Posts Tagged ‘*Sweet Valley Confidential’

The Sweet Life 6: Bittersweet

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Aaron texts the twins to tell them Robin Platt is really Mona Thomas, and that Mona got fired from Warner Gas for embezzling money to support a drug habit. Liz marches into the rehab center in Lexington and demands to know about Mona. The facility director buys her story about being Mona’s sister and proceeds to break every confidentiality law in existence. She says Mona was never good with the twelve steps and she was only a patient for eight months about two years ago. Liz manages to find out that the real Robin Platt was the only visitor Mona ever had.

Liz does a little research online and finds a Facebook page for a Robert Platt. Robert pretty much matches Robin’s description and Liz figures it all out. Robin and Mona were friends. Robin moved to New York, had a sex change operation and became Robert. Mona moved to L.A. and started working for – and sleeping with – Rick Warner. When he caught her stealing from the company, he blackmailed her into ruining Bruce’s life, but she had to change her name because he couldn’t have Mona Thomas on the books anymore or something. Liz is quite sure all of this is fact.

Jessica calls Bruce in France and tells him he needs to come home. Jess has been having a rough time lately. Nobody likes her anymore except Liam, and she can’t stand him anymore. Even Lila hasn’t answered her texts in weeks. Meanwhile, Lila is hurt because Jessica’s been sending her mean messages on Facebook about how selfish and horrible she is. This is the first we’ve heard about these messages. Hmm.

True Housewives has a live special to announce Lila’s real pregnancy. Ken happens to catch it while channel surfing and he’s super pissed that Lila would try to trick him again. He speeds over to the house and crashes the broadcast, lifting Lila’s shirt and yelling, “Fraud!” Everyone is shocked when they see she’s not wearing padding or anything and her stomach really does have a baby in it. Ken immediately forgets every terrible thing Lila has ever done.

Liam wants to have lunch with Jessica and he won’t take no for an answer. When Jessica gets to her house, she finds Liam trying to play with Jake, who seems terrified. Liam sent Liza the nanny home so he and Jessica could talk. Jessica tells Liam things aren’t working out and she wants to stop seeing him, and Liam freaks out. He says he knows about Jessica’s dates with Michael and Cal the lawyer, and the reason they – and Lila – stopped calling Jessica was because Liam created a duplicate of Jessica’s Facebook page and sent them mean messages. Jessica is horrified and she tries to get Liam to leave, but he won’t. He’s being a total psycho. He says he wants Jessica to have sex with him so she has to put Jake down for his nap. Jessica shuts Jake into his room, and as soon as the door is closed, Jake starts playing with Jessica’s phone. Todd calls and Jake answers it and says the “scary toy man” is there. Todd is pissed because he told Jessica he didn’t want Liam spending time with Jake, so he drops whatever it is he’s doing to go yell at Jessica.

Meanwhile, Liz has flown back to Sweet Valley and she goes to Mona’s house, arriving just in time to see Mona dragging a suitcase out the door. She makes Mona talk to her and finds out she was right about almost everything. The only thing she had wrong was Mona’s relationship with Warner. He was making her sleep with him, threatening to have her arrested if she refused. He also liked to record his rapes and Mona managed to get a copy of one where he was saying things like, “And you’ll tell them it was Patman who did this to you…” Ugh, I might throw up. Mona gives the video to Liz, and Liz calls Annie and tells her everything. But for some reason she makes Annie promise not to tell Bruce she was the one who figured it all out.

Back at Jessica’s, things are going horribly. Liam has Jessica pinned and is trying to make her, you know, do stuff with him. She’s gotten hold of a pair of nail scissors and she stabs them into his neck, but it doesn’t do much to deter him because he’s a fucking psychopath. Todd bursts in just in the nick of time. He can see what’s happening and immediately goes into TODD SMASH mode. He picks up Liam and throws him against the wall while Jessica calls 911. After Todd beats Liam up for a while and the cops have come and taken Liam away, Todd and Jessica declare their undying love for one another.

Annie and Mona go to the prosecutor and lay everything out for him. The charges against Bruce are dropped and he gives a press conference the next morning. Everyone shows up; Lila and Ken, Todd and Jessica, Aaron and Steve, even the perpetually vacationing Wakefield parents. Liz feels left out since she’s the only one who isn’t part of a couple, but then Bruce starts his speech and says he wants to thank someone super important and special who never stopped believing in him and blah blah blah. Liz thinks he might still love her after all, but then he says the woman he loves is Annie Whitman.

And then the book ends. Lame. Lamesauce to the max.

Quotes:

But at his core, Ken was not a complicated man; he just wanted to be with his pretty wife and have cute babies crawling around on the rug.

No, Ken is not a complicated man. He’s a fucking idiot.

The hairs on the back of Jessica’s neck rose a little as she realized that Liam might be capable of something seriously violent. Liam stood wearing his black T-shirt and dark-wash jeans, his muscles tensed, like a cobra ready to strike.

Psychos always wear dark clothing.

“And here’s the video.” Elizabeth handed Annie a Memory Stick.

Memory Stick is capitalized every time, I can’t figure out why.

The Sweet Life 5: Cutting the Ties

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

We pick things back up in France, where Annie tells Bruce she can’t have sex with him. He loses his temper, presumably because his entire life sucks and he can’t even get Easy Annie to sleep with him, so he goes outside and knocks things over for a while. Meanwhile, Liz is hanging out at her parents’ house, getting drunk on wine and feeling sorry for herself. She suddenly decides she’s been terribly foolish and she vows to get to the bottom of things, starting with going to Robin’s hometown in Kentucky to see if she really is who she says she is.

