#FlashbackFriday: Can We Please Talk About Swan’s Crossing?
It was the summer of 1992–Mr. Big was waiting in a line just to be the next to be with us, Kris Kross was making us jump, and we learned there was no crying in baseball. Plus we had troll dolls. So many, many troll dolls.
We also had, for a brief moment in time, a soap opera just for pre-teens, which is what we were called in those days before the word “tweens” was even invented. No, not Fifteen–though perhaps we’ll discuss that another time–I’m talking about Swan’s Crossing!
The soap took place in the fictional New England town of Swan’s Crossing–ostensibly not too far from Salem and Harmony–and starred a pre-Buffy Sarah Michelle Gellar as Sydney Rutledge, a scheming Blair Waldorf-esque rich-girl in the midst of a mystery romance, a pre-Sweet Valley High Brittany Daniel as Mila, the good-girl actress daughter of a countess who is new to Swan’s Crossing and dating Sydney’s ex-boyfriend Garret Booth, and even featured a pre-Oscar winning Mira Sorvino.
Perhaps the most memorable thing that happened on the show was the time Mila’s mother, the Countess, created a video invite (v. high tech) to a birthday party for her on a day that was not even her birthday, and Sydney–in an attempt to thwart Mila’s burgeoning popularity–showed it to all the kids in town. Be forewarned, this involves a really creepy parrot and may cause seizures.
In addition to the usual teen dramz, like romance, social backstabbing, and, um, some girl living in a submarine, the show also had some Cold War-style intrigue. One of the plots, for real, involved a group of bald spies (called “baldies” on the show) from the fictional Eastern European country of Rodavia. They, naturally, were tasked with spying on two local teen genius scientists who were working on inventing “self-propelling rocket fuel.”
I have actually wondered for years about whether or not JJ Abrams also watched this show and those “baldies” were perhaps the inspiration for the Observers on Fringe, but I’m guessing probably not.
Why this never became a cult sensation I do not know! I’ve actually only met about three or four other people who ever watched it. However, if you are one of the few people who actually watched it back in the day, or if you’re interested in checking it out, I recently discovered that the show is streaming on Hulu…so you’re welcome.