Friday, March 28, 2008

Sweet Valley High: Version 2.0

So I read today that Random House is updating the classic teen girl series "Sweet Valley High." Admission: I loved loved loved the SVH books when I was growing up. I started reading them when I was about 7 or 8 and I kept reading them embarrassingly until I was probably 17 years old (relax people, I also read real books too). I like the idea of twins who were so close yet different: scheming Jessica and goody two shoes Elizabeth. Even though they had different interests and personalities, they were always there to help each other out and pretend to be the other one in a crisis. It was like that Amy Adams/Kristen Wiig SNL skit except the Wakefield's schemes actually worked.... and one of the twins didn't get fat in high school. They had a lot of frivolous stories (Jessica gives the family food poisoning when she pries open shellfish! Someone starts a rumor in the slam books! Jessica gets sabotaged at a beauty pagent!) but some were serious (Deaf Regina Morrow dying of a drug overdose her first time trying coke.). So even though they were not necessarily "quality" books for children, I have fond memories of them.

Now for those of you who aren't familiar with the Wakefield twins, these are their distinguishing characteristics.

Jessica-5'6", dimple on cheek, CA tan, "perfect size 6", wears gold laverie necklace which was a gift from her parents, drives a red fiat, not great in school, loves to perform, is boy crazy, best friend is Lila Fowler

Elizabeth-5'6", dimple on cheek, CA tan, "perfect size 6", wears gold laverie necklace which was a gift from her parents, drives a red fiat, smart and serious, writes for the school paper, boyfriend is Todd Wilkins (with a brief stint with Jeffrey...French was it?), best friend is Enid "I used to be wild but now I'm a bore" last name unimportant

Now, please note the "perfect size 6" in quotation marks. That isn't my opinion, it was the writers of SVH and the time period I suppose. But with this new update (you can't even call it a re imagining b/c it sounds like the details changed are minor and silly), the twins are now a "perfect size 4" and drive a jeep and have a blog.

Come on! Are you telling me some 14 yr old girl who picks up a SVH book today and reads the words Fiat, suddenly says, "This book is like sooo unrealistic. Who drives a Fiat anymore? I need to get me some 'Gossip Girls' books instead. They have monkeys and bisexuality!"

Plus why is Levin Rambin the cover girl? She plays twins on AMC and now she is portraying the Sweet Valley twins? Couldn't they hire real twins? Wouldn't that save time and photoshop edits? I like Levin the actress actually and she is a legitimate teen but I feel like she's an odd choice to be Elizabeth and Jessica.

Here is the article that caught my eye:

http://gawker.com/5004617/random-house-proudly-promoting-eating-d

The comments are hilarious though:

While we're at it, can we get Social Services to help The Boxcar Children?

since she now works on the school website and not the school newspaper will SVH be available in a podcast or for download online??

In the 2008 version, The Baby-Sitters Club becomes a covert name for a high-priced prostitution ring, including members "Kristy," "Mallory," "Stacy" and sweet "Mary Anne."

-Coo coo note: I have always imagined a Baby-Sitters Club update to be more like this: Kristy goes the "L Word" route, Claudia is hiding marijuana in her hollowed out Nancy Drew book, Mallory's mother commits suicide after having 10 children and leave Mallory to raise them, Stacy not only is diabetic but also has ADD, Dawn embarks on a torrid affair with a young teacher, and Mary Anne finds out her beloved dead mother was having an affair with Kristy's dad around the time she was born.

Note: Do not, I repeat do not confuse "Sweet Valley High" with "Sweet Valley Twins." Twins is based on their lives in middle school which were even too boring for me when I was in elementary school. I thought the Unicorn Club was cheesy and I wanted the books to be more scandalous, thus my love of SVH. Don't even get me started on "Sweet Valley Kids" when they were in second grade.

4 comments:

Julina said...

You know, I liked Sweet Valley Twins too. What kind of trouble do you want middle schoolers to get into?

Lisa XX said...

Less Unicorn Club and more school dances, catfights, and sneaking out to meet boys.

Melissa said...

Your 21st-century update of the BSC is hilarious. And spot on. Kristy the "tomboy" would totally be the lesbian, and Claudia was totally a pothead - I mean, come on! That girl always had the munchies!!

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