As for Jessica, she has decided to date Michael Wilson. Liam is pressuring her to be exclusive, but she’s not ready for that (and she’s really not that into him, anyway). Besides, Liam’s out of town, so she can go to dinner with Michael as much as she wants, though she’s taking things slowly and not sleeping with him. Things are going quite well until he suddenly stops answering her calls. At work the next day, he tells her she’s lost the Maybelline account because details about something or other were leaked on Facebook. Jessica knows Emily, her bratty assistant, is the one behind all this. She’s sure of it after she finds out Emily is the daughter of Tracy Courtright’s best friend. Jessica is feeling pretty down about things, so she goes out and has a fantastic date with a lawyer named Cal. Then he never calls her again. She’s worried she’s losing her touch. Liam comes back into town with flowers for Jessica and a toy for Jake. He tells Jessica he wants her to come spend the night with him and gets annoyed when she says no. So he proposes to her and gets annoyed again when she says no. What is wrong with this guy? Todd brings Jake home after they hang out one day, and Jake cries when Todd leaves. Jessica decides this whole thing is bullshit and she’s going to get Todd back (already tried that, didn’t she?). The first thing she has to do is get rid of Liam. She can hardly stand him anyway.

The paparazzi have found Bruce, so there are pictures all over the internet. Caroline sends Liz a picture of Bruce and Annie laughing over dinner in beautiful France, and there’s a good two pages of Liz trying to convince herself that Annie wouldn’t sleep with Bruce. Caroline decides to dig deeper into this Annie-Bruce thing, so she interviews Charlie Markus, Annie’s ex-husband. He’s adamant that Annie is a sex addict and that if she’s alone with Bruce, they must be sleeping together.

Oh, Caroline’s blog is pearcingbitches.com. Can someone please make that a real thing?

Liz doesn’t have much luck in Kentucky. Robin appears to have been telling the truth about everything in her past, and the only thing Liz learns is that Robin is probably a lesbian. Aaron goes back to Warner Gas and finds out about a woman named Mona Thomas. She was an accountant’s assistant who was fired for stealing money from the company to support her drug habit. Aaron’s phone falls out of his pocket and Nola the receptionist can see the picture of Robin he’d been looking at. She asks Aaron why he has a picture of Mona on his phone.

Everyone in America hates Lila. #LiarLila is now trending on Twitter and Jimmy Fallon is doing jokes about her. Ken is hooking up with Ashley Morgan. Jessica and Enid are the only people who know that Lila is really pregnant. Jessica is worried because Lila isn’t answering her calls or returning her voicemails.

Quotes:

No matter how hard it was, or how much heartbreak she was suffering, she had to find a way to move on. If that meant using Liam and Michael like crutches until she could walk on her own two feet, that’s exactly what she planned to do.

At least she’s honest about her whorishness.

The Sweet Life 4: Secrets and Seductions

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Lila is finally a star. Now that she’s got Ken back and everyone hates Ashley Morgan, Lila is the most popular True Housewife and #lilafowler and #lilasbaby are trending topics on Twitter. There is that pesky fake pregnancy she’s got going on, but she plans to have a miscarriage at a dinner party given by Ashley, who wants to regain some of her lost popularity. Lila freaks out when she’s served raw fish and she accuses Ashley of trying to kill her baby. She puts on the dramatics and cries to Ken about Ashley all the way home, and then she fakes some cramps and locks herself in the bathroom.

Caroline Pearce hasn’t gotten hold of any good gossip lately, so she makes an appointment with Enid Rollins. Apparently, the gynecologist’s office is the best place to get some gossip. Enid isn’t happy to see Caroline, not after Caroline blogged about Enid’s affair with married pool salesman Brad Jones a few months ago. Lila is one of Enid’s patients, so Caroline asks how Lila’s been since the miscarriage. Enid is too cool to watch True Housewives and has no idea what Caroline is talking about. She says Lila can’t possibly have had a miscarriage because Enid saw her recently and she wasn’t even pregnant. Then Enid asks Caroline not to repeat that. Yeah, right. Caroline sells her story about Lila’s fake pregnancy to TMZ and it doesn’t take long before it’s all over the television. Ken manages to string more than three words together to tell Lila he’s done, he’s filing for divorce and he never wants to see her again. After he leaves, Lila throws up a few times and then realizes she hasn’t had a period in a while. She takes a test and yep, it turns out she is actually pregnant. Oh, Lila.

After Bruce disappears, Liz tells her editor, Tim White, she can’t run her Jane Doe interview because she just can’t do that to Bruce. Tim says he doesn’t want to have to fire her, so Liz quits her job. Why in the world did he ever put her on that story to begin with? Liz is still convinced Rick Warner is behind this whole thing and she needs someone to go undercover at Warner Gas headquarters. She decides – arbitrarily, it seems – that Aaron Dallas is the perfect choice. Aaron and Steve recently went to New York to get married, so I guess now Liz feels like Aaron is family and has to help her.

