Season 2, Episode 12
I regret that I have to start this post with some tragic news: I’m pretty sure the last episode was our final experience of Janice for the remainder of the series. She’ll still be mentioned from time to time during the last 2 episodes of the season as we find oot what really happened with Courtney’s stupid necklace, but she’s already cleaned oot her locker and is on her way to a different school. Here’s hoping it’s attended by nicer kids and has an open spot on its kick-ass volleyball team. If this show had been bold enough to tackle the issue of teen suicide, Janice would have been the obvious choice for the centerpiece of such a plot. I don’t know why Ian Weir felt the need to be so fucking brutal with her, but I sense that this Canadian screenwriting hack gets off on relentless cruelty to awkward adolescents.
At the Blackwell garage, Teenagers In Love are rehearsing their asses off for the upcoming show. At the conclusion of the song, even Chris admits that they sounded good, but a clearly nerve-wracked Dylan begs to differ: “What’s the matter with you guys?! We stunk!” He goes off on some shit aboot the band ending in D minor while Chris was in D minor seventh, something that might be a legitimate concern if their names were Geddy, Alex and Neil, but in this case, I think Fonzie should just be happy that Deadpool managed to get through another song withoot pounding a hole right through his drumheads. Chris storms oot of the garage in frustration while Arseman unsuccessfully tries to get Dylan to calm down. He responds, “I’m not worked up aboot it! But the concert’s tomorrow, so all I’m saying is that…I’m not worked up!”
Ashley and Courtney are at The Avalon counter as Headband embraces her inner beatnik and exclaims, “Billy is so wired aboot this concert, Man!” She goes on to explain that she keeps trying to tell him that it’s just supposed to be for fun.
Ashley: i’m sure it’ll go just fine.
Courtney: Oh, absolutely! And if it doesn’t, well, they can always just distract us with a few stunts. You know, bite a head off a bat or something.
Ashley: oh, courtney!
Courtney: Hey, this is rock and roll!
Ashley changes the subject to Janice and the missing necklace and after Courtney rehashes her disappointment at the sad dissolution of their 48 hour friendship, Whisperina dramatically sighs, “this whole thing is just really rotten, isn’t it?”
Back at the garage, Chris, Dylan and Deadpool are decked oot in what they clearly consider to be badass rock star attire even though they look like an unemployed parody of The Village People. Chris opted for a Naugahyde western style vest over a powder blue button-down shirt with a matching bandana tied around his neck like a bolo tie. Dylan goes for a more laid-back eighties burnoot look consisting of an Army surplus jacket over a Judas Priest “Turbo” t-shirt. Finally, Deadpool goes full-on Motorhead with fingerless black leather gloves and a chain that could double as a pit bull restraint encircling his neck.
Hopalong Chris asks Arseman what she’ll be wearing for the concert and when she indicates that she was planning to wear the same nondescript ootfit consisting of a plain yellow t-shirt and jeans she already has on, Dylan reminds her, “Well, Arseman, this is a show, you know. We need costumes!” Chris grabs a plastic bag from a nearby table and advises her that they brought another costume, “just as sort of a possibility…I mean, only if you’re willing to go with it.” Dylan chimes in, “We rented it yesterday!” and Deadpool adds, “It wasn’t cheap, either!” Chris produces a skimpy half-vest from the bag while Dylan admiringly remarks that it’s “very Madonna…very Paula Abdul!” Billy declares with relief that they weren’t sure she’d be into it, so Sass Master responds, “Of course I agree to it! It’s adorable and sexy – just what the band’s image needs! So…which one of you gentlemen is gonna be wearing it?” I think Matt Ender was asleep on the job while they were filming this scene because even the lunatic that was responsible for the background music in the Brady Bunch knows that this is exactly the type of situation that demands a wacky sad trombone progression.
Some kid walks into the locker vestibule and starts talking to three other nameless guys at their lockers:
Kid 1: Hey, I heard Chris is gonna smash a guitar into an amplifier!
Kid 2: Yeah?
Kid 3: Hey, someone told me Arseman’s gonna be dressed in some black lace ootfit!
Kid 4: Woah! Even if it sounds awful, it should be fun to watch!
At that moment, Chris and Dylan enter the vestibule carrying their guitars for some fucking reason. They ignore the barrage of questions with which they’re immediately assaulted until one of the kids asks, “Are you gonna dive into the crowd?” and Dylan responds, “No, I’m gonna jump off the roof!” As he gets something from his locker, Brooke and Who Farted descend the stairs and express their excitement aboot the concert. Brooke gushes, “I’m sure it’s going to be the most brilliant success!” before Leather Jacket walks off leaving her free to express her true feelings to Who Farted: “Of course, it’ll be a raging flop. They can’t play worth beans.”
