Deadpool 2: Sophomore Year

season2billy

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

 

 

Nevermore

brooke cry

Season 1, Episode 13

Remember us – if at all – not as lost, violent souls, but only as the Hollow Men – TS Eliot

Despite the fact that Jake finally lip-raped Courtney and developed a temporary set of balls in the wake of that disastrous mouth ambush, the penultimate episode of Season 1 failed to deliver the punch we’ve come to expect from the students of Hillside.  However, making the next to last installment a slow-burner is a common practice in the realm of soaps, as it retrospectively increases the potential excitement of the season’s coda.  Let’s see how well this manufactured anticipation worked in the case of Fifteen’s inaugural season, shall we?

We open at the Morgan Mansion where Brooke is looking over what she believes is a geography project completed by Kelly’s sister, clearly impressed at the level of work that went into it and deeming it well worth the $20 price tag.  Dutch Boy appears at her door wearing the original classic ootfit that inspired me to come up with her paint can-inspired nickname a dozen long episodes ago:

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Theresa stands there staring at Brooke for a ridiculously long time until Brooke finally tells her to stop spying on her and say something, leading to a puzzling semantic argument aboot the subtle differences between spying and lurking.  Finally, Dutch Boy makes a snide remark aboot the paper in Brooke’s hands having been written by Kelly’s sister, something I assume she already knows is untrue because I can’t imagine who else Kelly would have been talking to in the last couple of one-sided phone conversations she conducted at The Avalon.  Brooke gets up from her bed and strolls around the room reminding Theresa that today is the day she’ll be officially announcing her candidacy for Student Council President.  They trade a few more pointed barbs before Dutch Boy huffs from the room.

Cindy and Olaf enter The Avalon and approach Jake at the counter.  Attila The Hippie takes a seat next to Jake, remarking that he “doesn’t look so hot” and asking him what’s wrong.  For some fucking incomprehensible reason, Jake answers, “Oh, lots of things.  The ozone layer is breaking down, the rainforests are disappearing…” and for once, Cindy seems momentarily disinterested in environmental issues and presses him for what’s really on his mind, to which he answers, “Ashley”.  They discuss the fact that Pink Denim hasn’t been at school since she was caught cheating on her math test.  Olaf walks back from the cash register and offers his friends some Mentos or Rolos or perhaps some obscure Canadian snack that comes in a tubular package.  Jake asks him if he ever found his geography notes and Olaf responds in the negative, adding a few light-hearted quips to prove yet again that he is the only one among these terminal drama queens capable of meeting minor problems with something other than prolonged despair and self-pity.

With Kelly at her side, Brooke appears to be making the grand “official” announcement of her candidacy to a table in the lounge occupied by Mullet Dave (wearing a pink shirt over a powder blue turtleneck) and two unknown girls.  It’s established that as of now, she’s running unopposed.  One of the girls asks her whether she’ll push for more school dances if she’s elected as Dylan appears from behind.  Kelly spots him leaning on the banister and walks over to him.  They briefly mock Brooke’s presidential aspirations before Kelly discloses that she was sorry his concert got canceled because she was really looking forward to hearing him play.  Kelly might be flirting here, but it’s difficult to say for sure since we’ve never really seen her flirt before.  She is wearing a shirt with the logo of some clothing brand, the design of which appears to contain several dismembered floating penises in each of the corners, but I might be reading too much symbolism into her attire.  What the fuck do I think I’m reviewing here, Twin Peaks?  A moment later, her flirtation becomes apparent as she tries to obtain an invite to take in a private concert at Dylan’s garage, but her efforts are dismissed with a chuckle before he turns and walks away.  What the hell is wrong with you, Leather Boy?  You’re willing to get involved with an ugly parasite and a scheming inveigler, but you reject the coolest and arguably hottest girl at Hillside High even though she’s virtually throwing herself at your feet?  I guess there’s no accounting for taste.