The Warner building is some big deal glass high rise, so Aaron pretends to be an architecture student doing research for his thesis. Nola the receptionist gives him a tour of the building, and when she leaves for lunch, Aaron hops on her computer and starts going through the employee records. He doesn’t find a Robin Platt, but he does find a Rose Pally who went on paid extended leave about a week before Bruce allegedly attacked Robin. Aaron emails everything to Liz, who sends it on to Annie and Jessica. But then Aaron finds out Rose Pally is not Robin Platt so we’re back to square one.

Liz tells Annie she thinks Bruce is probably at his villa in France, so Annie flies there to try to get Bruce to go home. Bruce doesn’t want to talk about the case and takes her to lunch instead. Annie is all googly-eyed by the wine and the wealth and the gorgeous Bruce Patman, and she thinks about the time they had sex in high school, back when she was Easy Annie. Meanwhile, Bruce realizes he needs to be “the old Bruce” if he’s going to win this thing and he figures the best way to get his cockiness back is to have sex with Annie. They tumble into bed and Annie keeps thinking “Should I? Shouldn’t I?” and the chapter ends and we don’t know if she did or not.

Jessica has gone back to work and she’s miserable. Tracy Courtright is in her old office and Jessica is in a cubicle. She hates her assistant, Emily, and Tracy keeps shooting down all her ideas. Jessica is too depressed to care, though. The only thing she cares about now is clearing Bruce’s name so he and Liz can get back together. She gets an email from Caroline one day with a link to another TMZ headline: “Liam’s New Flame, Jessica Wakefield, in Bitter Divorce Battle.” Jessica didn’t file for divorce, so Todd must have. Rather than call Todd to do some fact-checking, Jessica takes Michael Wilson to dinner, presumably to seduce him. And when Todd sees the news, he assumes Jessica has filed for divorce, so he goes ahead and has sex with Sarah. She’s been living with him this whole time but nothing has happened between them until now. As soon as Todd falls asleep, Sarah texts Caroline and lets her know she and Todd are officially a couple now. Sigh. Sarah’s the one who told Caroline that Todd was filing for divorce. She hates Jessica for getting her fired and so she’s going to steal Todd from her.

Quotes:

“Something wrong?” Robin asked, and the meanness and suspicion had disappeared from her voice. Now there was only worry.

Instantly, Elizabeth felt flooded with shame. She’d doubted Robin based on something less than a hunch.

I hate you, Elizabeth.

The Sweet Life 3: Too Many Doubts

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Liz gets a phone call in the middle of the night. It’s Robin, freaking out because Bruce was just arrested for trying to break into her house. Liz races over there, feeling guilty about all the lies she’s been telling. Did I mention she’s told Robin her name is Laura? Robin starts to say she could use a drink, but then stops herself and looks sheepishly at Liz. Hmm.

Bruce manages to send a text to Elizabeth before the cops take his phone away, but of course she ignores it because she doesn’t want Robin to see it. Bruce’s lawyer, Ben, comes to bail him out and they prepare to face the paparazzi outside the police station. Just then Bruce’s old friend Missy shows up. Missy Le Grange and her family have been rich country club friends of the Patman family for years, and Missy has never been able to figure out why Bruce isn’t in love with her. At the police station, she asks why Liz isn’t there and then insults all reporters in general. Bruce is already gone by the time Liz bothers to show up, and another reporter tells her he drove off with a woman in a white Bentley. Liz knows that’s Missy’s car and immediately feels jealous.

Bruce’s PI calls and says he found out Liz helped Robin get into her new house. He even sends Bruce a picture of Liz’s signature on the lease. Bruce sends Liz a “WE NEED TO TALK” text (everyone in Sweet Valley texts in all caps) and makes Missy take him home. When Liz shows up, Bruce tells her he knows she’s been helping Robin and he wants to know why. Liz says she was just trying to find out what really happened, and suggests that maybe Bruce had a seizure. She says something about Bruce’s mother’s “condition” and Bruce freaks out, grabbing her by the arms and yelling at her. Liz runs away to live at her parents’ house.

Jessica’s been depressed since Todd left her at the restaurant, but that doesn’t stop her from going out with Liam a couple of days later. Her old boss, Michael, calls during dinner and begs her to come back to work. Liam tells her she shouldn’t go back, and Jessica gets irritated. Whatever, she doesn’t want to go back anyway because she’s holding out hope that Todd will love her again one day. A few days later, Todd sees a tabloid with a picture of Jessica and Liam kissing. TODD SMASH. He goes home and Sarah is waiting on his doorstep. She’s been kicked out of her apartment because she has no money. Todd feels guilty because it’s all his fault (and by that he means it’s all Jessica’s fault) that Sarah lost her job, so he tells Sarah to move in with him.

After Bruce’s arrest, Jessica takes a break from worrying about her love life. Ben Bookman is useless as a defense attorney, so Jessica makes Bruce hire Annie Whitman. Meanwhile, Liz’s editor finds out she knows who “Jane Doe” is and tells her she’s in big trouble unless she can convince Robin to give an interview. Robin reacts strangely when Liz tells her the truth about who she is. She’s angry for about two seconds, and then quickly agrees to do the interview as long as her name is kept out of it. Liz thinks something is off.

Let’s take a break from all that nonsense and check in on the Land of Lila, where things are working out beautifully. Not everyone believes Lila is actually pregnant, but she’s got the Twitterverse on her side. People are sending Ken hate tweets because he’s going on dates with Ashley Morgan while his pregnant wife sits around pining for him. Ken and Ashley show up at Lila’s house during a taping (is the show always filmed at Lila’s house?), and Ashley tries to hit Lila. Ken says, “Back away from my wife!” And then Ken and Lila go upstairs and have sex.

