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

25 Responses to “Sweet Valley High: The Conspiracy Theories”

  1. Sam February 26, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

    Ha love it!! I will have to wrack my brains to think of some more theories….

  2. Jenn February 27, 2011 at 4:57 am #

    I salute your research!

    Since drug use in Sweet Valley always has to be punished, your theory about Olivia having a drug habit makes sense. What could be a worse punishment than being crushed by a fridge?

  3. Jessica Squits the Quad March 1, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    Oh my gosh, that was hilarious. I always secretly hoped thast Margo would succeed, and your theory makes perfect sense!! She really did change after Book 100!

    I’m fairly sure that one of the twins or their friends is a contract killer. Ever noticed just how many people died while they were at SVH? I’m thinking Elizabeth, because the deaths happen while the twins are on holidays, too (London, Camp Killer, Murder in Paradise…)

    • Totally Sweet Valley March 1, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

      SVU is no better, really, with Jess and her dead boyfriends. I dont know if you’ve read that series, but one of her professors – in a very soap opera moment – drives his car over a cliff to kill him and his crazy wife, to protect Jess from her.
      Then another boyfriend, Nick Fox (wait a minute….Nick Fox? Melissa Fox?…hmmm, I sense a connection!!), is assumed to be dead, Jess goes all emo and weird, and actually doesnt hook up with any guys for atleast another book, but then it turns out he’s not really dead.

      Then theres Gin Yung…the only really decent girlfriend Todd had, apart from Liz, who died of a brain tumour. Sometimes the SVU writers really had to scrape the remainder of the Days of our Lives barrel!!

      • Jessica Squits the Quad March 2, 2011 at 10:35 am #

        OMG Nick Fox and Melissa Fox? I never made that connection!!! Long lost siblings!! I wonder if the El Carro crowd will be in SV Confidential. I can see Melissa and Will divorced and her dropping the kids off at his house on weekends.

        • Totally Sweet Valley March 2, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

          will be interesting to see which spin offs they acknowledge and which ones they dont. I imagine the new book will mostly focus on SVH, with possible references to SVT, SVK and SVU – probably not junior high, senior year, unicorn club, ‘Elizabeth’ – or team sweet valley, lol.

          Bring back Brooke Dennis! And Janet Howell! 🙂 and all those random unicorns that disappeared and we forgot about, like Kimberly Haver and Mandy Miller.

          • winstonegbert March 2, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

            Brooke Dennis for the win! Does anyone remember that bit in SVHSY when Elizabeth is meeting and greeting the El Carro’s and she gets all “Oh, hey, these are my friends – Enid Rollins, such-and-such and BROOKE DENNIS” ? Random. I thought she dropped off the face of the earth, or at least moved to France with her rock star mom.

    • winstonegbert March 17, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

      Hahahaha. I bet it’s Enid. I could never understand that dogged loyalty to Elizabeth, but perhaps there was something in it for the drip after all…

  4. Laura March 1, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    This post was hilarious. I’d like to add that Ned Wakefield was allergic to animals when it suited him (I seem to remember something about the Wakefields not being able to own a cat in SVK and yet, Prince Albert rocks up in SVH!)
    And let’s not forget those Todd/Ken rumors…
    I’ve noticed you’re from Australia – if we’re in the same area-ish would you like to meet up for drinks??

    • sophie March 1, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

      Can I come too??? I will go pretty much anywhere in NSW/Vic

    • winstonegbert March 1, 2011 at 10:27 pm #

      He was also allergic to Chinese food, when it suited! [Which brings me to the point, what exactly is there in ALL Chinese food that one can be allergic to?] As for a meet up – I’ve actually been thinking about that myself for all the Aussies! I even contacted someone at St Martin’s Press to see about getting some shirts sent over [she hasn’t replied.] I have a BIG idea – will keep you guys posted!

      • Jessica Squits the Quad March 2, 2011 at 10:24 am #

        Yay! I’m from Sydney, is anyone else? It always irritates me that they never let anyone outside US/Canada go in their competitions. I NEED a Team Jessica tshirt!! By the way, Winston, I also happen to be your GF Maria on Twitter;)

      • Anne Marie @ Totally SV March 26, 2011 at 1:16 pm #


  5. Totally Sweet Valley March 1, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

    Great post BTW, looking forward to more!
    I also have based my holidays around the new book 🙂

  6. Laura March 2, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    I’m from Melbourne… I always wanted to write in and join the fan club (and get that make your own barrettes thing!) So sad that it was for US/Canadian residents only :*(

  7. Totally Sweet Valley March 2, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

    Hey, was just watching part 2 of ‘the stolen diary’ on youtube, and they make a reference to Liz writing in her diary about “seeing Bruce Patmans mom in the poolhouse with the cabana boy”….so maybe Hank Patman wasnt the only cheating Patman! Not sure if the book mentions it though, as its one of the few I sadly havent been able to find yet, I kinda doubt it “really happened”.
    Lol, that episode is just sooo Harriet the Spy!!

    • winstonegbert March 2, 2011 at 9:37 pm #

      And call me shallow but she wears the fugliest outfit on that date!

  8. SarahLynn March 4, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    I always thought Ned being allergic to Chinese food meant he was allergic to MSG…And has anyone else ever wondered if Ned is NOT their real father? I mean, if Alice was sneaking around with HP for all those years…and if not him, who knows what else Alice was getting into while the girls were at school and PBA/Unicorn/Oracle meetings. What about the time Alice almost hooked up with Todd’s dad when they were like 12? Also, I have a theory that Ellen Riteman got pregnant sometime between 8th grade and junior year of HS, so her parents had to send her away.

    • winstonegbert March 7, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

      That Ned theory totally works. Although it does add an incestuous dimension to all the Bruce-Jess-Liz hook-ups…

    • Anne Marie @ Totally SV March 26, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

      Oops just saw your message now…totally agree with the MSG theory.

      I forgot about Ellen! She was a character you loved to hate…or hated to love?

  9. Jane March 15, 2011 at 10:50 pm #

    What book was it where Alice nearly hooks up with Todd’s dad? I don’t remember that one, would be hilarious to reread it!

    • winstonegbert March 17, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

      Is that in SVT? Alice is SUCH a hussy.

    • Jessica Squits the Quad March 28, 2011 at 11:06 am #

      Tell you what would be REALLY cool? If Jess and Liz had different fathers!!!!!!!

  10. Jane May 30, 2011 at 2:50 am #

    In ‘The Ghost of Tricia Martin’ wasn’t there also a ‘Mrs Petty’? She so is having it off with Hanky P!!!

Leave a Reply to winstonegbert Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: