NB: For anyone wondering what happened to episode 19: Birth of a Magazine, I can’t seem to find a copy of it available online. However, from the description on Wikipedia, it sounds as if this episode is taken right from the Bratz Rock Angelz movie. I also wouldn’t put it past the lazy staff to follow up their flashback episode by reusing an entire chunk of a movie to pass off as the TV show. Should I find the episode available to watch and it’s not the exact same as what happened in Rock Angelz, I will review it and add it in.
The 20th episode in the Bratz TV show, New Kid in Town, is another episode that had potential but was pissed away by shitty writing and a shittier lesson. The first scene is at Bratz Magazine HQ. Cloe breaks the fourth wall and directly addresses the readers. She introduces herself as the beauty editor of Bratz Magazine.
She shares that she’s into helping readers with their problems. In order to do this, she has a column aptly titled Dear Cloe. She reads an example from the letters that she gets. The letter writer states that her boyfriend wants to see other girls but still see her and asks advice.
The other girls all chorus, “Dump him!” as if that’s the only solution to the problem. It’s not as if she could talk to her boyfriend and voice how uncomfortable it makes her. She also couldn’t possibly be in a polyamorous relationship. Because all we know about relationships is that they have to be monogamous. Finished with that problem, Cloe breezily tells the views, “Some solutions aren’t that easy.” She then reads a letter from a girl who writes in that she and her BFFs are all crushing on the same guy. Cloe says that she has some personal experience in this matter. And it’s flashback time!
At school, Jade is walking through the cafeteria with her lunch tray in hand. She suddenly spots a dark haired boy and goes into a cutaway scene where she warns all girls to be on the lookout for a rocking hottie. Jade tells herself to keep it cool. She walks by him, placidly. The boy tells her that she has a cool outfit. She turns and thanks him, congratulating herself on being so cool and having such an attractive guy notice that she has a fashion-forward style. She then walks into a trash can. Jade falls over, her food flying everywhere.
Trying to recover, she quickly runs to the table where Cloe and Yasmin are seated, sans lunch. Despite falling into a trash can, she is still pristine and has nothing in her hair. Anyway, she tells her friends about the total hottie that she just saw, but they are both day dreaming about the hottie in question.
It seems sad that the show is intent on showing attraction between teenagers to be completely physical. The girls know practically nothing about the boy, they just know that he’s conventionally good looking and that’s enough to convince all three of them that they want to date him. What about his interests and hobbies? What about his ability to hold a conversation? What about his goals and aspirations? None of that matters when he’s cute.
Anyway, Yasmin tells Jade that his name is Shane and he’s in her English class. Just then, the hottie in question walks over to the table and greets Yasmin. The Latina girl introduces him to her friends. Yasmin tries to cover that they were totes talking about him and his hotness and says that they were discussing music. Interested, Shane asks what kind of bands they like. Before anyone can answer, Sasha interrupts and announces that she likes Usher. Unfazed, Shane says that that’s cool. He then gets a call and says goodbye to the girls to go answer it. He mentions that he will see all of them around school.
As Shane walks off, Sasha declares that he is hers. But the other girls don’t back off from her claim staking, announcing that they also want a crack at him. The girls start to argue. Which is actually pretty normal for the Bratz. As great BFFs as they claim to be, they all seem to have constant blowups over the most ridiculous things. The teens often come off as selfish, short-sighted and overly sensitive. But no matter what one does to another, it’s all better by the end with hugs and promises of friendship forever.
Back at the magazine offices, the Tweevils are in the bathroom having their Diss Burdine session. Good thing their boss gives them an unending source of material. Otherwise, their daily sessions might be short and/or rather boring. But this time, Burdine is standing in the bathroom behind the girls, watching them at the mirrors.
She yells at them to get back to work. They exit the bathroom, still complaining. As they talk, they envision Burdine’s head exploding while she’s sitting in a bathroom stall. Kirstee states that she wishes Burdine would get fat and just float away. Because that’s what happens when you get fat? You float? Anyway, they reenter the Your Thing office and to their surprise, they see Burdine seated at her desk. In shock, they run back to the bathroom and from the hallway, hear the toilet flushing. The Tweevils crack the door and see Burdine at the mirror telling herself that she gets more gorgeous with every face lift.
