Commercial Break

Imagine having to start your acting career playing the younger brother of this frightful beast:

shock

That’s precisely the handicap from which Ryan Reynolds has been attempting to recover for over a quarter of a century, and I must admit he’s done a very impressive job.  But like most Hollywood success stories, fame comes at a price.  Whether one’s poison is alcohol, cocaine, heroin, gambling, promiscuity or Toon Blast, addiction touches us all, as Ryan so courageously illustrates in the following PSAs:

***

Return of The Phantom

ash back

Season 2, Episode 4

We open on Brooke moping in bed amidst a menagerie of emotional support (stuffed) animals.

animals

Of course, Brooke’s hastily fashioned happy place can’t withstand the onslaught of Amanda’s inevitable intrusion, so she reluctantly gets up and walks back over to her desk where she’d abandoned her homework in progress.  Brooke defends herself against her little sister’s bitterly sarcastic taunts by calling her “Daddy’s Little Darling”, to which Amanda responds with a mock apology for not realizing her elder sibling’s life was “so tragic”.

Dylan enters The Avalon and approaches the booth where Billy is sitting alone reading a comic book.  He greets The Little Drummer Boy with a cheerful “Hey, Kid,” only to receive a confusing dose of annoyed sarcasm in reply.  Fonzie asks if something’s bugging him, but since Deadpool is under the impression that he was fired from the band in absentia, he leaves Dylan to guess the source of the enormous stick that’s wedged between his (world’s sexiest) ass cheeks.  Finally, Billy starts to chew him oot but finds himself at a loss for words.  He gets up from his seat and shouts, “I thought you were a friend of mine,” before bolting oot the door.

In the student lounge, Matt is reading a magazine as he lobs a half-eaten apple into a nearby trash can.  From behind, The Headbanded Whore of Hillside shouts, “Two points!  Matt Walker does it again!” as she sensuously slides her ass into the chair next to him.  They proceed to repeat the same conversation they had yesterday, nearly word for word, so I let the video roll while I get up and make myself a sandwich.  Turkey breast, Swiss cheese, tomato and mayo on marble Jewish rye, to be exact.  I return from my brief repast to find that these two asswipes are still apology-flirting until Matt finally switches gears and tells Courtney that he was thinking of writing a letter to Jake, but “you know…writing letters?  Guys have to be careful aboot that sort of thing…people might start to think you’ve gone all sensitive.”  They both agree that it will be good to see Jake again in “just another few weeks”, or 9 ½ more blog posts for those who prefer to mark the passage of time by my online activity.  Courtney gets up to go to class, but before she’s oot of earshot, Matt asks her if things are getting serious between her and Jake.  Loathe to jeopardize any potential romance, she plays it safe and tells Matt, “Wanna know the truth?  I’m still wondering myself.  If I ever figure it oot, I’ll let you know.”  Great, while you’re at it, how aboot letting Jake know, too, you festering genital wart.

The next scene opens on these three total strangers walking through the locker vestibule reminiscing aboot some unknown kid’s “wild party” that raged on until 2:00 a.m. and its upcoming repeat performance:

strangers

They continue to talk as they approach the stairs when Brooke appears and says hi, indicating that she must be familiar with these episode interlopers.  Apparently, she’s expecting an invite to the party, but as soon as she makes this apparent, they beat a hasty retreat up the stairs.  Amanda is lurking close by wearing a satisfied smirk, so Brooke loudly laments the trio’s rudeness and “inexcusable” behavior.  Seemingly unfamiliar with her new sister, she sets Amanda up for some easy shots by wondering aloud, “What’s going on around here?  People used to look up to me.  I used to be popular!”, but Amanda merely grins and walks away.

I didn’t think the Nick cartoon “Doug” dated back this far, but apparently I was wrong aboot that, because the next scene opens on Leah wearing a Doug T-shirt as she discusses her upcoming sleepover with some other girl in the locker vestibule.  They greet Erin at the soda machine and continue debating what videos to rent for the party.  Erin asks them if they’re discussing Leah’s planned Friday night sleepover and they confirm that they are but again neglect to invite her.

Courtney schleps into The Avalon and Brooke calls oot to her from a nearby table.  Stevie Nicks of Saskatoon takes the opportunity to rip into Brooke for reading Jake’s letter and blaming it on Matt, so Brooke takes that as her opportunity to turn the tables with a torrent of self-pity: “Fine.  You can think what you like aboot me, it doesn’t matter.  I’m getting used to it.  People don’t have a clue where I’m coming from and can’t be bothered to find oot.  You know, you don’t have to put up with my sister, or my father, or with four hours of geometry homework every night!”  She then gets up from her seat and splits just when I was foolishly thinking that this scene might have a discernible point.

Oh fuck.  I knew the time would come sooner or later, but I guess now’s as good a time as any to rip off the band-aid and get our first taste of Stacy oot of the way.  Amanda comes down the stairs and sees a blue pom-pom laying on the floor, so she bends to pick it up.  A girl in a blue cheerleader uniform approaches, takes the pom-pom from Amanda and introduces herself as Stacy Collins.  This is the grotesque, groaning, awkward swamp thing I’ve dubbed Who Farted, and I will continue to refer to her as such for the duration of the series.  They chat for a few seconds and Who Farted makes it clear that she admires Amanda’s older sister, eliciting a less-than-subtle sneer from her new acquaintance.

stacy first

Back to the student lounge for round 2 of Dylan vs. Deadpool.  Before Billy can dodge him, Dylan desperately pleads with his little friend to tell him what the problem is, so Deadpool breathlessly blurts, “I don’t believe you!  You kick me oot of the band, you don’t even have the guts to tell me to my face…and then you pretend that you don’t know what the problem is!”  Dylan replies, “I kicked you oot of the band?  How come I don’t know anything aboot it?”  Billy explains that Amanda told him, so Dylan marches directly over to her locker to give her the third degree.  In an uncharacteristically nervous tone, she advises Dylan that Chris told her, prompting Dylan to declare, “I’m gonna kill him!”

Ugh.  Matt and Erin at The Avalon counter.  She tells Matt aboot how she wasn’t invited to Leah’s party and once again decries her lack of friends, so Matt gives her a pity invite to a movie on Friday night while Courtney conducts a wordless transaction with an employee at the register in the background.  Erin thanks her brother and leaves, so Herpes Simplex 2 saunters over to tell him that the conversation upon which she was eavesdropping was “really sweet”.  He shrugs off her compliment, but she continues, “I mean it.  Lots of guys wouldn’t even bother to notice that their sister was feeling lousy.”  Okay, that’s it.  FUCK YOU, COURTNEY!  Your brother was feeling lousy for the entirety of last season, but you wouldn’t remember that, of course, because you couldn’t bother to stop obsessing aboot Dylan long enough to notice, you fucking hypocritical flea-infested Yeti.

