Mama Says Be Glad

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A Season 2 teaser!  Dylan forms a band and needs a singer.  Arseman and Ashley both audition by singing the same song, “Mama Says Be Glad”, a hastily-penned formulaic blues number all aboot the difficulties of being fifteen that the writers try to pass off as a Canadian rock and roll standard.  The lyrics:

Well, I’m too old to cry and I’m too young to fly/but Mama says be glad I’m young and I don’t ask why/’cause I’m 15, not old enough to be free/Yes, I’m fifteen years old/and that’s the trouble with me.

It’s an awkward stage and a difficult age/pacing in your space like a rat in a cage/’cause you’re fifteen/beyond a shadow of a doubt/yes, I’m fifteen years old/not old enough to get out.

Ashley’s rendition is too quiet to make oot and Arseman’s is too mediocre – not bad enough to be funny but not good enough to be good.  So here’s Brooke belting oot Hillside High’s favorite song:

 

Revolving Doors To Hell

billy lunch

Season 1, Episode 9

“You think Ryan Reynolds got this far on his superior acting talent?” – Wade Winston Wilson

If you, like the students of Hillside, had a choice between bringing a bag lunch to school and eating it in the student lounge or grabbing a bite at The Avalon, which would you choose?  If you answered, “both”, congratulations!  You have something in common with Hollywood powerhouse Ryan Reynolds aside from being a carbon-based lifeform.

Deadpool and Betsy Ross are sitting at a booth in The Avalon.  Courtney has schoolwork spread oot in front of her as Billy opens the bag lunch that his dad packed for him and informs his sister that it contains two sandwiches, a slice of cold pizza, a drumstick, an apple, cookies and a donut, a smorgasbord he finds ludicrously excessive.  Switching gears, Billy asks Courtney if she’s still upset aboot Dylan, but she’d rather not talk aboot it.  Deadpool spills the results of his fact-finding mission anyway and tells Courtney that “Dylan likes you…as a friend.”  While stuffing his seven-course lunch back into the bag, Billy tells his sister aboot his conflicted feelings regarding Olaf.  For now, Billy still considers him a friend, but since no one else seems to feel that way aboot Olaf, he’s wondering how others will view their friendship and whether he’ll be deemed “geeky” by the rest of his horrible schoolmates.  Gathering her things, Courtney offers an uninspired, “You can be friends with whoever you want”, leaving her tween brother to work oot this moral dilemma on his own.

Brooke and Kelly enter the school as Brooke makes a typically stentorian announcement that she’s decided she’ll never write a paper again since she can just continue to pay Kelly’s sister to do it for her.  Dutch Boy is conveniently situated for maximum eavesdropping potential as her sister informs Kelly that the last product of her sister’s handiwork resulted in an A+.  Theresa approaches them and sarcastically congratulates Brooke for making the honor roll, “…and it only cost you $10”.  Hitting her sarcasm crescendo, Dutch Boy proclaims that Brooke may as well run for Student Council President.  While Kelly duly notes the sarcasm, Brooke dreamily ponders her sister’s mock idea with serious interest, prompting the most over-pronounced eye-roll we’ve yet seen from Kelly, who I already considered the undisputed master of this time-honored facial expression.

Ashley and Jake are sitting on a bench whining aboot the general trials and tribulations of being alive.  Ashley doesn’t get much sleep, Jake can’t get no action, nothing new to see here.  This dialogue is so god-awful that I cannot morally reproduce it here for fear its effects upon my (ever-dwindling) readership will be the digital equivalent of electroconvulsive therapy.  So all I’ll say aboot the rest of this scene is to note that Jake’s shirt is a more pronounced shade of pink than Ashley’s denim jacket.

Cindy and Olaf march towards a table in the lounge occupied by a dorky hermaphrodite listening to music on a Walkman and a mullet-sporting kid that I happen to know, with the benefit of hindsight, is named Dave.  Starting next season, Dave will become a major cast member and temporary Jake replacement even though the character and the actor himself are the very embodiment of terminal boredom.  Cindy slaps a clipboard onto the table between them and barks, “Okay, guys.  Start signing,” before even explaining what her stupid petition is aboot.  Only after her two cornered victims question her motives does she explain that it’s a petition to demand that the principal install recycle bins in the school.  As Dave the Dork picks up a pen to sign the petition, Matt and the Jock Squad approach and start mocking Cindy’s never-ending crusade in such a contrived and moronic way that I can no longer decide who the fuck I’m supposed to hate more, the screeching hippie or the hassled boozehound.  As Geddy Lee once crooned, “if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice”.  In that spirit, I’ll simply reaffirm my fondness for Olaf and move on.

matt green jerk

Dave’s signature acquired, Cindy and Olaf walk on and run into Brooke, who expresses interest in the fact that they’re circulating a petition which is something she seems to feel should be of interest to a potential Student Council President no matter what issue it may address.  When Cindy explains what it’s all aboot, Brooke flamboyantly feigns support and grabs the clipboard to add her signature.  With a flourish, she then approaches the table where Dave and the hermaphrodite are still sitting and declares, “Environmental issues are something we should really be concerned aboot – and that’s why I try to take a leadership role!” before walking away, leaving Cindy and Olaf to wonder how they should feel aboot Brooke’s blatant co-opting of their pet issue.

Ashley is still sitting on the bench where we last saw her, but Jake is gone, leaving this prime piece of Hillside real estate open for Brooke to park her ass and harass her favorite pink target.  But this time, she’s not here to harass but to see what the activity-obsessed little prude might know aboot other potential candidates for the Student Council President position.  Con una voce bassa, Ashley replies that she hasn’t heard anything but since the election’s still three weeks away, she expects that someone will eventually throw their hat in the ring.  Brooke brags that “a lot of people” have been encouraging her to run while drifting into another dream sequence fantasy involving her standing at a campaign podium dressed in a man’s suit, regaling her adoring constituents with the most narcissistic decree of humility ever televised.

Deadpool walks into the Avalon where Dave is sitting at the counter, another clear sign that the producers are priming this mulleted insomnia cure for a starring role next season.  Olaf is sitting at a nearby table.  He stands up and greets Billy enthusiastically, something Deadpool clearly hadn’t anticipated since he reacts by backing away from Olaf as if he had bubonic plague.  Over the course of 65 fucking episodes, it doesn’t dawn on any of these colossal dullards that if you go to The Avalon, you WILL run into someone you don’t want to see.  No, instead, they just keep treating it as a private haven for confidential conversations despite daily overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  Olaf has heard aboot the party.  He tells Billy, “Back home in Finland, I was famous for my partying!”, which is probably the first truly ridiculous thing he’s said thus far, unless the Finnish translation of “partying” is “playing chess by yourself”.  While this is going on, Cindy can be seen listening to their conversation from a stool at the counter right next to Dave and his mullet.  Deadpool improvs a hasty excuse aboot it being a small party, “because it’s a small apartment”, especially since his sister has already invited numerous friends.  Olaf understands this to be the blow-off that it is as Cindy comes over and touches his arm affectionately.  Before they have a chance to speak, Kelly bursts into The Avalon and announces to everyone present that the principal just called off Dylan’s concert because he neglected to turn in a math assignment.  Billy nervously digs into his backpack and dejectedly pulls oot Dylan’s math homework.  Deadpool, you are fucking up royally today.

