Sunday, September 21, 2008

90210: Episode 1: "We're Not in Kansas Anymore" (continued)

And we're back!

After we return from the opening titles, Ethan asks Annie how her day is going and assures her that he isn't "that guy" by which he means "the type of guy who cheats on his girlfriend by getting random hummers in a random Hummer", even though he most certainly is that guy--especially since the whole reason he's explaining this is to make sure Annie doesn't tell Naomi what she saw.

Shortly thereafter in the parking lot, some curly-blond skurfer (skater/surfer/iono?) dude brings Adrianna her book. Apparently she'd picked up the wrong one. Upon closer inspection, however, the book he brought her has a secret compartment that is filled with a sack of drugs! Intrigue! The book isn't the only thing he brought her: skurfer dude says that his supplier needs the hundreds of dollars Adrianna owes him. She makes the pathetic next-day guarantee typical of all penniless junkies.

Some dykey bitch comes up to Annie, seated, and steps on Annie's notebook. They bond over common knowledge of the obscure teen music scene and over Annie's toughness, and the dykey bitch introduces herself as Silver, her last name, because she prefers not to use her first name Erin. After Naomi spirits Annie away from the conversation, Kelly the counselor walks up and we find out that she and Silver are sisters! (BH90210 Rewind: Kelly Taylor's half sister Erin Silver was in scattered episodes as she grew up during the series.)

While Naomi tells Annie that Silver has a vicious website and invites Annie to her "not-so-sweet sixteen" party, Naomi's parents are in the principal's office. Mr. Matthews--the too-cool jerk teacher--and Principal Wilson explain to Naomi's parents that she is required to do the book report she is over a week late turning in. Naomi's mother (Mrs. Clark) tries to persuade the principal by reminding him that if things had turned out differently, she and he could have had a child together, and they could be discussing that child's grades. (You see, they had dated in high school.) We can be sure that child will exist when the cast of 90210 gets sucked into a parallel reality--a parallel reality inherently saturated with humorous circumstances such as this.

BH90210 Rewind: The Peach Pit. This diner was THE hangout for the student body of WBHH back in the '90s. It was such a cultural icon, VH1 included it in television promo spots for its I Love the '90s miniseries.

Nat still runs the Peach Pit, though he has trouble working these new-fangled espresso/capuccino/whatever machines. We arrive in the middle of a conversation between Naomi and Annie concerning Naomi and Ethan's scandalous behavior online. What's the behavior? The world may never know. All we know is that Annie is shocked that anyone would do that. Afterward, Naomi offers to buy Annie an 800-dollar dress, but Annie refuses on the grounds that it goes against her Kansas-Amish upbringing. To smooth things over, Annie offers to let Naomi read her book report, hoping that Naomi could get some ideas to use in her own book report about the same book. Naomi accepts, since she isn't Amish.

On the lacrosse field, we see that Dixon isn't bad. Navid is there to cheer him on. George, a member of the team, hits Dixon, who then defends his own honor by beating the shit out of the guy who hit him. The whole team gets in on it. Fade to black.

When we return from commercial, Dixon's alcoholic granny is telling him that next time he needs to fight dirty. Annie asks permission to go to the party and is permissed. Granny then excuses herself from the table because Mom's tater tots just aren't Beverly Hills cuisine. Annie and Dixon move to one of the bedrooms where she tells him about the hummer Ethan got. Dixon says that means that Ethan really doesn't want to be with Naomi any more, or in other words, "He's just not that into her."

At The Pit--what appears to be a hot nighttime version of the diner Peach Pit--that night, Naomi flashes some cash, which catches indebted Adrianna's eye. Corey Mr. Matthews runs into Naomi at the bar, and after they flirt shamelessly about her late book report, Mr. Matthews informs the bartender that Naomi is, in fact (not in lie), underage and should not be served any fire water.

As all this is taking place, Naomi's mother Mrs. Clark arrives at Principal Wilson's house. The three adults drink lots of fire water (wine, actually) and talk about how Principal Wilson once broke the H of the HOLLYWOOD sign. Mrs. Clark needs a ride home because she's smashed, so Mom offers to drive her home, mentioning her eagerness to trade stories about Principal Wilson's hot cock--I'm not making this up, I promise--but Mrs. Clark respectfully declines. (At this point, Principal Wilson informs us that Mom once dated a guy named Morris Cornbloom and lived with him in a tipi. Also, Principal Wilson informs us that he is essentially a huge douchebag, since he only dated Mrs. Clark because her mom had a beach house.)

While the family talks about how hot Annie looks in her dress, Granny recounts tales of Ricardo Montalban cracking eggs on her ass. At the club, Ethan and Naomi talk about how Ethan is going to lie for George because they're teammates and that's what teammates do. Adrianna steals Naomi's cash-laden purse. Commercial Break.

The next day at school, everyone makes fun of Annie for dating cows. See, Silver's video blog "The Vicious Circle" gets a half million hits and this week's edition was all about Annie's Kansas past, complete with humorous Flash animations. When Annie confronts Silver about this betrayal, Silver says that she never would have done it if Annie hadn't dissed her by hanging out with Naomi, whom Silver thinks is evil incarnate. Annie implies that Silver is worse than Naomi, since Naomi isn't the one who engaged in cyber-bullying. OUCH!

Kelly walks up and talks to Silver about the dangers of internet blogging and how blogs always start problems. She drives the point home that though Silver hates Naomi, the blog hurt Annie and did nothing to Naomi. Kelly then has to explain to Silver that she doesn't always have to be a school counselor; she can be a big sister sometimes too. They discuss their mom and Silver says she's ok. Blah blah blah.

Ethan lies to the coach and Principal Wilson about Dixon's involvement in the fight, resulting in Dixon's being kicked off the team. Dixon, forlorn, talks to Annie about how lacrosse (la-X, as they say) makes him feel more like Principal Wilson's son, since Principal Wilson played it in high school. Annie says that's stupid, and that since Dixon's been part of the family for eight years, he really is Principal Wilson's son.

Annie then reams Ethan, telling him everything he sucks at including, but not limited to, honesty. Then she almost cries when she realizes that Naomi turned in Annie's report as her own work. Bummer. Naomi though, in high-waisted short shorts (and not for the last time), gives Annie the 800-dollar dress in exchange for letting her plagiarize her paper. Tit for tat.

Annie and Silver go down to watch play practice, which sucks. When the theater teacher says as much, Silver suggests to her that Annie get to be in the chorus to round out the sound. Since the theater teacher, like all theater teachers, bows to the whims of the student body, Annie gets her shot. She dances maniacally and upstages Adrianna, the lead. Once again showing the passive director dynamic, the theater teacher invites Annie to join the show. This means Silver and Annie can be friends again.


