Thursday, September 24, 2009

I'll Meet You at Sweet Valley High!

Look right down any crowded hall you'll see there's a beauty standing
Is she really everywhere, or a reflection?
One always calls out to you. The other's shy and quiet.
Could there be two different girls who look the same at:

Sweet Valley, Sweet Valley High (Meet you at Sweet Valley)
Sweet Valley, Sweet Valley High (Meet you at Sweet Valley)
Sweet Valley, Sweet Valley High Meet you at Sweet Valley High

Is it strange that the first (and, until now, only) time I blogged about Sweet Valley High I gave it a tag? It's as if I intrinsically new that I would be talking about it again at some stage... at some moment in time. And voila! Here we are in 2009 and I am quoting from this.

Despite her latest effort, Jennifer's Body, performing poorly upon debut at the US box office last week, screenwriter du jour Diablo Cody remains Mugatu-hot right now. She's possibly just got a little hotter with news that Universal has signed her up to write and produce its adaptation of the Sweet Valley High book series.

I never really read the book, but the TV series? Oh boy! The TV series was where it was at, y'all! I remember those Saturday mornings watching shows like Sweet Valley High, Saved by the Bell, Clueless as well as Nickelodeon shows like The Secret World of Alex Mack (boy, how much did I love The Secret World of Alex Mack? A: A LOT!) I was watching these because I was too young to watch 90210 and Melrose Place. They gave me lasting memories as it so happens (childhood nostalgia will do that to you) and I always sorta wanted to live in California and live their lives. Always so much more interesting than mine. I mean, who wouldn't wanna live a place like "Paradise Valley" and be involved in wacky shenanigans?

Sweet Valley High followed the twin sisters of Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield. Elizabeth is the so-called "shy" one (according to the theme song above) of the pair, of course, in the world of the TV series this "shy" sister parades around in bikinis while roller-blading at the beach. "Shy" is perhaps a bit of a stretch. Hilariously, the theme song also seems to imply that the idea of twins is this bizarre and weirdly scientific mumbo jumbo idea that people are still skeptical about like global warming or the world being flat. Could there really be two different girls that look the same? Surely not!

Nevertheless, a movie version may be immediately questionable, but there are a couple of reasons to look forward to it. The first is Diablo Cody. I am solidly in Camp Cody. I never thought Juno was the greatest thing ever created, but I also never got anywhere close to thinking it was the worst piece of excrement ever created. It's sad that there is some crossover in those groups as people who once thought it was fantastic now think it's shit. Such a shame that the vacuum of internet hype does this to people. While I haven't seen Cody's second produced screenplay, the Megan Fox-starring horror/comedy Jennifer's Body, I lovelovelove the show she created (and has written for) The United States of Tara so she gets props for that. Of course, you'll always have miserable gits like the first commenter in this piece at The Playlist.

I'm not sure why Cody is so reviled these days, but my theory (repeat: THEORY) is that all the writers and critics and bloggers who hate her what to be her. She's living the life they wanted to live (minus the stripper part - they just wanna screw strippers, not actually be one). She's a screenwriter who became famous and gets to meet her idols and generally be rich and famous for WRITING FILMS! The belief goes that all critics want to be directors and all bloggers want to be screenwriters, so I think it makes sense that they now hate her. They admired her at first and now that she's actually a success they loathe her. All because she managed to achieve the rare fate of achieving fame from WRITING! Shocking.

Nevertheless, Cody went on Twitter (@diablocody) and announced that not only will be writing the Sweet Valley High movie, but that "Frankie says relax: Sweet Valley High is set in the '80s." THANK GOD! Can you just imagine a movie of Sweet Valley High set in the modern day and age? I think I'd rather stab my eyes out with a fork. It would end up like Bratz: The Movie or something equally horrific.

Do they even do these sort of series anymore? I'm thinking Sweet Valley High, The Babysitter's Club, Goosebumps (check out this amazing Goosebumps website btw) etc. I wonder what they're life if they do exist or if that world has dissolved into Harry Potter and Twilight style novel series.

Lastly, I just wanted to include this clip of Diablo Cody appearing on Letterman before she was known as the woman who introduced "honest to blog" into the lexicon of modern language. Notice how the crowd, who obviously haven't the foggiest idea who she is, is totally surprised and taken by her humour? Yeah... I wonder if that audience now thinks "wow, she's a bitch" (?!?) for no reason whatsoever. Yeah, I wonder...


Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

My mother was a teacher so I read virtually every book in sight before I hit my teen years. I wonder if she's foucusing on the younh twins [14-16] or older [17]19]. I don't really like the twin is really good and the other is really not. The end. Yawn.

I don't hate Cody, but I don't particularly like Juno.

FranklinBluth said...

The Diablo Cody backlash is like tall-poppy syndrome on steroids. But when it comes down to it, most (if not all) of the nay-sayers don't have an oscar, and she does!

Oh, and which one of the twins worked on Dawson's Creek?

RC said...

I just hope Diablo Cody keeps on doing stuff -- she's different and Hollywood needs different - plus, how many people know the names of screen writers, but she's becoming a brand, which is pretty sweet too.

seanisbored said...

I'm pro-Cody but why did you have to get that theme song stuck in my head???

I'm have acid flashbacks of my childhood.