Tuesday, May 31, 2011

FIFTEEN: The Most Amazing Show Ever - Episode XII Recap

(Have you ever thought just maybeee-ee-hee, you belong with mee-ee-hee?
You belong with me.)

Last Time on FIFTEEN: Matt got falling down drunk in the park and then he and Ashley got in this HUGE fight about it. Brooke had a geography paper she couldn't be bothered with and paid Kelly's sister to write it for her. Dylan was a jerk to both Billy and Courtney, so Cindy let him know just how she felt about it because she never heard the expression MYOB. Matt thought Ashley was spreading details about his DRINKING PROBLEM around school, so he dumped her ass.

Episode 12 - Hanging In The Balance

Opening Credits: The previouslies were kinda long this week. It's like they realized they had all these stories they have to wrap up because the season was ending. They'd never leave us with a bunch of loose ends they'd never tie up, would they? WOULD THEY??? (they would.)

(Whisperer On The Verge of A Nervous Breakdown)

Avalon - Conspirator's Corner. Ashley recounts to Jake how Matt dumped her, even though we JUST SAW IT in the previouslies. Jake thinks it's crazy that people at school found out about Matt. How could anyone else have known? They were the only two people who knew and the only two people who were openly discussing it at the top of their voices in a diner within earshot of half the school. It just seems impossible! Jake says he'll set things straight with Matt, but Ashley doesn't even WANT to get back with him. She's just over the whole messed up ordeal. Worse than all of it, she has a math test she is totally unprepared for! Also? Bitch has lost her fool mind. Jake can't think of anything supportive to say. He is out of his depth. Crazed Ashley just runs away from him. So sad!

(Courtney's attempts to care don't impress him much.)

Hillside - Student Lounge. Courtney walks up to Billy and asks if he's okay. He is. Does he wanna hang out with her after school? No, he's hanging out with Olaf. Courtney is surprised to hear this since Billy had previously ditched Olaf, but Billy explains zzzzzzz...... What? Oh. Sorry. Billy explains that Olaf took him back and forgave him for being a wang. Courtney thinks Olaf's pretty neat. Jeez, Courtney! Your endorsement could've helped both of them out if you gave it 4 episodes ago. She leaves Billy alone and wanders off...

(No Good, Very Bad Hair Day)

...to see Ashley participating in on our favorite game show, Whose Locker Is It Anyway? Ashley is fumbling with books in a random locker. Her hair is CRAY-CRAY. Things are not right in her head, folks! Courtney asks Ashley about the rumors she's been hearing about Matt and Ashley breaking up over his rampant alcoholism. Ashley confirms that it's true. Courtney tells her not to worry and that maybe it's not really over. Ashley's like "Nah, it's cool. That relationship sucked." She's so okay with being done with Matt! She is not okay with failing her MATH TEST, which she fears she is fated to do. She studied for eight hours and nothing stuck in her brain. Courtney's like, "yeah, but about Matt... and DRINKING... and rumors... and you not confiding to me about this stuff... " Ashley yells at Courtney that she can't deal with this bullshit and runs off half-crazy again, this time to the library. Courtney thinks the best action here is to stand still and watch her runaway. This is why Ashley didn't talk to you about this shit, Courtney! You are simultaneously useless and stone cold.

(Jake and Matt prepare to join Fight Club.)

Hillside - Boy's Locker Room. Matt and Jake are already mid-argument. Man, everyone at Hillside is having such a bad day today! Jake's trying to tell Matt that Ashley didn't tell anyone that he's an alcoholic. Matt says if it wasn't Ashley spreading rumors, than it had to be Jake. Jake says it wasn't him! So Matt insists it had to be Ashley! Jake is getting tired of Matt in a major way, so Matt just gives him an ultimatum. If he wants to side with Ashley, then he and Matt are no longer friends. Matt storms out and Jake tries to come up with one negative thing about that scenario.

(So word around town is that your bf's an alcoholic and you've gone batshit crazy...)

Close up on chicken-scratch posing a homework. It's Ashley trying to learn Math right before she's tested on it. Picture it: Hillside - The Table in the Middle of the Hall. Ashley looks crazed. Brooke slinks over to her, ready to wage more psychological warfare. When Ashley sees her, she slams the book closed. Why? What's she hiding? Brooke tells her that she's SO SORRY to hear Matt dumped her. Being dumped by an alcoholic is the worst shame ever! Ashley writhes in her seat as Brooke continues to twist the knife. Finally Ashley can't take the verbal daggers and shouts - yes, shouts! - at Brooke to keep her nose out of Ashley's life. With that, Ashley runs off (yet again. third time this episode) to lose the rest of her mind in private. Have I mentioned there's some weird giant poster on display right behind the table? Because there is. Also, Brooke has an ENORMOUS yellow binder with her. For someone who never does her own Homework it looks like she takes a lot of notes.

(the big yellow binder RULES!)

