by Unknown on Saturday, September 26, 2009

#85: Claudia Kishi, Live From WSTO!

By now we've all heard the news about Diablo Cody getting her schticky hands on the rights to Sweet Valley High. I'm sure you've all been waiting with baited fuckin' breath for my opinion. (You: "No, I have not." Me: "Dude, it's like a joke and stuff." You: "Less dudes, dude." Everyone's a critic!)

Here it is: I feel :( about it. Unless Cody would like to hire me as a consultant, in which case I feel $$:)$$ about it.

Cody: SVH characters do not speak in a sarcastic and superspeedy manner. They do not make grating pop culture references. They do not utilize supposedly clever phrases like "honest to blog". They do not have hamburger phones. You have been warned.

Whatever. I was underwhelmed by Juno and I have no interest in Jennifer's Body (I do have an interest in tunelessly singing the chorus of the classic Hole song whenever the film is mentioned - now you've all been warned) and I'm just thanking god she didn't buy the rights to the Babysitter's Club.

Back to the 'brook.

Four pages in, Janine is calling Claud out ("Claudia, what on earth are you wearing?") for her unique and in this case slightly deranged sense of style.

"I was wearing a backward t-shirt, overalls I'd made by sewing together two halves cut from different pairs, and mismatched socks. It was my 'deconstructionist' look. You know, like the art movement?"

This outfit makes me wanna shout WOAH THERE LADY. Picturing this getup - referred to by Janine as "Frankenstein's Jumpsuit" - is making my brain melt. I wish I knew what shoes she was wearing. Probably one black Converse hightop and one white Converse lowtop covered in, like, stickers and food coloring.

Claudia dresses down for her job at the Pikes (in "jeans and a button-down men's shirt [Sorry Mr. Kishi] over a stretch top") because "there's already enough deconstruction in that house."

I feel that. I mean, think about it: Mom & Pop Pike are the original Jon & Kate, except for all the in vitro and Ed Hardy and People magazine cover stories.

The a-plot (and it's a doozy!) kicks into full gear when Claudia wins a contest to host a radio show for a month. Her sudden interest in deejaying is the result of a) that bitch Stacey totally abandoning her* b) Claudia realizing that, like, everybody in the BSC has a love interest except for her. I mean, even Mallory is doing better than Claud is, though she did have to import an Australian** after striking out with all the American boys.

Conclusion: somebody needs a hobby.
(I mean, besides eating vast amounts of candy. Although as hobbies go, that's a pretty great one.)
Hence: conveniently timed contest.

In a Wacky Plot Twist, the contest runner-up gets to co-host the show. The contest runner-up? Ashley Wyeth! Except Ashley went to rehab or something, and I'm majorly bummed. She's definitely not the girl we met in book 12, the girl dressed like a Little House on the Prarie superfan who had recently discovered the joys of LSD.

I mean, she shows up at the radio studio wearing a "plain, button-down shirt and khakis with running shoes." Where are the Doc Martens, I ask?

She makes it up for me during the first show by bringin' the sass.

"I put together this great new outfit and trimmed my hair.

I know. Double duh. It was a radio show. Nobody was going to see me. But I could not help it. Honestly. I absolutely had to do it. I don't know why.***

Anyway, I wore the coolest tuxedo I'd recently bought in a thrift shop, including a silky, piped shirt and a bright red velvet cummerbund. I removed the shoulder pads from the jacket, which made it really slouchy (I love that look). Then I bought a pair of white socks with silver glitter.

I decided to wear a pair of red sneakers to match the cummerbund. I swept my hair up and fastened it with a rhinestone barrette in the shape of a musical note."

"Ashley was already in the studio when I walked in, dressed in jeans and a workshirt. She was deep in conversation with Bob, but when she saw me, she howled with laughter.

'Are you going to, like, describe your outfit to the listeners or something?' she asked."

It's her show, Ash. And damn straight she is.

* not that we are bitter.
** Ben Hobart. And yes, technically she didn't import him. Stop remembering plotlines so well, people! I'm trying to tell jokes here!
*** I love you.