Jumpin’ Jesus on a Jitney, it’s like they’re playing musical chairs at the fucking Avalon counter!  Just as the last vapid conversation draws to a close, Arseman wanders up to the register to mutely pantomime buying a pack of gum.  She stares at Courtney as she walks past, eliciting a confused “What?” from her friend, to which she coyly replies, “Oh, nothing.  Nothing at all.”  In other words, Courtney, your flirtation is aboot as subtle as Charlie Sheen on a 3 day Vegas bender.

Back at Hillside, Erin is sitting on a bench when Leah walks by and says hi.  She asks her mopey friend, “Is 6:00 okay for you…for the sleepover Friday night?”  When Erin expresses surprise, Leah tells her that of course she’s invited, she just didn’t feel she had to ask her because they’re “best friends”, so she assumed it was a given.  Erin smiles, and so do I at the realization that this ridiculous and pointless plot line has finally resolved itself.

Shit…okay, it almost finally resolved itself.  Now she has to break her date with Matt, which the next scene mercifully takes care of promptly.  As Erin walks away from her brother, Dylan swaggers over to his nearby locker and Matt asks him if he’s ever tried to keep up with a 12-year-old, to which Leather Jacket cryptically replies, “Not lately.”  Matt smiles and says, “Don’t bother, it’s impossible,” before walking away from his…sworn enemy?  New friend?  Conveniently situated acquaintance?  This fucking show makes less and less sense by the second.

Courtney and Arseman sit down at a booth in The Avalon with some drinks and a couple of plates of French fries.  They’re discussing Ashley and the fact that no one has heard from her since she left for private school.  Courtney resolves to write her “best friend” a letter.  Switching gears, Arseman straight up asks her what’s going on between her and Matt.  When Courtney asks what she means, Arseman tells her that the way they act around each other is “not exactly like Romeo and Juliet, but not exactly like Shredder and the Ninja turtles, either,” and I am impressed at the durability of my laptop while I proceed to pummel it violently with my fists.  Courtney protests that since he was Ashley’s boyfriend, she never even thought aboot him that way before finally conceding that “he’s kinda cute” and wistfully pretending that this is the first time she’s ever stopped to think aboot any potential attraction.

At the Blackwell garage, Dylan is perched on a sawhorse noodling on his guitar when Chris enters and asks how it’s going.  Not only are Chris and Dylan’s jeans identical, but even the Ramones-style holes in the knees are in the exact same spots.  Dylan gets up and faces Chris, telling him that he knows he told Amanda that Billy was kicked oot of the band.  Chris acknowledges this fact, brushing it off as “just a slip of the tongue, I guess.”  Dylan grabs him by the shirt prompting Chris to snarl, “Get that hand off me…NOW!!”  Releasing his grip, Dylan sternly warns his delinquent bandmate, “Just don’t you ever pull a stunt like that again.  It’s my band…and Billy stays.”

chris dyl fight

Who Farted enters The Avalon with two other girls and tells them that she’ll “catch up with them in a sec” upon seeing Brooke sitting alone at a booth.  She stands there awkwardly groaning flattering platitudes at her idol before inviting her to come join her and her friends in the pinball room.  Brooke snottily declines, but then seems to realize that this is the biggest display of undeserved adulation she’s received in quite some time, so she instead invites Who Farted to join her.  She does, of course.  Who Farted is annoying enough in these early episodes, but at least at this point when she’s still a little kid that hasn’t yet blossomed into full ghastliness, I can still listen to her speak withoot simultaneously plotting oot the details of a multi-state killing spree.  She tells Brooke that she’s always wanted to talk to her, but finds her a little intimidating, which seems to please Brooke immensely, and a new friendship is born.  Christ, I wish Kelly was still here.

oh

Band practice at Dylan’s garage, with Deadpool back behind the drum kit wearing a shit-eating grin.  The song (for lack of a better word) ends and Billy and Chris immediately begin sniping at each other, causing Dylan to shout, “Alright, THAT’S ENOUGH!!  We’re a band!  We’re in this together, so let’s just get on with it!”  Chris lays off Billy long enough to growl that the band needs a singer, and Dylan agrees.

Brooke and her new protégé enter her room as Who Farted marvels at its opulence.  Who Farted suggests they go to the mall, but Brooke advises she’s loaded down with geometry homework.  Not missing a beat, Who Farted officially gets into Brooke’s good graces by telling her that her brother is a whiz at geometry and he might be willing to “help” her (the going rate is $20 a pop, incidentally).  Enter Amanda with a message from Dad who wants to know how her homework is going, prompting Brooke to respond, “Tell Dad it’s completely under control and tell him my friend and I are at the mall.”

A waiter at The Avalon delivers some food to the table of a solitary girl who looks strikingly familiar from behind just as Dylan enters from the pinball room and spots her.

ash avalon

“Ashley!  What are you doing here?”

“just having some fries.”

“No, I mean what are you doing in town? I thought you were at private school.”

“i was.”

“Well, then, how come you’re back?”

“i’m not.”

“Sorry?”

“i’m not here.  you didn’t see me.  so just don’t tell anyone, alright?”

“Look…um…I don’t get this.”

“just don’t tell anyone…please.”

She gets up and runs oot the door as I heave a sigh of relief that Whisperina hasn’t lost her flair for annoyingly cryptic dialogue.  I hope she finds Matt and Courtney oot in the parking lot drunkenly groping each other on top of Filth Pig’s car.

An Awkward Pause

pause

Season 2, Episode 3

On May 31, 2019, faithful and long-suffering reader Anony Mole left the following comment below my last post: “Are you done yet? (Pleezze gawd oh gawd, let the mudge be dun.)”  I always try to respond to my readers’ inquiries, so before we launch into episode 3 of Fifteen’s sublime second season, please excuse me while I address Mr. Mole’s inquiry:

Not a fucking chance in Hell, my friend.  My dad was in town for a visit for the past 3 weeks, hence the brief sabbatical.  As soon as I turned the corner from season 1 to season 2, you should have realized that this will be, as promised, a 65-episode ride.  All good?  Right, then let’s waste no further time.

Matt is alone at The Avalon reading a magazine when Dave enters and approaches his booth.  Dave is still wearing his Hillside letterman’s jacket, and I can hardly blame him considering that it’s the most prestigious garment this monotonous jock strap scrubber will ever own.  Matt wallows in self-pity for a bit, lamenting that the perusal of Sports Illustrated is his only current connection to the world of athletics.  Dave responds by droning the blues aboot his status as the team’s underwear boy in our first extended exposure to his abysmally awful acting, even by Canadian teen soap opera standards.  He encourages his hero to talk to Coach Williams aboot possibly getting another shot to play on the team, but even Matt appears too bored to be paying any attention to this somnambulistic suck-up.

Brooke is doing homework when Amanda knocks on the door and informs her sister that it’s quarter after eight and if she doesn’t leave now, she’ll be late for school.  The conversation that follows is ridiculous, but Amanda is armed with her impressive arsenal of sneering snark throughoot, and Janice notwithstanding, watching Amanda get under Brooke’s skin is the best thing this new season has thus far afforded us.