[Oh, yeah, I forgot. In the middle of that whole theater bit, Dixon sent a text to Naomi, telling her that Ethan is cheating on her. This is, ostensibly, to get back at Ethan for being a lying bastard about the laX fight.]

In the office being questioned about plagiarism, Naomi thinks that Annie turned her in. They quarrel, and Naomi disinvites Annie from the NSS16 party. Later, Naomi and her mom are in the office, and Naomi's mom is pitching a bitch about Naomi having to rewrite the report. She questions Naomi's ability to get into a good college, which shocks Naomi. Principal Wilson agrees that everyone thinks Naomi's stupid... except him. At this point Naomi throws her mother out of the office and begins handwriting the report on what may or may not be a legal pad.

At some point, Ethan apparently went back and told the truth about the fight because Annie can see that someone has beaten the shit out of him (presumably George). When Annie tells Dixon, he realizes that he should probably not have sent that text to Naomi. Annie is appalled that he would do that, because Ethan will know that she was the one who told the secret of his hummer to Dixon. Uh oh. Commercial break.

When we return, Principal Wilson and Mom Wilson are talking about punishment. Apparently Annie needs to be protected since BH is a latter-day Sodom and Gomorrah, but Mom thinks they let Dixon off easy because he's adopted. They go up to check on Annie, but guess what? She flew the coop (but not before telling Granny).


It's your typical rich-bitch sweet sixteen party. Crowds of people everywhere. Creepy screens showing video of Naomi's face. Silver and Annie (crashing the party) talk about Ethan while Dixon and Navid walk around shooting footage for the school news. As Navid tends to frequently do and say questionably gay things, we have a new feature:

GayWatch-Navid: As Navid follows (with his camera) the ass of an attractive female classmate, Dixon asks, "Who is that!?" to which Navid replies, "Not a chance in hell, is what you call that. Just remember I got you in. You are not a guest; you are my bitch."

Just as Navid shows up to tell the others that he found out Naomi's purse--including her cellular device--was stolen and therefore she didn't get the text, Adrianna walks up to Naomi and returns the purse, saying that the guys at the Pit found it.

Principal Wilson is at the party looking for Annie but is sidetracked by Mrs. Clark. She tells him that they need to talk. Seems that the Principal stopped seeing her twenty years ago after a pregnancy scare; she went to an abortion clinic and then spent a year in Europe recovering... OR SO HE THOUGHT! She really spent that year being pregnant and then gave the kid up for adoption. The son is still out there somewhere, all adopted.

Naomi is about to dance the spotlight dance with Ethan. This must be a second spotlight because it's shining from the ceiling, not Ethan's ass. Before she goes out to him, though, she reads the fateful text. They dance anyway.

Ethan compliments her and says he loves her. She looks at him and asks if he's cheating on her. He doesn't answer. Everyone is watching. Naomi tells everyone else to join them on the dance floor and thanks them for making it the best bday evs. Then she leaves Ethan alone on the dance floor (sort of, since everyone else is now starting to dance).

Annie feels terrible, so Silver suggests they go hang out with poor people to make themselves feel better. If one were to cross Vegas with Beach Blanket Bingo, they'd get the setting of this new party. As Silver and Annie arrive, they see Ethan coming out of the water, bedecked in a wetsuit. Silver explains that she and Ethan have been coming to this party every weekend since eighth grade. Annie goes over and apologizes to Ethan for spilling his scandalous secret. Ethan tells her he's a complete ass. Annie says only half an ass. Ethan says he's trying to rebecome the guy that Annie likes. Blah blah blah.

Time to close out the episode: Principal Wilson and Mom are in bed, but Principal Wilson is battling with the knowledge that he has a son out there somewhere.

Kelly is on the phone with some guy who is apparently the father of her four-year-old son (who has blond curly hair).

Adrianna gives the skurfer the money she stole from Naomi's purse.

Ethan shows up at Naomi's house and she lets him in.

Dixon and Annie agree that California doesn't suck.

People in nice clothes dance in the water because they're rich and we're not in Kansas anymore.

Quotes to remember:
Granny Tabitha on fighting: "Never worry about being fair, just grab onto those jewels and twist them, like a garbage bag."
George to Ethan about Dixon: "Dude, don't be such a puss; who cares about that puss?"

Sunday, September 14, 2008

90210: Episode 1: "We're Not in Kansas Anymore"

Original air: 2 September 2008
Written by: Darren Star (with help from developers Jeff Judah, Gabe Sachs, and Rob Thomas)
Directed by: Mark Piznarski

Ahoy! Before we begin this trek, let me disappoint you up-front! This episode is only the first half of what I like to call 90210's "happy hour" premier. That is, the CW took 90210's first two hour-long episodes and packaged them together as a two-hour series premier. (Two for one, get it? Get it?)

(Feel free to skip this: The teleplay of the first half was written by Darren Star, the original creator of BH90210, along with some other guys. Rob Thomas, creator of Veronica Mars, may or may not have had much to do with this, but his name is on it, so take that for what it's worth. Gabe Sachs worked on Freaks and Geeks. Jeff Judah is basically Gabe Sachs, since they work on all the same stuff. Rinse, repeat for those two. The director was Mark Piznarski, who directed the pilot of VMars, among other things, and is probably the namesake of Season 3's controversial Piz.)

The show opens on a montage of sweltering Beverly Hills vistas: Rodeo Drive, hills, cars, you get the idea. Inside one of these cars is a family: two teenage children, one of each sex; two middle-age parents, one of each sex. In the background is a mixture of Coldplay's "Viva La Vida (When I Ruled the World)" and the whines of the teenage boy lamenting how much it sucks that they have to move to California from Kansas.

Whoa. Rewind. If this setup sounds familiar, it should. Two teenage siblings? Check. Two parents? Check. Moving west to Beverly Hills? Check. Siblings are the same age? Seems like.

The litmus test for whether this is BH90210: are the siblings twins? If you're watching along at home, you know that unless some very odd Punnett squares are in play here, these siblings are not twins. The girl is caucasian; the boy is African-American. That's right folks, the writers found an alternative to the twin device: ADOPTION! But back to the story.

The kid, Dixon, is lamenting his fate. His sister Annie, formerly Darcy on Degrassi: The Next Generation, is lamenting her fate (she left behind a boyfriend and a lead role in the school play). Their mother Debbie, formerly Aunt Becky on Full House, is lamenting her children. Their father Harry, formerly some other character on Melrose Place (another spin-off of BH90210), is making fun of them by pretending to be homosexual. Soon thereafter, in a combination of a subtle "Don't talk to us during school hours, all right?" and a not-so-subtle "Yeah, Mr. Principal" that was probably looped in when the focus groups didn't catch on immediately, we (finally) learn the reason for this move:

Harry is going to be the new principal at West Beverly Hills High (hereafter, WBHH).

