The Sorrow & The Pity

underwear

Season 1, Episode 11

Holy shit!  Literally 2 seconds into this episode, before anyone has spoken a word, I already need to stop and point oot some things of great interest with a visual aid.  Unsurprisingly, we open on Ashley and Courtney sitting at their booth in The Avalon.  In the screen shot below, you’ll notice that Filth Pig is back, serving up a couple of OJs to Mesdames Misery and Despair, but his apron is clean and fresh, plus he’s ditched the disgusting rag that was always slung over his shoulder in previous episodes.  I’m a little torn aboot this.  On the one hand, this sudden dedication to hygiene threatens my ability to continue referring to him as Filth Pig, but the fact that I can now look at him withoot a puke bucket next to my desk is a marked improvement.  Now look at the girl on the far right sitting alone at a table beneath the “Café” sign.  Though she’s yet to be identified by name, I can tell you that this is Roxanne, someone we won’t meet until next season at which time she will become an integral part of the main cast:

Inkedpig_LI

Okay, back to the action.  Ashley is expressing muted exhaustion aboot the stressful weekend she just endured, punctuating her whispered weariness by declaring, “i feel like a hamster on one of those treadmill thingies”.  Those “thingies” are simply called “treadmills”, you fucking dolt.  I thought Ashley was supposed to be smart, but maybe she’s just studious, which isn’t the same “thingie”, of course.  Courtney begins to talk aboot her equally lousy weekend when Filth Pig the waiter returns and delivers what look like two pastries to the Booth of Anguish even though there’s no fucking way this mini-psych ward is going to take a single bite of food while engulfed in such an acute level of melodrama.  The ball back in Ashley’s court, she apologizes for leaving the party so abruptly on Friday night and starts to explain what happened, which means that these two either met at The Avalon or arrived together, sat down, ordered their drinks and pastries, then talked for several minutes or longer and yet, this is the first time that the fucking enormous pachyderm in the room is addressed by either of them.  Courtney asks if Matt got into some kind of trouble.  Ashley doesn’t just downplay but flat-oot lies aboot what happened, saying “no, it was nothing much, really.  he’s fine.  i just kind of needed to spend some time with him.”  She then looks at her watch and says that they have to get going or they’ll be late for school. They both take a sip from their oversized glasses of orange juice, gather their things and take the untouched pastries, plates and all, with them on their way oot the door.

Brooke and Kelly are in the girls’ locker room speculating as to what may have happened with Matt on Friday night.  After Brooke admonishes Kelly for not ferreting oot the gossip with her usual aplomb, Kelly assures her that she will find oot.

Cindy and Olaf are dragging one of their newly constructed recycle bins into the student lounge.  It’s a roughly 3 x 2 x 2 foot cardboard box with a felt or vinyl covering held on by yellow masking tape, and one of Cindy’s stupid “If you love this planet…think” signs scotch taped to the front, the tangible result of their sad little Friday night arts and crafts party.  Brooke and Kelly stroll up and Olaf informs them that it took them all weekend to construct four of these shabby eyesores.  Brooke responds with another oddly self-congratulatory statement aboot the “success” of the recycling program, but this time when Cindy calls her oot for taking underserved credit, Kelly backs up her frenemy by telling Cindy that Brooke has been talking up recycling to anyone who will listen.  As Brooke continues to pretend that she gives a flying fuck, Kelly gestures towards the locker vestibule, probably signaling that there’s someone more entertaining to harass over there than these two dullards.  Kelly and Brooke saunter off as Cindy turns to Olaf and asks him if he’s ever felt like throwing someone into a toxic waste dump, which is exactly the type of reaction you might expect from a hippie, if that hippie happened to live in a commune at Spahn Ranch.

bin

Of course, it was the appearance of Ashley walking to her locker that prompted Kelly to coax Brooke away from her stupid conversation with Cindy and Olaf.  They corner her at her locker as Brooke proudly informs Whisperin’ Pink that she has decided to run for Student Council President.  Once again, she takes credit for organizing the “recycling program”.  As Ashley tries to leave, Brooke gets to the real point of the ambush – fishing for information aboot her mysterious disappearance from Friday night’s party and what type of trouble Matt might have gotten into.  Ashley says it was nothing, but these two are professionals who know a lie when they hear one.

