Sunday, August 31, 2008

TSLOTAT: Episode 5: "What Have You Done to Me?"

Hi, extensive fanbase, we're home early. Today on the Jawsome Olde Tyme Revue, we'll be revuing The Secret Life of the American Teenager, episode five: "What Have You Done to Me?" This episode is brought to you by the dynamic pairing of writer Brenda Hampton and director Ron Underwood, of "Falling in Love" and "I Feel Sick" fame, and it first aired July 29, 2008.

Ben and Amy are having a picnic of chicken wings, as promised at the end of the previous episode. Ben sees Amy moaning in ecstasy while chowing down on the wings and declares, "I love you, Amy Juergens." She replies, "Thanks. Me too." Awk-ward! But Ben is unfazed. He sees a couple pushing a baby around in a stroller and also a couple of old people. Inspired, he asks Amy to marry him.

When we return from the opening titles, Amy is in tears, the stroller baby is wailing, and the old couple are getting into a shoving match and hitting each other with their walkers. Amy has intuited that the marriage proposal means that Ben knows she's pregnant. She whines that Ben is such a nice person and she's such a whore, and Ben replies, "Well... you're my whore." (Really! But he's joking.) They decide they can just pretend that the Ben is the real baby-daddy, and Amy can be the Sausage Princess.

Ricky is at Grace's house talking to Tom about how he doesn't like football. Grace's parents still don't like him even though he went to church with them, because they're mad about Grace's ruse of pretending to date him in order to see Jack. Now she wants to date him for real, but they won't let her do that either.

Amy's dad is still leaving, having been kicked out of the house, and Ashley doesn't like it, so she bitches him out as he goes, saying "How could you leave us, especially now!" Molly Ringwald walks in at that moment and is like, "Especially now?" Cue the mysterious music.

At Adrian's place, she's helping Jack write a report on Buffalo Soldier, the book based on the hit Bob Marley song. In a shocking role reversal, Adrian lectures Jack about how he should have listened to the sermon about personal responsibility, but Jack is all cynical about it, saying that the sermon was an attempt by the church to pander to Grace's parents to get money. It turns out that Jack's stepdad is someone named Reverend Stone, and Jack's dating Grace was actually his idea.

Adrian's mom tells her that her new boyfriend, Amy's dad, is going to be staying with them for a few weeks, so Adrian should probably get a padlock for her underwear drawer.

Amy comes home and completely fails to understand when Ashley tells her that their dad is having an affair. Amy is all stressed out and decides that a baby is the last thing she needs, so she wants to abort it. Could it be? Will this ABC Family show from the creator of 7th Heaven actually go where The N fears to tread?

Of course not. We know all along that there's never any chance that she's actually going to abort this thing, which kind of takes the wind out of the sails of most of the rest of the episode. But we've got to muddle through anyway.

For some reason, Ben is opposed to the abortion idea. He's damn opposed, damn damn damn opposed! I guess he knows that a baby is the only way he can "lock down" this relationship with a girl who's way out of his league. While he's trying to talk her out of it, Adrian walks up in a halter top and says she needs to talk to Amy after school. Madison and Lauren show up and then immediately leave, and Ben suggests that they are responsible for everyone knowing that Ricky knocked up Amy. Then the Asians come up to Ben and he gives them $20 to leave him alone.

Grace is talking to some random girl we've never seen before about how (a) Amy is pregnant, and (b) Jack told everybody that he got oral from Adrian, further confusing the issue that I thought was resolved last episode, of whether they had intercourse. Grace freaks out and runs into Ricky's open arms. They get into a philosophical discussion worthy of Heidegger about the essence of truth as it applies to Adrian giving Jack head. Then Ricky says, "If your parents would let me come over tonight, I'd love to hear your personal testimony." Oh yeah, he's gonna be hearing her personal testimony all night long.

Amy asks Madison and Lauren for help getting an abortion, but they're not much use; they just tell her to tell her mom. Meanwhile, even counselor Mark Molina knows that Amy's preggers, so he asks her to see him in his office during study hall. That goes nowhere, but he does tell Ben to lay off and stop trying to convince Amy to abort it. And Amy gets a call from her dad that depresses them both, but fortunately Adrian's mom is there to cheer him up with her vagina. Amy gets another call from Dr. Hightower and pretends she already aborted the foetus. She's a bundle of emotions!

