Sweet Valley High (The Book Series): Season 3 – The End And All Of Those Fun Extras! (Part 5)

This is it! Only two short episodes left and then all of the fun bonus features that hopefully makes up for the onslaught of book/episode recaps. I mean the books are getting more involved, so the recaps are getting more… wordy. 😛

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Season 3: The Perfect Size 6 (Continued)

Episode 60 – “Against The Odds”: Ronnie Edwards is tired of being poor, which is why he started betting on high school sports. Now he has so much money he can’t help but show it off. Jeffrey French, Elizabeth Wakefield’s boyfriend, is on the Sweet Valley High soccer team and he makes the winning goal and is hailed a hero. At the Dairi Burger, Ronnie is offering to buy everyone’s food while waving around a large wad of bills. Some goons see him and trick him into going outside with them, planning to rob him. Jeffrey goes out to the parking lot and scares the guys away, and suddenly Ronnie is Jeffrey’s shadow. A few days later this bookie, Big Al, decides to collect on Ronnie’s debt of $2,000, but he doesn’t have any money left. Big Al says he can make his debt go away if he rigs the upcoming soccer championship. Ronnie begs Jeffrey to make sure his team only wins by two points, but Jeffrey tells him to get lost. Big Al sends two of his guys to rough Ronnie up and once they do, Jeffrey realizes that he has to help, because Ronnie’s life is more important than a soccer championship. Jeffrey confides in Elizabeth before the game and she tells him that a college scout from the school Jeffrey is dying to go to, is coming to watch him play, and now Jeffrey’s future is in jeopardy. Elizabeth decides to talk to Ronnie before the big game, and sees a rough guy forcing Ronnie into his car. She follows them and once they stop, she goes to a nearby payphone to call the police. But the thug abducts her before she is able to say where they are. As he is tying Elizabeth up, Ronnie grabs an empty glass bottle and smashes it over the guy’s head. They both escape and call the police once they’re a safe distance and then go to the game to let Jeffrey know he can play his best and they’re both safe. Big Al is arrested and so is his thug. Meanwhile, Jessica has been making these ridiculous earrings and tries to sell them to a local boutique. Amy Sutton and Lila Fowler act like they’re just shopping and don’t know Jessica and demand to buy the earrings she brought as samples. The boutique manager asks Jessica for all of the jewelry she has so that the store can sell them. Jessica convinces her mother to loan her some money, and then spends twice as much on her credit card maxing it out. At the last minute, the boutique manager calls to back out of their deal. Corporate has ordered some changes and they will be cutting back on jewelry sales. Jessica’s parents get the credit card bill and now Jessica has to get a job to pay it off – looks like she’ll be working at the very same boutique that got her into the mess in the first place.

Episode 61 – “White Lies”: John Pfeifer is in love with his good friend Jennifer Mitchell, but she is in love with someone else – bad boy Rick Andover. John knows that Rick is serious trouble – as in the violent and criminal kinds of trouble, but he knows Jennifer won’t hear any of it. Jennifer has made plans to run away to New York with Rick where they plan to start a band. John asks Elizabeth Wakefield for help and one night they follow Rick and witness him robbing a music store where he works. They call the owner who calls the police and Rick is arrested. Jennifer is waiting for him to show up at their meeting spot because it is the same night they planned to leave together. The next day when she finds out Rick is arrested she is sure that it is some kind of mistake or he has been framed. And she gets the wild idea in her head that her father framed Rick because he doesn’t like him and she thinks she remembered hearing someone listening to her phone call with him the previous night. Jennifer is furious and refuses to talk to her father. The only person she really trusts is John. John wants to tell Jennifer the truth, but suddenly she is leaning on him and they’re getting closer in the way he has always wanted. But then Mr. Mitchell has a heart attack and needs heart surgery, but Jennifer refuses to see him because of “what he did to Rick.” John realizes as much as he is afraid she will hate him, he has to come clean. When he does, Jennifer is furious and rushes to the hospital, but her father took a turn for the worse and is already back in surgery. Her father pulls through and Elizabeth gives Jennifer flowers, saying they are from John, and they talk. Jennifer realizes how wrong she has been about everything, and she and John make up, closer than ever before. Meanwhile, Jessica keeps taking advantage of A.J.’s good nature and brags that she can get him to do whatever she wants. She makes him cancel plans with his family, and starts outrageously flirting with other guys. This can only spell trouble for Jessica’s first serious relationship in the series…

The Extras!!!

Season 3 of Sweet Valley High saw some interesting changes and first times. Here is a look at the things that stuck out in the third season of Sweet Valley High – the book series!

The Fairest Of Them All – Rest In Peace Regina Morrow

Regina Morrow was arguably one of the greatest characters of the Sweet Valley High series, or at least out of the books she appeared in #13-#40. She was beautiful, rich, and incredibly smart. She never backed down from a challenge and was the very definition of a do-gooder. She always tried to help others and make herself available BUT unlike other favorite do-gooders (calling Elizabeth Wakefield) she wasn’t nosy or a meddler. Regina, who had been born deaf, never let that get in her way from having a normal life. She even reformed Sweet Valley High’s resident asshole with her unassuming and beautiful self.

What sucks so much is the series built Regina up to be strong, confident and not define herself by a man, and yet the tragic events leading up to her death was arguably caused when the previously mentioned asshole reverted back to his canine ways, and cheated on her. Even worse, there were so many outs for Regina – her death was so preventable, and many of the outs were her trying to get out of the situation but circumstances beyond her control kept her there. And then she tried cocaine one time and that was it. Just one bump and she was gone – because some freak heart thing made her heart stop. I wish the writer had actually looked into overdosing via cocaine and at least made this terrible death more accurate or believable.

