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EGB Spin-Off: The Riveras
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Author:  KevinsMensPyjamas [ April 22nd, 2018, 6:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: EGB Spin-Off: The Riveras

Kevin and the Gang: In-Between, Episode 5 - Who's the Man?, by me.

May 2001: When Michael asks for support in tackling his mother's poorly-chosen new boyfriend, Kevin and the other boys step up to the plate. A confrontation quickly follows, and Michael discovers the true meaning of friendship.

Yes, it's yet another step on 'Mike's Journey', but this one has the potential to leave more than a hole in the wall to deal with. The boys are in the spotlight here (all four of them this time) and there's plenty going on between them that the girls will almost certainly never know about, which is almost certainly for the best.

Hopefully this story provides some fascinating insights into various ideas of what "being a man" might involve, from the crudely physical to the staunchly emotional and everything in between. As such, it does contain references to and imagery involving males, maleness and the male anatomy that some readers may find undeniably weird, but it should be pretty clear that these are fully justified artistically. (Alternatively, they're just included for some more cheap laughs about wangs and masturbation.) There's some very naughty language as well, which is also used artistically but remains naughty nevertheless.

Author:  Fritz [ April 25th, 2018, 4:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EGB Spin-Off: The Riveras

Interesting situation. The guys handled the situation with more maturity than many people twice or three or four or more times their age.

It worked out well, but it had the potential to go very bad. Thank goodness it didn't. I was afraid at the very least there'd be some "But Micheal I love him and why can't you be happy that I'm happy for the first time since your Father left/died?!?!" and/or Angelo being better at sweet-talking Rita. But that probably would have made the situation a lot longer and drawn out than you intended.

Another good read.
:)

Author:  EGBFan [ April 26th, 2018, 12:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EGB Spin-Off: The Riveras

If I could choose a favourite moment in this story, I'm afraid it would not be any of the deep and meaningful character-driven bits, but Michael's locker room walk. It absolutely cracks me up! :lol: Actually, it's my fault this scene is in the episode at all. It's based on a true story that Jake told me very recently, even though it must have happened about twenty years ago; once I had recovered from my mirth, I told him that I wanted to read about such a thing in his fanfiction. :D

Author:  KevinsMensPyjamas [ April 27th, 2018, 5:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: EGB Spin-Off: The Riveras

Fritz wrote:
But that probably would have made the situation a lot longer and drawn out than you intended.
You've hit the nail on the head absolutely. This is why I included the fight of the previous night in the whole situation, which had made Rita decide to kick Angelo out in the near future before Mike ever got involved. It also means that Kevin's initial advice to Mike - that he should speak to his mom before doing anything else - would have been the right thing to do, and they'd have booted Angelo out very quickly without the need for an army of boys. However, the army of boys way worked out pretty well too, and I think the friendship between the boys certainly benefited, so maybe everything worked out for the best after all.

Just for the record, here is what Michael revealed to Kevin in 'January - Friends for Life' about what happened to his father:
'Thanks,' said Kevin. 'Smells like good cocoa.'
'It's only instant,' Michael shrugged. 'Your mom likes to know where you are after school, huh?'
'Yeah,' said Kevin. 'Doesn't yours?'
'I don't think so,' said Michael. 'But I guess she'd worry if I wasn't here when she got home from work.'
'Yeah, I bet she would,' said Kevin. 'It's just the two of you living here, right?'
'Yeah, that's right,' said Michael. 'My dad left when I was like five.'
'I'm sorry,' said Kevin.
'Doesn't matter,' Michael shrugged.

Wow, how far their friendship has come since that first, tentative after-school get-together! Rosey and I briefly discussed the other day how neither of us has ever felt the slightest desire to write anything about what happened to Michael's father, or reintroduce him into Michael's life in any way, so I guess Michael was right all along - it doesn't matter! Maybe the family-deserting scumbag is actually dead by now - who knows? This is something you might want to interpret for yourself, and hopefully it won't be the last unanswered question that the Collinsverse leaves you pondering with interest and finding your own preferred answer to.

