The Breakfast Club Final Thoughts

First, I’d like to thank everyone who read Jasmine Ross the Rebel’s tale of being the sixth member of The Breakfast Club.  For those of you unaware, which is probably a lot of you, The Breakfast Club Jasmine’s adventures took place in was an interactive story adaptation of the classic 80s movie called Series which, unfortunately, isn’t available anymore.  In the movie, which I’m sure many of you have seen, five high school stereotypes spend a Saturday in detention and, throughout the movie, learn to get to know that each one is more than the label placed on them.  The first time I saw the movie was after it got mentioned in a Heroes comic story. The second time was when I downloaded this game and played this story. My friend, bloodrosered who also requested this, wrote her own fanfic from it called Beauty and the Brain.

The app not only had you play through the movie but chose to expand on it, showing the characters after that fateful Saturday detention. You get, or got, to play the main character who gets sent to detention with the five students. Like Jasmine, the MC was expelled from her earlier school in Detroit and sent to live with her grandfather. Unlike Jasmine, the MC’s family doesn’t seem all that dysfunctional.  Her parents get along and she and her grandfather share a loving relationship despite a few arguments that don’t go to the lengths that Jasmine’s do with her grandfather.  Which makes how she fits in with The Breakfast Club very surprising because one of the things that drew them together was that they each came from dysfunctional families. Andrew had a stage dad who was trying to live his dreams through him. Brian had an education mom who was obsessed with having the perfect son. Claire’s parents pretended to love her while using her as a pawn in their failing marriage. Allison’s parents act like they don’t even have a kid.  Where does the MC fit into all of this? Sure, she got expelled and it’s the reason she’s on Vernon’s bad side, but she has a happy loving family.  During the confession seen, her confession moment is how she got expelled, which there’s an option for.  However, her family’s not dysfunctional like the others. She doesn’t admit to that, and they don’t even give you options for what type of dysfunctional family she has.  Both bloodrosered and I fixed this aspect by having our characters based off the MC have family problems. Her character, Sheila, had a selfish mother who married a controlling stepdad. Jasmine, on the other hand, had a narcissistic father who controlled the household to fit his ideal image, favoring her siblings over her. These minor changes helped our characters fit in more with The Breakfast Club.

As for the story itself, as I said earlier, it was adapted from The Breakfast Club. In the first few chapters you get to play through the movie where you choose which of the Breakfast Club characters you want to sit next to. If you’re a girl, your choices of a love interest are Bender, Brian and Andrew.  If you’re a boy, your choices are Allison and Claire.  As a girl, you will get a gay option in the form of reporter Donna who is an original character for the game. I don’t really know if there’s a gay option for a guy character as I never played as one when the game was available.  I’m sure many of you are wondering why Allison, Bender, Claire and Andrew are love interests when they are all taken.  Maybe, instead of falling for the designated love interest, the MC manages to catch their attention during detention.  Nope, not how it happens. Instead, you manage to get your chosen love interests’ attention during the movie. They’ll even give you your phone number before detention’s over, but you’ll still catch them outside kissing their love interest.  Don’t worry, the character you pursue makes eye contact with you during the kiss.  Then, after detention, you play through Stubbie’s party where it costs diamonds to pursue the chosen love interest. In the case of taken characters, such as Bender and Claire and Andrew and Allison, you get to see that they’re having problems being a couple after detention.  Which isn’t hard to believe considering that everyone belongs to different cliques that even the movie said it would be possible for each of the characters to fall back into.  However, if you choose to pursue one of the love interests, they will confess what the problem is. Bender will talk about his problems with Claire and her friends while Andrew will talk about how his friends don’t approve of Allison.  In both cases, you take advantage of their vulnerability to steal them away. With Andrew, there’s an option for the MC to say that Allison doesn’t deserve him.  With Bender, the MC just kisses him when Bender complains about Claire’s snobby friends and then the MC tells Bender that she doesn’t have any snobby friends.  This not only makes the MC look like a bad friend, but it makes both Bender and Andrew look like horrible boyfriends. One fight and they’re just going to call it quits because they got a “better offer?”  I’ve mentioned that my character, Jasmine Ross, has an RP account on TUMBLR.  However, what I haven’t mentioned is that I also RP with a John Bender on TUMBLR known as acrxmxnal.  Not only are our characters romantically involved but we do acknowledge that Bender was involved with Claire before her. Yet, in our case, instead of saying that Jasmine attended that fateful detention with Bender, we say that Bender dated Claire for a while, and it didn’t work out.  Then he met Jasmine and they started dating. While bloodrosered also has a Breakfast Club OC thanks to this game, her character romantically pursued Brian (the only one still single). So, unlike me, she didn’t have to do any damage control.

