Episode 19: Fear Street: First Date

Chelsea is an ordinary high school girl, obsessed with boys and the saxophone and her diet.... until a new kid comes to school.  Will Chelsea's first date become her last date?!  Will the roving gangs of greaser punks take over the 90's?  Why does this diner close at 7?  Find out with this thrilling episode where we take on a Fear Street book!

There is no sexual assault (and indeed no sex) in this book, but there is the constant threat of random violence from literally every guy in town.  Stay indoors!  Lock your doors!  Do not date!

Another Courtney Superspecial:

As I desperately try to cling to my youth and simultaneously shop for eye creams; we continue on our 4 for 40 with R.L. Stine’s “Fear Street: First Date.”

In 1989 R.L. Stine knew what the world needed was stories of terrified teen girls told through the lens of a middle aged man. With over 50 books in the series, R.L. Stine was getting that shit done and Fear Street is considered one of the most popular YA series of all time. The original books have these amazing covers that are reminiscent of 80s slasher flicks, sometime in the 2000s they were rebranded and the covers lost the fun campiness. The books take place in the fictional town of Shadyside, where adults are never around and everyone gets murdered but school goes on business as usual. I was too old for that Goosebumps bullshit but the Fear Street series I wanted hooked to my veins. If you never read a Fear Street book just imagine taking “Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors,” and watering it down to CW levels of violence. If you’ve never seen Dream Warriors, you can fuck right on out of here.  

So “First Date,” is about Chelsea who is new to town. Her family sinks their life savings into a shitty diner in a seedy part of town. Are there no shitty diners in Chelsea’s home town? These questions DO NOT get answered.  Chelsea is shy and plays the saxophone (the sexiest of woodwinds) she has one friend who is a garbage person which fits in nicely as most of the people surrounding her are garbage. Chelsea has never been out on a date (in spite of playing the saxophone) her luck changes when not one but two dudes ask her out. Too bad one of them is a murderer and the other one just sucks.

This leads us to the subject of today’s post: THE SHITTINESS OF 90’s HEARTHROBS. Y’all, the dudes we used to love, they sucked. They sucked hard. Emotional Vampires who required as much emotional labor as they did hair gel. Let’s dive in!

1)      My So Called Life Jordan Catalano: Sure he had that dynamite 90s super haircut and a shearling jacket but remember his dumb band and that he led Angela on for most of the show. Also, when a rumor about him and Angela doing it circulates, his idea is to just go ahead and do it rather than tell the truth. Dirtbag. Honorable Mention is Brian who thought he deserved Angela, just because he was “nice.”

2)      Beverly Hills 90210 Brandon AND Dylan:  Two side of the same coin here. Brandon always needed to save a girl and Dylan always needed to be saved. These two just needed to date each other. Brandon was so sanctimonious always lecturing everyone plus his ass led Andrea on for years.  Dylan cheated on his girlfriend with her best friend and then whined when he had to choose between them. Donna got the best of the bunch with David and Andrea should have invested in Sex Idiot Steve.  (Sara's note: I ALSO CHOOSE ME.)

3)      Friends Ross Geller: Ross Geller is the king of Nice Guys. Being in love with Rachel for years and looking at her from a distance with that hang dog face is supposed to make us root for him. I hate the nice nerdy guy in love with the hot girl trope. You’ve never talked to her but you’re different than everyone else who objectifies her because your sensitive. Sit down Geller. Also you got married to another woman and called her Rachel’s name and somehow you managed to network your way into jobs at Columbia and the Museum of Natural History…don’t think so.  (Sara's note: I am possibly the only person in the world who has never seen a full episode of Friends. Or Seinfeld!  I know, it doesn't seem possible.)

4)      Reality Bites Troy Dyer: There is no man I hate more than Troy. Fucking Troy who emotionally abuses Lelaina for an entire movie. He mocks her at every turn for everything. Also, his “witty” burns are just dumb, “I’d like to buy the world a coke.” “Premature Evacuation.”  You should have stayed in school, dumb fucker. Other highlights include slut shaming Lelaina for having sex with Michael. Then after having sex with Lelaina, bails and admits that he is gonna do mean things, but you know he loves her. Troy is an oversized child who refuses to grow up and is toxic as hell. I was infuriated when Lelaina took him back all because his dad died and he showed up in a shitty, too big suit. It still enrages me that we were given this relationship and told to root for it. Want these two people together. Here is a terrible man who says and does terrible things but he has a beautiful face and is in pain. We can mask how toxic this relationship is if we throw some great music behind it. GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER. Honorable Mention: Michael. Also a dirtbag. Michael was manipulative but you know, never called Lelaina a slut.

5)      Billy Ulrich from Scream…because obviously he tries to murder Sydney, after having sex with her. Gross.

6)      David McCall from Fear…see above but with Nicole

Producer's Note: The music for this episode is "Tales of Mystery & Isolation" by Wolfmen of Mars, used with their permission. You can find the track on their album "The Witch, The Goat & The Malevolent Spirit," available at Bandcamp and Amazon! Check them out ... they're awesome!

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