Grace finally tracks down Jack and Adrian with the intention of kicking Jack's butt, but he creates a distraction by revealing that Amy is pregnant with Ricky's kid. Adrian is pissed at Ricky and storms off. Then Jack tells Grace that he only went out with her because his stepdad asked him to, and as a grim finale, he drowns a caged baby and takes a dump on the American flag. Grace starts weeping as a rockin' guitar lick plays.

That night, Amy's at home staring at the moon. Ben calls, but she screens it because she really wants to concentrate on the moon-staring. He leaves a message saying, "Come on! Marry me!"

That's all for this episode, but don't worry, I'll be back for the next one, spending hours painstakingly taking screenshots and writing up sarcastic descriptions of everything that happens in the episode. Oh, TSLOTAT, what have you done to me?

Final thoughts: After the brilliance of "Caught!", this episode was bound to be a letdown, and in that respect it didn't disappoint, by which I mean that it was indeed disappointing. Ben soared to new heights of obnoxiousness with his constant declarations of love for Amy, and Amy's crying wore pretty thin too. They must have ordered Visine in bulk for this one. But it wasn't all bad. I like that Jack is becoming more of an asshole; I guess Adrian is rubbing off on him, and influencing him, too. Speaking of Adrian, her slow slide toward being less of a one-dimensional evil slut character continued, unfortunately, but she did show flashes of her true form while making fun of Grace.

On the next TSLOTAT: The secret's out! Amy tells Molly Ringwald that she's preggers, resulting in a shocking revelation -- unless you saw the promos for the episode, where they told you a week ahead of time what that revelation was going to be. Also, the abortion cliffhanger is sort of resolved. Please don't reveal the secret ending to your friends!

  • "Who would want to have sex with Dad if they didn't have to? Ha ha! Ha ha ha!" -- Amy
  • Madison: "Divorce, abortion, what's next?!"
    Lauren: "I don't know... but what I do know is that this is not what I wanted my high school experience to be."
  • "[The moon] seemed like the perfect place to run away to. A place where I could eat freeze-dried ice cream and drink Tang... bounce around all day." -- Molly Ringwald

Saturday, August 30, 2008

TSLOTAT: Episode 4: "Caught"

Greetings and salutations to you, extensive fanbase, and I thank you for joining me here at the Jawsome Olde Tyme Revue. Tonight's revue is the fourth episode of The Secret Life of the American Teenager: "Caught," or as I like to call it, "Caught!" It was written by Brenda Hampton and directed by Keith Truesdell, the same team that brought you the not-very-good-even-by-this-show's-standards "You Are My Everything." "Caught!" first aired July 22, 2008.

Ricky and Adrian are snoozing after a particularly exhausting fuckathon one night when Ricky gets a phone call from Grace, who needs him to pick her up after her date with Jack (see previous ish! -- Ed.). But Adrian is wearing Ricky's shirt and won't give it back because she's a bitch (and a tease: she starts to take it off and then doesn't, but don't worry, we'll get to see the goods a little later). Anyway, like all women left alone for five minutes, Grace gets assaulted by some drunken fat guys who want to rape her. When praying doesn't work, she gets violent, smashing a beer bottle and waving it at them until they run away. Then a shirtless Ricky shows up and is like, "Thank God I saved you!"

You know, while it may be true that 90% of all bird species are monogamous, I have to say I'm skeptical of the theme song's assertion that they can fall in love. Prove me wrong, birds!

Anyway, the next morning, Grace's little adventure is all over the news. Apparently it was captured on some security camera, and for some reason the local morning news show finds this attempted rape hilarious enough that they show the clip no fewer than three times while injecting their own witty commentary. It even made the front page of the papers, with two full-color photos! It must be a pretty slow news day.

Amy Jergens wakes up to find her father leering at her, inches away from her face. He, too, was so amused by this video that he had to wake Amy up (by staring at her) and share it with her. The only person who doesn't find it hilarious is Grace's dad, who's quite angry at her for defending herself like that.

Ashley is all dressed up and won't tell her parents why, so they assume that she's having sex because they heard some people in the furniture store talking about it (don't ask me). She responds, "How would they know I'm having sex? The only person who knows is me... [lets her hair down dramatically] and my lover."

At school, Ben is being all clingy and annoying with Amy. Amy claims that she never had a thing for Ricky-Ticky-Rump-a-Pum-Pum (Ben's words), Ben says, "Well, I think you did at one time!" and that weird paper-writing nerd walks up and says, "ohhh SNAP!", creating an awkward moment. Amy storms off and Ben panics to the Asians.