I loved this book! Oh, that slouchy tuxedo. Even though I miss her flowing skirts and strips of fabric tied round her head, I do like that they brought back Ashley Wyeth and made her fun.

by Laura @ Hungry and Frozen on 6:31 PM. #

Re: Diablo Cody: Fuckin' SIGNED, man. I thought Juno was painfully mediocre (everyone knows the best Allison-Janney-In-Minnesota movie is Drop Dead Gorgeous). I never really cared much about Sweet Valley, but I'm not particularly sanguine about Cody writing the script for a film adaptation.

I never liked this book that much, but in retrospect, I covet Claudia's tuxedo. Oh, my God, want.

by Tintin on 7:19 PM. #

OMG, the thought that she could have the rights to the BSC books made me terrified.

by Caroline from Sheep Are In on 8:26 PM. #

a) I thought I was the only one underwhelmed by Juno

b) Haaaaaaaaalt. Kishi understands deconstruction? Can she call me and explain it so I stop crying in lit class?

by Amy on 8:35 PM. #

Oh man this was one of my favourite BSC books!

I also agree about Diablo Cody, although I think it could go either way - I mean, it could be campy and fabulous, or it could be a train wreck. (Or, I guess, it could be a campy and fabulous trainwreck).

by HelenB on 9:20 PM. #

When she says "the coolest tuxedo I'd recently bought in a thrift shop" I really hope she means that she buys tuxedos at thrift shops all the time and this specific one is just the one that is RECENTLY the coolest. you know?

by Sally Tempo on 10:12 PM. #

So I haven't seen the movie 'Jennifer's Body" but I'm pretty sure nothing beats the Hole song.

by Isabel on 10:36 PM. #

jennifer's body wasn't any good. although I think the problem was more the direction than the writing. but honest to blog is the worst thing a person has every said on film ever. so, I remain unsure about SVH.

I mostly just wonder if she's going to have liz and todd having lots of sex instead of just kissing and holding hands in order to make it timely for the youth of today. jessica wakefield would totally be slut-shamed if she were a real person.

by text machine on 12:25 PM. #

Claudia dresses down for her job at the Pikes (in "jeans and a button-down men's shirt [Sorry Mr. Kishi] over a stretch top") because "there's already enough deconstruction in that house."

not to mention procreation.

by the-stars-say on 11:08 AM. #

i kinda wanna see jennifer's body. i was amused by juno. i wonder what she's going to do with SVH ... i have a feeling jessica w is going to be the bitchiest super bitch of all time.

by Lexie on 12:04 PM. #

Unrelated to your awesome-as-always post, I left you an award on my blog :)

And I think this book must have come about after I stopped reading the books obsessively, because I have no recollection of this plot (although I do seem to recall the tux and music-note clip ... ).

by Erin on 2:17 PM. #

I could actually see Claud owning a hamburger phone. Afterall it combines her two loves; food and weird "art".

by Sarah on 8:19 PM. #

Oh, Claudia's tuxedo and her shiny metallic socks. That is an outfit of champions. OF CHAMPIONS.

by amy kelinda on 10:41 PM. #

Oh dear god. Which Wakefield will be the precociously cool one who listens to classic rock / protopunk not found on Guitar Hero or Rockband, I ask you this.

Bets are that Elizabeth has a few Television or Suicide albums.

I have no idea why this is the A #1thing that annoyed the hell out of me about Juno. it really really did though.

by aimee on 10:02 AM. #

Apparently, Diablo Cody mentioned on twitter that SVH will be set in the 80s. This excites me... I think it could be good campy fun, so I'm holding out hope that it won't be pretentious-ed to death.

I also just found your blog on Friday. I was filled with so much glee... you don't even know. :)

by Esther on 4:35 PM. #

So for the last 12+ years I have had the name "Ashley Wyeth" floating around in my head, and no idea where I'd heard it.

FINALLY I have closure. Thanks!

Also, Claudia's slouchy tuxedo look w. silky piped shirt sounds like she's emulating Thriller-era Michael Jackson. Creepy.

by Ms Avery on 7:24 AM. #


Can I just say, you kick MAJOR ass. I think I might love you...but in a totally hetero, non-stalkery way, heheh.

