Friday, September 28, 2007

Like, Party! We're Graduating! (In Newport Harbor)

"Like, ew! Hurry up and take the picture!"

Well, it’s finally here. The culmination of years of strenuous study, sacrifice and hard work. Or in this case, shopping, laying out, and gossip. Yes, it’s graduation at Newport Harbor High School and our adorable teens are leaving the experience every bit as shallow and self-centered as they started. They have a big summer of lounging ahead of them and they just can’t wait to get started. Let’s head to the beach to watch our gang wind down their final days of childhood.

This week’s episode starts out differently than most – with Chrissy and Sasha talking about Clay! Wait, no that’s exactly how every single episode starts. Have the editors gotten so bored with these kids that they have just resorted to cookie cutter episodes, dropping in footage under prearranged headings? Sheesh, if they’re bored, they should have pity on the audience and how we must feel. Anyway, Sasha wonders if Chrissy will miss Clay when she goes away to college and Chrissy wishes they could have started up their romance six months to a year earlier than they did. Yes honey, but there were no cameras at that point in time, so no reason on earth for you two to acknowledge one another’s existence. Ah the dreaded double-edged sword of starring in reality television.

"Hm, we'll talk about this some more
at the beginning of next week's episode."

Later Allie, Fatty and some girl named Brianna go shopping and anticipate Europe 2007. Allie still hasn’t received total permission from Art and Carolyn so the girls try to help with her campaign. Fatty suggests “catching more flies with vinegar…” no, that’s not it. “You catch more honey if the bees…” no, wrong again. Here it is! “You catch more bees with honey than with vinegar.” Ugh, Fatty. The saying goes, “You catch more FLIES with honey than with vinegar.” Why would you want to catch bees? Okay, so why would you want to catch flies either?

"I SHALL remember my idiom!"

Anyway, I guess Art and Carolyn are the flies, or in Fatty’s version the bees, and Allie is supposed to be honey and abandon the vinegar act from last week’s showdown. She implores the girls to hold a prayer vigil for the soldiers in the Middle East. Yeah right! The prayer vigil is for her precious little butt to be granted permission to spend her parents’ money in Europe. Sorry soldiers, there are more pressing matters at hand today. Hang in there, though!

Now we move to our next cookie cutter scene, which is Mayor G-Thing pestering Clay at the beach about his relationship status. First though, he and Misspelled Jasen make cat calls at some sunbathing girls who become my new heroes by completely ignoring them. Hooray for the Newport Beach hotties who could care less about the camera crew!

Who's not such hot stuff anymore?

So after the Big Blow Off, Mayor G-Thing and Jasen taunt Clay about his hot tub date with Chrissy and want to know if he “sealed the deal” so to speak. Clay for once acts like he has a pair and tells them to worry about their own non-existent relationships. Hear, hear! Just as the boys prepare to resume their geriatric beach sport of horseshoes or whatever they’re doing, Misspelled Jasen comes up behind Mayor G-Thing and rips his legs out from under him, sending him face first into the sand. Sweet! I’m really liking watching Mayor G-Thing getting pounded in this scene. He just can’t catch a break. What a doofus.

"Dude, I totally planned that."

Elsewhere in The Harbor, Allie comes out onto her balcony to approach Daddy Bee and apologize for being vinegar in that disgraceful scene of last week. Daddy Bee explains that he knows Allie really wants to go to Europe, but that he and Mommy Bee are worried for her safety. Allie rationalizes that she and her friends have to face the world at some point, and besides, she didn’t ask for a senior present or anything!

"But I'm being nice this time!"

Is she kidding? Having to face the world at some point is a horrible argument for receiving an all-expense paid luxury trip to Europe. And as I recall for graduation I think my parents gave me a key chain with my graduation year on it – and that was for graduating from college! For graduating from high school I think I got a kick in the pants. Just kidding – my parents were great when I finished high school, they just happened to be living in a land called Reality and would have laughed my butt all the way to college had I expected lavish gifts and privileges merely for finishing legally required state education. Anyway, Allie is basically caught in the classic tug-o-war of being a teenager. You are irritated with your parents for worrying about you but your parents wouldn’t be parents if they didn’t worry so everyone is at an impasse. Art tells Allie she’s irreplaceable. “To the left, to the left. Everything you own in the box to the left.” Sorry, it’s like a trigger with that word.

Meanwhile Clay and Chrissy decide that now would be a good time to get crabs. At Joe’s Crab Shack, that is. Remember, Chrissy isn’t that kind of girl. In a highly re-dubbed scene, the little lovebirds discuss how their relationship will progress after Chrissy leaves for college. It’s easy for both of them in the voiceover booth to swear to stay in touch and visit every weekend so that things can work out between them. In the actual scene Chrissy just does her bashful smiling and nodding while Clay complains about being bummed that his older friends are graduating without him.

One of Chrissy's two facial expressions.

And there's the other one.

