Archive | February, 2011

Sweet Valley High: The Conspiracy Theories

26 Feb

Like Elizabeth Wakefield, I see myself as something of a detective. A super-sleuth, an investigator, a  truth-bearer, if you will. So while the Sweet Valley Police Department chow down on donuts, and the local reporters get drunk on warm wine at Palomar House, I bring you my theories on what really went down behind the scenes in Sweet Valley.

1. Alice Wakefield and Hank Patman were having it off for years. And years.

I first raised this possibility in “When Lila Met Stacey”, and truth be told that began as merely a point of speculation. But gradually, I began to realise that little sniffs of an affair are rampant throughout the entire series.

Take, for example, “The Ghost of Tricia Martin”, where Alice’s sneaky little late-night engagements are cleverly masked by Steven’s creepiness. On one particular Friday evening, she skips out on family dinner to go help “Mrs Rappaport” pick out wallpaper. Did I mention this was ON A FRIDAY NIGHT??

And then there’s the story arc where Bruce hooks up with Liz and we find out about Alice and Hank’s prior engagement. Then there’s the business trip they go on together, despite the fact that she is an interior designer and he is THE entrepreneur Henry Wilson Patman. Then there’s Nalice’s separation, and Ned’s rumoured hook up with Marianna West, and Marie Patman threatening divorce…..

Hanky P, you sly old dog you.

2. Margo actually succeeded.

Remember the Liz Wakefield of books 1-100? She was sweet and monogamous, and wore Bermuda shorts and prim blouses that matched her barettes. Her favourite activities were writing “serious newspaper stories” and improving her fellow classmates. And no-one mastered the shoulder pat like she did.

But anyone who read the Prom Thriller miniseries will remember that Margo wanted an end to all this. She wanted an upgrade on TBT, a hip new crowd, and a wardrobe featuring “high hemlines and low necklines.”

So it seems a little strange that the night the doppelganger supposedly died marked the beginning of an all-new Liz Wakefield. Post-book 100, she cheated on Todd at least once per story arc and in every Super Edition. She worked for Flair magazine and chopped her hair off. She moved in with Todd and had her way with Bruce – which is just what Margo wanted . She even tossed Enid the Drip over for Maria Slater, and the following year hooked up with an alcoholic, dropped her GPA and was known to knock back several tequilas on occasion.

Margo? Is that you?

Margo – it was subtle, but it worked. I salute you.

3. Mr Santelli was in a witness protection program

Or else why does his name change between Frank and Peter every ten books? And why does Maria suddenly become “Maria Santini” during the prom thriller arc?

4. Olivia Davidson had a drug habit.

Aside from the obvious – she is a bohemian hippie chick who wears vinyl records as hair ties and doesn’t wash – there are several clues:

  1. She befriends Nicholas Morrow out of the blue [while he is starring on Hunks], and counsels him about his sister’s drug overdose
  2. One Christmas, she hangs out with some artist called James who lives in a shanty and hangs out with other SoCal beatniks.
  3. Despite feasting on pretzels and soda water all night at the Wakefield’s 17th, she still has the munchies. Why else would she be standing at the fridge when the earthquake struck?

5.Sweet Valley was the PleasantVille of the 1980s

That would be a little surreal and totally awesome. Let’s face it though – a world where everyone’s problems are solved in the space of a book and “big issues” are handled flawlessly by a bunch of sixteen year olds is more like a 50’s TV show than something that resembles reality. For one, I’m certain that the SVPD and the Fire Department were completely redundant. Sometimes I even think that maybe the books in the library were really hollowed out, and the pages inside The Oracle were actually empty. One thing’s for certain, though  – whatever they served at the Dairi Burger was not real food. I will bet Jessica Wakefield’s sized -6 ass on that.

6 . Steven Wakefield ran an underage brothel.

Why else would he need to live on campus when Casa de Wakefield is five minutes away from SVU?

And why would he come home every weekend unless he was running into some, er, trouble?

And yeah, the ladies of the night are in high school. This is Steven Wakefield we’re talking about.

7. Jessica Wakefield is ambidextrous.

Maybe I’m a nerd for noticing this one. But here, aged 13, she is writing with her left hand:

yet by the time she’s a junior at SVH, she is scribbling away with her right hand.

And look – it’s exam time at SVU and she’s slumped over her desk in the corner of the frame, right-ing.

Anything else you believe was swept under the oriental rugs of the Spanish-tiled, split-level houses of Sweet Valley? Sex, drugs and lies were simmering under the surface, me thinks.

Winston. xx

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