Yup, and now the second and final of my particularly memorable changing room observations has made it into the Collinsverse, along with Barnaby and his obscenely revealing shower. Michael's striking display of bounce-ability sits particularly well in this story as it turns out, providing a very clear image of manhood at its most basic level to back up the main theme. And seeing as Kevin implied in my previous story that Michael was sporting some pretty impressive stats in the trouser-snake department (and now we know how Kevin actually knows this!) it all seemed to slot into place really well! (Which may be a little ironic when it comes to my next story, actually.)

Author:  EGBFan [ May 13th, 2018, 6:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: EGB Spin-Off: The Riveras

Kevin and the Gang: In-Between, Episode 6 - Growing Up Fast, by me.

March 2002: Suddenly finding the boys in their class a little too immature, the girls wonder what it would be like to hang out with some older guys. Then Ella, Catherine and Stephanie decide to find out.

Once again, this has nothing to do with Ghostbusters and everything to do with teenage girls. In fact, it's a rip-off of an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures, of which some (but by no means all) details have stayed with me for about twenty-five years.

Author:  Fritz [ May 14th, 2018, 6:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EGB Spin-Off: The Riveras

EGBFan wrote:
[url=https://egbfans.weebly.com/growing-up-fast.html] In fact, it's a rip-off of an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures, of which some (but by no means all) details have stayed with me for about twenty-five years.


I remember that episode. One of my favorites, as I recall. You did a hilarious reimagining of the "Will Dizzy Eat It?' game. :lol:

Author:  KevinsMensPyjamas [ May 15th, 2018, 3:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EGB Spin-Off: The Riveras

Goodness me, how I am reminded of life at our real-life secondary school, yet I know that this is only a taster of SJL-inspired Collinsverse life compared to Rosey's next story! I'm also reminded of how I was once pretty taken in by someone moving a planchette (actually it was a drinking glass!) on a home-made ouija board. I stopped believing it was real when the owner of the Scrabble set claimed to be conversing with Hitler.

This story cemented my ever-growing belief that Catherine and Stephanie love each other more completely than can be expressed in words, and they'll always be integral to each other's lives, whatever form that love eventually takes. This is another aspect of the Collinsverse that readers will hopefully want to draw their own conclusions about, but personally I believe that Cat and Steph are extremely close at this point to becoming a lesbian couple. Their role reversal after the ouija board incident deserves a special mention, as we can clearly see that the emotional and practical support between the two girls is both limitless and unconditional.

I find that John's appearance here rather nicely mirrors his other in-person appearance in the Collinsverse, which I wrote for him quite a long time ago and will be released very soon, as he annoys Lucy somewhat with his big-brotherly ways, and then comes through for her and her friends in a big way using his trademark car. I always interpreted Lucy and John's relationship as being not quite so emotionally close as those of the other members of Kevin's gang and their siblings, excluding Michael of course, who is an only child. (We haven't yet seen all the evidence to back up this analysis, but it's certainly on the way!)

Having said that, I also felt that Lucy and John had a huge amount of love and respect for each other, and would always trust each other and be there for each other when the chips were down. (And certainly they liked each other a lot more than either of them liked their parents!) I think this analysis is backed up in the latest story, and will also be so when John appears again. It also tells us why Lucy decided to call Kevin instead of John for help when she was dealing with drunken Jandro at the end of the main series - even though she knew John would probably be of more practical use, she really wanted her best friend with her, and that of course is Kevin. It's also worth noting that on that occasion too, John covered for Lucy to their parents, and he and his car were of great help the next morning.

Author:  KevinsMensPyjamas [ June 3rd, 2018, 5:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: EGB Spin-Off: The Riveras

Kevin and the Gang: In-Between, Episode 7 - Mood Slime, by me.

May 2002: There are testing times ahead for Ella when Oscar goes all-out to get his band together, and Michael goes all-out to get up close and personal. Caught at a crossroads, Ella soon finds herself wrestling with potentially life-changing circumstances.

This story features the surely much-anticipated return of Carl and Beth Rivera, as well as the Collinsverse debut of two GBOT characters whose identity should be easy to work out from the title. These two musically talented guys have been added (along with their very own portraits, of course) to our fanfiction character index under 'D' and 'T'.

