Title: Sweet Valley High S1.E02 “Oracle On Air”
Released: 1994

Previous episode: “Dangerous Love”

It’s Sweet Valley High TV Time! This is sort of like Chico time but maybe more annoying? And for those of you who don’t know what Chico time is, then maybe you should just sit back and congratulate yourself on surviving the mid 2000s unscathed. It’s erotic, exotic, hypnotic, that’s for sure.

Does everyone have their alcoholic beverages (or tasty mocktails) ready? Then let’s do this chizz.

The Credits! Neon! Vollyball and bikinis! Why is Jessica always making bitch face? Jessica is not a bitch, she just knows what she wants. Does that make her a bitch? Probably, considering this show is Pascalian in nature.

I think an addition to the Drinking Game should be to drink anytime Enid wears her hair in a French braid. She does that A LOT. French Braids are the Repressed People’s Hairstyle of Choice.

On the show, Liz and Jess are walking down the hallway while Liz smugly tells Jessica that she should find “a better class of guy.” On a normal teen show, this would be code for “someone less poor/Asian/Dan Humphrey/vampire/dead/pervy teacher,” but this is Sweet Valley, so Liz really just means “someone like Todd.” So, someone boring. And possibly dead. Todd the Undead Sadsack Boyfriend is a show I want to see. For about two minutes. Whilst on my fifth shot of Jagermeister.

Jessica, for the record, is wearing a shirt that says 55 on it, suspenders and a Yankees ballcap. JESSICA. You’re supposed to be my favorite; don’t ruin that with your piss-poor baseball affiliation!

Then Liz and Jessica happen upon Mr. Collins, who might I add, looks NOTHING like Robert Redford. LIES! ALL LIES! THIS MAN ISN’T EVEN A GINGER! And he’s wearing a dumb tie. And he isn’t being inappropriately handsy with any of his students under the guise of “guiding” them. WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH SWEET VALLEY’S FAVORITE TEACHER?

in what universe does this dude look like Robert Redford?

Anyhooskies, Mr. Collins is posting up an audition notice for an on-air news show. Did any school ever actually have these? The on-air news show is pervasive amongst teen tv shows but I don’t think they really exist? Shit, we just did regular announcements over the PA. I did them in the 8th grade; my theatre teacher signed me up so that people wouldn’t have to look at my face. One time I forgot a line in the Pledge of Allegiance; that was pretty much the most exciting thing that ever happened. Oh, and I always knew whose birthday it was.

Liz is super excited about the on-air news thing; meanwhile, the radar in Jessica’s vagina starts beeping like crazy as some 90s California hot dude (so, think floppy hair and a jean jacket) walks by. Turns out he’s some college guy who will be producing the on-air news show. Jessica whispers down to her vagina, “Behave, and I might let some boy touch you someday.”

The college dude, whose name may be Ben Franklin, tells Jessica all about his college program, in which he has to watch five movies a day. MAN. FIVE MOVIES A DAY? That must be horrible! I can’t even imagine what a strenuous course load that is! It sure makes my sophomore spring semester course schedule of Biochem, Ochem, Evo Bio, Primate Behavior (and lab), Calc II and Physics of Death seem like cake! Tasty tasty ulcer cake.

Anyway, The Guy Who May Be Named Ben Franklin loads Jessica down with film equipment and wishes her luck on her audition tape.

Jessica is going to go all Thomas Edison on Ben Franklin

In the cafeteria, Liz, Enid, Lila (wearing sunglasses indoors) and The Girl Who Is Called Amaryllis all sit down with their trays. Enid is asking Liz about her audition tape in a high-pitched tone of voice. Enid may be on speed right now. It wouldn’t surprise me; you know how that marijuana is a gateway drug. The Girl Who Is Called Amaryllis tells everyone that she wants to direct the news show, only her affectation and hand gestures reminds me a lot of my seven year old when she is “pretending to be a fancy lady.” So, congratulations, The Girl Who Is Called Amaryllis. You’ve reached the same acting ability as a seven-year old.

Jessica joins the group and tells them all that she’s gunning for star of the on-air news show. Liz pulls a massive “bitch, please” face at hearing this. I have paused my dvd momentarily to catch up and I’m mesmerized by Elizabeth’s forehead. It just seems to blur into the rest of her face. I think her face might actually be all forehead. Even her chin; it’s all just a part of her forehead. I’m going to start calling her LizHead.

LizHead is all, “You have to research and write all the stories! Everyone knows you can’t read, Jess.” Jess shrugs it off.