And in other Stupid News, Aaron and Steven have hired an idiot woman named Agneta to watch Emma now that Aaron is going back to work. Agneta takes Emma to the park, where they chat with Melissa, a woman who has been hanging around the park the last few weeks. Melissa has told Agneta she gave birth to a stillborn baby recently. The women sit on a bench and talk for a bit, and then go to the other side of the park to the baby swings. Agneta can’t find her phone and realizes it must still be on the bench. Melissa says she’ll watch Emma while Agneta goes back to the bench. Agneta thinks maybe it’s not such a good idea because she doesn’t know Melissa that well, but whatevs, she needs her phone! So instead of saying, “I’d better stay with the baby, can you get it?” or just picking the baby up and taking her along, she leaves Emma with Melissa while she strolls to the other side of the park and then moseys back to the swings, answering texts from her boyfriend along the way. When she gets back to the swings, Melissa and Emma are gone.

Everyone ends up at Steve and Aaron’s that night when the news gets around. When Agneta starts describing Melissa to the police, Steve realizes she’s talking about Linda Carson, the surrogate who carried Emma. Everyone sits around worrying for a few hours, and suddenly they hear Emma crying outside. Steven and Aaron open the door and find Emma with a note pinned to her blanket. This is what the note says: “Can’t stand that wail anymore! She’s all yours! Thank God!” Steven thanks his lucky stars for the “Jessica gene” that he’s sure gave Emma her piercing cry, and then starts a daycare at the law firm for other employees with kids. Being with other kids makes her happy and Aaron stops spoiling her so much. And everyone lived happily ever after.

Well, that was a nice interlude. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Jessica is sick of this Todd-being-an-absent-father business, and she gets especially upset when Jake says it’s not fair that Emma has two dads and he has none. She decides the best thing to do is just go to Todd’s and get him back. (It took her weeks to think of that.) When Jessica rings the bell, Sarah answers the door wearing nothing but a black lace teddy. Sounds legit. That’s how I always answer the door.

Bruce is sulking around his sad, empty mansion one day and thinking about his mother and her condition, which turns out to have been bipolar disease. Bruce worries that he might have the same thing, and what if the reason he can’t remember anything from that night at the bar is because he’s crazy like his mother? I don’t think being bipolar makes you forgetful, but what do I know? And hey, he might really be insane, because he decides to hop a plane and leave the country. This is the day Annie finds out he’s going to be charged with felony sexual assault. She was hopeful that things could still be okay as long as Bruce didn’t do anything crazy, but, well, bipolar!

Quotes:

Jessica had offered her the guest bedroom, but she had turned it down, deciding to stay at the Wakefields while they were on another one of their endless cruises.

I was wondering where they were.

Back at her stylish townhome…

Jessica’s place is always described as her stylish townhome.

The Sweet Life 2: Lies and Omissions

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Lila is hanging out with Jessica and getting pissed because Jess is too distracted with fixing Bruce’s life to pay attention to her. The whole situation reminds her of the time John Pfeifer attacked her, so she’s firmly on the intern’s side. And whatever, she doesn’t really care, anyway. She wants to talk about Ken. He hasn’t been answering her calls or texts and Lila’s worried he might actually be serious about leaving her. She and Jessica decide to be proactive about getting their men back.

Lila’s big plan is to dress like a prostitute and visit Ken in the locker room after a game. He isn’t at all interested in talking to her. Lila follows him outside and finds him talking to Ashley Morgan, one of the other True Housewives. Ken tells Lila he’s tired of trying to please her, and then he and Ashley get in the car and drive away. Lila can’t believe he was able to resist her cleavage, but she comes up with another plan. The next time the film crews are around, Lila tells the other two Housewives that she’s pregnant and Ken has left her for Ashley. So now Ashley looks like the bitch.

As for Jessica, she figures there are two things she has to do to get Todd back: give up her career and never tell him she slept with Liam. She plans to resign her position immediately after a big fancy gala that night, and then go out to dinner with Todd and announce that she’s now able to devote all her time and energy to her wifely duties. Liz thinks it’s a terrible idea, but she doesn’t want to be the one to burst Jessica’s bubble. Because, yeah, it’s better to let her quit on a job she loves and thrives at on the off chance that it will make Todd stop being a misogynistic ass.

Liz is still wrestling with the things Robin Platt told her about Bruce. She asks Bruce some questions and he gets mad that she doesn’t trust him. His irritation reminds Liz of that time he tried to rape her in high school. She tries to tell herself that was the old Bruce and he’d never do anything like that now, but she’s not sure she can trust him. She goes to Robin’s and is once again taken in by the girl’s tears. Robin says she’s been getting hang-up phone calls and she’s afraid of what might happen if Bruce finds her. Liz remembers seeing a house for rent near Robin’s church and decides to rent the place under her own name for Robin to live in.

Meanwhile, Caroline Pearce is feeling bitter about that damned Jessica Wakefield always treating her so badly when all she’s ever wanted is to be Jessica’s friend. She’s sick to death of it, so she goes looking for dirt. Her friend from yoga works at the hotel where Jessica and Liam had their night of passion. She even managed to get a picture of the two of them (because Liam is a famous actor, remember) getting on the elevator to go up to Liam’s room. Later, this weirdo friend of Caroline’s went up to the room and heard Liam and Jessica having sex. Caroline writes a blog post about it and sends the link to Todd.