Grace is in danger of getting kicked off the cheerleading squad, and apparently she told her parents about the pretending to date Ricky to actually date Jack scheme. So she uses this combination of events to her advantage and volunteers to give up cheerleading as her punishment for having lied to her parents. Oh, and she's breaking up with Jack (again), and Ricky is still trying to squirm his way into her panties. And to top it all off, even Madison is making fun of her. That's when you know you can't sink any lower. I guess she would have been better off just letting those guys rape her.

In this series's best scene so far, Adrian, still wearing Ricky's shirt, sees Ricky and Grace talking, walks up to them, and rips the shirt off, saying, "This is his shirt! This is where he left it!" Then she storms off and just spends the rest of the school day topless, I guess. Here, I'll give you all three camera angles from the scene.

And hey, there's even a little somethin' for the ladies.

This is what a real man looks like: pink and hairless.

After school, Ben asks Amy if she'd like to get something to eat. Amy is like, "You could have asked me if I wanted to get something to eat!" Ben is like, "I tried to ask you. I called your cell, I called your house phone, I left a note in your locker, I emailed you, I sent you a text..." Amy says that nobody emails anymore and she didn't get his text. So that just leaves three forms of communication that she ignored. Also, nobody emails anymore? I'm so out of touch with the youth of today. I guess they send MySpace messages. Anyway, basically Amy is sick of Ben already, and totally shoots down his attempts to "take that next step" and get to first or second base. (I thought they already got to first base last episode, but I guess the bases have been revised and I'm out of touch with the youth of today.)

Grace's parents both know about Amy's pregnancy, for what that's worth. Grace's dad knows because he's Amy's mom's husband's ex-wife's husband and Dr. Hightower's new business partner (as mentioned last episode), and he told his wife in a flagrant breach of doctor-patient confidentiality. You know, I don't think I made the connection last episode that this douchebag was the new partner that Amy's parents hate. It would have explained a lot about why they hate him so much (i.e. he's a smug a-hole).

Next, Adrian comes home to find her mom having an affair with Amy's dad! OMG! Then she gets a booty call from Jack (Adrian, not her mom). Meanwhile, Molly Ringwald is at home wondering where her husband is. He claimed that he was "shooting some pool." Molly Ringwald thinks that Ashley wants her to think that she's having sex to distract her from finding out about her husband's affair, but Amy doesn't want to hear about it. Then, apropos of nothing, Molly Ringwald says that she heard that Grace's parents made her quit the cheerleading squad. For some reason this makes Amy roll her eyes and make a noise. We'll be right back.

And we're back. Jack shows up at Adrian's door and stares at her chest. Adrian says, "So what's up? Besides you," which I can only assume is an erection reference, although she's not looking at his crotch when she says it, so it's not conclusive. But it turns out that Jack is there to invite Adrian to church with him! Adrian recoils in horror, as well she might. "Every relationship needs a good foundation," he says, "and if our foundation was Christ, I think even you and I could make it." But also, he wants to make Grace jealous. Since it will also annoy Ricky, Adrian agrees.

Local TV station KZAB is still so into that Grace video that they're doing a followup story and interviewing her brother Tom. During the interview, Grace's mom comes out of the house and is like, "Turn off the camera! How dare you, you lowlifes [sic]!" If I were the producer I would probably have edited that part out, but I guess KZAB just has more journalistic integrity than that.

Ben has a little heart-to-heart chat with his dad, Abe Froman, the Sausage King of Chicago, a.k.a. Bobby Baccalieri. This guy is pretty jawsome. After beating around the bush a bit, the Sausage King asks Ben if Amy is pregnant. Looks like the secret life of this American teenager isn't as secret as she'd like to think. Ben's like, "No! I just kissed her!" But the seed has been planted in his imagination...

Amy's dad is really angry about the deals in a competing furniture store. Amy starts with the stuttering again, and boy, she makes Tara from Buffy look convincing. Then she tells her dad that she had sex, but in the middle of this revelation Molly Ringwald comes in and kicks Amy out so she can accuse the dad of having an affair. Amy gets a call from Ben, who just doesn't get the hint that she doesn't want to talk to his sorry ass, but she changes her mind when he offers to cook wings with ranch on the side. This proves that the quickest way to a woman's heart is through her stomach (by way of her mouth).

In the culmination of a running joke of people not remembering how old Ashley is, Ashley herself forgets how old she is.