Brooke sees Olaf sitting at the other table. Wait, what other table? There's always only been one table in this area. Did they just add another table because the scene called for it? Seriously, the whole set up is different! Oh, Show. We are twelve episodes in! Don't try to pull this crap now. I've already dialed the Continuity Police so many times, but they will be here to take your statement by the time of the next commercial break.

Wait, where was I? Oh yeah. Brooke comes over to Olaf and complains about Ashley's stank attitude. Brooke was just trying to make her feel like less than dirt, why did Ashley have to get all hostile? Brooke fills in Olaf on everything you've just seen for the past two episodes. He didn't know it was happening because he was busy building recycling bins and working on his... geography project? OMG, OLAF'S NOTES!!! I forgot this was an actual plot point. Oh good, good, good! Brooke is impressed at the depth of his research. Olaf laments that it's just notes and he still has to write the actual paper. Brooke makes a joke about paying someone to do it for him which is actually kinda funny. Then she wanders off without really having been a bitch to him at all for the entire conversation. I wouldn't have thought it possible!

(Olaf's Notes on a Scandal.)

Avalon - Counter of Counterproductive Attitudes. Dylan comes in and spots Courtney. He tries to apologize, but she refuses to listen to him. She informs him that they are not friends anymore (if they ever were) and he shouldn't try talking to her again. Sad music plays as she leaves and Dylan looks sad. I bet on the flip side of the commercial Courtney's in love with him all over again. Ugh...

(Not even Olaf's watchful eye will keep Kelly from getting what she wants!)

Hillside - Table in the Middle of the Hall. Olaf is still working on the geography project. Kelly comes over to talk to Olaf, and also steal his notes. I mean, she's talking to him about Brooke, but she's hungrily eyeing the notes she's going to use to destroy Brooke. Olaf gets a little weirded out by her intensity and puts the notes back in his bookbag. Kelly retreats until she can find a moment where Olaf is distracted, which shouldn't be too long really.

Billy comes over to Olaf looking sad. It's Dylan. Billy still feels bad about his concert getting cancelled. OMG, are we still not over this?? Olaf tells him to just talk to him already. Well at least this retread was relatively brief.

It's later now, I guess, because it's the same place, but Courtney is now sitting like 5 feet from where Billy and Olaf were and nobody seemed to see each other. Jake comes over to Courtney. She tells Jake about letting Dylan have it at lunch. Jake is thrilled. But not Courtney! Oh no. She feels worse than ever! Why, you ask? Because she's decided her inner and outer ugliness is really the source of all the world's problems. She was wrong to think Dylan or any guy could ever like her. She also figures she's responsible for her parents' DIVORCE. Her inability to dress well and do her hair also might be what causes the attacks on 9/11 ten years in their future and why so many people lost so much money in the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme. The oil spill in the gulf will happened because she's undatable! Climate change is real because she repulses the very forces of the Natural Order of the Planet!! Jake tries to comfort her. It's not true! She's not worthless! Courtney means everything to him. And then he leans in for the most awkward kiss ever. Oh, it's so painful! See for yourself!

(Things go from bad....)


What makes it really bad is that Courtney shoves him off really hard before he can actually make contact. Then she freaks out on him. How DARE he? They're supposed to be friends! She storms off. Yeah, that must've been awful for you, Courtney. A decent guy who always listens to your stupid problems like they mean something wants to kiss you and make you feel better? What a violation of trust. I feel so bad for you, you horrid bitch.

Avalon - Conspirator's Corner. Jake sits by himself. Was Loser's Table already taken? Olaf comes over to talk to Jake and possibly have his notes stolen by Kelly if it hasn't happened yet. Jake tells Olaf how much life sucks and how people don't really want to know how you're feeling. They just want you to listen to their problems. Jake's tired of just being everyone's friend and nothing more than that. He gets up and leaves Olaf there to worry over Jake's state of mind. What if Jake kills himself in despair? Courtney would definitely find a way to turn it around so it was all about her, which would suck. But then Brooke would find a way to make her feel guilty about it until Courtney went crazy. That would rule!

(Olaf'sNotesGate is officially underway!)

Olaf continues to stare after Jake for what seems like an eternity. Finally, after enough time passes for Jake to have walked out into the street and thrown himself in front of a car, Olaf turns around and goes to start work on his geography paper. Only when he opens his backpack and takes out his folder, the pages and pages of notes are gone! GONE! Who could have stolen them? Well, Kelly did. But WHEN??

(Brooke will never miss a chance to laugh at the misfortune of others.)

Hillside - Girls Locker Room. Brooke is here which makes no sense because I'm sure they've already established that they have gym in the morning and Brooke would NEVER play after-school sports, but the Continuity Police have been responding to calls all episode so I can't get them on the case now. Kelly comes in, fresh from stealing Olaf's notes. She can't even worry about blowing her cover story with Brooke, because the new gossip she just scored is so good it trumps everything else. Ashley was just caught cheating on her MATH TEST! What I thought was her scribbling homework earlier was actually her making a cheat sheet. And she sucks so bad at cheating, she got caught. Kelly and Brooke cackle like hyenas. It's a shame Kelly's about to blow up their friendship. They are at their best when they are bitches united.