Annie Whitman is a successful lawyer and has just moved back to Sweet Valley from San Diego. She and Charlie Markus got divorced six months ago. Apparently, he turned bitter and mean after spending twelve years failing to publish a novel. When Annie finally read one of his manuscripts, she was livid to find it was a novel about how she was just a cheap whore before Charlie saved her (I guess we’re still going with that inconsistency). Anyway, we care about her because Jessica has asked her for legal advice on the Bruce situation. I’m surprised Jess didn’t call her father, expert of all things legal and law related.

As long as we’re catching up with some non-twin folks, let’s see what brother Steven is up to. He and Aaron have a four month old daughter named Emma. Aaron spoils her, giving her new toys every day and making her sleep in bed with him and Steven instead of in her crib (because the crib is a lonely prison). Steve can’t sleep when she’s in the bed because he thinks he’ll roll over and crush her, and because he’s too stupid to just go sleep on the couch, he’s going through his work weeks at the law firm on almost no sleep.

ANYWAY, Jessica’s gala goes smashingly and she’s happier than she’s ever been because she’s so super awesome at her job. She wonders if maybe she’s making a mistake in quitting, but she goes ahead and tells her boss she’s resigning. Then she’s off to dinner with Todd, where she tells him she’s all his forever and always. Well, Todd thinks that’s just great and he’s all set to come home. Then Jessica goes to the restroom and Todd pulls out his iPhone and sees the email from Caroline. He reads the whole thing and then throws his napkin down and leaves. Jessica comes back to an empty table and is confused until she sees the email from Caroline on her own phone.

A week later, Liz is watching Bruce give an interview and trying to convince herself she believes Bruce is innocent. But she really doesn’t and she feels horribly guilty about this. She’s been investigating Robin’s past and finding out everything Robin told her seems to be true. She can’t make herself spend time with Bruce, even when he texts her and begs her to come home because he needs her. She tells him she has to spend the night at Jessica’s. She goes to Robin’s new place to help her unpack, and Robin says she’s starting to wonder if she should just drop these charges and disappear. Liz knows one word from her is all the encouragement Robin would need and then she and Bruce could have their lives back, but she doesn’t think that would be right because what if Bruce just goes out and tries to rape some other poor girl?

Bruce is frustrated. He’s hired a private detective to try to track down his accuser since Liz doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere. The PI gives him Robin’s name and some pictures of her moving into her new house. Robin is definitely the girl he tried to help in the bar, but he doesn’t remember her being an intern at all. Bruce gets drunk and decides he needs answers. He’s got Robin’s address now, so he swerves on over to her house at two in the morning and starts screaming and banging on the door. He manages to put his fist through a window, and then the cops show up and arrest him. Idiot.

I’m starting to suspect (hope) there’s an evil Bruce twin.

Quotes:

“Lila, calm down.” Jessica reached out to touch her friend on the shoulder and gave her a patronizing look that Lila couldn’t stand.

Jessica must have learned shoulder-patting from Liz somewhere along the way.

“Do you want her to grow up to be spoiled and entitled like Jessica?” This, of course, was Steven’s greatest fear.

I totally understand. I would be horrified if I had a kid like Jessica.

The Sweet Life

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

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…

Quotes:

“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.

Yeah…except all those times he 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.”

“Not pretending.”

Ken Matthews, loquacious as ever.

Jessica felt like she was on a mission. A fuck mission.

Oh, Jessica. You’re a little bit ridiculous.

My thoughts:

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.

Why, Francine?!

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

My worst fears have been realized! There will be a follow-up to Sweet Valley Confidential.

It was announced today at The New York Times that a new series will begin next spring. It will be a digital-only series with installments coming out each month.

So, to recap:

Bad news = The Wakefields will be sticking around for even more terrible books.

Good news = The new series will probably keep me in the blogging business for the next fifteen years.

Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

This is it, folks. The day we’ve all been waiting for. The day we find out exactly why Elizabeth Wakefield left Sweet Valley and why she cries when she orgasms. There are obviously spoilers here, so don’t read any further if you don’t want to know the whole story.

Y’all ready for this?

Here we go!

Elizabeth Wakefield has left Sweet Valley and is now living in New York City, working for a crappy online magazine that nobody’s ever heard of. When our story opens, Liz and her boss, David Stephenson, are returning to Liz’s apartment after grabbing a post-workday dinner. Liz thinks David is handsome enough, but she doesn’t really want to sleep with him because he made her leave the tip at the restaurant. Get over yourself, Liz, it wasn’t even a date. The phone is ringing when they come in, but Liz lets the machine pick it up. It’s Jessica, begging Liz to talk to her.

Liz ignores Jessica and gives David a glass of wine. He asks whose voice that was on the answering machine and marvels at how much it sounded like Liz. Liz considers sleeping with him to get him to stop asking questions, but in the end the tip thing just bothers her too much and she tells him she’s tired and kicks him out. Once he’s gone, she curls up on her couch and feels sorry for herself.

FLASHBACK! We’re suddenly treated to a present-tense-first-person account of the day Todd Wilkins asked Jessica out back in high school. It’s kind of weird.

