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S03.E27: A Night To Remember

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My favorite episode ever, finally! I have all the thoughts:

Unpopular Opinion: I liked Donna's hair. It IS crispy, but as someone with hair that would only take a curl like that if it were teased and sprayed with shellac, I can understand it. And I just kind of like it. Her dress on the other hand...

Brenda's drag queen eyebrows and overall Elvira aesthetic in this back half of the season make me sad. She really reached Peak Brenda Beauty during the Summer of Deception and it's all down hill from there. Loved her dress though.

My Kelly hate is showing: Her dress looks like a bridesmaid dress, as does Andrea's.

I hate defending anyone on this idiot show for trying to defend teen drinking or whatever, but I think what made everyone so agitated about the rules was the punishment, rather than the rule itself. It seemed like drinking was probably always against the rules, but now they're saying "you don't get to graduate if you get caught" at the last minute and everyone freaked out. HOWEVER: they're all still idiots, because that is a totally valid punishment for getting drunk at the prom! Christ.

And now my overall biggest beef with this episode - Why on earth didn't David just shove Donna into an elevator and take her up to the room he had reserved for them! Obviously they were not going to bone, but she could have passed out in privacy rather than the elaborate show of trying to get her across the lobby in front of all the teachers. So dumb.

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When they say you can't graduate, does that mean you're not allowed to walk in the big shindig and they just hand you your diploma in the office of shame, or do they hold you back a year? Cause the first one seems like a pretty reasonable consequence for getting caught drunk at prom to me, but then I'm old and can't appreciate the hideous injustice of these underage kids having to suffer a consequence for their actions.

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When they say you can't graduate, does that mean you're not allowed to walk in the big shindig and they just hand you your diploma in the office of shame, or do they hold you back a year? Cause the first one seems like a pretty reasonable consequence for getting caught drunk at prom to me, but then I'm old and can't appreciate the hideous injustice of these underage kids having to suffer a consequence for their actions.

 

I feel like if it was real life the first one would be true (that's how my school handled prom stuff IIRC, and it seemed reasonable to everyone at the time in 1996), but I think (and I may be wrong) that they (the show) means option two, which is insane. I feel like at some point they mention her having to go to summer school or something and that's part of the whole walk out thing... but I could be remembering incorrectly. Because she's suspended now right? So she can't take her finals which would mean she has to repeat that semester in summer school or next year. I think that's the reasoning. 

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As the daughter of a university registrar, I am pretty sure not being able to graduate would just mean preventing the student from walking the stage and being part of the ceremony; it's also a punishment university students get threatened with when they fuck up. I assume the summer school reference in Donna's case is, as Lisin says, because her suspension would mean she'd get incompletes in her second-semester classes that she'd have to make up (although since everyone's about to start finals the day of the protest, maybe not, and that part is purely punitive).

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I love how the gang looks fabulous- way better than my high school- but all the extras look EXACTLY like everyone at my high school. Their attire is chock full of the sequiney, glittery, puffy sleeved satin gowns that you would really see at a high school prom, lol! I am partial to Celeste's look but I also though Kelly looked great.

And yes! For years I have screamed at my TV- Just go upstairs to your hotel room you morons. I haven't seen on the DVDs- did they get the Cathy Dennis music?

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Ok, I'm completely on the schools side in this whole thing because these kids are so dumb about it. BUT as to the "we'll take it from here." thing. Huh? What the the? In a technical sense I don't even think Donna broke a law. Mel did by giving alcohol to her, but Donna? Drunk in public I guess? Except a hotel lobby is private property. And she's 18? Can't she just say I'm leaving, smell you later? And it has bothered me since this thing premiered in 1993 that they didn't just go up to the room! Where were they going in the lobby anyway? What was this plan? To go home? I don't get it. Also, did the school not have a dress code? Don't all schools have dress codes? Whatever. You can't fucking drink at high school events! Everyone knows this. This is not a thing.

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Gah! Also I just can't help but thinking they're all idiots and bad friends. I mean come on! Even if they didn't have a room, Brenda, go get Tony and have him put one of Donna's arms around his shoulder and he can literally just carry her as if she was walking. The fact that Kelly and Brenda are the ones supporting her as they're trying to leave has always bugged me is basically what I'm saying. Not that Dylan would have been any better because he's also teeny, but Tony on one side David on the other and just keep walking even if she's unconscious. 

 

Also, the fact that she didn't get busted while booting in the bathroom makes no sense to me. If I were Mrs. Teasley that's where I'd be monitoring if looking to find drunk kids. Just saying. 

