How Dance ‘Til Dawn Gave Me Unrealistic Prom Expectations….

October 23rd, 1988.

That is the date in which the world was introduced to the wonders that came from a TV movie called:

Dance ‘Til Dawn.

 

 

This movie made me look forward with such anticipation for my own prom. By the time 1996 rolled around, I was looking forward to craziness and hoping my prom would be like that but instead, it was the exact opposite. Dance ’till Dawn let me down. They set me up with these impossibly high expectations where I would be surrounded by craziness and my life would just never be the same.  Instead, my prom was….well, it was there.  I danced but not until dawn. I may have danced ’til like 11:30.

 

In Dance ’til Dawn…..

Tracey Gold’s nerdy character, Angela, suddenly becomes hot simply because she put on a pretty dress and takes off her glasses. Then the most popular boy in school, Kevin, starts to fall for her. She also gets asked to prom because someone starts a rumor that she’s easy and then when she finds out that’s the reason Kevin wanted to go with her, she dumps him.

Reality Check….

I had a pretty dress. It was black and had black buttons and a black bow in the back. It was nowhere near as phenomenal as Tracey Gold’s fantastic, shiny black dress. The most popular boy in class still had no clue I existed. I’m actually still convinced he has no clue I was in his class and I don’t think a make-over would have helped.

In Dance ’til Dawn…..

Chris Young played Dan who began with no date to the prom and ended up going to a movie alone  to see a movie about killer ants. This actually seemed kinda good and then that’s when he runs into Alyssa Milano’s character, Shelley. Shelley is also not at a prom. Shelley was dating Kevin but they broke up and he didn’t even ask her to prom even though they had been dating all of high school. Shelley goes to the movies alone, runs into Dan and they stay out all night and then end up walking into Hud’s–the hangout where everyone goes after prom– and they announce they’re going steady.

Reality Check…

My prom date was a family friend whom I think was doing a favor for my mother and I did not go see a movie with killer ants even though I would have liked to have done that. I don’t know if anyone went to a diner the next morning to recover from the all-night bender that is apparently prom.

In Dance ’til Dawn…

There is barely any adult supervision and parents are telling their children to stay out all night. Alan Thicke even went to his son’s prom to deliver a corsage and then learns his son was lying to him about going to prom and then gets all upset. Then there’s also a party where there are no parents at all because the girl who has the party (Patrice played by Christina Applegate) asks her parents to stay away from the house because she doesn’t want chaperones. I think all good parents would agree to that…..or they wouldn’t. Depending on their mood and whether or not they enjoy their belongings.

Reality Check….

My after prom party was fantastic. I danced, I enjoyed being surrounded by my peers without adult supervision and then….oh, wait….no, that was a dream I had. There was an after party but I didn’t end up going. There was pot there and my date at the time refused to go to a party where there were drugs. I didn’t care enough about the party to argue.

In Dance ’til Dawn….

After Patrice shows up to prom matching the tablecloth and when she doesn’t win Homecoming Queen, she berates Chandler Bing….I mean, no, Roger, played by Matthew Perry. Then they walk home in a bad neighborhood because Chandler-Roger can’t pay for the limo because he had to buy a pre-engagement ring for Patrice. Then when they finally get back to Patrice’s house, they get arrested because there were noise complaints about the party that no parents were at except for Frasier and the annoying neighbor lady from Small Wonder who played Tracey Gold’s parents in this movie and were weirdly stalking her.

Although, why didn’t they wonder where the owners of the home were?

Reality Check….
I was home by ten or eleven. I don’t know but I certainly wasn’t out all night. My school didn’t have a Homecoming Queen. No one was stalking me and my parents were probably asleep by eight. No one was arrested. At least not my knowledge. Also, I’m not sure anyone got engaged or pre-engaged and no one berated Chandler….Roger.

Dance ‘Til Dawn made prom look epic. I dreamt of staying up all night. I imagined the priceless memories I would make. It would be filled with “Dear Diary” moments, but it was a quiet night with a family friend and then I headed home. I’ve been to far parties since then.

dancetildawn

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