Matt and Jake are alone in the boys’ locker room again because it’s been firmly established at this point that Matt and Jake are the only students that ever utilize the boys’  locker room, or maybe it’s a separate locker room constructed just for them, similar to their convenient stand-alone hallway lockers.  Jake is moping melodramatically enough for his tosspot of a friend to notice and ask what’s wrong.  Matt incorrectly guesses that Jake is still upset aboot their last contentious conversation, of course getting himself riled up again in the process and capitalizing on yet another opportunity to point oot his distaste for being hassled.  His friend reluctant to tell him what’s on his mind, Matt sits down and reminds Jake that they’ve been friends since they were five years old, adding this touching illustrative anecdote: “I’m the guy who stuffed you head-first into the garbage dumpster in the third grade.  If you can’t talk to me, who can you talk to?”.  I know that’s the kind of thing I always demand of my closest confidantes.  Why the fuck would I divulge my deeply personal issues to someone who hasn’t proven their merit by throwing me in a dumpster?  Anyway, Jake finally tells Matt aboot his feelings for Courtney.  While Matt attempts to give Jake some friendly advice, one of the jocks bursts in through a door I hadn’t noticed before and announces the news that “Dylan’s concert just went down the toilet!”  Who needs Reuters when you have the students of Hillside?  Jake and Matt can barely conceal their glee.

“Just like that?  They just turn around and cancel the concert?” At their lockers, Billy and Courtney literally pick up the conservation where Jake and Matt just left off, as if these kids all share a hive mind that connects their words and actions in a grand web of interpersonal knowledge aboot the fact that Dylan’s concert got canceled.  Deadpool tells her that it’s all his fault and castigates himself for forgetting to turn in Dylan’s homework assignment.  Courtney is dressed like a turn-of-the-century steno pool clerk as she expresses satisfaction at Dylan’s bad karma despite her brother’s obvious distress over his part in it.  Deadpool chastises her for not understanding why this is a big deal, slams his locker (which bounces back open) and runs away.

Brooke and Kelly are at The Avalon discussing the same fucking thing that everyone else in British Columbia is talking aboot – Dylan’s canceled concert.  In front of Brooke is a juice box and a cookie on a plate, while Kelly appears to just be drinking a Coke.  They note that Dylan hasn’t been in school today and wonder if he’s even aware of what happened (as if it wasn’t already the banner headline of the morning edition of The Vancouver Sun).  They try to anticipate how he might react while Brooke picks at her cookie one chocolate chip at a time.  Kelly asks Brooke how she feels aboot all this, “since you’re Dylan’s girlfriend,” prompting Brooke to categorically deny such a relationship…that is, until eventually, Kelly successfully convinces Brooke to be mortified by the sheer optics of dating a guy who can’t even pull off a free lunch hour concert in the gym.  Brooke exclaims, “He comes oot of this looking like a total loser and people think I’m going oot with him!! So how does this make ME look?”  Kelly is a fucking ninja when it comes to pushing Brooke’s buttons.

The camera pans toward the door as Matt and Ashley stroll into The Avalon talking aboot – fuck, you know what they’re talking aboot, ferchrissakes.  Ashley feels sorry for Dylan and Matt doesn’t, but more importantly, Dave and his mullet are still sitting on the same stool at the counter.  Ashley continues to whisper her empathy as Matt shouts his lack thereof.  Finally, and to absolutely nobody’s surprise, Matt accuses her of having a crush on Dylan.  Ashley tells Matt he’s a self-centered jerk and he backs off a bit, but not before adding, “but don’t expect me to feel all tragic aboot poor old Dylan, either”, just as James Dean himself swaggers through the door.  He approaches their booth and addressing Matt as “Hot Shot”, asks him how it’s going.  Matt says “okay” while Dylan just stands there running his hand back and forth over the table before dropping his voice to a strangely low pitch and enunciating with confusing intensity, “Good to hear.  Things are going alright for old Matt Walker.  That makes my day.”  Finally, Ashley breaks the uncomfortable silence that follows by offering Dylan her condolences, which he coolly brushes off as unnecessary.  Matt refrains from showing his delight and even offers a heartfelt, “Too bad, man” to the guy who had the audacity to touch his raiment, so Dylan turns and walks towards the table where Brooke and Kelly are sitting, perhaps in the hopes that his presence will court more controversy there.  He’s just kind of aimlessly staggering around The Avalon like a drunk in an unfamiliar house, with no agenda other than to pointlessly engage with whoever he may bump into.  Kelly says hi as Brooke hides behind a menu and offers a curt, “Afternoon.”  The hermaphrodite with the earphones is sitting at an adjacent table.  Dylan asks Brooke if she wants to go to the mall with him and she snottily declines.  He asks if she wants to go somewhere else then and receives the same response.  This fucking café is such an inescapable hellscape of funhouse doors that I can’t even confine myself to describing this conversation in the foreground withoot alerting you to the fact that in the background, Dutch Boy walks into The Avalon in the middle of all this and just stands there by the door through which she came in, not even trying to hide the fact that she’s listening in.  Dylan can take a hint, apparently, and forces Brooke to say what’s on her mind.  As voluminously as possible, she tells Dylan that she can’t date someone she doesn’t respect and right now, she doesn’t respect him at all and before he can even respond, goddamn Dutch Boy runs over and starts apologizing to Dylan on her sister’s behalf.  In an effort to dodge Theresa, Dylan flees towards the door by the payphone only to run into Billy and Courtney on their way in.  Billy starts to apologize profusely while Dylan finally extricates himself from this claustrophobic triangle of insufferable acquaintances and makes his way oot the door.  If you watch this whole scene carefully from the beginning, you’ll notice that Dylan slow-motion ricocheted off of every single table in the establishment, even though the balls in the Avalon pinball machine don’t ricochet off of anything because it’s never plugged in.

dylan bails

Finally, we get a merciful change of pace and the next scene opens on Olaf and Cindy in the lounge.  Olaf tells her that they have 49 signatures on the petition, which he deems not too bad.  Cindy corrects him and points oot that there are really only 48 names, because one student signed “Sylvester Stallone”.  Ever the optimist, Olaf opines that this still isn’t so bad, but Cindy begs to differ, seeing as how there are “over 200 kids in this school” (I assume all but aboot 15 of them are locked up in the basement).  She points oot that there’s no time to get more signatures because “Old Zimmerman wants to meet us at 4:15”.  Cindy notices that Olaf looks sad and asks what’s wrong.  He begins by saying, “I honestly thought Billy was my friend,” and Cindy interjects that Billy’s just a kid and doesn’t know what he’s doing before offering Olaf her friendship which I thought had already been established, but what the fuck do I know.  Suddenly, Dylan trudges by and Cindy jumps up to offer him her condolences even though a friendship between Cindy and Dylan has never been established.  They talk for a few seconds, which is just long enough for Cindy to shoehorn in another reference to “Old Zimmerman” before Dylan sulks oot the door.  Walking back to Olaf’s side, she says, “There’s a guy who’s carrying around a lot of pain.  One of these days, he’s just gonna let loose…and then, watch oot!”  Before you get excited, this seemingly prophetic line presages nothing at all, so don’t start imagining that Dylan will come back and firebomb the school or anything awesome like that.  Shit, who do you think he is, Deadpool?