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"The walking equivalent of manspreading"-Tara

 

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!

 

This episode is a classic on its own but the snark just elevates it to pure gold.

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For years I've been saying... Go to the hotel room!!!! Omg it was so ridiculous. Even more ridiculous that they would feel upset that there was a zero tolerance for alcohol and drugs. Of course there is! There isn't a school is America that doesn't talk about alcohol and drugs at school events.... At my high school, they had to talk about bringing alcohol and drugs TO CLASS!

 

Just do what all HS seniors do and party after the prom.... In someone's hotel room or house. Or you can do what me and my nerd friends did. Have milkshakes at a diner. Who cares? You're not at school and no one cares.

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Gah! Also I just can't help but thinking they're all idiots and bad friends. I mean come on! Even if they didn't have a room, Brenda, go get Tony and have him put one of Donna's arms around his shoulder and he can literally just carry her as if she was walking. The fact that Kelly and Brenda are the ones supporting her as they're trying to leave has always bugged me is basically what I'm saying. Not that Dylan would have been any better because he's also teeny, but Tony on one side David on the other and just keep walking even if she's unconscious. 

 

That bugged me too.  I mean, I know the guys could provide more cover but they could've also have taken her out faster and in different routes since they know that hotel so well as mentioned in the podcast.

 

The girl that was being compared to Andrea in an earlier scene is villainous Kelsey Jefferson from "All My Children."  Yeah, she always kind of talked like that.

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Gah! Also I just can't help but thinking they're all idiots and bad friends. I mean come on! Even if they didn't have a room, Brenda, go get Tony and have him put one of Donna's arms around his shoulder and he can literally just carry her as if she was walking. The fact that Kelly and Brenda are the ones supporting her as they're trying to leave has always bugged me is basically what I'm saying. Not that Dylan would have been any better because he's also teeny, but Tony on one side David on the other and just keep walking even if she's unconscious. 

 

Also, the fact that she didn't get busted while booting in the bathroom makes no sense to me. If I were Mrs. Teasley that's where I'd be monitoring if looking to find drunk kids. Just saying. 

 

Brandon is five foot nothing so he wasn't an option to carry Donna either.

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I can't get past WHERE WERE THEY GOING? Was the limo waiting in the parking lot? Then what? Take her home to her super strict parents? What was the damn plan? They are in a hotel, just find a room and let her sleep it off. I mean that's one of the many reasons my school district stopped letting schools have proms in hotels. Kids would rent rooms and bounce between the room parties and the prom getting drunk and high. By the time I can along it was strictly banquet facility. This lobby nonsense is amature hour. Steve, I expect better of you. The rest, yeah, the rest of the gang is actually this dumb.

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Also, did the school not have a dress code? Don't all schools have dress codes? Whatever. You can't fucking drink at high school events! Everyone knows this. This is not a thing.

 

If they had a dress code, it wasn't very strict if some of the outfits the girls on the show have worn are anything to go by (diaper jorts!). There is always controversy any time a school board tries to change existing rules, especially when it comes to dress codes and/or uniforms, so that part actually tracked for me. The only part I didn't buy was that Andrea stopped at calling dress codes "oppressive" and didn't come locked with arguments about the undue burden dress codes place on female students to cover up or racially coded restrictions, even without knowing the issue was on the agenda. That's just the kind of info Andrea would have at the ready.

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Can we talk about how Brenda went to the prom with the boy who would be grow up to be Abraham on The Walking Dead?

(I didn't listen to the podcast, so if you talked about it, please ignore this post and stop looking at me.)

Edited by bilgistic
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I thought all the girls looked really nice this episode. Well, by early 90s standards. Funny how Donna is the only one in a long dress.

 

Jackie really does seem to pull off those early 90s looks much better than Felice can, no?

 

Here is a music video and remix to Cathy "Oh wo oh oh" Dennis' song. Both are very interesting.

 

Edited by AndySmith

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Well it was Kelly and Brenda's plan, so yeah. You think they were smart enough to think of a plan but nope. You think Berkeley would think of a plan but nope. You think Steve...well maybe not and David is too busy trying to get laid. 

 

Donna should have had food and seriously Brenda, get over Berkeley. There are better choices like Tony Miller who at least tried, there's Steve, and even David. 

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"The walking equivalent of manspreading"-Tara

 

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!

 

This episode is a classic on its own but the snark just elevates it to pure gold.

Heh. Yes, that's a perfect description of his waddle walk. It just occurred to me that maybe he's trying to take up more space in an effort to look bigger. You know, like how cats will turn themselves sideways to look more intimidating with more surface area.