Matt is readying to leave The Avalon when Janice enters and asks him if he has a second.  He tells her that he’s in a hurry, so Hillside’s newest social reject gets right to the point:

“Look, I know we don’t really know each other, but all the same – I couldn’t help hearing what Courtney said to you the other day aboot me being…irritating.  It’s not a very nice thing to have to hear aboot yourself and I don’t think it was very fair, either.  I mean, none of you even know me!”

“Right, exactly.  And I’m sure Courtney didn’t really mean it.”

“Then why’d she say it?”

“Well, if it’s bugging you, I guess you should probably ask her.”

“OF COURSE IT’S BUGGING ME!  HOW WOULD YOU LIKE IT IF PEOPLE CALLED YOU IRRITATING??  I mean…do you think it’s true?”

“Look…I’ve really gotta run.”

janice desperate

When I was in grammar school, we used to refer to classmates such as Janice as “corroded” while pantomiming the activation of an aerosol can that I guess was supposed to symbolize an anti-corrosive spray.  What do you want from me, we were fucking eight years old.  But as the show’s name implies, these kids are supposed to be fifteen years old, yet their reactions to Janice aren’t any more clever or mature than those of my classmates at Harry S. Truman Elementary when they found themselves in the presence of the terminally awkward.

arseman romantic

Courtney and Arseman enter the locker vestibule as Sassy Afro is marveling that the piece of paper in Courtney’s hand is the third letter she’s received from Jake in less than two weeks.  Arseman tries to get Courtney to divulge its contents before scrunching her face in exaggerated anticipation and guessing (gushing) that “it’s pretty romantic, huh?”  Courtney continues to downplay the amorous nature of Jake’s missive, causing Arseman to screech, “REALLY romantic??” in a voice so profoundly irritating that Courtney has no other choice but to confirm her nosy friend’s suspicions, adding, “It’s so strange.  I mean, it must be something in the Beijing water.  Why would Jake start getting all romantic aboot me?”  Um, Courtney?  I know you have a bit of a learning curve to surmount in most situations, but do you really have no recollection whatsoever of THIS:

bad kiss 2

Matt is walking through the hall with his sister while Erin whines that she still hasn’t made any friends (fuck you, Erin – Janice could’ve been your BFF by now if you weren’t so unjustifiably particular aboot the company you keep).  Of course, Matt consoles his little sister and tells her she’s a great person and she’ll make plenty of friends, yada yada yada, but I’m too busy trying to figure oot why there’s a picture of Bob Dylan on a flyer just below his locker to pay any mind to this insipid dialogue:

bob dylan

They’re interrupted by Courtney who must have just realized that it’s been at least an hour since she shamelessly flirted with Matt while simultaneously leading Jake on from 8,508 kilometers away. (Fun fact: 8,508 km is the actual distance from Vancouver to Beijing.)  Here’s a verbatim transcript of the conversation that ensues:

Courtney:  So, how are you these days?

Matt:  I’m fine.

Courtney:  Good.

Matt:  Why shouldn’t I be?

Courtney:  What’s that supposed to mean?

Matt:  Well, just the way you asked.

Courtney:  No, I didn’t mean it that way.  I just meant, kinda, ‘how’s it goin’?’

Matt:  Like I said, fine.

Courtney:  Like I said, good.

Holy Mother of Satan on a goddamn saltine, Binkley.  Are you motherfucking serious with this shit?

Matt finally breaks the centrifugal pull of this vapid conversation by asking Courtney if she’s heard from Ashley.  She hasn’t.  He then informs her that he’s contemplating having a chat with Coach Williams and Courtney feigns excitement while undressing him with her eyes.

Amanda is sitting with some girls at The Avalon.  It seems that Brooke’s ire aboot the geography paper incident isn’t the only thing that somehow transferred from Theresa to Amanda during the season break, because Brooke’s new sister is asking her friends what they think of Dylan withoot even trying to hide her obvious infatuation for the perplexingly popular rebel.  Enter Deadpool, who nervously drums his fingers on the table and tenders a breathless, “Hey,” to the object of his obvious infatuation.  Had Amanda not already made her opinion known that she thinks Billy’s a doofus, her icy sneer at his greeting would have made that just as abundantly clear.  Unfazed, Billy tries to impress her by telling her that he’s in a band, adding, “We’re getting pretty hot.  I mean, we’re getting really hot,” before walking back to the pinball room, apparently satisfied with his latest attempt to win Amanda’s affections (something her permanently curled lip makes me doubt the existence of).

Courtney is doing homework in the lounge as Matt approaches and takes a seat next to her.  They talk for a few seconds until Courtney abruptly rises from her seat and says she needs to go talk to Arseman, asking Matt to keep an eye on her books.  As soon as she’s oot of sight, Matt lifts the top book from the pile to reveal Courtney’s letter to Jake, which he promptly begins to read.  Brooke sneaks up from behind and does the same over his shoulder.  She makes her presence known by bellowing, “Is this for real??” and grabbing the letter from Matt’s hand.  Brooke proceeds to read aloud: “Dear Jake: I’ve been thinking aboot you, too.  In fact, I guess I’ve been thinking aboot you a lot…” before Matt snatches it back and tells her it’s a private letter.  Brooke retorts that he was reading it as Matt replaces it between Courtney’s books while Queen B ponders the infinite comedic potential of the fact that Courtney’s in love with Jake.  Matt begs Brooke not to tell Courtney that she was reading the letter to which she replies, “Oh no, no, no, no.  You were reading the letter.  I was just passing by and couldn’t help noticing.”  Before taking her leave, Brooke assures Matt that she won’t tell Courtney in a manner that makes it clear she has every intention of telling Courtney at the earliest opportunity.  This might be a good time for a stiff belt from your flask, Walker, especially considering that Ashley’s temporarily oot of your hair.

At the Avalon counter, Chris and Dylan are expressing their animosity towards each other through the vehicle of an unofficial band meeting:

Chris:  I know it may be a hard concept to grasp, but it is the 90’s.

Dylan:  Wow.  You’re kidding, Chris!  Man, you could have fooled me.

Chris:  Which is why it would be kind of nice if the band could move into the 90’s, too.

Dylan:  What’s wrong with playing a couple of Hendrix songs?

Chris:  He’s a fossil!

Dylan:  Oh, come on!

Chris:  They add a few violins and play him in elevators.

Dylan:  He’s the greatest guitarist that ever lived and if you don’t know that

Chris:  All I’m saying –

Dylan:  I know what you’re saying.  You wanna turn this into a thrash metal band.

Chris:  I do not!  I’m just saying we need an edge(incidentally, they could also use a Bono and an Adam Clayton and a Larry Mullen, Jr.)…otherwise, we may as well call ourselves Dylan and The Dreamers and look for gigs at old folks’ homes!

