Season 1, Episode 6
The Mayo Clinic worked up this list of common symptoms indicative of Social Anxiety Disorder:
Emotional and behavioral symptoms
Signs and symptoms of social anxiety disorder can include persistent:
- Fear of situations in which you may be judged
- Worrying aboot embarrassing or humiliating yourself
- Intense fear of interacting or talking with strangers
- Fear that others will notice that you look anxious
- Fear of physical symptoms that may cause you embarrassment, such as blushing, sweating, trembling or having a shaky voice
- Avoiding doing things or speaking to people oot of fear of embarrassment
- Avoiding situations where you might be the center of attention
- Having anxiety in anticipation of a feared activity or event
- Enduring a social situation with intense fear or anxiety
- Spending time after a social situation analyzing your performance and identifying flaws in your interactions
- Expecting the worst possible consequences from a negative experience during a social situation
If you find it depressing to imagine someone who suffers from such a preponderance of debilitating emotional roadblocks, imagine attending a high school where the entire student body suffers from each one of these symptoms every waking moment of their lives. Well, don’t stretch your imagination too hard – what that would be like, of course, has been the very crux of my web page since the 8th of April. So strap in for the next installment of existential malaise courtesy of the students of Hillside!
Pink Denim and Noose Collar are discussing Matt’s drinking as they walk into the student lounge. The scene opens on the conversation already in progress, implying that they’d been talking aboot this for some time before the start of the episode, but it isn’t until they sit down at a table that Ashley informs Jake aboot the flask in Matt’s knapsack. Since the flask discovery obviously wasn’t the impetus for this conversation, we’re shown once again that these kids are incapable of discussing anything other than the one or two most recent events involving their closest peers. Jake reacts like the ignoramus that he is and asks her what was in the flask, causing Ashley to reply, “buttermilk. what do you think? look, i’m sorry, i’ve got no right to take this oot on you,” with absolutely no pause between the end of the sarcasm and the start of the apology, rendering her simple response unnecessarily confusing. Finally, Ashley attempts to look on the bright side by guessing that someone can’t become an alcoholic at fifteen. Jake, sounding like he’s been waiting for this exact conversational opening for the last several weeks reacts with almost joyous enthusiasm, “OH YES, YOU CAN!”
Their conversation is cut short by the appearance of Matt. Jake leaves to give them privacy and Matt starts grilling Ashley aboot what she and Jake were discussing because they “looked pretty intense”. Casper the Clinically Depressed Ghost whispers, “oh, this and that…i guess,” as she tries to work up the nerve to tell him that she found his flask while rummaging through his belongings behind his back. Before she accomplishes this, she’s interrupted by the Jock Squad descending on their table like a flock of hungry buzzards eager to peck at the rotting remains of Ashley’s soul by waxing vociferously moronic aboot basketball.
Deadpool is filling Olaf in on the Simpson family drama as they walk through the locker vestibule. Dad has moved oot and wants Billy to come live with him in his new apartment. It is again established that Olaf is the only kid in this school that doesn’t deserve to be drawn and quartered, like a heaven-bound soul who finds himself in the pits of hell due to a clerical error. Olaf passes Courtney on the stairs and says hello. Before he’s even oot of earshot, Deadpool’s vacuous sister asks, “What’s his name? Omar?”, which is an understandable mistake. I mean, who among us doesn’t occasionally confuse Scandinavians for Arabs? They look so much alike! Just when you think her stupidity couldn’t possibly reach loftier heights, she reacts to Billy’s corrections by telling him that Finland and Sweden are “the same thing” because “they’re both foreign”. But wait, it gets worse.
Courtney, to her credit, spends at least 20 seconds feigning concern for her little brother before the centrifugal force of her Dylan-obsession finally overcomes her faculties. For those who haven’t been paying attention, that’s 20 seconds longer than she’s managed to pull off since becoming moist in the panties for Master Blackwell two full episodes ago. She asks Billy if he’s planning on going over to Dylan’s after school just to inform him that he’s not welcome because she and Dylan “are composing some songs together and we need privacy for that”. Before taking his leave, Deadpool makes it clear that his sister is a fucking asshat while she pretends to be wounded by his harsh words but is obviously just forcing a look of sad concern while she continues to indulge in wet fantasies aboot Dylan.