(You know what makes this day even worse, Jake? Menstrual cramps.)

Hillside - Locker Labyrinth. Jake (who apparently didn't kill himself in the Avalon parking lot) and Ashley walk down the hall like zombies. Jake tries to understand why Ashley did it, and Ashley tries to explain. It's all stuff you've heard. She didn't know anything, so she tried to cheat. Case closed. Turns out she's no grander than the rest of us. She's humiliated and thinks everyone will think she ALWAYS cheated on everything. Jake says no one will think that. Which might be more convincing if right at that moment Brooke and Kelly didn't slither up next to Ashley and tell her how shocked and disappointed they were to hear that she's a cheater. Everyone in the school knows! They are appalled to discover she is dishonest. Ashley runs off the (fourth time today!), possibly to throw herself out a window. Jake says he'd beat the crap out of Brooke if she were a dude. I honestly don't think Jake would win that fight no matter what Brooke's gender. Brooke doesn't think so either.

(Is that opportunity knocking on the garage door? Nah, it's just Billy.)

Dylan's Garage Band - Dylan's playing a sad song because they say so much. There's a knock at the door. Dylan doesn't respond. If it's a crazy girl that wants to make out with him, he's seen enough of those lately. He plays again and there's a knock again. Billy comes in. They don't know how to communicate with words because they are... musicians? So they jam together and everything's cool between them. Aww?

(Wow, Angry Drunk Matt is like 2 feet taller than Jake! Not a fair fight!)

Avalon - Loser's Table. Matt is sitting there Drunk and Angry. Jake comes over to him looking for Ashley. Matt doesn't care where she is. She is the root of all evil at Hillside, in his eyes. First she spread rumors about him and now she's a cheater? Matt's disgusted. He can't believe he has to deal with the whole school thinking he's an alcoholic, and momentarily I feel for him. That does kinda suck, since he's really NOT an alcoholic. He's just on his way to being one, and really who amongst us isn't? But Jake is finally fed up with Matt's whining. He calls Matt a jerk (he searches for an insult for a while and that's all he comes up with. Sigh.) and tells him he's the source of all Ashley's problems. Matt gets up to punch Jake out, but Jake just keeps yelling at him and then storms out. Matt doesn't pursue him. Jake exits past Kelly who is making a call on the payphone. She tells whoever she's talking to on the phone about the shouting match between Matt and Jake, but that's not the point of the call. She tells Mystery Friend that it's all set up. In a few days, Brooke is finally gonna get what she deserves! Man, everything seems to be falling apart. That must mean it's time for a shocking season finale!

(I just called to say I'll destroy you, and I mean it from the bottom of my heart.)

Next Time! On FIFTEEN! The shocking season finale!!! It's all been leading up to this. Well, to this or to nowhere, and I'll tell you right now about 85% of it leads to nowhere. I don't want you to get your hearts broken next week. But you can look forward to: Brooke officially throwing her hat into the race for Student Council President, Kelly making a play for Dylan (!!!), and Brooke vowing revenge on multiple people! Break out the sunscreen and the bug spray! Schools almost out for summer!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Once Again For 10: Rafa at the French Open, Round of 16

(PASSING THE LJUB - Rafa glides easily into a quarterfinal birth. And yes, I've been planning to write that quip for roughly 48 hours since the match up was announced.)

Earlier today, Nadal defeated Ivan Ljubicic in straight sets 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the French Open. His insane record at Roland Garros now stands at 42-1.

Still, it's not the dominant performance, everyone seems to keep anticipating from him. He's not really winning 6-1, 6-2, 6-2, as the public seems to demand in order for Nadal to be regarded as "playing well" on clay. But even beyond the fact the score seems too close, the worry seems to carry on Rafa's face. He just seems concerned. And the press keeps asking him about it and he keeps giving all the really long, interesting answers. I'm including the link to the transcript of his last post-match press conference here.

Whether or not he's playing at the best level he's ever played here, Our Hero is still moving ahead to play his Roland Garros-Nemesis Robin Soderling in the quarterfinal on Wednesday. I think that match is going to be TOUGH. Rafa can do it though. I believe in him! Vamos!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Once Again For 10: Rafa at the French Open, Third Round

(Gaining confidence in Round 3)

Rafa had an easier match this time than he did in the first two rounds. Up against Croatian qualifier Antonio Veic, Nadal easily took the match 6-1, 6-3, 6-0. He seemed more like his usual self and was playing with a great deal more confidence.

