Saturday, October 6, 2012

Degrassi TNG: Pride

(Yes, I'm back from my stay in Internet Purgatory. Let's not make a big deal about it.)

In this fantastic (in every sense of the word) episode, sexually confused Marco begins to admit that he's not like all of the other reindeer, but when his jerky buddy Spinner finds out, will he let Marco join in any of his reindeer games ever again?

Marco is dragging fake girlfriend, emo Ellie, to the beach...with all the popular kids who can't stand her. That's some real consideration for your beard there, Fake Boyfriend Marco. It should be noted that Ellie is holding an umbrella, and not the beachy kind. The rainy-day kind. Kids, if the weather is such that you feel the need to bring a rainy-day umbrella to the beach, maybe just think about going to the mall or something. Way to be a bummer, Canada.

Paige gets out of the people-mover for absolutely no other reason except to insult Ellie. I love how Paige consistently has zero consideration for anyone but herself. Ellie sits in the middle seat between Paige and Spinner, which is odd and probably quite uncomfortable, so I don't know why she'd choose to sit there. Marco sits up the front with Paige's brother, Gay Dylan, whom I thought was a total fox back in the day. Marco looks at Dylan for a long, creepy time, and somehow nobody seems to notice.

Once at the beach, Paige gives Spinner a basket full of beach towels to carry, and he refuses because he doesn't want to look like "some homo." Um, confusion. What's gay about towels? Or is it the basket? Are baskets gay? Someone? Help me, please.

Dylan overhears Spinner's slur, and Spinner tries to get out of it with the following:

Spinner: "I don't mean homo as in gay, I meant homo as in..."
Dylan: "Milk?"

Ha! Best Dylan line ever. For some reason, he thinks it's funny because he told Paige not to pack the basket. So it's the basket that's gay? Is this a thing people know? Spinner ends up carrying the basket anyway, probably so Dylan won't kick his ass over the whole homophobic milk thing.

Aw, man. The B-plot is beginning at Emma's house. This cannot be good. Spike is trying to get her giant-headed baby to sleep, but Snake comes in all sneezy. In the next thirty seconds, the poor man manages to cut his hand and sneeze his guts out some more, so his loving wife tells him to get the hell out of the house so Baby Big Head doesn't catch whatever he's got. Which -- and I'm sorry if this spoils anything for you -- is cancer. Of course it is. I know when I get the sniffles, the first thing I think is that it must be cancer. Degrassi is like one of those self-diagnosis websites that gives people the worst possible outcomes and turns them into hypochondriacs.

Those damn kids are still trekking through the wilderness to the beach. Where in the hell did they park? Dylan says that he wants to play some volleyball, because if we've learned anything from Top Gun, it's that volleyball is the most homoerotic sport there is. Ellie's lagging behind, and Marco steals a quick minute to tell her that she's bringing shit down and he wishes he hadn't invited her. Nice, Marco. Ellie responds that she's not going to be Marco's beard anymore, and he agrees that they should just be friends.

Volleyball montage! Unfortunately there are no tanned abs and glistening bodies like in Top Gun, because everyone still has all their clothes on and there's absolutely no sun to speak of. Seriously. It looks freezing cold. Degrassi, I get that Canada's a chilly country and everything, but if that's the case then you gots to stop sending the kids to the beach! It's like that episode in season four when Sean drags his friends to the beach in his hometown, and they're all wearing jackets. Nobody is fooled just because you make them play with some sand.

They couldn't get a single one of those extras into a bikini.

After the world's least sexy volleyball game, Dylan gives Marco tips on how to play volleyball. There is so much homoerotic subtext in this scene, it's not even funny. Marco stares at Dylan for a full six seconds in the least subtle way possible.

Back in the B-plot, sickly Snake has decides to go to the Jeremiah house and infect all of Joey's kids. That's thoughtful. Doesn't Joey have a kindergarten-aged daughter? Craig is pissed because he had been planning on spending the night attempting to get into Ashley's pants, which we know from future episodes would have been a fruitless endeavour anyway.

At the beach, Jimmy, Marco and Spinner are having a water-gun fight, still fully-clothed. It's like they're not even pretending that it's warm. Gay Dylan is sitting on a picnic blanket with his sister, basically pumping her for information on Marco. He tells Paige that he thinks Marco may be gay, and then Hazel comes by with the best non-sequitur of all time: "I'm freezing! Who's gay?" Ha! And thanks for finally admitting how cold it is, Hazel. You're the best.

Hazel tells Dylan that Marco couldn't possibly be gay, because she used to have a massive crush on Marco and he totally ignored her. Right. That settles it, then. The effeminate guy with no interest in women is definitely a straighty-180. The conversation ends abruptly when Dylan totally perves on a couple of male joggers. Really. He even says, "Look at them sweat!" which is not only completely creepy but also factually inaccurate, as it appears to be so cold that any perspiration would turn straight to ice in nanoseconds.

Spinner, who's randomly decided to be a homophobe today, is grossed out by Gay Dylan and his penchant for sexy jogging types. While I understand that they need an unsupportive friend for this whole storyline to work, and asshole Spinner would usually fit the bill pretty well, I find it difficult to believe that he's so over-the-top homophobic when his long-time girlfriend's brother is openly gay. Apart from the milk incident, there's nothing to suggest that they don't get along perfectly well. I'm just not buying it, you guys.

Some time later, the gang has found a nice little spot to toast marshmallows over a random barbecue. Ellie is sitting away from the group, strumming a random guitar. Where are they getting all these set pieces from? Nobody had gay picnic baskets full of guitars and barbecues before. Out of the blue, Spinner tells Marco to go over to Ellie and start acting like her boyfriend. Which is odd, because he doesn't even like Ellie. Why does he care if Marco wants to hang out with her or not? Marco tries to be all macho in front of his mates, and Ellie announces to the world that they broke up. Marco goes off by himself, and Dylan comes by to comfort him wordlessly. It would be a really poignant scene if not for the terrifically out-of-place rap song playing in the background.

The next day at school, Paige tells Spinner about her brother's theory that Marco is gay. Spinner refuses to believe it. Or does he..?

Marco comes to school wearing a hockey jersey, because he knows that Dylan is hardcore into hockey. Even more so than volleyball, you guys. That's how much of a puck-head Dylan is. Craig, Spinner and Jimmy give Marco shit about the jersey, and Spinner gets unnecessarily upset. You would think his maybe-gay best buddy being into sports might make the little hater happy, but apparently this is the only episode where Spinner is cluey and can sense what's going on before everyone else.

Marco finds Dylan in the library, and Dylan asks him if he had fun at the beach. Really, Dylan? The beach, where you know for a fact he got publicly humiliated to the point where you had to go comfort him on some rocks? Sensitive, dude. Marco is so clearly into him, everything he says comes out completely awkward. Dylan pretends not to notice. It's cute, and totally realistic...not like what happens next.

The amazing Jay Hogart walks in (in what I think might be his first appearance) and warns Marco not to drop anything in front of the big homo. Dylan throws his book at Jay's feet and stands there, looking at him menacingly. Because Dylan is a big tall hockey player who's older and probably a lot stronger than Jay, Jay cuts out of there pretty quickly. Marco thinks it's the most outstanding thing he's ever seen, even though all he did was throw a book on the ground! Why even do that? Was he challenging Jay to pick it up or something, because it wasn't even his book. Anyway, Jay cuts out and Marco bends over to pick up the book. They smile at each other. Subtext! Oh, the subtext!

