Canada Wins Again!

I feel obligated to provide some entertaining filler to tide you over while I take a brief respite before diving into Season 2.  Here’s a grown-ass man that’s so enamored with the show that he felt the need to film himself singing its praises through a thick cloud of marijuana smoke and post it on YouTube.  Incidentally, this stereotypical stoner agrees with my assessment that Matt and Ashley broke up in episode 7, so suck it, Ian Weir.  Enjoy and try not to hurt yourself:

 

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:

dutch boy2

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

 

Kiss of Death

hug

Season 1, Episode 12

We open at The Avalon where Ashley, on the verge of tears, recounts for Jake Matt’s confusing accusation that she told everyone in the school aboot his alcoholism.  As usual, neither of them has a clue how this information could have gotten oot (Kelly and Brooke?), with Jake going so far as to guess that someone must have seen them dragging Matt from the park, as there’s no other possible explanation (ahem – Kelly and Brooke?) since no one had any way of knowing what happened (except maybe KELLY AND BROOKE?!). Ashley is certain that she’ll fail an upcoming math test due to this upsetting and mysterious turn of events, but I think Pixie Dust has cried wolf aboot this exact same scenario so many times that even Jake must doubt its veracity.  Regardless, Jake tries everything he can think of to calm Ashley down, but this just gets her more upset until she finally moans, “i can’t, jake.  i can’t!”, rises from her seat and runs oot the door.  Ashley’s already fragile psyche is beginning its rapid descent into madness.

Courtney approaches Deadpool who is sitting on the stairs reading a comic book.  She asks if he’d like to accompany her to the mall after school but Billy tells her he has plans to hang oot with Olaf, prompting her to declare that “he sounds like an okay guy”.  Correct, Queeftain Obvious.  Now if you can just learn his name, you might be able to hold up your end of the conversation with your 12 year-old brother for a change.

Making the rounds, Olive Drab greets Ashley at her locker.  Somehow, Ashley’s hair has become noticeably unkempt and greasy since we last saw her at The Avalon exactly three minutes ago.  As this is the first time Courtney has emerged from her cocoon of all-encompassing Dylan infatuation in over two weeks, she’s trying to catch up on what she missed.  She asks her friend if it’s true that she and Matt broke up, a question that seems to catch Ashley off guard because she still fails to grasp the epidemic level of gossip-inducing chemicals contaminating the Hillside water supply.  Ashley reluctantly confirms the break-up, but refuses to address Courtney’s follow-up questions aboot Matt’s drinking, opting instead to feign a sudden mental breakdown and run away.

In the boys’ locker room, Jake is making another futile attempt to defend Ashley from Matt’s false accusation.  Jake is wearing his maroon balloon and Matt is decked oot in an ensemble from the Fall catalog of L.L. Beanpole:

lean matt

A highly hassled Matt hisses, “Look – there are only two people who could’ve spread stories aboot what happened on Friday night.  One of them’s Ashley.  The other one’s YOU.”  They look like they’re on the verge of coming to blows as Matt tells Jake that he doesn’t need Ashley and he certainly doesn’t need friends who “hassle him every time he has a beer” before giving Jake an ultimatum to decide whether he’s his friend or not based upon the new criteria he just laid oot.

Ashley is at a table in the lounge scribbling notes – cheat notes, to be precise – when Brooke approaches and asks if she’s interrupting something.  Ashley hastily closes her book and steels herself for another onslaught of insincere sympathy aboot her ongoing relationship troubles.  Ashley quietly asks Brooke to please leave her alone, but Brooke keeps pressing until Pink Denim finally blows her top: “just leave me alone, okay?  i’m busy and i don’t want to talk aboot it, so please just keep your nose oot of my life!!”  Ashley flees the table as Brooke feigns shock at her reaction.

Brooke gets up and strolls over to the table where Olaf is doing homework.  She needs to express her offense at Ashley’s harsh words to somebody and The Dislocated Swede just happens to be in the vicinity.  Olaf’s surprise at hearing that Matt and Ashley broke up raises him another few notches in my esteem, but Brooke, of course, reacts by asking him what rock he’s been living under, and I must reluctantly admit that she has a point.  Brooke patiently explains what’s been happening, prompting Olaf to muse, “I didn’t know Matt had a drinking problem”.  She then grabs some paperwork oot from under Olaf’s nose and he tells her that he’s working on his geography project “for Mr. Henshaw”.  He advises Brooke that she’s looking at two full weeks’ worth of research which he must now work into a paper.  He jokes that every morning he wakes up hoping “the elves” will have written it for him, “but they never do”, to which Brooke replies, “maybe you’re not paying them enough”.

