Nostalgic Bookshelf

Snarky recaps of nostalgic media, including Making Out, Baywatch, Blyton and Baby-Sitter's Club
11
Sep 2018
The End of Flutter Valley (G1 Cover)

The End of Flutter Valley (G1 Cover)

Title: The End of Flutter Valley (Parts 9-10)

Summary: The ponies are on their way to Flutter Valley for the Sun Tuesday celebration with the Flutter Ponies. Meanwhile, the Witches from the Volcano of Gloom are busy hatching a plan to destroy Flutter Valley and the ponies, allying with an army of giant bees to get their revenge on the Flutter Ponies. The bees steal the precious Sun Stone, and if the Flutter Ponies can’t get it back, their home will be destroyed.

The End of Flutter Valley (G2 Cover... why?)

The End of Flutter Valley (G2 Cover… why?)

Grade:

[Dove: D- (see Final Thoughts for my reasoning)]

[bat: D]

Recap:

Just so you know, instead of running around like headless chickens and trying to recap 2 hours’ worth of episodes between the two of us in a single post, we have decided to do this in two-episode batches. Also, if any one person had to recap this whole thing, I think that person would resign.

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My Little Pony , , , ,
14
Aug 2018
The End of Flutter Valley (G1 Cover)

The End of Flutter Valley (G1 Cover)

Title: The End of Flutter Valley (Parts 5-6)

The End of Flutter Valley (G2 Cover... why?)

The End of Flutter Valley (G2 Cover… why?)

Summary: The ponies are on their way to Flutter Valley for the Sun Tuesday celebration with the Flutter Ponies. Meanwhile, the Witches from the Volcano of Gloom are busy hatching a plan to destroy Flutter Valley and the ponies, allying with an army of giant bees to get their revenge on the Flutter Ponies. The bees steal the precious Sun Stone, and if the Flutter Ponies can’t get it back, their home will be destroyed.

Grade: This will be given when bat and I finally reach the end of this 10 part epic. *sigh*

Recap:

Just so you know, instead of running around like headless chickens and trying to recap 2 hours’ worth of episodes between the two of us in a single post, we have decided to do this in two-episode batches. Also, if any one person had to recap this whole thing, I think that person would resign.

Read more »

My Little Pony , , ,
7
Aug 2018
The Hole (2001)

The Hole (2001)

Title: The Hole

Summary: Four teenagers at a British private school secretly uncover and explore the depths of a sealed underground hole created decades ago as a possible bomb shelter.

[Dove: Yeah, no, sorry imdb, but that makes it sound like a caving adventure. What happens is four teenagers are locked in the bunker, with no means of escape, and the film explores what put them there and what happened in the hole.]

Grade: B

Note 1: In England, public school means publicly funded, e.g., the parents of the students, the public, pay for its running costs. I know this means the opposite in America. [Wing: Americans, it’s a private boarding school. It’s great.]

Note 2: I’m trying to recap the story as it unfolds, and if you’ve seen this you’ll know that what you see in one scene can well be contradicted in another. So my comments take the scene at face value. I’ll loop back to anything on the contradicting scene, rather than “spoiling” what comes next. [Wing: Smart plan! And so is the one below.]

Note 3: I won’t mention the contents of the book. However, when I recap the book, I will definitely mention the contents of the film.

Initial Thoughts

Just FYI, this is one of my favourite movies. Please note the difference between “favourite” and “best”. If you want my “best” movie, it’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest or Stand By Me. This falls firmly in the guilty pleasure category.

It was one of the first movies Raven and I watched when we moved in together. It was so early on in our relationship that we didn’t have a TV licence (we were waiting for payday) and so we were very naughty by watching it.

Also, I will be recapping the book. If you’ve always wanted to read the book but never got around to it, go buy the book now. The book is a very different entity to the movie, and it really should be read if you enjoy this story or any variation of it.

Also, I did screen caps of this entire movie for the cap_it community at LiveJournal. Who knew that 12 years later, it would save me a task when I came to recap the movie? [Wing: I remember people frantically asking you to screen cap Kiera Knightley’s tits, and you refusing, like the A+ person you are.]

