Monday, December 22, 2008

80'S FESTIVE FUN! - SUNSET HIGH # 10 - THE NIGHT BEFORE


Sunset High # 10 - The Night Before
Nice girl Kristin can’t sit still Grady’s coming home! She’s excited and worried all at the same time after all he’s a college man a Yalie ( I never thought that expression lasted out of the 60's Where the Boys are movie. ‘Member Yvette Mimieux so-excited to latch her kittenish mitts onto a Yalie.) Christmas vacation is fast approaching with white Christmas trees and blue bulbs. Kristin isn’t convinced by the Christmas glitz of silver angels and candy canes next to palm trees and longs for cold weather , icicles , spiced hot cider of her Minnesota roots. While the girls cringe at derelicts while trying to find a parking spot near their destination to try on clothes from Roger Coring’s showing. A designer who is dating Monica’s mom. While Kristin isn’t that into fashion meaning she’s a jeans and flannel shirt girl , and even her boyfriend she explains wears an old photographers jacket - whatever that is - and an Indiana Jones hat she watches Monica dress up. I love the way they describe the dresses looking like
upside down flowers the first emerald green dress looks like a rose and the lavender dress like an iris. What does the trendy Monica say - give me Camp Beverly Hills any day. Sunset High’s resident hunk is Denis Daniels brooding bad boy smokes Marlboro cigarettes and while his mother chiding him that he smokes too much would also like him to grow out of the habit of wearing no socks with his loafers. - Not until Miami Vice is canceled mom - ( Not that he actually said it! ) J.T. ( Janet Terry ) other local nice girl is caught between bad boy Denis and love of her life Will who won’t let her explain whey she locked lips with Denis at the grunion run - ( it’s tradition to kiss there , I would’ve grabbed a pier piling only he happened to be closer , it was dark - I thought he was you , the grunions hormonal display was too much and I succumbed to passion! ) Denis is the rebellious son of Deann Daniels movie star who can’t remember what she ever was like before she became America’s favorite mom while his father wins the don’t-trust-ya-for-a-second-and-never-let-you-forget-it award. Denis throws fits and emotes like
James Dean whiny that nobody needs him and knowing he’s used J.T. over and over again and assures us he would rather die than hurt her continues to use her
as his make-believe girl friend. Will meanwhile , reading Kurt Vonnegut in a coffee house high school hang out called Oskies with 80's chic checkerboard floors and nursing a Coke that’s lost it’s flavor over hears a discussion in off-kilter couples - first Shakespeare’s Katharina & Petruchio , Diane and Sam from Cheers! And then J.T. & Denis. Whoa! Before he can decide wether to flush himself down the toilet or cry - he figures it’s best just to get out of there but is dragged back in by another couple. Surrounded by so-called friends - Elena Mz. Macho woman orders a carrot cooler ( - oh the awful health food craze of the 80's - the carrot sounds about as appetizing as Fred Flinstone’s cactus Cooler. I would much prefer Hi-C ecto - cooler! ) Just as Will is starting to have a good time J.T. arrives with Denis who drags J.T. off to meet a sleazy looking couple - a guy with stringy blonde hair and a girl with blue hair.( In the 80's that’s all it took. ) Will tries to beat a hasty retreat and of course bumps into J.T. awkward moment where neither even attempt to clear up the situation. Arg! Elena than badgers Denis says Oskies
isn’t your style they don’t even serve beer. (Which makes you wonder if the blue haired couple came in for the carrot coolers? ) Continuing to be bitchy Elena
wants Denis to prove he’s a new man and not a druggie still crawling for a fix ,
yes these Carrot drinking hotspots are where all the pushers hang out in? Duh!
But Denis shows her he’s lost that Don Johnson look he’s wearing socks. J.T. is sick of the whole evening especially her pushy friend Elena and leaves. More
trouble in paradise abounds as auburn haired , Jessica-ish , Nadia is dating Mad Max the lead singer of Junkfood ( a high school band ) who swaggers around like he’s Mick Jagger well Mick with a vicious temper. While Nadia swooning over the way his tight jean cling to his thighs woo-ooh! ( Remember 80's jeans guys jeans, tight jeans! Loved them - I loathe this new 90's look that hasn’t quite panned out yet - you know what I’m talking about , those 3 times too big log legged jeans that droop and always look like the guy is about 3 yrs old and didn’t make it to the john. Hip hop goes ca-ca ) As Mad Max flares over his band losing a gig and Nadia won’t fix it he threatens to reveal her part in stealing a test for him and though she pleads , he sneers I’ve got a dozen like you waiting in the wings -what a charmer. To let us know these teens are merely self absorbed the school in
involved in a toy drive for the Community center. And more holiday spirit bubbles over causing them to sing ‘here comes Santa claus to their late and rather over weight teacher but when he mentions the results of their latest test the lyrics are changed to Here comes Scrooge , Here comes Scrooge. My favorite dresser is Samantha Sockwell in electric green overalls - ( I thought there was only electric blue who knew other colors could be electrified. ) with a red ribbon adorned with tiny bells tied around her ponytail. She’s even pinned a sprig of Holly to her friends red and green striped rugby shirt. Everyone is feeling festive wearing red or green at school. Back to Kristin whose main squeeze Grady returns from College and though she senses things have changed won’t dare to admit it
