Wednesday, February 12, 2014

American Pie: A TVCU Quickie

What's a quickie?  See this blog.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

American Pie is a series of teen films conceived by Adam Herz. The first film in the series was released on July 9, 1999, by Universal Pictures, and became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon, spawning three direct sequels. The second and third films were released at two-year intervals, whereas the fourth film was released in 2012. From 2005 to 2009, four spin-off films were released. A ninth feature film has been announced in response to the success of the eighth film.
Throughout the first film in the original series, Jim Levenstein (Jason Biggs) tries to develop a relationship with his school classmate Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth), and along with his best friends Kevin Myers (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Paul Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), and Chris Ostreicher (Chris Klein), attempts to lose his virginity. In the second film, with good friend, and Finch's frenemy Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott), the friends host a summer party and Jim switches his interest to his friend Michelle Flaherty (Alyson Hannigan). In the third film, Jim and Michelle plan to marry, but the forced invitation of Stifler could ruin everything. In the fourth film, the gang gets back together in anticipation for their thirteenth high school reunion. The spin-off series revolves around relatives of Stifler, including his brother Matt (Tad Hilgenbrink) and cousins Erik (John White), Dwight (Steve Talley), Scott (John Patrick Jordan), and their respective friends attempting similar activities.
The original series, produced on a total budget of US$145 million, has grossed $989 million worldwide. The spin-off films were released direct-to-video. The series has developed a cult following. Critics have given the original trilogy mixed reviews, and overlooked the spin-off series. The series has been released on DVD.

From me:

I love the American Pie series, but I couldn't cover it because it had no TVCU connection, or any crossovers period.  Or so I thought.  But it turns out the beer that everyone drinks in all of the films is a fictional brand that has appeared in other films, and so that gives me the opening to talk about the films.

There are actually two film series, with two different timelines.  The one that would be in the main TVCU timeline consists of all the theatrically released films.  The other timeline, likely the TVCU2, would consist of the original trilogy, and the direct to DVD films.  The reason is Jim and Michelle's kid.  In Band Camp, Michelle is said to be pregnant, and in American Reunion, their kid is still a toddler, and they have only the one child.  Band Camp was in 2005 and American Reunion in 2012, so the child should be about six or seven.  Below I will lay out a brief timeline of the American Pie films

Come join the discussion about American Pie or other TVCU related topics here.

TVCU Chronology:

File-American Pie Logo.jpg

May 1999--AMERICAN PIE--Four male teen virgins make a pact to support each others efforts to lose their virginity by prom night.  After almost nailing the hot exchange student Nadia, Jim ends up going to the prom with band geek Michelle, who really surprises him.  Oz tries to become a more sensitive guy and joins the chorus, and finds himself falling in love with chorus girl Heather.  Kevin already has a girlfriend, and thinks things will be easy for him, but his relationship with Vicky isn't as solid as he thinks.  And Finch's plan to spread false rumors about himself fails thanks to a prank by Stifler, but in the end, Stifler will regret the prank when Finch meets Stifler's mom.  Note that this film marks the creation of the term MILF, much to the delight of internet pornographers everywhere.  Throughout all the American Pie films, the beer of choice is Heisler Beer.  This is a fictional beer company that has appeared elsewhere as well, including TRAINING DAY, SUPERBAD, BEERFEST, MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE, MY NAME IS EARL, STAR TREK:  ENTERPRISE, CSI:  CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, THE RECRUIT, THE SHIELD, STEALING HARVARD, BONES, BURN NOTICE, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, DOLLHOUSE, EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS, HAPPY ENDINGS, HEROES, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, NEW GIRL, PRISON BREAK, TERMINATOR:  THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, TWO AND A HALF MEN, VERONICA MARS, WEEDS, WHITE COLLAR and many others.  This film came out in 1999.  It has a contemporary setting, and takes place in the weeks leading up to prom, thus the timeline placement.

heisler-beerHeisler on New Girl


Summer 2000--AMERICAN PIE 2--One year later, after a year in college, the gang gets back together only to find that everything's different now.  Jim has another shot with Nadia, and seeks advice from Michelle, but in the end, he realized he may be chasing the wrong girl.  Oz and Heather have a very boring story line where she is in Europe and they can't figure out how to have phone sex.  Kevin can't deal with the fact that Vicky has moved on.  And Finch spends the whole summer obsessing about Stifler's mom.  And Stifler goes from a small role in the first film to becoming a stronger lead in this one.  Though this is a 2001 film, it is said to take place one year later, thus the timeline placement.

American Wedding movie.jpg

Summer 2003--AMERICAN WEDDING--Jim and Michelle are getting married.  Stifler and Finch fight over Michelle's sister.  Kevin is there.  Oz is not (which is referenced in American Reunion).  This is a 2003 film, and is said to take place four years after the first film, thus the timeline placement.