Brooke is sitting on her bed reading a magazine when Dutch Boy appears in the doorway and glares silently.  Finally, she walks in and freaks the fuck oot on Brooke, which is something I didn’t think she had in her, but it still doesn’t come close to compensating for what she’s wearing.  She shouts at Brooke for leading Dylan on.  When Brooke tries to blow her off, Dutch Boy treats her to this shit: “I always tried to look up to you, Brooke.  I really did.  Because you’re my big sister.  But I can’t do that anymore because I KEEP SEEING WHAT YOU’RE REALLY LIKE!  You’re TOTALLY SHALLOW, you’re TOTALLY SELFISH, and you’re TOTALLY EGOTISTICAL.  You don’t really care aboot anyone.  You just USE people!  One of these days, you’re gonna get what you deserve!  You just wait.  One of these days, somebody’s gonna get you back!”  For once, Dutch Boy’s words carry weight.  The episode ends with Brooke looking shocked, trying to process her sister’s biting words, as I finally decide on an unmentioned option #3: I would buy my lunch at The Avalon, then carry it to school and eat it in the lounge.

brooke dang

Only 4 episodes left in this season, y’all.  Strap yourselves in.

Sturm und Drang

cyn think

Season 1, Episode 8

The episode begins with an extended shot of a bulletin board in the student lounge displaying a Hillside emblem emblazoned with the single word “Sports”.  Two hands appear and tape a green sheet of paper that says, “If you love this planet…THINK” over the cryptic “sports” message.  The camera pans oot to reveal that the hands are Cindy’s as she steps back to admire her cheap, trite, artless, mimeographed sign like it was the fucking Mona Lisa.  Courtney strolls by dressed in a ghastly ensemble of earth tones and excrement, greeting Cindy with a friendly hello.  Cindy responds by self-righteously belching, “Just trying to raise a few people’s consciousness,” as she continues to assess the possible efficacy and impact of her stupid piece of scotch-taped copy paper.  Courtney sits down at a table looking like she’s getting ready to do homework when Cindy asks if she’d like to “lend a hand” even though you can see that she only has aboot 4 more copies of her dumb little sign spread oot on the table, the posting of which hardly seems like a two-person job.  Courtney politely declines, a decision she’ll live to regret for the next several minutes of her life as she’s treated to a bitchy tirade aboot how “it’s only the planet that’s at stake.”  I hate to break this to you, Cindy, but you’ve done more damage to the planet with your idiotic signs than Courtney did by refusing to help you litter the school with them.

Cut to Ashley and Jake at The Avalon sulking over two stiff glasses of milk and what look to be pastries infused with elephantitis and cheese.  Ashley is wearing her oversized sweat jacket and Jake appears to be clad in a helium-filled maroon parachute.  She’s somehow even whisperier than normal as she recounts to Jake the upsetting conversation she had with Matt aboot his drinking yesterday.  Jake, as usual, can find nothing constructive to say but eventually tells her that he’ll try talking to Matt, though he doubts it will do any good.  This redundant scene finally ends the way they always do, with Ashley looking at her watch, realizing she’s late for her planned homework session at the library, and high-tailing it oot the door, apparently sticking Jake with the tab.  I guess you’ve got a pretty good con going there, Ash, but I notice you didn’t touch your pastry, so maybe I’m not as hip to your game as I thought.

Dylan enters the school and saunters over to the table where Courtney’s still doing homework and pretending not to notice him.  He attempts to cut through the chill by grabbing one of Cindy’s signs that are still littering the table and asking, “If you love this planet…think what?” but gets little response from Courtney.  Trying a different approach, he tells her that he’s doing poorly in science and this might cause the principal to call off his concert.  Strike two.  Next, he employs the tried and true method of asking her how she’s doing and this, of course, is the straw that breaks the back of this repugnant dromedary.  Courtney unleashes a snotty harangue aboot feeling foolish for thinking that it meant something when he kissed her in the garage, to which Dylan retorts, “Who says it didn’t?”  She accuses him of going oot with Brooke and Dylan counters that “She’s going oot with some guy named Terry in the 12th grade,” in a tone that definitely implies frustration aboot Brooke’s alleged unavailability, but Courtney’s too fucking dense to pick up on that vibe.  She immediately begins to smile as Dylan walks off and Deadpool enters the lounge with the obligatory query, “Did I just miss something here?”  Yeah, Billy, you just missed the 135th occurrence in less than 8 episodes of your dopey sister ignoring all evidence that Dylan views her as nothing more than the ugly but convenient drunk chick at the party.  Billy and Courtney yawn into their usual parent-related conversation.  Billy is still wearing the zoo t-shirt and I can’t tell the difference between any of Courtney’s fashion atrocities anymore, so I have no idea at what point in the timeline this is all happening.  In the previous scene, Jake and Ashley seemed to have moved on from yesterday, so maybe Billy just forgot to change his shirt.

The siblings rise from the table and begin to stroll the halls.  Billy tells Courtney that since Dad is going oot of town for the weekend, he’ll be coming home to spend it with her and Mom.  She half-jokingly suggests that maybe they should both spend the weekend at Dad’s empty apartment and “throw a major party”, just as Matt walks by and catching the last sentence of their chat, exclaims, “Is this for real?  A party at your place next weekend?  Sounds great!” before running off to tell everyone in earshot aboot it and essentially ensuring that they now have to go through with it whether the idea was raised as a joke or not.

The boys’ locker room.  Jake seems to be having a difficult time tying his shoes, probably owing to his strangely aeronautical shirt.  Matt enters and after some inane small talk, Jake asks Matt if he has a few seconds to talk aboot something and then immediately pussies oot of his promised attempt to lecture Matt aboot his drinking.  On his way oot the door, Matt tells Jake aboot the party at Billy’s on Friday:

Jake:  Sounds great.

Matt:  Yeah, should be a blast!  Their dad’s gonna be away – an empty apartment, just waiting for us!

Jake:  Sure.  Get the guys together.  Pick up a few cases of beer.

Matt:  You betcha!

Jake:  Of course…I guess…we could always try it withoot the beer…just to be different.

Matt:   Is that supposed to mean anything in particular?!

