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Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Friday, July 22, 2005

From Feb. 8, 2005 -- Post of the Year

I like looking back and reading all my previous posts. I do this all the time -- is this normal? Do writers look back on what they wrote and think about how great it is all the time? Somehow I don't think the average writer does that. Does this make me a bad writer, or amateurish? I don't know. What I do know is that this post was the flagship of the best series I've had in 04-05, the recaps of My Stupid Sweet Sixteen. This MTV show was not groundbreaking in any way except for lurid and excessive use of "sparklies" to designate things that are good. We all loved it, though -- especially the way they would simultaneously play to the 13-year-old stupid girl who dreams of her own Sweet Sixteen Party and the 33-year-old mocker of exhorbitant wealth.

For Post of the Year, it was between this Ava episode and the Hart episode. I gave it to Ava because she's just insane, and that insanity deserves another look.

My Stupid Sweet Sixteen III

My Stupid Sweet Sixteen, Part III – Ava’s Revenge

I have written the last 2 weeks on how the MTV suckfest “My Super Sweet 16” would be a sad commentary on the state of the 2004 American Teenage Girl if myriad other things hadn’t shown us this sad state already. It’s merely confirming what we already know to be true: the teenage girl is the stupidest form of human on the planet, and it’s a wonder any female reaches the age of 21 with all of themselves intact. You’d think at the very least the car accidents would claim most of them. And yes, I’m stereotyping that many teenage girls can’t drive – but I’m also saying that most of them would more than gladly get into the passenger seat of a cool car of a cool guy with cool hair and who just drank several cool Milwaukee’s Bests and is just about to “Unleash the Beast” as they say.

This week, however, we take a break from pointing out the stupidity of the average teenage girl and turn our attention to a very un-average teenage girl named Ava (that’s pronounced Ahh-Vah, not Ay-Vah – the first bad sign). Nothing Ava does or says seems even remotely human, and the 23 minutes of show is basically filled with absurd alien-sounding quotes from her and reaction shots to them. You think Lauren from week one and what’s-her-face from last week (upon investigation, her name was Jackie) were spoiled? Ava makes even Lauren look like a third-world missionary child. Any judgments one might be inclined to make about the youth of today because of Ava’s hysterical rottenness don’t hold water, because Ava is quite extra-ordinary. Or at least she better be, or this world is in trouble.

In honor of the show, this recap will be filled with quotes, followed by my reactions to them.

“Dad is a Jew, Mom is a Muslim.”

Let’s get to the parents, shall we? Just like Freddy Krueger taught us, the parents are always the ones responsible for making the monster. First, Dad is rich beyond belief (and I’ll thank you kindly not to associate the “Jew” with the “money”, because that is unacceptable in this free country), and was clearly never home when Ava was growing up. He is gone for the entire show except when they are shopping for cars or there is some discipline to be carried out. It’s unclear whether dad and mom are divorced or separated or neither, because no mention is made of the circumstances. But he’s never around, like I said. He drives a nice car, talks in an indiscernible accent, and drops like 200,000 on his daughter’s birthday party. Think about that the next time Republicans say these people deserve to keep more of their money. This guy just gave his daughter 200 grand in an attempt to win her affection. The sad part? It kinda works.

Dad appears to be a Jew in descent only – he does no religious things (and married a Muslim, for YHWH’s sake) as far as we know. But it makes sense that he would call himself a Jew because of his family line. Mom, however, appears to have no Islamic attributes whatsoever. She doesn’t wear any weird clothes, doesn’t pray to Allah, doesn’t mention Mohammed at all. And then she married a Jew, which is touching in a Lifetime Movie sort of way, but doesn’t indicate any sort of commitment on her part to the Muslim faith. So my question is, in what way is she a Muslim? She seems like just a trophy wife to me. I mean, “Muslim” implies she believes in Allah, the Quran, etc., right? I guess this is how Christians (like me) feel when people refer to Bishop Spong or the local White Supremacist as a Christian. What I’m saying is: Muslims, I feel your pain as you watch this rich, boob-jobbed, jet-setting, and totally secularized woman referred to as a Muslim.

Ava says she had to decide between a Bat Mitzvah (for the Jews) and a Sweet Sixteen Party (for the, um, Muslims?). She chooses the Sweet Sixteen party because it’s like the Bat Mitzvah without the messy Jew stuff. My words, not hers.