PRESENT DAY Back in Sweet Valley, Jessica is whining to Todd about Liz not answering any of her calls, texts, emails or Facebook friend requests. There’s kind of a lot of nonsense, but I gather that Liz and Todd were engaged at some point and Jessica slept with Todd. Then there’s another weird first-person-present-tense passage. It’s the exact same scene from before, this time from Jessica’s point of view. Anyway, Todd and Jessica are now living together and are going to be married in four weeks. Todd writes a successful sports column and the two of them spend most of their time trying to avoid the judgmental stares of their friends.

Todd and Jessica go to a party at Lila’s house, and we learn the latest about all our old faves:

  • Lila and Ken Matthews are in the middle of getting a divorce, but Ken is apparently still at the house most of the time. Ken is a successful NFL star. Lila doesn’t work, of course.
  • Caroline Pearce is a successful real estate broker and a cancer survivor. She’s still a big gossipmonger.
  • Jeffrey French is a successful dentist and is married to someone whose name Jessica can’t remember.
  • Enid Rollins and A. J. Morgan are having an affair or something and it’s bad for their image, but I don’t know why.
  • Robin Wilson is a successful caterer and restaurant critic, but somehow manages to keep herself slim.

You’ll notice that with the exception of A. J. and Enid, everyone’s life has the word successful in it. Sweet Valley is magic.

Everyone seems surprised to see Toddica, but Caroline is the only one who actually dares to ask about Elizabeth. Instead of answering, Jessica tells Caroline what a nosy bitch she is. Then she turns on Lila and hollers at her for inviting her to a party Caroline was going to attend, accusing her of wanting her there only for the drama.

All of Jessica’s chapters are like so infused with instances of like and so and they so make me want to like stab my eyes out.

Meanwhile, Liz goes to some crappy theater to interview William Connolly, a playwright who is currently auditioning actors for his debut play. He acts like a jackass and hardly even looks at Liz, but when he finally does, Liz freaks out a little because he looks exactly like Todd. Sigh. Of course he does. His resemblance to Todd throws Liz down memory lane and she thinks about a time in college when she was sick and made Jessica go to a party with Todd. As far as she knows, it’s the only time they spent any time alone. I guess that whole thing after the prom doesn’t count. And, of course, Liz doesn’t know about the other stuff.

Coincidentally, Todd and Jessica are also thinking of that party in college and…

FLASHBACK – COLLEGE, SENIOR YEAR Jessica doesn’t really want to go to the party, but Todd is the guest of honor and Liz really wants him to go. Neither Todd nor Jessica has any fun at first, but people keep assuming Jessica is Liz so she and Todd pretend to be a couple and have a good time tricking people. When they get in the car to leave, they apparently forget they were just pretending and they start making out like crazy. They eventually end up at the apartment Todd and Winston share. Winston isn’t home, so Todd goes ahead and has sex with his girlfriend’s twin sister. God, what a fucked up piece of fuck this guy is. Jessica’s wrong too, of course, but if I’ve accomplished nothing else with this blog, I know I’ve at least established that Jessica is insane.

For the next month, Todd and Jessica meet every day at a diner nobody they know ever goes to. They don’t have sex again, but it’s still an affair. The guilt finally gets to be too much for Jessica and she breaks it off.

PRESENT DAY Elizabeth runs into Will Connolly at the bar across the street from the theater. They both get a little tipsy and end up talking. Will isn’t really the jerkface he’s made himself out to be, and Liz thinks it’s okay to like him because his eyes are blue and not brown like Todd’s. They introduce themselves to the gorgeous Irish bartender (Liz mentions that her cheating twin would go crazy for him) and then Will invites Liz back to his apartment. They make out for a minute.

Liz’s mother calls that night and tells Liz she’d like her to come home for her grandmother’s eightieth birthday party. (She would also like Liz to come to Jessica’s wedding because she’s a fucking idiot.) Liz tells her there’s no way in hell she’s going to sit through a dinner with Todd and Jessica. Then she gets to thinking that it would really show those bastards if she came home with a new man. She calls Will and asks him if he wants to go. He says he can’t get away, but jokingly suggests Liz take Liam the bartender and try to make Jessica fall in love with him. Liz doesn’t take it as a joke.

FLASHBACK – EIGHT MONTHS AGO Jessica has married some guy named Regan and they’ve been traveling the world. It’s been about six months since the wedding, and that means it’s about time for Jessica to move on. Not one to waste time, she decides she has to leave Regan immediately. She’s in France, but she calls Liz, who tells her to just come home and stay with her. Todd isn’t super happy about this, but he agrees to be civil.

In this flashback, we learn that brother Steven married Cara Walker, but he apparently has frequent affairs and at this moment might be involved with Lila. What a tool. We also learn that nobody likes Winston anymore because he “changed radically” after making a bunch of money.

PRESENT DAY Liz goes to the bar and insinuates herself into Liam’s life. They hit it off after Liz finds out Liam’s parents live in L.A. and he owes them a visit soon. After about five minutes of friendship, Liam agrees to schedule his visit so it coincides with Liz’s grandmother’s party and he can be her date.

Jessica goes out for a friendly drink with one of her coworkers and wonders if she should hook up with this guy instead of Todd and then she could have Elizabeth back in her life. But alas, her love for Todd is too strong to be denied. Then she thinks about when she came back from France and lived with Todd and Liz for a while.

