creepy black-faced zombie-looking thing with what looks like razor wire sticking out of its head. Everybody freaks the fuck out and clutches each other in fright. Jessica takes this opportunity to throw herself on Gary. Oh, and Bruce and Lila are holding onto each other. They just need to get over their shit and get together now. Seriously.
Of course, the zombie is only Winston, but with all the sticks and the mud in his hair, it's understandable how they could've made that mistake. It seems Patty's boobs will have to chafe just a little longer, because they have other problems -- Gary gets a bit too he-man and goes out looking for whatever made the noise before. Now call me crazy, but I think it might, just might have been Winston and Enid. Just a guess. Gary disappears out the door and promptly starts screaming, and Jessica and Lila go looking for him. Rightio, guys. Send the two underfed weak-ass chicks to deal with whatever's out there. Good lookin' out.
When Jess and Lila get out in the hall, all they find is Gary's costume, torn to shreds. Either some crazy wolf-zombie-ghost thing's gone and got him, or somebody's just done what Jessica's been wanting to do to him all night. Either way, she's crushed. If I were a detective (or at least had Todd's keen observational skills), I'd probably go with option 2, considering there ain't a whole lot of blood on the costume, but whatever. The girls assume the worst. And believe it or not, it gets worse than the, uh, worst. The boys come out of their pansy-ass hiding place to comfort Jess and Lila. We know the situation is dire, because Todd is actually expressing some sort of concern for Jessica's welfare.
Someone is chaining all the doors locked from the outside. Someone who works at a chain factory, obviously, because that's a lotta chains. Just sayin'. There's an awkward music montage of them all running around, intercut with clips of old black-and-white horror movies. It's all a bit odd, really. The clips are actually kind-of creepy, but every once in a while we go back to SVH, where the kids are all running around like psycho freaks while displaying their best acting-while-running-around-like-psycho-f
They all split up, because that really is the best idea when you're being hunted down by a ghoul. Lila ends up roaming the halls with Winston, and there is yet another feat of Three-Stoogism not seen since the mud puddle incident seven-odd minutes ago, this time involving a biology-class skeleton named Mr. Bones falling out of a closet on top of Winston. They go to put Mr. Bones back, and some random guy in a hockey mask locks it shut behind them. Ruh-roh. They're trapped. And by the way, I've worked out who's doing all the door-chaining now. Have you?
The rest of the gang meet up in the hallway, and realise Lila and Winston aren't with them. They are, in fact, still in the closet, and Lila's pulled out her cell phone. From where, I wonder? Her genie costume doesn't have a whole lot of pockets; she's basically wearing a bikini and a mesh skirt. Naturally there's no signal, and Lila starts freaking out and she cries a little bit. Then -- and I can't believe these words are coming, but here we go -- she and Winston make out a little bit. Winston and Lila. WINSTON AND LILA! And I thought Lila kissing Todd in the bathroom during an earthquake was weird, but sucking face with Winston Egbert in a school closet during a poltergeist attack? It's all sorts of ew. After all the Enid/Bruce back-touching, I was prepared for anything, but not this. Not this. I'm just going to push it out of my mind now.
The other six kids who aren't busy snogging in closets decide to split up again, because it worked so well last time. Todd seems to be really glad to be "all alone" with Liz, and they promptly start making out (priorities, people!) before a clock falls off the wall and smashes into a million pieces. They freak out and run away somewhere, probably to some clock-less classroom where their make-out session won't be interrupted.
Jessica, Bruce, Enid and Patty obviously don't quite grasp the concept of 'splitting up', because they've all reconvened in the auditorium, where someone throws them a paper plane made out of Lawrence Manson's homework...or something...I'm not exactly sure what it's supposed to be, to be honest. I'm actually not quite sure what's going on anymore. Do they seriously think it's Lawrence Manson haunting them? Do they think it's just some random psycho? I'm so confused.
Anway, the lights go off, and the three girls rush off in a panic. Bruce, instead, stays behind and laughs maniacally -- this is all a joke he's in on, it seems. A really funny, original one, too. Then a gloved hand clamps around his mouth, and Bruce nigh-on messes himself. As a side note, just noticed Bruce's tail is sequinned. That plus the nail polish makes one really camp devil/bull.
Winston and Lila (ewwww!) are rescued by Todd and Elizabeth, and the other three girls rush into the room and cry to them about the horrific paper plane incident. They finally realise what's going on when Bruce and Manny walk down the hall, bragging about their joke in really loud voices. Stealth, guys. So what's the logical thing to do in this situation, hmm? Call it a night? Have a big laugh about it? Nuh-uh. They decide to get Bruce, Manny and Gary (who's in the plaid shirt again) back using an elaborate and extremely ludicrous plan -- to fake their own deaths. Where do they get all that fake blood from? No clue. (Probably that same magical place Lila pulled her big-ass nineties cell phone from.) How exactly do they manage to make it look like Winston has been decapitated? I have no idea. Logic doesn't hold a whole lot of significance in Sweet Valley. And they did it all in about three minutes, or so we're led to believe.
The boys head for the doors but find it chained from the outside. Ha ha, taste-of-your-own-medicine-time, guys! Bruce is so strong he pulls the handle off the door, which I know I shouldn't find sexy, but somehow do. Then those devious teens-slash-professional-makeup-artists reveal themselves to be not dead. Bruce is mighty pissed, and still awkwardly holding the door handle.
Then Mr. Bones the skeleton drops from the ceiling which scares the three boys even more, and makes the others laugh even more. It's all so hilarious...until a school janitor comes by, mopping the floors, and the kids freak out and rush out the door -- which manly Bruce manages to get open by ripping the outside handle off. Bruce Patman, ladies and gentlemen. He literally is the strongest man in the universe, breaking off handles wherever he goes. Never mind the destruction of school property, or the fact that even though the janitor isn't a murderous ghost, he's still going to be mighty pissed when he has to reattach all those handles Cyclone Bruce has left in his wake. Then there's a creepy laughing, and the janitor says, "It's okay, Lawrence. They're gone now." There you go. Try sleeping tonight after that Hitchcockian nightmare.