I don't understand why this is happening. Not that I have any real attachment to the Sweet Valley High books (I am embarrassingly versed in the particulars of the universe, but let's be honest, I only read them because as a second grader, they were the raciest books I could get my hands on)—but doesn't the existence of Gossip Girl, The OC, and, well, contemporary teen culture, kind of render these books obsolete, even if they DO get a trashy punk rock makeover courtesy of Diablo Cody?
I'm firmly if predictably entrenched in the Diablo backlash camp, but it's possible that I'd feel more warmly about this project if I hadn't read about it first on Jezebel, whose post sets a new standard for obliviously off-putting writing:
Maybe it's because I grew up in New York. Or maybe it's because I read Anais Nin and Kurt Vonnegut at an early age. Or perhaps I just always chafed against "All-American" high school depictions in books and movies, since many key staples of the genre: Suburbs! Dates! Sports! Cars! Everybody's white! seemed a little boring, a wee retro and rather narrow-minded to me.
She is so totally Stacey!!!1!! And being more of a Kristy myself, I kind of want to punch her in the face. But BSC-themed threats aside, I don't share Jezebel's conviction that what Sweet Valley really needs is a "fresh look." The Wakefields are lumped in with Nancy Drew in my mind, ridiculously wholesome even when they're being "bad," and plopping them into a contemporary teenage milieu doesn't seem to offer even a slight possibility of updating the characters in an interesting way. I'd frankly rather see a period piece that plays up the kitschy naivete of that era (a la The Brady Bunch movies) than another entry in the kids-today-are-slutty-and-mean genre. But damn if I'm not going to see it anyway—my friend Miranda (hat tip!) put it succinctly: "I am excited and resentful and annoyed."