Meanwhile, Craig and Emma have a short conversation about whether or not Snake actually has a cold. It's not important; I just really like Craig and Emma scenes for no particular reason. That episode where they went to find Emma's dad together was so damn cute. Okay, tangent over.

In science class, Spinner is bullying Marco into dating Hazel. It's really all I can call it. He even has a perverted hand gesture to imply that Hazel is stacked. Heh. I can never tell whether I love Spinner or hate him. This scene would be much nicer if I weren't convinced that Spinner has most definitely cottoned on to the fact that his best friend might be gay. Not sure what his plan here is, though -- maybe he thinks Hazel's amazing rack can turn Marco straight or something.

Cut to Marco and Hazel (and her boobs) on a double date with Paige and Spin. They're all having fun and laughing their heads off, and then Ellie stops by and ruins it all by taking Marco aside and reminding him that he's not straight. Well heck, Ellie, why are we letting a little thing like that ruin everyone fun? After that tremendous telling-off, Marco lies to the others and tells them that he has to go home for dinner, but Suddenly Smart Spinner is not fooled for a second, yo! He follows Marco into the parking lot and absolutely berates the hell out of him. Marco cries and tells Spinner that he's gay. Spinner seems shocked by this, even though he already had an inkling, and huffs off.

Oh, and Snake has cancer. But I already told you that was going to happen, so don't be all Spinner-shocked about it.

The next day, Spinner, Jimmy and Craig are talking about the weekend, but before that, we get an obligatory student-complaining-about-his-classes line. This time it's Craig, who tells Jimmy, "Why are they teaching us about soil erosion? I'm not a farmer. I'm never going to be a farmer." It would be classic if it weren't completely ripping off Ferris Bueller's sentiments on European Socialism. Anyway.

Dylan joins them and hands them all tickets for his big hockey game. Note: Spinner seems completely fine with Dylan. The dude even puts his hand on Spinner's shoulder, and Spinner doesn't even notice...but the second Marco gets a mention (and Craig and Jimmy get excited about a "boys' night") Spinner calls them fags. Legit calls them fags. You're allowed to say 'fag' in Degrassi, as long as it serves a purpose and is never mentioned again.

Jimmy and Craig apparently think that randomly being called fags is sort-of weird behaviour (where would they get that idea?) and Spinner tells the boys that Marco's not coming to the game because he's busy with Ellie. 'Cause it's one thing to go watch a gay guy play hockey, but it's quite another to watch a gay guy play hockey with a gay guy. I just...I don't even know. Spinner is so selectively homophobic, it's getting bizarre.

In PE class, the boys are playing...wait for it...volleyball. Of course they are! This is the gay episode, after all. Craig tells Marco that it's too bad he can't come tonight, and Marco goes up to Spinner and demands to know why he lied to the guys about the hockey game. It culminates in Spinner accusing Marco of only wanting to go to the hockey game because of his "big gay crush." Which is actually true. Mr. Armstrong the PE teacher tells them to stop gossiping and play some v-ball. I like that he presumably heard all of that and decided to completely ignore it. Teacher of the year right there.

What happens next is just sad, subtextually. Spinner decides that what volleyball needs is a little bit of violence, and continuously spikes the ball hard and fast at Marco. No, Spinner! This is volleyball, the subject of Marco and Dylan's first sexually-charged conversation! You're turning it into a hate crime! Stop it!

There is some B-plot action where Snake decides to take control of his body again and shaves his head for charity. Poor Snake. Of all the old Degrassi alumni, he's probably the least deserving of this fate. Stephanie Kaye? Totally different story.

Spinner takes himself to the mens' room and writes the smallest possible 'Marco is a fag' above the urinals. Seriously. His graffiti fits into the grouting of the brick wall. Why even bother? Jimmy catches him doing it, and gets angry. Not sure why, considering that I don't believe Marco and Jimmy have had more than five scenes together previously. He asks Spinner if he's going to write something racist about him next, and Spinner is offended because he is not a racist! Then again, he's also not homophobic, except when he is.

That's literally the graffiti. Right there. I had to circle it.

Ellie comes up to Marco at his locker, and Marco tells her that he's not going to the hockey game after all. Thankfully, Marco's new bestie Jimmy happens by, calls him by his last name, and tells him that he has to come with them to the game. Yay for Jimmy! Ellie gives her friend a supportive smile, which is nice, since Jimmy didn't even bother to acknowledge her existence. It should also be noted that Marco has a picture of Shakira in his locker, which, way to sell 'straight', Del Rossi.

Her hips don't lie, and neither does his taste in music.

In the B-plot, Joey and the stupid brunette girlfriend who's not Caitlin decide to come by Snake's house and fix his cancer with a salad and omega-3 fatty acids. Really. That's actually what Not-Caitlin's plan is. Snake comes home, limping, and treats his guests to the tale of his biopsy. (Which was from the pelvic bone, hence the uncomfortable walking situation he's found himself in.) He tells everyone to stay, and then puts on some music and yells, "Let's get this party started!" Clearly he's dealing with this well.

That night, Marco is going to Dylan's hockey game dressed like this:

Okay. He won't stand out at all. For some reason, the arena he's trying to find is located in the middle of Gay Town, Ontario. We know it's a gay hotspot because there's a rainbow flag in the background, and if you look closely, you can maybe catch on to the fact that the people there might possibly butter their bread on that side. But you really have to look, because it's not like everyone's wearing leather:

Or hugging their boyfriend:

Or holding hands while walking their dog:

Or standing on the corner with a terrifically bad blonde dye-job APPLYING MOTHERFUCKING LIP BALM:

Seriously! What in the hell?! There are more gay stereotypes on this one city block than at ten Celine Dion concerts! Subtlety can kiss Degrassi's ass. Despite the literal buffet of openly gay men, it's Marco who ends up the target of a homophobic gang, which I guess makes sense. He is much, much smaller than the other guys. And that one couple had that giant horse of a dog, so it's not like they were getting bashed anytime soon.

Meanwhile, at the hockey game, Jimmy is concerned that BFF-of-the-week Marco isn't there yet. He decides to give him a call.

The violent gang has taken Marco to the park. Marco is in a headlock, and the most vocal of the thugs tells him that he's pretty. "Almost girl pretty." Kind of an odd thing to say, but whatever floats your boat, Loud Obnoxious Gangbanger. Marco gets Jimmy's call, but the thugs break his phone and beat the hell out of him. Truly. Their trash talk may be a world of terrible, but this scene is actually quite violent. Marco looks terrified. This is one of the first times Degrassi's tried to be confronting and has actually succeeded.

Thankfully, the police randomly happen by and chase the thugs off. Well bully for that. Great timing, Canada's Finest, although I'm a little disappointed that you're not mounties. Jimmy also comes by and consoles poor old Marco. Thank God those gangbangers thought to gay-bash Marco in the world's busiest, centrally-located, best-lit park.

At school the next day, Marco's been telling people that he got swarmed for his shoes. What a cover story. Ellie thinks now's the time to berate him about coming out, because things like timing apparently mean shit to her. Marco, predictably, tells her to drop it. He also flees from his beloved Dylan, which is probably the saddest thing of all. Who will pick up Dylan's books when he throws them at people's feet now?