Still... I'm concerned a bit for Rafa. Mentally he seems a bit shaken, like it's hard for him to concentrate. He also said this at a recent post-match press conference:

"It's my ninth year on the tour, and its completely the same feeling every year. You don't have the chance to stop, never. I think for that situation we have a shorter career. So having a different model of ranking, of competition, I think we can have longer career, no? I [am] almost 25, but seems like I am playing for 100 years here on the tour. I didn't spend a weekend at home since the week of Davis Cup before Indian Wells. That's too much. Tennis is a very demanding sport mentally and physically. I won Roland Garros five times, but next Monday I am practicing on Queen's. So that's makes the career shorter for everybody.

"We have four Grand Slams, we have nine Masters 1000, and the year is 12 months. I know that they're gonna reduce two week but, seriously, is not enough. [We are not ] gonna have these changes for my generation, but hopefully for the next generations to have a better sports life. Because I think you need two months, two months and a half of rest at the end of the season. You have to practice. I never able to practice and to try to improve the things during the off-season, and that's something I think terrible....Sometimes it's like work. And, in my opinion, tennis is not work. It's passion."

Rafa has always been forthcoming with where he is at, and I understand what he's saying. He's got the Career Grand Slam, The Olympic Gold Medal, the record for 1000 Masters Series Wins he's already won Roland Garros 5 times and it just never lets up. The season is too long and these guys never get a break. The season definitely needs to be restructured. Give the fans a little time to miss the action and let the players have some real time to rest and recuperate and train.

But back to facing the current task at hand. I'm hoping Rafa can shake off his mental fatigue and keep going after this title again with everything he's got. Next up in the Round of 16 is another Croat, Ivan Ljubicic on Monday. If Nadal gets through that, it will likely be Soderling and then Murray and then Djokovic. It's a long hard road ahead. I wish Rafa the best. Vamos!

A Year Without Cookies - Week 21

(With the dawn, I still go on dreaming of you...)

Week 21 of no cookies and soda. No sweat here! Except for that which can be attributed to the rising temperatures hitting NYC in this sunny last week of May. June is almost upon us! Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start of summer and the official start of me constantly drinking lemonade. I looooove me some lemonade. And the fridge will be well-stocked with it for the summer. Sure it's all sugar, but it's not soda, so it doesn't count as being bad for you! YUM. Who needs you, soda? Not me.

Thursday I had to go to Migu's Field Day. It was on a soccer field over in Riverside Park. It was so hot that day! Luckily I wore light clothing to keep cool and had a tall glass of water during the provided lunch to keep me hydrated. Lunch was delicious pizza and fried chicken. I could not remember the last time I had fried chicken. Perhaps last year's field day? Oh, it was so good. Sweet and delicious watermelon was the provided dessert. As I went to sit and eat next to Migu however, I noticed that one of the students had brought an entire box of Chips Ahoy cookies to share. There was a fleeting moment where I wanted to steal the whole box of cookies for myself. Just rip them right out of his hands! No one should have cookies if I'm not having cookies!! This impulse passed quickly.

Dreams of cookies and soda have returned. I honestly think what happened at Field Day triggered them. I had a double whammy dream this week where I was consuming them both, and then in the dream I got so confused. Was I supposed to be eating them? Was I not? Didn't my Year Without Cookies actually happen years ago? I couldn't figure it out. It had been weeks and weeks without one of these dreams. Now they are back. Sigh. Five weeks to the half year mark. We forge ahead!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Once Again For 10: Rafa at the French Open, Second Round

(Rafa gets through another tough challenge.)

Well Round 2 went better than Round 1 for Rafa... but it's still not awesome. It's not super-dominant . It's not Rafa at peak performance. He's still finding his groove while facing some really tough early competition. Today Rafa won in straight sets 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (4) against Pablo Andujar from Spain. Andujar is actually a rare player Rafa has never faced on the tour before. Andujar played really well today, but since its Rafa on the other side of the net, he really shouldn't have presented as much of a problem as he did. Still leading 2 sets to 0, Rafa fell behind in the third set 1-5. He then had to fend off EIGHT set points from Andujar en route to clawing his way back into the third set and finally winning it in the Tie Break. I'm glad Rafa took the opportunity to fight back and regain control instead of letting the set go and try to win in the fourth. I like to see a hungry Rafa. I like to see him fight his way through. I just get nervous when i see him fall behind 5-1 to someone who's not at his level. But the fight is there in his play, and that's very good.

Next up. Rafa will face Antonio Veic, a wily qualifier who beat Davydenko in five sets today. It shouldn't be too much of a challenge, but who knows this year? Another third round match I'm really looking forward to tomorrow is Del Po vs. Djokovic. If there's a real challenge to Novak making the final this year, I think it's this early round encounter. It should be a really intense match. And if Del Po wins and Rafa no longer has to see Djokovic looming on the other side of the draw... well I wouldn't think that is so terrible. :)

(Andujar grabs a little bum on his way off the court, and really - who can blame him?)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Once Again For 10: Rafa at the French Open, First Round

(Sky blue's the limit for Rafa!)