Fucking finally, we’re back at The Avalon where Matt and Ashley are at a booth they foolishly believe is private enough for them to openly discuss what did actually happen on Friday night:

Matt:  Do I have to keep telling you until I’m blue in the face?!  I DON’T WANNA TALK ABOOT IT!!

Ashley:  matt–

Matt:  Look!  I went oot and I had a few drinks and I blew off a little steam.  SO WHAT??

Ashley:  you didn’t just have a few drinks.  you got falling-down drunk in the park.

Matt:  Here we go again!

Ashley:  thank goodness jake found oot aboot it and went to help, otherwise who knows what would have happened.

Matt:  I did NOT get falling down drunk!

Ashley:  what else would you call it?  when i got there, you were flat on your face throwing up.

Matt:  Give me a break!

Ashley:  we had to half carry you home and sneak you in through the basement door so your parents wouldn’t see you.

Matt:  So this is the first time in the history of the world that a guy’s had a little too much to drink?!

This keeps going on and on, with Matt claiming he was just buzzed and Ashley countering that he wasn’t just buzzed, he was pathetic, but at least we know what all the drama was aboot now.  And now that we know, Jake’s theatrical overreaction at the party is all the more ridiculous.  Nobody ever reacted to me getting sloppy drunk by ditching a shindig and treating the situation like a dire emergency.  In fact, they usually just got some magic markers and drew penises on my face, like rational people.  Matt declares the subject closed and menacingly advises Ashley to never speak of it again.

Cut to the lounge where Courtney is holding court over Jake in mid-bitch aboot what she perceives as Dylan’s cruelty to her at the party.  At least this time, she’s angrier at herself than she is at Elvis, apparently having had a slow-motion epiphany aboot what a moron she’d been for the past two weeks.  Unfortunately, she does this by recapping every last detail of the past fortnight, as if Jake were new in town.  She calls herself an idiot, sparing me the trouble.  As she continues to berate Dylan, the smile on Jake’s face grows incrementally.  Courtney thanks Jake for standing by her and giving her a shoulder to cry on, something Jake recognizes as the perfect opening for his twenty-seventh attempt to tell his Amish aphrodisiac how he feels aboot her.  If you thought his last attempt was pitiful, dig this:

“Listen.  There’s something I really want to say, too…it’s just…look, since it’s all over between you and Dylan…and if you’re feeling kind of lonely…what it comes down to…this may sound a little bizarre…I mean, this may sound really bizarre…but…look – there’s two and a half billion guys in the world, but none of them’s around right now…so, maybe you’d like to go oot with me?”

Fuck me with a plunger, I need a second to recover from that.  In the meantime, enjoy this:

tina gif

Okay, I’m back.  Courtney responds by laughing in his face before telling him that he’s sweet and asking if he gets that tongue-tied when he asks someone oot for real.  Look, I was in high school once and I can sympathize with kids who can’t get any attention from the opposite sex, but JESUS, JAKE, WAKE THE FUCK UP AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE FACT THAT THIS ANTEDILUVIAN SASQUATCH AIN’T WORTH YOUR TIME!!  Phew…that was cathartic, but ultimately pointless.  Courtney pats Jake’s hand, thanks him again for his friendship and walks away while Jake shakes his head in heartbroken exasperation.

Indicating Cindy’s crappy recycle bin with hand gestures inspired by Vanna White, Brooke is giving an impromptu dissertation to a group of kids aboot the recycling program.  As she’s explaining the difficulty involved in constructing the bins and the fact that it took “us” all weekend to build them, Cindy and Olaf appear behind her, just in time to hear her refer to them as “her committee”.  Cindy merely sneers at this familiar scene, but Olaf goes off on a sarcastic litany that even Kelly would find impressive, concluding with, “…next Spring, maybe Brooke will build a new runway at the airport!”  Brooke brushes it off by pretending to be on good-natured ribbing terms with her Finnish foil before taking her leave, which Olaf acknowledges by blowing her a kiss.  Clearly, character consistency ain’t Ian Weir’s strong suit.  Dave (who isn’t officially “Dave” yet) gets up from the table and throws a potato chip bag into the bin, causing Cindy to go apoplectic on him because she’s a fucking maniac.  She digs the bag oot of the bin and continues digging, producing an apple core and a pair of underwear, something Olaf finds far more amusing than the humorless bitch to whom he’s attached himself.

