And yes, I realise that this is my second post in as many days, but I've come to realise that the TV show recaps are far less time-consuming, and they're also a little addictive. Okay, back to the recap.
If you're anything like me, I'm sure you realise that there are a number of things that go on in the Sweet Valley books you literally CANNOT make a TV series without mentioning. At least one dead boyfriend, Heriocally Deaf Regina (still waiting on that one...) and, of course, the personality-altering motorbike accident that left Elizabeth in a very non-Elizabeth state of mind. Nine episodes into the first season, and we're there. To be honest, this is actually a pretty shit episode. The acting's all over the place, the tension is kind-of nonexistent, but as you can tell from everything I've been able to tag, it's Sweet Valley just as we love it. And oh yeah, I've included screencaps, because sometimes my descriptions of the absurdity going on in front of me just won't do. Here's your first, for viewing pleasure:
Jessica and Elizabeth are in the parking lot of the Moon Beach, because Jessica has it on good authority that her Man Candy of the Week is inside. Elizabeth points out that he has a long-term girlfriend, but Jessica sees this is as merely an obstacle in getting what she wants. Ugh. Just then, a motorbike pulls up next to them. Whaddaya know, it's Todd. He says he swapped modes of transportation with his friend for the week (?) because he's always wanted a motorbike. (?) Elizabeth does not approve, and makes Todd well aware of this fact. Bruce comes past and says, "Toddy. Did we get a new tricycle?" because clearly it does not compete with the sheer automotive brilliance of 1BRUCE1. He tells Elizabeth to "give [him] a call when she wants to eat with the big boys." Why exactly? He hasn't shown Elizabeth any interest in the past. He doesn't even like her. Whatever. Bruce is all sorts of weird.
When they walk into the Moon Beach, Jessica attaches herself to the already-attached Dylan, and somehow convinces him to leave his girlfriend (who's gone to the bathroom) and take a ride with her...in the Jeep Elizabeth needs in order to get to the Oracle office. I like how the writers of the show can never give Liz anything interesting to do. It's like, "Hmm, well Liz is boring and uncool, where should she be off to today? Hey, maybe she needs to go to the Oracle office again!" Todd offers her a lift. Elizabeth tells Todd she doesn't want to ride on his motorbike because her parents wouldn't approve. Yes, her absentee parents who we've never ever seen don't want Liz on motorbikes because they're dangerous. Almost as dangerous as letting your two sixteen-year-old daughters, one of whom is so clearly a sociopath and the other who's such a doormat she'll just let said sociopath run wild, do whatever the hell they want whenever the hell they want. That's great parenting. But the Oracle waits for no one, apparently not even Elizabeth Wakefield, and she agrees to ride with Todd.
Cut to a music montage of sorts showing Liz and Todd cruising around in the desert on the motorbike, and they're both having a lot of fun. Now call me crazy, but I always thought the SVH kids hung out at the Moon Beach because it was close to school, not because their school is fifty miles away -- Todd and Elizabeth are on that bike for a long time. What happened to the Oracle? Ah, forget it. This error in continuity is tiny compared to what's to come. Anyway, we see that a drunk driver, aka this guy:
is coming the other way. We know he is a drunk driver because he's swerving all over the place in a really over-the-top fashion, drinking his alcoholic beverage in an even more over-the-top fashion. He is a cartoon drunk driver. But at least they've made it clear for us. Todd swerves to miss Cartoon Drunk Driver, and he skids out of control. Liz is thrown off the bike in what is actually not that bad a stunt, as you can see:
They're taken to hospital, and everybody waits in the waiting room.
Hold on a second. That's everybody? Where are their parents? This isn't just a case of one of the twins failing a test, or being arrested. THEIR DAUGHTER'S IN A FUCKING COMA! What could possibly be more important than that? These kids need child services to step in immediately. And for that matter, where's loyal brother Steven? But I digress. Jessica tells the people in Liz's life who care enough to be there that Liz is in a coma, and Todd has some cuts and bruises. Their injuries don't seem quite balanced, but whatever. They must be really big cuts and bruises.
Three days later, there's still no sign of Ned and Alice. I mean, really. Dr. Phil would not approve. Elizabeth is still in her coma, and Jessica is still crying. Todd tells her it'll be okay.
Wait, what? Three days after a motorcycle accident that left his girlfriend in a coma, and Todd looks like that? What happened to the cuts and bruises? Jessica tells Todd that he shouldn't be there; that the accident was his fault. He, in turn, tells her what we're all thinking -- she's the one that took the Jeep and left Elizabeth stranded. Hey, yeah. Good point, Not-So-Bruised Todd. Just then, Elizabeth flatlines and the docs use the defribulators to bring her back, and as a bonus, she also wakes up from that pesky coma business. Can't help but note that her doctor has an unusually large head.