FLASHBACK – EIGHT MONTHS AGO Todd is working from home and the house is beginning to seem very small. Jessica and Todd try to avoid each other, but he gets on her nerves one day and she goes to the beach. That’s where she sees her brother in a loving embrace with…Aaron Dallas. Yep, Aaron is gay now and so is Steven. Steve asks Jessica not to tell anyone, but she thinks she’ll be doing him a favor if she tells Cara. Oh, Jessica. This is why you’re the bad twin. Well, this and the whole stealing-your-sister’s-fiancé thing.

PRESENT DAY Liz has lunch with Will and tells him she’ll be taking Liam with her to Sweet Valley. Will was only joking when he suggested getting Liam to seduce Jessica and he does not approve. Liz, who has been telling herself that she’s only bringing Liam home so she’ll have some company, gets defensive and actually says, “fuck you,” and storms out of the pub. Nice. She talks to Bruce Patman on the phone (they’re best friends now) and tells him she’ll be bringing a friend home for her grandmother’s party. Bruce gets a little weird. Liz is irritated and Bruce hangs up on her. Then we get to spend some time in Bruce’s head. And wouldn’t you know it? He’s in love with Liz!

FLASHBACK – EIGHT MONTHS AGO Bruce and Liz became friends a few years ago when Bruce’s parents were in a car accident. Liz came to the hospital every day for moral support. (Both Patman parents wound up dying.) Bruce has always known about Todd and Jessica’s affair in college (he saw them together at the diner), but he didn’t want to tell Liz because it would hurt her. But now that Jessica is staying with Todd and Liz, and Liz wants to set a wedding date, Bruce thinks it might be time to clue her in. He takes Liz out for pizza (I believe the pizza place used to be the Dairi Burger, but now it’s called Napkin) and tries to get up the courage to break her heart, but just then Ken Matthews comes running in to tell them that Winston is dead.

What the frak?

Meanwhile, Steven goes to Liz’s house to yell at Jessica for outing him to Cara. He calls her a selfish bitch and then leaves. Jessica starts crying and Todd hugs her to comfort her, and OF COURSE they start kissing. That’s when Liz comes home, crying about Winston. Todd and Jessica manage to cover up pretty well and Liz doesn’t notice anything is amiss, but Bruce is giving them the hairy eyeball.

PRESENT DAY Liz flies into LAX, where she’ll meet Liam. She’s going to change at the airport and drive directly to the club for the party. On the flight, she remembers – FLASHBACK! Winston’s funeral. Winston got super drunk and fell off his balcony. People are sad, but Winston had turned into such a total misogynistic jackass that most people are mourning the kid he used to be. Jessica starts looking at Liz intensely and yapping about forgiveness and junk. Liz thinks it’s weird, but figures it’s just funeral stuff.

PRESENT DAY Jessica is getting ready for “Grandmommy’s” party (ugh, grandmommy?) and thinks about the day Liz found out about her and Todd.

FLASHBACK Which is totally lame. Jessica’s husband shows up, I guess to talk to her, but she’s afraid of him so she asks Todd to be in the room. Regan walks in and immediately accuses Jessica of sleeping with Todd. I don’t know why. Words are exchanged and the boys start scufflin’. Liz comes home and breaks up their fight. Regan yells at her and says there’s something going on behind her back, and then he leaves. Liz asks Toddica what Regan was talking about and Jessica says he’s just crazy jealous, which seems reasonable. But Liz has one of those moments where she suddenly realizes how blind she’s been. She calls them cheating liars and storms out.

And that’s it, that’s how she found out. Maybe I’m sick in the head, but I was really kind of hoping she’d find them in bed together or something. Something more exciting than a “sudden realization”.

PRESENT DAY Dinner at the country club seems like it might be okay at first. The twins manage to ignore each other for the most part, but Liz is a little irritated that Liam seems completely smitten with Jessica. She was supposed to fall for him, not the other way around. He hangs on her all night, which pisses Todd off. Liz can’t help but smirk when Toddica start arguing, and the smirk gets Jessica going. Pretty soon, Liz is yelling at Todd, Steven is yelling at Jessica, Bruce and Aaron are telling people to shut up, and Alice is trying to keep everyone from killing each other. She yells at Ned to “bring out the fucking cake.” Grandmommy Robertson is the only one not yelling. When Liz leaves to go back to New York, Todd and Jessica aren’t speaking to each other, and Liz is pissed at Liam for flirting with Jessica so much.

Liz still has to interview Will for her job, and she can tell he wants to apologize for accusing her of being crazy for revenge. She doesn’t want him to do that because then she’ll have to say he was right. So she does the interview and then goes back to his place and has sex with him. I’m not sure why she feels like she always has to have sex with a guy to make him shut up.

She gets home from Will’s to find Jessica asleep outside her apartment door. Jessica says she’s left Todd and wants Liz’s forgiveness. It only takes about thirty seconds of Jessica crying for Liz to forgive her. And just like that, they’re talking everything through. Liz, who only needed to find a new man to realize she really doesn’t love Todd anymore, tells Jessica to go back to Todd. Jessica leaves the next morning and Todd is waiting for her outside Liz’s apartment building. He gives her a big hug and they go home to Sweet Valley. Liz meets Will later and tells him everything. He still thinks she’s the bee’s knees and they go back to Liz’s.

Will and Liz become friends with benefits, and things are going really well. Her article comes out and she gets another job offer from a magazine. By the time Will’s play opens, Liz has decided she’s not in love with Will, but they have a really good friendship. On opening night, Will’s parents show up with the fiancé Will left behind when he came to New York to be a famous playwright. It’s clear to Liz that Will and Wendy love each other. She’s happy for them.

