Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sweet Valley Twins #70: Psychic Sisters

Sweet Valley just ran a special all night movie marathon, featuring teen movies because in Sweet Valley, the world revolves around teens. Steven is incredibly annoyed because he wants to hang out and the twins are still asleep in the floor. To make matters worse, Alice won't shut the fuck up and get off the phone. She got put in charge of some big designers shindig, which involves her talking to the same man and telling him the same things repeatedly. Steven starts rolling his eyes because he knows exactly what she needs: the George Washington room for 328 people to hold a black tie dinner on the 28th or the 15th.

When the twins finally wake up, they head into the kitchen and Elizabeth pours them both a bowl of Corny-Os cereal. Jessica thinks it's a little odd because she woke up thinking about the same cereal and thinks that they are psychic. Steven then finds Ned passed out on the couch. It turns out that he came downstairs to check on the twins and got wrapped up in a movie starring Johnny Buck about the French Revolution. He also laughs at how many Corny-Os commercials he saw.

Jessica wants to brag about being psychic, but Elizabeth tells her to calm down. When Amy asks what each one plans to do their big history report on, they both answer the French Revolution at the same time and have no idea why. Jessica later sees Randy reading an article on psychics. He tells her that his uncle is a documentarian who specializes in psychics. She tells him about her and Liz and he doesn't really care. Then she tells him about how she once figured out that Liz was trapped in the basement when no one knew where she was. She lies and says that Liz nearly drowned when the basement flooded, and Randy agrees to talk to his uncle.

Randy rushes up to her in the cafeteria with the news that his uncle wants to meet with the twins and possibly use them in his next film. Liz just kind of rolls her eyes and wonders why she keeps getting dragged into her sister's schemes. The Unicorns decide that they need to see some proof, so they ask them to think of a number. They both pick 328 and everyone is impressed. Janet then has them think of a president, and they both answer with George Washington. As an added bonus, she tells them to pick a piece of clothing and a color, which leads to them both guessing black tie.

Bruce thinks it's all kind of ridiculous, and he tells them to pick two numbers. They both pick 15 and 28, which makes everyone think that they are psychic. At the same time, there's a huge talent show taking place and Ellen has the starring role. Even though she can't really sing, she gets to do a big number because her mom is in charge. Lila and Bruce's dads convince the committee to put the twins in the show as the starring act.

Unfortunately, the twins quickly realize that they aren't psychic, at least not anymore. Jessica makes her twin sit under a fake pyramid and try to practice, but they can't get anything right. Alice is getting ready to take a trip out of town, and she asks Liz to drop off an envelope at the big hotel for her upcoming black tie dinner. Liz temporarily forgets, and when she checks the envelope, she realizes why they kept picking all the same things.

Jessica goes to Maria for help because she conveniently starred in a movie about a fake psychic. Maria shows them how to bluff their way through by learning a code where certain movements equal different letters. Even though Jessica is such an amazing actress (ha), Ned notices her movements, but they still manage to master the whole thing in two days.

On the day of the show, Liz drops off the envelope for the manager and takes the stairs because the elevator is too slow. When she gets downstairs, she realizes that the door is locked and she can't get out. Jessica thinks that Liz skipped out on her, but when standing on stage, she puts two and two together. She does this whole fake thing where she pretends that Liz is channeling through her.

Ned pulls her off stage, and everyone rushes to the hotel. Jessica finds Liz trapped in the stairway and she becomes a big star. Randy's uncle sells the footage to the local news and says he might sell it to a national program, so they will be big stars everywhere. Jessica announces that she and Liz decided to retire from the psychic world so we never have to hear about this again.

*I have to agree with Steven on the whole room thing. Alice literally repeats the same information at least three times in the first few pages, and he mentions that she's been on the phone for over an hour. If the guy still doesn't know what you want, why the heck would you want to host anything there?

*Speaking of Steven, since when is he too mature to stay up all night? He says that the movie marathon was only for younger kids like the twins, but it was a teen movie night.

*Jessica sees a poster of the twins and gets annoyed because she looks like Ellen. Sarah Thomas explains that she already did a drawing of Ellen and had to change it when the twins took the starring roles. Um, what kind of school uses elaborately drawn images of kids for posters that go up around town?

*Maria can't be in the show as an actor because she has stage experience and this is for amateurs. Would anyone really care?

*Liz explains that this is a serious show and they won't accept goofy acts, yet there's a guy who does skateboard tricks and Mary and Tamara lip-sync and dance to a song.

*Denny asks Jessica to read the bumps on his head, and she tells him to look both ways before crossing the street. He later avoids getting hit by a car by looking both ways before crossing a one-way street. She then tells Lila to watch out for a green blouse, which is the shirt that she wanted and Lila bought. A few seconds later, someone trips and drops a bowl of lime Jell-o on her shirt.