It's Sunday morning and Adrian is all dressed up in her sluttiest church clothes ("the only conservative outfit I own"). Jack is okay with this because he has an erection. Adrian tries to fuck him, but he's all like, "Before church?!" Pssh, he's lucky she's not trying to gobble his knob during church. Well, lucky depending on your perspective, I guess. Anyway, Adrian gets really pissed when he resists her advances, so he concedes that making out before church and fucking afterwards will be okay, but at the end of the scene the jury is still out about road head on the way there.

Ricky's social worker implores him not to try to fuck Grace, and then there's a really nauseating scene where Grace's dad post-coitally smugs it up while talking to his wife about church. (So sex before church is a sin, apparently, but skipping church in order to have sex is fine.) Then they turn on the TV and there's yet another news story about Grace. This time KZAB is at the church that her parents are playing hooky from. They're interviewing the minister, the dad from Even Stevens, who says that Grace is "our very own Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Because those drunk guys were vampires. Grace takes this opportunity to suck up to her parents on TV. The reporter, clearly realizing that the interview is going nowhere, is like, "Isn't that your friend over there?" Then she runs away as soon as Grace's back is turned, leaving a little cloud of dust in the shape of her silhouette.

At Amy's house, Amy's dad is bonding with Ben over their mutual hatred of the dad from Even Stevens, vegetarians, Earth Day, and Al Gore. Then Amy's dad leaves, supposedly to go to Vegas for a furniture thing, but really he's been kicked out of the house because he was having an affair and he got... Caught!

Final thoughts: This was by far the best episode yet. Two bizarre premises (Grace becoming a laughingstock for behaving pretty reasonably, and Adrian and Jack trying to make their exes jealous by going to church) supported by some odd, surreal moments ("me... and my lover," the "ohhh SNAP!" guy, everybody taking their shirts off, "nobody emails anymore," and the news devoting days' worth of coverage to this one non-event). It makes me wonder, could the people who make this show actually be aware of how ridiculous it is, and they just decided to roll with it? But then they have things like the dad's affair, where they're still trying to take it seriously. I think this was probably just intended to be a mostly light-hearted departure from the usual melodrama, but I wish all the episodes could be more like this. Especially by having Adrian walk around topless.

My only concern is that Adrian going to church and stuff marks the beginning of her becoming less awesome and no longer purely the villain and embodiment of evil on the show. It's my fond hope that she can't be redeemed and will always end up reverting to her slutty ways.

On the next TSLOTAT: Ben proposes to Amy, even though they've only known each other for a couple of weeks and they're not old enough to get married except maybe in Utah or something. Meanwhile, Amy contemplates an abortion, and hilarity ensues!

  • "Aww. Books are hard!" -- weird nerd, after Ben hits himself in the head with a stack of books
  • "Can we send some sausage over your way? Or a nice imported salami, perhaps." -- Ben to Amy's father
  • "Jeez! That thing is huge!" -- Amy, upon seeing Ben's big basket of meat
(I know, I know, the quotes are a little heavy on wang innuendo this time around. But this episode didn't take itself seriously enough to have much else to choose from.)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

TSLOTAT: Episode 3: "I Feel Sick"

Welcome back, extensive fanbase. Your dreams were your ticket out. Welcome back to that same old place that you laughed about. The names have all changed since you hung around, but those dreams have remained, and they're turned around. Who'd have thought they'd lead you back here where we need you? We tease you a lot 'cause we've got you on the spot. Welcome back.

Today we'll be revuing TSLOTAT episode 3. It's entitled "I Feel Sick," which makes me think of that bonus song in Rock Band, except that's actually "I'm So Sick." The episode was written by Brenda Hampton and directed by Ron Underwood, the same pairing that brought you episode 1. Episode 2 was also written by Brenda Hampton, but was directed by Keith Truesdell. I just thought I should let you know who's responsible for this.

We open on Molly Ringwald and Ashley at a gas stations that's running a special "free tampons with fill up" promotion. Molly Ringwald admonishes Ashley for showing too much cleavage (even though there's actually no cleavage visible -- believe me, I've looked), then admonishes some guy for checking out the nonexistent cleavage.

A woman approaches and turns out to be Dr. Hightower. She was the Jergens family doctor, but now they hate her because her new partner (business, not lesbian) is Molly Ringwald's husband's ex-wife's husband. Molly Ringwald just can't abide her husbands' ex-wives getting remarried, it seems. She asks the doctor, "Are you on good terms with your husband's ex-wife's husband?" and the doctor's response is, "What?" My thoughts exactly. I don't really understand the logic of that chain of hatred. I could understand if she hated her husband's ex-wife because she was jealous or something, but if anything, I would think she'd appreciate the existence of the husband's ex-wife's husband for making the husband's ex-wife less of a threat. I guess I just don't understand dames (woo, callback to episode 1!).