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This episode reminds me that this was the era of high school students who saw Pretty in Pink as a cultural touchstone.  Before that, many (I'm not saying ALL so spare me the contrary posts!) kids talked about going to the prom.  After PiP, the "the" got dropped and it became going to prom.  It's one of those regional things like Brits saying "to hospital" or Californians referring to taking the 405...

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Ok, I'm completely on the schools side in this whole thing because these kids are so dumb about it. BUT as to the "we'll take it from here." thing. Huh? What the the? In a technical sense I don't even think Donna broke a law. Mel did by giving alcohol to her, but Donna? Drunk in public I guess? Except a hotel lobby is private property. And she's 18? Can't she just say I'm leaving, smell you later?

 

I'm not sure if being drunk in public means you literally have to be on public property.  I think if a privately owned place is open to the public, it still counts as a public place.  I suppose Donna could try to leave, but I'm not sure how in loco parentis applies in that kind of situation.  Also I'm not sure what liability the school would have if the chaperones witnessed Donna drunk, allowed her to leave the prom on her own, and something happened to her.   

Edited by txhorns79

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It was my high school's policy that anyone caught drinking (or fighting) at (OR AFTER!) prom would be forbidden from walking in the graduation ceremony (not from actually GRADUATING/having to take incompletes in class as implied in this/next ep, which is crazy).

What's still striking to me about this two decades later is that the school could and DID suspend students for fighting, drinking, etc off campus. Seems like that should NOT be within their academic jurisdiction?! Damn, I'm mad all over again.

Although. I was personally the beneficiary of some SUPREME leniency on this policy (likely by virtue of my race, class, and college-bound status) when a TEACHER crashed my after prom party, bought all the alcohol, took pictures of himself with girl students in his lap (while he ripped on a bong, no less) and all manner of other shenanigans. By the time the first bell rang on Monday morning, I was already called into the principal's office about it. Despite the numerous violations I participated in, they didn't end up punishing me (the teacher, rightly, was fired). Twenty years later, my mom STILL runs into people who are like, "hey, didn't your daughter have that party where the teacher...?" Sorry, mom.

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Oh the hilarity of Felice being the spokesperson of the school dress code when her daughter regularly walks around with her buttcheeks hanging out.

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Although. I was personally the beneficiary of some SUPREME leniency on this policy (likely by virtue of my race, class, and college-bound status) when a TEACHER crashed my after prom party, bought all the alcohol, took pictures of himself with girl students in his lap (while he ripped on a bong, no less) and all manner of other shenanigans. By the time the first bell rang on Monday morning, I was already called into the principal's office about it. Despite the numerous violations I participated in, they didn't end up punishing me (the teacher, rightly, was fired).

 

I would say the reason they were lenient with you was because they were scared to death your parents might sue, given a teacher was present with you, contributed to your delinquency and actively condoned your activities.     

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Adding to points made during the podcast, it seemed unrealistic to me that these nondrinking kids would treat the champagne so casually. Sure, the hardened partiers Steve and Kelly may think it was no biggie, but the dorks like andrea, brandon, David and Brenda would have been so weirded out and awkward

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I am super interested in how fancy Tara gets dressed to go to the doctor? I'll usually try to shave my legs, but that's about it.

 

Lord, not me. That's a Cindy trait: listen to the S01 podcast about Brenda's breast lump. Cindy's in like a suit and a chignon.

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Adding to points made during the podcast, it seemed unrealistic to me that these nondrinking kids would treat the champagne so casually. Sure, the hardened partiers Steve and Kelly may think it was no biggie, but the dorks like andrea, brandon, David and Brenda would have been so weirded out and awkward

 

I would disagree with that. We treated when I was a kid even when we first started drinking, champagne like it was nothing. Chug it down. 

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I would like to chime in on the vomit talk. I am one that knows I have approximately 2.5 seconds after the "oh shit, I'm going to puke," feeling starts to get to a vomit receptacle before it starts coming out. I was also infuriated how Donna was running around like she was in a fun house at the local carnival. My husband was once confused when I said, "I accidentally barfed in the sink," (because it sneaked up on me so fast when I had the flu).

I was a 1995 graduate and I was surprised how in a group of friends like the 90210 gang everyone was all, "You have to have a date to go to the prom," and "I can't go, I don't have a date." It was very common at my school for a group of friends to just go to the prom and not be paired up at all. And I'm sure Mr. BMOC, Brandon, would have been able to stand around "NOT DANCING," just chatting with all the fellow students he knew.