After a few more seconds of this, Chris makes it clear that he means business and reiterates that they need a new drummer.  Dylan begins to loudly defend Billy as Amanda walks over and says hi.  To her chagrin, Dylan takes this as his opportunity to extricate himself from the conversation, so she hops up on the stool next to the remaining short-fused dirt bag.  Chris kids her aboot her obvious crush on Dylan, then adds that he thought she was Billy’s girlfriend.  Amanda protests that it’s just Billy who’s always hanging around her trying to tell her what a great drummer he is, and Chris can’t resist taking the bait.  He tells her that Billy’s lousy and “that’s why we had to let him go.”

Erin is sitting in the student lounge when a couple of girls, one of whom indicates that her name is Leah, approach and start talking to her.  There.  Friends who aren’t Janice.  Now quit yer fucking whining, Erin.

Brooke is once again laboring over a pile of math homework in the lounge (remember, she’s on academic probation for the geography project fiasco) when Arseman saunters over to her table to engage in some asinine small talk.  Brooke sighs and indicates that the problem upon which she’s working is impossible, so Arseman offers to help because apparently, the memories of Brooke’s countless previous displays of infinite awfulness fade very fast beneath that glorious afro.  Brooke of course takes this as an offer to complete the assignment in its entirety, so Arseman hits her with some trademark sass, though I doubt she’ll be capable of remembering this interaction by the time she has her next chance encounter with Brooke.

New friends Erin and Leah are walking through the hall.  They run into Matt at his locker.  She introduces Leah as “my new friend” and Matt smiles.  That’s it.

Seriously, that’s it.  Move on to the next paragraph.

Brooke and Courtney are getting changed in the girls’ locker room.  Withoot a moment’s hesitation, Brooke asks aboot her budding romance with Jake and all those “torrid love letters” that “Matt told me you were writing”.  She reacts to Courtney’s look of shock by feigning surprise that Matt read the letter withoot her permission before Shit Drapes storms oot of the locker room.  Looks like you’re finally getting your mojo back, Brooke.

Dave the Dullard is at the soda machine as Matt comes down the stairs.  Underwear Boy asks how the meeting with Coach Williams went and Matt details the encounter in a slow, frustrated tone that implies it didn’t go as planned.  But Matt is cleverer than you may realize, dear readers, because the upshot of his long-winded, morosely delivered account is that he’s back on the team.  Oh, Matt, you irrepressible scamp you!

But the fun doesn’t last for long, because here comes Courtney down the stairs in the hissiest of hissy huffs to give Matt some well-deserved what for.  She calls Matt a jerk, setting Dave up for his first opportunity to deliver everyone’s favorite catch phrase: “Am I missing something here?

Holy shit, another superfluous goddamn Erin scene.  She’s at her locker when two of her friends and some other girl are discussing a sleepover party at Leah’s, to which Erin apparently hasn’t been invited.

I honestly don’t recall what happens in this next scene, but I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be great.  How do I know this, you ask?  Just look:

cj&m

That’s right.  Headband/Shoulder Sweater Courtney is doing homework at The Avalon while Janice approaches from one side and Matt from the other.  All things considered, it’s unlikely that what’s to follow will be anything short of priceless, so let’s waste no further time.

Matt makes a wide berth around Courtney’s booth, eventually leaning over the back of the seat across from her while Janice hesitates for a moment before skulking back to the pinball room.  Matt begins to explain, “The letter was just laying there…I couldn’t resist,” but it’s going to take more than this to cut through Ma Kettle’s icy façade.  She tells Matt to “stop weaseling”, which I didn’t realize was a verb, and he continues to explain that Brooke was secretly reading the letter over his shoulder.  Immediately upon learning that Matt didn’t tell Brooke aboot the letter, the moisture begins to return to her granny panties because even an untrustworthy Matt is far more appealing to this woolly mammoth-in-heat than Jake.  I apologize for getting your hopes up that this scene would be anything more than the pointless crapfest it ultimately turned oot to be.

At the Blackwell garage, Chris and Dylan are finishing up a practice session sans Deadpool.  They discuss the band’s need for new equipment and Chris suggests stealing some new amps.  Dylan the poser informs his scofflaw of a bass player that if he keeps up that attitude, he’s gonna find himself in “truly major trouble”.

Back to The Avalon for one more dose of Billy’s awkward flirtation.  Amanda asks him why he’s so cheerful, and Deadpool asks her why wouldn’t he be before inviting her to Dylan’s garage to watch them rehearse.  Prefacing her bombshell with an exasperated, “they haven’t even told you yet?” she informs Billy that the band is getting a new drummer.  “Chris told me at lunch.  He and Dylan had decided…that you’re history.”

Don’t fret, Deadpool.  You’re far from history, unlike the rest of your castmates in this sublimely abominable production.  Someday, Amanda’s only claim to fame will be the fact that she once starred in a show with Ryan Reynolds while you’ll be fucking the likes of Blake Lively and Scarlett Johansson.  Sometimes, justice prevails.

Happy Victoria Day!

canada-flag-animated-gif-11

Happy Victoria Day to all of my friends north of the border!  I tip a virtual Molson to the following exceptional Canucks who have consistently gone above and beyond the meticulous standards of the RCMP in providing us with ootstanding entertainment: Suzanne at My Dang Blog!, Tanya at The Incurable Dreamer, Ryan Reynolds, Laura Harris, Todd Talbot, Robyn Ross, Sarah Douglas, Ken Angel, Corky Martin, John Binkley, Andrew Baskin, Arseman Yohannes, Aubrey Nealon, Enuka Okuma, Rekha Shah, Ahnee Boyce, David Wight, Lisa Warner, Claire Langlois, Roxane Alexander, Janine Cox, Erin Inglis and everyone else involved in the creation of the greatest television show since the invention of the cathode ray tube!

Here’s a little Victoria Day primer from Rush for any curiously xenophobic American ignoramuses that may have stumbled upon this page.  Take off, you hosers.

The Pariah

sad janice

Season 2, Episode 2

…and I find it kind of funny.  I find it kind of sad.  The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had. – Tears For Fears

In my recent Season 2 infographic post, I introduced the character of Erin Walker thusly: “Apparently, Matt has a little sister”, adding no further information aboot this extraneous new addition to the cast.  Episode 2.2 opens at The Avalon, where Matt is trying to calm Erin’s jitters aboot her first year at Hillside over two perfectly rectangular slabs of coffee cake.  I assume Matt didn’t indulge in any hair of the dog this morning, because his demeanor towards his anxious little sister is gentle and sympathetic.  Erin decries her lack of friends until her brother tells her that she’ll make plenty of them before she knows it, just as Dylan swaggers through the door.  He greets Matt: “Good morning, Walker,” then spotting the cute little girl sitting across the table, adds the fucking creepy observation: “Boy, you sure move fast, don’t you?”  Matt growls, “She’s my sister,” before Dylan walks back towards the pinball machine.  Matt informs his confused little sibling that Dylan’s “just the resident jerk,” and advises her to ignore him.

