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S03.E09: Highwire


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The "D average" is such a heartbreaker example of bad TV writing.

I also want to roll my eyes at how literal the tightrope metaphor is, but as a college freshman I was once roped into a promotional photo shoot for scholarship kids where they made us balance books on our heads. You know, to show that academics are a balancing act? Stuff!

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As a college professor (at BU no less, ha), I was really struck by what was considered a college-worthy GPA in this episode (and, along the same lines, in my college applying days a couple years after this ep) - I watched this one a bit ago, but didn't Ms. Teasley say that someone's C average was totally fine for USC or the like?! I may confusing Steve's D- with Brandon's B and splitting the diff, but in any event - the benchmarks you needed to get into a good college have skyrocketed exponentially since then and these convos really kinda shocked me!

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Ahh who knows. TV shows do whatever regarding college. It's best not to think about it. 

 

Though sadly gotta go with Brandon on this mainly because I have a sister who got things like trips, cars and all that jazz. I had to earn it and it sucked seeing her get all the stuff. So basically Brandon had to see his sister go to Paris after sneaking into Mexico with the Stick Insect. But whatever.

 

Andrea is way too neurotic and I really don't give a hoot about her story lines.

 

Always thought Brandon was smart but of course he's no David Silver or Clare Arnold, so smart that they can skip grades.  

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CliffsNotes for Of Mice and Men?? It's like 40 pages long. I'd accept them for an Ayn Rand, maybe. Dumb Brandon and his B brain.

 

To be fair. People used a lot of cliffnotes in my final year of high school. Just saves time with so many other subjects, even the really smart people used it. I guess they couldn't think of something for Cliffsnotes and a book. 

 

Dylan is a pretentious windbag. "Oh I read all those books blah blah" 

 

Kelly should have locked the door. It's that simple for such a stupid story line. Sadly I think that's the most skin David will see until Ariel. 

 

Like Andrea just apply and shut up. 

 

Remember the quote of Donna regarding Kelly complaining about David. "You're just jealous that for the first time I have a boyfriend and you don't." Yes cause that's it Donna. 

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I've been following this podcast since the beginning but finally created an account to comment!

Why the heck was Dylan in Andrea's first dream? Wasn't that super random to anyone else?!

I hated the whole David/Kelly shower scene. I feel it would have made more sense in S2. It seemed like a tacked on storyline to give BAG something to do in the episode since he hadn't yet decided to graduate early and therefor would have had nothing to do. It also furthered the "Kelly is most beautiful person ever" narrative that ran throughout this season (and the whole show).

These are really the episodes where Kelly starts to lose me. Team Brenda forever, but I still tried to hold onto my love for Kelly. Stop flirting with your best friends boyfriend in public at the restaurant you all hang out in! Don't show up to his house and say sexual innuendo! And Dylan, you are vile, don't tell your girlfriend you love her on the phone while looking at some other girl! Then you call your girlfriend back and say you love her again, like this time you "actually mean it?"

P.S. Donna's dad thought she was stupid? From his first appearance he is always shown as adoring Donna and never thinking of her as less than anything. Maybe they weren't thinking of Donna Martin Graduates when they wrote this.

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P.S. Donna's dad thought she was stupid? From his first appearance he is always shown as adoring Donna and never thinking of her as less than anything. Maybe they weren't thinking of Donna Martin Graduates when they wrote this.

Nothing of what was established with Donna in the beginning tracks with her current character. Especially, her parents. So, I think it's best to just skip past early Donna stuff.
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I hate that I know this: the reason they used a tightrope was because GC actually learned to walk a tightrope for Circus of the Stars (an actual show in the 80s/90s) so they trotted it out. But that's no excuse for her outfit. <br /><br />Dylan telling Brenda he loves her while staring at Kelly was the moment even 12 year old Tooch realized he was a fucking skinny twat unworthy of my love. What a douuuuche. <br /><br />Brandon thinking he could get into any of those schools with a B average haha! Stanford!?! I had an above 4.0 thanks to AP classes in high school and I still got rejected by NYU.

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Just a nitpick, but it's ridiculous that Brenda would tell Dylan that she hated motorcycles when he offered her a ride. One of their most iconic exchanges was in S1 when Brenda was jogging with that bad wig and said, "I like your butt...I mean your bike" and then she hopped on to ride with him. Just another contrived way to show them "growing apart" and contrasting her with Kelly who wants to "ride" with him.

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Was it that iconic? I don't even remember that scene. Iconic Dylan and Brenda for me is breaking up in his car while Losing My Religion plays or him carrying her while she giggles in her Spring Fling (or whatever it was called) dress or "Give me a reason to come back" or potted plants being smashed outside of hotels...