They brought it up again, so I’m going to address it again. Burdine is 31 years old. Barring some kind of accident or disfigurement she shouldn’t have even had one face lift, let alone many. Also, why the need to plastic surgery shame her? Attractiveness in the Bratz world is key, but they make it very clear that it has to be natural attractiveness. Anyone who doesn’t look beautiful enough naturally can’t get surgery to make themselves more attractive without their judgment.
But getting back to the story, the Tweevils, seeing that Burdine has somehow discovered the ability to use dimensional portals, run back to the office. They see the other Burdine at the desk again. They head back to the hallway where they hide behind some of the potted plants. Faced with the proof that Burdine is in two places at once, they come to the obvious conclusion that Burdine is an alien.
I know that the Tweevils are the bad guys and they’re supposed to be dim and funny, but come on. There’s nothing funny about showing girls being helpless dolts that can barely function in real life. Couldn’t they use even one ounce of logic or critical thinking? Also, aliens? Bratz has used horoscopes, psychics and plenty of other forms of woo in their past episodes, but now they’ve moved onto aliens with wild abandon.
At the mall, the four Bratz girls are in mid-argument about Shane. Trying to make peace, Cloe says that they should all have a chance to date him. Yasmin tries to point out that no guy is worth their friendship. She takes herself out of the race and tells the other girls to fight it out. Of course, no one has thought of the fact that Shane might want some say in who he dates. They’re all acting like whomever they decide to go after him will automatically be his girlfriend. What if they elected Sasha to date him and he likes Jade? Then what? They would be best off leaving the decision in his hands and not worrying about it.
But this is Bratz and that’s just not possible. Before the girls can continue their fight, the Tweevils approach. They ask where people keep books. They’re talking about the library, but apparently they’re so unthinking that they’re not even aware of the name of the place. They confess that they think Burdine is an alien and they want to check out a science book and see if they can do some research.
Of course, if they picked up an actual science book, there would be nothing about aliens because we have yet to make contact with intelligent lifeforms not on this planet. Which, this might be an actual moment to teach children this, but this show has made it clear that it feels no obligation to teach anything or set any kind of example. Before the Tweevils can go to the library to look at a science book, Jade tells them that their space ship is leaving in three minutes and they can’t stay and chat. The twins now think that everyone is an alien.
Back at Your Thing the Burdine in the bathroom comes out to greet the Burdine in the office. It turns out that the Burdine in the office is actual Burdine’s twin sister, Bernice. Although this seems like an interesting plot twist, this is really just the animators being lazy again. They created an entirely new character that is just a carbon copy of an existing one. No new animation needed at all!
Bernice tells her sister that her silicone lips look almost natural. Burdine says that the scar from her last face lift is barely even visible. Which, it seems strange that they’re both talking about having plastic surgery when they still look exactly alike. Their procedures must not have been that extensive if they can easily be mistaken for each other. Burdine asks Bernice what she’s doing in town and her sister says that she was recently promoted at the makeup company that she works for. She brags about being the reigning queen of beauty. Burdine, in turn, brags about Your Thing. Neither twin looks pleased with the others’ accomplishments.
Back at the mall the Tweevils are looking at a UFO magazine. Far from finding a science book, they’ve settled for something that wouldn’t even make good toilet paper. But Bratz can’t tell the difference between science and pseudoscience, so they bravely press on. The magazine lists three surefire ways to tell if someone is an alien.
1. They are nice one minute and mean the next.
2. They act weird around electrical appliances.
3. They have occasional amnesia.
All of these things sound like something that a normal human being might experience at some point in their lives. Also, there is no criteria for “acting weird” around electrical appliances. And as they’ve seen Burdine use cell phones, PDAs, computers, cars, and lots of other things that require electricity, this shouldn’t worry them at all. But these are the Tweevils.
In the park, Yasmin is doing some yoga. Shane approaches and announces that he’s into yoga as well. Yasmin invites him to join her in a lotus position and he obliges. He stretches out briefly, but seems to have trouble getting into the actual position. He announces that he can’t focus on an empty stomach and offers to get a tofu burger with Yasmin. Torn, Yasmin knows that she’s not supposed to be dating him. But she decides that this is too last minute to be a real date. So she agrees.
At a restaurant, Yasmin and Shane are eating. He starts talking about there being a soul mate out there for him and tells the Latina girl, “Maybe between your yin and my yang, we can find a way to melt with nature and bathe in the light.” Yasmin doesn’t ask him what that nonsense means. She starts turning him down, saying that she just wants to be friends.