or question it. Enter the resident villainess - Glennie Taryton the best dressed , best looking senior who had to work hard at it - facial’s once a week ( while the ordinary slobs have to make do with Noxema ) And get this she is scolded for egads letting a ugly red bump ( a big old zit ) sprout up on her chin. For shame!
And here I thought it sort of came with the territory. After her facial Max , who scares her , hops in her silver Jaguar and threatens her that if she don’t fix the bands reputation he’ll expose her for in the test stealing scam. Here she is afraid and the first thing she thinks about is that she’s vulnerable without makeup! What is it her war paint? I can never understand characters who when faced with a blackmailer agonize over actually agreeing to uphold some bargain they reach , especially Glennie I was thinking just tell him sure of course , anything you say - you know you’re going to double cross him - I know you’re going to double cross him just get him out of your car! Kristin in the meantime is having an interesting date with Grady who decides to introduce her to his ‘grown-up’ college friends.
First thing is when go to the couple’s apartment to pick them up , they are both
wearing robes and have wet hair , suggesting or rather beating it over ours and Kristin’s head that they have sex lives. And if that didn’t do the trick if that was too subtle the girl Caroline doesn’t belt her robe and is wearing only bikini panties
and no matter how ‘mature’ you are I still think no matter what age it’s trashy to
flash the boyfriend of your double date. The funny thing is it’s Kristin who feels
immature for the rest of the night it’s no wonder that she decides that the best way to solidify their relationship and prove her love is to make love to Grady on Christmas Eve. Hold that thought. Back to the class making gift baskets for the
needy - one of the girls actually picked up a Joan Collins paper doll book! For all those eight year old Alexis’ wannabees. As they hand out their presents and gifts
Will and J.T. very nearly reconcile after a collision during clean up but unfortunately Denis is there to pick up J.T. ( Why in the world did the creator chose that spelling for Denis - that could provide hours of therapy alone , perhaps in some prior book or missing history we’ll have learned that Denis was called Denis Penis in childhood. Who would drop such a significant N? ). Kristin in
teen series history makes her move ( most teens in series didn’t have a sex life though their were exceptions Seniors was one of them) but Grady turns her down a super nice thing to do ( most guys would be salivating to take advantage ) but Kristin can only see it as rejection then proves she was just so in love with Grady but starting something with Denis who comforts her with a glass of egg nog and a ham sandwich. While Will decides being a jerk could pay off , gets drunk climbs the tree outside of J.T.’s window who is reading the Night before Christmas to her young niece who thinks Will is Santa Claus. Anyhow Will falls out of the tree ,
her family just laughs it off?! Seeing that he isn’t hurt and gets J.T. to drive him home and when he comes over to apologize and make up the next morning her father offers him the hair of the dog that bit him - yes a beer!? I guess the Just say no campaign wasn’t up to full steam yet. As for Glennie’s revenge , after hooking that scumbag Max into believing she’s got the hots for him - get this
, Glennie says how can any woman resist you he in a very Bruce like manner
drawls , They can’t. Hysterical! She then makes him think she’s got music
connections all so she can be seen making out with him at the New Years Eve
party by Nadia. That’s her revenge. She then laughs as Nadia tries to scratch out Max’s eyes and hoots I never wanted this scumbag - Scumbag Max roars. And
all is seen by Sunset High’s own ace reporter Scott who always reminded Glennie of that obnoxious guy in Pretty in Pink ( I wonder who she means - probably Duckie she’d be the type to root for Steff. ) The story is peppered with lots of great 80's outfits - Samantha’s bright yellow sweat shirt and red striped baggies held up by suspenders. Glennie’s too cool get up for New Years Eve - White satin pants , white silk top with spaghetti straps with faint stripes of grey that could only be seen from a certain angle and a dark pewter colored jacket of heavy satin. Her earrings - diamond studs with lots of little diamonds dangling from chains. Nadia’s trashy New Years eve get up - A gold lame bodysuit that fit like a second skin , a rolled gold headband of matching gold lame and gold earrings that looked
like chandeliers while Sam in typical bizarre fashion - is wearing a turquoise dhoti , with a magenta Indian style shirt and hundreds of gold chains around her neck.
The book ends with the group heading out early to reserve a spot for the Rose
bowl parade watching Joan Collins waving from an enormous cake with the promise of budding new love between Denis and Kristin.