So the French Open is upon us. Two things immediately jump to mind. The first is that Rafa has a good chance to claim the 10th Grand Slam title of his career. The second is that I was actually AT the French Open last year and i STILL have not blogged about my trip to Paris. I have it written in my notes. I have to post it. Not because anyone's really interested in hearing about it a year later, but I said I would do it, and I intend to follow through.

The past few weeks have been crazy for Rafa. He lost the last two tournament finals on clay to Novak Djokovic. That makes four straight tournament final losses for Rafa to Nole, after holding a previous record of 5-0 Final wins in his favor. Novak's unbeaten streak is now an unbelievable 40 (!!!) and he enters the French Open in incredible mental and physical shape. But Rafa has only lost once at the French Open EVER. If Rafa and Nole were to meet in the Final, would he be able to reclaim the momentum? Hopefully Rafa will be there at the end of next week so we can find out.

So here we go with Round 1: Rafa is such a prankster! Trying to give me a heart attack, Nadal decided to go to sets to one down before winning in 5 sets against John Isner 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-7(2), 6-2, 6-4. Really funny, Rafa. Reeeeeally funny. Rafa had never played a 5 set match at Roland Garros before. He'd never even lost a set in the first or second round of the tournament!So this was kinda crazy. Isner's not a slouch of a first round opponent by any means, but if Nadal had lost, it would've been the hugest of upsets. Plus, I would've been emotionally devastated. Seriously, I don't know how I could've dealt with that. Not well, I tell you. Not well.

But luckily, that's not the case! Rafa's still around to fight another day! Hopefully Our Hero will have an easier go of it in the second round. Vamos!

Monday, May 23, 2011

FIFTEEN: The Most Amazing Show Ever - Episode XI Recap

(Smile, though Ashley's heart is breaking.)

Last Time on FIFTEEN: Theresa and Kelly started plotting against Brooke. Drunk Matt got kicked off the basketball team for being drunk and belligerent. Courtney and Billy threw an unchaperoned party that produced one hilarious disaster after another and humiliations galore for Courtney. Jake and Ashley abandoned the party in a noticeable rush so they could go save Matt from alcohol poisoning or some other booze-related fiasco. It was high drama for all.

Episode 11: Damage Control - Political and social scandals abound. Let's hope it goes the way of Edwards, Woods or Schwarzenegger. Reputations will be ruined FOREVER!

(It was her party and she'll continue to cry if she wants to.)

Avalon - Loser's Table. Courtney and Ashley sit and mope. Ashley makes up a million excuses, but the real reason she feels like hell is that she had to deal with Drunk-Ass Matt this past weekend and that consumed all her time and energy. She's not confiding in Courtney about this, because they are not really friends. Courtney had a horrible weekend too, all because her non-boyfriend Dylan gave her the literal brush off after she literally CLUNG to him at her party. But yeah... um... Dylan sucks! It's not Courtney's own damn fault at all!

Ashley apologizes for running off without saying anything. Courtney assumes there was a problem with Matt, since he got kicked off the basketball team and is kind of an explosive moody asshole generally anyways. Ashley swears everything is fine. Matt's fine!!! Courtney isn't gonna dig any deeper because she really only cares about herself. They run off to school, leaving two completely filled glasses of OJ behind them on the table (they do take their breakfast pastries with them for the walk to school.)

(Challenge Kelly's gossiping skills at your own risk!)

Hillside - Girls Locker Room. Kelly and Brooke discuss what happened with Matt and Ashley on Friday night. Kelly hasn't heard anything more about it. Brooke tells her she's losing her touch as Gossip Queen. Kelly takes this slight VERY seriously and clarifies that she WILL figure it out. Brooke recounts the events of the night trying to piece it together. Kelly thinks it might be nothing, but Brooke is convinced it's MAJOR. Time for some bitchy sleuthing for our girls!

(This week's script is 73% recycled plot lines.)

Hillside - Main Hall. Brooke and Kelly find YET ANOTHER WAY TO ENTER THE HALLWAY and eventually run into Cindy and Olaf who are installing the recycling bins. Brooke is pleased with their progress. Olaf tells her they made 4 bins and it took them all weekend. That is some seriously mismanaged time right there. Those things are made out of cardboard at best. Brooke claims credit for their work, and then tells them to move the box they are working on to the other side of the room. Olaf and Cindy give her death glares. Brooke and Kelly depart. Cindy wishes Brooke a slow and violent end.

(Ashley is caught off-guard by a Brooke&Kelly sneak attack!!!)

Kelly and Brooke corner Ashley at her locker. Cam Jansen and Nancy Drew want Ashley to spill the beans about Friday night, or at the very least, drop them a clue they can follow. But first Brooke talks to her for like 15 minutes about the effing election for student council president. OMG just shut up about it already! Then they get down to business - what's wrong with Matt? Ashley insists he is FINE!!! And then she runs away. Brooke and Kelly know a liar when they see one. Their motivation to expose the painful truth increases tenfold.

