Maybe it's because I grew up in New York. Or maybe it's because I read Anais Nin and Kurt Vonnegut at an early age. Or perhaps I just always chafed against "All-American" high school depictions in books and movies, since many key staples of the genre: Suburbs! Dates! Sports! Cars! Everybody's white! seemed a little boring, a wee retro and rather narrow-minded to me.
Which is not to say I never read a Sweet Valley High book. But growing up in the '80s, I was also reading Tama Janowitz, Jay McInerney and Bret Easton Ellis. I was watching movies like Fast Times and Less Than Zero. So I dreamed of the Wakefield twins getting edgy. More scandalous. To me, high school was supposed to have a little bit of sex, drugs and rock 'n roll: I wanted Sweet Valium High.
Although the books came out between 1983 and 2003 and the TV series was on the air between 1994 and 1997, I think a movie would have to be set in this century. Kids today are sexting, hooking up, group dating, cyberbullying and hacking one anothers' Facebook accounts. For SVH to work, it needs a fresh look. So it's entirely possible that Diablo Cody, a tattooed former stripper and Oscar-winning screenwriter, could be good for a modern take on Sweet Valley High. And, from the looks of Cody's Twitter, she knows her subject matter: She recently wrote, "You have no idea how many bitches I took down to do this project. I went 'full Jessica.' Believe it."