Ten years ago, a group of private-school kids from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida collected their high school diplomas, flung their graduation caps in the air, and made their parents proud. More recently, the same group from Cardinal Gibbons found themselves gathering for a reality tv-style reunion in Oahu, Hawaii. Will they make their parents proud this time? Don’t all reality show contestants? If you don’t know the answer to that, this must be your first encounter with the reality genre. Well, whatcha waitin’ for? Kick off your shoes and hop on in, the water’s fine.
Meet the gang
One by one, the CG alumni begin to arrive at the reunion estate. First to arrive is Nikol, “the Good Girl”. In high school, Nikol was a cheerleader and a model, but the highlight of her high school experience was her relationship with Jim, her first true love. She is unclear as to why they broke up, saying he gave her the silent treatment and no explanation. She is nervous and excited about seeing him. She hopes to get some closure, or to possibly begin a new relationship with him.
The next person to arrive is John, “the Loudmouth”. John describes himself as a cocky attention-hog. He appears to be proud of the fact that he hasn’t changed since high school. He makes small talk with Nikol and she tells us that she finds him obnoxious. He is followed by Nikki, “the Head Cheerleader”. Although Nikki was popular and had a lot of friends, her high-school boyfriend cheated on her and turned her into a sad, angry, suspicious person. She has come to the reunion to show that she has grown into a strong woman and isn’t a pushover anymore.
Jim, “the Jock”, is next to show up. He was a football player in high school and admits that was definitely in love with Nikol. He says that the hurt of their breakup left him afraid of putting himself out there for new relationships. He looks forward to seeing Nikol and getting to talk about why things ended between them and put it behind them.
Enter Jen, “the Predator”. Cue the Jaws music. Jen explains that in high school, it was a game to her to make guys fall for her, especially if they were already with someone else. She knows that there were people who liked her to whom she never gave a chance. She has come to the reunion to check out all of the guys and maybe “give someone a chance”. Wow, how very sweet and humble of her. Not. Both Nikol and Nikki are not happy to see Jen at the reunion, but Nikol is hopeful that Jen might have changed for the better.
Brian A., “the Meathead”, shows up and everyone seems glad to see him. He confesses that he was a real bully in high school and picked on everyone. He has changed his ways and has come to show everyone that he is now a real gentleman. Brian A. is followed by Gianni, “the Basketball Player”. He was a real jock in high school, and feels that he missed out on a lot because of his relationship with a crazy, jealous girlfriend.
Did someone say “crazy, jealous girlfriend”? Well, here she is! Jaime, “the Obsessed Ex” says Gianni was the love of her life. She didn’t go away to college because of the plans they had to be together, and hopes he will be at the reunion to rekindle their old flame. Gianni looks appalled to see her there and excuses himself immediately to get a drink. Jaime is sure that Gianni is just nervous because he still has feelings for her. But it is obvious to your recapper that if Gianni can’t get his hands on some alcohol quickly enough, Jaime could probably drive him to drink bleach. Lucky for him, this is reality television, and if there is one thing that is always a’plenty on the reality set, it’s booze. Drink up, jock boy.
A large pink bubble floats down from the sky and out pops Loretta, “the Dream Girl”. Well, not really – she actually just saunters in, but all the guys drop their jaws in awe. Apparently, a number of them had their eye on her back in the day. Loretta claims she was very carefree in high school and didn’t have a relationship because she didn’t want to be tied down. She is hoping to find a love interest at the reunion, maybe one that she had previously missed out on. Gianni seems particularly taken with her. I smell a crazy psychotic ex-girlfriend getting a little worked up.
Eze was “the Shy Guy” in high school and never pursued any romantic interest. He says he was a late bloomer and has come to the reunion to make up for lost time. He always liked Nikol and thought she was “the one”.
Brien M. was “the Rebel” in high school and got kicked out of Cardinal Gibbons for a variety of heinously rebellious activity, such as having long hair and tattoos. He says that he has trouble committing in relationships. Nikki is obviously intrigued by the former “mystery loner” and starts probing him for information, asking if he has a girlfriend. She appears quite pleased to learn that he does not. Go Nikki!
The last to arrive is Carin, “the Fat Girl”. Let me just jump in and say that I detest that this is the nickname given to her by this show, and I refuse to utter it again. Or type it, for that matter. No matter what a person’s weight is, that is not what makes them who they are. However, this is Carin’s storyline, and she has come to the reunion to re-write it. Carin was quite overweight in high school and suffered a lot of abuse for it. Since graduation, she has lost over 100 pounds, and has returned to show the others that life does get better after high school. She joins the rest of the school chums and they all ooh and ah over her new look, telling her she looks great.
Now that we know who all of the peeps are, let’s get down to business!
Passes and asses
The alumni grab their drinks and venture into the large house to check out their digs for the next two weeks. Not too shabby, not too shabby at all. There are a number of bedrooms and each bed is marked with the yearbook photo of the person who will sleep there. They all point and laugh at each others’ pictures and Carin tries to hide her picture behind a pillow. When Nikki and Nikol enter their room, they discover that they have both received a hall pass. The girls are excited, since receiving the hall pass means they will have the opportunity to ask another classmate to join them on a special outing, likely to involve booze and hot tubs. They squeal with glee and question each other – “Like, oh my god, who are you taking????!!!???” Nikol says she must ask Jim, since they have unfinished business, and Nikki agrees that she soooo should. Nikol is kind of nervous, because she feels that Jim has been avoiding her since the reunion started.