Brooke is studying in the student lounge as Janice creeps up from behind and stares over her shoulder at the open textbook on the table.  Somehow Brooke fails to notice the bright yellow gawker even though she’s nearly on top of her until she fumes under her breath, “This just doesn’t make sense,” prompting the as-yet-undetected intruder to blurt oot, “Actually, it does!  I’m Janice!”  Withoot looking up, Brooke deadpans, “I know who you are,” but Janice completely ignores this bitterly cold recognition and takes a seat.  She grabs Brooke’s pen from oot of her hand and begins to vomit rapid-fire instructions on how to solve the math problem until Brooke snatches her pen back and slams the book shut, setting Janice off on an involuntary paroxysm of uncomfortable apologies.  Janice is a social retard.  A more politically correct term to adequately describe her intrinsic essence simply doesn’t exist.  But in an early 90s world that had already treated us to the likes of Screech Powers and Patty Greene, Janice leaves the rest of those comparatively subtle teen ootcasts coughing in her dust.

janice spy

Brooke disencumbers herself from this gnat-like annoyance and saunters over to Dylan’s locker to demand an apology for publicly insulting her at Ashley’s depressing little going away bash.  Dylan responds by asking her if she really thinks anyone still buys her act, adding, “Everyone knows you.  We can all see right through you.  I mean, most of us aren’t totally stupid,” the “most of us” qualifier inserted as an afterthought to take Courtney into account, I assume.

Courtney and Deadpool are sitting at a booth in the Avalon’s pinball room as Thrift Store Trudy attempts to make up for an entire season’s worth of lost time by trying to get her brother to open up aboot how he’s been feeling since the divorce.

Back at Hillside, we get our first glimpse of Chris as he tries to punch a soda oot of the vending machine.  The denim-vested juvenile delinquent then walks over to Dylan and starts to harass him aboot the fact that he’s doing homework, a decidedly uncool way for any self-respecting rebel to spend his time: “Man, are you turning into a wuss on me or something?  A guy starts doing homework, you’ve gotta worry aboot what comes next.” (Crystal meth?)  He deems the studious spectacle “tragic” before confirming their scheduled after school band practice.

chris dyl

Chris continues to make his rounds, encountering Arseman at her locker.  He greets her with the words, “Hi, Sunshine!”, thereby opening himself up to a world of sass from this puzzlingly prideful loudmouth who prefers to go by her ridiculous given name instead of Chris’ far more aesthetically appealing moniker.  Chris initially seems to acknowledge the inherent sexism of his opening salutation, then proceeds to call her “Buttercup” as he bids her adieu.  Arseman turns from her locker to find Brooke standing in Chris’ place, warning that, “That guy is bad news,” putting herself right in the line of fire of Arseman’s infinite sassiness.

Courtney enters the student lounge and sits down on a bench next to Matt.  She apologizes for not informing him aboot Ashley’s enrollment in the private school, a situation of which we were made aware last season by none other than the drunkard to whom she’s apologizing.  I know this isn’t the first time I’ve pointed that oot, but it’s not my fault that Ian Weir keeps making it mandatory for me to do so.  Matt graciously rebuffs her expressions of regret, adding, “Besides, today’s my lucky day!  I finally saved up enough money to buy that new Rod Stewart tape.  I mean, what more could a guy possibly want?  See you around.”

I’ll give you a minute to let that last bit of dialogue sink in.

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Deadpool enters The Avalon and says hi to Amanda who is sitting at the counter.  As he begins to nervously flirt with the new addition to the Morgan family, Brooke can be seen talking on the payphone directly behind them.  Deadpool takes his leave and Brooke starts to tease her little sister before Amanda cuts her off by declaring that “Billy’s a doofus”.  Brooke ignores Amanda’s protests and tells her that she’ll be sure to spread the word aboot her budding romance with everyone’s favorite Toon Blast spokesman.

The next scene opens on Matt and Erin in the student lounge talking aboot egg salad sandwiches.  Matt offers to buy her lunch at The Avalon with the $12 he had previously earmarked for the new Rod Stewart tape, valiantly sacrificing his “lucky day” so that his sister can dine on something more palatable than eggs and mayonnaise.  This perfectly illustrates why I felt Erin rated a mere sentence fragment of an introduction.

rod
It just wasn’t meant to be, Matt

Next, Deadpool is whining aboot his parents to Dylan who’s pretending to play pinball at The Avalon, conveniently eating up a full minute and a half of airtime.

At Arseman’s locker, Courtney expresses worry aboot Matt’s emotional state in an obvious attempt to spin her newest pathetic infatuation into something more respectable.  If you’re wondering how I jumped to this conclusion in the seeming absence of circumstantial evidence, remember that whenever Courtney is talking aboot any guy besides Jake, there is a 100% chance that she wants to get in his pants.  She feigns concern that he may be drinking again, then asks Arseman what she should do.  Sassy Afro clearly isn’t as pragmatically blunt as she likes to think, because rather than shouting, “NOTHING, YOU FUCKING SHAMELESS WHORE!  HE JUST BROKE UP WITH YOUR BEST FRIEND LAST WEEK!!”, she instead advises Shit Drapes to talk to him.

Matt and Jake’s Dave’s locker room.  Dave is carrying a laundry basket full of dirty skivvies while Matt finishes getting changed.  Laundry Boy kisses Matt’s ass for a spell, telling him that he wishes Coach Williams would have a change of heart because withoot a “pure shooter” like Matt on the team, they don’t have a chance of defeating Valley View.

Janice skips down the stairs and calls oot to Courtney, who initially greets her like an actual human being rather than a cooties-infected locust.  Janice can barely contain her excitement at the fact Courtney remembered her name, so she launches into an impersonation of their English teacher that falls utterly flat since Courtney thinks Mr. Davis is a good teacher.  Janice immediately agrees with this assessment, causing Courtney to point oot that she just called him a geek no less than 10 seconds ago.  Janice tries to recover from this misstep by babbling incoherently for several minutes before asking Courtney if she’d like to join her at The Avalon.  Courtney indicates that she’s busy, so Janice tries to sweeten the deal by shouting, “I’ll buy!” but Shit Drapes just says, “See ya,” and walks away.

Matt comes down the stairs and greets Courtney while Janice is still lurking behind the lockers.  Matt asks who that was and Courtney replies, “Janice.  She’s in my English class.  I mean, I’m sure she means well but boy, is she irritating!”  Just as these words escape her lips, she turns to see Janice in the immediate vicinity and follows up her faux pas with a flippantly Brookian “Oh, well!” as Janice runs away in humiliation.  Courtney gives Matt’s slender form an indiscreet once-over before inviting herself to accompany him to the mall for his purchase of the new Rod Stewart tape.  Matt tells her that he spent the $12 he had saved for the tape, adding, “What the heck?  Let’s go down to the mall anyway.  I can’t afford to buy the tape, but we can just look at it admiringly.”

 

young hearts
Young hearts be freeeee tonight!