I’ll admit that paragraph didn’t exactly put the MC in the best light.  Brace yourself because it’s about to get worse.  This whole game is about the MC. It’s the MC who scolds Claire for saying that they wouldn’t be friends on Monday instead of Bender.  It’s the MC who asks Brian to write the famous letter at the end instead of Claire.  In fact, remember when Bender took the rest of the Breakfast Club outside to get his marijuana? Remember that he took the fall by distracting Vernon so the others could get away? In this game, you get to take the fall for Bender if you pay the diamonds and it’s you who faces Vernon’s wrath.  The whole reason Bender even chose to take the fall for the group was because he realized this was his fault in the first place and he was trying to redeem himself. Having the MC take the fall instead undermines Bender’s sacrifice. What makes it worse is that, even if you do take the fall for Bender, he still hides from Vernon when he goes back to the library. Bloodrosered suspects that it’s because Bender got mad after Vernon told the rest of the Club why the MC wouldn’t be joining them.  Speaking of Vernon, Bender is no longer at the top of his most hated list, you are. It’s you that Vernon scolds before leaving the room during the first detention, it’s you that Vernon singles out when you’re called to his office and it’s you who gets taken out of the library first during the second detention.  Sure, Vernon acknowledges Bender’s existence, but he gets demoted to second best, something that Bender doesn’t even seem to care about.  You’ve seen me mention acrxmxnal and bloodrosered earlier and, at one point, we had a Discord RP group together.  Whenever we brought Vernon into the RP, he would pay more attention to Sheila than Bender. It caused quite a bit of friction between the two characters and acrxmxnal himself explained that the reason was because Bender felt like Sheila was trying to take his place. Something he doesn’t seem to care about in the game

As I explained earlier, the game expands to Stubbie’s party and Monday to show what happened to the five kids and you after detention. At first, it seems well and good with Claire and Andrew going back to their respective cliques and being afraid to stand up to them. Allison assimilates into popularity and Brian finds himself at the mercy of Stubbie. Unfortunately, the story does not live up to its potential. We never get to meet Brian or Bender’s friends and what we see of Andrew and Claire’s crowd is the very stereotypes the whole movie was trying to deconstruct. I’ll admit, I did like that you get to meet Larry Lester and Andrew has to face up to what he did.  However, the writers forgot that Brian hinted Larry Lester was part of his crowd. Not to mention the whole thing got resolved way too easily with Andrew apologizing and Larry being too quick to forgive. I wish I could say that was the laziest writing in the game, but it gets worse. There’s a part in the game where Bender puts a note in your locker to come with him and ditch class at the record store.  Which is in character for Bender, but bloodrosered told me that, when you pursue Brian, he does the exact same thing. Yes, nerdy rule-follower Brian puts a note in your locker to skip class. I know he broke a few rules during detention but there’s a difference between getting talked into breaking rules and cutting class on your own.  Bloodrosered even told me that, when you buy a gift at the kiosk for your love interest, you always choose between flowers and chocolates. Apparently, the writers forgot about 80s sexism and that wasn’t the only instance when they did.  Stubbie, in the game, loudly declares to the whole school that he’s going to beat you and Brian up regardless of what gender you are.  Trust me, Stubbie loudly declaring that he’s going to beat up a girl wouldn’t sit well in a 1980s high school.  As for Allison and Claire, they have a similar story arc where Becky talks them into ditching their friends and joining the popular crowd. The game treats it like they’re in the wrong but, in my playthrough, I had the MC kiss Bender while Claire was dating him.  Which was a serious betrayal of Claire’s trust. Why should she choose you over Becky? The same goes for Allison if you kissed Andrew during the playthrough. Again, it was a deliberate betrayal and it’s easy to see why Allison would pick Becky over you.  Each time, it’s up to you to save the day though, in both Brian and Allison’s cases, you have to get help from Donna.  If you’ve ever read Stephen King’s book, On Writing, you’d know that there was a girl who dressed in baggy clothes at his high school. She then transformed herself into a beauty only to get mocked by the popular girls enough to make her go back to her old look. Just like how Allison, after the disaster with Becky, decides to go back to hers. As for the Claire plot, she stops hanging out with Becky after you prank her so that she couldn’t spread the rumor about Claire having sex with Bender.  After that, even though Claire had no evidence of Becky being a bad friend, she stops hanging out with her. Allison, on the other hand, will get the evidence if you choose to ask Donna. Otherwise, she chooses Becky over you but says in code that they’ll be secret friends.  The next day, she still goes back to her old look with no explanation for why.