Near the stairwell, Brooke is pressuring Kelly to start making campaign signs.  Kelly reacts to this as only she could, so Brooke refers to Kelly as her “campaign manager” in the hopes that this meaningless title might be suitable motivation for her frenemy to do gratis grunt work on her behalf.  Brooke suddenly changes the subject to an upcoming geography paper that she’d like to pay Kelly’s sister to write, but Kelly doesn’t sound so accommodating this time, so Brooke ups the price to $20.  Kelly agrees to arrange it and as Brooke ascends the stairs, adds, “You know me, Brooke.  Always happy to help you oot.  Always glad to do a favor for my good friend Brooke”, and judging by the look of mild concern on Brooke’s face, it seems she actually detected the blunt sarcasm, for once.  The scene fades oot on Kelly’s smirking face as she repeats to herself, “Always so glad…especially this time.”

Deadpool and Courtney are talking by the lockers.  Billy still feels awful aboot neglecting to turn in Dylan’s math assignment as Courtney repeatedly tells him to forget aboot it because “Dylan’s not worth it”, just as the worthless rebel descends the stairs.  Deadpool nervously beats a hasty retreat.  An uncharacteristically contrite Dylan walks up to Courtney and says, “Listen, I overheard what you were saying…” but Ma Kettle just brushes past him and says, “Good,” as Cindy emerges from behind her favorite snooping column.  The rebel and the hippie take a few steps towards each other, staring wordlessly for a very long time, before Dylan finally walks away, and I am left utterly fucking perplexed as to what that completely random stare down was meant to imply.

Jake and Ashley are at The Avalon discussing the only topic they’re capable of discussing: Matt’s drinking problem.  Jake suggests they do something drastic like inform Matt’s parents, but Ashley seems to be at the end of her martyrdom rope.  She gets up from the table and tells Jake in the most distraught whisper we’ve yet to hear escape her pouty lips that she “just can’t handle this…anymore.”  The camera pans to the back room of The Avalon where Kelly stands up from the booth she was using to eavesdrop, her mouth agape in shock and delight.

Kelly must have high-tailed it right back to Hillside because the next scene opens on her bursting into the student lounge to fill Brooke in on the juicy details of what she just heard.  After gleefully telling her that Matt is “a hopeless alcoholic”, she immediately splits, and I mentally add “the drive-by gossip drop” to Kelly’s impressively comprehensive list of bitch credentials.

Now we’re at Dylan’s garage and for some fucking reason known only to God and Ian Weir, Cindy is there.  Dylan stares at her as she wanders around his garage looking at the various pieces of garbage that pass for décor and deems it a “neat place”.  Dylan asks why she’s here as Cindy begins to tap at a professional grade Yamaha keyboard that just fucking materialized in the corner of the garage and responds that she was “in the neighborhood”.  Suddenly, she turns to face him and says, “You kind of blew it, didn’t you?” before laying into him aboot blowing his concert, being shitty to Deadpool, being shitty to Courtney, and maybe failing to broker a lasting peace deal in the Middle East, but I might be mistaken aboot that last one because I can only listen to the things that come oot of Cindy’s mouth in little quanta of sentence fragments lest I lose my mind and start sounding just like her.  She continues to berate him and punctuates her protracted psychotic lecture by wondering aloud if he’s got the guts to apologize to Deadpool and Courtney before storming oot the door.

cyn dyl

Matt is impatiently pacing in front of the soda machine as Ashley comes down the stairs.  Her Yearbook Committee meeting is running late, and it’s clear Matt is on the brink of feeling hassled.  With a nearly sociopathic level of annoyance, Matt agrees to come back in an hour and Ashley whispers her gratitude.

The Avalon.  Brooke and Kelly are at the counter as Matt enters through the door next to the payphone.  Kelly gets up and heads to the back of the café.  Perhaps she’s headed to the restroom, but I’m not entirely certain that any of these kids are equipped with digestive systems, so I could be wrong aboot that.  Wait – no, I was indeed mistaken.  She wasn’t going to the ladies’ room, just taking her spot at the eavesdropping booth in the pinball room.  Brooke asks Matt to join her at the counter.  She starts telling him aboot running for Student Council President, then abruptly cuts herself off and apologizes for “making chit-chat at a time like this”.  When Matt asks what she means by that, she replies that “we’ve all heard…aboot your alcohol problem”.  Brooke offers her insincere support, but Matt wants to know where she heard aboot all this, to which Brooke replies, “Well, Ashley, of course.  She’s really upset, so naturally, she’s telling all her friends aboot it, asking us for help.”  Astonished and seething with rage, Matt storms oot the door.  Kelly returns to the counter and a clearly satisfied Brooke declares, “There.  That should cause a few complications for Little Miss Perfect”.