[Wing: I love this movie so much. Dove introduced me to it, and the book, as she does many things, and I adore it to this day.]

READ AT DEVIL’S ELBOW

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3
Aug 2018
Famous Five 6: Five on Kirrin Island Again by Enid Blyton

Famous Five 6: Five on Kirrin Island Again by Enid Blyton

Title: Famous Five #6: Five on Kirrin Island Again by Enid Blyton

Summary: What is Uncle Quentin up to on Kirrin Island? He won’t let anyone visit—not even the Famous Five! But he’s not alone on George’s island—somebody is watching his every move! Can Julian, Anne, Dick, George and Timmy the dog find out who and warn Uncle Quentin?

Initial Thoughts

*sigh* I’m really sorry, but I hate this one. This is the book I’ve been dreading, and hoping it wasn’t allocated to me. I don’t know why – it’s not particularly different to any other book in the series. Maybe it’s the fact there’s a silver tower constructed on the island, maybe it’s a lot about the adults, or maybe there’s just not enough godamned lettuce. Who knows?

Let’s do this thing.

(Also, I started this recap a month early because I knew it would drag hard.)

(For reference, the kids’ ages should be roughly: Anne: 13; George and Dick 14; Julian 15.)

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10
Jul 2018
The End of Flutter Valley (G1 Cover)

The End of Flutter Valley (G1 Cover)

The End of Flutter Valley (G2 Cover... why?)

The End of Flutter Valley (G2 Cover… why?)

Title: The End of Flutter Valley (Parts 1-2)

Summary: The ponies are on their way to Flutter Valley for the Sun Tuesday celebration with the Flutter Ponies. Meanwhile, the Witches from the Volcano of Gloom are busy hatching a plan to destroy Flutter Valley and the ponies, allying with an army of giant bees to get their revenge on the Flutter Ponies. The bees steal the precious Sun Stone, and if the Flutter Ponies can’t get it back, their home will be destroyed.

Grade: This will be given when bat and I finally reach the end of this 10 part epic. *sigh*

Recap:

Just so you know, instead of running around like headless chickens and trying to recap 2 hours’ worth of episodes between the two of us in a single post, we have decided to do this in two-episode batches, so bat’s recap will cover Parts 3-4.

Read more »

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26
Jun 2018
My Little Pony: The Movie (1986)

My Little Pony: The Movie (1986)

Title: My little Pony: The Movie (1986)

Summary: Capture the magic and escape to Dream Valley to join all your favourite Little Ponies! Take a magical journey to Ponyland just as the Little Ponies’ annual Spring Festival is about to begin. While the ponies enjoy their festive spring party, the evil witch Hydia is up in her gloomy home, the Volcano of Gloom, plotting to turn Ponyland into a wasteland. When her first attempt fails, she decides to cutterover Ponyland with a purple ooze called the “Smooze”. It looks like the end of Ponyland, unless all the magical creatures of Dream Valley answer the Ponies’ call for help!

Grade: C (it would be an F, but that Smooze song is sooooo damned catchy.)

My Little Pony: The Movie (1986)

My Little Pony: The Movie (1986)

Notes: You could do a drinking game with this movie. Every time there is merchandise to be bought (aside from the ponies themselves), take a shot. But you’ll die. Like really die. Instead, have a carrot stick. Or something. I don’t know. I’m not good at health and safety warnings.

Second Note: Several times I refer to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. To avoid having to write out this title over and over, I’ve abbreviated to FiM.

Timeline: I never really understood the order of this series, because the first episode of season 1 has everyone meeting the Flutter Ponies, who they didn’t meet until the movie, but the movie references things – without explaining them, ffs – which feels like it should be in the TV show. I’m really hoping bat will help me out on this, because she’s seen the whole show multiple times.