I’ve mentioned Donna before as the lesbian love interest for the MC.  However, she is also the reporter for the school paper. Those of you who have seen the movie should remember the character of Carl the janitor who not only told the kids that he goes through their lockers and knows their personal information but functioned as a confidante to Vernon. This character is notably absent from the game and replaced by Donna, who is a reporter for the school paper. She not only takes an interest in the MC, but she’s the one you go to when you want to dig up dirt on people.  Donna not only goes through personal items for the sake of a story, but it’s hinted that she plants bugs all over the school.  Don’t know where she got the technology for that, but it makes it look like Donna thinks freedom of the press means reporters can do whatever the **** they want.  At one point, she blackmails you for info and she seems like she could easily turn on you if you don’t keep your guard up. Yet, if you want to stop Vernon and save Allison, you’ll need her help.  Donna is Chloe Sullivan if she had no conscience. Oh, by the way, if you want Donna’s help, you’ll have to pay diamonds.  So, she’s also a living Deus ex Machina who shows up right on time to save the day.  Which can be a little irritating.

If all of this sounds bad, brace yourself because I haven’t got to the worst part, Vernon’s character derailment.  While Vernon was not a sympathetic character in the movie, the game morphed him into a Roald Dahl villain. During the second detention, you hear him gloating about an evil plan to his mother. The one I described in the recap where Vernon tried to make each of the students write an apology letter or face expulsion. Don’t get me wrong, Vernon is not a nice or good man whatsoever.  He blames the students for everything, goes through their personal files and locked up Bender in a closet, threatening to hit him if he so much as made a move. Which was like how Joss Whedon behaved on the sets of Buffy and Justice League. Yet, at the same time, Vernon wanted Bender to hit him because, if Bender does, Vernon can frame him for the whole thing and get Bender expelled. Here, Vernon’s threatening the same thing if each of the students don’t write him an apology letter.  Call me crazy but I don’t think “I expelled four students because they wouldn’t write me a letter,” is going to fly well with the school board.  Then this all leads up to one of the most hackneyed fixes everything endings I’ve ever seen!  It’s the point when the writers just gave up and decided to fix all of the characters’ problems in one half-***ed solution.  Those of you who’ve seen the movie and read my recap know that Brian tried to kill himself over an F in Shop.  Wait a minute, did I not mention that earlier in the review? I guess I, like the writers of the game, forgot about it and only remembered until the grand finale. However, what the writers didn’t forget was that Andrew traumatized Larry Lester and the MC got expelled.  If you find out that Vernon’s been going through the student records, Bender gets angry and decides to destroy them. However, since the school records get copied at the end of the year, this only destroys the records for this year. Brian’s F in shop, which never got mentioned the entire week, is gone, the record of what Andrew did to Larry Lester is erased and so is the record of your expulsion. If that’s not enough, you use the evidence you have against Vernon so that he can no longer give Saturday detention.  Yay, a victory for good! Of course, no Saturday detention means that Bender will get stuck with his parents during the weekend but who cares about that? Bloodrosered and I even discussed this ending and guess what? Burning the records wouldn’t have done ****!  Brian’s Shop teacher would still have his grades, what Andrew did would still be in his and Larry’s memories and your expulsion would still be recorded by the other school. The writers never consider having Bender help Brian in Shop, even though Shop is his best subject. They never have the MC deal with the consequences of getting expelled. They wrapped the Larry Lester issue in one neat little bow and Vernon’s lost all his power! Everyone runs off into the sunset, even though Brian’s still obsessed with studying and Andrew’s still obsessed with winning. Nobody learns anything and everything they went through in the movie, none of that means ****! This defies all logic and insults the original movie! Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy this story and I loved recapping it, but this ending felt like the writers didn’t even care.  They just wanted a happy ending and they **** all over the movie just to get it. I’m starting to think lazy writing like this is why Series failed.

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