SVH #85: Soap Star

25 Apr

soap star

Estimated Elapsed Time: 3 weeks

Summary/Overview:

Jessica sees an ad for an audition for her favorite soap, The Young and the Beautiful.  Casting agents are looking for identical twin girls who have that “California” look, so of course she and Liz are perfect for the gig, which is a week-long engagement on the show.  When she begs Liz to audition, though, she’s frustrated by Liz’s lack of interest and apparent disdain at the entire concept of a soap opera.  Despite her cajoling about how it could fund a brand-new Jeep or a “word processor” for Liz, she won’t budge.

After a party at Amy’s, Lila and Jessica come up with a way to get Liz to audition in LA without her knowing.  They send out a formal letter from a fake research company doing a study on identical twins.  When the girls go for the research study, it takes Liz a while to realize they’re sitting in the lobby of a casting call for the soap.  She freaks out and yells at Jessica in front of everyone, including the casting agent.  This woman decides the twins are perfect for the role and offers it to Jessica on the spot.  Um, okay.  When Jessica meets up with Liz at the car to tell her the good news, she can’t believe Liz won’t get excited about it.

While Jessica throws herself into the events the cast goes to, including a luncheon where she hangs all over star Brandon Hunter’s every last word, Elizabeth continues to refuse to do the show.  Jessica panics until she realizes that Liz will be incapable of saying no to an opportunity to write about the show, so Jess sends in some of Liz’s articles to the Los Angeles Times and gets her a limited-run of articles to write for the paper about her experiences on the show.  Liz is mad but also so full of her own self-importance she agrees to do the show in the name of journalism.

The show goes off pretty well for the twins throughout the course of their week-long guest stint.  Brandon Hunter ends up being a terrible actor prone to tantrums when things don’t go his way on set, but Jessica is so enamored with him that she doesn’t see it until she finally overhears him talking about how he’s using her to rocket to stardom.  Then she finally sees the light, but it’s kind of too late, as Sam has accused her of being an insufferable twat with regards to th whole celebrity thing.  Sam is right.

Liz and Jess decide to get even with Brandon on the last day on set.  They deliberately confuse him so he flubs most of his scenes.  When he pitches a fit about how the taping came out, the girls have to record the final scene of the show live.  Instead of sticking to the script and ending up in his character’s arms at the end, Jessica throws a glass of water in his face and declares her love for “Sam,” which, okay?  They get away with this, too, because they’re the Wakefield twins.  Jessica is even offered a permanent role on the show, but she turns it down.

Then there’s a surprise party and Sam and Jessica reconcile.  The world makes sense again.

The B-Plot is essentially one of the longest, weirdest, most didactic ads for Jeep Wrangler I’ve ever read in commercial fiction.  Elizabeth, Todd, and Mr. Wakefield go to the dealership to get the girls a new car.  After talking about all the features of the car, they finally settle on a new/used car (owned by a rental company previously) for the girls.  Yay?

Trivia/Fun Facts:

  • Jessica reads Hollywood Digest
  • Lila has a “designer” lunch bag, whatever that means.
  • Blech Outfit Alert: Liz wears a pair of peach chinos with a matching oversize shirt, complete with an applique flower on the pocket.
  • Jessica wants a black Jeep with purple sparkly trim, and Elizabeth favors a royal blue one with silver trim.

Memorable Quotes:

  • “Well, I just don’t understand why anyone would want to waste their time watching brainless girls with their equally brainless boyfriends act their way through sickeningly sweet and completely unbelievable plots!” (10)
  • “Have you ever heard the dialogue the women characters on the soaps are given? They never use their brains! They misunderstand everything that everyone tells them, and they jump to absurd conclusions about the very people that they should know they can trust.  It makes me sick to watch them.” (82) [Blogger’s note: Is this supposed to be ironic?]

A (Totally Unqualified) Critical Analysis:

This book is bonkers.

The basic premise is sort of unbelievable, but whatever, I guess.  Wouldn’t the show’s producers want to cast girls who were at least 18 so they could work around child labor laws?  There’s never any mention of the fact that the twins would only be able to work a little each day, and they would have needed a tutor on set.  It doesn’t matter that it was only for a week–there would have been some discussion of this.  But instead we’re to believe the girls were able to go to LA in the morning, rehearse and film their show, and then make it back in time for afternoon classes at Sweet Valley High?  This makes no sense.

And Ned and Alice are totally cool with the girls missing this much school?  They’re cool with no supervision on set?  Seriously?

 

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2 Responses to “SVH #85: Soap Star”

  1. lemonypiecrust May 1, 2014 at 12:08 am #

    Oh my god those quotes. This ghostie obviously had a sense of humour and hated themselves and SVH a little.

    • Clementine Bojangles May 1, 2014 at 6:54 am #

      Isn’t it crazy? I still can’t figure out if it was supposed to be a nudge-nudge, wink-wink sort of situation, or if there was really no trace of irony there. It was astounding to read.

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