We now go live to Amy Jergens's crotch. She can't zip up her trousers because of her swollen belly. Madison and Lauren are there watching her get dressed, so that's pretty hot. Ashley stops by to give Amy some free gas station tampons, but since she can't use them she donates them to Madison.

After the title sequence, we see Ben making out with a large plush bear. When he's caught in flagrante delicto by the Asians, he claims that he's just practicing for Amy. Even though Alice thinks that he's moving too fast, she offers to help him plan his spontaneous first kiss moment.

At school, Jack whines to Grace about how her parents don't want them to see each other. They're totally star-cross'd lovers, like Olivia Hussey and that guy who was in that movie as well.

Elsewhere at school, counselor Mark Molina approaches Adrian, who is wearing an "I recycle boys" T-shirt. That's some good production design. Mark Molina is like, "I was idly browsing through your grades, test scores, and other confidential files, and I noticed that you're pretty smart despite being a slut. You should go to Columbia University. Bet you'd really love New York!" Adrian responds, "I really love sex." Mark Molina tells her to stop by his office, where he'll help her explore some options. ;) Jack, who's been watching this scene, asks her if she propositions every guy she talks to, and she's like "I saw you standing there," implying that she was just putting on a show for his benefit and isn't really that much of a slut, even though we all know she really is. Meanwhile, Mark Molina goes and masturbates in his office, and as Adrian walks away, Jack checks out her ass and fondly reminisces.

Madison and Lauren are at the gas station, getting more free tampons. Apparently they've already filled up their own cars, so now they've recruited Lauren's brother Jason to bring them to get more. They must really be tearing through those things. Anyway, Jason tells them that their parents won't let them hang out with Amy Jergens anymore when they find out she got knocked up.

Back at the ranch, Ashley summons Amy for dinner. Amy's lukewarm on the concept until she finds out that they're having hamburgers, at which point she's like, "Hamburgers? GREAT! OM NOM NOM" and jumps out of bed. Ashley also tells Amy that they saw Dr. Hightower at the gas station, which freaks her out because unbeknownst to her family, Amy has been seeing Dr. Hightower about her pregnant womanly issues. Please enjoy this screenshot that makes it look like Amy has cat ears.

During the commercials, I suggest you take a moment to brace yourself for an onslaught of douchiness, because it's time for a Grace's dad scene! At least it's short. He just goes off on a rant about how his house is a dictatorship and orders Grace to stop dating Jack, and Tom to get some ice cream.

Amy is at her computer, presumably deleting hundreds of emails from Madison and Lauren about fearing the quickening, when she gets a phone call from Dr. Hightower admonishing her for not having told her parents yet. Elsewhere, Adrian and Ricky make out (pictured) to weird synth horn music.

Winston Zeddmore is squirming at his desk, then he picks up the phone. Who's he gonna call? Ricky's mom, unless Ricky starts showing up to his appointments. Molly Ringwald criticizes Amy for having swollen feet (she's very observant), and Amy stutters a lot.

Back at Ben's place, he's graduated from stuffed bears to inflatable women. Just kidding! That's actually Alice, and they're planning his big make-out session with Amy. Alice has decided that his best option is to take her to the county fair for the romantic ambience that you can only get with carnies. After she leaves, we see that he hasn't abandoned the bear after all as he caresses it and says, "Poor Henry, poor poor Henry." At this point I'd forgotten that Alice's boyfriend's name was Henry and assumed that that was what he'd named the bear.

After he's finished fucking Adrian, Ricky immediately phones Grace and starts hitting on her again. When he finds out about Grace's parents not letting her date Jack, he proposes a hare-brained scheme where Grace will sneak out to see Jack while pretending she's dating Ricky (because although her parents won't let her date a fellow Jesus freak, they'll be fine with her dating a smarmy satyromaniac who's already currently boning the school slut and has also knocked up at least one chick). This idea doesn't go over too well with Adrian, who immediately sees through the ruse, gets all jealous, and says that the two of them are not even friends, but just "bed buddies" (she means fuck buddies). The other notable thing about this scene is that we find out that Adrian and Jack actually did have sex, putting an end to weeks of speculation (from me).