“Take yer shirts off”

Mom and Ava get the brilliant idea to hire 4 young studs to carry Ava into the Sweet Sixteen party. Ava picks from about 10 strapping dudes, and when they remove their shirts it’s like the Chippendale Revue all of a sudden. They should be wearing bow ties and suspenders. The girls ogle them, and Ava has them all pick her up. The problem with this whole thing, which I realize as they pick her up, is that Ava thinks that life revolves around her. She never got out of that mental stage where she thinks other people live to serve and affirm her. And this whole party thing is cementing that notion in her head, because it is all about her. It would be better for her to be throwing a party for a poorer (which is just about anyone) child, because then she would get to see that other people exist and have needs just like her. Oh, who am I kidding? Ava would just find a way to make that about herself, too. They choose 4 studs, and Ava seems happy for now.

“She’s always been my best friend – now she wants to be my mom.”

The main drama of the episode is caused by the fact that Ava is so spoiled, and mom and dad realize how bad they’ll look as parents on MTV, so they try to sort of discipline Ava, which drives Ava crazy. The quote above is so very telling. Ava is the product of the parenting style known as guilt-friend-love. Mom and dad feel guilty for being jet-setting bastards who didn’t alter their lifestyle when they had Ava, and for passing her off to some nanny or something. This guilt causes them to try to be Ava’s friend, in order to win her love “back”. They feel love from Ava when they can talk about things in a non-judgmental fashion. Of course, the side product of all this is a spoiled child who doesn’t respect anything her parents say, and who ultimately will resent them twofold (if she later realizes what went down, that is): once for the nanny, and once more for not setting up boundaries. Ava may one day realize that she’s a piece of crap with no real friends, because you can’t have real friends if you believe that your problems are the only ones that matter. The question is when will Ava realize this: When she sees the MTV show? When she turns 18? 21? When she become a trophy wife just like her mom and has a kid who turns 16 and doesn’t respect her? For Ava’s sake, it better happen sooner rather than later.

“Daddy says yes to everything.”

Ava goes to the car lot to pick out a new car for her birthday. This is a big deal to Ava, so big that later on she calls her dad to confirm that she’ll be getting the car she wants before her birthday, because, “All my friends got their cars early.” I hope that’s not true, because if it is then Ava is part of a network of super-spoiled super-rich troglodyte children. This statement causes dad to do something interesting – he yells at Ava over the phone about how irresponsible she is. He’s yelling loud, which introduces another thing to the family dynamic, namely, an abusive father. What kind of parent “says yes to everything”? The one that feels guilty for abuse. Now we don’t know for sure that he’s abusive, but we do know there is some sort of bizarre and intense family dynamic going on here. Unless MTV made the whole thing up, which is possible but not likely. I don’t think they’re that creative, and the yelling didn’t fit in with their image of the father as Yes Man to the daughter’s every desire.

“Who would let me like…drive?”

Ava says this, and it’s easily the most insightful and endearing thing she says the entire show. Other things she is overheard saying while looking at cars: “Red is a close as we’ll get to pink.” “It’s used? Eww…” Clearly Ava has an idea in her head of what she wants, and that does not involve anything used. I can guarantee you she looks down on those kids who come to school in the used Jags as opposed to the brand-new ones. Anyway, she decides she wants a Range Rover, which is fitting because it’s about most unsafe and unreliable vehicle built by human hands. Dad should be screaming in horror at this choice of a 35,000 piece of crap, but his answer amounts to a “we’ll see.” He does mention “If she likes it we have to get it for her” which makes it sound like he just doesn’t want to deal with any Veruca Salt-like temper tantrums she might throw. Oh, what a tangled web we weave when we refuse to stand up to our children.

“I don’t want a dress from Jiki, nobody knows who that is…”

It would be proper to mention here the way Ava talks. She is one of those people you occasionally meet whose every utterance is phrased as a whine. Years of positive results from complaining has caused her to complain incessantly in order to see positive results. Judging by her voices nasality, she also appears to have evolved an internal second nose in addition to her normal nose, through which she speaks. In addition, years of whining at her mom has caused her to elongate the word “mom” to “mohm”, and the only way I can describe that to you is if you’ve seen the Saturday Night Live skit with Chris Kataan playing a little kid out of whose closet a bunch of baseball players appear – they way he says, “C’mon guys, you’re going to wake up my mohm” is the way Ava pronounces it. If not, just say it a little longer than usual. She says “mohm” about 20 times over the course of the episode, so I felt compelled to mention it.

Ava goes to Paris(!) to shop for a sweet sixteen dress. She goes to this Jiki store, and utters the quote above. Of course, nobody calls her on being a skank who thinks that wearing the right designer makes her cool. But what do I know? I like Kohls, personally. People know who Kohls is, and they don’t like it. Anyway, Ava is pretty much disgusted with all the dresses in Jiki, and fights with her mohm, who has a “different idea about her dress.” It’s foreshadowing the main drama of the episode, and MTV is just setting the whole thing up now.

