In their new podcast Wokefield, comedians (and Chicago contributors) Elizabeth Gomez and Adrienne Gunn investigate how the Sweet Valley High novels — about twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield — warped their preteen brains. Here, they pick the least woke books.
Power Play, 1983
Plot:Jessica fat-shames a sorority pledge. The pledge eats lettuce, loses weight, and becomes spring queen. But, says Gomez, “she has to sacrifice who she is.”
Gunn’s takeaway:“We spent 30 years hating our bodies.”
Playing With Fire, 1983
Plot:Jessica dates her crush, Bruce Patman. “She does the classic move and changes everything about herself,” Gomez says.
Gomez’s takeaway:“Our first marriages.”
Wrong Kind of Girl, 1984
Plot:“Easy Annie” wants to be a cheerleader. “Jessica tries to keep her off the team because she’s a slut,” Gunn says.
Gomez’s takeaway:“We don’t know. We didn’t heed any warnings for not banging people.”