On the other hand, Jack is totally into this plan, because the possibility of getting another shot at Grace's tight embrace outweighs his concerns that Ricky is only offering to do it as a way of getting into Grace's tight embrace. (Apparently, neither of them is satisfied by Adrian's embrace; I'm guessing her embrace is not as tight as it could be due to her having been around the block a few too many times, if you know what I mean.) Then Ricky comes up and says, "Hey, star-cross'd lovers," ruining my star-cross'd lovers reference from a few paragraphs ago.

While Molly Ringwald and her husband have a fight, Ashley checks out Amy's boobs and tells her she looks sexy (seriously!).

After another three or four hours, they finally get to the fair, and it's the social event of the season! Simply everyone is there! Amy and Ben are there! Grace and Jack are there! Even Madison and Lauren are there, watching Henry and Alice make out! County fairs were never this popular in my county. The only people missing are Adrian and Ricky, who are rehashing the "Adrian wants Ricky to stay and fuck her some more but Ricky wants to leave, then they argue about it and he leaves" scene for about the twentieth time. I honestly wondered for a moment if I'd somehow gotten confused and had already done a revue of this episode, but I was actually thinking of this scene from my last revue: "Adrian and Ricky are all post-coital. Adrian doesn't want Ricky to leave, but he does, and says he'll call her later. Why am I watching this." The same description could apply here, except that this time he says he won't call her later, and Adrian does the classic "slide down the door to indicate sadness" bit at the end.

Back at the fair, Ben tries to move in for the kill kiss, but due to a combination of morning sickness and motion sickness, Amy vomits instead. Amy goes home, and Ashley asks her if she's pregnant (citing the boobs). After a lot of stuttering, Amy admits it. Ashley promises not to tell anyone.

In the denouement, Ben shows up, ostensibly to bring Amy her jacket and some ginger ale, but really it's just an excuse to kiss her and savor the acidic taste of the chunks she blew earlier. And now I feel sick.

Final thoughts: I guess this episode was a little better than the last two, but not by much. There just wasn't much interesting stuff going on, besides the revelation of Ben's plushie fetish. Maybe if I were more emotionally invested in the characters, I would care about Ben and Amy's first kiss (besides being grossed out because she had just puked), but since I only care about them in terms of how much I can make fun of them, I can't say it did much for me. And there was too much of Grace's dad for my liking. But at least the gas station and the fair provided brief changes of scenery from the couple of sets that the majority of the series takes place in. All in all, a rather forgettable episode.

On the next TSLOTAT: Grace singlehandedly fights off a couple of would-be rapists, earning her the ridicule of the entire town! Stay tuned for the next Jawsome Olde Tyme Revue -- same jaw-time, same jaw-channel!*

  • "Sooner or later, you're gonna have to tell your parents that you're fat." -- Lauren
  • "I really love sex." -- Adrian
  • "You had me at corn dogs." -- Amy

* May not actually be the same time. And this isn't actually on a channel.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

TSLOTAT: Episode 2: "You Are My Everything"

Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends. But AC-tually, this show -- or at least, this season -- will end in two weeks, apparently, so I need to pick up the pace of writing these revues before the season ends and nobody cares anymore. I'll make it my goal to be caught up in time for the finale. That's pretty unlikely to actually happen, but it's something to shoot for.

So here we are at episode two. They say you shouldn't judge a show by its pilot, because pilots have to introduce so many characters and relationships and things that they can't really give you an impression of what a typical show will be like. I already judged this show by its pilot last week, but now I have the opportunity to judge it again. Without further ado, let's jump right into "You Are My Everything!"

We open on another long, silent sequence of various people walking through the school hallway, so I guess the show was short again. This might be a good place to put up some credits or something, but it's before the main title, so they can't. Maybe things got shuffled around in post and this was supposed to have credits over it. That's what I'm choosing to believe. Anyway, Ben is carrying Amy Jergens's books and pantomiming that they're really heavy, to which Fatty Girl and Token Black Friend respond with the appropriate mix of confusion and disgust (pictured). Actually, I might as well admit that I have actually learned their names now: Fatty Girl is Madison and TBF is Lauren. Ben makes a fool of himself talking to Amy Jergens, calls himself an idiot, and wanders off to flog himself.

Madison and Lauren corner Amy and demand to know whether she's told her parents she's preggers yet. She hasn't. Her plan is to simply pretend it never happened, and her parents will never have to know. When the friends try to point out the minor flaw in her logic, she just sings, "never happennnned!" and walks away. She sure showed them. Lauren tells Madison that people already know, and Madison responds, "People only know that Amy had sex with Ricky!" which catches the attention of the Asians, who happen to be walking by. If they didn't know, they do now.

