Pen15 and the year 2000

AOL, Babyspice666, a Backstreet Boys poster pinned on the wall. Gel pens and bucket hats. Pen15 is a trip down the memory lane and the year 2000 bring back those moments that we wish we had erased from our memories.

Hey Fool! Looking great with matching bucket hats, fool!

The year 2000 and the poor fashion choices

Hey Fool! How old were you in the year 2000? I was 14/15 so I remember those days like it was yesterday. Being a huge fan of tv shows that leads the audience to a different era and shows like That’s 70 Show, The Goldbergs, and Fresh of the Boat are some good examples of what we can binge on Hulu now.

Last year my best friend suggested me Pen15, and I got immediately hooked on. I watched the entire season in 3 days and hoped for more. Wishing the show never got canceled, because it was a masterpiece, but as I said before, sometimes being an awesome tv show it’s not enough.

Especially when it’s based on the year 2000 and the main characters are playing themselves as 13 years old which means, the kissing scenes between the teens never happen on the regular angle, because the other characters are younger than Maya and Anna.

Pen15 brings back the uncomfortableness of being in middle school. All the cringe moments that make you want to hide your head on the ground like an Emu, are all the moments we lived through and had to face it. In the first season, when they showed Maya being bullied and being call UGIS (ugliest girl in school) all around, I cried.

UGIS

I cried because I was also voted the ugliest in my class in 7th grade. The popular girls made a voting list and passed around the classroom, as they got the results, they ran to the bathroom, giggling. When they read the results and laughed, I was right there, because I thought they were my friends, so I followed them to the bathroom. At that moment, I convinced myself I was ugly, and that dictated how I behaved in the following years.

The show’s second season takes a deeper look at growing up. Anna is dealing with her parents’ separation, while still sharing the same house, and Maya is desperately trying to have her first kiss. The second season has only 7 episodes and its amazingly well written.

Most os the episodes were written by Anna,Maya and Sam Zvibleman , I believe that’s all they got ready before the pandemic. While I was hoping for more episodes, it was a perfect way to end it with a cliff hanger. Will Maya ever realize that Sam likes her?

Another very delicate moment of the show is Gabe. Gabe is gay, and it’s all new to him, as he still very unsure of how to deal with this new feeling, or how to open up to anyone about it. So he plays along and he unwilling hurts Maya, while giving in to the idea of being her boyfriend, so they could kiss on the play. Spoiler alert- They don’t kiss.

The scenes are very emotional and I think it was very well written and portrayed, if you didn’t cry watching his struggle, you are not human. I just wanted to give a hug and protect him. Hey Awesomeness TV and Lonely Island: We need a Gabe spin-off!

While watching the show, it felt like I had relieved all the moments, like I was back in 7th grade again, after moving to a new city, where the girls were far too advanced for 13 years old, feeling like I didn’t belong there. Most of my time was spent at home, helping my mom with food prep o listening to my boombox and reading my magazines.

My love interest was Leonardo Dicaprio and I was totally into the idea of becoming his bride child, I knew he always liked the girls way younger than him anyway, and this boy who I and my friends called “strawberry”.

That was because he used to flush when he played soccer with the other guys, and yes, Strawberry guy and I end up going on a date or two a few years later, only for me to realize he was trash. Completely utterly trash. Just like Brandt on the show, he was weird and full of himself.

The final straw was when strawberry took me to the mall, just to make his ex-girlfriend jealous and got back to me after I saw him with the girl. Still, he had the audacity of saying “Can we talk?”. No. You go back to your girl, I’m leaving. I left and kept the 5 bucks for the Ice-cream he gave me before he disappears with the girl. You not going to waste my time and leave me without my ice-cream, do better.

The year 2000 led me to my Spec Script about the show

Carefully represented on the show with gel pens, music, and clothes. I used to have the same long skirt Anna wear in some of the scenes and the bucket. at the Vendy Wicanny episode it felt like when I watched The Craft and insisted to my mom I was a witch. In July, I submitted a script to the Nickelodeon writing program, and after 1 season of Pen15, in which I had to write a spec script about it.

A spec script works the same way as the test skills on the Indeed website, where you check your qualifications while applying for a job. A-Spec is a stand-off script of a tv show, where you show your knowledge about the show’s dynamic, character’s voice, and how consistent you can be with the storyline while writing for someone else tv show.

It is like a cover letter, only with about 28 pages, if you decided to write a comedy spec. Pen15 was the easiest of all shows, because I lived in that era, had the same age as the characters. So writing while listening to N’Sync “Thinking of you”, was like being back in my old room, while writing fanfics about my favorite boybands.

It took me 3 weeks to come up with a story, which was based on something that happened to me, luckily , Maya’s character is as absurd and intense as I was, so it was easy to fill in the gaps and create my own episode.