Because the high school principal of WBHH doesn't make enough to actually buy a house in BH, they'll be living in Harry's mother's mansion. She's an alcoholic actress who made millions flashing her bidness in the '70s. This is basically all explained by Dixon, who's inadvertantly (we assume) seen his adopted grandma's downstairs mix-up on late-night t.v.

That night by the pool, Dixon and Darcy, I mean Annie, discuss their apprehensions about the next day at school. Dixon tells Annie that she's hot, but not before they discuss some guy she made out with in BH a couple of years ago and the Kansasian boyfriend she's stringing along. Annie's measuring up to be the model of an average girl. There really isn't any information in this scene that couldn't have been wedged in elsewhere.

Home again, home again: an exterior montage of West Beverly Hills High. This is basically the same kind of montage you'd see at Neptune High or Sunnydale High. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if this were stock footage. Walking into campus, Dixon checks out the hotties while Annie spots Ethan, the guy whose tonsils she slapshotted a couple summers back. She sees him in his car and waves hello, but he freaks out and zips up as a girl rises from beneath the dash. He'd been getting a hummer! At school! Zounds! Annie isn't quite sure how to process the information, so let's go see how her brother is doing.

Dixon arrives in journalism class, where we are introduced to a new character: Navid (nah-veeeeeeed). This guy seems to know Dixon's entire history, under the auspices of doing a story on the new principal's kid. We can all see in the very bad screenshot that he also takes a second to drop his eyes and check out the stats that weren't in Dixon's permanent file, if you know what I'm saying. Navid chats with Dixon about lacrosse and then solidifies his very gay vibe by mentioning some spotlight that shines out of Ethan's ass.

The morning's broadcast begins with a welcome from Hannah Zuckerman-Vasquez. The screen reads "Breaking News New Principal". Really? That's breaking news? How'd you like to be the school that didn't know they were getting a new principal until the first bell rings on the first day.

BH90210 REWIND: In one of the school's many classrooms, a teacher says, "What is that girl, like thirty?" referring to Hannah Zuckerman-Vasquez. One of the original BH90210 criticisms was that many of its actors (especially the actress who played Andrea Zuckerman) were almost 30 when the show premiered. Apparently as a response to this, the creators of 90210 have placed Andrea's near-illegitimate daughter, Hannah Zuckerman-Vasquez, as a student at WBHH. She should be about 14 or 15 according to the show's chronology, but apparently has been cursed with whatever genetic anomalies made her mother appear to be 30 while she was still in high school. End REWIND.

The next scenes reveal the following:
  • The teacher is a too-cool jerk.
  • A girl exactly like Cordelia Chase (but blonde) attends WBHH. Her name is Naomi.
  • Naomi has a term paper one week overdue.
  • Kelly Taylor from BH90210 is the guidance counselor at WBHH.
  • Principal Harry Wilson moved to Kansas to escape Beverly Hills attitudes.
Naomi and her crew are leaving class talking about how poorly Annie dresses, when Annie runs up. The too-cool jerk teacher had suggested Naomi show Annie around, and when Annie mentions this to Naomi and identifies it as a type of punishment, Naomi calls the teacher a bitch, suddenly has a change of heart, and becomes eager to hang out with the new girl, regardless of her poverty.

Ethan arrives at this point, and when Naomi kisses him, Annie realizes that Ethan and Naomi are dating. Struggling through a reintroduction made more awkward by his sunrise bj, Ethan calls over Adrianna, the lead in WBHH's school play, to draw the attention off himself. Adrianna and Annie chat about Annie's lead role in her play back in Kansas, but when Annie is too embarrassed to tell Adrianna what play she was going to star in, she has a weird sort of flashback sequence where she sings a few bars of "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General" (see screenshot). With that out of the way, Ethan and Naomi walk off one way, Adrianna walks off another, and Annie is left in the middle of the hallway. A teacher asks here if she's lost and Annie replies:


And now... the moment we've all been waiting for for ten minutes and five seconds...

The familiar notes of BH90210's opening sound out, though heavier on the guitar. Flashing sequences of friends and fun with weird overlays. More guitar. Less brass and woodwind. The visual style of the opening is similar enough to the old-school opening, and the song is almost identical, though the mood has changed a little--a bit more modern, a bit more mature. Will that be the running theme for this new take on an American classic?

More to come.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

TSLOTAT: Episode 11: "Just Say No"

You're entering another dimension, extensive fanbase, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead -- your next stop, the Jawsome Olde Tyme Revue.

Submitted for your approval, The Secret Life of the American Teenager episode 11: "Just Say No," the first season's ultimate episode, not by virtue of its quality but by virtue of its being last. This episode features the triumphant return of Jason Priestley as director and was written by everyone who has ever written for this show (okay, that's a slight exaggeration.  Really, it was just Jeff Olsen, Caroline Kepnes, Elaine Arata, and Brenda Hampton).

We start off with a bang as a whole bunch of stuff happens at once. Adrian and Mark Molina have both disappeared, Ricky tells Amy that he made out with Lauren, Lauren calls Amy a stupid slut in so many words, Amy and Lauren try to pull Madison apart like a wishbone, and Madison tells everybody that Ricky is a mental patient (I forgot to mention that she and Lauren found that out last episode). And this is all just in the cold open!

Getting into the episode proper, Adrian is driving.

Ben goes to Mark Molina's office and finds a weird guy who wears a T-shirt of a vest and tie. He claims to be a shape-shifter and says, "Power is not given, it's taken, and I'm taking this opportunity to compete with Joe." Who's Joe? I'm not sure, but I'm hoping that that's the name of the previously unidentified paper-writing nerd, because this guy has a similar M.O. of being a nerd who sells people information. He's going through Mark Molina's files and trying to get people to buy their permanent records.

Jack tries to warn Grace that Ricky is crazy because he's in therapy, but she's not convinced because she's been in therapy too. Jack tells her to keep that quiet: "You're a Christian and you've been to therapy. You're a crazy Christian. You really want that gettin' out?" Buddy, I think people are pretty well aware of that already. Jack corners Ricky and gives him some tips for getting into Grace's pants (basically, don't bother), to which Ricky scoffs and calls him an amateur. Even Grace's "virgin force field" is nothing to a skilled sociopath like Ricky.

As Ben is walking down the hall minding his own business, Henry pounces on him and tells him that he had sex with Alice, then makes a weird noise. But Ben already talked to Alice, so he knows that the sex was terrible. Alice had decreed, however, that they're going to keep trying until it gets better. She stomps her foot and tells Henry that he has to "get back up on the horse" (her), but Henry runs away, terrified. Deprived of sexual prey, Alice turns her attentions to Ben, growls at him, and tries to experience his sex life vicariously, but since he has none, she just delivers a big run-on sentence and abandons him.

