My Super Bittersweet Sixteen - Review and Summary in
750 846 words or less (ugh)
The least you need to know: Jenna is a sloppy drunk who can’t keep her lips shut, or to herself. So, Matty isn’t talking to her and neither is Tamara, who may or may not (I don’t believe it) have authored the “care-frontation” letter.
The Set-up: Happy Birthday, Dear Jenna! Except it’s not—she’s nearly friendless at this point, except for Ming, but she’s got mono. (Who was Ming kissing?) To top it all off she fails her driving test. No wheels for Jenna. At school, Tamara has already moved on to a new BFF (B=band). But wait, someone has decorated her locker…stalker boy?? And then there’s Sadie, never one to miss an opportunity to kick a person who’s down. Jenna can’t take it, not today, so she begs Val to write her a note to go home, but Crazycakes seems to be the only one genuinely excited to celebrate with her homegirl and gifts her a Sixteen Candles DVD—because Jake Ryan can make anything okay!
The Sagging Middle: Int. school cafeteria. The ultimate haves vs. haves-not arena. Jenna is exiled to a table by herself, while Tamara is with the BFF pissing about Ricky Schwartz’s wandering eyes, until she gets a sexy text from the asshat and she quickly forgives him. The BFF accuses her of a double-standard, but Tamara defends that she and Ricky were unofficial, while she and Jenna were bonded for life.
Sweetheart Jake stops by to ask if she’s going to the big game this afternoon. And invites her sit as his table, with Matty. And Sadie. No, she wants to keep a low pro. Wishful thinking, because here comes Crazycakes with a birthday cake and a bullhorn. Sadist Sadie blocks her escape, and birthday rap ensues. Sweet Jesu! The cringe is palpable, even from Matty. Can it get any effing worse? Yes, yes it can—her monthly bill came early and Tamara is the keeper of the backup pants.
Forced into her gym shorts and sporting the whitest legs ever and some circa-1982 rainbow knee-highs (I had a pair just like them when I was 8), all vestiges of dignity are nil. But her mom won’t come get her yet cause she’s doing something at the house?!? Fine. Football game it is. (Uh, since when are football games right after school?) Lucky for her, sweetheart Jake waves her over to sit by him. In the band block, Tamara has had it with Ricky’s philandering ways and makes plans to end to their “flirtationship” right after the game.
Jenna’s bored. Then Matty shows up and puts the digs in a little more by cheering on Sadie right in front of her. Sadie is super-pissed to see Jenna sitting with her friends, and means to stop to all things Hamilton. Stat.
Total tension between Matty and J in the bleachers, and when Jake asks Matty if his big (drunk) brother, a former HS football star, is still kicking his ass, Matty answers yes, but that he’s not the only one. Side-eye to Jenna. Feeling sh-tty, J tries to go, but sadist Sadie ambushes her and lays down the law about stealing her friends. She punctuates it by dumping her iced mochaccino all over Jenna. (Sadie is an irredeemable b-tch at this point, for me. I don’t care about her recessive chub gene--she deserves it.) Please, Lacey, come get your daughter!
Again, Sweetheart Jake (who’s cheerleader gf, Lissa, is strangely absent this whole epi), offers Jenna a ride to the football afterparty. But she’s not going. Neither is Matty, as Jake points out, so he can give her a ride home. Over Sadie’s dead body. Except Matty steps up like a gentleman. (F-off Sadie!)
In his car, Jenna profusely apologizes again for the harsh words at the party. But Matty admits she was right, not about being too good for her, but he cares too much what other people think. And it kills him that she thinks so (ahhhh, sniff). There’s a cute moment with the aforementioned rainbow socks before they arrive at J’s home. Friends, again? she asks. Totally. Except her real wish was for a boyfriend. And maybe Matty wants to be?? Come on Matty, just say something!! But he pusses out. Ugh.
The Final Act: Ta da! Her mom made over her room into something from the Vegas strip complete with mirror on the ceiling over the bed for chrissake!!! Time for some Jake Ryan time. Tamara tries to put down the Ricky-crack pipe, but can’t give it up just yet. Jenna learns a lesson from Molly Ringwald: you can’t expect others to be cool with you unless you’re cool with yourself. She tears up the damned care-frontation letter. Knock at the door—it’s Matty (squee!) He forgot to wish her a happy birthday and…he doesn’t want to be friends. He wants to be more!!! Sigh. This episode lacked only a glass dining table.
Best Matty/Jenna Moment: See above, and the clenched hands on the steering wheel.
Best Line: Those spandex bastards think they own they road.
Okay, now for the contest part: A little Jake Ryan makes everything better, so tell me how you celebrated or will celebrate your 16th birthday and you're entered to win your very own Sixteen Candles DVD (US/Canada residents only. Contest end midnight PT 9/17/11).