This is when Shane tells her that she misunderstood him. He was talking about him and Jade. Which is totally not what he said at all. Shane was absolutely coming on to Yasmin. But Yasmin doesn’t question him. She says that Jade likes super stylin’ boys and she didn’t into yoga or nature. Shane tells her that he can do that.
Just then, Cloe, Jade and Sasha walk past the restaurant where Yasmin and Shane are eating, on their way to get some food themselves, and see the pair through the window. Sasha demands, “What’s Miss Not With Our Friendship doing out with my boyfriend?” Cloe and Jade correct her that Shane is not her boyfriend, but they’re really thinking the same thing.
Back at the Your Thing office, Burdine and Bernice are still one-upping each other. Bernice then threatens to pull advertising for Your Thing and demands to be featured on the cover of the magazine. Burdine immediately screams for her to get out. Before she can move, the phone rings. Burdine picks up and discovers that it’s Entertainment Stilesville. They want to do a profile on the most powerful twins in downtown. Burdine and Bernice immediately agree and then, differences forgotten, do a secret handshake.
But before the scene ends, Burdine takes out a makeup case and examines her reflection. “My skin!” she announces. “I’ve got to get an emergency chemical peel!” Bernice casually adds that she had one yesterday. Nothing in this section is even true. A chemical peel is a procedure that burns the top layer of your skin off and you will look like raw prosciutto for several days afterward, until it heals.
Bernice asks to stay in Burdine’s office while she has her peel and Burdine agrees before leaving to what must be a McDonalds-esque plastic surgeon’s office. Bernice then goes to Burdine’s desk and starts going through the drawers.
Across the hall, Jade is ranting about Yasmin’s date with Shane. Cloe laments, “Oh, can we ever trust her again.” The girl in question then enters the room. “Speak of the back-stabbing, boyfriend-stealing she devil,” Sasha announces. “We know what’s going down.” Yasmin quickly diffuses the situation by assuring everyone that she’s just friends with Shane. At any rate, he’s into Jade. Everyone else is upset, but Jade is excited at this new turn of events.
Back at Your Thing, the Tweevils have set up a maze of electrical appliances. Their plan is to plug them in when Burdine is around and see if she acts strangely. This will let them know if she’s really an alien or not. Which, I guess, is the best plan that they came up with. They lie in wait in the closet and Bernice enters. She stumbles over the shit that’s strewn across the floor and the Tweevils take this as proof of her status as an alien. Because, why not? They run out of the room screaming, knocking her over in the process. Bernice then sits down to recover in a chair and accidentally burns the back of her dress on an iron.
Burdine enters just in time to make fun of her sister for the iron-shaped burn on her backside. She enters the office and wonders out loud what all of the appliances are doing around there when Bernice’s phone rings. Bernice is told that her office is ready for her. Burdine happily gets the door for her sister. They air kiss and Bernice leaves.
As she walks to the elevator, she passes the Tweevils, who are in the hallway, looking over the massage chair that Bernice sat in, scouring it for green blood. The makeup maven then smiles at them and tells them to take the day off. She’s feeling so nice that she gives them the week off. Even though they’re not her employees. The Tweevils are confused by their boss suddenly being so nice to them. But they figure that they shouldn’t question their good luck. They dart into the office to grab their things so that they can go. But Burdine, their actual boss, is at her desk. She yells at them to get back to work as there’s a ton to do.
The girls object that she gave them the week off. But Burdine claims that she never said that at all. The Tweevils take this as a sign that Burdine is being nice one second and mean the next and also that she has amnesia. It’s sealed in their tiny, tiny minds. Burdine is an alien.
Later that night, Jade is at a dance club with Shane. He talking about not using shampoos with built-in condition because of quality problems. Jade is seated with her chin resting on her hands thinking, “I haven’t been this bored since I was at a mall without a credit card.” Which, where would an underage girl even get a credit card? And why would she so constantly have one with her that being without it is unusual?
Anyway, Shane calls her babe and when Jade takes out a compact to check her reflection, he asks to borrow it and then checks himself out. Jade asks him to dance, but Shane tells her that he doesn’t want to mess up his hair. Apparently, when Yasmin said “super stylin'” he took it to mean completely superficial to the point of being painfully boring. Which is kind of how the Bratz interpret it. But this is even above and beyond their usual level of annoyingly shallow. After the date, Jade goes to Bratz HQ to tell the girls about what happened. She criticizes her date for his uninteresting conversation and even says that he was checking out his eyebrows in a weird way. Yasmin is confused, saying that she got a completely different vibe from him and even calls him a, “major granola head.”