“Dior is like…closed”

Apparently, many shops in Paris are closed in August. You’d think a pathetic style-conscious nuveaux-rich family like Ava’s would know that.

“I wish I could go shopping on my own – without my mohm.”

Ava finally settles on this $10,000 dress from a store I don’t remember the name of. There’s just one problem: It is without a doubt the world’s sluttiest dress. Seriously, it’s the kind of thing you’d see Lil’ Kim show up in at the VMA’s. It’s not that it’s low-cut, it’ that there’s a giant hole in the front, so that if Ava turns one way or the other there’s not one inch of her suspiciously big boobies that will be covered. Note that the previous sentence is not in bold – it’s absolutely true. Not only that, but there are circular holes cut into it all across her belly and lower back. I could just see it now: people making fun of her and asking, “Hey Ahh-vahh, where’s your pimp?” Mohm, for her part, is horrified but trying to let Ava down easy so as not to cause a temper tantrum. Mohm mutters something about it being “not good…for 16-year old”. She’s not going to get it for the disappointed and insane girl. Ava strokes the dress as they leave and keeps saying, “my preciousssss”.

“If my career is over because of this, then that’s just sad (stupid facial expression).”

Commercial time, and Ashlee Simpson is all over this station. And no, Ashlee, if your career dies because you suck at it, that’s not sad, that’s appropriate. And stop making stupid facial expressions after you say things, it makes you look like a ditz. I see now why you dyed your hair – being blonde would open you up to so many jokes after people see you talk.

“My parents talk so much…but they never enforce it.”

Blah blah blah. MTV’s laying this point on a little thick, don’t you think? We get it --it’s not her fault, it’s her mohm and dad’s. Take it easy.

But seriously, take a parenting tip from a non-parent: Be consistent, and do what you say you’re going to do. By the way, this lack of enforcement will show up later on, so be ready.

“I can’t walk out the door with this suitcase.”

Ava gets it in her head that she just has to go to Santa Barbara on a shopping trip. She also knows her mother does not approve of this (probably because Ava has a tendency to spend a little too much when out with her friends), so she packs for this overnight shopping trip while her mother is out of the house. Mohm comes back early and Ava then has to go on the overnight trip without a suitcase. Oh, the horror! She leaves the house, letting her mother know she’ll be “right back”. With a plan like that, Ava would not survive on Alias, let me tell you. As she leaves in her car, she knows that she’s crossed some line even she wasn’t supposed to, and says, “This is big.”

“There is no mistake that my daughter left for Santa Barbara.”

This clunky English sentence means that Mohm has sleuthed out the truth. She got it when Ava was not “right back.” Mohm’s pissed beyond belief, and this is the main conflict that drives the rest of the show.

(By the way, Mohm asks the credit card company how much the last charge was and it was for $8,000(!) The Democratic Party should hire Ava as advertisement for a higher top tax bracket. She could be the reverse Willie Horton.)

Back to the conflict, and Mohm fires the first shot…

“What a bitch…(calls dad) Dad, Mohm cancelled my credit card.”

I’m telling you right now: If I have a daughter, and that daughter at age 16 calls my wife a bitch for canceling the credit card that my wife has allowed that daughter to use, that daughter is going to that place for wayward/hysterical women that was portrayed in Girl/Interrupted. I don’t care if it’s illegal and doesn’t exist, I will find it. Holy crap. I do believe the only thing to say here would be the old-timey phrase, “You kiss your mother with that mouth?”

On top of that, she calls daddy. Man, Muslim Mohm and Jewish Dad must hate each other for Ava to think she can play them off each other like that. Actually and refreshingly, calling her dad does not help. The parents are actually putting up a united front, and that only 16 years too late. But just like Alias, do they know they can trust each other? Will they cave like Shawn Bradley does against Shaq? The suspense is killing me!

“I don’t regret going at all…I deserved it, I needed it.”

I wonder: Is it Jewish or Muslim Theology that she’s basing these claims on? She deserved it? Hmm. Sounds like Kabala to me. Don’t laugh, these people have so much money I bet Madonna is at their door twice a month trying to get them to buy henna tattoos and salvation. Kabala and Scientology are probably formulating their game plans right now.

“She’s like being so unreasonably uptight.”

Just like when she wouldn’t let you go to your Sweet 16 party dressed as a $10,000 hooker, right? Mohm grounds little Ava, and Ava whines…moreso. C’mon, get to the good part…

“If I don’t get my car, I’m never going to talk to my parents again.”