Jake:  Yeah.  I guess it means you’re drinking an awful lot lately.

Matt:  Here we go again!  You’re starting to sound exactly like…hang on – have you been talking to Ashley??

Jake:  Yes, I have.

Matt:  Oh, this is GREAT!  MY BEST FRIEND AND MY GIRLFRIEND WHISPERING BEHIND MY BACK!!

That’s just your girlfriend who does the whispering, Matt, but I digress.  Matt screams at Jake to “get off his case” and storms oot of the locker room.  Jake slams his locker in frustration and it bounces back open even wider than it had been before, so he slams it again and it bounces open again.  It’s almost as if the producers of this fucking train wreck are proud of their budgetary corner cutting.

Brooke stops Matt on the stairs and they talk aboot the party at Billy’s for a few seconds until Cindy stomps between them carrying a handful of loose papers that she dug oot of the garbage can like a fucking crazy homeless woman.  Though I haven’t a clue who she’s addressing, she starts screaming aboot how paper belongs in the recycle bin, not the garbage can, like a sociopathic, crack-addicted Erin Brokovich.  Matt and Brooke greet her vocal castigation with typical sarcasm, prompting Cindy to declare, “It’s disgusting!  This school is an ecological disaster area!” before switching gears and loudly shaming the school for selling tuna fish sandwiches (Where?  Where do they sell these alleged sandwiches, Cindy?  This school has no fucking cafeteria!).  As she continues to explain to her puzzled audience that tuna are caught in drift nets that also kill dolphins, Olaf walks up from behind and quietly jumps to her defense, opening himself up to more mockery aboot the fact that he hails from Finland.  A few feet away, a morally conflicted Deadpool takes in the scene as Cindy stomps off grumbling aboot having to deal with “a bunch of zipperheads”.

At Ashley’s locker, Courtney’s filling her in on the planned Friday night party while Pink Denim piles aboot thirty textbooks into her arms.  Courtney mentions that Friday is also the day of Dylan’s concert, so Ashley asks how things are going between them.  Courtney’s ecstatically optimistic response based solely upon Dylan’s annoyed revelation that Brooke is dating some twelfth grader is too pathetic for me to watch a second time, so I move the timer on the YouTube video a few clicks to the right where Ashley is wisely warning her slow-witted friend to be careful.  This whole time, Ashley has been making it as clear as possible, shy of ootright screaming it in Courtney’s face, that she has something far more pressing on her mind than an imaginary romance between Shit Drapes and Leather Jacket, and finally, Courtney breaks oot of her self-absorption long enough to notice and ask what’s wrong.  Ashley responds with an unconvincing “no, I’m fine,” and resigns herself to another day of quiet martyrdom.

Dylan’s alone at a booth in The Avalon writing song lyrics when Brooke enters and makes a beeline to where he’s sitting.  She flirtatiously asks if she can see what he’s writing but tragically, Dylan declines to show her (or us) the poetic workings of his rebellious teen mind.  She sits down uninvited and asks him if he’s going to the party Friday night, to which Dylan responds, “Sure, you’ll probably have a great time with Terry What’s-His-Face.”  Brooke informs him that she broke up with her imaginary boyfriend yesterday, adding that she’s “far more interested in someone else” as she leers at Dylan across the table.  Finally, Dylan asks Brooke if she’s “inviting him to ask her to the party or something”, which is at least one extra layer of inviting than I’m accustomed to, but admittedly I’m not very familiar with how they handle this kind of thing in Vancouver.  She treats his question as an actual invitation and enthusiastically accepts while Dylan shrugs his shoulders and goes back to writing lyrics.

Later or tomorrow or maybe in a completely different space-time continuum altogether, Dylan walks into the school still wearing the blue t-shirt he’s had on for this entire episode and is immediately accosted by a psycho-grinning Courtney galloping down the stairs.  She’s obviously bursting to say something to him and when she opens her gob, a fucking apology pours oot for giving him minimal shit earlier aboot the fact that his hard-on for Brooke is aboot as transparent as his tired tough-guy schtick.  Then she tells him aboot the party and informs him that not only is he invited, he’s “very invited”.  Dylan responds with a perfunctory “Sure,” before hurriedly extricating himself from her odious presence.

Oblivious to Dylan’s passionate disinterest, Courtney strolls along and runs into Brooke sitting on a bench.  She proudly proclaims that Dylan will probably be at her party and Brooke replies, “Oh, yes.  He’s going with me!”  I don’t know if the audio guy hit a button prematurely or what, but the dramatic scene-change music starts playing right at this moment – but the scene isn’t over.  Brooke gloats for a bit, then pretends to suddenly realize that this homely schoolmarm might not be so happy aboot what she just divulged and launches into an over-the-top apology for forgetting that Courtney “had a little crush on him”.  Courtney skulks off in humiliation as Deadpool saunters over and asks Brooke why his sister looks upset.  Brooke deflects the question and points oot that his friend Olaf is sitting nearby (playing chess by himself).  Brooke stands up and leaves as Olaf stands up and greets Billy with his characteristic good cheer.  The rest of this scene pains me because I like Olaf and if I didn’t like Olaf, this fucking show would be utterly unbearable, and hence, so is what’s coming next.

Olaf invites Billy to play chess but Billy uncomfortably informs him that he doesn’t really feel like playing.  Deadpool then graduates to the next level and tells Olaf that he doesn’t really like chess, but the deeper implication in his words is that he doesn’t really like Olaf.  Billy tells Olaf that he’s got to run, and run he does, leaving Olaf to stare after him in sad confusion.  Fuck you, Deadpool.  And after all the nice things I said aboot you in the last post.

At The Avalon, Courtney is torturing Jake with her indignation aboot Dylan.  This fucking Colonial dildo has the nerve to tell Jake that “you either ask someone oot or you don’t – you don’t sort of ask them,” completely disregarding the fact that she’s saying this to the same guy that’s been sort of asking her oot for the last seven episodes.  They agree that Dylan’s a jerk so many times that eventually Courtney says, “He’s a derk” and the director just decides to let it stand because I’m sure he’s fully aware this is the worst television show that’s ever been broadcast on either side of the Frontière Internationale.  Jake (with absolutely no ulterior motive, of course) advises Courtney to just forget aboot Dylan with some uncharacteristic and, as it turns oot, undeserved confidence because she immediately retorts that she can’t just forget aboot him because she’s in love with him.  As Jake struggles to process her unexpected declaration, Courtney lapses into self-pity and chastises herself for believing that any guy could ever be interested in someone like her (stick with this line of thinking, Courtney…you may be on to something).  Jake counters that “lots of guys think you’re terrific” and Courtney defies him to name one.  Garnering all of his confidence, Jake says, “Well, ME, for instance,” to which this insufferable musk ox replies, “That’s not what I mean.  You’re just a friend, it’s totally different,” and somehow Jake refrains from leaping across the table and strangling her to death.  In fact, he retains his atypical courage and momentum, desperately blurting oot, “Is that really what you think?!  Courtney, there’s something I’ve got to say, there really is, because—” as Courtney cuts him off, gets up and says, “I’ve gotta run!” like the human crotch she is.