The next day, Cloe and Jade are walking around Stilesville Mall, AKA their second home. It’s funny that they criticize the Tweevils for not knowing where the library is. The Bratz might know where the building is located, but they sure a hell never seem to go there. Cloe is yammering on about Kate Moss’ height and calls her the world’s shortest supermodel. Which, between a conversation about shampoos with built-in condition and Kate Moss’ height, there is no clear winner of which one would be more tedious. But before Cloe can go on about Kate’s height, Jade sees something that stops her cold. Sasha is sitting with Shane at the juice bar. Gasp!
At school the next day, Jade confronts Sasha about dating Shane. Sasha points out that Jade was clearly not interested in him, but not wanting to completely give up on built-in condition boy, Jade argues that her decision wasn’t final. Sasha then rubs it in saying that he danced the night away with her Pinz. Which is interesting, because Pinz was the club that opened in London, England during Bratz Rock Angelz. Did they open another branch in the booming metropolis of Stilesville? Or were the writers just so unoriginal that they couldn’t be bothered coming up with a clubs name after they burned themselves out on putting a Z on the end of Pinz?
But it’s okay because Sasha mentions that Shane dances like a penguin. Which should be downright adorable and not at all a strike against him. But the girls then make a pact out of frustration; all guys are fair game from now on. Back at the juice bar, Cloe is there for her daily smoothie. She watches Cameron sitting across the way from her with Roxxi, laughing and flirting. She’s furious that Cameron, who she has never seemed to have actually gone on a date with, is daring to pay attention to another girl, even in the friendliest way.
This could be a moment to teach girls that they need to make their feelings clear with others and not resent people for not reading their minds or just knowing how much they like them. But it’s not. Cloe is entitled to her fury because Cameron is supposed to only have eyes for her blonde hair and inability to stay calm in a crisis.
Just then Shane overs and sits beside her at the table. He asks her to hang out with him. Cloe questions him about Sasha. He tells her that Sasha just wants to be friends. He mentions that she was constantly checking out other guys and adds that maybe he just wasn’t exciting enough for Sasha. Cloe immediately takes the bait and pumps up his ego, telling him how great he is. She then agrees to go out with him.
At the Your Thing magazine office, the Tweevils are seated on the floor of Burdine’s closet, looking over her shoes. It seems strange that she needs to keep so many identical outfits there. Doesn’t she have a closet at home? Does she live in her office? Anyway, Kirstee has an aerosol bottle on her hand and announces that if they spray the bottoms of her shoes, Burdine won’t be able to send transmission to the mothership. Or something. Do aliens send transmission with their feet? Did they get this idea from the UFO magazine?
Without asking questions, Kaycee starts spraying away. Then the Tweevils spray Burdine’s suits with “anti-radiation” spray. Kirstee reads on the bottle that it can cause itching and red blotches. But it will protect them from radiation, so that’s a small price to pay, right?
At the school gym, Cloe runs in to find her friends on treadmills in their monstrous shoes, while talking on their phones. Cloe blurts out that Shane asked her on a date and said that he wanted to be friends with Sasha. Yasmin then gets off the phone with Roxxi and Jade gets off the phone with Megyn.
Sasha informs Cloe that she has a date with Shane. So does Roxxi and so does Megyn. He lied to each girl that he wasn’t seeing anyone else. Dylan then calls Sasha and tells her that Shane is dating every single girl in the school and he’s rating them on a scoreboard that he keeps in the boy’s locker room. Jade and Sasha both got five stars. But he doesn’t add out of how many, so that isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Cloe can’t help asking how many stars she got. But she hasn’t been out on a date yet, so she shouldn’t have a rating anyway. But the other girls quickly chastise her for asking. Sasha tells them that they have to teach him a lesson. There is then the obligatory high five.
At Your Thing, Burdine is getting ready for the magazine article. She gives herself a pep talk, saying that she will prove that she’s the star in the family. Just then, the Tweevils arrive, school having just gotten out. Burdine mentions that her sister is coming but neither of the Tweevils catch on that this is what has been going on the entire time. They offer Burdine the shoes and suit that they’ve sprayed so that she will look her best.