Opening titles! As a professional video editor, my eye is trained to notice things even if I only see them for 1/29.97th of a second, so I was able to read the credits of the most recent episode and noticed that the performer of that brilliant theme song is none other than Molly Ringwald herself! Is she gearing up for a transition into the music biz?

Back to the episode... Amy Jergens is talking to Ricky (a.k.a. the creepy guy who knocked her up), who's complaining about how he was supposed to meet Adrian (a.k.a. Slutty Girl) at the church thing after the football game, but instead she was making out with the boyfriend (Jack, a.k.a. God-boy) of some cheerleader (Grace, a.k.a... actually I don't think I gave her a nickname), and apropos of nothing, Amy mentions that Grace's mom is her (Amy's) dad's ex-wife. Whew... got all that? It's a lot of exposition to throw at a guy all at once, even if most of it is just recapping what happened last week. Anyway, apparently Amy and Ricky are friends now even though their relations in the previous episode were rocky at best. But then he starts trying to mack on her again, she spurns him, and things get rocky again. "Who are you not to be interested in me?" he says. With lines like that, it's no wonder this guy is such a hit with the ladies.

Amy exits and Adrian enters. Ricky is mad at her for making out with Jack, so she offers him sex in return for forgiveness. But he wants Amy, because "some girls do it without broadcasting it to the whole school." He wants a girl with class, by which he means someone he can bang without having to own up to it.

Meanwhile, Grace's mom (quite the MILF, I must say; Amy's dad has good taste) comes to pick her up from school. She's not feeling well because she's so upset about Jack and Adrian's tonsil hockey session. Her mom tries to console her, but Grace is at least self-aware enough to realize that the reason Jack wants to cheat on her is because she won't put out.

Jack confronts that weird nerd who he tried to get to write a paper for him in the previous episode. I guess he finally convinced him to do it, and Jack is upset because he only got an 80 on it. The nerd explains that he dumbed down the essay because Jack is dumb. Jack is satisfied with this explanation and thanks him. I still don't know who this character is, why he has a speech impediment, or what he has to do with anything else in the show.

Back to Grace and her mom in the nurse's office. Jack comes in with his fly wide open. Grace's mom makes a comment about how important it is to have clean teeth. I guess that's supposed to be some kind of zipper joke or something? I don't really get it. But according to Grace's mom, the fly thing symbolizes that Jack is a careless guy, which means that Grace is too good for him. But she shouldn't judge him or feel sorry for him (besides judging his carelessness, I guess?).

Jack goes back into the hallway where Adrian grabs his crotch. Oh sure, she tries to play it off like she's fixing his zipper, but we all know what she's really after; this is Adrian we're talking about. Then she and Ricky have a conversation that's not very interesting. I guess she's forgiven now.

After the commercial, Ben is hanging out with the Asians and teaching them how to eat chips out of a silver bowl. Also, Ben has a butler, unless that was sarcasm. I couldn't tell. Other things we learn in this scene: the Asian guy (Henry) has pink-eye, and Ben's mom has been dead for five years. Anyway, Ben has apparently decided that he wants to marry Amy Jergens and start a band with her, but the Asians try to talk him out of it by revealing that she boned Ricky. Ben doesn't believe it, so he decides to call her and find out, but not before making a bet with Henry over the outcome. Amy doesn't answer the phone because she's busy being accosted by Adrian over Ricky, so Ben leaves a message, while Alice (a.k.a. Asian Pigtail Girl) constantly shakes her head or makes other gestures of disapproval.

Minutes later, Amy checks her voicemail, complete with dramatic music and a Jaws dolly/zoom move as she shrieks "Never happened!" in a brilliant callback to the earlier, equally brilliant "never happened" moment. She grabs Ricky and accuses him of telling everyone about their sexcapades, but he's all like "oh really, are you sure YOU didn't tell your two gossipy girlfriends? Bitch." Then he goes and fucks Adrian right there on the floor of the school. Okay, he just sort of puts his arm around her and they walk off, but it would have been cool.

After a commercial, Amy checks her email. She has 27 new messages, but they're all from Madison and Lauren. I have to admit this is pretty funny. They really do seem like the kind of people who would forward you stupid things all the time. Here are some of the subject lines:
This is Wierd [sic]
Thought I was crazy . . .
Hi !
Weird eggs
Your undersea video
End of days
Fear the Quickening
Where are you?
[obscured] Cape of Good Hope
I didn't even make any of those up. And they're all dated "Today"!