Uh oh, the next morning Chrissy gets busted for staying out way too late with Clay last night. Chrissy doesn’t want a curfew anymore since she is “practically in college,” but Daddy is having none of it and says she will adhere to the curfew – new boyfriend or not! Chrissy says it’s not a boyfriend, it’s just a “thing.” Daddy seems highly amused and warns Chrissy that long distance relationships hardly ever work, so he’s not sure what she expects when she goes away to college. Chrissy looks at the ground and just says, “It could work.” Aw, that’s sweet, Chrissy. But it won’t.

We now head over to Main Street Surf Shop where Allie is stopping in to pay Chase a visit while he works. She finger-combs her crazy bangs and wants to know what Chase is planning to do about the Taylor situation since he’s about to graduate and Taylor is just a sophomore.

"So this is like, a real job?"

Chase just sits there with his mouth open, so Allie proceeds to invite him to a bonfire she and Fatty are throwing for seniors only at the beach tonight. There might be a couple of juniors who are good friends – or other main cast members, same diff – but Taylor is not allowed, capisce? Chase still just stands there mute so Allie goes on about her way. See you at the bonfire!

Ah! Here we are at the very bonfire! Allie and Fatty arrive and sit down to wait for everyone on little beach chairs from Target. I know they’re from Target because I have the exact same one! Green with blue stripes and everything. See? Celebrities are just like us. They sit at the beach on Target chairs too! Well who should come marching up behind them blatantly disobeying direct orders but Chase himself? That’s right, he has Taylor right on his arm and Allie and Fatty are not pleased. Cha! Doesn’t Taylor like, feel awkward? Like, we didn’t even invite her! Well clearly someone feels awkward, but I’m not sure it’s Taylor… Allie! As Chase and Taylor approach, Allie and Fatty are extremely gracious, muttering, “Hey,” while rolling their eyes and refusing to turn around to look at them.

"Ugh, we should never have thrown a
party for these ungrateful peasants."

The other kids arrive and everyone exchanges friendly greetings and hugs while Allie and Fatty tell each other that this sucks and they want to go home. That would actually be really amusing if the two of them just stood up, packed up their Target chairs and left. Unfortunately nothing that entertaining happens. Chase and Taylor kiss a lot and Fatty asks Chrissy and Courtney if they are just as ticked off over Taylor showing up. Chrissy and Courtney are like, “Huh? Oh yeah, Chase probably dragged her here.” What? They’re not threatening to pack up and abandon the party as well? Traitors!

As the sun goes down, Chase and Taylor step away to chat about the fact that Allie hates seeing them together and Mayor G-Thing embarks on a campaign of throwing stuff at Chrissy and Clay while they talk. Oh G-Thing, knock it off. You need to come to grips with the fact that none of the girls like you and you are not the stud you thought you were. Throwing food at couples is not going to raise your stock in anyone’s eyes, chill out. Luckily, he abandons the food throwing, but just when you thought he was going to act mature, he pulls out a fire extinguisher and starts spraying everyone down with it. Wow, how sexy and fun is he? I’m going to invite him to the next party I have! Also, I guess it’s getting late because Chrissy’s daddy starts calling her cell phone, but in a momentary surge of defiance she refuses to answer and determines to stay out with all of the kids who don’t have curfews. Take that, Daddy!

And… it’s Graduation Day in Newport Harbor! This is where we prove that kids can attend the public school system for 13 years in America and still come away knowing nothing. Hooray! Sasha comes over to Chrissy’s house to present her with a sweet note and some jewelry from Tiffany. Yeah, I remember when my friends gave me jewelry from Tiffany’s on graduation day. Wait, no. No I’m wrong. I think my friends may have signed my yearbook, but other than that it’s all a blur. Chase’s mom Crystal comes as close to smiling as her facelift will allow and makes a toast to her son and his underage drinking.

"You're graduating this year?"

Clay comes over to Chrissy’s house and gives her a lei to wear over her graduation gown. So what, she’s Polynesian now? Clay says he can’t believe he’s going to have a college girlfriend and Chrissy says she’s not his girlfriend, it’s just a “thing.” Just kidding, she didn’t. But wouldn’t that have been cool? Next Art and Carolyn present Allie with the graduation present she “never asked for.” Art actually seems really cute about it as he says, “I mean, after we got talking about how everyone in the country is going to Europe except for you…” Ha ha! Okay, Art, so you caved. At least you went down mocking. Chrissy’s parents give her a card that Mommy says she doesn’t have to read out loud, but the producers step in and say, “Oh yes you do!” It’s all sentimental about how proud they are of the person she’s become and now the world is her kite and she should go fly it!

Now we have a slide show of the kids starting from babyhood and ending with graduation. Here’s a brief re-creation for you:

Aw, so sweet. Next week is the season finale! I guess that makes sense since they graduated this week, but it seems so quick. Guess what happens, though. Chrissy and Sasha talk about Clay and then Clay and Mayor G-Thing talk about Chrissy at the beach! Then everyone says goodbye. It’s sure to be a good one!

What did you think of graduation?

Thanks for reading!
-Honey Gangsta

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