Title: Sweet Valley High S1.E09 “Coma”
Released: 1994

Previous episode: “The Prince of Santa Dora”

It’s finally here, you guys! The episode of SVH TV based on the best SVH book of all time, Dear Sister, in which Elizabeth is in a coma and thus keeps her insufferable mouth shut for the first time in her life! OH HAPPY DAY!

I feel like I should celebrate! Someone whip me up a SVH-themed cocktail for the occasion! It should probably involve vodka (for the Wakefields’ Swedish ancestry), star anise, because the twins are just so gosh darn special, and bitters, to reflect my rage.

I keep forgetting to do this! Wanna watch along? Here you go!

Part One:


Part Two:


Credits! At BEA this year, I bonded with several of my fellow bloggers as we attempted to mimic the ululating cries of the lady that sings this theme song. That’s the sort of thing that happened in New York. Cause, uh, that’s how we roll?

Jessica and Elizabeth are arriving at the Shoddy Replacement for the Dairi Burger and Elizabeth is bitching because she simply MUST go home THIS INSTANT in order to properly summon up her genius for some Oracle article. Oh, Liz. I hate condoning violence but I really wish a drive-by clown would just happen upon you and then punch you in the face. I would do it myself, but I’m afraid your forehead would eat my fist like it has your eyebrows.

Nice, uh, giant bow, Liz?

Jessica promises only to stay for ten minutes – she just needs a little time to flirt with a guy named Dean Winters. I’m presuming she does not actually mean Dean Winters, the actor, but maybe she does. Maybe he’s been hanging around the Shoddy Replacement for the Dairi Burger, throwing hamburgers at Winston’s head and talking about how Mayhem does things that cause hamburgers to suddenly become airborne. I don’t know.

Suddenly, Todd comes roaring up on his motorcycle. You know how some things are just inherently cool, even though they probably shouldn’t be? Cigarettes. Motorcycles. Jordan Catalano’s syphilis-ridden body. Todd manages to make motorcycles look like something geeks do. If anyone were to do a PSA on the danger of riding a bike, they could just show Todd’s picture and be done with it. “Don’t ride motorcycles, kids. Here is a picture of a choad doing just that. G’night! I’m off to grab a beer.”

Todd wants Liz to go for a ride, but she is too freaked out and practically runs inside. Um, Liz? The bike isn’t going to hurt you, just sitting there like that. It doesn’t bite.

Bruce comes out, dressed in a ridiculous SVH-embroidered sports blazer, like this is fucking golf and he’s just won the Masters. Bruce, you are going to regret this look. I promise you. Anyway, he flirts mildly with Liz as she passes and then insults Todd, proving that Bruce can always be counted on to be half right.

Inside the Shoddy Replacement for the Dairi Burger, Liz and Jessica briefly discuss why Liz wouldn’t go for a ride (parents say no) before Jessica goes to lay the mack down on Dean Winters, the stupid character, not the actor. While Liz is distracted by Todd’s dumb monkey lips, Jessica and Dean Winters, the stupid character, not the actor, take off in the Jeep! Oh no! Liz is stranded at the Shoddy Replacement for the Dairi Burger! Where half of her friends are! Within walking distance to her house! Whatever will she do?

Meet Dean Winters, the stupid character, not the actor.

She’s going to complain about it until Todd convinces her to ride on his bike. I know I said this in the original review for Dear Sister, but it bears repeating: TODD DOES NOT HAVE A MOTORCYCLE LICENSE. He’s all “I’m a safe driver!” Well, I’m sure you are, Todd. IN A CAR. Not on a piece of machinery that requires you to balance it through turns!

Liz and Todd put on their helmets, which make them look like Power Rangers, and then take off. I bet Dean Winters, the actor, not the stupid character, is shaking his head at them and wondering about their insurance policy. I will say that at least during this episode, Liz has on actual pants, and isn’t climbing on a bike wearing a tiny party dress. Small victories, people. Small victories.

Driving montage! To low-rent 80s hair metal songs! Chug! Chug!

Liz is the worst bike passenger ever. She keeps hooking her arms OVER Todd’s shoulders, under his chin. Um, Liz, that is going to end badly for him. He sort of needs his arms to, you know, steer the bike.

Anyway, driving, driving, lots of WOOs and etc. A drunk guy in a pickup truck (natch) is weaving through lanes on the PCH. You can tell he is drunk, too, because he is actually literally drinking WHILE he is driving. For a long time when I was a little kid, that’s what I thought drinking and driving meant – that you weren’t allowed to drink anything and then drive. I tearfully yelled at my mom once when she brought her Thermos of iced tea into the car because I didn’t want her “going to jail or killing somebody.”

The truck swerves into Todd and Liz’s lane; they crash. Let’s pretend that they’re dead and that everything that happens after this is actually a figment of someone’s imagination, shall we? It’ll be more fun.

Todd sees Liz lying on the ground and starts pounding his fists on the dirt, all, “Whhhhhhhhhhhhhhy?” Jesus, Todd, you haven’t even checked on her condition.

At the Jonathan Fowler Memorial Hospital, Lila, Enid, The Girl Who is Just Called Amarilis (I realized today during the credits I’d been spelling her name wrong. But honestly. Who names their kid just Amaryllis and then doesn’t even spell it correctly?) and Winston are all gathered. Jess comes in, crying. Liz is in a coma! They don’t know if she’ll make it! Enid breaks down in tears and Jessica practically has to console her, like, THERE IS A TIME AND A PLACE, ENID.

I think we should all lift our glasses to this occasion! To Liz’s coma! Long may it last!