Grace bonds with Ricky over their mutual craziness. She gets all squishy and says she wants to kiss him, and they make a date. Then Ricky hits on Olympic gold-medal gymnast Shawn Johnson, who apparently attends Grant High School. They make some sly references to her not having been around recently because she was in Beijing. Ricky thinks to himself, "A gymnast, Ricky. Think of the flexibility! You stand on the threshold to the magical world of sensual delights that most men dare not dream of." Shawn Johnson rolls her eyes, and Ricky does a cartwheel.

Adrian is still driving.

Back at school, the shape-shifter is selling Jack his permanent record (Jack is upset because it says he's emotionally immature), but Adrian's dad shows up to shit all over everything (figuratively). The shape-shifter tells him what a slut Adrian is and leaves. For some reason, Adrian's dad decides it'll be fun to sit at Mark Molina's desk and impersonate him. Madison comes in and, mistaking him for the new guidance counselor, tells him about how she feels guilty for telling everyone that Ricky is crazy and that Adrian ran off with Mark Molina, and also mentions what a slut Adrian is.

Somehow, Madison comes to the conclusion that the fact that Adrian's father is looking for her proves that she really did run off with Mark Molina, so she tells Jack that, and Jack asks her if she thinks he needs therapy for being emotionally immature. He says he can't talk to his father because he's too much like a surgeon, so Jack can't let him see what's inside of him. Madison agrees that she can't tell her dad anything, then decides that that must be why she tells everyone else everything and runs off yelling, "I think I'm healed!" Jack is Jesus.

Adrian's dad interrogates Grace, who reprimands him for being such a horrible father, and Ricky, who's like "you got nothin' on me, copper." Meanwhile, Adrian gets pulled over by Officer Peter Pan, who calls her dad, who dismisses Ricky and tells Peter Pan to "hold her. I don't care how you hold her, just hold her till I get there." Ricky calls Adrian and tells her to watch out because someone just called her father. Officer Peter Pan returns to Adrian's car and embraces her tenderly.

In the bathroom, Lauren apologizes to Amy for implying that she's a stupid slut, and is like, "Oh, by the way, Ricky was sexually abused as a child. I'm so much smarter than you that I figured that out and got him to tell me about it in confidence," then goes on to tell her how lucky she is to be pregnant at fifteen. Because Lauren is so smart, she's figured out that making you feel sorry for him is how Ricky gets into your pants. Meanwhile, Ricky makes Grace feels sorry for him and gets into her pants. Well, her mouth. Er, his tongue. In her mouth. They make out.

Adrian comes bouncing in to bitch at her dad, who tells her that he just enrolled her in a private all-girls school and steals her car keys. (He's also developed psychic powers, which is how he's able to see that there's a suitcase in the trunk.) Adrian points out that she's all grown up and he's too late, and he responds by being like, "Oh yeah? Well... your friends suck! Even Grace! Plus you're a slut and that makes me uncomfortable. Go to this private school because it's the only way you'll get into a good college even though it's already been established that you have excellent grades here. Also, you should be a politician or a judge. What you want to do with your life is irrelevant." Dick.

Later, Grace comes over to Adrian's to ask her for permission to go out with Ricky. Adrian gives her an ultimatum: "Either you're friends with me, or you sleep with Ricky." That's a pretty high cost for not being friends with her. Grace thinks she can just make out with Ricky, but Adrian doesn't buy it and gives her a bunch of Erotex condoms, which Grace sniffs.

Amy and Ben are both on their laptops reading the Wikipedia article on sexual abuse. Ben takes this opportunity to shoehorn in another reference to his dead mother. Talking about Ricky's molestation gets Amy so hot in the biscuit that she offers herself up to Ben, but he's worried that her baby will be born with a dent in its head. Even though they learned from Wikipedia that that wouldn't happen, Ben wants to wait until after she's had the kid and is all blown out, so they decide to pass on the sex for now. But then they start making out pretty hot and heavy.  I was hoping they'd cut back to them in bed, smoking, saying, "Oops, I guess we got a little carried away!" but the episode ends before we see them again, so it's left to the imagination.  What do you, the viewers at home, think?

Meanwhile, Ashley and George are making fun of Amy's poetry ("You are the full moon at midnight, sending the sweetness of light into my cup of tea" -- I disagree with Ashley; that sounds pretty sexual to me). George tries to give Ashley the sex talk, but she has internet access, so she already knows more about it than he does. But he's already made up his mind to talk about something, so he tells her about the day she was born, when Molly Ringwald acted like a prima donna and refused to give birth at a hospital that wasn't her personal favorite one.

In the series' most disgusting scene yet, Grace's dad is topless. He tells Tom not to hire any more prostitutes because they're scuffing up the parquet floor. Tom tells him not to judge other people because he and Grace's mom cheated on George. Ohh SNAP! (Note: I couldn't include a screenshot of this scene because it's too gross for human consumption. Instead, please enjoy this picture of a talking tub of butter substitute.)

Ricky is at Grace's house baking snickerdoodles. After seeing the big pile of Erotex condoms in her purse, he knows that he's clear for landing, so he starts sucking on her fingers. Grace is like, "Does this count as oral?" (Seriously.) They start to make out some more, but Grace's mom catches them in flagrante delicto.

Speaking of flagrante delicto and things being in other things, Henry and Alice totally did it again, but apparently they haven't made much progress. They both agree that they'd rather be whackin' it.

Molly Ringwald comes home all dressed up and being nice to George, so he knows something's up. He accuses her of cheating on him and she's like, "I did not, and besides, you know, what if I did?" which means she totally did. They start talking about how they don't want to have sex with each other anymore. The most interesting thing is that Amy was conceived under a full moon on a surfboard and Ashley was conceived in a graveyard at midnight (on Daniel Hofstadler's grave). Apparently they used to be into some pretty freaky stuff. But it turns out that all of their marital strife is because one time, George wanted a bag of Cheese Nuffs (?) instead of an apple in his lunch. That drove Molly Ringwald crazy. It was the beginning of the end of their marriage, and now she wants to split up for good. George sits on the couch and splays, then eats a Cheeto, which is probably what a Cheese Nuff is supposed to be. Just say no to Cheese Nuffs.