Ashley comes in, wearing a boob-emphasizing top. OH! I forgot to mention it last time, but in real life, the girl that plays Ashley is the daughter of Olivia Hussey, who is best known for showing her boobs in Romeo and Juliet -- one of the few chances you might get to see boobs in a movie that they show at school.

Hmm. Where was I? I got distracted by making that image.

Amy's dad brings home a recliner. He works at a furniture store, or owns it or something. Molly Ringwald is worried that they don't have any money. If there's a reason for this, I missed it, but they talk about how they won't even have enough money to send Ashley to high school, even though it's a public school. Ashley is like, "Do I really have the option of not going to high school?" and Molly Ringwald is like, "No, you have to go to high school," but then the dad sort of winks at Ashley as if to say, "You don't really have to go to high school." I'll admit it: I don't know what the hell this scene is about. It ends with a Three Stooges reference that doesn't really make sense either.

All right, I'm getting bored, so let's pick up the pace here. Jack visits Grace's dad and is all like "I love Grace! Forgive me for fucking Adrian!" Grace's dad says, "Go home before I pummel you. Oh, that's right, I'm a Christian, so first I will smite you, then I will pummel you." Jack goes home, but not before saying, "smite," to which Grace's dad says, "I heard that." I'm not really going to bother with making fun of this stuff because it would just seem redundant.

Grace's dad goes inside and is all smug at Grace. This guy is such a douche. Presumably he gave Grace the abstinence ring because he wants to have her all to himself. He's strict because he wants Grace to get in trouble a lot so he can spank her.

Adrian and Ricky are all post-coital. Adrian doesn't want Ricky to leave, but he does, and says he'll call her later. Why am I watching this.

Ben phones Amy and starts proclaiming his love for her even though they've only had one date. She's understandably creeped out but goes along with it anyway. As they hang up they both realize that their relationship is a hollow husk. Then Amy vomits.

Ha ha, just kidding. She really does vomit, but it's actually in an entirely new scene after the commercial, at school the next day. Amy's friends visit her in the bathroom and totally lie through their teeth, claiming that they haven't gossiped about Amy's dalliance with Ricky, then immediately go out and alert the Asians to the possibility that rather than just a one-night fling, it could have been "more than that." Meanwhile, Ben has another pointless "comic relief/let's recap what's happened in the episode" scene with counselor Mark Molina.

Yadda yadda, it turns out that, horror of horrors, Ricky didn't call Adrian like he said he would, so Adrian's mad, but then she stops being mad because he brought her a lunch, but that's actually a fake not-being-mad. She actually is mad as she's like "you think that bringing me a lunch will make up for not calling me after sleeping with me?" but then when he comes clean that he didn't call her because he didn't want to be on the phone all night, she changes to not being mad for real. What the hell? I'd be very interested to see the beat-by-beat breakdown of this script.

Grace and Jack sort of make up in a long and boring scene. He claims that he didn't fuck or get blown by Adrian, but I'm not sure whether we're supposed to believe him. The last episode heavily implied that something went down (no pun intended), but it was left ambiguous. But because we, the audience, don't know whether we should trust him, it allows us to identify more with Grace. This is brilliant writing. Or maybe we are supposed to know whether to believe him, and they just failed to make it clear. I'll leave it up to the reader to decide which is the case. Anyway, at the end of the scene, they embrace, and Jack makes a weird face.

Finally, the episode is ending. We just have one more quick scene wherein Ben and Amy reconfirm their undying love for each other. Yes, even though they've only been out once! Jeez, don't be such a killjoy! Clearly, she is his everything.

Final thoughts: For some reason, I had a memory of this episode being better than the first one, but on the second viewing, it really didn't hold up. There were a couple of amusing moments like the over-the-top voicemail-checking scene and the emails, but they were few and far between, and way too much of the episode was just long conversations that didn't really go anywhere. Everything that happened in this episode could easily have been compressed down to about five minutes. I must have just been excited at getting to know the Asians a little better. Or maybe I'm just mad that there wasn't as much stuff to make fun of in this one. Oh well... I guess things have to get worse before they get better. At least you got two different boob pictures this time!

Stay tuned for the next episode, in which Amy vomits some more! Also, people talk about sex and God, probably. And after that, we'll start getting into episodes that I actually remember something about.

  • "I don't know what the Lord has to do with your zipper."
  • "She didn't kill Hitler or anyone like Hitler."