Braceface: S1, E8″The Worst First Date Ever. Period.

Here we are once again. Reviewing another one off my favorite episodes from this show. This review is probably the longest one I’ve ever written so far so let’s dive on in.

Sharon is asleep tossing and turning. (cues dream sequence) Sharon is in some weird place with a ton of doors everywhere. She knocks on two doors and no answer. Just before she knocks on the third one, it opens by itself. I think we all know where this is headed. Sharon walks in and sees a giant Nina dressed like a queen. How fitting considering her personality.

Queen Nina

All Hail Queen Nina

She tries to step on Sharon, but she ends up pushing Sharon out of the room. Nina laughs (Her laugh irks me) at Sharon and closes the door in her face. And all of a sudden, their sizes change. Sharon is the giant and Nina is the small one as Nina bites Sharon’s finger. Sharon flings Nina off of her finger and Nina starts making sounds like she’s a snapping turtle or something. Sharon runs away into another room and a floating plate of fries appear in front of her. Sharon tries to grab them, but they fly away from her and they fly to Nina who’s sitting on a swing and doing her annoying laugh again. She taunts Sharon with the fries again and Sharon realizes her feet are stuck in the ground.  She hears giant footsteps and does the typical “NOOOOO!” that everyone does in their dream sequences on TV before they come back to reality. Sharon hasn’t woken up yet and Adam is in her room going through her stuff. Have you ever heard of knocking before you enter someone’s room?  Sharon finally wakes up and realizes Adam is in her room. He’s looking for deodorant and Sharon tells him she doesn’t have any. Adam sniffs under her armpits and suggests she starts using some.

Smelly Pits

“If there’s hair, beware” -Adam

Sharon and Maria are riding their bikes and Sharon tells Maria about her dream. Maria tells Sharon that Nina runs Sharon’s life and she’ll always be a victim as long she continues to allow it. That’s pretty much what I got from the dream. I’ll go into further detail that Maria didn’t mention at the end of this review. Sharon is about to say something, but gets distracted by Alden who’s headed in their direction. They start a nice little conversation and Alden looks so shy and cute.

Shy Alden

I can’t help it. He’s so adorable!

He clears his throat and asks Sharon to come to the opening of his parents’ restaurant and later on they will go rollerblading. Sharon is so damn happy that she falls off of her bike and lands in the bushes.

Falling into bushes

Sharon gets back on her bike and agrees to go out with Alden. Maria, who despite being near Alden and Sharon, asks if Alden just asked her out. Sharon confirms it and Maria says what we’ve all been saying for the past 6 episodes “Finally”. Sharon’s mom drops her and Maria off at a store to shop for an outfit for Sharon’s date. I’m surprised that Sharon’s mom is okay with her 13-year-old daughter going on a date. She gives Sharon the money and before she could ask if she needed to come in, both girls are gone. Haha.

You sure you don't want me to come with you

Sharon and Maria are trying to find the perfect outfit. Sharon tries on some shirts, but nothing good. She also has to get the rollerblading part down pat because if you recall from “5 Things that Really Bug Me about You”, Sharon is not a sports person. Maria is also helping Sharon learn how to rollerblade. While they’re practicing, Sharon is worried about making a fool of herself at the restaurant like forgetting Alden’s sisters’ names. Sharon tries to remember his sisters’ names and Maria gives her a hint about the last one. Alden’s sisters’ names are Violet, Lilly, and Daisy. Hmmm. Misty from Pokémon (She was my favorite character in the anime. God, I miss her.) has sister’s with those names. Josh comes out of the garage in his go-kart and he makes Sharon lose balance on her skates and she crashes into Adam. Sharon gets back up and tries again and is miraculously able to skate perfectly….until she falls. C’mon you didn’t think she was going to do this perfectly right? This is Sharon we’re talking about. Sharon finds out that the restaurant isn’t what she expected. It’s basically a rip-off Taco Bell. Poor Sharon got all dressed for nothing, but she looks nice.