Olaf’s hands are taping a sign above the recycle bin in the lounge that says “Paper Only.  No: Applecores (one word), Pop Cans, Underwear”.  Interestingly, the column upon which he’s taping this sign bears the message “Return Trays To Cafeteria”, adding yet another layer of inscrutability to this goddamn lunatic asylum of a school.  Deadpool approaches and raises a friendly inquiry aboot the inclusion of underwear on Olaf’s sign, then suddenly loses his nerve and starts to schlepp away.  Olaf calls him back.  He tells Billy that he understands he’s been going through a tough time and offers his fair-weathered friend a sympathetic ear if he ever needs to talk.  Deadpool is surprised that Olaf still wants to be his friend, so Olaf replies that he always thought they were friends and it was Billy who started acting differently.  Billy starts to explain himself, but Olaf helpfully interrupts and says he understands that Billy found oot people like Matt and Brooke think he’s weird and that maybe he was worried they’d start thinking he was weird, too.  Deadpool acknowledges the truth of Olaf’s words and just like that, Deadpool and The Dislocated Swede are friends again.  Warms my heart, that does.

Kelly is talking on the payphone at The Avalon.  She explains to the unknown recipient of her call (Dutch Boy, perhaps?) that “It’s all set up.  I cannot wait to see the look on Brooke’s face when she finds oot what’s happened to her.”

Now it’s Ashley pacing by the soda machine, nervously wringing her hands.  Matt enters through yet another door that didn’t seem to exist before this scene and meets her friendly greeting with intimidating silence.  Ashley whispers, “i thought you were gonna come at 4:30,” to which her motherfucking livid boyfriend fumes, “I needed to go for a walk to calm myself down a little.  It didn’t work!”  She timidly asks what’s wrong and Matt replies, “Oh, that’s good.  That’s really good.  The innocent routine!  I asked you not to talk aboot what happened on Friday night, and what did you do?  You went oot and spread it all over the school!  We’re FINISHED, Ashley.  I don’t ever want to talk to you again!  EVER!”

Of course, this sets us up for yet another episode closing on an extended shot of Ashley’s stunned little face, but I’m not going to bother inserting a screen shot of it this time.  As far as I’m concerned, these two assholes broke up two episodes ago, so I’ll reserve the next one of those for if and when the dissolution of their stupid relationship actually sticks.

At least Filth Pig made it through the episode with his apron still pressed and spotless.

 

Party Till The World Obeys

leave her alone

Season 1, Episode 10

Oh party, party, party!  I wanna have a party!  I need to have a party!  You better have a party! – Andrew WK

Before I even get into the blow by blow of this episode’s opening scene, I need to get a quick description of Theresa’s attire oot of the way.  It’s typical Dutch Boy fare (overalls with short bottoms over a long-sleeved turtleneck) but this time, the turtleneck is a kind of forest green and her overalls sport bright green polka dots on a white background with prominent clasps connecting the shoulder straps to the spotted bib.  Got that?  Right, let’s move on.

Brooke enters the school quietly fuming and marches over to the bench where Dutch Boy is sitting.  She glares at her sister until she finally looks up from her book and asks, “Did you wanna say something?” to which Brooke curtly replies that she was wondering the same thing aboot Theresa, specifically in reference to an apology Brooke clearly feels she deserves for enduring last night’s bold polemic from her little sister.  Brooke tells her that what she said was “totally untrue and vicious”, but to Dutch Boy’s credit and Brooke’s surprise, Theresa stands by what she said.  Aside from a priceless look she must have learned from watching Kelly in action, Dutch Boy’s only response is to ask Brooke if she’s talked to Dylan lately.  Brooke warns Theresa not to talk to her aboot Dylan or the way she broke up with him, working herself into a rage in the process, but Dutch Boy simply replies that she meant what she said and has nothing for which to apologize.  Astounded at this sudden manifestation of cajones in her fashion-impaired little sibling, Brooke loudly tells her to drop dead before storming off.  Dang, Dutch Boy!  If you keep this up and maybe ask your obviously wealthy parents to buy you a wardrobe that I can view withoot the aid of a pinhole projector, I might just start liking you as much as I do Kelly.