Matt and Jake’s locker room.  Drinky Crow is menacingly interrogating Jake aboot whether he’d like to take back anything he said during his temporary testosteronal tirade at The Avalon yesterday.  Jake sticks to his guns, then asks Matt if he’s had a chance to talk to Ashley.  Matt tells him that he tried calling her last night, but she didn’t want to talk.  Jake responds that he’s not surprised considering how torn up Ashley is, then asks Matt again if he even cares.  Matt reluctantly concedes that he does, but he’s at a loss as to what do aboot it, at which point Jake stands up and faces him in yet another surprising display of machismo, shouting, “You’re an intelligent guy.  Figure it oot!”

Brooke and Kelly stroll into the student lounge discussing Ashley’s prolonged absence from school.  Kelly asks Brooke if she’s turned in her geography paper yet and Brooke confirms that she has before changing the subject to the campaign posters Kelly is carrying.  Kelly grabs one from the pile and displays it to Brooke upside down so that it reads “⊥NƎᗡISƎᴚԀ ᴚOℲ ƎʞOOᴚq”, which is far more interesting than the pathetically pedestrian slogan it displays when she realizes her mistake and flips it over.  Brooke sighs that it will have to do for now, then orders her frenemy to start putting them up around the school.

upside down

Jake and Olaf are eating their bag lunches together in the lounge, while Kelly is attempting to hang a campaign sign on the soda machine in the background.  Olaf explains to Jake that he’s going to have a talk with his geography teacher and ask for an “expansion” to turn in his project.  When Jake optimistically opines that the notes might still turn up, Kelly abandons her task at hand to plant the seed of an idea in their heads that perhaps the notes weren’t lost, but stolen.  When Jake and Olaf question in unison who would do such a thing, Kelly responds that it would most likely be someone in Olaf’s class.  Jake doesn’t buy this explanation, noting that if someone wrote a paper based on Olaf’s notes, “they’d get caught for sure”.  Kelly concedes that Jake has a point, but reiterates that the whole situation seems “awfully fishy” before walking away.

conspiracy

Courtney approaches Jake who is sitting on a bench studying.  They discuss Ashley for a few moments before Courtney tells him that she’s in a good mood because her drama teacher wants her to write a play for the “drama festival”, which serves as a subtle portentous trigger warning for those sensitive souls who’d be well-advised to tread lightly as they wade into the murky waters of Season 2.  Jake asks her what it’s going to be aboot and Courtney responds, “Maybe it’ll be aboot some stupid girl who acted like a complete jerk to a really good friend for no reason at all,” which is 29 superfluous syllables longer than the simple yet effective phrase, “Sorry, Jake”.  Regardless, they establish that they’re still friends.  Jake asks if she’d like to go with him to Shakespeare in the Park this weekend and Courtney accepts his pleasingly platonic invitation.

The next scene opens on Deadpool studying at The Avalon while Dutch Boy, who is pretending to read at a nearby table, keeps stealing discrete glances at him over the rim of her book.  A funky little synthesized ditty by maestro Matt Ender plays over this strangely random display of pre-adolescent puppy love before the weird interlude finally comes to an end when Dylan walks through the door and chuckles at the amusing little spectacle.  He takes a seat at Billy’s table and teases him aboot Theresa’s awkward flirtation for a few seconds before changing the subject and informing Deadpool that he’s thinking of forming a band and hopes his little friend will agree to be the drummer, an offer that Billy wholeheartedly accepts.

Olaf enters the school and meets Cindy by the stairwell.  In response to her inquiry aboot how his talk went with the geography teacher, Olaf gushes that “Mr. Henshaw is a wonderful man” for granting him a two week expansion extension to turn in his project.  They discuss some other shit that I happen to know has no relevance to any future plotlines (especially considering that we’ll never see these two again once this episode is done) and then they move on to discussing the intimate details of Jake’s sexual frustration.  If Hippie & The Finn had even an ounce of self-awareness between them, they’d realize how laughable is their concern for Jake since they’re both in the exact same boat.  When’s the last time you got any action, Cindy?  Hmm?