Elaborate flowchart:
A lot of things were left ambiguous in this episode, so I only added stuff that we know for sure. I was really hoping I'd get to add Shawn Johnson to the chart, but alas, it was not to be. :(

Final thoughts: After the non-stop thrill ride that was last week's episode, this one was a bit of a letdown, especially with all the "season finale" hype, but it wasn't too bad. My main problem with it was that it felt very uneven, with a lot of fun, zany stuff going on in the first half, then it suddenly got heavy and lugubrious in the second. It was as if halfway through, they said "okay, okay, that was a bit of fun, but now we have to move on to the serious business." Also, for a season finale, it left a lot of things unresolved, but the things weren't big enough to make exciting cliffhangers, so it just feels unsatisfying. We really have to wait until January to find out Grace's mom's reaction to her making out with Ricky (I'm guessing it won't be positive), and whether Adrian will go to the all-girls school (I doubt it, but it would open the door to a lot of potential hot lesbo action), and whether Ben and Amy boned, and whether Molly Ringwald and that guy boned, and who that shape-shifter was, and what really happened to Mark Molina? Ending the season on the parents was also an odd choice since, let's face it, no one really cares about them. I get the feeling that this wasn't intended as a "season finale;" that they produced a full-length season and for some reason ABC Family decided to split it in two chunks, and they arbitrarily decided to cut it off at this point even though this was really just intended to be a normal episode. If that's the case, I think last week's episode would have made a much better fake finale, but whatevs.

Despite all that griping, it was a pretty solid episode. The Shawn Johnson guest appearance was hilarious in its complete gratuitousness. The shape-shifter was a fairly amusing addition, although I don't really understand why they created a new character for that instead of just having the usual paper-writing nerd do it. Maybe that guy was unavailable because he's in such high demand. Madison was more likable than usual in her scenes with Adrian's dad and Jack. Plus, lots of hot make-outs.

And with that, the first "season" of TSLOTAT -- and by extension, the Jawsome Olde Tyme Revue's coverage of it -- comes to an end. Over the weeks, we've seen this show go from horrible to a bit rubbish but ultimately lovable. Even though I watched the show primarily to make fun of it, I did actually grow to like it on some level. Stockholm syndrome? Perhaps, but it does actually have moments that are legitimately, unironically good. I'm not too proud to admit that. Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed these TSLOTAT revues. Barring unforeseen circumstances, I do intend to revue the next season (by which I mean the second half of the first season) when it starts airing in January. In the meantime, I hope you'll stick around as we revue other strange and wonderful things.

On the next TSLOTAT: I don't know! I guess I should have retired this feature once I caught up with the revues of episodes I'd already seen, but it's too late for that now.  But I can tell you this: according to, the next episode is entitled "The Secret Wedding of the American Teenager." What could this mean?! See you in January!

  • "BAM! It's a virgin force field that cannot be penetrated." -- Jack
  • "WE'RE GONNA TRY IT AGAIN!" -- Alice
  • "I would think that she's reached that time in the pregnancy when sex is supposed to be really good I just thought that maybe she would wanna do it I mean since you two are in love and everything bye Ben!" -- Alice
  • "I'm having trouble keeping my mouth shut." -- Madison
  • "Sir, it's Officer Peter Pan again." -- Officer Peter Pan
  • "Does this count as oral?" -- Grace

Monday, September 8, 2008

TSLOTAT: Episode 10: "Back to School Special"

Welcome to the Jawsome Olde Tyme Revue; we got fun and games. We got everything you want, and extensive fanbase, we know the names. Today's revue is The Secret Life of the American Teenager episode 10: "Back to School Special," the penultimate episode of the first season. The episode was written by Caroline Kepnes and directed by Keith Truesdell, and if I'm not mistaken, this is the first time that series creator Brenda Hampton hasn't had any sort of writing credit on an episode.

It's the morning of Amy's first day at her new slut school. Molly Ringwald and George (Amy's dad; I've decided to start using his name now that I know what it is) have a heated (no pun intended!) argument over the proper time to apply cheese to lasagna relative to the heating of said lasagna, and then she's off to Chicago because Mimsy somehow got on the wrong flight and is in danger of ending up in "Tim-BUK-tu" (George's words). George tries to send the girls to school at 6:30 and suggests that they eat a bar of soap for breakfast.

After the opening titles, Ben finds Henry sleeping in a pile of his own filth and wakes him up by crashing cymbals. Henry has really let himself go in the one day since Alice dumped him, and he's become smitten with Ashley after staring at her all night. He explains: "I'm conflicted! Ashley's pretty, but Ashley isn't Alice, and Alice is Alice, but Alice isn't Ashley. I think I ate too many preservatives." I've taken the liberty of preparing a chart illustrating these relationships.

Grace's dad enters their kitchen, casting shadows from the sunlight in two different directions. TSLOTAT takes place on Tatooine: confirmed! Grace wants to invite Jack to lunch because although she really likes Ricky, he's with Adrian (and every other girl in the school), so she's decided to settle for the only other guy who's been willing to go out with her (and that was only because his stepdad told him to). Her dad smugs it up as usual, declaring that the lunch is actually about sex, because "It's not just food... ever." To accentuate the point, the camera tilts down to the sandwich Grace is making, which we now know is more than just a sandwich. (Note: I'm not sure if I should count this as a sandwich-makeus interruptus scene, as featured in "Love for Sale" and "Absent," because Grace doesn't ever really stop making the sandwich. Your call.)

Adrian is flaunting her jubblies again after a night of the devil's business with Ricky, but he spoils the mood by mentioning that Amy's having his baby, which causes Adrian to close her robe in indignation. They argue about who has more daddy issues, and Ricky says that he wants to be involved with his kid so they won't grow up like her. Adrian attacks him and then they start making out. Hate sex! But before they can get down to business, the doorbell rings several times. It's Adrian's dad, who's like "Whoa, I don't remember those."

After a commercial, there's a bunch of dialogue in Spanish that I don't understand. All I picked up was that something is important. Adrian's dad kicks Ricky out. It turns out that this guy's an assistant district attorney and a freelance asshole. Even though in the last episode, which as far as I can tell took place last night, he told Adrian to stay away from him because he had a family and he'd made an agreement with her mom, he's now changed his tune completely and has made an agreement with her mom that she's going to move in with his family. The dude is so pissed off that Adrian wanted to meet him that he's going to punish her by having her move in with him, and presumably try to cure her of her rebellious ways. This doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. How is it that the reasons he gave for not being able to see her at all last night have now become the reasons that he should live with her? And furthermore, what's the point? Sure, he'll get in maybe a year of two of being a dick to her, but she's already pretty firmly set in her ways, and once she turns 18 he won't be able to do anything to her. But beyond that, why would he even care? He's ignored her for this many years and suddenly he decides she's turned out badly and needs his influence in her life because her mom did a crummy job raising her? What a complete tool. Fuck this guy!

