Title: Sweet Valley High S1.E03 “Skin and Bones”
Released: 1994

Previous episode: “Oracle on Air”

You guys, WHEN is Netflix going to hear our repeated prayers, and finally put season one of Sweet Valley High TV on Streaming? Be kind to us, oh Netflix Overlords! We are your humble servants who merely want to see blonde people on our tv! Also, could you please see about adding Alias to streaming? There’s no show better created for instant marathon viewing than A Show About Sidney Bristow.

Last week on Sweet Valley High TV, you guys all schooled me on that on-air news show thing. Man! Who knew that shizz was so popular? I really should have gone to a fancier school. One in which there were ponies, maybe.

Credits! Neon! Also there is this weird sound that the singing lady makes, like “uh uh uh uuuhhh.” Almost like whale song, maybe? It’s extremely off-putting. It reminds me of that time when X-Files just stopped pretending to even care about trying to be good anymore and Scully was having her miracle baby that later she dropped off at someone else’s farm, and Agent Monica Reyes was like, “Don’t stress this whole giving birth while there are zillions of aliens outside thing, Dana! I will feel free to call you Dana like I am your best fucking friend! Let’s sing whale music!” and a college-aged Erin was sitting on her dorm room chair, seething, and thinking, “If Mulder doesn’t show up soon I’m going to cut myself.” But then Scully and Mulder kissed and that was super exciting and I wore out my VHS tape of the show from rewinding it a million times.

VHS! Man. Those were the days.

Showtime. Jessica, The Girl Who Is Called Amaryllis, and Lila are all gathered around the bulletin board, upon which there is a photo of Chrome Dome Cooper tacked, with the caption, “I’m not only a member of Hair Club for Men; I’m also its biggest failure.” They all laugh with glee, but I am struck with the fact that the Hair Club for Men commercials STILL have that line about being the president of the club and it is an entirely new millennium now. That is sad, Hair Club for Men. You guys have got to get with the 2011s, man! Hire that Jeremy Piven; obviously his hair plugs worked well.

Why does Lila always wear business suits to school?

The girls laugh over Winston’s best joke. But then they are distracted by seeing Enid (wearing TWO French braids! Drink twice!) hanging out with some guy named Dakota, who is apparently the hottest artist in Sweet Valley. Well, I mean, I bet that is true, but it’s all relative, no?

Enid is wearing an outfit that makes her look pregnant. Dakota is wearing an outfit that makes him look like he’ll soon be shooting up the school with several large guns. Also his hair is longer than mine and looks stupid.

Enid, apparently, is Dakota’s model, so one would gather that Dakota’s art is reaching for bubbly and falling around insipid. Jessica wants to replace Enid as the model, so she gets her patented “devious” smirk. Drink! Already on this show, so much drinking! I like this show!

This is the smirk. Drink-worthy, non?

Ack! Ack! Put down the drink! You may accidentally vomit up your cocktail when you reach the next scene! Todd and Liz are kissing and there is totally strings of spittle connecting their mouths and Liz is wearing a braid that isn’t even French (non-French braids are the hairstyle of choice for repressed Tea Party members) and I’m so grossed out that I MIGHT ACTUALLY DIE. From gouging my eyes out, see. The blood loss would be profound.

Winston takes a photo of Liz and Todd and tells them that the photo will be on the “Graffiti Wall” (the bulletin board that houses Chrome Dome Cooper’s photo). That leads us to said wall, with said photo (being laughed over by Bruce and Manny), and said photo subject taking said photo down. Winston, Todd, Liz, Bruce and Manny are all very upset that Chrome Dome Cooper has taken down his photo, because apparently it’s censorship to remove photos of yourself that people are laughing at? Oh, Mr. Collins. Why haven’t you taught these kids about censorship yet?

Everyone looks very irate. Liz looks the most irate of all, and her forehead threatens to eat her overly plucked eyebrows while her nostrils flare in anger.

Liz is going to fix this!

In the art room, Dakota is painting to some early-to-mid 90s alt-rock. Excellent. Jessica comes in and pushes her ladybits out into the air while offering to be Dakota’s model. He asks her to clean his brushes.

“May I offer you something to eat?”

While she’s doing that, Enid comes in, her French braids swinging with perky ineptitude. Dakota asks Enid to meet him “Tomorrow. The beach. Noon. Dress comfortable.” Dakota seems incapable of forming actual sentences featuring clauses and punctuation. I guess he’s just too artistic for that.

Jessica gets a devious look on her face as she overhears this. Drink!

At The Shoddy Replacement For The Dairi Burger, Enid is literally sucking on a strawberry milkshake while she smiles at the air and swings her braids around. Oh, Enid. Girl, you are too much. I am surprised you haven’t run into a wall yet, child.

Jessica enters The Shoddy Replacement For The Dairi Burger and tries to warn Enid away from meeting Dakota. Why? Because Dakota plans to paint her . . . naked! Sans clothes! Au natural! Enid’s braids nearly Pippi Longstocking themselves in outrage. HOW VERY DARE HE? Jessica promises to tell him off for Enid. Enid’s braids deflate with gratitude.

The braids are sad, sad, sad. Or, sorry, desolant, desolant, desolant.

At school, Liz has managed to write, edit and print an entire newspaper (in, like, an hour?) featuring an article about Chrome Dome Cooper’s “censorship” of the Graffiti Wall. Oh, that Liz Wakefield. So hard-hitting! I sense a future as Entertainment Tonight‘s Royal Wedding Correspondent for this girl!

