Friday, September 6, 2013


WAS THE ORIGINAL "BEVERLY HILLS 90210" A RIP-OFF OF "SWEET VALLEY HIGH"? by Dane Youssef Now maybe this is just me, but.... I just couldn't help but notice... I had read some of the tomes in Miss Francine Pascal's world-renown series. Seriously, it didn't just have a cult following. It was a full-blown mainstream religion. It took the whole world by storm. And check out "90210." Not the big 2008 re-boot that's all the more recent. I'm talking about the original series that completely defined more than 90% of the 1990's. Which "S.V.H." did itself for reading, the 80's and girls. In a good way, of course. But in really looking at the two... 'couldn't help but notice the blinding similarities. "SVH" was a white-hot commodity back then. Hell, it was a worldwide phenomenon. But the original 90210 series that first premiered in 1990. I know it found it's very own voice and became very influential. But I noticed a really funny thing. Really funny. It was... well, exactly what the headline up there says. In the first season of a show, it's still defining it's voice. And the show seemed like... "Sweet Valley High." No really, it seemed like early on... Season One was entirely patterned after the "S.V.H." book series. Not just the characters, but the plot threads, the gimmicks... even the same tone! The scheming and manipulative plots of a lot of the girls, the focus on the school newspaper which let to major-league journalism, kids who looked like models and were impossibly perfect, the lurid affairs, the fact that these were all gorgeous children whose everyday problems were even gorgeous in some way. The use of themes as date rape, homosexual rights, alcoholism, domestic violence, Anti-semitism, drug abuse, teenage suicide, homicide, teenage pregnancy, AIDS, bulimia and abortion. Some of the characters even sound the same! They just changed a few things--like cutting up the likes of Liz, Todd, Jess, Bruce, Lila, Winston, Steven, Enid, Devon, Ned, Alice, Nicholas and Regina, Jeffrey, Amy, etc... and just moved a few things around. Very few. But I'm very astute, friends. I could tell. Come on, look at the show early on... the location of Southern California (most soaps in the '80's took place in the South since "Dallas" paved the way for that), the use of the twins (Liz and Jess, Brandon and Brenda), the parents of the twins are very similar in each series--the dad is even a lawyer in both series! Did "90210" creators Darren Starr, Aaron Spelling and co. hear about the fanatical book series trend Miss Pascal was partly responsible for? And seeing all the hype it was getting, just try to turn it into a TV show--and with very, very, VERY slight differences so as they wouldn't have to give her one red penny for it? Anyone who really read the books and watched S01 should easily pick up on what I'm getting at. Well... I'm anxious to hear from the rest of you. Please... open the floodgates. Let's speculate, shall we? --For "90210" and "The Valley"... Both of Them, Dane Youssef

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The wide world of Sweet Valley: Todd Wilkins

The wide world of Sweet Valley: Todd Wilkins:                                                          Oh Todd. I do feel a little bad for him in many of the books, because despite the...

I know what you mean. But to be fair, it was a soap-opera. All the primary characters cheated like crazy on one another. Todd cheated too. Hell, he often cheated with Jessica. They wound up getting married in the big reunion "Sweet Valley Confidential." The two WERE made for one another. But they had affairs because--well, that's what a soap opera's all about.

Friday, June 7, 2013

THOSE LATE TO CLASS... BALLET CLASS by Dane Youssef Being tardy to take up ballet is no crime or sin. Most males get into the "most feminine of art forms" late in life. A boy under 17 having anything at all to do with ballet--that can be hazardous to one's health. So any and all boys even so much as trying it... better know how to keep it under wraps. Keep your slippers, dance belt and "man-tights" under your mattress. The deepest, darkest secret... It's true, the art and form of ballet is extremely dainty and feminine. And boys doing anything ever at all like that can get one killed in the course of one recess. But... things are changing. It's a different time, it's a whole new world. Look once upon a time, only men were allowed to dance ballet--back in the dark ages, the 1500's back when it first came out. Back when ballet wasn't really ballet, but it was really more like "ballroom dancing with heavy, clunky costumes." Over time, ballet really evolved--becoming more acrobatic and gymnastic. More of a marvel, a superhuman impossibility. So of course, now the ladies are just better equipped to "do the ballet"--period. There's no speculation about it. One of the things women were just naturally meant to shine in... above all. Anyone out there know the actor Jeff Fahey? At the age of twenty-five, he started taking ballet class. Hell, he even received a full scholarship to dance with the Joffrey. ABT soloist Misty Copeland was thirteen when she took it up. Those hard-core, 48-karat ballet-aficionados--the authorities themselves on the craft will be the first tell you... you can be ANY AT ALL AGE TO DO BALLET! If you wish to try and make a living at it--well yeah, it best to start pre-pubescent. But... if you just want to do it... you can do it. Just do it. But well... talk to your doctor. No, really... like taking a prescription drug. You do have to be in decent health to do something as strenuous as ballet, the hardest, most difficult... the most damning of all exercises, all sports. All endeavors. If you can flourish in ballet, literally anything else will seem ridiculously easy after that. Believe you me... So... long rant short (though it may be too late for that now), if you want to... just dance. It's what life's all about. --My Sincerity (and to all the late bloomers), Dane Youssef