I had to dig deep, as in July there was only one season to study all the characters mannerisms and vocabulary. I ended up watching hours of interviews and got into the Youtube hole to make sure I didn’t mess up.

If I messed up something on that script, it was probably my grammar, as I didn’t have much time at all to go over again, before submitting, as this would cause me a lot of insecurities and self-doubt. Besides that, what are the odds of me winning the contest to work at Nickelodeon?

Yeah Fool!

There are plenty of funny moments on the show, on episode 2, when they decided to join the wrestling team, had to gain about 12 lbs in a week and they do it while eating boiled eggs with peanut butter. The coach is amazed by their ability and in awe by their commitment.

The show is not cliche, but it has a fine line between the chaos and the absurd we find in those situations, like when a new friend comes around and add words to your vocabulary and misdemeanor behavior towards your parents. You have to get spanked by your mom in the middle of the store for calling her a bitch.

If you never watch the show, it’s a great nostalgic way to relieve those days. And cringe. Or if you were born after, it’s a good way to learn how fun weird the beginning of the 2000s was.

Thats is for now, I will find more movies and tv shows to talk about on the next week’s post. Let me know in the comments if you watched Pen15 and how was the year 2000 for you!

J.G.Snelly

90 day Fiancee Train Wreck- Part 2

 I swear 90-day fiancee is like being part of a cult. I will explain why. On Sundays, a great number of people gather on twitter with the hashtag 90-day fiancee, to discuss other people’s relationships and households. The show has a duration of two hours and after that, it comes 90-day fiancee- Pillow Talk, another hour, with former cast members, usually the most popular ones, so they can talk about what we talked about during the previous two hours. We engage in their opinions and talk about what they are talking about someone else is talking about. Yeah, it feels like a cult. Once you are in to judge those stranger’s life, it is hard to detach. Because we are driven and allured by the craziness of those individuals, who either changed their entire life and move to another country for love, or for the ones who are here trying to adapt to the culture the person brought to their household. Add that to the family and friend’s fear of the American being scammed for a green card and you have yourself a cauldron of hype.

Continuing from part 1, liveoutloudtoo.com/2020/09/28/the-train-wreck-that-is-90-day-fiancee-part-1/

I left the best of my opinion and judgment for the last part. In this last part, we have The Rude Crowd, The spoiled brats, and The Brazilians. 

Let’s start with The Rude:

Andrei, Robert and Mark and possibly Big Ed 

All these guys have one thing in common: they want to be the boss, the bigger person, and the ones right all the time. I don’t think Andrei is this rude in real life, I also think his accent and communication skills play a big part in how he is portrait on the tv show. Yes, he has his moments, we all have. But he is also constantly triggered by Elizabeth’s family, which being in a different country and having to deal with this Floridian trash people, I would lose my mind too. Imagine that the bear is quiet, and you keep poking and poking. When the bear comes after you, you blame the bear. 

Robert

He and Annie was the most aggravating couple of that season. He was rude, she was rude back. He probably promised her the world, and when she gets here, he takes her to Goodwill to buy clothes. There is nothing wrong with Goodwill, but people from different countries don’t understand the culture of second-hand clothing unless it comes from a cousin we know, we don’t want to take used clothes from strangers. That’s exactly what happens to Annie, she got mad with him and he thought she was a golddigger. Also, the fact that Robert’s son has a porn start grandma, who straight asked Annie if she was on birth control and offer to pay her ticket back to the DR. What is up with this Florida people? All the nutcases from the show are generated from that state. My friend says that is too much sun in the head.  

Mark 

Number one in rudeness. He was married to a lady Philippines before and she left (oh jeez, I wonder why?) leaving him alone to raise their children alone. After the kids are grown, he went back to the Cebu and found himself a younger version of the one who got away, Nikki. I guess that was a 40 years difference between them and the was the rudest person to her, doubting her intentions, asking for a prenup, yelling at her because she was not doing much at the house. That’s the only couple I hope she didn’t go through with the wedding. But she did and they are still married. 

Big Ed

Before the 90 days comes Big Ed. Four ft nine of pure gracious roundness and mayo in the hair. Big Ed is a photographer from San Diego and was communicating with Rose online for some time, so he decides to go to the Philippines, to meet her in person. After arriving in the “pines” with his little backpack, he questions himself as Rose is nowhere to be found. After being 1 hour later, Rose shows up, as I kept thinking that she was hiding behind a wall, deciding if the rest of big Ed would show up at some point since only half of him was there. The first thing she says “I thought you were taller!”, the rest of him is not coming Rose, that’s all you get. They go on to a nice hotel and the rudeness starts, he askes her to shave her legs, buy her a mouth wash, because he told her she news to take care of her breath. Rose explains to him its a stomach problem. They travel to her house, where she lives with the rest of her primary family. It’s scorching hot, there is no AC and Rose sleeps on a mattress on the floor. Big Ed starts questioning if she wants him for a better life. She doesn’t care at all about her living conditions, as she flips on him and his rude behavior after a while. Rose leaves the hotel and Big Ed comes back to America devastated. I was sad for Rose having to go through all this American Dynasty type of behavior. 