Meanwhile, Winston is approaching Bruce and Manny’s table. Winston is actually dressed in the exact same outfit I owned in 1993: a fuchsia tshirt with a flannel over it, on top of black jeans. Actually, our glasses were similar too. Actually, so was our hair . . . SHIT. I totally used to look exactly like Winston Egbert. No wonder the theatre teacher stuck me on the announcements.

Bruce wants to make up with Winston (who has two pizzas); no more prank-pulling. But of course really Bruce has super-glued Winston’s pants to the seat. Oh, the lolz never stop here. Mostly because they never start.

Liz is working late at The Oracle, fact checking for her audition tape. Mr. Collins thinks she’ll do a great job.

Outside, Winston is letting air out of the tires of 1Bruce1. But he has to scuttle away when Poor Man’s Crispin Glover, aka Bruce, and Manny approach. Poor Man’s Crispin Glover wants to be on the on-air news show so that he can share his opinions with the simpletons. Man. Everyone wants to be on this news show. We didn’t really have that much interest in the school announcements at my school. Or maybe the theatre teacher just couldn’t find anyone who she felt could match my obvious skills/face.

It’s time for a montage!! Everyone is doing their audition tapes! Jessica can’t read. Lila can’t find a hat. Todd doesn’t understand how to sit up. Bruce looks like he’s gunning for a role on Fox News. Maybe he can take Glenn Beck’s job, since it’s open now. Liz, of course, is the only one who does well.

At home, Liz shows Jessica her audition tape, and then goes upstairs to, I don’t know, fluff her labia or something.

Jessica, of course, switches her tape for Liz’s.

Jessica looks devious. Drink!

Ben Franklin and Mr. Collins are viewing all the audition tapes, and of course they pick Jessica. Meanwhile, Bruce gets Editorial and Lila gets the Fashion Forecast.

Liz can’t believe that Jessica won instead of her. “This isn’t the natural order of things! I’m always supposed to win!”

At The Replacement For The Dairi Burger, Liz is dressed up like a 50s virgin about to watch her boyfriend to race for pink slips. Todd’s trying to make her feel better, but the arrival of Jessica and Ben Franklin doesn’t help. (Ben Franklin’s real name is Russ, but whatever, it’s too late for that.) Liz leaves to pout in the comfort of her Spanish-tiled kitchen.

Bruce comes in, so Winston rushes out to prank Bruce. He hides in a big garbage container and is going to throw trash in Bruce’s car. But he has to hide, and of course Bruce comes out and drives away, and Chrome Dome Cooper drives up in his place, and Winston throws the trash in his car and I am about to sue this tv show for the pain and suffering that it cost me to type out the last few sentences. I wonder if I know of any lawyers who like to sue people.

At The Palatial Spanish-Tiled Wakefield Manor, Jessica wakes Liz up and asks her to write the news stories for her. Liz refuses, so Jessica guilts her into it. And then tells her that they could be a team! Liz could write, Jessica could be on-air!

At the Oracle offices, Liz finds her audition tape . . . under Jessica’s name.

The on-air show taping is about to start. Liz hands Jessica blank paper. Jessica freaks and is, of course, horrible on air. Then she calls on Liz and gives up the chair. Liz is wearing what could possibly be the ugliest outfit I’ve ever seen. I’m taking an informal survey of my cat, my webcam, and my eyes, and we all agree: ugliest outfit evs. My eyes, in fact, have lodged a formal complaint. The cat has taken to licking himself in disgust.

Liz is busy putting everyone to sleep with her boring story about embezzlement when Winston, who is working the title cards, gets an idea for Bruce’s segment.

Bruce’s segment. Winston’s title card says “See how my nostrils flare when I talk?” All the girls tackle Winston with hugs. As Bruce talks about how much he loves money, Winston writes “Money is the name of my gerbil.” Oh, ha ha.

Outside, Liz and Jess make up. Twinsies!

Seriously Lizhead, what are you wearing?

Later, Ben Franklin dumps Jessica for making a fool of herself on air. She gets over it in about two seconds.

And that’s it! Man, these episodes are so short. I mean, thank god. But I am pretty sure they were made by people with the attention span of Bruce’s gerbil, Money.

Next week maybe there will be more opportunities for drinking? More drinking would be awesome.

Until next week, FYA, stay blonde, stay beautiful.

Erin is loud, foul-mouthed, an unrepentant lover of trashy movies and believes that champagne should be an every day drink.