Mr. Cooper comes into The Oracle’s office to explain to Liz in small, tiny words why it’s not actually acceptable to make fun of teachers on public bulletin boards at school. Liz bristles with righteous fury. I pause the dvd player to get another drink.

At an outdoor setting which is DEMONSTRABLY not the beach, Liz approaches Dakota, who today is dressed in Jorts and what looks to be a Hanes t-shirt with oxford shirt over it. This show, I just don’t understand it.

Jessica, on the other hand, is wearing a romper! Rompers are cute! They never go out of style because at any given time someone is either five years old or desperately trying to revive their failed ex-Christian singing career by infantilizing sexuality! It’s all rompers and lollipops, people!

it’s a romp in this romper!

(But I tried on a romper yesterday and it actually was sort of cute? And super comfortable! I was conflicted.)

Jessica tells Dakota that Enid flaked, and then strips down to a bikini and attempts, pitifully, to pose. There’s lots of slow-mo and thrusting of chests and close-ups. There’s a website that still exists for Cynthia and Brittney Daniels. They like this scene, apparently. I read about it on their message board when I was looking for screencaps for this show.

There were seriously like 30 photos from this one scene.

Dakota eventually poses Jessica in some way so we are spared any further thrusting of breasts.

At school, Winston takes a photo of Bruce admiring himself in the mirror.

Back at the lake-that-isn’t-a-beach, Dakota packs up his stuff.

Liz, Jess, Lila and The Girl Who Is Called Amaryllis are at the mall. Jessica brags about being Dakota’s model. Lila is wearing a bright yellow blazer.

Dig Liz’s mom jeans.

It’s time for the art show. Yay. Liz and Todd are there, even though Enid left a message on Liz’s answering machine about boycotting Dakota’s show. As per usual, Liz is being a real stand-up friend.

Jessica’s hair is in her classiest half-up, half-down ‘do, and Lila is wearing what looks to be a blue power suit. This show, I swear. I hate so much about the things it chooses to be.

Jess thinks that everyone at the art show is there for her. Lila tells her that she’s deranged.

Who dresses these people?

Can I just mention that this “art show” is super-formal and is in the art room and there are plastic cups and cheese and crackers. Classy.

Dakota thanks Jessica for being his model, and then unveils his painting – in which Jessica is, of course, naked.

At The Shoddy Stand-In For The Dairi Burger, everyone is gossiping about Jessica and her immodesty. Enid can’t believe she went through with it! Jessica arrives and everyone makes fun of her. Manny asks if the portrait is “anatomically correct.” Um. What the hell does that mean. Did Dakota paint her as having a large elephant’s penis attached to her knee, or something?

Jess is upset and runs out; even Liz doesn’t believe that Jessica didn’t pose nude. Liz takes this time to tell Jessica how personally hurt SHE is, since this is her body too. They’ll fix this!

At the art school, Liz comes in to yell at Dakota. He’s an artist, not a model! Who cares about some naked girl!

Liz, of course, is recording this, and uses the tape to clear Jess’s name. Everyone apologizes to Jessica about thinking she was a big ol’ whore for, I dunno, going around in her natural state of nudity. But they still have to take care of the painting! Jessica has a plan.

Do you see what I’m saying about Liz’s forehead?

Jessica makes nice with Dakota and invites him back to the “beach” (not a beach) for a celebratory picnic. There, she suggests they go skinny dipping! She’ll just run to the car to get some towels!

On a side note, I’ve paused my dvd player to catch up, and Jessica’s left boob is about to bounce out of its pitiful shirt jail. It’s mesmerizing. Why are her boobs so bouncy? Why can’t she strap them into something, like a child seat or iron lung? This is a great mystery to me.

Jessica has a devious look on her face as Dakota starts to strip down. Drink!!

Dakota is wearing the fugliest boxers I’ve ever seen.

Jessica, of course, has brought back her friends, and Winston takes pictures of Dakota naked. Jessica strikes a bargain- if he strikes her nudity from his painting, no one will see the photos.

Enid’s wearing braids and Liz has a sweater tied around her waist. Drink, drink.

Oh, man. OH MAN. The painting is on display and, you guys, IT IS THE WORST PAINTING IN THE ENTIRE WORLD EVER. EVER. EEEEEVVER. The bikini has returned but it sort of looks like something that a twelve year old would draw and then put up on his Deviant Art website and then later use it as fap material. It’s just ungodly. The painting is hung on a piece of plywood and even the plywood is like, “Can you please not disgrace my clean particle board lines with this trash?”

Todd, however, thinks it’s really pretty. Well, that’s not surprising. They will eventually get married, after all.

Seriously, WHAT.

Liz finds Mr. Cooper and apologizes about calling him a no-principled censoring jackass. Then HE apologizes and tells her that she was right. UGH WHY IS THIS HAPPENING.

Meanwhile, Jessica gives Dakota the film from his naked pictures and sends him on his way. But she has a roll of “insurance” film. But how?? The film hasn’t been developed yet!! Winston didn’t change film in his camera! THIS ISN’T POSSIBLE!! I STILL REMEMBER HOW FILM WORKS, YOU ASSHOLES.

It’s film! Yay technology!

That’s it for this week, gang. Maybe next week we can all learn another valuable lesson about how Liz is right all the time. (Also, from the episode’s title, I thought this was going to be about extreme dieting or something. But it wasn’t. When is this show going to tackle some Issues?)

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