She looks nice

Alden’s mom notices Sharon and drags her into the back of the restaurant. She has Sharon taste their food. Is that meat? Sharon, I thought you were a vegetarian.

I hope that's not meat

I hope that’s not meat.

She tries the food and it’s too hot, which translate to Alden’s parents as she likes it. Sharon notices that Alden’s voice is cracking. One of Alden’s sisters comes in and teases Alden about his voice. She asks Sharon to cut the zucchini and Sharon calls her Lilly. She corrects Sharon and says that she’s Daisy.  Daisy makes fun of Alden’s voice cracking again and he throws a piece of broccoli at her, but he misses and it hits Sharon. Here comes the second-hand embarrassment. Not just for Sharon, but for Alden too. And they’re all laughing.

Blushing Alden

Alden’s family pretty much turn Sharon into a slave as she cuts zucchini, sweeps the floors, and washes dishes. I blame Alden. He should have told Sharon what type of restaurant his parents have so she wouldn’t have gotten all dolled up for nothing. Second, coming to the opening of your parents’ restaurant does not equal free labor. Now, it’s time for the rollerblading part of the date. Sharon doesn’t know how to slow down and Alden catches up to her and holds her hand.

They're so cute

Awwww 🙂

Sounds like things might be turning around for this date, huh? Well, if you read the title of this episode you know that’s not going to happen. Out of nowhere, Sharon’s stomach starts hurting. Alden suggests that they go back to the restaurant and have his mom make her some soup. Sharon turns down the offer and her stomach starts hurting even more. He suggests that he should take her home and Sharon tells him that no one’s home. The stomach pains worsen and Sharon groans even more and Alden pulls out his cell to call 911. Sharon tells him that it’s okay, but he calls anyway believing she’s having an appendicitis attack.

Sharon is rushed to the hospital and she really believes that she’s going to die. In the waiting room, Alden is annoying everyone with his constant need to clear his throat. Jesus, I don’t remember my brother’s voice doing all of this when he went through puberty. He goes up to the front desk and the nurse tells him that Sharon will be fine and that she has the cramps. Alden asks if cramps are a life-threatening disease. The nurse denies this and says it’s normal for a girl to have cramps when she starts her menstrual cycle. Now you see why the word period is in the title of this episode. Alden blushes.

Blushing Alden again

Sharon is approaching the waiting room and hears the nurse refer to Sharon as Alden’s sister. Ouch that’s embarrassing, but the embarrassment doesn’t stop there. The nurse hands Alden some sanitary napkins and Sharon tries to grab them, but when she does they end up flying all over the waiting room hitting people. One even landed in a guy’s cup and absorbs the water out of it. (cues the second-hand embarrassment)

Embarrassed as hell, Sharon leaves the hospital and heads outside. And here comes the most embarrassing part of this episode. Alden calls out to Sharon and calls her “sis”. I can’t. I mean what happened in the waiting room was embarrassing enough, but this just takes the cake. I’m so embarrassed for Sharon. Alden goes outside and finds Sharon. Sharon decides to go home. Alden suggests that he can take her home, but Sharon decides to take a cab home instead. Although Alden doesn’t know about periods, he tells Sharon what his sisters’ do to cope with their periods. That’s very sweet of him to do. He also tells her that the pads are great mattresses for action figures when you want them to camp out. Hmmm….Something tells me Alden used to use his sisters’ pads for that when he was little.

At home, Josh and Adam laugh at Alden calling 911 because Sharon got her period. Sharon tells them that it’s not funny and they’ll never understand what it’s like. That’s probably one of the realest things Sharon has said on this show so far. Guys will never understand what women go through when we have our periods. Sharon’s mom comes home and Josh yells to their mom and Sharon got her period. Sharon’s mom is so excited that her daughter has become a “woman”. Y’know this has always annoyed me. Why is having your menarche constitute as a requirement of womanhood? Girls are having their periods as young as 7 or 8. Getting your period does not mean you’re a woman.  Stop forcing this womanhood bullshit on young girls. It’s like telling a little boy that he’s the “man” of the house when his father’s isn’t around. Let these kids be kids. Okay rant over. Sharon’s mom is so excited that she wants to take a picture of Sharon as she emerges into “womanhood”.

