The Sweet Life
It might be a good idea to revisit the Sweet Valley Confidential recap before reading this one. I had to. And as always, spoilers await. Don’t read on if you don’t want to know what happens!
It’s been three years since the Wakefield-Wilkins wedding. Here’s what we’ve missed:
- Jessica is vice president of George Fowler’s green marketing company VERTPLUS.NET (yes, it’s capitalized like that and yes, George Fowler’s name has been corrected since SVC). She’s found her calling as a PR genius, but she and Todd separated four months ago because, you know, women are supposed to stay home with the kids. They have a two-year-old son named Jake.
- Liz and Bruce have been living together. Bruce is wealthier than ever and he runs a foundation or something.
- Sweet Valley is now “just a suburb of L.A.” and Liz and Todd both write for the L.A. Tribune – Todd a sports column and Liz a blog.
- Steven and Aaron have a four-month-old named Emma. A woman named Linda Carson was their surrogate mother and they don’t want to know whose sperm made the baby.
- Lila is about to audition for True Housewives of Sweet Valley because what else would she be doing with her life? She’s still married to Ken.
- Enid’s been having an affair with the husband of a patient.
- Liz’s friend Liam from New York is a star in L.A. now and he’s in love with Jessica.
Let’s go ahead and get Lila’s business out of the way since it has nothing to do with the rest of the story and I know you’re all dying to know what she’s up to. She wants to be a “True Housewife” (think Real Housewives of Wherever) so her daddy will pay attention to her again. Ken is an NFL superstar and Lila figures it’s her turn to be famous. Ken occasionally packs a suitcase and acts like he’s ending the marriage, but he always comes back. Lila wins a spot as a True Housewife, and the first meet and greet is filmed at her house. There are three other women, and Lila figures the producers will love her if she acts the part of Rich Snob. So she spends the entire day saying mean and nasty things about Ken and being a bitch to the other women. Ken sees the footage that night and packs a bag and leaves. And that’s all the Lila this book has to offer. Not enough Lila! We’ll be seeing more of her in upcoming episodes, don’t worry.
Jessica finds out Todd has been seen around town with another Tribune reporter named Sarah Miller. She can’t resist Googling Sarah, and she finds some articles where Sarah has quoted Jessica without giving her credit. Fuck. That. Jessica sends the articles along with her original interviews to Sarah’s editor, Walt Tyndale. Two weeks later, Caroline tells her that Sarah’s been fired. Todd comes over to yell at Jessica for ruining Sarah’s life and accuse her of manipulating him into loving her. He says he wouldn’t be surprised if she had pretended to be Liz on purpose at that one party. After saying he’ll “fuck whomever I please,” he storms out in a huff and goes to Sarah’s. Sarah is totally baffled that her boyfriend’s wife is so mad at her over one little mistake. Clearly, she’s an idiot. She and Todd start making out, but Todd apologizes and leaves when Sarah tries to have sex with him.
That same morning, Bruce gets a call from his PA (personal assistant? public announcer? Port Authority?), Dean. One of the Patman Foundation’s summer interns is accusing Bruce of sexual assault. Liz knows Bruce wouldn’t do such a thing (because he’s changed since his sexual assaultin’ days!) and she’s convinced this all has something to do with Rick Warner. Rick recently gave in and let Bruce win a land deal for one of his foundations, and Liz thinks it’s suspicious that he gave in so easily. Whatever the case, things are looking pretty terrible for Bruce’s reputation.
Liz gets an urgent text from Jessica telling her to come over right away. Thinking Jessica might know something about this Bruce situation that’s all over the news, she rushes over there. Of course, Jessica just wants to cry about Todd. Liz lets her get it out of her system, and then she finally gets to talk about her own problems. To her credit, as soon as Jessica finds out what’s going on, she jumps into action, running out the door and yelling about crisis intervention.
Jessica talks to Bruce and his lawyer, Ben Bookman, and finds out there was an incident a while back at the Charm Club. Bruce says he was there to meet someone named Alan Bloom, but Alan never showed. While he was waiting, a girl came up to Bruce and started crying about her abusive father. Bruce tried to help her and get her to a women’s shelter, and then he felt sick and the owner let him take a nap in the office. When he woke up, the girl was gone. Jessica emails all these details to Liz, who calls Alan Bloom and finds out he never set up any meeting at the Charm Club. Then she tracks down the bartender. He tells Liz that Bruce got drunk and hit on the girl and she turned him down.
Jess takes a break from rescuing Bruce to go on a date with Liam. She’s convinced herself that Todd went and fucked Sarah (Jessica and Todd have filthy mouths) as soon as their fight was over, so she figures she might as well move on with her life, too. She accidentally leaves her cell phone at home, so she misses Todd’s many apologetic texts. She doesn’t see them until after she’s had sex with Liam. Well done, Jess.
Liz spends all day talking to Patman Foundation interns and worrying about how pretty they all are. She finally finds the right one, Robin Platt. She goes to Robin’s house and judges the shabby exterior before ringing the bell. She pretends to be a therapist sent by Robin’s priest to help her through this troublesome ordeal. When Robin lets her in, she judges the furnishings, too. She thinks it’s weird that there’s nothing feminine about the place and it makes her think again that Rick Warner is behind this. Then she gets sucked into Robin’s sad story.
Robin’s story: Bruce got drunk and complained to Robin about his lame girlfriend and their lousy sex life. She went to the bathroom and Bruce was waiting for her when she got out. He pushed her into the office and started trying to rip her clothes off, and Robin was able to knock him down and escape because he was drunk.
To Be Continued…
“Another half hour and I’d have put him to bed and he’d have missed seeing his mother for the whole goddamn day because her work was more important than her kid!”
“That’s so unfair!” She answered him in that same sizzle of words. “How many times do you miss putting him to bed?”
“I’m not his mother!”
I feel like Todd has always been the kind of guy who thinks mothers should all be of the stay-at-home variety. Remember that time his mom baked a cake for no reason at all? That’s what he wants, but he married a woman who probably can’t figure out a toaster oven.
It had been thirty years, and she still didn’t get how people, even ones who knew them well, could mix them up. Todd never did.
“I know you don’t read it, but my blog is really edgy now.”
I’m sure it is, Liz. You are edginess personified.
“Kenny, it’s not me. I was just pretending to be a bitch.”
Ken Matthews, loquacious as ever.
Jessica felt like she was on a mission. A fuck mission.
Oh, Jessica. You’re a little bit ridiculous.
I think it’s awesome that Jessica has found a job she likes (and is good at!). She doesn’t say “like” and “so” as much as she did in SVC, but the habit isn’t completely broken. She’s still able to go out and do Jessica things because she has a superhero of a nanny, Liza, to take care of the kid. But all in all she seems to be the only character who’s grown and matured. Which is fucking bizarre.