Ashley is waiting alone at The Avalon when Courtney farts her way into the establishment and wastes another three minutes of airtime apologizing for being late. This jackass actually sent Ashley a note asking her to please meet her at The Avalon just so she could fucking gloat aboot the fact that Dylan kissed her. All hyperbole aside, I honestly don’t know who is more skilled at causing me to feel uncharacteristically violent at their very appearance, Courtney Simpson or Sarah fucking Sanders. After sitting through some additional dialogue that’s more painful than having one’s fingernails extracted with a pliers, Courtney suddenly decides that she’s in love with Dylan, prompting Ashley to whisper, “wow. that’s just great…i guess.”
Some time later, Ashley and Jake resume their insufferable conversation in the lounge aboot thus far being unable to find a good time to broach the topic of drinking with Matt. Ashley then tells Jake that she was just at The Avalon with Courtney talking aboot “private girl’s stuff” and Jake somehow manages to acknowledge that whatever they were discussing is none of his business even though he can’t find the words “boy” or “guy” and instead refers to himself as an “un-girl” (as good a description of Jake as any). Ashley, of-fucking-course, proceeds to tell Jake every last detail of the “private girl’s stuff”, including the fact that Courtney thinks she’s in love with Dylan. I suppose that since Courtney is mercifully uninvolved in this scene, someone had to step up and ensure that Jake is as tortured by all of this allegedly privileged information as humanly possible. Whisperina reacts to Jake’s look of shock by asking, “are you gonna say something or are you just gonna sit there with your mooth hanging open?” as if he hadn’t already given her copious clues aboot his incomprehensible feelings for Courtney.
Now Theresa, who is wearing a button down shirt over a turtleneck, is at Kelly’s locker whining aboot the fact that Brooke caused her to miss her (probably imaginary) friend’s birthday party. She clearly wants Kelly to say something that will make Brooke’s behavior more understandable, but she’s tapping the wrong source for that. Kelly’s awesomeness and Dutch Boy’s dorkiness cancel each other oot rendering this scene somewhat watchable, and an unlikely alliance starts to take shape.
Courtney is wandering the halls with her hands thrust into the pockets of what looks like a dirty shower curtain when she runs into Jake carrying a sketch pad. For a brief moment, it actually seems like Courtney is a human being capable of sparing a thought for someone other than herself (or Dylan) as she tells Jake that she likes his drawing. However, I can’t state “brief” emphatically enough in relation to this nearly tolerable moment of Courtney’s life because she immediately hands the sketch pad back and begins scanning the halls for Dylan, no longer hearing a word that her friend is saying. Clearly sensing all of this, Jake changes the subject to the one topic he knows will retain her interest (“What’s this I hear aboot a big romance?”), indirectly implicating Ashley in the process. Courtney starts to complain aboot Ashley betraying her confidence before seeming to realize mid-sentence that Ashley did her an enormous favor by giving her yet another opportunity to bloviate aboot Dylan’s impromptu kiss. Jake throws caution to the wind and warns Courtney that Dylan is “a walk on the wild side” with a reputation for breaking girls’ hearts. Things get heated. Jake might even be jeopardizing his tenuous position in the Friend Zone here, but his concern ootweighs his unfathomable Courtney crush as he tells her that Dylan was “hauled down to the principal’s office” earlier today. Enter Brooke who immediately sets Jake straight by telling them the real reason Dylan was called to the principal’s: someone (I wonder who) told the principal that Dylan is a great musician, so the principal offered him the chance to play a concert in front of the entire school, because of course, this is a thing that happens all the time in high schools throughoot British Columbia. Courtney thinks this is just the bee’s knees while Jake makes a mental note to up his Paxil dosage.
Matt and Jake are in the boy’s locker room. Jake spends a full two minutes whining aboot Courtney and Dylan while Matt spends the same two minutes putting his sneakers on. Finally, Jake “hypothetically” asks Matt what a guy should do if he finds himself in unrequited love. In perhaps the most sensible moment of his life, Matt tells his friend that such a guy should just give up, forget aboot it and move on. Jake’s day just keeps getting worse.