Madison and Lauren talk about how Lauren made out with Ricky, and the phrases "made out with" and "tell her" are repeated several dozen times. Here's some sample dialogue:
L: Why would I tell her I made out with him? She didn't tell us when she had sex with him. So why would I tell her if I made out with him? It was just making out. Oh no... you're not gonna tell her?
M: No, I'm not gonna tell her. But you should. You're afraid to tell her, aren't you?
L: Maybe.
M: I'd be afraid to tell her that I made out with the father of her baby. I'm afraid to tell her that you made out with the father of her baby. So I'm not gonna tell her.
L: Well if you're not gonna tell her, then why should I tell her?
M: Lyle's cussing!
Then Jason shows up, as foreshadowed by a shot with a lot of negative space on the right side of the frame for him to walk into. He takes these two to school (even though they're already at school) about how they were crappy friends to Amy because they told everyone she was knocked up and got her sent off to slut school. Grace pops in to say that it's terrible that people call it slut school and that Amy's not going to be attending Grant High School anymore, then wanders around saying good morning to random people in the hall. Then Alice walks by wearing a short skirt and talking to Jack about Dan Marino, then defining the word "earnest" for him. They hold hands and skip off into the sunset, shocking and disgusting Grace and Henry. As a grim finale, Amy shows up at school, apparently having been dissuaded from going to slut school by George. Ben runs up to her and is all "blah blah mush mush blah."

Amy is all moping around about how she doesn't want to be at either this school or the slut school, because you know, she's received such harsh treatment from her peers. Oh, wait... she hasn't! Despite everyone at school knowing about her pregnancy, we've yet to see a single instance of anyone reacting to it with anything but support or indifference. I guess the writers must have realized the flimsiness of Amy's reasoning for not wanting to go to that school, because in the next scene we see some guy we've never seen before beating up Ben for calling it "alternative extension school for independent women" instead of slut school.

Madison and Lauren are still debating whether to tell Amy that Lauren made out with Ricky, and Lauren is like, "I don't exactly trust either of us to know what the right thing to do is anymore. I'm gonna call my dad." Get ready for a shocking twist, because Lauren's dad turns out to be...

WINSTON ZEDDMORE! OMG, Ricky totally made out with his therapist's daughter! When she tells him this, he does the same classic "stare at the phone in disbelief and then hang up on the person" gag that Amy's dad when he found out she was pregnant. He panicked! Lauren thinks she got disconnected, and Amy gives her the evil ojo (I think we're supposed to assume that Ricky told her that he made out with Lauren, but I'm not sure).

Molly Ringwald calls Amy and reacts with surprise when she answers. She starts asking questions about the new school and Amy stutters up a storm and says she has to go, revealing that something's up. So Molly Ringwald calls George and asks him if he talked her out of going to the slut school. He crinkles some plastic that conveniently happens to be there and says, "Bad connection!" Molly Ringwald says, "You're on a land line," even though she's on a cell phone. George is like, "Aaah, I can't hear you!" and hangs up, chuckling to himself about how he fooled her.

George and Grace's dad (George's ex-wife, in case you forgot) are both in the principal's office, verbally sparring with such witty ripostes as "blah, blah, blah, blah" and "not that it's any of your beeswax!" Things get more awkward when Adrian's mom shows up. When Adrian's mom finds out that Grace's mom is George's ex, she flips out and is like, "So you've been married before. You never told me. So I guess you've cheated before. You've ruined a marriage before." Apparently, she's okay with ruining other people's marriages, but only if they haven't ruined previous marriages. Interesting moral code. But there's a twist! It was actually Grace's mom that cheated on George! OMG! Grace stops by and overhears this and George tries to cover it up. Everybody leaves except for George, who chats with the sassy receptionist until Winston shows up and asks her to pull Ricky out of class. She seems to have a thing for Winston, as she starts acting all sultry and says, "Mmmmhmm."

Winston introduces himself to George as Lauren's dad, and George says, "No you're not. I've met him. You're not Lauren's dad. What's going on around here?" But it turns out he's her real dad and she lives with her stepfather. Then George is like, "What's the big emergency with Ricky Underwood? You sure Lauren's not pregnant?" and Winston's like, "Excuse me" and turns to look in a slightly different direction so he doesn't have to talk to George anymore.

Adrian and her mom yell at each other in Spanish. Maybe this dialogue contains the secrets to making the Adrian's dad plot make sense, but I doubt it. Pretty soon they go from angry to mushy and Adrian's mom promises not to let her dad take her after all, but she still thinks they should help her "make some changes." Mark Molina provides his expert counseling by nodding when Adrian looks at him.

Ricky tells Grace that Ben got beaten up because it's stupid for Amy to be in school here, so Amy, who was hiding behind the curtains, emerges and is like, "I know that, and I won't be coming back!" Then she leaves. Ricky convinces Grace that because Jack has a new girlfriend and Adrian may be leaving school to live with her father, the two of them should give it a go. Grace considers this (pictured) as we go to a commercial.

Molly Ringwald calls George back to bitch at him for not taking Amy to the slut school. She's hanging out in a bar because the hotel in Chicago was overbooked, and I guess they have rooms by the hour, so she's waiting for one to open up. She hides her wedding ring as some guy approaches and recognizes her. Uh oh! Back at home, George admits that he probably should have put the cheese on the lasagna before heating it up. He wonders to Ashley where Ben's sidekick (Henry, though George continues to call him Harry) was when Ben got beaten up, and Ashley says, "He's cute, but he's a geek. He was probably plugged into something when he missed the fight." That statement will turn out to be more accurate than she knows.

Winston fires Ricky as a patient for making out with his daughter, and also threatens his teeth.

Jack shows up at Grace's and explains his motivations for going out with Alice: "We just have a lot in common. We both love football; we both wanna have sex, but not with each other; and we wanted to make you and Henry jealous." I thought Alice made it pretty clear before that she didn't want to have sex; she was happy just whackin' it to Modern Bride magazine. And I'm pretty sure that she never liked football before and that was just made up for convenience in this episode. Whatever the case, Jack has once again decided that he wants to date Grace again, but Grace shoots him down. She also takes off her chastity ring, telling Tom that she thinks it was hypocritical of her parents to ask her to wear it when they probably had sex before they were married. She says she still plans to live her life as a Christian, but come on -- the ring is off and she's mad at her parents. The stage is set for Grace gone wild.

Now we finally find out what Henry was plugged into: Alice. They totally did it! I'm not sure how they suddenly got from "maybe on your birthday after we're married if you don't beg" to "let's buy a family size box of Erotex condoms" (seen in the picture), especially while they were broken up, but there they are. They both think it was a bad idea because it wasn't that good, which proves that they were never in love, though Henry thinks using a ribbed condom (for her pleasure) might help. Alice cries.