At the juice bar, the Bratz master plan is coming to fruition. Cloe is sitting with Shane. He is talking about how he would have asked her out sooner, but he was intimidated by her beauty. Cloe asks him again if he’s sure that he’s not seeing anyone else and he seals his fate by saying no. They almost kiss, but Cloe gets a phone call.
It’s a little weird how these girls are so highly sexualized yet they never do anything more racy than hug a boy. The animators go out of their way to slather them in makeup, put them in revealing clothes, zoom in on their crotches and shit loads of other shady things, but an innocent kiss, even on the cheek, with a boy? Fuck no! That’s going too far.
Once Cloe has stepped away from the table, Yasmin comes over and sits down with him. She reveals that he might be her soul mate after all. He asks her to go on a nature walk and she agrees. Yasmin leaves to get her smoothie so they can get going. She walks away as Shane said that he meant for them to go on their nature walk later.
Sasha then comes over and sits down on the same seat as him. She asks him about going to see a movie. He tells her that of course he’s still up for it. Cloe comes back from her phone call and Shane tries to get rid of Sasha. He gets away from Sasha, but then Jade shows up and invites Shane to come to a blow drying seminar.
Shane grabs Cloe’s arm and tries to drag her away from the juice bar to go blading. Cloe insists that she wants to eat first. But then Yasmin comes over with her smoothie and asks if her soul mate is ready to go. Then Sasha comes over and insists that Shane is with her. Then Jade does the same. Suddenly, the four girls close in on Shane all shouting, “With me, with me!” as if it’s some kind of cult mantra. Shane sinks to the pavement, begging to be alone. And that’s the end. Shane has a moment of sheer cringe and a minor inconvenience and that’s how he allegedly learned his lesson.
But what did he really learn from this? The girls would have been better off if they would have taught him about empathy and the acceptable way to treat other human beings. They should have shown him how his actions hurt them and the other girls and how he not going to be accepted or respected among his peers if he acts like this. But they didn’t. Shane just learns that girls talk to each other and will embarrass him.
For the last scene at Your Thing, the Tweevils come back to the office to see Bernice. Still thinking that she’s Burdine, they lament that she’s not wearing the shoes or suit that they sprayed. Just then, Burdine enters. The Tweevils look around. It only then comes together for them that Burdine has a twin sister.
The camera crew then enters and the pink-clad twins start to talk to them. As the interview progresses, Burdine, who did change into the clothes the Tweevils gave her, starts to scratch herself. The itching gets so overwhelming that she accidentally pulls her sister off the desk where she had perched and the two fight on the floor in front of the camera men.
In the cafeteria, the Bratz are going over their day. “Well, I hope we taught Shane a lesson,” Yasmin states. “Don’t mess with the Bratz pack.” Which is pretty much all he learned. Nothing about how to treat his fellow human beings, why what he did was wrong, or how he can amend his behavior and avoid making a future mistake.
Before anyone can realize this, Kirstee runs over to Kaycee and tells her that she just met a super hot guy named Shane and he says that he’s her soul mate. Kaycee says that’s weird because she met a hottie named Shane too. The Bratz all say in unison, “Poor Shane.” But, of course, this wouldn’t have happened if they had actually taught Shane something about his behavior instead of just humiliating him.
In the wrap up, Cloe tells the letter writer, “Never ever let a guy come between you and your BFFs.” She admits that it wasn’t a difficult situation to solve after all. In the end, they wrote an article about their ordeal entitled, “How to make a bad boy cry: a Bratz guide to getting even.” Because it’s one thing to have the school know what Shane did, they want to share it with teenagers across the country.
This isn’t the first time that the Bratz have walked away from a learning situation talking about getting revenge. Children shouldn’t be taught to get revenge or wage war on their peers. This will only exacerbate their problems, not solve them. Young women are learning how to be adults from everything in their world and this show is telling them to handle their interpersonal problems with petty revenge and grudges.
Also, the final answer to the girl is only a wishy-washy response that probably won’t help her a lot. There’s no indication that the guy that she’s writing about is a jerk who is using her and her friends. Just telling her not to let a guy come between them gives her no real advice on how to handle the situation. Her long story about how they handled their situation might not even be relevant at all to what the girl was asking.
A better way to handle this would have been to set boundaries and have everyone deal with their feelings in a mature and open way. But this answer would probably confound a girl in a real life situation such as this and leave her with no real recourse. But this is Bratz and what does Bratz have to do with real life, human interactions or actually helping people?