In the scene before the drunken Will crashes down out of J.T.’s tree , J.T. was thinking of having an old fashioned pig out and on her fantasy list of mouth watering treats was a hot fudge sundae , two pounds of cookies and fruitcake?
What the fudge? Does anyone out there eat fruitcake , I tried it several times thinking perhaps I would change my mind about it like I did about mushrooms -but no I still can’t stand it , It’s the strangest thing I’ve ever ate - there’s usually no cake to speak of just this dense sponge that holds all the sharp walnuts and rubbery green cherries in place. Ugh! I found an old 1975 Eaton’s catalog that offered one full page of Scrumptious Christmas Cakes - I had no idea their were different kinds each one stranger sounding than the next - lighter batter , darker batter , almond icing?! , Irish whiskey - on second thought that one doesn’t sound too bad it might kill the taste of green cherries. And though each cake is relatively the same each ad tries to juice up it’s prose to ensure you chose their cake with words like plumpest cherries , choice nutmeats ( nutmeats? Yikes that sounds about as appealing as the Christmas puddings listing of beef suet as one of their ingredients.) Suet by the way is described in my dictionary as the hard fat deposited around the kidneys and loins of cattle and sheep. Blech! Give me Pilsbury dough boy santa cookies any day. My favorite holiday treat was my grandfathers special Chex mix , he’d toast up a big spicy batch and pour them into huge jars with the tops wrapped in red and green felt. It was the best! Got a favorite childhood holiday treat? Or a favorite holiday theme-d 80's book post it.

Great cover with the narrowing three-d style series lettering , and the drawing of Will & J.T.? Decorating the tree. The cute guy on the cover looks a little like Hardy from Some Kind of Wonderful or maybe Josh Brolin crossed with Michael Damian from the Young and the Restless and just a hint of masculine stubble.

With Christmas right around the bend I'll try to keep up with some festive 80's series books - the plan is First Love From Silhouette #173 Someone Else - a holiday mystery with Kellogg & Carey! , Sweet Valley High's festive super editions - Winter Carnival & Special Christmas , The Candy Cane Caper , Sleepover Friends - Patti Gets Even & The Fabulous Five - Christmas Countdown.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I loved this book series as a kid! Thank you for the awesome post!

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