It’s three days later! No! This isn’t long enough! Stay in the coma, Liz! Oh, good. She is. Jessica is trying to talk Liz out of her coma and then Todd shows up and he and Jess start arguing over who’s to blame. But then Liz crashes! Probably because she can hear them arguing! It makes her brain hurt, obviously! Jessica and Todd clutch at each other and cry. Dear Francine Pascal, THIS would have been the time they would have secretly hooked up and then hated themselves for it. Not when Liz had, like, the flu or whatever.

How unfortch, Liz; your coma has given you a double chin.

The doctors work on Liz and bring in a crash cart and shock her and then she, like, wakes up? Um. That’s not really how comas work, I don’t think. Otherwise why wouldn’t everyone wake up after being shocked? Hell, my office has those mini-paddles in case someone has a heart attack; you guys could just bring me your coma-ridden relatives, I guess. I’ll fix ’em for free.

At Sweet Valley High School, Enid, Lila and “Amarilis” are discussing Liz’s impending return. Liz hasn’t spoken to anyone in three weeks! Just then, Liz comes in, looking like someone decorated her in Jessica’s “too slutty” cast offs. She does a lot of preening and back arching and, overall, it just makes me uncomfortable. Stop doing that, Liz; you’ll slip a disc. Bruce asks her out – in front of Todd – and she accepts. Oh, Bitchy!Slutty!Liz. I’ve been waiting for you.

Picture a Public Domain version of “Back in Black”. Deep! Do deep! la deep! Bee boo bee ba bum Deep! Do deep! La deep! Doop doop do doop do do.

In the Oracle offices, Liz breaks up with Todd, all “I want to live life! Have fun! See other people!” I said basically that to an ex-boyfriend once, only instead of a near-death experience, I had just started college. It amounts to the same feelings, though.

Liz and Bruce are sharing fries at the Shoddy Replacement for the Dairi Burger while Jess, “Amarilis” and Lila look on. Lila is dressed like a chorus member from a Bob Fosse musical. Money can’t buy taste, I guess.

Dean Winters, the stupid character, not the actor, approaches Jess and flirts with her for a minute, but then Liz swoops in and steals him, right out from under her! OH THE HUMANITY! Bob Fosse, er, Lila is all, “Wow! She’s even more you than you!” Yes, thank you for that insight, Lila. Now, back to your hitch kicks and jazz hands, please.

At the hospital, Liz’s doctor totally goes around discussing his patient’s medical health with Jessica, as you do. Boy, I bet the cops on Law and Order: SVU would love to meet a doctor like this. “What can you tell me about Liz Wakefield, doctor?” Benson would ask. “Oh, everything!” the doctor would gush. And then the episode would be over in ten minutes and I wouldn’t have even had time to write a treatise on Why Stabler Sucks, subtitled “For the Love of Ponies, Make Munch and Fin the Stars of This Show.”

“Also, your sister is narcissistic and has septis of the urethra.”

Doctor Blabbermouth is all, “Liz is in perfect physical health! This is a mental problem! I can’t do anything!” Oh, the 90s, when people so innocently thought that mental health wasn’t actually an area of medici – oh, wait. Ha ha ha. Let’s all cry into our bottles of Atavan.

At the Palatial Spanish-Tiled Wakefield Manor, Liz is dressed in a towel and trying on clothes in front of the mirror. Liz does a lot of tossing of her hair; it’s how you know she’s BAD now. I do a lot of tossing of my cookies; it’s how you know I have a high gag reflex for stupid fucking television.

Jessica comes in and they argue and Liz snits and I cry into my wine.

Meanwhile, at the Shoddy Replacement for the Dairi Burger, Todd is using his straw to swirl emo patterns into his drink as he whines to Winston that he “doesn’t even know who [Liz] is anymore.” Oh, cry me a river, Todd. Actually, don’t. You’re a horrible actor and the river would probably quickly become swollen and then flood the Plains of Subtlety.

Outside, Liz and Bruce are getting into his Porche to go to Miller’s Point, but then Liz decides to skip the scenic view and starts eating his face. Or at least that’s what it looks like. The directors for this show don’t understand how to shoot a kiss scene so that it doesn’t look like the people are tonguing each other’s uvulas. Or, hey, maybe that is what they’re doing; I don’t know.

Lila walks by, looking today like a French goat herder from 1941, and catches sight of the Wakefield/Patman face-eating contest. She runs straight inside to tell “Amarilis” and Enid (one braid!) the news. Todd overhears and runs outside to hulk all over Bruce. They get in a fight! Excellent! Let’s drink!

Then Liz and Jess get in a fight, and Liz pushes Jessica out into traffic! WHAAA? AWESOME. This is crazy! But then Liz sees that Jessica almost gets run over and she . . . snaps out of it? WHAT? So it isn’t the head injury at all, and she was just pretending to be a crazy hobag all this time? THIS IS NOT COOL, SHOW. Either she’s injured or she isn’t, and if she isn’t, then she should just choose to act like this all the time!

Anyway, the girls make up. And then Liz apologizes to Todd. And they all just . . . forgive her? For PRETENDING to be a mean biatch? Um, I guess.

Are . . . they going to make out now?

Whatever! Next week I will be in Russia, so the presence of Sweet Valley High tv will be entirely up to whether my hotel has internet! But I can say that next week will be the LAST week for SVH TV, because Pretty Little Liars returns the week after! Don’t worry, though. I won’t leave you without some Sweet Valley shenanigans for too long . . .

I just wanted to show you Lila’s outfit.

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