Brooke and Kelly are at their lockers. Brooke is trying to persuade Kelly to ask her older sister to write a book report for her (for a small amount of cash), a black market transaction that their conversation makes clear has gone down many times before. When Kelly tells Brooke that her sister is starting to feel guilty aboot writing her papers, Brooke expresses amazement that Kelly’s sister has any morals at all. Kelly responds, “Thank you, Brooke, that’s very sweet of you.” Again ignoring the clear and ominous signs that Kelly is itching to give her a beatdown for the ages, Brooke changes the subject by saying “let’s talk aboot something else, like, say…Dylan!” as Dylan comes into view behind them. Brooke expresses her interest in making Dylan interested in her, “which might be interesting”, and I heartily concur because if there’s anything worse than a petty, scheming heartbreaker like Brooke, it’s a fashion-impaired, self-centered monstrosity like Courtney.
Deadpool approaches Dylan and congratulates him on the upcoming concert while simultaneously hoping that Dylan will ask him to accompany him on the drums. Before Dylan can respond, Billy’s abominable shit stain of a sister materializes from nowhere and interrupts her brother mid-sentence no less than 5 fucking times in her unstoppable resolve to gush aboot Dylan’s concert like a five year old girl in the presence of Justin Bieber. Recognizing the utter futility of trying to speak over this fucking crone, Deadpool rolls his eyes and cedes the floor to Courtney. Dylan is comparatively underwhelmed aboot the prospect of his upcoming gymnasium gig, guessing that “Old Zimmerman” will pull the plug if he doesn’t keep his grades up, something he obviously has no intention of doing. Courtney offers to help him with his schoolwork and as Dylan expresses his disinterest in such an arrangement, Brooke arrives and inserts herself into the conversation. Dylan leaves and Courtney lets slip with the fact that she and Dylan are “going oot together” (wrong), something Brooke already suspected but perhaps just wanted to confirm before setting her next superb evil plan into action.
Matt, Ashley and the nameless Jock Squad are at The Avalon. As usual, the jocks are in the process of applying second-hand lip balm to Matt’s ass but when Dylan enters through the door by the payphone, the jocks immediately abandon their enthusiastic daily adoration of Matt to swarm Dylan with curious excitement aboot his upcoming concert. Matt raises his voice and tries to complete his sentence, but his fickle groupies are already gone. Ashley politely invites Matt to finish what he was saying, but he makes it clear that all the people he was trying to impress have left, so why the fuck would he finish his voluminous self-promotion for the benefit of his crappy girlfriend? He’d much rather bitch aboot the fact that people suddenly find Dylan interesting.
Brooke is in her room searching for the perfect ootfit in which to seduce Dylan. Theresa enters and starts speaking, which abruptly kills my motivation to finish describing the scene.
Back at The Avalon, Ashley whispers her confusion aboot Matt’s visceral reaction to Dylan’s newfound popularity. She even tells Matt that it sounds like he’s jealous, which initiates an endless back and forth regarding which of the two keeps bringing it up: “I don’t keep talking aboot it, you’re the one who keeps bringing it up!” Finally, Matt pacifies himself by guessing (at Ashley’s prompting) that maybe “Old Zimmerman” is just giving Dylan this opportunity oot of pity. An uncharacteristically bold Ashley then attempts to raise the topic of the flask when Matt looks at his watch, tells her he’s late and splits, leaving her alone at the booth to wallow in melancholic frustration.
Olaf is in the lounge playing chess by himself again. Billy mopes his way over and Olaf invites him to play. Deadpool doesn’t seem too interested in the offer because it only takes Olaf 45 seconds to beat him. Always the stand-up guy, Olaf responds, “Exactly! I’ll beat you in 45 seconds and then you can swear at me for a minute and a half and you’ll feel much better!” Here’s hoping you find your way oot of this hellacious alternate universe, Olaf.
Brooke is at Dylan’s garage dressed to kill, explaining that she “wasn’t exactly looking for him”, but just happened to be passing by. She asks Dylan to play something for her and cozies up real close as he picks up his guitar. If anyone reading this can’t guess who knocks on the garage door right at this moment, I’m utterly appalled at the intellectual capacity of my extremely limited following. But despite the lack of surprise to be had at Courtney’s appearance and rapid distressed retreat, it is, as usual, completely worth it just for the extended look of pained confusion on Hillside’s human coffin liner:
Brooke, you are my hero.