Shit Drapes traipses into The Avalon where Dylan is sitting alone at a table.  He springs from his chair and nervously tells her that he has something to say, but asks if they can go somewhere more private, which is impressive because no one else seems capable of understanding that The Avalon is the worst possible spot for engaging in confidential conversation.  She responds that if he has something to say, he can say it right here.  Dylan begins by telling her that he’s not too proud of the way he handled things, but he leaves oot the part aboot having been fucking browbeaten into this undeserved apology by a psycho hippie chick.  Courtney interrupts his slow-as-molasses display of contrition by telling him not to bother because, “I have a right to choose my friends, and let me tell you something – you’re not one of them!” before running oot the door.

Poor Olaf.  Just when he thought he could get back to work, here comes Kelly with the next round of cryptic questions to interrupt his geography project.  After he explains what he’s working on, Kelly says, “Oh, that’s right, you’re in Brooke’s class,” which she obviously already knew, considering she’s here talking to Olaf in the first place.  They find some momentary common ground in the acknowledgment that knowing Brooke is “a real treat” as Olaf gathers his paperwork while Kelly watches closely and makes a mental note of what folder it’s in and exactly where he placed it in his bag.

Rounding oot the triumvirate of uninvited guests to Olaf’s ill-conceived homework session is Deadpool dressed in a tie-dye.  Billy is still upset aboot what happened with Dylan, so Olaf tenders some typically sage advice that seems to set his friend’s mind at ease a bit.  This little interlude seems to have been inserted into the episode as mere filler, or maybe just to remind us that Olaf has more good qualities than living ootside of the gossip loop and being thorough in the completion of his geography assignments.

Some time later, Courtney is moping in the lounge as Jake approaches.  When he asks what’s wrong, she tells him aboot Dylan’s attempted apology and that she “let him have it – both barrels, right between the eyes” but her obvious ambivalence aboot the confrontation seems to escape Jake’s notice.  He sits down while Miss Beasley drifts into another fucking Dylanesque soliloquy that he endures with growing impatience for its typically self-deprecating conclusion that he’s hoping once again to utilize as an opportunity to win her affection.  She doesn’t disappoint, even wondering aloud if her innate unlikability caused her parents’ divorce before standing up from the table.

Up to this point, I’ve found the exposition of this episode to be an atypically boring task, as this has been a very slow chapter in the ongoing drama of Hillside High.  I even went back and inserted a couple of superfluous swear words in the hopes that they might keep my two or three readers from falling asleep before reaching its conclusion.  But if you’ve stuck around this long in the hopes of a payoff, here it comes.

Jake stands up, touches Courtney’s arm and tells her that everything’s going to be okay.  Standing dangerously close to her sexually frustrated pal, she reiterates her feelings of worthlessness as Jake moves even closer and puts his arm around her shoulder.  He reminds her that “lots of people think you’re great, Courtney…like me,” as Courtney seems to realize what’s aboot to happen here and starts giving Jake some classic side-eye, like Princess Leia in the clammy embrace of Jabba The Hut.  Her face distorts in disgust as the luckless lothario leans in and plants one on her lips.  She violently withdraws from his embrace with a look of utter revulsion and shouts, “Why did you have to do that?!  I thought we were friends!  WHY DID YOU DO THAT?!” before fleeing the scene, leaving Jake speechless with unadulterated humiliation.

bad kiss 2

Olaf enters The Avalon and walks over to the booth where Jake is sitting by himself.  Olaf notes that Jake appears to be deep in thought and invites himself to sit down.  He makes a remark aboot Jake looking like “someone who just lost his best friend”, which is oddly prescient considering that Olaf wasn’t around to witness Jake’s impetuousness destroy his friendship with either Matt or Courtney, and it’s already been established that he’s impervious to the rumor mill.  They commiserate aboot the fact that no one ever really seems to care how they feel or ask them aboot their problems despite their willingness to be reliable sounding boards for everyone else, but Olaf isn’t one to indulge in self-pity so he “hypothetically” tells Jake “Well, if this keeps happening to somebody, maybe he’s been trying too hard to pretend he doesn’t have any problems”.  Jake asks rhetorically what could be wrong with him before referring to himself as “the world’s biggest doofus,” prompting the world’s biggest doofus sitting across the table to question the meaning of the word “doofus”.  Jake continues to vent at Olaf for another minute or two, then gets up and leaves with a bit more spring in his step than he had at the commencement of this scene.  Olaf the Therapist is on fucking fire today.