Author:  Fritz [ June 3rd, 2018, 7:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EGB Spin-Off: The Riveras

KevinsMensPyjamas wrote:
Kevin and the Gang: In-Between, Episode 7 - Mood Slime, by me.

May 2002: There are testing times ahead for Ella when Oscar goes all-out to get his band together, and Michael goes all-out to get up close and personal. Caught at a crossroads, Ella soon finds herself wrestling with potentially life-changing circumstances.

This story features the surely much-anticipated return of Carl and Beth Rivera, as well as the Collinsverse debut of two GBOT characters whose identity should be easy to work out from the title. These two musically talented guys have been added (along with their very own portraits, of course) to our fanfiction character index under 'D' and 'T'.


The Collinsverse Ella and the GBOT Ella are starting to converge, I see.

Quote:
'Sorry to disappoint you, but it's not Oscar!' Carl snarled. 'It's some kid called Michael. And when you're done talking with him, maybe you could answer the phone yourself if it rings again? I'm not your God-damned answering service!'

'I was going to answer it myself both times, Dad,' said Kevin, 'but you got there first. There's no extension in here, remember?'


I could just imagine some of today's kids not being able to relate to this predicament at all. :lol:

Quote:
'Oh, loads of different kinds. There's some Superman and some Batman and some Incredible Hulk, and I think there's some X-Men in there somewhere. Most of them used to belong to my Uncle Eduardo.'


You just know if I'd been involved with creating this story I would have suggested dropping Captain Steel into the list, as a Ghostbusters-specific comic reference. 8-)

Author:  EGBFan [ June 5th, 2018, 8:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: EGB Spin-Off: The Riveras

Fritz wrote:
The Collinsverse Ella and the GBOT Ella are starting to converge, I see.


Yeah. I guess it was the easiest thing once the Collinsverse started to expand more than we'd anticipated (and it's not finished yet). Back when Ella was first introduced, I remember saying that the character name had come to me along with certain similarities to GBOT's Ella Stephens. Since then, the Collinsverse's Ella Williams has developed more than the original ever did, so now there are similarities and differences that are all fairly superficial, for instance the original Ella (to whatever extent this all came across, if at all) didn't have the same boyfriend since 5th grade, knew more about what she wanted/needed to do to make herself happy and was a bleached rather a natural blonde; both Ellas have body confidence, can turn aggressive under certain circumstances and now play bass guitar in a band called Mood Slime with Oscar, Tim and Danny. Oscar is very different from how he was in GBOT, so Ella might as well be too. Tim and Danny certainly look the same as they ever did (thank you, RinmaruGames, for your avatar creator), and are probably pretty much the same people, but I don't think they feature enough for that to really come across.

The boyfriend situation Ella ends up in here isn't one I would ever have envisioned for the original Ella, but as far as the Collinsverse goes, Jake seems to have synced into all the subtle references I've been making about what's missing from sex education (based largely on what goes on in this country, I must admit, but what I've seen in the media tells me that the US is pretty much the same, or possibly even worse). I could, but I won't, go off on one about what it isn't considered necessary for kids to know about themselves and each other, not least because it would probably not be allowed within the board's content restrictions - and anyway, this story shows very well the kinds of problems that can arise. The help and advice of Ella's sister Tara gives us a good idea of what they do teach kids, which is all very useful and correct of course, but much has been omitted and the girls are only able to work through part of the problem.

When I first read this story, I commented on the similarity to Shakespeare's The Tempest with the chess metaphor, which was obviously a very intellectual thing to say. The scene also contains Go-Gurt, which has become something of a metaphor, although when Jake originally asked me if I'd intended it as one, I said, 'No. I couldn't think of anything else, and I thought it'd be funny.' And then we speculated that, if asked, Shakespeare might very well say the same thing about his works. Now then, back to marking those Shakespeare essays...

Author:  KevinsMensPyjamas [ June 6th, 2018, 5:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: EGB Spin-Off: The Riveras

When the possibility of Ella being the Collinsverse version of Mood Slime Ella was first mentioned way back in this thread, I found it a very appealing idea as I think it's always good to include interesting similarities (and differences) between the two universes when the opportunity arises. I also thought it would be good to make a fresh, Kevin-free connection between other members of the gang, particularly as Oscar has somewhat limited links with everyone except Kevin, not being in the same school class as the rest of them. Hopefully this helps to flesh out the Collinsverse even further as a tangible Ghostbusters-inspired world.