In the student lounge, Deadpool is practice-drumming on one of his notebooks when Courtney comes by, sits down next to him and says, “Hey, Billy! Good luck at lunch time!” So this is a lunch time concert on a school day and even though that makes so little sense for so many reasons, at least it explains why they all wore their ridiculous pseudo-bondage gear to school. Billy plays it cool and tells her that they won’t need luck because “we’re gonna knock ‘em dead!” Courtney compliments his ootfit and adds that she can’t wait for Dad to see it. Billy’s mood momentarily sours as he informs his sister that Dad won’t be able to make it to the show. He concludes that he’s kind of glad that he won’t be there and Headband sympathetically agrees before all of Deadpool’s former confidence evaporates in a paroxysm of panic: “No, I mean it, Courtney! I wish nobody would be there! To tell you the truth…I’m not ready! I stink!!” In the course of Headband’s attempts to calm him down, we learn that Deadpool once wet his pants with stage fright before playing the part of a turnip in a grammar school play. That’s really not germane to the plot, but I thought it was worth mentioning anyway.
Ashley sees Dylan sitting on a bench in the lounge, so she comes over to give him her obligatory, sexually charged concert pep talk before asking him if he’d talked to Matt lately. She explains that she was still too mad to talk to him when he apologized at The Avalon yesterday, but is starting to regret her cold reaction. Dylan recounts his brief conversation with Matt and tells Ashley that he actually felt sorry for him, but somehow this just gets Pixie Dust on the defensive again. Dylan replies that he never thought he’d be defending Matt, but Ashley cuts him off and seethes, “don’t give me that! he’s just being a jerk!”
At The Avalon, Chris, Billy and Arseman are setting up their equipment beneath a cheesy banner bearing the slogan “Teenagers In Love” in multi-colored magic-marker. Dylan shows up and starts freaking oot aboot how everything is arranged, shouting, “We’ve never had the drums there before – Billy can’t read my cues! It’s a mess! It changes everything!!” Leather Jacket finally cools off and says, “Alright, maybe I’m just a bit strung oot, that’s all,” confirming my long-time suspicions. At least that would explain why he doesn’t seem to be bothered by the fact that he doesn’t even own a bed. Arseman walks over to Dylan at the counter:
Arseman: This means a lot to you, huh?
Dylan: Nah. It’s just one more gig. I know it’s only rock and roll.
Arseman: But you like it!
Somehow Mick Jagger just rolled over in his grave.
Back at Hillside, one of the same unnamed kids from earlier in the episode greets some friends at their lockers.
Kid 1: Hey, are you guys going to The Avalon?
Kid 2: I don’t know. How much can you expect from a band called Teenagers In Love?
Ashley runs into Matt at the stairwell. He says hi and asks if she’s going to the concert. She reacts with a dismissive, “yeah, of course,” before hurrying away.
Back at The Avalon, the band’s tuning up in front of a sizeable crowd assembled in the café, the most notable and intentionally prominent constituent of which is the already legendary Roxanne.
She stares at Chris who acknowledges her with a nod and she returns the gesture before Dylan steps up to the mic and announces, “Right. We’re Teenagers In Love and, uh…here we go.”
Well, I’m too old to cry and I’m too young to fly, but Mama says be glad I’m young and I don’t ask why, ‘cause I’m fifteen, not old enough to be free.
Yes, I’m fifteen years old and that’s the trouble with me!
Well, it’s an awkward stage and a difficult age, pacing in your space like a rat in a cage…
Because you’re fifteen beyond the shadow of a doubt…
Yes, you’re fifteen years old, not old enough to get oot!
The Avalon erupts in applause as the band launches into…that other song they know. This whole thing was a fucking colossal dud after an entire season’s worth of build-up, but at least we’ll never be subjected to Arseman’s singing again.
Lunchtime over, the band returns to Hillside giving themselves mixed reviews on their performance as one of the more prevalent unnamed girls approaches Dylan and asks for his autograph. Some other kid holds an imaginary microphone up to Deadpool’s face and asks him in the tone of a reporter, “Billy, how do you feel now?” to which the always eloquent New Kids enthusiast responds, “Terrific! Great! Fabulous! Uh…terrific!” He saunters away from the crowd and runs into his sister who tells him that he looked like he was “having a really great time up there”. Billy excitedly declares, “Wait till our next gig – we’ll be even better! And after that, we can go on tour or something! We can hit the road!” Courtney gently advises Billy to slow his roll and reminds him that he’s only in the ninth grade to which he replies, “So what? We could drop oot of school! Just think of all the money we can make!”