Jimmy and Spinner are shooting hoops, and Spinner makes fun of Marco getting his shoes stolen. Apparently he finds nothing fishy about his story. (Like the fact that he still has his shoes.) He then goes on to say that it's Marco's fault, because he decided not to walk to the game with the rest of the guys. Spinner, are you smoking crack or something? You didn't want him there! He went to the game by himself because Spinner made him feel so unwelcome! Dammit, Spinner!

The episode ends with the Spinner and Marco in the bathroom, admiring Spinner's tiny graffiti with the aid of a magnifying glass. Spinner tells Marco to stop being gay, and then Marco grows a gigantic pair of balls and tells Spin that he's just as bad as the guys who bashed him. End credits. Nothing gets resolved, which I actually like, to be honest. Sometimes things don't get fixed in an episode. Sometimes they don't even get fixed in a two-parter. That's when you know you've got problems.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Degrassi's Neil Hope, aka Wheels, dies

Gotta say, this one's a bit of a mind-flip.

Fans of Degrassi Junior High will be sad to learn that Neil Hope, who played my favourite DJH fall-from-gracer Wheels, died in 2007. The news broke five years later when one of his relatives announced his death in a Facebook group calling for the actor to join the social networking site.

More information here. Really sad news, you guys.

Friday, May 27, 2011

In Loving Memory: Actors Who Made My Childhood What It Was

Let me tell you a little something about myself: I am one of those people who adores Grease. It's one of the handful of films I can quote off by heart, and Kenickie just happened to be my absolute favourite character. At my school's year twelve Foundation Day concert, I went out of my way to be Kenickie. (Not such a difficult feat, as I went to an all-girls' school and nobody was exactly clamouring for a guy part except me.) So I was extremely saddened to hear the news that Kenickie's portrayer, Jeff Conaway, died today at age 60.

Last night I went to a football game where Olivia Newton-John was the pre-game enterainment. (She was wonderful, by the way.) It does bum me out that while I was grooving along to 'You're The One That I Want,' Kenkickie was dying, but them's the breaks, I guess. In honour of Jeff Conaway, today's post will be about the actors who well and truly defined my adolescence, all of whom have been taken too soon.

Corey Haim

Even my mother knew who Corey Haim was, which is big considering that her grasp of pop culture ended when people stopped giving a shit about David Cassidy. It does make me sad to think that we will never again have a complete set of Coreys.

Brittany Murphy

Oh, cluless Tai. Oh, interrupted Daisy. Oh, just married Sarah. After she died, I was surprised to learn how many Brittany Murphy DVDs I actually own. She's the favourite actress you never realised you loved.

Patrick Swayze

Johnny Castle lifting Baby up in the air like he just don't care is STILL one of the few movie moments my friends and I actually cheer about without the aid of alcohol. Whether he's yelling at Jerry Orbach for forcing his daugther to sit in a corner (the horror!) or getting all freaky-like on a pottery wheel with Demi, Patrick Swayze had all our hearts. Also, Roadhouse. Just...just Roadhouse.

Belinda Emmett

She may not have been internationally-known, but for a Home and Away addict such as myself, Belinda Emmett was a golden goddess who died when she was only 32.

Esben Storm

Anyone who's had even a halfhearted look around this blog knows my deep, unfaltering love for Round the Twist, so it should come as no surprise that I was devastated upon hearing that Esben Storm, the creative genius behind the show (and the guy who played Mr. Snapper) died in April this year.

Heath Ledger

I've said more than enough about my biggest childhood crush, Heath Ledger, in previous posts, but I couldn't compile a list like this without adding him. He taught us that it's okay for men to sing their hearts out on the bleachers in an attempt to woo soccer-playing feminist intellectuals.

River Phoenix

Talk about your tragic ends. River Phoenix was the super, super talented kid we first got to know in Stand By Me. Hell, I would've gladly braved those train tracks and that leech-infested water just to call him my friend.

Ashleigh Aston Moore

Now and Then is one of those films you saw a million times, because it was just that good. It told a tale of friendship, teen romance, naked Devon Sawa...and Moore's clueless Chrissie was a highlight for many.

Paul Gleason

Principal Vernon makes the list by virtue of being in The Breakfast Club, my all-time favourite movie of all time. In the film, he was a nasty-pants of epic proportions, and his portrayal of the evil antagonist principal hit home with many a high school student.

Natasha Richardson

She was the loving working mother of Lindsay Lohan in The Parent Trap, and I can remember really wanting her to be my mother as well. I also wanted to find my twin at summer camp though, so make of that what you will.

John Hughes

No, he's not an actor, but he occasionally did cameos in his films, so that counts, right? Doesn't take away from the fact that John Hughes was pretty damn important. He was responsible for the thinking person's teen movie. These movies had less to do with apple pie and more to do with socially awkward and downright weird teenagers desperately trying to fit in. He gave Andie a quirky fashion sense and a soft spot for cute richies named after major appliances. He gave Samantha a very memorable birthday. He gave Bender a tough childhood and a beautiful new love interest. He gave Ferris a day off. His films look and sound so very eighties, but in each of them lies a message that will go on speaking to each new generation -- you're not the only one who feels like this.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to watch Grease again. And I apologise in advance to my neighbours, because I will be singing. Oh yes, I will be singing.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The End Of An Era: Beverly Hills, 90210

Before I begin the real post, I have to say that I have more 90210 news, thanks once again to Jennie Garth and her fabulous Twitter account. Congratulations must go to Ian Ziering, aka the real life Steve Sanders, and his wife, who welcomed a baby girl a few days ago.

Firstly, I apologise for my absence of late. Me being me, I have a bunch of excuses, which I will outline for you later on, but I need to get this off my chest. I am, after all, having a crisis.

I was too young for Beverly Hills, 90210 when it first graced our screens in the nineties. I caught a few sneaky episodes when my parents were out of the room in later seasons, but it was pretty much a "big girl" show, and little ol' me was barred by the powers that be.

Thanks to the wonder of DVD and my local library, I've finally managed to watch this show. No, not "watch." That's too soft a word. More like "obsess over." I'm hooked -- hooked, I tell you! I've fallen in love with Brandon, fallen out of love with Dylan, looked up to Brenda, been thoroughly annoyed by Kelly, hated Silver, loved Silver (more on that later.) I'm a true 90210-phile. And now I'm up to the final disc of the final season.

 Sure, I haven't spent 10 years watching this show like obsessive 90210 fans of the appropriate age did, but this journey hasn't been a short one. In 2008, my library started collecting every season of the show up to season six, but being annoying and stupid, they broke them up into 2-disc parts and I had to borrow them individually, and trust me -- I could hardly ever get more than one of these parts at a time. I always had to wait for some schmuck to return it in order to find out what happened next. It was harrowing. I own a few seasons now, but still. Don't tell me I didn't put in the hard yards for these people.

But alas, I am almost done. It's almost over. And you guys, I'm sad about it. Empty. I mean, the show's nowhere as good as it was in the first few seasons. Shit, it's hardly the same show at all. So much has changed, so many characters have left, and so many have shown up seemingly out of nowhere, like certain ice-skating cousin/sisters nobody said a word about for eight seasons, but they're like a second family to me now. (Even the ice-dancing cousin/sister.) I can hardly believe that I won't be privy to their fabulous lives anymore. (And before you suggest it, let me say that I hate the new 90210 with a passion. That whole thing with Jackie Taylor, and Brenda coming back, and Kelly's baby daddy? Didn't happen. It's not canon. Just don't even talk to me about it.)