Adrian has decided to run away, and she wants Ricky to go with her. Ricky is like, "What? That's stupid." Adrian's like, "Fine, go be a Christian or whatever. I don't need you!" Then they make out. Hate sex!

Amy helps Ben hold a steak to his eye as the Sausage King extols the virtues of meat and implores Amy to keep going to her regular school: "Otherwise this was all for nothin'. I mean life is tough, and that's why it's good to have someone you love by your side holdin' your hand, so you can walk away from the rest of the world together."

The next day, Amy and Ben walk away from the rest of the world and into Grant High School together. The maudlinness gets cranked up even more as Grace comes up to them and says Amy should never feel alone there and that she and all of Amy's friends will walk her to class. Amy doesn't think she has any friends, and Grace is like, "I bet you do!" Oh man, what does she have planned? They start walking, and a couple of marching band members play their instruments. Others join in, and soon Amy and Grace are leading a whole parade down the hallway to class. That'll stop her feeling self-conscious!

Back to school, special.

Final thoughts: What a roller coaster ride! Seriously, this was the best episode since "Caught!", possibly even better. We now know that all those episodes where nothing much happened were because they were saving it all up for this breathtaking showstopper. The only thing missing was the paper-writing nerd. It would have been cool if they'd made him the guy who beat up Ben or something. But aside from that, this episode had it all, and it was the first time that I've been genuinely excited about things that happened. Winston was Lauren's dad! Henry and Alice got their collective bone on! Grace's mom cheated on Amy's dad! Amy's mom might cheat on Amy's dad as well! Grace took off her chastity ring! Adrian walked around in her bra again! Ben got what was coming to him! If every episode were like this, this show could go from one that I watch just to make fun of to one that I watch partially to make fun of and partially because I'm actually into the story (like Degrassi). Next up is the season finale, and this is going to be a tough act to follow.

Elaborate flowchart:
New additions include Henry and Alice boinking, Winston (Ken Fields) fathering Lauren, and Alice sort of barely dating Jack (represented by a dotted green line).

On the next TSLOTAT: I don't know; I haven't seen it yet. But here are my predictions: Grace fucks Ricky, Amy's mom fucks that guy from the bar, Adrian runs away but then changes her mind and submits to her dad, the Sausage King gives somebody advice, and Ben says a lot of mushy stuff to Amy and they ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after. Also, apparently, Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson guest stars.

P.S. It seems that ABC Family will be doing a marathon of all the episodes leading up to the season finale, starting Tuesday at 3 p.m. (Eastern). If you've been reading these revues but haven't actually seen the show, this is a good chance to get up to speed, so Tivo it or something. They're also doing the same thing tonight at 6, but without the finale.

  • "Technically you were only a slut for two and a half minutes... or less." -- Ashley
  • "So you're gonna offer yourself up to him over a sandwich." -- Grace's dad (but he's talking to Grace, not Adrian)
  • "I'm sleeping with your mother." -- Grace's dad
  • "But then I remember, he has to sleep with you and I'm okay! [fist pump] Ha ha ha ha!" -- George to Grace's mom
  • "Maybe I was just curious as to where I got my brain from, 'cause it wasn't from you!" -- Adrian to her mom
  • "You're in a bar, huh? Well la-dee-da." -- George
  • "I hate myself." -- George

Sunday, September 7, 2008

TSLOTAT: Episode 9: "Slice of Life"

Hello, extensive fanbase, my old friend. I've come to talk with you again. In this installment of the Jawsome Olde Tyme Revue, we'll be discussing The Secret Life of the American Teenager episode 9: "Slice of Life," written by the triumvirate of Brenda Hampton and Jeff Olsen and Chris Olsen (the other, lesser known Olsen twins), and directed by celebrity guest director Jason Priestley, whom you may remember from a little show called Beverly Hills, 90210. Without further ado, let's start chompin' on "Slice of Life!"

Molly Ringwald is pacing back and forth a lot. Because she won't allow Amy's dad in the house, Ashley and Amy have been invited to hang out at his place, but since he doesn't actually have a place, he's made a deal with Adrian to use her apartment for the night and pretend it's his. This plan cannot possibly fail.

Amy's dad shows them into Adrian's apartment in silence and they wander around poking at things. The awkwardness of this scene brought to mind the scene in American Psycho when Patrick Bateman hires the two prostitutes. Amy seems to fall for the ruse and wanders off to call Ben, but Ashley sees through it immediately, so her dad tries to buy her off with pizza.

Which brings us to the leitmotif of this episode: pizza! For whatever reason, nearly every scene in this episode depicts or mentions pizza in some way (it's even referenced in the title). So I'm introducing a new feature to this revue: the Pizza Count. Every time pizza appears or is mentioned in a scene, I'll increase the Pizza Count (note: different shots of the same pizza within a scene or repeated mentions of a pizza within the same conversation will not count as discrete instances). As of this scene, the Pizza Count is 1.

Ben invites himself over to visit Amy in the middle of her father-daughter bonding time, and man, he just will not take no for an answer. He even puts in a pizza request and then heads over there before she can tell him no again. On his way out, he bumps into Henry, so he invites him along too. Ben is kind of a jerk.
Pizza Count: 2.

Adrian and Grace are stalking Adrian's dad, having staked out his house. Adrian gets a booty call from Ricky, who is horny, but she and Grace are busy staring at this guy's house. Where will Ricky turn to get his rocks off? Stay tuned! Adrian also takes this opportunity to tell Grace to get off her Kool-Aid re: Ricky.
Pizza Count: 3.

Ricky calls Lauren, whom he flirted with last week as part of a cunning plot to try to get Amy's phone number, which was itself only a MacGuffin to give Madison and Lauren a B-plot. Even though he had no genuine interest in her, I guess he figures there's no sense letting the headway he made with her go to waste, and she'll probably be good for some quick and easy action. She tells him he's out of his mind, but then she gets jealous of Madison going out with her brother (we're getting into a whole weird area here), so she decides to go out with Ricky to prove that she's capable of getting a date.
Pizza Count: 4.

The Sausage King drops by with a pizza to visit Molly Ringwald, who is in the middle of drinking wine and eating generic raisin bran (cheaper than other raisin bran). He says he wants to talk, but really he wants to slip her the royal sausage. He points out how everything in her life sucks and makes her cry (the first step in his seduction routine).
Pizza Count: 5.

Amy, her dad, Ben, and Henry are eating pizza. Henry is having girlfriend problems, so Amy's dad tries to set him up with Ashley by having him bring her a slice of pizza. When Ashley tells him to put the pizza down and then back out of the room with his hands over his head, he refuses and flips out about how he's tired of being domineered by emasculating harpies. Unlike his anti-masturbation vendetta last episode, this is something I can really identify with.
Pizza Count: 7 (I summarized two different scenes there, and they both had pizza).