The Spoiled brats 

From the last season, we have Kailani, Tania, and Deavan of the 90 days the other way. Let’s start with Tania. 

Tania met the South African bartender Syngin on a trip, rapidly moved in with him there for the rest of her trip, and got proposed. Syngin if free spirit and chill. Tania is controlling and has a Valley accent we don’t know she got it from since she is from Connecticut. When he first arrived in the country, she had a trip to Costa Rica booked for some holistic classes, like witchery or something. She left Syngin here for a month, alone, even though they only had 90 days to live together before getting married. In Costa Rica, she hangs out with other girls, danced with strangers, said Syngin was too controlling. She also said he was not her soulmate. In his face. Too late to give up now. I feel like he was trapped and still is. A match made in heaven. 

Kailani looks like the type that relies on her family for all the answers she needs. She has a whole support system and this ok until a certain point, you have to let people make mistakes for them to grow. She thinks everything is Asuelo’s fault, you take a boy from the island and expect him to be a man just because he became a dad, sorry, it will take time for him to mature. Everything is new for him, the country, the wife, the kids, the new family asking him questions he doesn’t have an answer yet. This people’s biggest mistake is projecting on the other person what they want them to be. They push and push and when the other person loses their mind it’s their fault. Gaslighting at its finest. They don’t understand the language barriers, culture shock, adapting to the new norm. That doesn’t happen overnight, I’m in America for 8 years now, and I still struggle in some aspects. It’s normal, but the Americans don’t get it.  

Deavon is another nutcase. Found herself trapped forever with that man-child Jihoon, as she got pregnant immediately after meeting him. Another person who relies completely on her family, as she and her daughter live with her parents. Her daughter spins around the house like a crazy helicopter with no pilot. Jihoon keeps saying he is gonna change and do better and she keeps expecting him to do it. As she moves herself to Korea with the two babies, nothing gets better as her mom budge in to give her a hateful opinion about Jihoon. We don’t need any negativity towards him, he is already a basketcase himself. 

Last but not least, my favorite subject The Brazilians. 

Where are my flowers?

The Brazilians are always portrayed as crazy, desperate, and would take whoever it comes their way to give themselves a better life outside Brazil. I can almost guarantee you Larissa was never in love with Colt. She was infatuated and dreaming about the possibilities her life with him would give her in America. Than mother Debbie, like a Thundercat, decided Larissa would not abuse her little precious boy and went after her like he got bitten in kindergarten by another kid. So much gaslighting got her arrested multiple times. Larissa was seeing in the first season as a villain. I thought she was a bit too much, but not a villain. We don’t know her back story. We know she has kids, but that’s it. She doesn’t talk about her family, previous relationships, nothing. It is like she is a blank page in the United States. Fresh out of the boat. 

Karine 

The first time we saw Karine, she was barely 20, living in the most secluded area of the Brazilian Amazon. Almost like an indigenous person, she was also happy with her living conditions, and then she met crazy Paul. Crazy and I mean CRAZY. He took tones of luggage to go see her, spend days on a boat, without speaking any Portuguese, got chased with a machete at the park, run for his life, and proposed to her. They get married, she gets pregnant and moody, she spends the entire pregnancy threatening to divorce him. The baby is born and they finally come to America. It was not what she was expecting. I will say it again, in Brazil, we expect what we see on tv. Snow, hallmark, and Christmas movie scenarios. I was alluded by Gilmore Girl’s small-town way of living. I’m still disappointed that Marietta, GA has nothing to do with Stars Hollow, Connecticut. My American husband still makes fun of me because of that. “Do you know this is a warner bro lot right?” “Shush. I don’t want to know”  

Julianna

The most mentally stable Brazilian we have seen on the show so far. She was sweet, independent, had her mind in the right space, and loved Michael’s kid. She freaked out a little when asked about the prenup, because that for us, is a lack of trust. A question here and there about the finances to shake up the storyline, but everything went well at the end and they got married. I don’t have much to write about stable people, just train wrecks. 

I don’t think I need to make a special category about the most popular ones like Danielle and Mohamed, Nicole and Azan, Darcy & Jessie, Darcy and Tom, Darcy and the new guy. This post will never end.

I think that wraps it up to my two-part post about the 90-day fiancee show. I love trash tv and I’m always fishing for some new content. I also watch Love after Lockup, Marrying Millions, and Married at first sigh. Catfish and TeenMoon on MTV too. So catch me on twitter if you like to share any opinion on Trash TV. Is there any other show that I’d have to watch? Let me know in the comments!

J.G.Snelly