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Was it really the norm that you didn't go to prom if you didn't have a date? That seems ... lile an unpleasant tradition. (My knowledge about American highschool customs comes solely from television, sorry). I try to tell myself that Steve already knows that Andrea has a date and that he just wants to see Brandon be rejected.

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I'm the same age as the gang before they repeated junior year. I do remember that even non school events that had alcohol were strictly forbidden (like school musical after parties). Heck- I think you can get a DUI if you have any BAC if you're under 21 in CA. Given that the school board must have sent letters about the alcohol/drug edict I'm surprised that Mel had any booze.<br />So- was Donna trying to get some liquid courage in order to do the deed with David?<br />Also, I think it's just awful how the gang is so rude to Tony Miller. He paid for everything including the hotel room. Yet the whole time Brinda acts like she's doing him a favor. I wish she could've let her guard down and just had fun with him. Hopefully his steroid use didn't cause too many problems.

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I went to an all girls high school and didn't go to my prom but was my best friend's (who graduated a year later) date. I think they sold the "bids" as a pair. Many people would just bring anyone and just hang as a group. <br />Now this may be my line opinion but I didn't like Kelly's look. White washes her out. She looks fab in red or that cobalt blue (when she was stood up by her dad and danced to end racism). As for Donna- I still can't believe Felice let her wear that. Did she have her boobs done by then?

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The other thing about the puking that gets to me is that in my experience (from reading books on the subject...) you usually sober up quite a bit after puking. Donna was acting more drunk.

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I didn't go to my senior prom because I didn't have a date but met my friends right after in their limo for our after party. Even years later my best and I wish we were progressive and self-assured enough to have gone together as she went with someone she was repulsed by so she didn't have to go alone.

Onto the prom fashion, I even as a young kid I hated all their dresses. I used to love so much of the fashion only to be horrified years later upon rewatch and continuing to be so everytime I have since rewatched. Andrea's isn't bad for Andrea, but it still looks like what a 40 year old would wear to a wedding. Donna's dress on a small chested girl or someone who didn't have those crazy implants pouring out of the dress could have been an acceptable prom dress, she also ruins it with her big ass hair. Kelly's hair looked too mature for an 18 year old and the style of dress was fine but color washed her out. Brenda's was a cute dress but her hair was not her best at all, and the overplucked eyebrows didn't help.

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The other thing about the puking that gets to me is that in my experience (from reading books on the subject...) you usually sober up quite a bit after puking. Donna was acting more drunk.

 

Yeah you do sober up more when you throw up. 

 

To be fair on the gang, it does seem like David and Brandon are decent friends or interact with Tony pretty well, I mean Brandon was going to have a poker game with him. Brenda though she just wanted "DYLAN" eugh.

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I believe Cathy Dennis went on to write the theme "song" for American Idol, so I am guessing she has enough $$$ now to buy better dresses.  At least I hope so.

 

Based on the ending credits, I wonder if Jason Priestly directed the video for her song.  IF there was a video.

 

I loved this episode.  So Much.

 

 

 

 

ETA:  Thought it was a remix video and not the original.  Apologies

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On the khaki-colored monstrosity that Brenda is wearing ... I'm seeing pocket straps. Why would anything have pocket straps? It's a strap. It's a pocket. It's pocket straps. No. All the way to hell and back no.

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Kelly has gorgeous skin but should not wear white. She is FAR too pale to pull off white. She needs jewel tones--gorgeous reds and emeralds and blues. The hairdo, though, was stunning.

It's so hard to play drunk convincingly--I know Aaron Spelling was supposed to care for his young cast so I really wish at some point he had provided acting coaches for some of them. Donna just isn't that convincing as a drunk, although I appreciate her energy. Again, I wish I could leap back into time to coach her, to show her how less is more, especially on film. (She truly did get better, she's fantastic in Death of a Cheerleader, which I've seen MANY times.)

I never thought Carteris was that unconvincing as a teenager. I knew teens with crow's feet when I was in HS.

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On 9/17/2020 at 7:56 PM, CeeBeeGee said:

Kelly has gorgeous skin but should not wear white. She is FAR too pale to pull off white. She needs jewel tones--gorgeous reds and emeralds and blues. The hairdo, though, was stunning.

 

Yes Jennie Garth had gorgeous skin, she always looked stunning in red during these early seasons when she embraced her paleness. I didn’t mind the white as it didn’t look bridal (which is hard to do with white), and on trend for the period. I do agree white looks best on persons with the most melanin. I’m brown and think I’m too pale for white. 

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