Here are a few things about how this story was influenced by my upcoming series 'Kevin and Oscar: Snapshots' (which, as everyone knows, was written before 'Kevin and the Gang: In-Between' but is set afterwards) that one or both of you may or may not find slightly or more than slightly interesting.

Ella mentions the sex incident and her feelings about it to Lucy in one of the 'Snapshots', so I decided to include the whole sequence of events as part of Ella's Mood Slime experiences in this story. (Just in case you're wondering, I definitely am using the term "Mood Slime experiences" to mean more than one thing; I was hoping when I first wrote this story that the title had a double meaning, and I was pleased to find out when Rosey read the first draft that I had correctly interpreted the connotations of the band's name.) I remember discussing with Rosey very early on how Michael and Ella might end up making such a mistake, seeing as their relationship was always somewhat ahead of itself, but as Kevin says in this story, they definitely love each other and need each other, and they'll always get over their stumbling blocks, just as they did in 'Mikey's Girl'.

Ella fancies Kevin - this is a concept that came about during the initial composition of my 'Snapshots' series. Ella mentions in a couple of those stories that she is physically/sexually attracted to Kevin, although it's certainly not a big deal - it's just something that comes naturally into a couple of conversations as a passing remark. Certainly it made sense to me (and it still does) that Ella would fancy Kevin, as in the main series she shows a liking for tall, well-muscled guys, namely Michael and Eduardo. Of course two apparently concurrent pieces of data can't be considered a trend until they are joined by a third, so I guess Kevin is the third guy that proves Ella's penchant for a nice bit of male beef!

Anyway, that's why I had Ella fix on Kevin when she was uncertain about Michael in this story, but as should be abundantly clear, Kevin was only a physical distraction while her emotions were in turmoil - she really wanted Michael, and was incredibly relieved when the two of them again managed to sort out their confused feelings. And let's be totally clear here - none of that is to say that Kevin and Ella don't have a great deal of platonic love for each other, because they most certainly do!

It was a very similar situation with Kevin and Jandro back in my previous story, 'Who's the Man?'. In the 'Snapshots' series, Kevin and Jandro have a fun, free, close and obviously very loving friendship that both of them know for certain is never going to stray out of the good old Friend Zone, even though they obviously fancy each other more than a little. It therefore seemed a certainty to me that the pair of them had reached a silent but very clear agreement at some point that they could push each other to the very edge of the Friend Zone but never accidentally cross the boundary to somewhere they didn't want to go, and I put that moment in the story when the opportunity presented itself.

Again, I felt that the way I handled Jandro in 'Snapshots' was inspired by how he turned out in the main series - as soon as he put on a flowery apron and rolled his sleeves up all the way to his armpits when he washed Michael's dishes, I knew for certain that genital details would not be a decisive factor for Jandro if ever he fell for someone in that way. And despite the fact that Jandro is obviously sexually attracted to everyone in the gang, including fringe members Catherine and Stephanie, there is definitely only one person he has actually fallen for, and if it isn't obvious now who that is, it very soon will be!

Author:  EGBFan [ June 24th, 2018, 6:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: EGB Spin-Off: The Riveras

Kevin and the Gang: In-Between, Episode 8 - The Play's the Thing, by me.

June 2002: Junior high is almost over for Kevin and his classmates, and before they take the next step on the journey of life, they have a big drama project to complete. With Kevin's part involving a physical challenge, and Jandro's an emotional one, it looks as if things may not be all right on the night.

This, the final episode in this particular series, involves a cameo from Eduardo, Kylie, Carl and Beth; the second appearance of a member of Mood Slime, and an insight into what it was like to have drama lessons at our school in the late 90s (and probably the early 00s, but I wouldn't know about that).

Author:  Fritz [ June 26th, 2018, 2:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EGB Spin-Off: The Riveras

EGBFan wrote:
Kevin and the Gang: In-Between, Episode 8 - The Play's the Thing, by me.

June 2002: Junior high is almost over for Kevin and his classmates, and before they take the next step on the journey of life, they have a big drama project to complete. With Kevin's part involving a physical challenge, and Jandro's an emotional one, it looks as if things may not be all right on the night.