Making the rounds, Courtney sits down next to Arseman in the lounge and compliments her performance. Sassy Afro acknowledges that she had a good time, but she knows they’re not really a good band and reiterates that she’s just doing it for fun. Despite everything her little brother just said, Courtney interjects, “Well, maybe you are, but I’m not so sure aboot Dylan and Chris”.
In the locker vestibule, Who Farted is telling Brooke, “I thought they were pretty good!” but Brooke of course doesn’t quite see it that way. Hoping to extract at least a modicum of praise from her overcritical girl-crush, Who Farted confidently declares, “But Arseman was good!” to which Brooke replies, “Ugh…a lot of flashy tricks, but no real substance!” So now we know that by Brooke’s standards, standing woodenly behind a keyboard in a plain yellow t-shirt while nervously droning her way through two verses of awful lyrics constitutes “a lot of flashy tricks”. Who Farted sticks to her guns and repeats that she really enjoyed it, prompting Brooke to respond, “Well, I guess if you don’t know much aboot music, it’s possible to enjoy amateurs.”
At The Avalon, Roxanne is giving Chris her critique of the show: “The keyboard work was good…a little stiff, but that will get better with practice. The guitar slipped oot of tune during ‘Come On Back’.” Chris asks what she thought of Arseman to which she replies, “Not bad…not very original, but that’s okay. She has fun up there, which is more than I can say for you and Dylan.” Chris thanks her for giving her opinion before she adds, “It could be a hot band, Chris…except for this guy Billy. He rushed the beat and he’s sloppy…do you wanna spend the rest of your life making noise in Dylan’s garage or do you want a band that’s gonna go places?” Chris confirms that he’d prefer the latter, so Roxanne flatly advises, “So dump him. Stop thinking aboot it and do it! This is rock and roll!”
Ashley sees Matt in the hallway and calls oot to him. She chews him oot for asking Dylan what was going on between them when she already told him that they’re just friends and an uncharacteristically sober contrite Matt responds, “Well, now I’ve heard from two reliable sources that I was wrong.” Ashley lightens up and jokingly tells him aboot the crush Billy has on her, to which Matt exclaims, “What? He’s 12!” Ashley corrects him, “He’s 14. I guess it’s just a crush. He bought me a scarf.”
Matt: Well, he’s obviously got great taste in women…and buying you that scarf? That’s pretty classy.
Ashley: it’s more than you ever did.
Alright, are these two assholes burying the hatchet or venting their eternal derision? And now that I think aboot it, if Billy’s fourteen, why the fuck did Dylan act like he was an impetuous toddler when he told him he was interested in a fifteen year old girl? Did no one even give Ian Weir’s horrible scripts a cursory glance before mimeographing twenty copies and sticking them in the hands of these little douchebags? WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE?!? Jesus H. Christ. Matt grins and responds, “True. Well, I can learn,” causing Ashley to bite her lip and smile coyly as the scene fades oot.
In the garage, Dylan’s assessment that the band’s performance was barely adequate inspires Chris to broach the subject of shit-canning Billy from the band again and this time, Dylan seems to reluctantly agree.
Brooke storms into The Avalon and marches over to the booth where Amanda is sitting, voluminously expressing offense at the fact that Who Farted isn’t here even though she asked her to meet her at the café after school. Amanda sneers, “Looks like you got stood up,” as Brooke takes a seat across from her and starts fishing through her purse. Unable to find what she’s looking for, she asks her little sister if she can borrow her mascara while grabbing Amanda’s bag. At first, Amanda just tells her to put it back when she’s done with it, then seems to remember something, stands up and says, “Wait!” Brooke smiles at the realization that Amanda must be hiding something in her bag as she unzips it and asks, “A secret?” Amanda sternly demands, “Just give it back! I’ll give you the mascara,” as if this could have any effect other than stoking her sister’s curiosity even further. Ignoring Amanda’s pleas, Brooke dumps the contents of the bag onto the table revealing Courtney’s necklace.
Brooke gleefully taunts her sister, “Sweet little Amanda! Teacher’s pet…Daddy’s favorite. Courtney loses a family heirloom…Janice’s reputation is ruined, she has to change schools! You little sneak!” As Amanda continues to beg her not to tell anyone, Brooke dangles the necklace from her fingers just as Courtney and Arseman enter from the pinball room. Amanda shouts, “I didn’t do anything!” to which Brooke sing-songs, “Yes, she diiid!” Amanda flees The Avalon as Brooke hands Courtney her necklace.
Only one episode left before we put the lid on Season 2. I hope y’all appreciate my tenacious dedication to this monumental but vitally important task. I’m happy to bear the burden for the good of humanity, but I expect you’ll do your part and tell all your friends that everyone who’s anyone gets their news at Notes From The Avalon. Journalistic integrity is my raison d’etre, after all.