[bat: Basically with My Little Pony the toys came first, which were then shilled in two cartoon television specials: My Little Pony (aka “Rescue/Escape From Midnight Castle” or “My Little Pony in Dreamland” if you were in the UK) and Escape from Catrina (or Katrina, people seem to argue about this) before this feature length film was released in 1986. Subsequently, the G1 cartoon series followed. The television specials were chopped into pieces and added to the cartoon series, at the end of both seasons, respectively.]

Edit: For reference, I recapped this first, and then bat emailed me and said did I want a tag team partner for MLP, and if so, would I consider doing things in the right order? (*grin*) Thankfully, bat knows which order the episodes go in, so I did this recap, then watched Nightmare/Midnight Castle then Catrina/Katrina. But I stand by my questions. This is a stand-alone piece of media, there shouldn’t be so many unanswered questions.

Initial Thoughts

I think my thoughts about this (and, by extension, the Smooze episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic) are the very definition of “what could have been” at TV Tropes.

Let’s look at this objectively. A bunch of fundamentally nice characters are having a perfectly nice time when a tsunami of purple ooze crashes over their home, obliterating everything in its path, and hardening to a solid shell when it is finished, forcing the survivors to go on a quest to find a way of de-smoozing their home and friends. When the Smooze hits a living creature, that creature becomes grumpy and disagreeable. If the Smooze has hardened, there is a good chance that when they de-Smooze, they will find the corpses of their suffocated friends.

That, my friends, is horrific.

[bat: But it was the 1980s and all us kids watched Artax drown in the Swamps of Sadness in The Neverending Story yet he was resurrected without a scratch at the end of the film, which was released two years prior to this Smooze-fest… Okay, 1980s “children’s” movies messed up the lot of us.]

Instead, we get this…

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9
May 2018
Making Out #5: Claire Gets Caught by Katherine Applegate (and Michael Grant)

Making Out #5: Claire Gets Caught by Katherine Applegate (and Michael Grant)

Title: Claire Gets Caught

Front Blurb: First Zoey fooled around with Lucas and Jake found out. Then Claire wanted Jake, so she broke up with Ben but ended up alone. Now Claire has a scheme to get Jake back. It’s foolproof—unless… Claire Gets Caught.

Back Blurb: They’ve all grown up together on a tiny island. They think they know everything about one another… but they’re only just beginning to find out the truth.

Claire gets caught meddling in people’s love lives. She’s trying to help her friends fix their frazzled relationships, but she succeeds in messing up all of them except one—her own.

Initial Thoughts:

I love this book. It’s not so much that it’s a book about Claire being awesome and manipulative (in an incredibly non-meddling way) – although that’s great too – but I love books where the characters go away from their normal lives, and I ADORE Grapplegate’s fun ways of speeding up time, so this has everything. Also, it’s light-hearted (comparatively, anyway) after the emotionally draining Nina Won’t Tell, and I find Ben’s in Love to be a bit dull. This one kicks up the energy again.

It’s just a win all round.

That said, I am not having much fun recapping the books. I love reading them, I love talking about them, I love reading Rosey and Wing’s recaps of them, but actually doing the recap myself? Not so much, and I’m not sure why. Probably because I love them so much as they are that having to sit down and think about them is a hard for me.

[Wing: I think it’s harder to recap things we love, and, for me, it takes at least twice as long and often more to write them, which is exhausting.]

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18
Apr 2018
Famous Five 3: Five Run Away Together by Enid Blyton

Famous Five 3: Five Run Away Together by Enid Blyton

Title: Famous Five #3: Five Run Away Together by Enid Blyton

Summary: Who’s been on George’s island? And what is locked in the mysterious trunk hidden on Kirrin Island? The Famous Five think they’re on the trail of smugglers – until they hear a child scream…

Initial Thoughts

This is the book I’ve been waiting for, and I was really happy it landed with me. It made sense for Wing to try the first book, and it was a happy accident that Necromommycon was happy to take the second. I love this book. The entire series, really, but for some reason, this got re-read by baby!Dove more than most. Possibly because I’ve got issues and it again – just like The Secret Island – tapped into them.