Band practice at Dylan’s garage.  Deadpool hasn’t gotten any better on the drums, but Chris merely tickles spastically at the strings of his bass guitar in the worst display of fake musicianship I’ve ever witnessed.  As the final notes fade oot, Billy enthuses that they sounded really good, while Chris counters that they “sounded like a cat fight in the alley”.  He accuses Billy of speeding on the drums and shouts at him to “GET WITH IT!”, prompting Dylan to jump to the defense of his rhythmically challenged Mini-Me.

Erin is alone at a table in the student lounge as Janice cautiously approaches.  She sits down next to Matt’s little sister and tells her that it must be kind of lonely staying after school by herself to finish her homework.  In the brief conversation that ensues, Erin tells her that she’s new at this school which is precisely the opening Janice was hoping for: “You, too, huh?  Same with me!  I just transferred here last week.  I really miss my old school.  I had lots of friends there.  Here it’s…I don’t know…it’s really different.  I wish I could figure it oot.”  Erin’s obvious indifference to Janice and her psychotic stream-of-consciousness finally causes the lonely lunatic to get up and walk away.  Strike four, Janice.

Dylan and Chris are discussing important band matters in The Avalon pinball room.  Chris is eating a Hostess cupcake with a fork while he tries to make Dylan understand that the band has no potential as long as Billy’s the drummer.  Dylan defends Deadpool by saying, “He’s a friend of mine,” and Chris counters, “So what do you want, a friendship society or a real band?”, a question that will soon grow into an ultimatum.  In the meantime, Dylan reminds Chris that this is his band and Billy is his drummer.

At the Morgan Mansion, Brooke is laboring over a pile of homework when Amanda bursts through the door demanding to know who she told aboot Billy’s crush on her.  This leads to a shouting match whose only discernible purpose is to show how much more aggressive Amanda is willing to get with Brooke than her former mousey little sister, punctuated by a bold, sneering announcement that Brooke doesn’t have any friends, and “everybody hates you!”  Brooke takes offense and declares that she has “lots of friends” so Amanda dares her to name three.  Following a long silence, she continues, “Okay, then name ONE!”, another stumper for her elder sibling.  As Amanda storms oot of the room, Brooke picks up her textbooks and hurls them at the door, shouting, “That’s not true!” before breaking down in tears for the poignant closing shot of the episode.  Fuck me sideways, Amanda!  I wish you’d materialized in this frosty purgatory a whole lot sooner.  You put Dutch Boy to shame.

brooke crying
I miss you, Theresa!!

 

I Don’t Know You People…

basement

…Why are you here?

Season 2, Episode 1

It’s a brand new season and appropriately, there’s a brand new intro to launch us into the next 13 episode installment of our favorite teen soap of all time!  Matt Ender’s sublime theme music remains intact and unchanged, because you just don’t mess with perfection.  However, the cast is no longer introduced by name, so we’re treated instead to a montage of scenes, most of which are lifted directly from the episodes to come, including a shoving match on the stairs between Dylan and Chris, Brooke attempting to de-uglify Who Farted at The Avalon counter, Courtney in one of her stupid new headbands trying to console the ever-inconsolable Ashley, and Deadpool holding John upside down by the ankles as he shakes the loose change oot of his pockets (something that doesn’t occur until Season 3, which probably means that they filmed both seasons at the same time).  This new introduction isn’t available anywhere online, so let’s waste no further time on such trivialities and jump right into the action, eh?

We open on the exterior of an unfamiliar suburban home.  In the basement, Ashley is grief-hugging an oversized pillow on the couch and Courtney is sitting on an adjacent love seat watching TV with her emotionally fragile and flagrantly truant friend.  The program ends and Courtney gets up to leave.  On her way up the stairs, she pauses to ask Ashley if she thinks she might come to school tomorrow but receives not even a whisper of a reply from the exaggeratedly anguished attention whore.  Ashley continues to mope inside of her oversized purple sweatshirt – a wardrobe choice designed to indicate that Hillside’s former star pupil has officially given up hope – as Courtney tries another approach and tells her that she received a letter from Jake today.  Though Ashley couldn’t possibly exude more indifference aboot this, Courtney proceeds to summarize the letter just the same, informing her that Jake misses everyone and “he misses me,” our first allusion to the fact that Courtney and Jake have embarked upon a long-distance romance now that he’s in China and thus incapable of spontaneous lip attacks and painfully awkward proposals.  Honestly, I’ve been paying only slightly more attention to her words than Ashley has, but even so, I couldn’t help but notice that Courtney indicated Jake will be in China with his mom for six weeks – which means that this entire 13 episode season must take place within that very brief time frame.  Courtney returns to the topic of Ashley’s prolonged absence from school and Melancholy Mauve coldly advises her that she won’t be coming back to Hillside because she’s enrolling at a private school the day after tomorrow.

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Nobody understands me but this pillow.

Matt is alone at The Avalon when a completely new Jock Squad enters the café for some post-game soda pops.  The slender souse asks them how the game went and they inform him that they won – their fifth straight victory since Matt was kicked off the team.  They tell Matt that it’s great to see him and one of them gives him an affectionate punch on the shoulder as he sulks back to his table of solitude.

Brooke enters the locker vestibule sporting a drastically shorter haircut and wearing an uncharacteristically awful top that looks like an official NFL referee’s uniform.  Her new sister Amanda calls oot to her, but Brooke is clearly giving her the silent treatment.  Amanda pleads with her sister to hear her oot and the conversation that ensues explains the animosity between Brooke and this as-of-yet total stranger to even the most avid of Fifteen aficionados.  Apparently, Brooke has transferred her anger at Theresa onto Amanda because her new sister told their dad aboot the whole geography paper scandal even though she promised she wouldn’t.  Alright…a couple of things: 1) What the fuck happened to Dutch Boy?; 2) What the fuck happened to Kelly?; 3) Considering Brooke was put on academic probation, how would this have escaped her father’s notice even if Amanda had kept her mouth shut?; 4) Why wasn’t Amanda even mentioned in passing last season?; 5) What the fuck happened to Dutch Boy? (I know that’s the same question as the first, but it bears repeating).  Brooke tells Amanda to go ootside and stand in the bus lane until she gets run over, seeming to indicate that no matter what sister she’s addressing, the common theme is that she always wishes they’d drop dead.

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Offsides – Offense. Second down.

Matt’s playing pinball at The Avalon, and just like in last season’s premiere episode, the machine is fully functioning, with moving flippers, a visible ball, and sound effects.  Apparently, the budget only allows for the machine to be plugged in exactly once per season.  Deadpool enters through the rear door and interrupts Matt’s game with what is either a friendly greeting or a full body check.  He asks Matt how he’s doing, then how Ashley’s doing, so the somber sot tells Billy that he hasn’t seen her in a week, adding, “If you happen to see her, say hi for me, okay?”

Dylan, whose new haircut makes me wonder if he goes to the same lesbian barber as Brooke, is studying in the lounge as Courtney walks by, dressed in a black rubber hazmat apron over a pink turtleneck.

Dylan:  Courtney!