When Liz goes home for Jessica’s wedding, Bruce tells Liz he’s selling his house and moving to New York because he’s in love with someone who lives there. Liz is an idiot and Bruce has to spell it out for her that Liz is the one he loves. They go up to Bruce’s bedroom where they get naked and we learn that Liz has “taut nipples.”

EPILOGUE: FOR ALL SWEET VALLEY FANS OF OLD

Everyone in the world shows up to Jessica’s wedding, and Francine gives us a little bio of what’s been going on with all our old friends…

  • Bill Chase – Lost his right leg to a shark during a triathlon three years ago. Now teaches surfing to handicapped teens. Married someone named Lianne Kane.
  • Roger Collins – Mr. Collins has quit teaching and is a successful writer. His son is now nineteen and named Sam (pretty sure he used to be named Teddy).
  • Jeffrey French – Lila’s date for the wedding. Now Francine tells us he’s single, even though Jessica talked to his wife in the second chapter.
  • Dee Dee Gordon – Working as an artist
  • Charlie Markus – Married Annie Whitman. He writes for a car magazine but wants to be a novelist. He is referred to as the boy who “saved” Annie, but I think Francine has confused him with Ricky Capaldo.
  • Betsy Martin – An alcoholic who sleeps around. I guess art school wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
  • A. J. Morgan – Sells shoes at the Nike store in the mall.
  • Roger Barrett Patman – A successful Hollywood producer. He married Zoe Jones, a rock star.
  • Caroline Pearce – Caroline’s cancer is in remission these days. She puts out a gossip blog six days a week.
  • Enid Rollins – Enid is a successful gynecologist, but she’s arrogant and extremely right-wing. She plans to run for city council, and that’s why she wants to keep her relationship with A. J. a secret. She doesn’t think a shoe salesman is an appropriate partner for someone as important as she is.
  • Nicky Shepard – I don’t know why we care about this guy since he was really only important in one book, but Francine tells us he hit rock bottom two years ago and is now living in Utah, teaching at an AA center.
  • Cara Walker – She and Steven are now divorced, but she still remains friendly with Ned and Alice.
  • Annie Whitman – Annie is a lawyer in San Francisco. She and Charlie have a two-year-old boy.
  • Robin Wilson – Catered Jessica’s wedding. She’s also senior editor of Bon Appétit.
  • George Warren – A representative for a Silicon Valley company. Lives in England.

We get a rundown of some dead folks. Winston, Regina and Tricia are mentioned, but strangely, Olivia Davidson is not. Maybe because of her zombie appearance in SVU. Surprisingly, Suzanne Devlin is among the dead. We’re told she returned to Sweet Valley six years after the Mr. Collins scandal, but she had multiple sclerosis and crashed her car after taking her medication with champagne. Wait, I thought she just had mono. I’m confused.

And now the Wakefields…

  • Ned Wakefield – Still a successful lawyer. He’s so awesome that even the mayor came to the wedding.
  • Alice Wakefield – Now has her own interior design company. It is, of course, successful. Alice was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago, but she had a lumpectomy and some radiation and is good to go.
  • Steven Wakefield – Steve and Aaron are living together and hoping that someday they’ll be able to get married.
  • Elizabeth Wakefield – Liz was Jessica’s maid of honor. I think that’s gross, but what do I know? She and Bruce are totally in love.
  • Jessica Wakefield – Was fifteen minutes late for her own wedding because, as you know, nothing starts until she gets there.

Quotes:

Unless, of course, she were to arrive, unexpectedly, at her grandmother’s party on the arm of a handsome New York playwright. That certainly wouldn’t be pathetic.

It’s a little pathetic if he looks exactly like the ex-boyfriend you’re so eager to show up.

…its main financial backing had come from Richard Fowler, Lila’s father.

Didn’t his name used to be George?

One time when we were in high school, this lunatic madman came at her with a sledgehammer. I jumped in between them, and I didn’t even have a weapon. All I had was crazy fury and determination to save my sister’s life.

What’s funny is that I thought I would try to give you guys a link to the book this is from and make a snarky comment about it, but the twins escaped death so many times that I don’t know which book to link to.

I’m in my black Porsche convertible, the last vestige of the old Bruce that I can’t give up.

1BRUCE1 is still alive, people!

“I remember once I had this thing with Caroline way back when we were in the seventh grade. She told everyone that I let A. J. Morgan touch my breast.”

That’s so weird, you know, because he didn’t move to Sweet Valley until junior year.

She was twenty-seven years old and this was the first person she’d ever told to go fuck himself. What was wrong with her?

Oh, Liz. You’ve just been suffering from Valleyitis. Folks from the SV don’t say fuck. Except Alice Wakefield, apparently.

The Cover: Is boring. I really do like the endpapers though.

 

The End.

Confidential Stuff

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Click here!

Breaking News!

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Sweet Valley Confidential is available for pre-order! The release date is March 29. Amazon and Barnes and Noble have really excellent prices on it right now! Also, our good friend Sarah Goldstein from St. Martin’s Press has listed a giveaway on Goodreads. She’s got 100 free copies up for grabs!

Aaaaaannnnddd…I will be starting Sweet Valley Twins recaps next week! Come back on Wednesday to meet the twins as sixth-graders, before they turned into a couple of bitches who kiss each other’s boyfriends all the time.