Matt and Jake’s private locker room.  Matt is wearing a polo shirt that’s an oversized hodgepodge patchwork of greens, purples, whites, yellows and blues.  He has one sneaker on as the other sits on the floor by his other foot that’s currently just clad in a sock.  As the scene opens, Jake is finishing the task of buttoning his shirt all the way up to the neck.  Matt declares that this afternoon, after school, he’s gonna have it oot with Coach Williams.  Jake once again advises Matt that this might not be a good idea, but Matt claims it’s his duty as team captain to advise the coach when he’s jeopardizing the team’s success and rather than cop to the fact that he’s still pissed off aboot being benched halfway through the last game, he claims that he just wants to advise the coach that “switching to a balanced offense won’t work because we’re not that kind of a team”, which might sound like some technical basketball shit, but really it’s just another way of saying that he’s still pissed off aboot being benched halfway through the last game.  Oot of nowhere, Jake abruptly loses interest in this conversation in favor of exaggerated moping.  Matt asks, “You’re not still feeling all tragic aboot Courtney, are you?”  Jake’s body language confirms Matt’s suspicions and after some redundant whining from Jake, Matt completely contradicts the sound advice he gave when the issue was raised as a hypothetical, telling Jake that he needs to come right oot and tell Courtney how he feels, no matter the ootcome.  Jake continues to moan aboot possibly risking his friendship with Aunt Bea if he divulges his feelings, causing Matt to bellow, “Look, do you have some kind of martyr complex or something?  Do you like keeping all this bottled up and feeling tragic?”  That’s two “tragics” in less than 30 seconds for those who aren’t keeping track (and why would you?  That’s my job).  Jake seems to accept Matt’s advice and resolves to talk to Courtney, as if he hadn’t been right on the precipice of doing so yesterday before she cut him off and fled The Avalon like it was on fire.

Olaf and Cindy are eating lunch together in the lounge as Olaf explains his unsubstantiated theory that Bart Simpson is Finnish, substituting the word “altitude” for “attitude” in the process to remind us of Ian Weir’s unsubstantiated theory that Olaf is Finnish.  Their asinine conversation is interrupted by Brooke who asks them how their “recycling program” is going.  Olaf tells her that they showed the petition to the principal and he agreed to install recycle bins in the school and an emotively delighted Brooke proclaims that “it’s good to know that we succeeded!”  When Cindy questions her use of the collective “we”, Brooke claims to have been talking up the cause to anyone who will listen and offers to help in any way she can.  Olaf says that they could use her help because Zimmerman agreed to install the bins, but first Olaf and Cindy have to build them.  I understand that this silly recycling subplot is boring and devoid of a point, and I also completely understand if your eyes are glazing over from reading my tenth fucking detailed episode summary, so let me explain how ridiculous this is.  First, Cindy dug through the school’s garbage cans, retrieved every piece of paper from within, and used these visual aids to shame her fellow students for not recycling.  We now know that at that time, there were no fucking recycle bins in the school, so Cindy was essentially chewing oot her classmates for not ditching school in search of the nearest recycling center every time they had a piece of paper to discard.  Then she circulates a petition in the hopes that it will convince “Old Zimmerman” to install the bins.  He is so impressed with the fact that they acquired a whopping 48 signatures that he agrees to “install” the bins – after Cindy and Olaf build them.  Got it?  Good.  Cindy tells Brooke that they’ll be having a “work party” after school and asks if she’ll be there.  Brooke exuberantly accepts the invitation before pretending to remember that she can’t make it because she promised her mom she’d help her paint the kitchen this afternoon.  As Brooke walks off, Olaf takes a long swig from his juice box and sarcastically asks Cindy, “What would we do withoot Brooke?”

Jake spots Debbie Wasserman-Schultz walking through the hall, gathers his courage and nervously calls oot to her.  Although it would seem he’s had some time to think aboot how he’s going to word his decree of adoration since Matt convinced him to do so a few scenes ago, here’s the best Jake came up with:

“Listen.  There’s something…I’m not quite sure how to start here.  I mean…I’m really not sure how to start…”. (Hint: not like this, Idiot). “…but the fact is…well, basically…Courtney, look…” and right at this moment, the crab-apple-of-Jake’s-eye seriously fucking interrupts him again with, “Sometimes I still wonder if it can work oot between me and Dylan”, proving that she’s incapable of hearing any words spoken to her that don’t address her stupid unrequited crush.  Jake begs her pardon, which is the same thing as saying, “Oh, please, do go on and on aboot Dylan for the next twenty minutes”, which, of course, she does.  Courtney decides that Dylan could probably use a shoulder to cry on right aboot now and resolves to “give him one more chance” while Jake silently assesses the pros and cons of carbon monoxide asphyxiation.