What a bloody fantastic idea to revisit the BSC books, hee! I was obsessed with them as 10-12yr old, until I started rolling my eyes drammatically at the constant run-of-the-mill descriptions of each member and hastily skipped past them each time - this, as you can imagine, was the beginning of the end. :P

"It was my 'deconstructionist' look. You know, like the art movement?"

Gee, kid, thanks for enlightening me! Blasted Claud. ;)

"...and one white Converse lowtop covered in, like, stickers and food coloring."


"...even Mallory is doing better than Claud is, though she did have to import an Australian..."

Now, now...! And also 'bwah!' - I'm from Oz, by the way. Heh heh.

And MAN, how do I not remember THE Ashley Wyeth being in this book? I still recall her going on and on about her 'inanimate' object in book 12...was she doing a fire extinguisher or something for that art show?!

Wow, to an outsider the above would sound like absolute gibberish. :D

Oh, and your 'Dawn and the Older Boy' review? Was the shizzle.

by La Fleur Balkanique on 8:41 AM. #

please check out the music video showcasing the s/s 2010 collection for my line graey:

by janet on 9:43 PM. #

Ok so i can't leave a comment over at What Chuck Wore. But please -- keep it going. It's true, Season 3 is about as bad as when 90210 went to college, but we always always need more Bass porn.

by esther on 9:24 PM. #

I can just picture the ghostwriter now...

"Okay, Mallory's boyfriend... We'll make him foreign, but not too foreign. I know! Australian! He can talk about riding kangaroos to school! ... What? Really? Damn. Uh, okay - his name. What's an Aussie name? Oh screw it, I'll just name him after a city."

Weak, Ghostwriter.

Oh, and Claude was totally rocking the Off The Wall look.

by Caramella on 1:56 AM. #

Red velvet cummerbund = YES, please.

And I'm trying to imagine the backwards tee/Frankenstein overalls combo as a sort of Rick Owens-y slouchy downtown cool ensemble. You know--add a leather jacket and she's practically Mary Kate!


by Tamia on 8:28 PM. #

I love this blog, just thought Id let you know. Im pretty sure I read the whole entire series until Ann M Martin went crazy and they had that weird thing where mary anne's house burned down and she broke up with logan again and the BSC was just the original four. Boring.

Also, sweet valley high being made ito a movie excites me because I secretly used to believe I was Jessica Wakefield.

by Elizabeth on 4:44 PM. #

best blog ever. no diggity no doubt

by Kathryn M on 1:50 PM. #

The term is "bated" breath, not "baited" breath.

by Sarah on 1:46 PM. #

oh goodness!!!! I miss the BSC!!!! I'm just so excited to stumble on your blog! =D

by Anonymous on 10:14 AM. #

I couldn't agree with you more on the Cody hate. Juno was annoying, false and way too hyped. It bothers the crap out of me that she is doing SVH and I really hope she tones it down with the self-consciously cool talk (UGH) but anyway I agree, thank fuck she isn't touching our blessed BSC... yet. :S

by Wanderlusting on 1:19 AM. #

i would be happy for ANYONE to buy the rights to the bsc. also, united states of tara aint that bad...

by jess needs a new face on 1:40 AM. #

One of the Hobart kids had asthma - apparently asthma is very common in Australia - I live in Aus and laughed at the use of Hobart as surname.
Claudia should have had her own tv style show.

by Carly Findlay on 8:10 AM. #

I'm confused by Claud's description of her overalls, but maybe that can be chalked up to her (lack of) math skills? She made them "by sewing together two halves cut from four different pairs"? If she only used two halves, then two of the pairs weren't used at all. Shrug. Maybe she couldn't "make it work" and decided to keep it simple with just a two-toned creation, leaving the rest on the cutting-room floor.

Also, I say more power go Mal; Aussies are by no means a downgrade. They are MAD HOT!

by Libellule on 3:24 AM. #

Perhaps she meant four fourths?

P.S. I I actually like what Cody did with YA novels in...well, "Young Adult." I think she showed more maturity as a screenwriter and made the dialogue a little more natural. The main character basically WAS Jessica Wakefield remained as a YA writer trying to relive her HS glory days, while everyone else has grown up and found a real life.

by Libellule on 3:39 AM. #

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