*There's a funny scene where Ellen starts yelling at Jessica and strains her voice, so she accuses Jessica of being a witch and putting a spell on her.

*Jessica tells Mary and Tamara that they should add Ellen to their group literally seconds before going on stage and they agree. They all go out together, despite them making a huge deal out of the fact that they were practicing alone for weeks several times in the books and Ellen doesn't know the moves.

*Randy's uncle says that he can't use the footage for his movie, which is why he sold it. Why couldn't he, or why couldn't he just do an interview with the twins later?

*Speaking of that tape, do local news stations really pay for footage? I have a friend who works for one of our stations (in a fairly large city), and he said hell no. They either use stock footage, footage from another station, something someone sent in, or something they film themselves.

*This guy is a horrible filmmaker anyway. He does his voiceover work while sitting in a car with Jessica next to him and talking. Like he wouldn't dub the voicework in a studio!

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Baby-Sitters Club #86: Mary Anne and the Camp BSC

It's the end of the school year and three weeks until summer camp starts, so you know what that means. Everyone and his mother is going to be calling the BSC for help. Mary Anne and Mallory think about this while sitting for the Pikes, and they decide to bring it up during the next meeting.

The BSC decides that they should hold a big camp for the kids in Stoneybrook, and they use Mary Anne and Dawn's house. They get a few nearby parents to agree to be “on call” in case of an emergency, and they call all their regular clients. They also decide to do a circus theme, but agree not to tell the kids until the first day.

Mrs. Gianelli brings Bobby and Alicia to camp, but Alicia doesn't do so well. She starts crying every time her mom leaves and refuses to go on any field trips because she thinks her mom will come back early and not find her. Instead of making her go, they let her stay with Mary Anne at the house while everyone else goes to the park and Mrs. Stone's farm.

Karen and some of her friends (Ricky, Hannie, etc.) went to a real circus camp (whatever the heck that is), and they start bitching and complaining about the BSC camp. Karen rolls her eyes a lot and moans about how lame everything is. I have to agree with her though. The kids create a bunch of tricks and stunts and dress up as animals to hold their own circus event on the last day.

Karen creates a trick that lets her saw someone in half, but it uses a pair of fake legs made from old pantyhose. When practicing her trick, one of the legs fall off. The BSC and the charges have a big fight over the circus act, but the leg makes everyone start laughing. Karen winds up doing the trick in the show and everyone loves it.

While all of this is going on, Richard announces that he needs to fly to Ohio for some business merger he needs to oversee. Sharon can't wait because it will give the girls a chance to have two weeks of freedom. Mary Anne thinks it sounds like fun at first, but she gets tired of it pretty quickly. Neither Dawn nor Sharon clean up. They just let all the trash sit in the living room and keep the dishes piled up in the sink. Mary Anne also gets sick of eating take out every night of the week, and at one point, she makes dinner for herself while they eat pizza.

She also starts missing her dad a lot, even suggesting that he come home early. While riding bikes with Logan and Dawn, she hits something in the middle of the road and hits the road pretty hard. She winds up going to the hospital with a bunch of scrapes and bruises and a sprained ankle. Richard calls the hospital to check on her, and she once again asks him to come home and he just puts her off.

This pretty much sets Mary Anne off so she starts acting like a huge crab. Sharon lets her order anything she wants and tries to convince her to go to the movies with them, but she refuses. At camp the next day, Alicia decides to go on the next field trip and leave Mary Anne alone. That makes her realize that she needs to be more independent. She has a long talk with Richard when he gets back, and then they sit down to watch the video of the circus performance.

*Major continuity error: Richard says that he needs to take a business trip to Cincinnati. Right before he leaves, he mentions flying to Cleveland. Two cities on the opposite end of the state!

*Dawn “invented” three-cheese macaroni. That's funny because I also “invented” three-cheese macaroni when I realized that I didn't have enough of one kind.

*Dawn doesn't seem like the type of person who would leave dishes and trash in the sink for over a week. Wasn't she always cleaning up after her mom?

*Richard says that he will need to make a few more trips back to Ohio over the summer. Do lawyers really need to do that much traveling? What the heck kind of lawyer is he anyway?

*I love how Dawn whines so much about the evils of red meat, but she has no problem eating loads of cheese and eggs all the time. It also doesn't seem realistic that she would be okay eating take out every night for two weeks.

*It's really bitchy for Sharon to suggest that Mary Anne go to the movies with them. Granted it's the drive in, but it's still a little bitchy. How comfortable could she really be sitting in the backseat?

*Were drive ins really rare/scarce in 1995 when this book came out? We only have one or two left within driving distance now, but we went to them all the time when I was younger. I hit 16 in 1996, and my group of friends still went to the drive in movies pretty often.