In the girls’ locker room, Brooke is explaining to Kelly that she’s having second thoughts aboot running for Student Council President because it seems like a lot of work, but quickly decides that she’ll go through with it anyway since “so many people” want her to run.  There isn’t much point to this interlude, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen Kelly and she’s at the top of her snarky game here, so it’s enjoyable just the same.

Matt and Ashley are sitting at The Avalon counter.  There are two cookies under the grimy plastic of the cake stand and a creepy dude that looks like Dieter from Sprockets wiping down the counter.  Matt is still bitching aboot Coach Williams as Ashley does her best to look interested.  We’ve heard all of this before.  I’m starting to suspect that the producers slyly insert scenes from prior episodes into the middle of the present episode in order to ensure a full 25 minute run time withoot having to pay the writers to come up with new plots.

Dylan is strutting through the halls when Jake comes down the stairs and asks if he’s got a minute.  Jake opens by telling Dylan’s he’s sorry the concert got canceled and Dylan responds that this is old news.  No shit, Jake, get with the program.  Anyhow, Jake finally gets to the point and scolds Dylan for playing with Courtney’s feelings.  Dylan patiently endures Jake’s laughable upbraiding, then looks him in the eye and says, “Wanna do me a favor, Jake?  Wanna do yourself a favor?  Keep your nose oot of my business!”, as he menacingly smacks the banister and stomps off, deliberately elbowing one of the nameless jocks on his way oot the door.

Kelly and Dutch Boy are at The Avalon knocking back some juice boxes.  They’re discussing Brooke’s general awfulness and the absurdity of her student council bid.  Kelly ominously declares that there are still a few weeks before the election, “plenty of time for something to go wrong”.  Though neither of them state it ootright, this scene marks the official formation of an alliance to take Brooke down.  Of course, Kelly is the Soviet Union to Theresa’s Bolivia, but it’s an alliance just the same.

Matt enters the lounge where Jake is waiting for him on a bench.  He’s just had his talk with Coach Williams.  Jake asks him how it went as Matt walks towards the soda machine.  The Jock Squad walk by single file, one slapping Matt on the shoulder and saying, “See you at the game tomorrow night”, the other, “Counting on you, Big Guy!  20 points, at least!”.  Incidentally, what I’ve dubbed “The Jock Squad” is always these same two guys.  Jake asks him again how the meeting went with the coach and Matt details the encounter: “I laid things right on the line.  I told Williams that he was making a total mistake and that I wasn’t gonna sit back and let him do it.”  Jake, clearly impressed, asks, “You said that?” and Matt replies, “Those words exactly…and a whole lot more,” then following an extremely pregnant pause adds, almost as an afterthought, “He kicked me off the team.” (Insert sad trombone here)

The previous scene actually goes on for a few more painful minutes, but since I feel it would have been far more effective if they just ended it right after Matt’s stunning revelation, I’m going to pretend that’s how it went down, other than to say that Matt is now more riled up for tonight’s party than ever.

An exterior shot of a high-rise apartment building is followed by an interior shot of…Deadpool’s Dad’s apartment!  10 episodes in and this is the first scene that takes place somewhere other than the school, The Avalon or Dylan’s garage.  Courtney, dressed in a 250-thread-count cotton percale queen fitted sheet, is strategically placing bowls of chips and Cheetos on various surfaces in the living room.  She places a bowl of chips on a table behind the sofa, another one on an end table next to the rotary phone, then walks back behind the sofa, picks up the bowl of chips she just placed there and moves it to the coffee table.  She moves on to fluffing the couch pillows when Deadpool walks in and asks her why she’s doing all this when the party doesn’t start for another three hours, saving me the trouble of shouting the same thing at my monitor.  Billy tries to warn her that she should hide items like the TV and VCR so they don’t get destroyed by their wild bunch of nearly zombified friends, but Frau Farbissina would much rather talk aboot whether Deadpool thinks Dylan will show up.  This sets Billy into a panic, as he’s afraid of the reception he’ll get from The Fonz after ruining his concert opportunity.  Billy runs oot of the room and Courtney resumes shifting the bowls of chips around.