Spot the difference.
Back at school a week later, everybody's talking about how detached Elizabeth has been since the accident, and how glad they are that she's coming back to school today. And then come back to school she does -- dressed in Jessica's clothes and looking like this:
Jeez Louise! She healed better than Todd! What happened to all the lacerations on her face? It's like a Disney film or something. Anyway, she's got a brand-new attitude, which nobody likes, except Bruce. She's giving him the time of day, and since he's had a crush on her since way back when (translation: like ten seconds ago), he's chuffed. It's weird. She dresses like Jessica, she acts like Jessica...and she tells Todd she wants to see other people. Believe it or not, her explanation has nothing to do with the fact that he put her in a coma for three days. She says she wants to have a bit of fun, and by fun, she means Bruce. Yum.
Jessica, annoyed at the fact that Elizabeth is trying to out-Jessica her, goes back to Bighead Doctor to see what he has to say. He, very accurately, tells her that there is no medical reason why her coma was mind-altering, and that she'd better go talk to Elizabeth. Elizabeth doesn't want to talk, though -- she just wants to dress like a slut and make a play for Bruce Patman. Naturally, she's borrowing Jessica's clothes, and has once again put on a dress Jessica's worn previously in the series. (It looked quite a bit better on Jessica, too.) Call me a broken record if you will, but I have to ask -- where are the parents? Clearly the girl needs some sort of therapy after her traumatic accident. Or even just a hug. Oh please, won't one of you give her a hug? What's wrong with you people?!
Elizabeth and her newfound confidence get to the Moon Beach. Bruce is sitting in 1BRUCE1 admiring the view. She hops in and he asks her to go with him to Miller’s Point, and she says, "Who needs Miller’s Point?" and proceeds to make out with him right there. I don't know exactly what's wrong with them, but their kissing is weird. And I'm not talking weird as in they-make-a-terrible-couple-and-it's-awk
Lila walks past and sees the awful fish-kissing taking place, does a comical double-take that isn't so comical, and runs (like a total spaz) inside with the gossip. I take offence to this. The Lila Fowler I know wouldn't run like that. She wouldn't run at all. But once again, I digress. She tells Enid and Patty that Bruce and Liz are "practising mouth to mouth in the parking lot -- and I'm not talking about CPR," and Todd overhears her. Uh-oh, Angry Todd is back. He's back, and this time he means business. He announces his intentions to kill Bruce, then storms out to confront him. Everyone follows because like me, they can feel a Toddpunch coming on. Bruce and Liz pull apart with far less saliva all over their faces than the gross kissing really warrants, but whatever. Bruce starts kicking the crap out of Todd, and Winston Egbert comes to the rescue. Yeah, I'm laughing at this too. Bruce says, "You want some too, Poached Egg?" because in Sweet Valley, that's as trashy as trash talk gets. What a pathetic insult, Brucie. Once again, you've let us down. Back to your corner. Then Todd, who apparently is done with having his ass kicked, aims an almighty Toddpunch and it hits Bruce square in the face.
Elizabeth is done with her taste of excitement, immediately regretting the Brucekiss. (If there can be a Toddpunch, I think there ought to be a Brucekiss. What he just did to Elizabeth needs to be differentiated from normal-person kissing.) She yells at them to stop, and Jessica gets all up in her grill -- whoa, all the rumbling in the parking lot made me go a bit gangsta there, but don't worry, I'm back. Elizabeth yells at Jessica to get out of her face, and pushes her...right into the path of a moving car. Is this motor vehicle accident number two for the episode? Um, no. In what's kinda an anti-climax, the driver slams on the brakes and narrowly misses running over Jessica. Elizabeth rushes over to her and apologises for the way she's been acting, but surprisingly, not for pushing her in front of oncoming traffic, which if I had been Jess, I'd probably be a bit more mad about. They have a moral-lesson-of-the-day conversation about being yourself and forgiving others and et cetera. It's really awful. And they're doing it while Jessica's lying in front of the car still. It's like, move already! Fucking hell!
Inside the Moon Beach, Todd and Elizabeth make up. Todd's got a nice shiner from when Bruce went to town on his face, but it looks good on him -- it makes the colour of his eyes pop. Wait a minute, just noticed something -- Todd's eyes are green! What happened to the coffee-eyed Todd from the books? Bad casting, y'all. Elizabeth and green-eyed Todd make out, and unlike in the book that pretty much ends the Bruce/Elizabeth relationship. That's a good thing. Believe us, Liz, we read what happened -- it didn't end well for you.
But of course, this is TV. All's well that ends well. Oh, and the Toddpunch chipped Bruce's tooth...although come to think of it, it could've been the Brucekiss.