In honour of my final week as a 90210 viewer, I thought I'd take the time to share with you some of my favourite moments/characters/general 90210ness that I've enjoyed over the past ten seasons/three years of my life. Plus at the end, a bonus challenge for myself, and I suppose anyone else as insane as I. Are you ready? Here we go.

Although I have over 200 episodes to choose from, I have to make a decision, so here it is -- season three, episode 32: Commencement. I tossed up between this one and the prom episode, but this one wins out because of the ending. Andrea's valedictorian speech and Kelly's dad showing up and the ridiculous prank on the Hollywood sign, with the Triplets' 'Blood Is Thicker Than Water' playing in the background? So perfect. Perfecter than perfect.
Honourable Mention: Although I'm a purist at heart, I have to say that another of my favourite ever episodes actually comes from season ten -- Steve and Janet's wedding scavenger hunt. From the scavenger hunt partner-swapping to Dylan's onesie pyjamas to Gina and Silver's oddly-named lost dog. ("Who would name a dog Joan?" is one of my favourite Silver quotes of all time.) And, of course, the wedding.

Simultaneously the best and the most annoying showdown comes from season three, when Kelly and Dylan admit to Brenda that they dated while she was away in Paris. Brenda telling them where to go is priceless, but holy shit, the way that Kelly acts like it's not even slightly her fault? I wish Kelly could be a normal human being sometimes.

 Honourable Mention: Dylan versus Brandon, even though his punch accidentally landed on Steve's face. I guess I just really like it when Dylan hits people. Hey, speaking of Dylan...

Picture this: Scott Scanlon has just died. Sure, most of the gang don't know him very well -- he was just David Silver's nerdy friend, but he's dead. (And despite the fact that he didn't go to Scott's cringeworthy birthday party the night he died, Dylan still sorta knew him.) Anyway, my Dylan McKay highlight is during Scott's memorial, when he quietly turns to Brenda and says, "I don't mean to sound like an ass, but which one was Scott Scanlon? When you told me what happened, I thought it was that guy over there. Obviously, it's not." Brenda goes on to tell him that he was David Silver's friend, and he was in one of Dylan's classes last year. Dylan, now utterly devastated, says, "Oh my God, that guy?!" I know it's not supposed to be a particularly comedic episode, but that exchange is priceless Dylan.

Honourable Mention: No. Nope. Nothing. It was going to be that scene where he comforts Kelly after she was nearly raped at the Halloween party, because I thought it was just the sweetest thing ever when I first watched it. Then I saw the awful Kelly/Dylan sneaky love affair, and now it's ruined for me forever. Look what you did, Dylan. Your platonic friendship with Kelly is retroactively dead now, just like your BFF Scott Scanlon.

This one is for the character who I believe truly embodies the 90210 spirit of always giving people a second chance, despite how badly they may or may not deserve one. And nobody exemplifies this more than prodigal son David Silver, who went from being one of my least favourite characters in the history of television to one of my favourite. Apart from Steve Sanders, who I love with all my heart and soul, Silver dearest is one of the few characters that I'm completely loyal to. Every single time someone fights with him on the show, I mentally take his side. Except when he was fighting with Valerie, 'cause I didn't love him then quite like I do now. That's right, you guys. I love David Silver. I can barely believe it myself.

 Honourable Mentions: Gina Kinkaid. I had absolutely no interest in welcoming her to the 90210 family when she first arrived, simply because in my eyes she was a bastardised version of Valerie. She wasn't even good at being a Valerie, not like Valerie. Now she was the Valeriest. Anyway, I'm unashamed to say that as soon as she declared war on self-righteous Kelly, I was on Team Gina.

 Honourable Mention No. 2: Clare Arnold. Because seriously, did anyone like Clare when she first appeared on our screens for the sole purpose of sexually harassing Brandon? I think not. She was annoying and stupid and so annoying. But then she got with Steve, and she changed him, man. She was the one who truly turned him into a decent, loving boyfriend. She led the way for Carly, who in turn prepped him for a child-filled life with Janet by letting Steve bond with her son whose name I can never remember but just know that he was totally the kid Nicolas Cage killed in Face/Off.

Brenda and Dylan. Brenda and Dylan, Brenda and Dylan, Brenda and Dylan. Just...Brenda and Dylan. Screw off, Kelly.

Honourable Mention: Oddly enough, Silver and Valerie. The only reason they didn't steal top spot from the oft-dysfunctional Brenda and Dylan is because my favourite incarnation of the Silvalerie union was when they were pretending to date again in season eight. They really rocked that headboard...literally.

I try not to judge too harshly, considering that this is the nineties we're talking about here. Everyone looked horrendous, but Donna...well, she just looked ever so slightly more horrendous than most. Perhaps if she had stopped shopping in the children's department and actually wore a decent-sized shirt every once in a while, things wouldn't have to be like this. Plus, she was supposed to be a budding designer, so I was all the more critical on her.

 (Dis)honourable Mention: David "Mr. 180" Silver, because the guy had the opposite problem to Donna -- everything he owned, even his suits, was at least two sizes too big for him. And not in a cool nineties sort of way. In a he-most-likely-has-some-type-of-body-dysmorphia way. How I still love him regardless of this flaw is baffling.

Aw heck, let's just give it to Steve and Andrea. I'm well aware that they would've been terrible together, but surely after that sexually-charged SAT prep session in season one and their sexually-charged egg exchange in season two, surely you were at least curious? *Crickets* Just me then? Oookay. Awkward.

 Honourable Mention: Noah and Gina. I tend to not really like either of them when they're not actively pissing off Kelly, but there's something about them together that just feels right. Gina knew it. She totally wanted to gets in them finely-pressed Hunter slacks, but alas, it wasn't to be.

I want to say Kelly, I really do. If we were still in season six, I would say heck yes, Brandon and Kelly all the way. After all, they were so cute, and he was so not Dylan, which was perfect for her. But that got pretty old pretty quickly, didn't it? I guess I'm going to have to go out on a limb and pick the lovely Susan Keats, played by the future Mrs. Anya Jenkins herself, Emma Caulfield. They were incredibly well-suited to one another -- at least, before her hasty exit. And who do they replace her with? Some random wannabe journalist named Tracy who looked exactly like Susan. Don't even get me started.

Honourable Mention: Okay, I'll give it to Kelly.

At first I thought this was going to be a toughie, what with the multitude of examples that immediately sprung to mind, but it was actually a lot easier than that to choose the winner. You see, I watch soap operas. I can handle my share of bullshit. Cousins turning out to be sisters? Fine. Fathers coming back from the dead? No probs; I hear they do it all the time. The one storyline I could absolutely not swallow no matter how hard I tried, though, was Dylan discovering that he and Kelly knew each other in a past life. He was a cowboy, you say, scriptwriters? They were in the Wild West? Nope, sorry, not buying it. And coming from me, that's saying something.

 Honourable Mention: Steve and Janet being taken hostage at the Beverly Beat office by a butcher who'd captured a midget he thought was a leprechaun, and demanding his pot of gold. I was sure that I'd never take the show seriously after that. I mean, it is the circle of television life, after all. Fonzie jumped a shark, Steve and Janet had an armed butcher try to exchange a dwarf at a newspaper office. In the end they all learned a lesson, though, so it was okay.

