Jade's dirty laundry is actually very clean laundry.
We did it!!! Book 50!! In this Season 5 finale (not counting next week's Extra Drama), actor Allison Chin and Marissa examine the intricate dance (get it?) that is the portrayal and treatment of sophomore Jade Wu. All the misunderstandings, overreactions, and Elizabeth-day-saving of a regular Sweet Valley High novel, now with the added ingredients of assimilation, racism, broad cultural generalizations, and SO! MUCH! MORE!
Also: Jessica goes on a date with her dad in this one!
Marissa Wasseluk-Stuart returns to talk about the other Porter sister, Julie. Julie's friend Josh is pledging the SVH fraternity, Elizabeth is back at recorder practice, Jessica is auditioning to be the lead in a play she knows nothing about, and Bruce Patman is his old self again, only worse. But who is the Troublemaker?! Listen to find out...that it is almost certainly Bruce!
More like "Illustrated NIGHTMARE Dictionary" amirite?
In FAMILY SECRETS, Kelly Bates is plagued by a recurring dream. She only remembers scant details, but hey, that's all you need when consulting 1996's ILLUSTRATED DREAM DICTIONARY, a book Marissa has had on her shelf since middle school (probably). What does the book say about Kelly's dream? Shey Lyn Zanotti returns and even offers up a dream of her own for scrutiny.
Note: In this episode, Marissa refers to the character Kelly Taylor from 90210 as "Jennie" (as in Jennie Garth, the actress who played Kelly Taylor).
Marissa and guest reader Katie LaDue bring their personal baggage to bear on Steven's behavior, then on Abbie's. Then things turn to the baggage that other people (like the Wakefield Twins, say) bring into their assumptions about others. All the armchair psychology two book nerds can cram into 16 minutes of bonus content!
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"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou
Cara and Steven grace the outside of PRETENSES, and they are certainly featured on its inside. But Marissa and her return guest, Steven Wakefield romance specialist Katie LaDue, agree that this is really is really Abby Richardson's story. Who is Abby Richardson? Listen to find out; then feel free to immediately forget as she drifts back into the sundrenched scenery.
Manuel Lopez is the first Latinx character in Sweet Valley who gets any kind of spotlight. And he's the greatest guy in history! Aisha Bhoori is back for a quick look at Manuel's perfection and how it illustrates the "model minority" myth.
Sweet Valley Diaries: overanalyzing '80s tween pulp since 2006!
A love triangle where the third party is Parental Prejudice
Sandra Bacon and Manuel Lopez may not be the stars of the Sweet Valleyverse, but if SVH is going to attempt to dip its toes in the murky waters of racial prejudice and interracial romance, you'd better believe that Diaries is ready to talk SO MUCH about it. No mere hour can contain Marissa and her guest, the brilliant Aisha Bhoori, on this week's extremely special and (weirdly/unfortunately) timely episode. Added bonus discussion of Jessica Wakefield, Shadow Gemini.
Season 5 Premiere! We’re back, baby! And all our Sweet Valley Friends are back too. Except…you know…Regina. Who better to focus on in the aftermath of a beloved character’s untimely death than the background player everyone is holding responsible for said death? Lifetime Original Movie podcaster/enthusiast Megan Tripp joins Marissa for a particularly Lifetime Original episode of our teen soap pulp.