But this time, we don’t even get treated to a long shot of Jake’s frustrated face because Cindy, who apparently was standing behind a pillar eavesdropping the whole time, comes oot of the shadows and asks if something’s bugging Courtney.  Jake says he doesn’t know, so Cindy sits down uninvited and says, “Well, there’s sure something bugging me.  You wanna know something?  We go to school with a bunch of zipperheads.”  Ok, first of all, Cindy, buy a thesaurus and discover some new pejoratives.  Secondly, zipperhead is a derogatory term for an Asian and if you’re not familiar with Asians, just look across the fucking table at the guy to whom you’re speaking.  She accosts Jake with her unhinged environmental psychosis for a bit, then glances at the sketch pad he’s been scribbling in for the past few minutes.  She picks it up and looks at it with admiration.  Jake drew a frog.  Cindy deems it “not half bad” and I don’t have the slightest fucking idea why they felt it necessary to insert this pointless scene into the episode but at least we now know that Jake can sketch a badass frog.

Deadpool enters Dylan’s garage and asks if he’s seen his sister lately.  Apparently, Billy is just getting around to his promised fact-finding mission aboot Dylan’s feelings for Courtney, an episode and a half too late.  Dylan responds by saying, “I like her…as a friend.  I think she’s a good kid,” placing her into the exact same category as his young inquisitor.  Mission apparently accomplished, Billy starts to leave, but Dylan calls him back, hands him a math assignment that’s due tomorrow morning, and asks Billy to turn it in for him because he’ll be ditching school to practice and write songs.  Billy agrees and Dylan warns him not to forget, “it’s important”.  Almost oot the door, Deadpool turns around and asks Dylan what’s going on between him and Brooke.  Dylan concedes that they’re “sort of going oot…maybe” leading Billy to remind him that not long ago, he warned Deadpool that girls like Brooke are “big trouble”.  Aware that he’s being called oot by a 12 year old, Dylan acknowledges his earlier admonition, adding, “but only if you get hung up on them.”

The Avalon.  Matt and Ashley are together at a booth even though I’m pretty sure Matt dumped her whispering ass yesterday.  Maybe he was in a blackoot when that happened.  She whisper-worries, he yells, and round and round they go.  The word “hassled” is bandied aboot liberally, as always.  Just when you think a plot is finally resolved in this goddamn show, it rises from the dead and plays itself in an endless loop.  Don’t get me wrong, this is a classic whisper-shout showdown between these two, but it’s one that we’ve already seen several times over and its placement at this particular point in the show makes no sense whatsoever.

Brooke is at Dylan’s garage asking him why he’s planning to skip school tomorrow.  She warns him aboot jeopardizing his concert in a way that approaches genuine concern.  They talk some more and then she gets up to leave.  Before she reaches the door, Dylan tells her that there’s gossip going around aboot them going oot, then asks her if she thinks they’ll work as a couple, all the while stroking and caressing his guitar in a way that makes me increasingly uncomfortable with every interminable second of this sequence.  Brooke’s reply is noncommittal.  Dylan puts down his guitar, stands up and walks towards Brooke, saying, “You know something?  I must be crazy…because I’m almost starting to think that I could get…hung up on you.”  They embrace for a long, passionate kiss, at least by Fifteen standards, and Dylan reiterates that a guy being hung up on someone like Brooke “could get torn up”.  You should’ve listened to Deadpool, Idiot.  He’s wise beyond his years.

dyl brooke kiss

Satire Or Long-Winded Nihilist Screed?

math

Is there, Dylan?  Is there really more to life?

Obviously, I have turned my blog page into something that is purely for my own amusement.  Those who used to enjoy my writing before it became laser-focused on an obscure teen soap opera have either politely stuck around in the hopes that I’ll become bored of this soon or just stopped reading altogether, which is exactly what I expected.  But if you do fall into either of those camps, this post is for you.

As I’ve already said, I have completely resigned myself to the fact that people are silly animals with an unjustified sense of importance and a flair for shooting themselves in the foot over and over and over again.  These days, this realization has aboot as much of an emotional impact on me as the fact that slugs have four noses (they do!).  It’s just something that’s true.  If I refrain from making them so, such things are neither good nor bad, spiritual nor vulgar.  They just are.

Morality is the ultimate expression of human self-importance.  Our behavior is not scrutinized by some supernatural entity ootside of ourselves, nor does the Universe engage in value judgments.  Sorry, folks, but that’s just the way it is.  If you don’t like it, blame Werner Heisenberg, but don’t blame god because that’s just silly.  That being said, it would be just as ridiculous for me to behave in ways that don’t conform to my (ever-changing) nature, so guilt-averse as I am, I still try to live according to Gandhi’s famous philosophy of “Ahimsa” (non-harm), not from any religious or spiritual basis but just to minimize my own suffering that seems to increase when I intentionally hurt people.  This isn’t admirable or right – in fact, if you re-read the last sentence, you’ll see that it is, like all possible choices a person can make, motivated by self-interest.

The always thought-provoking Anony Mole opined in a recent post that the only worthwhile human pursuits are those of food, sex, rush (excitement), and chill (relaxation).  I commented that I agree with 50% of his list – food and chill.  Food, along with water and oxygen, are of course the only real basic human needs.  The possible import of anything else is entirely dependent upon the individual, particularly the ego of the individual.  Therefore, when someone is complaining that, say, their emotional or sexual or romantic “needs” aren’t being met, I counter with a line from the late, great George Carlin: “Then get rid of some of your needs.”

As far as the “need” for the occasional rush of excitement for excitement’s sake, I understand but am no longer driven to seek it oot and this may just indicate that I’m fucking old and exhausted.  My first half century of life has often been difficult, but before anyone sheds a tear, remember that such difficulties were always my own creation.  And I can’t sit here and claim that I’m not jaded, so I guess those pursuits that still get a rise oot of most folks just seem to me to require a pointless amount of effort for zero reward.  I like sittin’ and starin’.  Others like to bungee jump and skydive.  Whatever floats yer scrote.