Okay, now for the bonus round. I mentioned earlier that I had a lot of excuses as to why I haven't posted here for a while, but here's my most valid one -- I have been working a lot lately to fund my first ever overseas trip, and guess where I'm going? The United States. Including Los Angeles. And you know what else had a happy life over in Los Angeles, don't you? Why, Beverly Hills, 90210, naturally! So here's my challenge to myself: in honour of my fantasy BFF Steve Sanders and his real-life TV wife Janet, I'm doing my very own scavenger hunt of 90210 locations. Yes, with the assistance of my dear friend Google, I plan to find at least six locations actually used in the show. They are, in no particular order:

--The Walsh House. Because no 90210 pilgrimage is complete without visiting this ol' chestnut.
--Dylan's House. I've heard that they actually filmed in this house for the entire second season before building a replica on their soundstage. Luke Perry stood in their shower. Must. Go. There. (Not to the shower, though, because that would be creepy.)
--Carly/David's White House With Blue Trim. Just in case the little kid from Face/Off is still around, because if I can convince anyone to introduce me to John Travolta, I feel like it might be him.
--Donna and Kelly's Beach Apartment. I have to know if it's still that horrible blue colour in real life.
--West Beverly High, aka Sunnydale High, Rancho Carne High, John Hughes High, Paul Walker Is A Douchebag High and whatever it was called in Whatever It Takes.
--The Peach Pit. No explanation necessary.

Wish me happy hunting, y'all, and see you in Beverly Hills!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Eighties vs. Nineties Fight To The Death: Degrassi

Ah, the Degrassi school. A sacred Canadian place. A place where different stereotypes came to interact with one another. A place where even the most trite teen problems evolved into a stretched-out saga of Dynasty proportions. A place of miracles.

The late eighties gave us Degrassi Junior High and later, Degrassi High. It seemed as though there were more heavy-handed issues than actual students at that damn place, but it was entertaining no less. True story: my mother likes to tell me about how I was obsessed with watching Degrassi Junior High when I was two. Two years old. I don't know why she just didn't switch off the bloody TV -- two-year-olds generally don't understand...anything, and here I was, not old enough to use a toilet but somehow adept at convincing my mother that this show was something I needed in my life. I was probably just mesmerised by all the hair. They did have an awful lot of it in those days.

Degrassi: The Next Generation picks up 15-odd years later, with the illegitimate lovechild of two of the original Degrassi teens now old enough to start junior high herself. Basically, it was a show that encompassed the crazy adolescent problems of the eighties, but experienced by new characters. Oh wait, why am I using the past tense? The show's still going. It's been going for ten freakin' seasons, and it doesn't look like stopping anytime soon. I watched the first couple of seasons of Next Gen when I was in high school, but outgrew it soon after...although here I am, ten years later, watching the reruns on ABC3 every night I possibly can.

Instead of recapping episodes for you, I'm putting the eighties versions of Degrassi (Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High, which featured most of the same characters) up against the current reincarnation in another Fight to the Death. There will be blood. Oh yes, there will be blood.

 Best Band

Eighties Degrassi: Two words -- Zit Remedy. Joey Jeremiah's band was pretty much the only one at Degrassi, but they had tapes and everything. Tapes, you guys. Plus, they had a gig. Sure, it was the school graduation dance, but a gig's a gig. I bet there were groupies involved.

Noughties Degrassi: Next Gen had three bands that I can think of -- Craig and Ashley's band Downtown Sasquatch (which actually had a record deal for about three seconds), Paige and Ashley's all-girl band Paige Michalchuck and the Sexkittens (also known as PMS -- fun with acronyms!) and Ashley's other band Hell Hath No Fury. Clealy, there's a pattern forming here. Perhaps Ashley's music career would've gone somewhere had she stuck to just the one band. She's like an unsuccessful Dave Grohl.

The Winner: The most likely reason that there were so many bands in Next Gen (apart from Ashley's overzealousness, of course) is that the writers saw the popularity of Zit Remedy and went, "Hells yeah, let's do that again, as many times as possible." So Zit Remedy wins, although Downtown Sasquatch gets an honourable mention.

Because really, what could that mean?!

Cheatingest Cheater

Eighties Degrassi: Joey Jeremiah spent the first few years of his Degrassi life desperately trying to get a girl, any girl, to go out with him. (Bonus points if it was Stephanie Kaye.) After scooping up everyone's favourite character Caitlin, he proceeded to cheat on her with town bike Tessa Campinelli. Which is just Not Cool. Why would you cheat on Caitlin? She was so adorable! Not Cool, Joey. Not. Cool.

Noughties Degrassi: Craig and Ashley started dating after Ashley took an ecstasy pill and alienated all her popular friends. After Ashley refused to have sex with him, Craig (who by no coincidence is Joey Jeremiah's stepson) not only began a torrid affair with the town bike Manny, but also impregnated the hell out of her.

The Winner: Craig, that fertile turtle. Banging the town bike is pretty much the easiest thing in the world to do, but it takes a special, irresponsible sort of someone to knock her up in the process. In fairness to Craig, though, he probably learned his cheating ways from Ashley, who never managed to stay faithful to her bands.

Whose band did you wake up in this morning, Ashley, huh? Huh?

Best Fall From Grace

Eighties Degrassi: Surprisingly, there's a lack of 'good girls gone bad' in early Degrassi. Sure, Spike got pregnant on her first go-around with Shane, but she was a rock chick with spiky, bleached-blonde hair! There's nothing 'good' about a rock chick with spiky, bleached-blonde hair!
So we'll have to look to the boys to fill our Fall From Grace category, and who better to fill it than poor old Wheels? Wheels started off as a relatively cool guy -- after all, he planned to have sex with the famous Stephanie Kaye, and would've too, had he not tried to buy the condoms from her mother's pharmacy. Things for Wheels started to go bad when he got nerdy glasses (THE SHAME!) and began his new life as a petty criminal, stealing videogames and whatnot. The real fun came when he got into a drunk-driving accident -- killing some innocent kid and paralysing his passenger, Lisa. I do enjoy the irony of a kid nicknamed Wheels not being able to control his, but I don't think Lisa's laughing with me.

Noughties Degrassi: Anyone who watched the early years of Next Gen knows that Emma Nelson was the high and mighty, morally correct character that you desperately wanted to smack upside the head. So preachy, so unnecessarily bitchy. And she was supposed to be the nice character. Imagine everyone's surprise when, in season four, Emma did something no good girls at Degrassi ever do -- she went out with a 'bad boy' named Jay! Gasp! And she...wait for it...gave him a blowjob! Double gasp! And, after all the fun oral sex was over with, got a nice case of gonorrhea out of it! Gasp to end all gasps! For some reason, I can't think of this storyline without laughing hysterically -- that is the power of my Emma hatred, people. I'd tell her to suck it, but it seems she already did that.

The Winner: Emma and her escapades with Jay at the ravine, hands down. Sure, nobody died or got paralysed, but there's something so satisfying about pious Emma being talked into sneaky blowjobs in a public place, isn't there? Plus, Jay actually used the word 'blowjob,' which is just the most scandalous thing I think I've ever heard. Do you know how many teen shows get to actually use the word 'blowjob?" Not a one.

At least he lit some candles first.

Best Blonde

Eighties Degrassi: Boy, there were a lot of blondes at Degrass in the eighties! Stephanie Kaye was the token popular blonde, Spike was the awesome bleached-blonde, Simon and Alexa were the gorgeous blonde couple everyone wanted to get in on, even adorable Caitlin had a Rayanne Graff-esque blonde many choices, so little time.