(young love...)

Avalon - Conspirator's Corner. Matt and Ashley sit in the back booth. He starts off the scene already yelling at her. Where is there left for this scene to go? No place. Well at least we learn that Matt was past out in the park throwing up all over himself. Jake and Ashley got him home. But does Matt say thank you? No. He tells her they are never gonna speak of it again and that he is FINE. She's also NOT TO SPEAK OF THIS TO ANYONE! Ashley's all, "JEEZ! Why do I even bother?!!" I swear I don't know, Ash.

(Courtney performs her one woman show: Love, Loss & What Horrible Clothes I Wore.)

Hillside -Main Hall. Courtney is complaining to Jake about Dylan. For 10 effing minutes. I can't go through it all again, I can't! Courtney finally realizes nobody wants to hear this shit anymore, and shuts up. Hooray! Jake tries to ask Courtney out AGAIN, and he stammers for forever about it per usual. Finally he asks her! And Courtney? She laughs in his face! No, really she does! She SO doesn't think of him sexually at all. She assumes he's just joking. Then she just wanders away from him. Jake's head is ready to explode.

(recycling stinks!)

Hillside - Main Hall. Brooke is lecturing to the masses about the success of the recycling program. All credit should go to her! Cindy and Olaf show up and subtly undermine her attempt at winning favor with said masses. Cindy is actually furious, but Olaf takes it mostly in stride. Also? no one is using the recycling bins to recycle. They are throwing trash in them. Trash and underwear. Maybe someone mistook it for a hamper.

(Brooke thinks she's a maverick, but it's Kelly who is about to go rogue.)

Hillside - Stairs of Sadness. Brooke tells Kelly she'll need to make posters for the campaign. Kelly can't believe Brooke thinks that she is gonna make them. Kelly is all, "why would I do that?" Because Brooke has made Kelly her campaign manager! Duh! She just didn't get around to telling Kelly. Kelly can barely mask her contempt. But that's not all, Brooke has lined up for her. There's a geography paper Brooke has no interest in doing that she wants Kelly's sister to ghostwrite. Kelly growls that her sister is busy with her own work and can't just drop everything for Brooke. Brooke ups her offer to $20 bucks to get the job done. Kelly smiles and says she'll make it work since she loves Brooke ever so much. Brooke almost finds this attitude suspicious but let's it go. All the worse for you, Brooke. Kelly soliloquy's to us that she's finally ready to set her trap and take her best-frenemy down!!

(Billy once again uses his super speed to avoid an awkward confrontation. Courtney just gives Dylan the nasty look imaginable.)

Hillside - Locker Labyrinth. Billy and Courtney are talking about the same old stuff they always talk about. DIVORCE. DYLAN. There's no more story left between these two for the rest of the season. They are running on fumes. Courtney re-explains to Billy that Dylan's cancelled concert was really Dylan's fault, and that Billy shouldn't waste any more time feeling guilty about it because Dylan isn't worth it. That's Dylan's cue to walk up to them. Billy zooms away like he's The Flash. Courtney sticks around long enough for Dylan to start to almost-apologize before she stomps off. Cindy witnesses this last exchange and locks eyes with Dylan. She is giving him intense crazy eyes. Dylan backs away, afraid to break contact with her and then turns and books it for the door. Cindy just stares after him. It's creepy.

(turn around, bright eyes...)

Avalon - Loser's Table. Jake and Ashley wallow in their misery. Worrying about Matt is destroying Ashley's life. His drinking is getting worse and worse and it's pushing her toward madness. She can't focus. She is completely unprepared for an upcoming test in History Class. (Remember that. It might prove to be an important plot point later.) Jake has no answers for her but tries to be encouraging. This show has no adults, so they can't go talk to a counselor and get a pamphlet titled "So You Think Your Boyfriend is an Alcoholic Loser."

(Kelly takes a page out of Theresa's playbook and puts lurking in the background to good use!)

Jake and Ashley keep going on and on about Matt's DRINKING PROBLEM and how they have to keep it a secret even though they are talking about it very loudly in a public space with people all around them. Even the usually whispering Ashley has her voice echoing throughout the room. Sure enough as they get up to go, we see Kelly has been sitting over at Conspirator's Corner and heard the whole thing. Her mind is blown.


Hillside - Table in the Middle of The Hall. Kelly comes in and spots Brooke. She rushes over to her to spill the beans about Matt, but Brooke is still focused on the geography paper. Oh, shut up about that, Brooke! Matt's an alcoholic. WHAAAAAT? says Brooke, with her eyes all ablaze with delight. Kelly explains how she overheard it from Jake and Ashley that maybe Matt almost died from alcohol poisoning on Friday, so the source is legit. Before Brooke can get more info, Kelly rushes off. She can't devote all her time to Drunk Matt. She has to take down BFF Brooke as well! These schemes don't hatch themselves!