Sex is a little more complicated.  I have never had the desire to reproduce, but I used to be saddled with a libido that could power several hadron colliders.  Age is almost certainly a factor in the weakening of that drive, but of course, philosophy and psychology have played crucial roles, too.   I haven’t abandoned the possibility that I may yet again find someone worth dating and/or boinking, but I also don’t spend any time trying to anticipate it.  A friend recently asked me how I was able to suddenly adopt such a nonchalant attitude aboot something that holds such a high position of importance for most people below the age of 80 and I had a simple answer at the tip of my tongue: remove your ego from the equation entirely, then tell me how much of a “need” an overactive libido constitutes.  Very few of us realize that the actual sexual physiological response is usually an expression of the ego above all else.  We utilize our partners to fill us with a sense of worth and desirability, which is why rejection so often causes such violent visceral reactions from those who feel spurned.  But what aboot those of us who have analyzed the importance and meaning right oot of the notions of personal worth and desirability?  As unbelievable as this may sound to most readers, especially those harboring under-deployed rockets in their pockets, the notion of sex becomes something that’s available should I decide to put oot the effort to obtain it – kind of like a nice Granny Smith apple.  If I’m denied a specific opportunity to eat an apple, does that mean my apple needs haven’t been met?  Of course not.  That’s fucking ridiculous.  And so is the self-torturous approach to sex that’s shared by the majority of people.  Mind you, it’s nothing to avoid, it’s not intrinsically immoral, and fuck, it’s just plain fun.  But what it’s not is necessary, just like the very perpetuation of our defective species.

So I guess what all this means is that I have officially embraced nihilism, albeit of a somewhat compassionate sort.  We have an illiterate buffoon governing the country not because evil is getting a foothold over goodness or any such lofty explanation, but because Americans are so fucking stupid, stubborn, self-important, cowardly and insecure that they actually chose to elect him.  There ain’t shit any of us can do aboot that.  It’s the very nature of the beast that we are.  Therefore, I won’t spare it another thought.  And why would I when there are still 58 episodes of Fifteen left to dissect?   Embrace your intrinsic meaningless and ridiculousness, my friends.  They’re literally all you’ve got.

Six Hours On Facebook

cast

The Glorious Results of a Courageous Fifteen Info-Gathering Mission

Good Lord, how do you people do it?  For all of my apprehension of the world at large as an overcrowded hive of noisy automatons, viewing it through the lens of Facebook makes it seem so much worse.  Yesterday, I created a temporary FB page for two purposes: to inform more people of the existence of Notes From The Avalon, and to see what I might be able to find oot aboot what some of the cast members are up to in 2019.  I lasted for 6 hours before I had to delete the account in order to retain my tenuous grip on sanity.

As far as informing more people about my blog is concerned, I re-rediscovered that aside from my sister, nieces, brother-in-law, and one or two of my cooler cousins, I can no longer communicate with people from my extended and extensive Irish-Catholic family.  Cousins who were former dirt bags and Deadheads are now Trump supporters, Jesus freaks, and right-wing conspiracy theorists.  Blood may be thicker than water, but so is diarrhea.  Fuck ‘em all, the miserable pricks.  Old friends from New Jersey were all there in spades, too, of course, but as soon as they realized I was back on Facebook, I was inundated with instant messages from distant acquaintances that seem to still be fine people, I guess, but that doesn’t mean I give a flying fuck who they married, where they last went on vacation and whether the next generation of little monsters they created have mastered the art of taking a dump on the commode.  No, thanks.  Get back to me in 25 years or do something interesting before assaulting all of your friends with photographic proof that you eat, work and reproduce.

I was much more successful in gleaning some recent info aboot the Fifteen cast.  First of all, there IS an official Fifteen fan page that’s been active since 2011 and has just over 100 followers.  One of those followers is the lovely Robyn Ross (Brooke) whose inside access to the restricted personal pages of her former castmates makes her the only worthwhile contributor to the fan page.  I get the impression that she’s extremely cool and down to earth.  She posted a comment aboot running into Arseman Yohannes (seasons 2 – 4) in Brooklyn recently, but that was as much info as I could find aboot Arseman.  Robyn Ross is on the show Riverdale now and she looks like this:

robyn ross

Ryan Reynolds, of course, is untouchable, but Robyn did re-post this recent gem from his Twitter feed:

funny-ryan-reynolds-tweets-fb__700-png

And of course, we all know what Ryan looks like now:

pikachu

Todd Talbot (Matt) is the co-host of Love It Or List It Vancouver, so you can find plenty of videos of him talking aboot home buying and renovation in British Columbia.  He looks pretty much the same, but seems to have adopted the ridiculous habit of wearing bowties.  At least he seems to be having fun:

talbot

Laura Harris has a page that can be viewed but there’s no option of friend requesting her.  She looks great, but I can’t tell you whether she’s learned how to speak above a whisper.

laura_harris_ii

Enuka Okuma (Kelly) is also seemingly untouchable due to her starring role on Rookie Blue, which is a TV show, apparently.

252px-Enuka_Okuma

Chris “Corky” Martin (Dylan) still acts, but I’m not sure if he has any notoriety ootside of Canada.

chris-william-martin-people-in-tv-photo-u1

Aubrey Nealon (Olaf) is a writer, producer and director, but humble enough to have a public and accessible page.  He looks exactly the same, something I found oddly comforting.

Aubrey-Nealon-picture-

Ahnee Boyce (Cindy) still exists and seems to have aged well.

ahnee

Janine Cox (Dutch Boy) looks like this now:

janine cox

I couldn’t find diddly-squat aboot Ken Angel (Jake).

jake red

And that brings us to Sarah Douglas (Courtney).  For some fucking reason, she now goes by the name Sarah Nakatsuka although there was no photographic evidence that she’s married to a Japanese person.  I guess I can’t blame her for the possible alias, because if I were her, I’d be trying to put as much distance between myself and the horrible role I played as a teenager as humanly possible, too.  Check a look:

nakatsuka

So there you have it!  The hard-fought results of a brave six hour long experiment performed by your humble narrator.  I hope y’all appreciate the sacrifices I make for my art.  Stay tuned for the episode 8 synopsis coming soon!

The Grapes

brooke dyl

Season 1, Episode 7

We are the Grapes of Wrath, we never take a bath.  It is our style to seldom smile and never laugh! – VeggieTales

We open at The Avalon where nary a main cast member is to be seen, just the nameless Jock Squad loudly patting themselves on the back for pulling off a close 61-60 victory.  An unknown girl sitting at one of the booths joins in the fun until our favorite group of buzzkills enters, instantly obliterating the celebratory atmosphere.  One of the jocks says, “Good game!” to Matt, who responds with a sarcastic, “Yeah, right.”  Matt, Ashley and Jake trudge over to their usual booth.

Ashley:  i’ve actually gotta be getting home soon.  i mean, it’s 9:15—

Matt:  I DON’T BELIEVE IT!  I score 14 points in the first half and what happens?  I get benched!

Jake:  Yeah, that was kind of—

Matt:  BENCHED!!  For the entire second half!  I’m just sitting there getting splinters in my butt!

Jake:  Nobody else understood it either.

Matt:  I score 14 points and then my coach accuses me of being selfish!  He stands up in the dressing room at half time and tells me I’ve got to put the team first!

Ashley:  well, maybe he was—

Matt:  I put the team 7 points in the lead – that’s where I put the team!  And then I have to put up with that garbage??

Ashley:  you can always look on the bright side

Matt:  WHAT BRIGHT SIDE??