Edited by AndySmith
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I can see Brandon's frustration with the Paris trip to a point, but then I do the math on how much the Paris trip would have cost and I know it cannot begin to compare to how much completely rebuilding a classic Mustang (TWICE!!) would have cost. Especially considering that both of those times the rebuilding was needed because of Brandon's hubris. Brenda kind of was sent to Paris as a punishment. The idea was to get her away from Dylan and it ended up working, yeah it's extreme and extravagant, but in theory it did also get her some sort of school credit so it wasn't a complete loss on that end either. Brandon just got a fairly fancy car rebuilt twice because he brayed about it.  

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Though sadly gotta go with Brandon on this mainly because I have a sister who got things like trips, cars and all that jazz. I had to earn it and it sucked seeing her get all the stuff. So basically Brandon had to see his sister go to Paris after sneaking into Mexico with the Stick Insect. But whatever.

 

I reserve my anger mostly for Jim and Cindy.  What kind of crappy parents would pit their kids against each other like this?  The conversation should have been: "Brenda, Brandon, here is the money we can offer each of you for college.  We will work with both of you to find additional sources of money if the college you want is more expensive than what we can afford."   

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I actually never blamed Brandon for the second time the Mustang got fucked up, you ask me it was all Brenda and Dylan's fault for taking his keys instead of having Brenda drive his car home for him and forcing him and Emily into it (or giving them cab money). Dylan is in particular to blame here--he's sooooo worldly about raves but he didn't know that leaving a nice car in a horrible neighborhood was a bad call?

 

As for why Brandon needed a ride at all, well that wasn't quite his fault either hehe.

 

Jim and Cindy still suck though. Completely.

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I actually never blamed Brandon for the second time the Mustang got fucked up, you ask me it was all Brenda and Dylan's fault for taking his keys instead of having Brenda drive his car home for him and forcing him and Emily into it (or giving them cab money). Dylan is in particular to blame here--he's sooooo worldly about raves but he didn't know that leaving a nice car in a horrible neighborhood was a bad call?

 

That's a fair point. They were real shit heads about that. It's also possible that insurance would have covered some of that damage. It's just... Brandon is such an ass I have trouble giving him any points here. I do know that may be more about me and less about him being wrong though. 

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An a native of CA this episode always frustrates me. CA literally has the top ranked public university system in the USA. UCLA, Berkley, and Davis are consistently listed as top public ives. UCSD, CalPoly, and UC Irvine are also often ranked. Not to mention there are a slew of other top public options. At the time sending 2 kids to a UC was about the same cost as 1 at many private schools. And we're supposed to believe that financial planner Jim didn't set up a college fund the day the twins were born? The whole plot is so stupid. Why is it this all or nothing? Why does no one mention the cheap in state tuition at California's TWO (TWO people!) public university systems? Ug, find a less stupid way of keeping everyone on the show for the college years.

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Also I have a tendency to want to hit someone when they try to play the Walsh family as anything other than upper class. Oh my god! When Jim goes on his rant about how they're too rich for financial aid and too poor for it not to matter! NO YOU'RE NOT! And yeah, asshole. Federal aid isn't intended for fucking rich people living beyond their exceptionally large means! How about college educated Cindy gets a J-O-B! My mom did it when it was time for us to go to college. She didn't make much, but it was enough to cover in-state tuition. Or you sell your Beverly Hills mansion and move into something smaller now that you're empty nesters. Asshole family. Sorry, I just really hate these plots where everyone has to ignore 2 or 3 obvious solutions in order to move a stupid plot forward.

Edited by FozzyBear
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Also in the makes-no-sense column, if Brenda was just assuming that she and Dylan would go to the same college, why didn't her "major obsessing" over where to go and her college counselling meeting and blah blah ever include him? She seems really set on going out-of-state until the tuition thing comes up - is he just supposed to tag along which whatever she decides? I mean, Dylan is the worst and I feel a bit like Lisin does about Brandon and his car about it, but she is being a bit self-centred. 

Edited by MissEwa
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She assumed he would tag along I guess.

 

See the thing with the car I guess if I look back, Dylan wasn't that good of a friend then. He knew he was high and not thinking, so you give him money and leave his car alone? He says he goes to raves but whatever. When you're friend is in a situation where he or she can't drive because drugs or drinking, you stay with them until they get home or are on the way home. You don't leave them there. 

 

Plus Paris (as a punishment) + Program + Accommodation + Spending Money + Money spent driving to Mexico (gas) > Repairing a Mustang (twice). I mean Mushtags are your go to classic car, so they would be cheaper to replace than I guess a Ferrari, an Aston Martin or a Maserati. Plus Brandon does work while Brenda doesn't. Still Jim and Cindy should have done it a lot better but whatever. 

 

Andrea is smart enough to get a scholarship, Steve, Kelly, Donna and David have money. 

 

idk TV shows don't have time to think things through 

 

Also to be fair on Cindy I heard that FOX didn't want her to have a job. So can't fault her. 

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