The truth is, Regina was killed off because she could do so much better than Sweet Valley High. To send a strong anti-drug message they (the writers) needed to kill off someone who mattered, and someone so “good” that readers would be shocked silly. I felt it was kind of transparent, but I stick by what I said. Sweet Valley High is a guilty pleasure, and characters like Regina made you feel a lot less guilty. She was too good for the world she was created for…

Also, this is the first death if a major character in the series.

The Season Of The Super Thrillers

It might be a little premature to call this season “The Season Of The Super Thrillers” because it doesn’t/won’t have the most Super Thrillers compared to later seasons (they seriously start going strong in Season 7) BUT this is the season with the first Super Thrillers. So maybe the season that birthed the Super Thrillers – not that that sounds much better!

Super Thrillers are wildly ridiculous and some regular editions (#13 Kidnapped! or #26 Hostage) pack more thrills in them than these actual thrillers, but what can I say – they leave me especially (guiltily) pleased. They are the first books I ever read from the series (This season’s “On The Run” was my first Sweet Valley High book ever!) and the books that eventually got me hooked. This season had the first three Super Thrillers and I have to say from some of the others I have read – they only get better! The world of Sweet Valley High is a much better place with the Super Thrillers in it. 🙂

It’s Time For Some Time Travel 😛

While we’re on the subject of Super Thrillers, this season introduced another concept to its universe courtesy of the Super Thrillers: time travel. As mentioned in second season’s post, the world of Sweet Valley High has no concept of time. By the end of the second season the twins have been juniors in high school for years and have had multiples Christmases, summers and spring breaks. But this just meant they were flirting with time standing still, or the twins cursed to relive their junior years again and again. Now we’re talking about jumping back and forth between different time periods.

Time TravelThe Super Thrillers (so far) all take place during a summer internship at The Sweet Valley News. But there are many books between each Super Thriller, and while these Super Thrillers are supposed to take place during the same summer, they include continuity of the books that happened after the first Super Thriller, meaning it’s back to school. It’s like they keep bouncing between the Summer of 1985 and the school year of 1984. It’s just one more twist in the Sweet Valley High (lack of) timeline, and it kind of makes me giggle. 🙂

The Great Twin Switch

Elizabeth: Getting Her Crazy On

Elizabeth was the ultimate doormat who was dating the ultimate chauvinistic pig, Todd Wilkins, during the first season and first half of the second season of Sweet Valley High (the book series). But towards the end of being single for eight books (and hey that is a long time in the world of Sweet Valley High, and included one Christmas and one spring break) she met Jeffrey French. Jeffrey French is where it’s at. He is better looking than Todd, a better athlete than Todd, seems smarter, has a sense of humor and treats Elizabeth with love and respect, instead of some sort of possession.

So what does Elizabeth, the perfect girlfriend for a jerk, do with the perfect guy for her? She acts like an insecure, possessive, clingy, irrational and hysterical girl. The kind you want to slap repeatedly. I mean she is constantly breaking up with Jeffrey over the dumbest things that are all in her head, or expecting him to forsake everyone else for her, and has other ridiculous expectations. It’s like she is overcompensating for everything she let Todd get away with, or worse, since Jeffrey is the well-adjusted one in the relationship, she decides she needs to take up the selfish, self-centered and crazy role. Liz, you are going to drive him away.

Wakefield Big Wave Hair SVH

Elizabeth was about as crazy as this hair! Maybe it’s an 80’s thing?

Though I fear an even worse self-sabotage in Elizabeth’s future. She is going to dump poor Jeffrey who is an awesome boyfriend, for someone who is a pig like Todd. Time will tell, but since when did Elizabeth become so bad, needy and borderline psychotic when it comes to guys? It’s like she is taking a page out of Jessica’s book!

Jessica’s FIRST Serious Relationship

Jessica has never had a serious relationship in Sweet Valley High history. She plays the field and dates more guys than the girls she sees as “easy” or with a “bad reputation” like Annie Whitman. At least this was the Jessica in the first two seasons of Sweet Valley High. But in this (third) season she seems to be acting more like Liz, than herself. First, she kind of takes a break from guys in general. Her reasoning is there were none who deserved her time and energy. While the reasons behind the break were different, Elizabeth also did this when her beloved Todd Wilkins moved away.

What put an end to the break from guys… Jessica was hit (or is it bit?) hard by the love bug. In the last third of this season, Jessica falls for new boy (and a redhead, might I add) A.J. Morgan. She does the unthinkable and tries to change her personality to match the kind of girl she thinks A.J. wants – a serious, selfless, shy girl who cares about school and helping others… basically Elizabeth. This only lasts two books before her act falls through, but A.J. is smitten enough not to care about who Jessica is at the end of the day… for now. Jessica is still interested and committed after months of dating A.J. when her longest relationship to date has not lasted more than two weeks.

But Jessica’s personality is starting to get in the way of their relationship and I wonder how long it will take into the next season before they split for good. Still! Jessica acting like Elizabeth (in more ways than one!) and Elizabeth being needy and kind of crazy – it’s like these two sisters decided to shake things up by getting a love life personality transplant with one another. But hey… it definitely kept things interesting! 😉


And thus concludes the third season of Sweet Valley High (the book series). I’m not sure about you, but I can’t wait to get on with the fourth season and see what kind of craziness is in store for me next! 😉

-DMW

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