Ashley:  the team still won…even though you weren’t playing

Yeah, that’ll calm your dipsomaniacal boyfriend right the fuck down, Ashley.  Matt retreats to the pinball room leaving Jake to pointlessly opine that this probably isn’t a good time to talk to Matt aboot his drinking problem.

Hillside.  Les Chiennes enter the school as Brooke is loudly asking Kelly, “Ever see a jaw bounce right off the floor?”  She continues describing the scene at Dylan’s garage and how Courtney just stood there with her mouth hanging open, then took off.  All the while, Lurky-Loo is eavesdropping from a nearby table wearing an abominable Cosby sweater that is definitely not part of the Garanimals collection because there isn’t a color in the known spectrum that would match this nightmare of wool and vomit.  Brooke segues to the topic of the English paper she asked Kelly’s sister to write.  Kelly produces the paper but doesn’t hand it to Brooke until she coughs up the $10 fee.  This is a bridge too far for Dutch Boy who marches over to the table and admonishes Brooke for cheating.  Brooke calls her a little priss and makes tracks, leaving Theresa and Kelly to stare at each other in awkward silence.

I have just now watched the next scene no fewer than five times and I still can’t wrap my mind around it.  A close up shot of a girl working behind The Avalon counter near the cash register.  Suddenly, Jake enters the shot from the left and Matt from the right, seeming to imply that they just ran into each other, but Matt’s first words are those of a conversation in progress: “I’ve had enough of this, Jake!”  They lean on the counter as Matt resolves to have a showdown with Coach Williams and Jake attempts to warn him against it.  The girl behind the counter appears to be writing something while they talk.  The cake stand is empty, but still somehow disgusting.  The camera pans back and forth between Matt and Jake and the next time it focuses on the gal behind the register, we see that she’s placing to-go bags and a juice box on the counter.  Their conversation concluded, Matt grabs the juice box (Jake’s treat, I guess) as Jake stays behind to pay the tab with a handful of loose change.  In TV time, this is a pointlessly long scene.  Jake grabs the to-go bags, counts oot the change and places it on a tray next to the register withoot a word, then takes his leave withoot so much as a “thank you”.  The two main cast members gone, the camera for some reason lingers on the employee as she gathers up the change and counts it in silence.  Not one single word was spoken between Jake or Matt and the girl at the till even though she was right in the center of the action for the whole scene.  The entire Avalon staff reminds me of the Underworld shades of Greek mythology.

Olaf is sitting on a bench trying to teach Deadpool the finer points of chess.  I guess the writers realized that it had been a while since Olaf spoke as if English were anything other than his native tongue, so they decide to have him misstate the expression “oot of left field” as “oot of right field”.  Olaf notices that Billy looks distracted and asks him what’s wrong, so Green Lantern vents aboot living with his dad for a spell.  Olaf offers to be Billy’s sounding board whenever he may need one and Deadpool seems to realize that he wisely befriended the one kid at Hillside worthy of befriending.

Little Twat On The Prairie lumbers over to her locker which is located just two down from Brooke’s.  Brooke correctly guesses that maximum antagonism of this homely cretin can be achieved by a simple cheery greeting.  She lets Courtney express her pathetic self-righteous indignation for a few minutes, then assures her that her visit with Dylan was completely innocent and it doesn’t take long for Courtney to buy this explanation hook, line and sinker because she’s a…well, you know what she is.  I’m running oot of insults for this nauseating asshole.  Before walking off, Brooke assures Courtney that “Dylan’s all yours”.

Another shirt-tucking scene in the girls’ locker room, but this time, the fact that Courtney is simultaneously tucking her table cloth into her drapes while Ashley does the same with her more era-appropriate garments prevents me from engaging in more middle-aged-dude creepery.  Courtney rehashes the events of the past few hours, then expresses concern that Dylan doesn’t seem to be at school today and hopes he isn’t jeopardizing his concert opportunity with Mr. Zimmerman.  Her oversized gym bag stuffed and zipped, Ashley cuts Courtney off because she’s late for band practice and asks her to tell Matt that she’s looking for him if Courtney should see him.

Brooke comes down the stairs and approaches Dylan who is reading a book on the lounge sofa.  He explains that he stayed home this morning to finish a book report, even though the only person who was questioning his forenoon whereaboots is nowhere to be seen.  Brooke asks him how he always seems to get away with such truancy causing Dylan to launch into another soliloquy aboot how his parents don’t seem to care aboot him very much which causes me to wonder where the hell is Emilio Estevez when we need him to react to Dylan with a sarcastic, “Please…you’re breaking my heart”?  Brooke attempts to flirt, I assume, by telling Dylan that “Eddie Van Halen never had to write a book report,” which makes absolutely no sense unless Eddie Van Halen dropped oot of school right after kindergarten.  Brooke makes to leave, then stops and pretends to have just remembered something.  She fishes in her bag, pulls oot a small wrapped present and hands it to Dylan, saying it was something that she found at the mall yesterday.  Dylan opens it with suspicion and reveals a silver-plated music box.  Brooke leaves with a smile as Dylan examines and lovingly strokes his unexpected gift.

Matt and the jocks stroll into the lounge and I notice that a girl sitting nearby on the stairs is the same strangely mute cash register attendant from The Avalon a few scenes ago, still wearing the same ootfit.  Dylan is playing with his music box on the sofa so, of course, Matt must stir up some shit.  He asks Dylan if he “stole the music box or something”, proving that Matt really only has one go-to insult to utilize in the presence of leather jacket wearing rebels (his reaction to Dylan’s use of the word “raiment” in the first episode was to ask him if he “stole a dictionary or something”).  Dylan’s hand is balled into a fist as he counter-attacks by saying he heard it was a good game last night, “especially the second half”.  Dylan obviously has more of a knack for trash talk because Matt reacts by saying, “You want a piece of advice?  Watch your mooth!”  Dylan asks if Matt’s looking for trouble and Matt replies, “No.  I’m just looking at a wuss with a music box”.  Dylan launches himself at Matt and they tussle for a few seconds until the jocks break them apart as the Avalon employee scoots oot of the way to avoid the scuffle.  Backing away, Matt shouts, “One of these days, I’m gonna take your head off!” while the gal from The Avalon hides behind a pillar.  The scene closes with a few bars of scene-ending music that is far more menacing and dramatic than the actual pseudo-fight we just witnessed.

The Avalon.  Jake and Ashley are at a booth talking aboot the events of the previous paragraph, even though they weren’t there at the time.  Ashley picks idly at what looks like a blueberry scone while wondering what it could mean that Matt is going around starting fights.  Jake reveals that he has a feeling Matt “snuck oot at lunch hour to have a drink”, which means that these two are still circling the drain of Matt’s drinking problem but still haven’t figured oot a course of action beyond whining at each other aboot it.  Ashley once again tells Jake that they’ve got to talk to him, but this time she appends the word “now” to the end of the sentence.  I’ll believe it when I see it, Dope Whisperer.