She's insane

“Are you insane?” -Sharon

She realizes that she’s doing too much for something that’s supposed to be a private moment and apologizes. She asks Sharon if there’s anything she needs to go over with Sharon and Sharon tells her that she already aware of the facts of life. I’m assuming that this is a euphemism for sex. Sharon’s mom asks about her date and she understandably doesn’t want to talk about it. On the subject, Sharon’s mom suggests that since Sharon is dating that they go over those “facts” again. Sharon says no and Sharon’s mom leaves Sharon’s room. I’m just grateful my mom didn’t do this when I got mine. It just occurred to me. If Sharon and her mom had the “talk” already, did she not mention getting a menstrual cycle? It could just be me, but my mom let me know when I was 8 or 9 that I was going to get mine soon so I would be prepared. If Sharon had known that, she could have been saved the embarrassment that went down at the hospital.

At school, Sharon is hiding in the bathroom stall and refuses to come out. Nina and Allyson just so happen to walk in the bathroom to hear this conversation with Maria and Sharon. Sharon doesn’t want to come out because she’s afraid to see Alden. Maria tells Sharon that boys aren’t supposed to know that you’re on your period. Nina makes fun of Sharon getting her period and mocks her for it coming late. Sharon and Maria tell Nina off and Allyson gets Nina together by telling her she doesn’t recall her getting hers. Well, alright Allyson!

Go Allyson

Four for you, Allyson Malitski. You go, Allyson Malitski. And none for Nina Harper.

Nina is mad that Allyson put her in her place and walks off. Sharon is afraid that Alden might have told people about her getting her period. While they’re getting ready for Gym, Alden tells Brock about his weekend (leaving the embarrassing incident out) while his voice cracked. He tells Brock that his voice cracked the whole time and teases him about scaring the girls away. Brock is such a supportive friend.

Sharon comes out of the girls’ bathroom and into the gym and imagines that all of the guys are laughing at her while she has a giant “P” on her forehead. Sharon shakes off that thought and spots Alden near the ropes. He looks at her, smiles, and climbs the robe. Sharon thinks that Alden is trying to get away from her. Sharon, you have no reason to believe that Alden doesn’t want to be around you. Granted, he might have told the guys and they might have laughed or been grossed out and said to stay away from her, causing Alden to cave into peer pressure. But after the incident, he gave her support so it doesn’t make sense. Allyson walks up to Sharon and tells her that she can get out of gym because she’s on her period. They have a nice conversation about what they hate about gym and Allyson compliments Sharon’s hair. Moments like this make Allyson such a likeable character. It’s a good thing that we get to see more of it in future episodes. Sharon asks Allyson if it’s true that Nina hasn’t gotten her period and she confirms it saying that Nina is pissed that Sharon got hers before her.

Nina is pissed

Sharon feels like getting her period makes her feel like she just joined a secret club and questions why she got her period before Nina. Sharon tells Maria that Nina is jealous that Sharon got her period and believes there must be an upside to it. Oh, Sharon there is no upside to it. Nothing good comes out of bleeding out of your lady area (which will make it smell), having cramps, feeling bloated and gassy, and wearing a pad or tampon. Maria says that she’s in no hurry to find out. Good for you, Maria. Maria notices Alden showing off to get Sharon’s attention. Sharon doesn’t believe it since he hasn’t spoken to her all day and Maria rebuttals with a saying that I go by “Actions speak louder than words”. Allyson tells Sharon that she talked to the gym teacher and he’ll give her a pass if she can’t handle gym today. While that’s a nice gesture that Allyson did, I don’t think it’s her place to tell the gym teacher that Sharon is on her period. Sharon could have done it herself. Sharon turns down the free pass because she feels like skipping gym seemed so lame because she didn’t want Alden to think she’s a wimp because she’s “different” now. Sharon, if I were you I would have taken that pass. Fuck what Alden thinks. Trying to get Alden’s attention, Sharon jumps over a hurdle and she fucks up as usual.