Noughties Degrassi: The only blonde that counted in Next Gen Degrassi was the incomparable Paige Michalchuck, the Stephanie Kaye of the new era. Sure, there was Emma, but fuck Emma, okay? The world does not revolve around stupid Emma.

The Winner: Paige. She was the only one who truly embraced her blondeness, and everything that goes along with it. Sorry, Stephanie Kaye, but those streetwalker outfits you used to wear really lost you points on this one. That is not the way of a true blonde, sweetheart.

True blondes wear pink.


Best Shit-Hits-The-Fan Episode

Eighties Degrassi: The fact is, in whatever sad part of Canada we're in, it seems that shit is constantly hitting the fan. Every episode brings up some awful new drama, so we have a few to choose from. The most dramatic episode is probably the one from Degrassi High where Caitlin's douchey boyfriend killed himself. Before you slam me for being so cruel to the dead, let me remind you that A) his name was Claude, and he pronounced it werid, B) he dressed like the lovechild of a Toulouse Lautrec and an eighties rent boy, and C) he was a douche even after death. After his parents divorced and he had some relationship troubles, Claude took himself to the school bathroom and blew his brains out with what was possibly the quietest gun ever, since no-one seemed to hear it and people only realised Claude was dead when Snake went to take a leak and found a corpse on the floor. Poor old Snake was scarred for life by this discovery, and a few days later Caitlin received a posthumous letter from Claude telling her in no uncertain terms that his suicide was all her fault. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you...a douche.

Noughties Degrassi: You know it's a shit-hits-the-fan Next Gen episode when it's a two-parter. Paige's rape was one. Manny's pregnancy was one. Marco's sexual awakening was one.
The most jaw-dropping episode of noughties Degrassi was probably 'Time Stands Still.' Rick, who has just returned to school after being suspended for beating his popular girlfriend, was getting dumped on something fierce by everyone at Degrassi, especially said girlfriend's buddies. Even Emma hated him for an episode, before her future love rat Jay pummeled him and she randomly decided to be his friend. After Jay and Spinner went all Carrie-at-the-prom on Rick and dumped paint and feathers on him, Rick returned to school with a handgun, shot Jimmy and tried to shoot Emma. (It's actually a good thing she didn't die, because her grief after the shooting directly resulted in the awesome Emma/Jay blowjob fiasco.) Since school shootings were all the rage in the media back then, it was the highest rating episode ever, followed closely guessed it...Blowjobgate.

The Winner: While the school shooting was pretty damn good, I'm giving it to Douche!Claude and his dramatic suicide. Never before has a Degrassi character been such a downright wanker from beyond the grave.

Also nominated: Sean's eyebrows.

Best Feat of Disproportionate Retribution

Eighties Degrassi: In this one, the people dishing out the nice cold dish of revenge soup were actually the writers. See, Duane was a bully. There's no other word for what he was, and the karma? Karma don't much like bullies, you guys. God gave Duane a good, hard bitch-slap by giving him HIV. Full-blown HIV. I'm not sure how successful a deterrant these episodes were, since TV show punishments generally have something to do with the actual crime (ie sex leads to pregnancy, blowjobs lead to mouth gonorrhea etc.) but Duane certainly learned his lesson -- he and his regular victim, Joey Jeremiah, ended up getting a long pretty well afterwards.

Naughties Degrassi: Hmm, where to start. There was the episode where, after being given a single detention, Jimmy and Spinner harassed their teacher and vandalised her car to the point where she had a nervous breakdown. That's definitely something. Could it be the episode where Spinner treated his girlfriend like crap at her minumum-wage jobs in order to pay for damage to his car? Possibly. Spinner being a dick to Marco when he came out? Eh. Or how about the time Spinner inadvertently caused his buddy Jimmy's shooting after telling Rick that Jimmy was responsible for his public humiliation? No matter which of these things you think is the most unnecessarily cruel, I think we can all agree that Spinner is a monumental arsehole. He makes Claude look like Snow freakin' White.

The Winner: Sorry, Spin, but you can't beat 80s-era AIDS, no matter how hard you try.

Also, Duane looks like Jonah Hill.

Best Couple

Eighties Degrassi: Joey and Caitlin. Why, you ask? Because Joey Jeremiah was the most likeable character in the show -- for years, he could do no wrong, not even when he tormented Melanie for having a flat chest. And Caitlin? Was so freakin' adorable. Seriously. I just want to put her in my pocket and take her everywhere with me. So Joey + Caitlin = magic. That's just maths, you guys. That's all it is.

Naughties Degrassi: Paige and Spinner. He was a bit of a bully, she was a popular bitch. It was a match made in heaven until it all went to hell. Honourable mention goes to Jay and Emma, but I can't in good conscience shortlist them since I'm pretty sure my love for this hook-up stems from the fact that I know what's going to happen, and it's too freakin' funny. Still, the pre-gonorrhea flirting was a bit of fun.

The Winner: Joey and Caitlin, who actually got together as adults in Next Gen as well. Love that lasts two reincarnations of the same show will always win out over a couple who couldn't go the distance for four measly seasons, or a couple who give each other STDs.
See? Adorable!

Best Bad Boy

Eighties Degrassi: Clutch. Last name unknown. And first name, probably, unless his mother really did name him Clutch. Clutch was famous for driving a sparkly car (which is not an accurate measure of his badassedness) and his itsy bitsy teenage alcoholism problem. Honestly, though, Clutch was kind of a weak baddie. By the end, even Wheels was more badarse than Clutch.

Naughties Degrassi: Jay 'Ask Me About My STD' Hogart. He turned pseudo bad boy Sean into a petty criminal who ignored his then-girlfriend Emma. (One point for crimes against Emma.) Then he got Sean to steal Emma's dying stepfather's computer. (That's two.) He was king of the ravine, where the bad kids go to get nekkid, even 'branding' his conquests by giving them coloured bracelets as prizes for whichever sexual act they perform on him. You'd better believe that Emma got one of those. (That's three.) Plus, he gave all those girls gonohrrea. (That's four.) Jay started to get a little soft in later seasons, but with all these crimes against Emma, I'm willing to forgive.

The Winner: Take a guess. I love you and your backwards baseball cap, Jay Hogart, despite the fact that you look like you're late for your shift at Luke's Diner.

I'm betting Alex had a lot of coloured bracelets.

And the overall winner is...a tie??! What?! My Fights to the Death can't end in a tie...unless they're like Gladiator and both parties just kinda shuffle off this mortal coil at exactly the same time. Sadly, though, there needs to be a winner, so I'm throwing my personal opinion in there (shocker!) and giving Degrassi: The Next Generation the title. Thanks for playing, eighties, but better luck next time.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I'm back on the grid

Happy 2011, cyberfriends! Sorry for my absence, but I've been completely computerless for a month and a half now. Like, an earth month and a half. I know. My belated Christmas present to me was a brand new super cute netbook, so here I sit, a happy Lorelai. And her happy netbook.