Ricky goes over to Grace's house looking for her, even though Adrian already told him that she was with her. He needs to work on being a better listener. Tom won't let him wait there for her because he's got a hooker coming over, so he tells him to try Adrian's house. Looks like Ricky and Amy are on a collision course to wackiness!

Adrian and Grace see Adrian's dad getting out of his car. He's bald. Grace asks, "What if the guy sees us just sitting outside his house?" In response, Adrian continues staring into space. Meanwhile, Tom gets a pizza.
Pizza Count: 8.

The Sausage King continues plying Molly Ringwald with pizza (sausage pizza, naturally) and wine. Molly Ringwald mentions that she spoke to the counselor at school, and the Sausage King says, "Mark Molina, yeah." I love how for some reason, Mark Molina is only ever referred to by his full name. It's as though it were in his contract, except that doesn't make any sense because he's a fictional character.
Pizza Count: 9.

Henry is sitting on Ashley's bed, staring at her. He tells her that if she were to get herself voluntarily sterilized, that would be a shame, because he wants her to have like 10,000 of his babies.

Amy and Ben are talking about jazz musicians because they're cool. Amy's dad isn't cool, so he only knows about Stephane Grappelli through Pink Floyd. He kicks Ben out, and then Ricky shows up with a pizza for Adrian. From this, Amy deduces... her dad is dating Adrian! Unfortunately her dad corrects her immediately. What a missed opportunity; there could have been so many hilarious misunderstandings.
Pizza Count: 10

What happens next? I don't know. When we come back from the commercial, Ricky is in his car somewhere, meeting/hooking up with Lauren. She gives him the whole "you're an uncaring heartless jerk" spiel and then makes out with him.
Pizza Count: 11

At Grace's house, the doorbell rings and Tom opens it to reveal a hooker, accompanied by an angelic choir. You may have thought I was being facetious when I mentioned the hooker earlier, but nope; she's the real deal.

Elsewhere, Adrian's dad tells her to go away because he made an agreement with her mother to never see her, and because has a family. Keep this in mind for a future episode.

Ashley tells Molly Ringwald that Amy's dad is having an affair with Adrian's mom, then Amy bitches at Ashley for making goo-goo eyes at Henry, to which she responds by spilling the beans that Alice dumped Henry. Ashley continues, "I'm no better than Madison and Lauren," and Molly Ringwald says she doesn't want them using that kind of language. Wow, I know those two are annoying, but that's pretty harsh!
Pizza Count: 12

Ashley also tells Molly Ringwald that the dad is living in the furniture store, then starts freaking out when she realizes that that means they're poor. Apparently that's "the ultimate humiliation." Really? Well, she begs Molly Ringwald to let the dad move back into the house so people won't see him sleeping in the furniture store and realize that they're poor, and Molly eventually caves.

Tom and the hooker are hanging out. Tom's motivation for hiring a hooker is unclear, and as far as I could tell there was never any attempt to explain it. He doesn't make any attempt to have sex with her, so why pay $200 for her? Don't tell me he just wanted companionship, because earlier in the episode he shooed Ricky away. Even if he needs a chick, Adrian has already said that she likes him. He's a pretty popular guy, all things considered. Whatever the case, when Grace comes home, the hooker takes the money and runs, so I guess the world may never know. At first Grace is curious about the hooker, but she forgets all about it and gets squishy as soon as Tom mentions that Ricky came over earlier.
Pizza Count: 13

Henry and Ben have a scene where Henry talks about how he wants to break up with Alice because he's trapped in a loveless husk of a relationship and too scared to get out of it, but it's all bullshit because we already know that Alice dumped him. Elsewhere, Adrian, Amy's dad, and Ashley all go "wah wah" at each other.

Ricky and Lauren are making out in Ricky's car while Madison and Jason peep at them (peep as in peeping tom, not the noise that chicks make (baby chickens, not girls)). When they notice each other, they all scatter like cockroaches exposed to light. Ricky phones Adrian, who is propping up her boobs on the countertop and despondently tells him to come on over. Ricky is overjoyed that his evening of trolling for chicks (girls, not baby chickens) won't end up being a total wash-out after all, but Adrian isn't feeling very well because she's eaten a little too much of this slice of life.

Final pizza count: Thirteen, ah, ah, ah! Over a 43-minute show, that gives us an average of approximately 0.3 pizzas per minute (ppm), or one pizza every 3.31 minutes. That may not seem like that much, but compare it to other shows: I don't have hard data on the average ppm, but it's been my experience that you're usually lucky to get even one pizza per hour, unless you're watching a cartoon about crime-fighting anthropomorphic animals of some sort, or maybe Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place. But those are anomalies, to be sure. I'd be willing to bet that this is the most pizza-dense episode of television you'll see this season.

Final thoughts: This felt very much like a low-budget "filler" episode. After the first couple of shows, someone must have looked at the budgets and realized they were blowing a bundle on all the extras, so they came up with episodes like this one and "Absent" to minimize the scenes that would take place in the school. That's my theory of the origin of this episode. There were a couple of plot developments, but for the most part it was just lots of people talkin' platitudes at each other -- plus Tom ordering a hooker, which sounds like a great idea on paper, but they really didn't explore the idea as thoroughly as I would have liked. Overall: enh.

Elaborate flowchart:
As I promised a couple of episodes ago, I have prepared a flowchart to keep track of the various ways that the characters on the show are related/have interacted. Here's the key to the lines:
  • Black: Sex.
  • Thick black: Sex resulting in impregnation.
  • Green: Dating.
  • Blue: Marriage.
  • Blue dashed: Engagement.
  • Purple: Making out.
  • Pink: Parent.
  • Pink dashed: Adoptive parent.
  • Red: Rape/molestation.
I pledge to update this chart with any changes that occur in future episodes.

On the next TSLOTAT: All hell breaks loose! Teen sex, violence, infidelity, Winston Zeddmore, the triumphant return of topless Adrian, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria! Be here for the penultimate episode of the season, when things finally starts to get interesting: "Back to School Special," right here on the Jawsome Olde Tyme Revue!

  • "If anybody looks at you or says anything to you, I'll stick a rocket in their pocket and send 'em to the moon!" -- Amy's dad
  • "No one cares." -- Ashley
  • "Oh, my parents have PLENTY of sex." -- Grace
  • "Ha ha! 'Thanks for the tip.' I get it. Funny." -- pizza delivery guy
  • "I want the snot to be happening." -- Molly Ringwald
  • "Why can't you both just be like normal parents and get addicted to internet porn or something?" -- Ashley
  • "I love my sausage pizza." -- the hooker