Courtney:  Oh.  Hi, Dylan.

Dylan:  Woah!

Courtney:  Something wrong?

Dylan:  Just the temperature.  It just dropped aboot 40 degrees.

Courtney: Must be a problem with the heating system, then.

It’s nice to see that Ian Weir hasn’t lost his flair for realistic teen dialogue during the season break.  As Courtney starts to walk away, Dylan gets up from the table and asks her if she’s seen Ashley.  Courtney confirms that she saw her this morning, but opts to ignore his follow-up questions aboot whether she’ll be returning to school.

Courtney pivots away from Elvis and greets Arseman, who is sitting at a nearby table.  The writers don’t even bother to explain who this person is – they apparently expect us to just act like the rest of the cast who all treat her like someone that’s been a part of their clique of Hillside A-listers all along.  I refuse to accept this.  Who the fuck is this chick and why do they keep springing new characters on us withoot bothering to give us even a kernel of backstory?  I found your contact information online, Binkley, you fucking lunatic.  Expect to be inundated with endless questions and complaints in the very near future.

Anyhow, in lieu of a greeting, Arseman tells Courtney to relax, noting that every time she’s within 10 feet of Dylan, her whole body goes rigid.  Great, another fucking eavesdropper – just what we needed.  Courtney responds, “Do yourself a favor…don’t ever, ever get involved with a guy,” to which our new afro-sporting friend replies, “I wasn’t planning to,” which is fucking bullshit because this asswipe will be trying to get into Dylan’s pants faster than you can say, “Did I just miss something here?”.  Arseman changes the subject and asks how Ashley’s doing, because she “couldn’t help overhearing” Dylan’s inquiries.  Courtney proceeds to tell the thrice-told tale of the tragic little thespian, while Arseman has the audacity to nod her head knowingly even though she just materialized in this dark matter Universe precisely 45 seconds ago.  They toy with the idea of throwing her a going away party, then settle on getting a group of people together at The Avalon to ambush the mopey little shit with unsolicited and almost certainly unwanted attention.  I’ve got to admit, on this one, I feel you, Ashley.  Moping in peace is something that humanity just refuses to afford a person, and it only gets worse the older you get.

Brooke comes down the stairs just in time to hear the whole private school discussion.  She feigns shock before inviting herself to the get-together at The Avalon, while Arseman rolls her eyes as if she’s been privy to Brooke’s shit for years as opposed to just the last 10 seconds.  Rising from the table, Courtney admonishes Brooke not to tell anyone aboot what she just overheard and Brooke agrees to keep mum so repetitively that she might as well have said, “Fuck that, you disgusting cow, I’m gonna tell everyone in the school and you goddamn know it, so why bother telling me to do otherwise?”

brooke arse

Back in Ashley’s basement, Pink Misery is packing clothes into a suitcase as Courtney comes down the stairs and launches into a futile pep talk aboot how no one at school views her any differently since the cheating incident.  Ashley reiterates that she just wants to be left alone, but Courtney presses her to meet up at The Avalon later for “one last slice of pizza” and Depression Fog reluctantly agrees, based on Courtney’s bald-faced lie that it will be “just the two of us”.

Brooke enters The Avalon and walks over to the table where Matt is studying.  She sits down and Matt asks, “So how’s Theresa?”, to which Brooke replies, “Oh, my little sister Theresa?  She’s fine.  Off at that school for the arts having a wonderful time.  She’s very talented.  My other sister’s very talented, too, in different ways, of course.  In Amanda’s case, it’s more of a talent for…well, getting her sweet and charming little way,” effectively filling two glaring plot holes with one big mound of shit.  Unfortunately, Matt fails to ask her aboot Kelly, whose rotting corpse is probably laying somewhere beneath the floorboards of the Morgan Estate.  Brooke then expresses her condolences to Matt for getting kicked off the team because of his drinking and this of course brings oot the hassle-averse Matt we all know and love for the first time this season.  She continues running her mouth until she “inadvertently” spills the beans aboot the fact Ashley’s going to private school and Matt reacts with shock, which makes no fucking sense because he was the one who broke that news to Jake in last season’s final episode.  Brooke continues to douse Matt’s wounds in sodium chloride until he gets up and flees The Avalon.

And now we’re at The Avalon again, where Billy is table drumming as Dylan approaches his booth from behind and says, “Hey, rock on!”  They engage in some insufferably stupid conversation for a few minutes, none of which is worth repeating here, other than the fact that Dylan casually name-drops Chris like we’re already supposed to know who the hell that is.  Jesus, this is a sloppy season transition. “How should we introduce the new cast members, John?”  “Fuck, I don’t know, Ian, just act like they’ve been major characters all along.  I’m sure nobody will notice.”

Arseman comes down the stairs and calls oot to Courtney in the lounge.  These two geniuses still think it’s a good idea to kamikaze their morbidly depressed friend with a fucking surprise party at The Avalon, so they start to plan the guest list.  Courtney, check.  Arseman, check.  Deadpool, check.  Brooke…she already knows aboot it, so whatever.  Matt?  They wonder aloud whether he even knows aboot Ashley’s imminent departure just as the lanky lush materializes in the background.  Before they can speak, Matt asks them, “Is this for real?”, which takes them by surprise until he divulges that Brooke told him all aboot it.  Matt gives Courtney some shit for not telling him sooner and fucking busybody Arseman butts in to admonish him: “She’s telling you now, Matt”.  They tell him aboot the get-together at The Avalon, but Matt astutely guesses that Ashley wouldn’t want to see him, though I’m sure it’s not as personal as he’s making it oot to be.  If these two assholes had any self-awareness, they’d understand that she doesn’t want to see them, either.  Courtney tries to comfort Matt by telling him that she knows Ashley still cares aboot him, but he brushes it off by saying that she’s got a funny way of showing it before taking his leave.

Back at Hillside, Dylan’s just standing idly by his locker like an idiot when he’s approached by — JANICE!  Holy shit, I fucking love Janice, and in short order, I promise you will, too.  She nervously introduces herself and tells him that she sits near him in science class, then unleashes a torrent of verbal diarrhea aboot having just transferred here last week and not having any friends yet, until Deadpool just cuts right in between them and excitedly asks Dylan if he’s heard aboot Ashley.  Before Billy can announce his news, Janice chimes in, “Ashley who?  Hi!  I’m Janice!” causing her new acquaintances to walk to a different part of the hallway in an effort to dodge her overbearing presence.  Erroneously believing they’re oot of earshot, Billy asks Dylan, “Who’s that?” to which Leather Jacket replies, “I’m not sure.  I’m not sure I wanna know, either,” prompting Janice to skulk away in shame.

janice dylan

At The Avalon, Courtney brings two slices of pizza to the table where Ashley is sitting like a lump of clinically depressed shit.  Pinky McMope tells Courtney that she’s not very hungry and wishes that they’d gone somewhere else, obviously horrified at the prospect of running into anyone she knows.  Beginning with Arseman, Ashley’s obnoxious friends confirm her suspicions by entering the establishment one by one and acting like they just dropped in because they happened to be in the neighborhood.  For some reason, Ashley’s icy façade finally cracks at the appearance of Dylan and Deadpool, who advise her that no one thinks any less of her for cheating on the test.  Her anger magically transformed into gratitude, she sits back down across from Courtney and Arseman to continue staring at her slice of pizza.  Now Matt approaches and asks her how she’s doing.  Her response of, “okay, I guess,” seems to satisfy him and he trudges back to the pinball machine.  Rounding oot the parade of parasitic pals is Brooke, still in her referee ootfit, spewing her typical insincere condolences and advising Ashley that, “We all forgive you,” before Dylan comes to Pink Denim’s rescue and tells Brooke to do them all a favor and flush herself down a toilet.  Arseman advises Ashley that her pizza’s getting cold, but instead she gets up to go talk to Matt in the pinball room.