Should have take that free pass

Should have taken that free pass, sis.

Alden walks over to Sharon and asks if she’s okay. She tells him she’s fine and tells him not to call an ambulance. I like that that they can find humor from that situation. It’s nice to poke fun at yourself sometimes. At night, Sharon is asleep. We got another dream sequence, folks. In the dream, Sharon is leading Maria to a mountain. Once they get up the mountain, they see trees, a lake, and a rainbow. Sharon believes that this is supposed to be symbolic of Mother Nature (which could also represent having your period), which I agree with. The reason why Sharon is leading Maria is because she got her period first. She’s leading Maria to the path of “nature”. Sharon looks at the rainbow and it breaks like glass. Sharon turns around and she’s in her room with Allyson clones, which turn into the nurse from earlier in the episode. This represents the good and bad experience Sharon faces from getting her period, respectively. Sharon gets pissed and grows into a giant and goes through the roof. Adam, in his wrestling outfit and tied to a rope, offers Sharon a plate of fries. She turns around to see Josh playing the piano and Alden sitting on the moon wearing skates. He comes down from the moon and skates around Sharon. As he leaves, a flash of light appears and Sharon’s mom is trying to take pictures of her.

Sharon is stuck in the house and her mom offers her hand to help her out. She takes her hand and they fly through the sky together with birds flying near them. They let go and Sharon falls into the clouds causing her to wake up. This represents Sharon’s mom leading her daughter to “womanhood”. The birds flying with them as they fly in the sky represents the birds and the bees, which we all know is a euphemism of sex and something that was mentioned earlier in the episode. Sharon realizes that this was probably the deepest dream she’s ever had and acknowledges that Nina didn’t show up.

Deepest Dream ever

Once again, this is one of my favorite episodes. I love how the writers showed Sharon and Alden going through the stages of puberty at the same time. I loved the maturity Alden showed when he found out that Sharon got her period. You would normally expect guys to be grossed out upon hearing a girl getting her period (At least, from my experiences). Alden was being supportive of Sharon and the scene with him telling her what his sisters do made Alden such a likeable character. I also like that he didn’t tell Brock or anyone about it. He respects the fact that it was a personal and embarrassing moment and knows that it shouldn’t be repeated. As a woman, I was able to relate and connect with Sharon when she got her period. I hear so many embarrassing period stories and even though I haven’t had any, I still feel embarrassed for them. Aside from the “You got your period so that means you’re a woman” bullshit in this episode, I really enjoyed this.

And now it’s time for my breakdown of the first dream sequence. Like I mentioned earlier, I agreed with Maria who believes that the dreams represent Nina always ruling over Sharon’s life. In the beginning of the dream, Nina is the giant and is dressed like a queen. She rules Sharon’s life and will stop at nothing to make her life a living hell as we see in every episode. When the roles are reversed and Sharon is the giant, it represents how in some episodes Sharon wins instead of Nina. Despite that happening, Sharon still allows Nina to get her down when we see tiny Nina snapping at her and both of them returning to their sizes from earlier in the dream. The fries represent Alden. Yes, I know that the fries are foreshadowing of Sharon getting her period as Adam told their mom that she was eating a lot of fries, but hear me out. We all know that Sharon likes Alden and Nina likes him too. In previous episodes, Nina goes out of her way to steal Alden away from Sharon. In the dream, Nina taunting Sharon with the fries represents moments where it looks like Sharon might have Alden, but Nina is always there to take him away no matter what.

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About rosecoloredglassesreviewer

Just a 20-something year old who loves writing and critiquing 90s/early-2000s TV shows. NOTE: I don't hate the shows I review. I enjoyed them as a child and I still enjoy them as an adult. My issue is with people who are blinded by nostalgia and believe that the shows they grew up are the best of all time and who believe today's shows suck.
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