Kelly is in the girls’ locker room when Brooke breezes in holding a note from the principal (handed to her by Miss Leddingham) saying that he wants to see her in his office, proving that “Old Zimmerman” and Coach Williams share the unorthodox method of communicating with their students by passing notes.  Incidentally, I just mentioned all four adults that have been referenced by name in this show in the course of two paragraphs, a season-ending special treat for those who are still scratching their heads at the perplexing absence of Hillside’s version of Mr. Belding.  Kelly asks Brooke if she’s in some sort of trouble and Brooke cheerily replies that the principal probably just wants to congratulate her for her student council bid.  As she exits the locker room, Kelly tells Brooke to “say hi to Mr. Zimmerman for me!”

Jake comes down the stairs as Matt hoarsely calls oot to him from the bench by the soda machine.  He tells Jake that he went over to Ashley’s place and though she really didn’t feel like talking to him, he could tell that she’s not doing very well at all.  As he continues to morosely fill Jake in on the details of their abbreviated chat, he reveals that Ashley’s parents are considering pulling her from Hillside and sending her to a private school.  This whole time, I’ve been finding it hard to believe that Matt’s really on the verge of tears aboot the possible school transfer of someone he so recently claimed to despise, and the next thing he says to Jake confirms my suspicions:

“Turns oot you and Ashley weren’t the only ones who knew I was doing a little drinking.  My parents found a bottle in my closet…and they’re freaking oot.  It all blew up last night.  They actually think I should spend some time in one of those centers – the ones for teenagers with substance abuse problems.” Don’t sweat it, Matt.  You’ve got another whole season and a half of drinking before it actually comes to that, so party on!

Matt gets up and runs oot of the school with Jake trailing close behind, as Kelly enters from the same door.  She tries to catch Jake’s attention, but he’s too distracted to listen, so she walks towards the table where Olaf is sitting.  She blurts oot, “It’s incredible!” before informing Olaf that they found his geography notes.  He’s puzzled by this assertion, so Kelly sits down to explain: “Well, someone phoned the principal – no one knows who, exactly – but whoever it was told him where the notes were hidden, so he went to look and there they were – in Brooke’s locker!  And wait, it gets even better, ‘cause it turns oot Brooke’s geography paper was based on those notes.”  Though we weren’t afforded a glance of Courtney eavesdropping somewhere in the vicinity, her sudden appearance at the table accompanied by the exclamation, “I can’t believe it!” makes it clear that she was engaged in some hardcore lurking.  Kelly continues her tale: “Brooke got hauled down to the principal’s office and now she’s in major trouble.  They’re threatening to suspend her from school.  At the very least, she’s gonna be on academic probation for the rest of the year and that means no extracurricular activities, especially ones like running for Student Council President!”  Brooke, of course, has been slowly making her way down the stairs ever since Courtney insinuated herself into the conversation and has therefore been listening to Kelly’s gleeful account.  She takes slow, deliberate steps towards the table until she’s facing Kelly and hisses, “You did this to me,” but Kelly dismisses her accusation oot of hand.  Next it’s Courtney’s turn to rub salt in the wound by chastising herself aloud for having ever looked up to Brooke, and somehow this expression of disappointment from Shit Drapes is too much for her to bear.  With tears welling up in her eyes, Brooke turns and flees from the table of cruelly judgmental peers.