Matt at his most contrite is surprisingly soft-spoken, and the fact that they’re both whispering at each other for the next few minutes necessitates that I turn the volume on my laptop up to 11.  They whisper apologies at each other before Matt asks, “It’s an awful feeling, isn’t it…when something really great gets totally ruined?”  I know it’s a common human tendency to romanticize past relationships, but isn’t the passage of a single week a bit too soon for even this drunken douchebag to have forgotten that their entire “romance” was nothing more than a one-sided shouting match?  He continues: “I guess there’s no point even dreaming, is there…aboot getting back together?  Will I ever see you again?”  She whispers that she’ll be back next summer and they’ll probably run into each other before they tell each other to take care.

Matt slumps onto the pinball machine with sad dreams of Ashley and Alcohol dancing through his head as the episode ends with as little fanfare as it began:

sad matt
The Many Moods of Maudlin Matt

 

Deadpool 2: Sophomore Year

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It’s time to dive head first into Fifteen’s second season, so here’s a little infographic post to get us started.  I apologize in advance for the lower quality photos that will have to accompany my posts from here on oot.  As I’ve explained, Season 1 is readily available on YouTube, but for the rest of the series, I need to rely on screen grabs from the DVR set I acquired earlier this year, necessitating a disappointingly low-res experience from now on.

Each season will need one of these brief introductory posts to explain the character departures from the last season and new additions to the cast for the present season.  First, the departures:

Kelly, Theresa, Olaf and Cindy are history.

clarissa
Sayonara!

Jake will also be absent for the entirety of Season 2 while he accompanies his mother on a trip to China, but he’ll make his triumphant return in Season 3.

In the meantime, say hello to the newest crop of depressing little Canadian shit stains to haunt the halls of Hillside High:

Amanda Morgan

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Brooke’s little sister.  Yeah, I know.  After suffering through 13 episodes of Dutch Boy, we now find oot that there was an additional Morgan sister that no one ever mentioned.  The way the writers explain this while simultaneously trying to tie Amanda into some of last season’s plot lines is stupefyingly lazy and nonsensical, but I’ll explain all that when I get back into the episode summaries.  Amanda wears a permanent sneer, something that makes her a bit more believable as a member of Brooke’s immediate family, and she has the greatest fucking hair I’ve ever seen.  Therefore, she’s a marked improvement over her Garanimals-wearing predecessor.

Stacy Collins

stacy1

I honestly don’t know where to start.  Like it or not, we’re stuck with this awkward, groaning, hideous creature for the duration of the series.  A still shot can’t do justice to her horrifyingly grotesque countenance.  Stacy’s face is an amorphous, rubbery display of dynamic deformity causing her to appear like she’s constantly in close proximity to someone that just let oot an enormous cloud of flatulence, so I’ve taken to calling her “Who Farted?”  Any words that escape her lips are prefaced by a strange guttural sound like someone trying to run an unplugged blender on the residual electricity from its last use.  For this season, she’ll essentially serve as the extremely disappointing replacement for Kelly as Brooke’s sidekick.

Dave O’Brien

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This is Mullet Dave, who I impetuously identified when he was just an extra during several of last season’s posts even though the writers had yet to do so.  As you can see, he’s ditched the mullet and the day-glo boyswear in favor of a bowl cut and a Hillside letterman jacket (he’s the basketball team’s towel boy).  Since Jake is being held hostage in a Beijing hotel, Dave is here to temporarily take his place as Matt’s shy, athletically-impaired ass kisser that occasionally feels the need to nervously inform his short-fused friend that he might be an alcoholic. Sound familiar? It is, with one major exception: Dave is boring as fuck.

Arseman

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This is Arseman.  She’s smart, sassy, ootspoken and squeakier than a shopping cart with four shitty wheels.  We’ll be seeing so much of her in the episodes to come that there’s really no point in saying more aboot her here.

Chris MacDonald

chris

Fifteen’s — and perhaps Nickelodeon’s — first ever genuine dirt bag!  The new bass player for Dylan’s band, Chris is hot-tempered, cynical, antagonistic and often just plain mean.  Incredibly, Chris is a character that doesn’t require me to employ a suspension of disbelief whenever he appears on the screen because he’s nearly identical to every late-80’s / early 90’s class-skipping, fist-fighting, long-haired kid that would smoke cigarettes ootside the lunchroom between classes at every single high school in North America.

Erin Walker

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Apparently, Matt has a little sister.

Janice

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Janice!  This new transfer to Hillside High is hands-down the most amusingly psychotic character of the season.  Everyone hates Janice, and her attempts to remedy this situation just make them hate her all the more.  Janice is a fucking phenomenon, but I’ll save her sad/desperate/happy/suicidal story arc for the episode synopses.

John

ears

This little shit could literally take flight if his ears were capable of flapping.  In the Season 2 opening montage, there’s a clip of Deadpool stuffing him into a locker, but this doesn’t actually happen until Season 3.  John doesn’t serve any discernible purpose.

Jerry

jerry

This dumpy manager of The Avalon is completely devoid of a personality.  In fact, he might not even be the manager, but he’s the one who decides what bands will play at the cafe’s new Friday night open mic venue.  He bears an astonishing resemblance to Filth Pig, but could he possibly have grown this much older and larger in just one year?  I’d be interested to hear anyone’s thoughts aboot this.

Roxanne Lee

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Yooouuu don’t have to put on the red light!  Though we won’t meet this leather-clad hard-ass until the last few episodes of Season 2, she will become indispensable to the show from that point forward.  She’s the only person at Hillside High with the ability to intimidate Chris and for that reason alone, she kicks ass.  She also smashes Brooke’s face into an enormous hot fudge sundae next season, but now I’m getting way ahead of myself.

That should suffice for the vital information required to embark upon Fifteen’s second glorious season, so withoot further ado — I’ll be back to get us started just as soon as I goddamn feel like it.  Considering the sound-of-crickets reception my Season 1 posts generally received, I’m sure everyone will be completely nonplussed aboot any delay caused by my ever-increasing laziness.  Might as well go for a soda.

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Courtney wears headbands now.