Courtney is at Dylan’s locker attempting to console him for Matt’s “unforgiveable” behavior, even though the biggest reaction she can get oot of him aboot the incident is a dismissive shoulder shrug.  Dylan tells her to forget aboot it, which of course does nothing to stem the tide of her clingy, repetitive and unsolicited concern.  Remember, Dylan, you have no one to blame for the endless and inept flirtation of this walking kudzu vine but yourself.  Dylan walks away and Courtney stares after him in an infatuated trance, leading to our next incredible dream sequence:

Dylan emerges onto a neon-lit stage, guitar slung low over his leather-clad shoulder.  The crowd – composed entirely of the Fifteen cast and a few of the more familiar extras – goes wild.  Dylan high-fives the front row and mouths, “I love you!  I love you!” to his adoring fans.  A keyboard riff that sounds like it was composed by Asia or Saga fills the arena as Dylan extends his hand to Courtney and pulls her up onto the stage, a la Springsteen and Courtney Cox.  Dylan revs up his electric guitar as Courtney dances by his side.  I don’t have words to adequately describe this.  This is Courtney’s own fucking fantasy, yet she dances more ridiculously than Elaine Benes, bopping around woodenly and throwing elbows like she’s having an epileptic seizure.

court dream

Kelly and Brooke are sitting on a bench randomly trashing Olaf for being “pretty weird”.  Honestly, this is the only scene that causes me to dislike Kelly for a little while, because come on…why pick on poor Olaf when you could be ranking on Courtney instead?  They mock his wardrobe, his (nonexistent) accent, and his fondness for chess as Billy comes down the stairs and overhears them.  He asks them what’s wrong with chess and they inform him that it’s “a game for weenies”.  Deadpool presses further and asks if they think there’s something wrong with Olaf in general.  They opine that he’s “not one of us” but concede that Billy should feel free to be friends with whoever he likes.

Courtney shows up and pulls Billy aside to talk.  Before she can say whatever it is she wants to say, Billy asks her what she thinks of Olaf.  Completely oblivious to the fact that her little brother is having a social-moral crisis, she tells him to “forget aboot Olaf” and then CHANGES THE FUCKING SUBJECT TO GODDAMN DYLAN AGAIN, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!!  Holy shit, do I hate this wench.  She’s wondering if Dylan “ever talks aboot her” as Deadpool finally gets a clue aboot her all-encompassing obsession with his mentor in delinquency.  Billy thinks this is hilarious, and I find it hilarious to watch him react with hilarity to his sister’s pathetic infatuation.  You see, THIS is why Ryan Reynolds is a Hollywood A-lister and Sarah Douglass is probably bagging groceries at a Loblaws in Vancouver.  Finally, Deadpool agrees to fish for information aboot Dylan’s feelings for Courtney on the condition that she rent him 2 videos this coming weekend, an arrangement to which she of course concedes.  Incidentally, I think this scene was Deadpool’s finest moment for his entire 4 season involvement with the show.

Brooke is in her room voguing in the mirror next to a poster of Madonna’s “Vogue”.  Enter Cosby Sweater who proceeds to give her sister some unsolicited shit for making a move on Dylan.  Dutch Boy’s got more fire in her loins than usual today, and she threatens not only to tell Dylan aboot Brooke’s ulterior motives, but also to tell her English teacher aboot the illicitly obtained papers she’s been turning in.  Finally, Brooke stands up and tells her not to dare even think aboot doing such a thing, instigating a stare-down test of the wills which Brooke wins handily, of course.  Defeated, Dutch Boy says that no, she would never tell on her sister, but it would serve her right if someone did.

Billy enters The Avalon and walks back to the booth in the pinball room where his sister is waiting for his report aboot what Dylan thinks of her.  He tells her that he didn’t get a chance to bring it up because Dylan was busy with “someone” who was over at his garage.  Withoot speaking Brooke’s name, Deadpool generously and with a flair for empathy that clearly isn’t genetic tells her to forget aboot renting him the videos.  Courtney is crushed and I realize that this episode is making me smile far more than usual.

Cut to Dylan’s garage where Brooke is asking him if he likes the music box.  He tells her that he does.  Since Dylan is conveniently holding his guitar for no apparent reason, she requests that he play something and he asks if she wants to hear anything in particular.  Yes, in fact, she’d like to know if he knows any songs by The Grapes of Wrath (according to Wikipedia, “The Grapes of Wrath are a Canadian rock band formed in 1983”. Knowledge is power!).  Dylan says that he knows a few songs and that they’re “a pretty good band”, so Brooke informs him that they’ll be giving a concert nearby next Saturday in the hopes that he’ll ask her to go.  He does, but she declines, saying that she’ll be going to the concert with some guy named Terry, an obviously fictitious 12th grader with whom Brooke alleges to be going oot.  She then suddenly exclaims that she needs to go meet Terry at the mall right now and scurries oot the door leaving Dylan to stare at the camera in bewilderment.

Brooke and Kelly are back at The Avalon counter as Brooke explains how she led Dylan on, but then made up a story aboot dating some guy in the twelfth grade in response to Dylan’s invite to the Grapes show.  (I just call ‘em “The Grapes” now.  Even though I’m completely unfamiliar with them, I think I’ve earned the right to call them whatever I want just for mentioning them so many times on my blog page.)  Kelly asks if she’s going to “reel him in” now and Brooke says that she thinks she’ll just “let him dangle for a while”.

There’s precious little time left in this episode, but just enough, it seems, for one more round of deliciously frustrating conversation between Matt and Ashley in the pinball room.  Ashley says she wants to talk and Matt says sure while preparing to slip a couple of quarters into the dysfunctional pinball machine.  She tells him to stop – she wants his undivided attention, apparently – and he reluctantly obeys, stepping away from the machine.  Matt guesses aloud that she wants to lecture him aboot starting the fight with Dylan earlier, but no, this time Ashley is equipped with an unusually firm resolve and she tells him that she wants to talk aboot his drinking.  Before he can effectively shout the topic away, she comes right oot and says that she thinks he’s an alcoholic (“there.  I said it.”)  On a roll, Ashley tells him that she found his flask which is the same thing as admitting that she was snooping through his knapsack behind his back.

Matt:  I.  DON’T.  HAVE. A. DRINKING. PROBLEM.  What I’ve got is a girlfriend who won’t mind her own business!

Ashley:  but it is my business because I love you.

Matt:  We’re gonna drop this subject, okay?  RIGHT NOW!

Ashley:  no, we’re not gonna drop it.  you’ve got a drinking problem and you need to face it.

Matt:  I DO NOT HAVE—

Ashley:  Yes, you do!  i’m worried sick and I can’t stand it anymore!

Matt:  Then maybe you need a new boyfriend.

Ashley:  matt—

Matt:  If that’s the way you feel, then it sounds to me like it’s time you found someone else!

And with that, another episode ends with a close-up shot of Ashley doing her damnedest to look even more distraught than she did the last five times an episode ended on an extended shot of her distraught little face.

sad

Life is unbearable.