party prep

Back at The Avalon, Ashley is expressing her incredulity to Matt aboot his getting kicked off the team.  She tells him she’s “really, really sorry” and Matt replies that it’s no big deal, setting up his pink storm cloud of a girlfriend to insist that it IS a big deal.  Ashley suggests that they skip the party tonight, but Matt’s not hearing any of that shit.  Ashley says okay and asks what time he wants to pick her up, but Matt tells her he has some things to do (glug glug glug), so he’ll just meet her at Deadpool’s place at around 8:30.  Ashley says she would rather they go together, prompting Matt to look at his watch, rise from his seat and say, “I gotta go,” which is freaking awesome because it allows us to thoroughly enjoy another one of these:

party sad

And now IT’S MOTHERFUCKING PARTY TIME!!  The scene opens on Brooke and Kelly wondering how Matt is taking being kicked off the team, even though Jake and Ashley are the only two people who have any possible way of knowing aboot it (hive mind).  Kelly thinks it’s tragic and Brooke quietly agrees before they both burst oot laughing.  Brooke thinks it’s just priceless that so much misfortune befell both Matt and Dylan this week until Kelly reminds her of their common bond, “they’re the two men in your life”.  Keep pushing those buttons, Kel.

In a normal episode, there are usually two to three interchangeable extras utilized to make the school and The Avalon appear at least mildly populated beyond the 11 person cast, but for this party, they pulled oot all the stops.  The awkward pantomimed background “partying” in which these extras are engaged would need a post unto itself if I wanted to do it proper justice, but one girl in particular just wanders around the living room, constantly cutting in between the main characters to create the illusion that the room is considerably more crowded than it really is.

Enter Ashley in a long, black trench coat over a pink top tucked into a conservative khaki skirt (party clothes!).  Courtney greets her and asks where Matt is, and Ashley expresses (sus)sur(us)prise that he isn’t here yet, so it must be after 8:30.  Brooke and Kelly interrupt to antagonize Pink Denim aboot Matt’s absence, successfully causing her to become more worried than she already was.  Courtney takes Ashley’s coat as her tormentors continue to tail her around the living room no matter how hard she tries to dodge them.

Dylan makes his entrance through a different door that I thought led into the kitchen, but I guess much like The Avalon, this apartment – you know what?  Fuck it, I don’t care.  I could spend the rest of my life trying to dissect the locales these little assholes inhabit because the sets were designed by a fucking lunatic, period.  He exchanges some brief words with Brooke and then goes to mingle.

DylBrooke

Next, he’s accosted by Courtney.  Come to think of it, why the hell did Dylan even show up at this menagerie of teasers and stalkers in the first place?  While Courtney fawns all over Dylan, Deadpool is looking on nervously in the background.  Dylan tries to flee, but Courtney pathetically clings to the arm of his leather jacket so tenaciously that he actually has to violently wrest his arm from her grip.  Just when he thinks he’s got a clear exit plan, here comes Deadpool vomiting apologies all over his former mentor.  Dylan tells Billy to forget aboot it and Courtney grabs his arm again, eliciting this ootburst from the object of her infatuation on his way oot the door: “Would you just leave me alone?!  Just let go of my arm and stop bugging me!  I don’t like being grabbed and I don’t wanna talk aboot anything!  CAN’T YOU GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEAD I’M JUST NOT INTERESTED??”  Great party, Courtney, good job.

Courtney turns around in tears only to walk into Brooke and Kelly who launch into their typical insincere apology schtick.  Ashley walks over to Courtney’s side as her friend tells everyone to just leave her alone and runs towards the kitchen (?), just as Jake is entering from the same door in an obvious panic.  Ashley starts to go after Courtney as Jake grabs her arm and says, “Ashley, wait!”  She replies, “not now, jake, this is important” and Jake declares, “No, this is important!  It’s Matt!  He’s in trouble.  He’s in really bad trouble and we don’t have time to talk!  You’ve got to come with me…NOW!”  They rush oot the door withoot retrieving their coats, which I assume are in a pile on the bed in the kitchen.

Soaps are all aboot the cliffhanger, my friends, so if you want to know what happens to Drinky McDrunkface, stay tuned, same Bat Time, same Bat Channel.

Mama Says Be Glad

banner

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.