Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Sweet Valley High - The Complete First Season|
Actors: Brittany & Cynthia Daniel, Ryan James Bittle, Tyffany Hayes, Michael Perl, Harley Rodriguez
Directors: Douglas Barr (II), Joel Bender, Marc Lawrence (II), Harvey Frost, Brian Thomas Jones
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Television
Studio: Buena Vista Home Video Release Date: 08/23/2005 Run time: 440 minutes
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Member Movie Reviews
Peter C. from MAPLEWOOD, NJ
Reviewed on 4/28/2012...
Great series from the early 90's that was a staple of saturday mornings. it's a wonderful nostalgic trip for anyone who was a teen in the 1993-1994 time frame. the daniel twins are totally hot and the episodes are corny but cute and very watchable!
It's not as 'sweet' as the classic books, but was still fun!
Robin Orlowski | United States | 03/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The 22 episode first season was a miracle for myself and many others who grew up reading the series. I honestly was shocked when this series hit the air just because the idea of a TV series was long overdue.
It obviously had a higher production budget than 'Saved By the Bell' but for some reason, this series never attained 90210/OC type ratings.
Sweet Valley High revolves around the adventures identical twins Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield (played by real-life twins Cynthia and Brittany Daniels) have while growing up in southern California. To the first season's credit, several of the episodes were loosely based on the series.
Not to be missed episodes include "Dangerous love" which (in trying to incorporate some book elements) introduces us to the TV Sweet Valley gang for the very first time. Bridget Flanery plays a perfect Lila Fowler because she is so scheming and ruthless.
"Almost married" has Elizabeth invite Todd (Ryan James Bittle) over for the weekend after his parents' house is being painted and her parents are going away. Jessica blackmails Elizabeth into then having a party, but is in trouble when she cannot return the emergency credit card purchased outfit which was worn at the forbidden party. Because Elizabeth traditionally has the 'square' reputation, the idea of her and Todd living together for the weekend was a really neat plot development.
When Enid's (Amy Danles) new boyfriend becomes the spokesperson for an anti-drug campaign in "Secrets", she is worried. Before meeting Ronnie (Drew Bell II), she used to have a drug problem. Jessica (ever the schemer) tries to use this overheard information to snag the publicity opportunity for herself. The absurdity of Steven Tyler (even in name) doing an anti-drug campaign with such an uptight and narrow-minded teen is second to how Ronnie treats Enid. He breaks up with her, but Enid is now free to find somebody who is not judgmental.
Finally, at the season finale "Say goodbye" Todd has an opportunity to attend an exclusive basketball camp in Vermont, but this alternately means leaving Sweet Valley-and Elizabeth. Because a long distance relationship is a very realistic scenario for many teens and the young at heart, it made a wonderful close. We knew Elizabeth and Todd would somehow stay together, but had to watch the next season of this series in order to find out.
Although several episodes in this season are loosely based on the series, there are some errors. In addition to Elizabeth and Jessica, the Wakefields are also supposed to have an eldest son named Steven, but he receives no mention. Plus, Alice and Ned Wakefield are (oddly considering their very active book presence) never actually seen in the series, the most presence they have is an off-camera voice.
daughterofcokie | Chula Vista, CA United States | 05/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am one of those adults who occasionally sneaks peaks at SVH novels from my teen years (although I wouldn't admit it out loud). I didn't watch much of the show when it was airing new episodes on the TV channels but I got ahold of the DVDs for season 1 and just loved it. Totally, campy escapist fun. No life lessons to be learned; no realistic charatcers; no apologizing for the high camp factor. It is such a soap opera and that's why I love it. I hope they put the other seasons on DVD.
As for the acting the only truly bad actors were the guy that pays Todd (he is so bad he gives me the heebie-jeebies) and the guy that plays Bruce. I notice they didn't have too many hot guys on the show. But I digress ...
I really liked the actresses that played the twins. They were a little too old to play high school teens but they did an admirable job. Which ever twin played Elizabeth (was it Cynthia or Brittany???) did the impossible and made me sympathize with Liz which I would have never thought possible because she always struck me as a self-righteous, hypocritical bore.
I hated the TV series version of Todd. I don't remember him being so agressive and jealous. Every guy who even looked at Liz cross-eyed he wanted to wrestle to the ground. And Jessica sure is a ho-bag.
The best episodes are the dancing one and the three-part arc about the creepy hospital orderly, Peter (who's name was Carl in the book series, I believe) who kidnapped Liz. The guy who played him ... he makes Hannibal Lecter a little less scary. He was awesome!
If you are looking for cheeseball fun, then buy this DVD!"
Sweet Valley High is my guilty pleasure
Amy Wallace | San Rafael, CA United States | 07/15/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As a young adult I loved these books, and I vaguely remebered watching a few of these episodes when it first aired, but by then I was too old to be watching this series, and embarassed in front of my friends. That doesn't mean I didn't sneak home after school and watch when no one was looking...
Seeing all the characters come alive in this very hokey teenage melodrama filled with bad jokes and comedy still makes me laugh. The twins do a great job of reprising the roles of Elizabeth and Jessica, but how people could get them mixed up is beyond me! In the first minute of the show, we see Elizabeth dressed very preppy and cute, while her slutty sister dresses like an MTV model. It cracks me up seeing the terrible actors approach the girls pretending to get them mixed up. Its obvious: Jessica is the wanna-be prostitue, while Elizabeth is a prude.
Not that this show doesn't have other good qualitites, such as bad 90's music and bad haircuts for the boys. Elizabeth's boyfriend is a stick who is dumb as a brick, but kinda cute in the 90's preppy boy way...
Seriously, this show makes me laugh, and I really enjoy the campy drama and overacting, especially on the part of Lila and Winston, who follow exactly Franscine Pascal's book characters.
If you expect a better 90210, look elsewhere, but if you want 90's teenage drama, go for this series and read the books!"