(Dylan is confused that there is a girl in his garage that does not want to make out with him.)

Dylan's Garage Band. Crazy Eyes Cindy has followed Dylan back to his garage. She fiddles with the keyboard for a minute and then lashes out at him for the way he's been treating Billy and Courtney. Why doesn't he just apologize to them already? Dylan tried to earlier but it wasn't so easy with them running away and stomping off and all. Cindy calls him out on all his shit for the entire season, tells him to man up and then storms out of the garage. Are those two even friends? Are Cindy and Courtney even friends? Why is she involved in this? Ah, well.

(Ashley continues to lose her mind. HAving to deal with Yearbook Club politics is not helping matters in the least.)

Hillside - Main Hall. Ashley comes down the Stairs of Sadness to meet Drunk Matt. He's already screaming at her about her stupid yearbook meeting running long. What a prince. Ashley says it will still be another hour. Matt almost loses it completely, but somehow takes a deep breath and agrees to meet Ashley back there in an hour, after he stops by the Avalon and perhaps a local liquor store. Ashley lies and says she's looking forward to it.

(So word around town is you're an alcoholic. How's that going for ya?)

Avalon. Matt walks in and sees Kelly and Brooke at the counter. Kelly retreats to Conspirator's Corner so as not to be implicated in Brooke's approaching dirty work. Brooke invites Matt to sit on the stool next to her. Matt's got nothing better to do, so he agrees. Brooke starts in about student council president blah-blah-blah and then cuts to the chase. How does it feel being an alcoholic with a huge DRINKING PROBLEM? Matt is floored. Where did Brooke here this?? Well from Ashley, of course! Brooke tells him Ashley has been talking about it with all her friends, trying to figure out what the hell to do with him and his horrible disease. Brooke assures him they will all be there for him in his hour of need. Matt storms out, and Kelly and Brooke celebrate FINALLY ruining things for good for Little Miss Perfect.

(broken friendships should also not be discarded in the recycling bin.)

Hillside - Olaf's Corner, now with a new recycling bin! Billy comes over to Olaf and tries to make some small talk about the bin and then shuffles away. Olaf tells him to hold up. They rehash everything, as people on this show always do. Whatever. Billy apologizes for being an idiot and they are friends again. They go off together to have make-up chess.

(Dial M for Muahahahahaha!)

Avalon - Payphone of Payback! Kelly is on the phone talking to an unseen conspirator. Her sister? Theresa? Someone else? Whoever it is, she informs them that it's all set up and she can't wait to see Brooke's face when she realizes what's happened. Neither can I!

(Don't get him angry, Ashley! You won't like him when he's drunk and angry!!!)

Hillside - Main Hall. Ashley paces while waiting for Matt to show up. Here he comes, as drunk and angry as ever. Ashley's all, what's your problem? Matt accuses her of telling the whole school about what happened on Friday night. Ashley insists she did no such thing. Matt doesn't care. He's filled with so much RAGE! It's over between them! He never wants to speak to her again!! He storms off, and Ashley is left there, exhausted and emotionally destroyed. A nervous breakdown is not far off! Hooray!

(face it. it's over.)

Next time! On FIFTEEN! Drunk Angry Matt starts accusing Jake of telling people about his DRINKING PROBLEM. Jake's so over it. Brooke pushes Ashley ever closer to a total mental breakdown. Dylan tries to apologize to Courtney AGAIN and she is unforgiving AGAIN (or is she?). Kelly moves closer to checkmate on Brooke. The penultimate episode of the season is upon us. YES.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Buffy, The Apocalypse Slayer

In honor of the Rapture-That-Was-Not on Saturday, I watched every season finale of Buffy The Vampire Slayer while doing a bunch of chores today. If anybody knows anything about averting the Apocalypse, it's my girl Buffy Anne Summers and her assorted Scoobies. Let's take a trip down memory lane to recap the season-ending saves she made, shall we? Oh and I guess... spoiler alert? Even though the show went off the air in 2003? Well, consider yourself warned if you've never seen the show.

Season 1: "Prophecy Girl"
Big Bad: The Master
Apocalypse Now?: Hell on Earth via an open Hellmouth.
Scoobies on Hand: Giles, Xander, Willow, Angel, Cordelia, Jenny Calendar
Casualties of War: None, surprisingly! Although Cordelia's boyfriend Devon and some AV kids did get eaten by The Anointed One. Oh, and Buffy died. For the first time. But just for like a minute.
Resolution: The Master got thrown through a skylight and impaled on a broken desk. Hellmouth Closed! Everybody liked Buffy's dress for the dance.
Threat Level: Moderately High. The Master was dispatched easily enough, but the gang was very inexperienced at this point in time, nor was a second season of the show secured, so their ability to succeed was more in question than usual.