Proper post in the works, as soon as I transfer all my crap from my barely-working old laptop to my new baby. Stay sexy, y'all!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Beverly Hills 90210: U4EA

I'm back, y'all! Hope you didn't miss me too much, but I needed a vaykay like nobody's business. My final semester of my final year at uni required most of my attention, so that's my excuse. Plus, last week was my birthday, and I'm not embellishing at all when I tell you that I'm just recovering. I thought I'd do the sensible thing this year and have multiple dinner soirees instead of one huge birthday bash, but that turned out to be the single best mistake I've made so far in my 21 years on this planet. I've drunk more champagne these last eleven days than Iggy Pop has all his New Years Eves combined.

Today I bring you another 90210 episode, but this one's special -- it hold the grand distinction of being my favourite one of all time. I think. Don't quote me on that, but it's definitely right up there. In today's episode, Silver gets drunk, Brandon gets roofied, Brenda and Kelly are nonstop bitches and we even get a little Steve/Andrea action. In a nutshell, it's the perfect episode. (Except for Emily Valentine. I know Brandon liked her, but I never did.)

In the halls of West Beverly, Donna, Kelly and Brenda are complaining about how boring their lives are. Right. Brandon and Emily walk by, and Emily tells the girls about some hip underground rave club she just happens to have heard about. Get this -- they let just anyone in. No IDs, no cover charge, no nothing. This is generally a sane person's first tip that something is amiss, but no. The trick is, to get the location, you have to go to a particular convenience store and exchange an egg for the club's address. Apparently it changes locations every week, as though the first round of oh-so-subtle "this place is shady" clues didn't get through.

Emily and Brandon stop by the Blaze and tell Andrea and Steve about the egg rave club. Andrea pretends she wants to do an expose of it for the paper, but really she just wants to spy on Emily and Brandon and make sure they don't have any fun. Steve decides to go as Andrea's date, for no other reason except to appease the weird Steve/Andrea ship I have going on. Not that I think they'd make any sort of great couple -- I just like their scenes together. And their scenes in this episode? Awesome.

At home that night, Brandon and Brenda get ready to get their par-tay on. They go to great lengths to make up a plausible excuse as to why they're all dressed up with seemingly no egg rave club to go to, but by the time they get downstairs, their parents are so wrapped up watching a movie on the couch, they don't even bat an eyelid at their offspring. The twins even manage to coax an extension on their curfew out of Jim and Cindy. Guess they've been Beverly Hills parents too long.

Kelly, however, is having no such luck. She tells Jackie the truth -- she's going to a creepy underground club with all of her underage friends. Jackie the recovering alcoholic is having none of that, though, and tells her that she'll have to stay in while Mommy Dearest goes gallivanting around town with Mel Silver. Naturally, Kelly sneaks out the second her mother leaves the house.

The gang meets up at the Peach Pit, bar Andrea and Steve. They're late for some reason. Kelly's mad that Donna brought Silver along. Brenda's mad that they all seem to be doing what Emily wants to do. They both such downers in this episode, I can't even begin to tell you. Nat asks Emily and Brandon where they're all going, and they very stealthily respond with, "" That's some A-grade lying right there, Brando. Nat's all, "Oh wellsies, have fun." Heh. Nat is such an enabler. Between him placing bets for his underage employees and Jim and Cindy "Couch Potato" Walsh, it's surprising that Brandon made it out of his teenage years alive.

Their first stop is the convenience store, and I notice for the first time that they're all decked out in either black or denim. (Or both.) I love that they're colour-coordinated for their big night on the town. Emily goes up to the counter and exchanges the egg, no questions asked. Silver, jokingly, asks for a bottle of whiskey...and gets it. Worst convenience store clerk ever. I mean, come on. Silver looks eternally eleven. Plus, he gets the whiskey, a bottle of water for Brenda, gum for Kelly and popcorn for Donna, all for sixteen dollars. Is all your shit cheaper in America, or was this the wacky nineties? Because if it's the latter, I miss them. Then I remember all the double denim and matching black ensembles, and suddenly I don't anymore.

The egg rave club is totes hopping by the time our black-and-denim-clad Beverly Hillsians rock up. Dylan takes this opportunity to tell Brenda that a club like this is a breeding ground for drug activity. Hey Dylweed, you know when this would've been helpful information? Before. Literally any time before, just not ten feet from the friggin' entrance. Brenda asks her recovering substance abuser boyfriend if he's going to be okay. He tells her he is, and she's like, "Whatevs, let's head on over to Temptation City, Dyl." Thanks, Brenda.

Once they get inside, the girls (and Silver) all ooh and ahh over how crazy it is in there. Techno music, people dancing and et cetera. I'm pretty sure they have places like this in Beverly Hills too, but none of them seem to think so. Silver says that the place is "trippy," and Kelly makes fun of him. Now don't get me wrong, I haven't gone soft on Silver or anything, but I hate it when Kelly gets unnecessarily bitchy like this. It's slightly less annoying than when she gets unnecessarily judgemental, but still. Silver takes out his cheap-ass whiskey and offers it to everyone. They all refuse for some reason. I guess it's one thing to sneak out to a bitchin' rave party, but quite another to actually drink. What exactly are they planning to do here? Kelly goes so far as to call Silver a geek and pay him out for being a disgusting alco, and Donna stands up for him and says that "not everybody who has a drink or two is an alcoholic." I'm pretty sure these words are going to haunt her in a year's time when she's hunched over a toilet at prom.

While they're all standing around doing nothing, Kelly complains about how everyone seems to be coupled off except for her. Emily, for no real reason, says, "Life can be really depressing when you don't have a boyfriend." Um, fuck you, Emily. How is that an okay thing to say to someone who's already feeling bad about being single? Also, feminism called, and it wants to punch you in the face. Brenda overhears this remark and bitches to Dylan that Emily really rubs her the wrong way. Dylan retorts that she must rub Brandon the right way, and I give the scriptwriters props for sneaking that in there.

Meanwhile, Steve and Andrea finally arrive at the Peach Pit. Nat gives them an egg and directions to the convenience store that Emily left for them. So not only is Nat not stopping his favourite high school students from doing something that screams 'illegal', he's actually helping them? Jeez, Nathaniel, responsible much? Andrea takes the egg, confused, and Steve tells her to "get with the drill." Was that ever slang? "Get with the program," I've heard of, but "get with the drill?" Not so much. Andrea accidentally knocks over a cup of coffee, right onto the directions. They decide to forge on ahead anyway.

Back at the rave, Brandon is telling Emily that he doesn't want to dance. Because Brandon doesn't dance. That's a character trait you can never be reminded of too many times. He points out a giant burly guy that people keep coming up to, and Emily tells him that Big Burly Guy is a U4EA dealer. U4EA, for those of you at home, is a drug. A drug that Emily swears she's never tried before. (Spoiler: she's lying!) A drug that she attempts to get Brandon to take with her. Brandon, ever the sensible one, declines. After all, he does not get high. He just gets drunk and crashes Mondale. I do like that he reminds us of this, instead of being his usual high-and-mighty, Brandon-Walsh-can-do-no-wrong self and pretending that little incident never happened.

Steve and Andrea are driving around town, trying in vain to read the directions on the coffee-stained napkin. Andrea blames stupid Emily for not thinking to draw them a map on something sturdier than a napkin. It makes no sense, but since I love snarky Andrea, I'll let it slide. They stop at a convenience store they think might be the right one, and head inside to exchange the egg. Note: Steve's holding Andrea's hand. Cue the awww's. (Awww!) Now I can't decide which of the lines in this scene I'd rather quote for you, so here's the whole thing.