Cut to Jake at a booth in The Avalon drawing a somewhat competent but pathetically unimaginative mountain landscape in his sketch pad.  As Jake conjures a happy little tree in the lower right-hand corner of the drawing, Cindy walks up from behind and tells him that it looks good.  She sits down uninvited and tells Jake that he looks like he’s had a pretty lousy day, then attempts to remedy that situation by telling him that he’s “a pretty talented artist…and a pretty good friend, too…and for what it’s worth, I think you’re kinda cute.”  If the writers were planning to spin this unsolicited pep talk into a romance between Jake and Cindy, then I might have excused its otherwise unnecessary inclusion in the final episode of the season.  But in just four minutes’ time, we’ll have seen our last of Jake for an entire season and our last of Cindy forever, so I really don’t understand the fucking point of this.

cindy jake

Now we cut to Brooke in her bedroom delivering a tearful monologue to Theresa, the upshot of which can be summed up by the simple Latin phrase, “Et tu, Kelly?” She desperately implores her little sister to advise her what to do, but Dutch Boy just turns and exits the room.

Somehow, a full band consisting of Dylan, Deadpool, Cindy on keyboards, and an unknown bass player are jamming oot in the garage.  Long after the final notes of their song fade oot, Billy continues hammering away on the drums before Cindy turns and glares at him until he finally takes the hint.  Billy thinks they sound great but Cindy begs to differ.  This is stupid.  Dylan will indeed form a band next season, but Cindy and the unknown bassist won’t be a part of it so I’m not sure why Ian Weir is making us suffer through this cacophonous jam session.

Kelly is sitting at a booth in The Avalon when Theresa enters and sits down across from her.  Dutch Boy is having regrets aboot her part in Brooke’s demise, making me wonder exactly what her part was.  As far as I could tell, the execution of the plot was something Kelly accomplished single-handedly.  Anyway, Kelly of course informs Theresa that she has no regrets.  As Dutch Boy continues to berate herself for her involvement in the nefarious scheme, Brooke approaches the booth from the pinball room and fixes her little sister’s gaze: “So that’s what happened, is it?  You helped her plan the whole thing.”  Theresa denies having any part in it, but admits to being in the know and neglecting to inform her sister of what was aboot to happen to her.  Brooke continues: “You betrayed me.  My little sister…and my best friend.  Well…so now I know where things stand.”  Theresa starts to defend herself but Brooke cuts her off: “Save your breath, Theresa!!  I don’t discuss things with traitors.  But don’t you worry aboot me.  This won’t keep me down for long and let me tell you something else – I’ll pay you back.  Whatever it takes, I’ll pay both of you back!”

And there we have it!  The first season of the most incredible show ever televised is now complete.  Will Brooke somehow get her revenge even though Kelly and Theresa will never be seen again?  Does the fact that we never see them again tell us something aboot how far Brooke was willing to go in the pursuit of retribution?  Will Jake ever know the touch of a woman (or a man)?  Will Courtney ever learn how to dress herself?  Will Ashley return to Hillside?  Will Dylan manage to see his rock star dreams come to fruition?  Will Matt succumb to the pressure of 12 step recovery or will he stick to his guns and eventually graduate to shooting dope?

There’s only one place to find the answers to these questions and more, my faithful readers, and that’s right here at Notes From The Avalon, so stay tuned!  Anything else would be a downright tragic decision.

band finale

 

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:

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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.

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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.

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

Six Hours On Facebook

cast

The Glorious Results of a Courageous Fifteen Info-Gathering Mission

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

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

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

robyn ross

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

funny-ryan-reynolds-tweets-fb__700-png

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

pikachu

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

talbot

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

laura_harris_ii

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

252px-Enuka_Okuma

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

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

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

Aubrey-Nealon-picture-

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

ahnee

Janine Cox (Dutch Boy) looks like this now:

janine cox

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

jake red

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

nakatsuka

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

The Grapes

brooke dyl

Season 1, Episode 7

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

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

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

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

Jake:  Yeah, that was kind of—

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

Jake:  Nobody else understood it either.

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

Ashley:  well, maybe he was—

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

Ashley:  you can always look on the bright side

Matt:  WHAT BRIGHT SIDE??

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

court dream

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Matt:  I DO NOT HAVE—

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

Matt:  Then maybe you need a new boyfriend.

Ashley:  matt—

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

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

sad

Life is unbearable.