This statement has the honor of being both whiny spoiled-speak and an idle threat. Ava goes to dinner with both dad and mohm (in the same room(!)) and dad drops the bombshell: Ava would in fact not be getting her range rover on this her birthday dinner that has nothing to do with her sweet sixteen party. Ava cries the most spoiled, whiny cry that I have ever heard. She cries like “The Nanny”. It’s like they surgically implanted Fran Drescher’s voice box in Ava’s windpipe. And don’t laugh, these people have the money to get that done, and have shown a willingness to do whatever Ava wants. They would have you killed if Ava so desired. Watch out.

However, there is still no Range Rover. Ava can’t believe it, and says:

“They totally killed my birthday-uh.”

She’s crying and whining, and when she does that she tends to append an “uh” to her sentences. You know, we used to make fun of people who did that when I was growing up. We used to exaggerate it, saying, “Get out of my yard-uh.” I suppose you had to be there. It was wicked funny when I was 10. Anyway, Ava’s birthday is ruined, but she continues to talk to her parents because:

“I basically realized that she kind of had a point.”

So this is a redemption story, like The Mission or Terminator II. Ava realizes when she doesn’t get her Range Rover that cars don’t grow on trees, and that even though she will never want for anything but attention because of her parents’ crapulence, she should probably stop being such a Banshee Skank so that she can enjoy the full fruits of her parents’ love. The spoils, if you will. Because she’s spoiled, get it? Ha ha hoo.

Finally, the Sweet Sixteen Party (remember that? It’s why we’re here, even though the only part of the episode dedicated to it so far was the beefcake competition at the beginning) occurs, and Ava gets carried in by young shirtless hunks in a velvet chair like you see in period pieces. They almost drop her because her boobs are too big post-surgery and it’s hard to compensate for the wind resistance. I’m just talking out of turn here, sorry. She’s wearing the ugliest outfit ever, which you just know she paid 12 grand for.

“You have to respect your mother and me.”

Ahh, the sweet sound of capitulation. Dad proves that he likes his daughter’s affection more than her respect, and shows up in her brand new white Range Rover, with the caveat above that neither one of them expects to happen. Ava squeals with joy, which as it turns out is even more annoying than her whining. This girl is incapable of producing a pleasant noise. The Range Rover has a bow on it, which is so Christmas 2002. The party guests start taking bets on how long it will be before Ava totals it. The over/under starts at 15 days.

“When I walked in with my red dress, the party really got started.”

Flash to Ava’s peers, who are all dressed up. They all hate her, you can tell. Here are a couple quotes: “This is so extravagant.”; “This is so expensive.” There’s no “Man, that Ava really deserves this, what a great girl.” All these people are just out for a free meal and something to do. You can see it in their eyes. Plus, how exactly do you handle being Ava’s friend on a day-to-day basis? How can you be friends with someone who’s whining all the time, or who thinks they’re better than you? Ava just invited the people from school who she thought were worthy, and who didn’t visibly hate her. Must have been a small party.

“You deserve it.”

Mohm, finally saying the words that Ava so desperately wants to hear 24/7. She’s talking about the party, which dad adds up the cost of. “200,000, counting the Range Rover.” He says it was worth the money, because now Ava will love him. He doesn’t say it that way, but you know he was thinking it. And Ava, having won yet again the battle of wills with her France-like parents, thanks them for the great party.

“One of the best days of my life.”

One of? I can’t take this anymore. They just dropped 200 grand on a party for you and you have to qualify it? Would it have been the best day had they let you wear the dress that involuntarily flashes your boobies at the world? Would it have been just an average day had they gotten that excessive, ugly, gas-guzzling, destined-to-be-scrapped Range Rover ahead of time like you wanted? What day was better? Maybe she should demand a $300,000 Bat Mitzvah with Jerry Seinfeld as the Rabbi. The sad part is they would have gotten it for her, had she just threatened to withhold her affection. Ava needs to be Interrupted before she turns into an actual terrorist who blows up things in order to secure the dress she wants.

Next week: A dude! Less emphasis on dresses, more on hoe’s. Is that how you spell that? Spell check thinks so.


  • At 7:59 AM, Blogger Brian said…

    I did love those shows. I had forgotten much of the funny in this one post, too.

    Hart's episode might still be my favorite, though. Because of his frickin' dad. OMG. And the fact that he got really sick on redubll, and they hired MFin' STRIPPERS. Wait, just dancers. And sunshine was really that dancer's name. No, REALLY. Her real name.


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