Season 2: "Becoming, Part 2"
Big Bad: Angelus with an assist from Drusilla and Spike
Apocalypse Now?: Earth Sucked Into Hell via the Mouth of Acathla.
Scoobies on Hand: Giles, Willow, Xander, Cordelia and Oz... with an assist from Spike.
Casualties of War: Jenny Calendar, Angel, Kendra the Vampire Slayer.
Resolution: Angel got his soul back and then got sent to Hell. Joyce found out Buffy was the Slayer and freaked the eff out. Spike and Drusilla left town, as did an emotionally devastated Buffy. So sad!
Threat Level: High. Buffy was stripped of pretty much everything important to her on the way to killing Angel and saving the world. This one came at a heavy cost to the Slayer.

Season 3: "Graduation Day, Part 2"
Big Bad: The Mayor
Apocalypse Now?: Hell on Earth as the Mayor ascends into a Giant Snake.
Scoobies on Hand: Giles, Willow, Xander, Cordelia, Oz, Angel, Wesley and the entire graduating class on Sunnydale 1999.
Casualties of War: Many of the graduating class of Sunnydale 1999, Principal Zimmerman, Sunnydale High in general.
Resolution: Mayor-Snake got blowed up, as did the school. Faith the Evil Vampire Slayer got left in a coma. Angel left town. Everybody still alive graduated High School.
Threat Level: Moderate. It took a whole civilian army, but really I don't think that giant snake stood a chance.

Season 4: "Restless"
Big Bad: The First Slayer
Apocalypse Now?: Hell on Earth got averted in the previous episode. Season 4 broke tradition and had a trippy series of dream sequences where the source of Buffy's power got pissed off with the core Scoobies for tapping into her power to save the world.
Scoobies on Hand: Giles, Willow and Xander. Dreamy Versions of Tara, Oz, Spike, Harmony, Riley and Joyce also made appearances.
Casualties of War: None. Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!
Resolution: Everyone woke up and was fine. Buffy was aware even crazier shit was about to happen. The Cheese Man made his presence known. His motives remain unclear.
Threat Level: Low. The First Slayer is hardly Freddy Krueger when it comes to dream stalking. Still, this episode is super fun.

Season 5: "The Gift"
Big Bad: Glory/Ben
Apocalypse Now?: Hell on Earth as a portal to Glory's dimension tears everything apart.
Scoobies on Hand: Giles, Willow, Xander, Anya, Tara, Spike and Dawn.
Casualties of War: Ben. Oh and Buffy died. For the second time.
Resolution: After an incredibly rough fight for all involved, Giles killed Glory by killing Ben. Buffy killed Joel Grey and then jumped into the already-opening dimensional portal to close it with a blood sacrifice, dying in the process. She left the world having saved it a lot.
Threat Level: Very High. It seemed like no one was gonna get out of this one alive. Everybody seemed vulnerable, but ultimately if any of the good guys had died along with Buffy, it would've dramatically lessened the feeling of her sacrifice.

Season 6: "Grave"
Big Bad: Dark Willow!!
Apocalypse Now?: Earth Burned To A Crisp thanks to Dark Willow channeling magic through a Satanic Temple.
Scoobies on Hand: Giles, Xander, Anya, Spike, Dawn
Casualties of War: None. But Tara and Warren got killed in previous episodes, so there was still a bit of a body count. Also, the Magic Shop got completely destroyed.
Resolution: Xander got Willow to calm the hell down and they shared a good cry. Buffy realized she needed to guide Dawn through the world instead of just trying to protect her from it. Spike got a soul! Whaaat??
Threat Level: Medium. Dark Willow did kill one person, and beat the crap out of several of her closest friends, but the likelihood of her actually killing them or ending the world was always remarkably of the "un" variety.

Season 7: "Chosen"
Big Bad: The First Evil!
Apocalypse Now?: The Hellmouth is getting opened again for more Hell on Earth
Scoobies on Hand: OMG, so many! Giles, Willow, Xander, Anya, Angel, Spike, Dawn, Faith, Principal Wood, Andrew, Kennedy and a million Slayerettes.
Casualties of War: OMG, so many! Anya, Spike, almost a million Slayerettes and the whole town of Sunnydale.
Resolution: Sunnydale Hellmouth is closed for business! The First Evil is Vanguished! Buffy and (most of) the gang live to slay another day! All the Potentials become actual slayers, but they have to all share one magic scythe! Buffy smiles!
Threat Level: High. It's the series finale! All bets were off! But an unhappy ending would've been kinda bogus after all this time.

So what have we learned? That the world has a history of not ending and that apocalypses usually don't come to pass no matter where they are written or foretold. You here that, 2012? Don't go acting all crazy. Buffy Summers is out there somewhere and I don't want you to hassle her when you know what the outcome is gonna be. Life goes on!!!