This is far and away my favourite scene in season two, maybe even the entire series. It's like a poultry-themed Who's On First.

Back in the nowhere-near-as-entertaining A-plot, Silver is sauced. It's okay, though, because drinking's only bad when Donna Martin does it. He talks with Brandon for a while about how he thinks of himself as "the host who's had the most," and then raves on for a while about how Donna likes him. God, if only Silver was drunk every episode. It almost makes him bearable.

Emily, still wanting to get high with Brandon, decides to take matters into her own hands and slips the U4EA into his soda. Good God, she's sociopathic. I hate it when Brenda's right. Some time later, Brandon tells her that he feels weird, and she admits that she, uh, drugged him, I guess. Brando's not as incensed about this as you'd think he'd be, probably because he's feeling a little too U4ic. Heh. You see what I did there? I'm oddly proud of myself for that one.

Meanwhile, Andrea and Steve are sitting in the 'Vette, totally and completely lost. Andrea snarks Emily some more about how she only joined the paper to get into Brandon's pants. She complains that, "this evening has been a total mmm." Insert your own bad word there. Steve tells her to stop apologising for who she is and get in the game, because the only reason Brandon only likes Emily is because she throws herself at him. He's so passionate about it, too. I love Steve so much. This is the sort of advice I imagine he'd give me if he was a real person and not just my fantasy BFF. Eventually, Andrea spots the right convenience store, and they head on in to exchange the egg.

Segue: I had a dream a couple of months ago where I was back in high school, and we were all doing some sort of crazy showstopping musical number. Steve Sanders was with us, and he and I sung a duet about how awesome we are. Sad but true.

At the rave, Silver and Donna are dancing wildly. Donna tells him she has to sit down, because she's "bushed." Silver's response? "Which one -- George or Barbara?" Ugh. And they say you're the witty one, Silver. There are so many cooler comebacks you could've used, and judging by Dylan's quip about the way Emily rubs Brandon, I'm pretty sure the network wouldn't have minded. Kelly, Dylan and Brenda come past for one final rendition of their tired Chide The Drunk Guy chorus. Seriously, you guys, shut the fuck up. So Silver's drunk. Why would you go to the trouble of sneaking out to a club if you weren't going to drink?

On the way back from the grungy bathroom ('grungy' in this case meaning disgusting,) Kelly and Brenda step on some drug paraphernalia and see a couple getting high in the corner. They realise that the place is crawling with ZOMG!druggies! Even though Dylan told her this would happen at the start of the night, Brenda acts like this is new information. She and Kel head on over to where Dylan is and tell him it's time to find Brandon and go. In Kelly's words, "This place is never again." Hmm. Again, I don't think calling stuff 'never again' was ever a thing, but I dig it. In fact, I think I'll use that.

Outside, Silver gets really sick, and Dylan holds his hair back while he munts all over a wall. Ew. Say what you want about Dylan, but he's all sorts of awesome to Silver in this scene. He doesn't even like Silver, and yet here we are. He even carries him over to Kelly's Beemer and sort-of hurls him into the backseat. That's some good lookin' out, McKay.

Dylan and Brenda find Brandon on the hood of Mondale, making out furiously with Emily. He even has his shirt unbuttoned, that hussy. Dylan recognises that he's off his face immediately. Brandon and Emily respond by telling them off for being too serious. It's actually kind-of funny, even though I know that this is the first of many DRUGSAREBAD episodes, and we should really be learning some kind of lesson from this. Dylan takes Brandon's keys and gives him money for a cab, then hustles Brenda towards his car.

Brenda's like, "We can't just leave Brandon here!" and Dylan responds with a monologue about how DRUGSAREBAD. It's an anti-drugs message that would be so much more effective if we didn't have Brandon in the background, hilariously standing on the hood of his car, chest bared, looking stoned out of his mind. I think this is the first time Brandon has ever stolen a scene. I'm a little impressed.

Meanwhile, Kelly is trying desperately to beat her mother home so she doesn't find out that Little Miss Honesty disobeyed her and went to the skeezy rave party. Of course, this doesn't stop her from being mean to Silver, who's moaning and groaning in the background like...well, like a guy who just downed a bottle of whiskey, actually. Kelly tells Donna that she made a mistake bringing him with them tonight, because he's "a geek and a pukemeister." Heh. Pukemeister. Kelly is winning the battle of the Awesome Nineties Slang I Never Knew Was Actually Slang today.

Oh, and in case you're interested, Kelly does not get home before Jackie. Bitch is grounded.

Steve and Andrea arrive at the rave at the same time the police do. Dammit, they never get to have any fun! They spot Brandon and Emily, assumedly so Jason Priestley can show off his cartoonish 'guy on drugs' acting, and Emily tells them that they have to get out of here because she's still got some U4EA on her. Steve grabs it out of her hand, then drags her towards the 'Vette by the wrist. I love it when he gets forceful. Andrea takes this time to tell Brandon how disgusted she is by his behaviour.

Back at the Walsh house, Brenda is waiting up for Brandon to come home. He does so, at six in the morning. God, I hope Jim and Cindy catch him. Brenda and Brandon have a D&M about the dangers of drugs and Brandon admits that "I totally lost control." Yeah, Brando. You unbuttoned your shirt! You sat on the hood of you car and made out with your girlfriend! Those crazy kids, I tell ya. Brandon finally tells us what Dylan was trying to tell us before Brando interrupted him with his shirtlessness -- "people talk about how drugs are cool, but it's just a big fake-out." Holy crap, that's not even remotely subtle. I do love that Kelly -- the girl who initially told her mother the truth about where she was going and chided everyone for drinking -- got grounded, but Brandon managed to get home without his parents even waking up.

The next day, Dylan and Brandon head back to the club to pick up Mondale...which has been stripped for parts and just generally trashed. Oh, here's the comeuppance. I love that whenever Brandon decides to be bad, it's always the car that suffers. Dylan tells Brandon, "I'm just glad you couldn't see yourself last night," and Brandon asks if it was really that bad. Actually, no, Brandon, it wasn't really. You didn't even take your shirt clean off. Brandon admits that he'll have to tell his parents because there's no lie big enough to cover Mondale's demise, even though I thought of at least four in the last second and a half. I guess I'd make a much more covert druggie than Brandon.

At home, Brandon tells his parents all about last night, never minding that he's dropping Brenda in it too. He neglects to mention that Emily's the one who drugged him, though. Jim and Cindy seem mad, despite the fact that their shitty parenting last night didn't help the situation. Then they get mad at Brenda for leaving him there. Emily drops by and tells her boyfriend's parents that she took care of him while he was high last night, like the lying druggie whore she is. I hate her more and more with every passing second. Steam is practically coming out of Brenda's ears, but she doesn't dime. She's such a good sister. I take back that stuff I said earlier about her being a bitch. The second they're alone, Brandon breaks up with Emily. She's all butthurt about it, despite the fact that it's all her fault. Literally, all her fault. Not a single other person is to blame except her. This right here is the reason I have zero sympathy for Emily Valentine in the episodes to come.

Andrea goes to the Peach Pit to talk to Brandon. Actually, 'talk' isn't the right word. She takes him to the kitchen, breaks an egg into the frying pan and tells him that it's his brain on drugs. No, I'm not joking. That's how unsubtle they're being here. The writers' laziness is so bad now that they're actually just recreating an anti-drug PSA. Rachael Leigh Cook would be so proud.