Alone, Olaf unclasps his tote bag, pulls oot the folder in which he’d placed his geography project and finds it empty.  He continues digging through the bag until he realizes that somehow, all of his research work has disappeared.

Brooke is in the girls’ locker room when Kelly bursts in, obviously in possession of some particularly juicy gossip.  Kelly is wearing a white top with the words “Almost Heaven” printed in a continuous unbroken top-to-bottom line like this: ALMOSTHEAVENALMOSTHEAVENALMOSTHEAVENALMOSTHEAVEN.  She informs Brooke that Ashley just got caught cheating on her math test and Brooke finds it impossible to contain her delight.

Entering the locker vestibule, an inconsolable Ashley is telling Jake what happened.  The teacher found her cheat sheet and held it up for the whole class to see before sending her to the principal’s office.  Jake tries to get her to look on the bright side, but this is Ashley at her most disconsolate, a force of nature that can’t be constrained with mere words, even if they were spoken by someone more eloquent than Jake.  Brooke and Kelly sidle up and inform Ashley that they’ve heard the news, adding for good measure, “everybody has”.  The Dynamic Duo continue to harass and express their mock disappointment until Ashley reaches the end of her rope and runs away.  Jake chases after her, but not before turning to Brooke and shouting, “You wanna know something?  If you were a guy, I’d be tempted to bust you in the head!”

Dylan’s chilling in the garage playing his original Alex Lifeson guitar riff again when Deadpool comes a-knockin’.  Billy apologizes once more for the homework mishap and this time, Dylan accepts the apology, patting his little friend on the shoulder and inviting him to take a seat behind the drum kit.

Jake enters The Avalon, marches to the booth where Matt is sitting by himself and just stands there for so long that Matt finally barks, “You gonna join me?!”  Jake doesn’t answer and continues to stand there like he’s itching for a fight, finally asking Matt if he heard what happened to Ashley.  He has, of course, and he seems to relish the opportunity this gives him to continually refer to his ex-girlfriend as “dumb”, but Jake’s not in the mood to indulge his man-crush’s shit at the moment.

Jake:  Do you have any idea how torn up she is??

Matt:  And how do you think I feel?  The whole school thinks I’m some kind of alcoholic just ‘cause I had a few drinks on Friday night!  I’ve got 300 kids whispering behind my back!  How’d you like to put up with that?!

Jake:  Oh, I see – I’m supposed to feel sorry for you, am I?

Matt:  You can feel however you like!!

Jake:  I’m just supposed to sit back and sigh while you tell me your troubles, huh??  Well, forget it!  ‘Cause I’m sick of it!  You…jerk!

Matt:  What?

Jake:  Ashley tied herself in knots trying to help you and you turn around and dump her?!  Now that she’s having a nervous breakdown, you want sympathy for your troubles?  What sort of total jerk are you?!

Matt jumps up and approaches Jake with his hands balled into fists.  Jake invites him to go ahead and hit him, “…what a great way to prove you’re a man!” and Matt warns him not to push it.  Matt backs off as Jake questions whether he cares aboot anybody but himself before stomping oot the door.  The camera pans to Kelly on the payphone telling someone (Dutch Boy?) aboot the epic shouting match she just witnessed before changing the subject to Brooke, ending the episode with the literally phoned-in declaration, “I’ve done it.  It’s all set up.  Just another couple of days and Brooke is finally going to get what she deserves!”

phone

There’s only one more episode in this season, my faithful and long-suffering friends, so don’t bail oot now!  Karmic justice is nigh.

The Sorrow & The Pity

underwear

Season 1, Episode 11

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

Inkedpig_LI

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

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

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

bin

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

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

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

Ashley:  matt–

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

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

Matt:  Here we go again!

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

Matt:  I did NOT get falling down drunk!

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

Matt:  Give me a break!

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

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

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

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

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

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

tina gif

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

cyn dyl

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Party Till The World Obeys

leave her alone

Season 1, Episode 10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

party prep

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

party sad

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

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

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

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

DylBrooke

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

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

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

Mama Says Be Glad

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

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

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

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