Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Pretty in Pink: The TV Series | Freshman Year: Sixteen Candles

I think it would be fun to name the various seasons of my hypothetical Pretty in Pink TV series after the John Hughes movies that inspire them. So since the first season takes place over the school year starting in Fall of 1983 and ending in Summer 1984, which is when the movie Sixteen Candles was released, Season One is called "Sixteen Candles." And it'll focus a lot on the events of that movie.

As I've already outlined, one of the main characters is Andie Walsh (Sophia Lillis), a 15-year-old sophomore at Shermer High School. She’ll turn 16 over the course of the season, but so will a lot of the rest of her class, including Samantha Baker (Lulu Wilson). Hence the title of the season.

Andie's best friend is Duckie Dale (Hayden Summerall), another sophomore who clearly has a crush on Andie, but she pretends not to notice, because he's her friend and she doesn't want to hurt his feelings. Andie's attention is all on a freshman named Keith Nelson (Jacob Tremblay) in her mixed-grade biology class. They'll eventually get together and date briefly over the season, which of course creates tension for Duckie. But it's also hard on Keith’s best friend, another freshman girl named Watts (Mckenna Grace).

Keith is a good guy and tries to be an attentive boyfriend, but Andie eventually learns that he's still nursing a childhood crush on another freshman named Amanda Jones (Austyn Johnson) from Keith's neighborhood. Andie's patient about it at first, but eventually she'll get tired and break things off with Keith, much to the delight of Duckie and Watts.

Sadly for Keith, Amanda is into another freshman named Hardy Jenns (Julian Grey), but Hardy is a rich kid and doesn't notice working-class Amanda. So while things aren't going anywhere between Amanda and Keith, nothing's happening for her and Hardy either.

Andie and Duckie have classes with Sam Baker and some kids jokes that Andie and Sam are twins, even though they don’t run around in the same circles and only superficially resemble each other. Kids can be weird. So while Andie and Sam's paths cross every once in a while, Sam is dealing with her own stuff, supported by her best friend Randy (Dafne Keen).

A big part of what Sam is dealing with is her crush on popular senior Jake Ryan (Emjay Anthony). Jake already has a rich and popular girlfriend named Caroline (Storm Reid), so Sam's dream about dating Jake doesn't seem very realistic. Of course, as the season progresses, Sam will accidentally reveal her feelings for Jake through a sex quiz that she intends to give to Randy, but Jake unintentionally intercepts. Jake starts having some issues with the super shallow Caroline and takes an interest in Sam. This all leads to the season finale in which Jake finally approaches and kisses Sam the day after her birthday.

Jake's rich friends form the popular clique at Shermer High. He and his fellow seniors are at the top of the group, but right behind them are juniors Claire Standish (Sadie Sink) and Andrew Clark (Oaklee Pendergast) and sophomores Steff (Sunny Suljic) and Blane (Nicolas Bechtel). 

Hardy Jenns may only be a freshman, but I've decided that he's Jake's cousin, so he's more accepted by the upperclassmen than a freshman normally would be. And Hardy has another freshman friend named Ian (Robert Downey Jr in the movie Weird Science) who's sort of a supercool, but jerky New Wave god that all the upperclassmen girls are into.

While dealing with her Jake drama, Sam will also have to handle a freshman nerd named Farmer Ted (Ian Chen). He’s creepy at first, but he mellows out as the season goes on and becomes her friend. And Ted's an important guy because he introduces us to the various nerdy characters at Shermer.

In addition to Ted's best friends Bryce and Cliff, there are freshmen Gary and Wyatt (from Weird Science) as well of course as Ferris Bueller (Caleb Brown) and Cameron Frye (Cooper Dodson). There's also a sophomore named Brian Johnson (Noah Jupe) who hangs out with the younger students because he doesn't have any friends his own age.

One final clique is the Freaks, but they're mostly on the edges of the other stories this season. There's Duncan (Bryson Robinson), a funny, but rough kid who keeps hitting on Watts. And he sometimes hangs out in the smoking area with a junior named John Bender (Elisha Henig). 

And while she's not really accepted by any clique, we'll also keep seeing this girl named Allison Reynolds (Farrah Mackenzie) who has no friends. She probably doesn't even have speaking lines all season long, but she'll become a major character in a couple of years.

Next Time: Sophomore Year.

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