This, the final episode in this particular series, involves a cameo from Eduardo, Kylie, Carl and Beth; the second appearance of a member of Mood Slime, and an insight into what it was like to have drama lessons at our school in the late 90s (and probably the early 00s, but I wouldn't know about that).


I once again wish I could come up with a new way to say "Great story!"

For some reason, I kept hearing the drama teacher with the same voice as the hippie teacher from Beavis and Butt Head. :lol:

Like Kev, I laughed when Carlos appeared at the wrong time.

Author:  KevinsMensPyjamas [ June 27th, 2018, 5:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: EGB Spin-Off: The Riveras

I've said before how much I like the flow of this series in terms of both characterisation and events, and bringing this particular batch of stories to an end with the conclusion of Kevin and friends' junior high career works perfectly. I also like this story as a conclusion of 'Mike's Journey' - not that he's at the end of his life journey, of course, but he's now clearly the happiest and most settled he's ever been in his life, very much a part of the gang both practically and emotionally, and this series has very successfully charted his journey to get there. But of course, he's still Michael! And that's never going to change.

That situation with Carl appearing at the wrong time works particularly well as a follow-on from the previous episode, in which Carl was happy and comfortable with the fact that Michael was a strictly heterosexual kind of friend. Highly amusingly, Carl's faith in Michael is shattered here, and he is now convinced that Kevin, Oscar, Jandro and Michael are all ready to kiss each other and coo over pink chairs together at the drop of a hat. And as should be obvious by now, he's not completely right about that.

This story is pretty much unique in this series in that it features Lucy and Jandro's relationship prominently. As you may remember, these two are paused to possibly take a big step in the immediate aftermath of the Christmas Special (and they're not the only ones!) so there's only so much that could be done with them here, and I'm very glad to see it done at this point.

As I said in my comments about Rosey's previous story, the secondary school flashbacks in this one are stark and extreme! All that mucking about in the drama studio in socks; the issues those kind of performances caused between group-mates even though none of it really mattered at all; the almost non-existent, self-conscious acting turns of the silly boys - it all comes flooding back! I was particularly titillated when I first read this story to learn that Oscar had some very similar experiences to my own drama studio tribulations, involving a set of house keys and a stripy sausage.

Author:  EGBFan [ June 27th, 2018, 4:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EGB Spin-Off: The Riveras

Fritz wrote:
For some reason, I kept hearing the drama teacher with the same voice as the hippie teacher from Beavis and Butt Head. :lol:


Well, why not? I very much doubt he has the same voice as the teacher who inspired him :P (it was actually some of Jake's experiences that led to this particular teacher being introduced in an episode of The Riveras main series, just to be clear).

Quote:
Like Kev, I laughed when Carlos appeared at the wrong time.


I can't imagine I planned that all along... probably I thought Carl had walked out of the scene for good... but when Michael said what he said, obviously Carl had to come back in. :D I'd actually forgotten that particular aspect of A View From the Bridge when I thought it would be a suitable play for the five kids to perform, which seems strange now that it's worked out so well as part of our overriding theme. But of course, such situations aren't always amusing...

I seem to remember a few different ideas and discussions and possibilities about the approximate date and the circumstances of performing the play and stuff... and I can see why I made the decisions that I did. It all seems to make a great deal of sense. The play itself sprang to mind because I remembered (from school, of course) the main characters were a couple, a girl, a big strong guy and his smaller, younger brother - ideal for Kev and the gang! The one detail I did remember clearly from reading the play was the chair lifting scene. It wasn't until after I'd finished the story that I discovered performing this feat with a small child's chair is actually pretty easy, by which I mean I can do it. I guess Jessica's chair was heavier than the one we have around here, and besides, it would be pretty awkward to do it well under such circumstances.

When re-reading this story, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I'd deliberately put in a little of the original Danny's personality. I don't know if there might have been a situation in GBOT continuity where he'd be excited to show Oscar his stripy sausage (as such), but GBOT Danny most certainly does care about alternative fuels (that project was another thing I had to do at school... I have never been so starkly reminded of school! :shock: ).

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