Sweet Valley High S1 E10 - the most 90s thing ever

Avengers, Batman, Superman, etc Discussion about comic mainstream movies and TV shows.
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shevek
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Sweet Valley High S1 E10 - the most 90s thing ever

Post by shevek »

I don't think anyone's ever mentioned this before.

In Sweet Valley High Season 1 Episode 10 (1994), most of the time is taken up by a spy thriller fantasy in which four women take the lead as agentive female characters: two heroines and two villainesses. All of the characters wear colorful campy clothing. Three of their outfits are tight and body-fitting. Two of the costumes are tight spandex catsuits which are well accessorized, fully realized costumes.

There are discussions between the male and female high-schoolers at the beginning and the end of the episode about whether women can play action heroes *and* whether they can write action heroes. In this episode, the women do both quite well, and with an eye to both empowerment and the male gaze. The men, in turn, complain about how they are portrayed entirely as weak simpish bimbos. This seems almost prescient to the hullaballoo raised in the past decade over the 'Woke Era' of comic book and film productions.

The year this was filmed (1993) was also the first year of Saban's first Power Rangers series (Saban owned both TV shows) which was a spandex-clad live-action superhero show with a sexy female co-lead (Ranger Pink). This was also the same year that the "bad girl" explosion began in comic books with indie characters like Razor, Shi and Lady Death, as well as the female characters from the new Image Comics (for example, Velocity and Cyblade from Cyberforce) and very soon that trend would spread to the Big 2 with titles like Gen13. Within a couple few years, the era of the strong sexy female action heroine was in full swing on 90s television with Xena and Buffy, and then many others from Dark Angel to Black Scorpion to Relic Hunter to Queen of Swords.

Other than the lack of peril (sorry, folks - sadly nobody is tied up or chloroformed. You'll have to settle for catfights, tight costumes, chases, and bombs about to blow up), this episode contains all the classic campiness of the 60s/70s era of superheroine action that came before it...and then seems to presage all of the aspects of the female protagonist explosion that came after it. It's many years before Kim Possible and Totally Spies would do the exact same thing. I would therefore propose that this episode is one of the prime "missing links" between the two classic eras of superheroine action.

"Missing link", because although it seems so obvious that it connects the two eras, it has been pretty much forgotten. With the viewing audience for this show being largely female at the time, it probably wasn't one of the more memorable episodes for that demographic, so it fell down the memory hole. The series stars lovely blonde twins Brittany and Cynthia Daniel, who were also known at the time for being the current iteration of the Doublemint Twins.

Here's the episode in all of its entirety. I'm betting that a lot of people have never seen this. So if you haven't...enjoy!
(and thanks to CaptP2 over at DeviantArt for piquing my interest)

Last edited by shevek 1 month ago, edited 1 time in total.
IMSancho
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Re: Sweet Valley High S1 E10 - the most 90s thing ever

Post by IMSancho »

I remember the series but not that particular episode.

Brittany went on to be in Joe Dirt and Broken Lizard’s Club Dread.
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Re: Sweet Valley High S1 E10 - the most 90s thing ever

Post by GWalb »

Season One is included with Amazon Prime, alsoo a bunch of Kindle novels in Kindle Books
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shevek
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Re: Sweet Valley High S1 E10 - the most 90s thing ever

Post by shevek »

IMSancho wrote: 1 month ago I remember the series but not that particular episode.

Brittany went on to be in Joe Dirt and Broken Lizard’s Club Dread.
She was also in Dawson's Creek, It's Always Sunny, The Game, and Black-ish.
Cynthia left acting for 20 years, and only recently returned to join her sister in a "Cheaper by the Dozen" remake.

But anyway, it'll be memorable to you now, right? Also, as far as peril, I guess if you count being knocked out (you don't see her unconscious, though)
and put in a jail cage for a bit, maybe that counts...
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Re: Sweet Valley High S1 E10 - the most 90s thing ever

Post by sneakly »

I watched it and was impressed at how awful the acting was. The girls hotness ratings plummeted as soon as they opened their mouths. They made Saved by the Bell seem like Shakespeare. The decapitation clock was kind of a cool idea, poorly executed.

I did like that they predicted Internet tradition of fetishy fan-fictions with a slinky James Bond knock-off. Back when I was writing superheroine story I just started posting in the stories section, I used a picture of Brittany Daniels as a visual reference for the Danger Babe costume in the Perils of Penelope Young-Jugs. I had completely forgotten about that until I looked up the Daniel twins in Google.
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