[Wing: I know I keep saying this, but I did not expect to love this book so damn much. Blyton books in general, and this series in particular, just get more and more charming and entertaining. I am delighted by this book and can’t wait to reread.]

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17
Apr 2018
My Little Pony (Gen 1) TV series

My Little Pony (Gen 1) TV series

Title: My Little Pony: Escape from Midnight Castle aka Escape from Nightmare Castle aka Firefly’s Adventure aka Rescue at Midnight Castle aka Rescue at Nightmare Castle

Yes, I’m pretty sure this episode was named by a group of drunks. [bat: It was also known as “My Little Pony Special”. Because it was the first.]

Summary: Tirek captures some of the little ponies to use as demons to pull his Chariot of Darkness at midnight. The rest of the ponies panic, fearing that they will be next. Firefly goes off for help and finds Megan, a girl who lives at a stable at the other end of the rainbow. Megan agrees to go to Pony Land with Firefly, but will they be able to rescue the little ponies in time?

Grade: A+ mostly because, having seen the movie, I know it’s going downhill from here, and I really enjoyed bits of this, so I want to give it a strong grade so I’ll remember that I loved it.

Initial Thoughts/Intro

Just so we’re clear, I haven’t watched this yet. I’ve watched the movie many times and a chunk of the first season of MLP, but this is the first episode, which means it is last in the season on the DVD. I think these guys went on to sort out the scheduling of Firefly on Fox. Now there’s a recent joke that will resonate.

Also, I’m not being lazy by not giving bat a capital b, that’s how she spells it. [bat: It’s true.]

I’ve known bat for almost as long as I’ve known Wing. [bat: we’re old!] We were all in fandom together, but when I arrived, bat was taking a time out – she came back a month or so later. This would be circa September 2001. We have never worked together, so I’m very excited to share this project with her.

[bat: Funny how we’ve gone from vampires to ponies yet never really worked together one-on-one on anything. I’m super stoked to work with Dove on all things My Little Pony!]

[Dove: Also, I forgot to mention, bat introduced me to Raven, who I’ve been with/married to for fourteen years. Most of the time I’m grateful about this.]

I will refer to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic as FiM, to save typing it all the time.

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14
Mar 2018
Making Out 3: Nina Won't Tell by Katherine Applegate (and Michael Grant)

Making Out 3: Nina Won’t Tell by Katherine Applegate (and Michael Grant)

Title: Nina Won’t Tell

Front Blurb: First Zoey fooled around with Lucas and Jake found out. Then Claire broke up with Ben to be with Jake, and ended up alone. Now Nina is thrilled because she’s always loved Ben, and she’s finally got her chance. Only they’ll never get together if… Nina Won’t Tell.

Back Blurb: They’ve all grown up together on a tiny island. They think they know everything about one another… but they’re only just beginning to find out the truth.

Nina won’t tell that she’s in love with Ben. Ben used to belong to her sister, Claire, and who knows what Claire would say if she found out. But even worse, if Nina discovers that Ben doesn’t love her back… it will break her heart.

WARNING: This book and recap contain references to sexual abuse of a minor. If you have triggers, proceed with caution or not at all. This is the only warning you will get. I will be as tactful as I can, but you never know for sure what can trigger someone, so please consider this warning. If you see “A Note From Nina” as a heading there may be some of Nina’s dreams. Some may find the imagery triggering. I have labelled the dreams with a header, but they’re not hidden behind spoiler tags (as we don’t have such a thing on this site).

Initial Thoughts:

This was one of the last – if not the very last – in the series that I read. As I’ve said in my previous recap, I bought these in piecemeal in the pre-internet days. There was usually a selection of about five available and I would buy at least one, based on which sounded most interesting. However, this one I wanted desperately, because it was about Nina, and she was my best friend, because I didn’t have one in real life, and we already had so much in common (Guns N’ Roses, smoking, fashion choices that made me people roll their eyes, being inferior to family members, etc.) I just had to read this book. Our only difference is that she thinks highly of Benjamin. [Rosey: This book was the one I had the clearest memories of, coming into this re-read. because Nina! but also because Nina :,(]

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