Meanwhile, the others are getting reacquainted, and Gianni and Loretta are doing a little flirting, causing Jaime’s head to burst as fire shoots from her eye sockets. She claims that she feels betrayed, since Gianni was her boyfriend in high school, after all. She corners him in the bar and tries to get him to admit he lied to her when they were dating, and that he was the cause of the problems between them. He tries to skirt the issue and tells her just to forget about it and have a good time. If you think Jaime will be dismissed this easily, raise your hand. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Back in Nikki and Nikol’s room, Nikki confesses that she knew whom she would ask on the hall pass the minute she saw him – Brien M, former rebel. She is nervous about asking him because of her past relationship problems, but Nikol urges her to go for it. When she does manage to corner him in the kitchen, he accepts readily, and Nikki giggles with nerves and anticipation.
Jen and Nikol take a moment to catch up on their mutual interest – Jim. Nikol wants to give Jen a chance to prove she is a nice person, and asks her to explain the situation between her and Jim. Apparently, after breaking up with Nikol, Jim was snagged up by the Predator and they dated for two months. To add insult to injury, Jen tells Nikol that Jim was upset that she wouldn’t go out with him for longer than that. Nikol is hurt and left speechless. Jen tells the camera that she knows Nikol had strong feelings for Jim, but she knows he was really into her. Way to make friends, Jen.
It’s beach-time and everyone changes into their bathing suit. Carin remembers her old feelings of insecurity and anxiety over her appearance. She feels people will be evaluating the way she looks because of how dramatic a change she made. The others try to make her feel more confident by telling her she looks beautiful, but as the guys drool and rant and rave over the unbearable hotness that is Loretta, Carin’s insecurities get the best of her and soon wanders off to be alone.
Nikki is giddy with excitement as she and Brien M. get ready to go on their hall pass, and Eze tries to buddy up to Nikol in hopes she will ask him to share hers. He was too shy to pursue her in high school but wants to let her see that he is more outgoing and is interested in her. Jim drops by and ruins the mood for Eze as he warms up to Nikol and Eze suddenly feels like the third wheel. Nikol asks Jim to go on the hall pass with her so that they can talk and she can get some closure over their breakup, as she has been thinking about it for the last ten years. Jim agrees and Eze, overhearing everything, is disappointed that Nikol did not choose him.
On Nikki’s hall pass, she and Brien M sit in a bar and get to know each other, since they didn’t know each other well at Cardinal Gibbons. She tells him a little about her controlling ex-boyfriend and worries that Brien M will think she is nutty. Brien M seems to like her and says that they could be good friends, although he did not feel a romantic connection.
Nikol and Jim depart for their hall pass and arrive at a patio decorated with old photos of them as a couple. They discuss the events leading up to their breakup and Nikol tears up as she describes the pain of seeing him dancing with Jen, the evil skank, at a dance where he was supposed to be her date. Jim explains that after Nikol had broken up with him during their sophomore year, he had trouble getting close to her again, and the structure and formality of their senior dance felt contrived and forced to him. It seems that Nikol’s parents had arranged for a hotel room for the two of them after the dance, and Jim freaked out since he didn’t feel they were close enough to move forward with their relationship. Excuse me, but since when do the parents of a teenage girl arrange for her to go to a hotel to shag her boyfriend after a dance? Call me old-fashioned – but I think that the boy’s parents should pay for the room. It’s only proper.
With the old baggage out of the way, Nikol and Jim sit a little closer to drink some champagne and open the strategically placed gift box to see what surprise is in store for them. The box contains a letter that Nikol wrote to Jim after their breakup. She is touched that he kept the letter and asks him why he came to the reunion. He replies that he came specifically to see her, and they are soon holding hands and exchanging kisses. Both agree that it feels natural and reminds them of all the good times they had in high school.
When Jen sees Nikol and Jim returning from their hall pass, her voice-over informs us that she did not see Nikol as an obstacle in high school, and she is not threatened by her now. It is clear that she will go after Jim is she is so-inclined, regardless of Nikol’s feelings for him.
In the kitchen, Gianni, John, and Brian A. discuss Loretta and how unbelievably hot she is. Gianni thinks his classmates can sense that there is a special spark between him and Loretta, and he has told them that he would have liked to pursue her in high school. Someone else can also sense his interest in Loretta, and that is Jaime. She corners Gianni in the kitchen and drills him about why he has not spent any time talking to her after all of their history. Gianni once again requests that Jaime chill out and secretly imagines gagging her and throwing her in the ocean. Jaime swears she will do something crazy if Gianni and Loretta get together. If you believe her, raise your hand. Very good! You are paying attention!
Loretta is on her way to bed when she spots a note on her bed. It is unsigned, of course, to add to the drama. It reads, “You are still as beautiful as the first moment I saw you.” Loretta says she has no idea who it is from (since she is so loved and adored everywhere she goes) and looks forward to finding out.
Next week: Two sisters and two nerds join the gang for some back-stabbing and spit-swapping as lovers reunite, lives are threatened, and the fun continues.
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