The timeline now to keep things in order of the films, lets go to the TVCU2.  But first, there's another timing issue to address, and that revolves around Matt Stifler.  Matt's age is never really addressed, but there are clues.  In American Pie, he's obviously still a virgin, but is coming to appreciate women and sex.  In American Pie 2, he's still a virgin, but much more into women and sex, and has matured since the first one, just a year earlier.  He also rides a scooter.  In the real world, in Michigan, one must be at least 15 to operate a motorized scooter (moped).  I looked it up, because I really take this stuff too seriously.  So that would mean he's be at least 15 in American Pie 2 so at least 14 in American Pie.  American Wedding is referenced as being part of the DVD series canon.  American Wedding took place just after they graduated.  So four years after American Pie, so 2003.  So that would be fine, except in 2003, Matt would be at least 18.  Even if Band Camp were to take place immediately following American Wedding, Matt would 18, and that summer a high school graduate, but clearly he's still in high school.  If the prank he pulled that got him sent to Band Camp happened his senior year, there's no way they could have enforced it.  However, since his love interest Elyse is trying to get a scholarship, it must be the summer between junior and senior year, making Matt 17.  Oh, so close.  So do we disregard the laws the the State of Michigan and say in the TVCU Michigan, one can drive a moped at 14?  For his immaturity in the first film, it would actually be better.  And in fact, the actor was only 13 when he played Matt in American Pie, so there is validation.

And so, yes, I hereby decree that in the TVCU, the driving age for mopeds in Michigan is 14 as opposed to 15 in the real world.    (That's a lot of deep analysis for a quickie!  Whew!)


Summer 2003--AMERICAN PIE PRESENTS BAND CAMP--Matt Stifler plays a prank that gets him in trouble.  His guidance counselor, Chuck Sherman, went to high school with Matt's brother Stephen, and hated him, so as revenge he sends Matt to Band Camp.  Matt tries to follow in the footsteps of this brother, who has started his own "Girls Gone Wild" type business, and ends up falling for his nemesis Elyse.  Jim's dad is the camp disciplinarian, having stepped in to replace Michelle, who is currently pregnant.  This is a 2005 film, but to account for Matt's age and the reference to Jim and Michelle being married, I have to place it here on the timeline.


Spring 2006--AMERICAN PIE PRESENTS:  THE NAKED MILE--Erik Stifler, cousin of Steven and Matt, is about to become the first Stifler to graduate from high school a virgin.  But when he is going to visit his cousin Dwight Stifler's fraternity, Beta House, his girlfriend gives him a free pass for the weekend.  This film reveals Jim's dad's first name as Noah, and that he was in the Beta House, and the founder of the Naked Mile event.  There is no actually date references in this film.  Thus, there's no reason not to place it contemporary to the date the film was released, which was 2006.  Placed in the spring due to his impending graduation.

American Pie 6.jpg

Fall 2006--AMERICAN PIE PRESENTS:  BETA HOUSE--Matt has now graduated and is a college freshman pledging Beta House, which is locked in a never ending feud with a rival fraternity.  Placed in the fall due to his being a freshman and pledging a frat.  Since the last film was in the spring of 2006, when he was graduating high school, this must take place in the fall of 2006, although the film was released in 2007.

The book of love.jpg

Fall 2009 to Spring 2010--AMERICAN PIE PRESENTS:  THE BOOK OF LOVE--Meanwhile, back in East Great Falls High, where it all begins, three teen virgins seek out the infamous Book of Love that Kevin consulted in the original film after his older brother revealed it to him.  But they accidentally start a fire that destroys the book, which is revealed to have been created by Jim's dad.  They decide they must then recreate the book, and sexual misadventures abound.  This is said to take place eleven years after American Pie.  Though American Pie took place in the spring of 1999, their school year would have been 1998 - 1999, so that would place this in 2009 - 2010.  This film was released in 2009.

And now, back to the main timeline...

2012--AMERICAN REUNION--Note that it's three years late for a ten year reunion, and Kevin mentions that they are three years late, so this indeed takes place in 2012.  So everyone is back from the first film.  Jim and Michelle now have a toddler, and as I pointed out, this is why the DVD films have to be in a separate timeline.  The only way around that is if we consider that they had a pregnancy that failed, resulting in miscarriage, or the child was stillborn or died at an early age, then they had another child.  Only if we accept that they had this unspoken tragedy could we make it all fit in one timeline.  But for those who can't picture that, the DVD films go in the TVCU2.  They actually could still exist in the same timeline, all but the one mention of the pregnancy in Band Camp, which is why I still placed them in the same chronology.  So, as I was saying, Jim and Michelle have a toddler, and their sex life doesn't exist any more.  They go home to the reunion with hopes of getting things back on track.  Kevin is happily married, but when he sees Vicky at the reunion, he acts exactly the same as in American Pie 2.  Oz is now a celebrity sportscaster and had an embarrassing stint on Dancing with the Stars.  But he's dating a really hot supermodel.  But when he sees Heather again, he realizes he made some wrong choices in life.  Finch is secretly pretending to have a much cooler life than he really does.  And Stifler, who was a high school assistant coach in American Wedding, then a pornographer in Band Camp, is now working a menial office job.  He still hasn't grown up, but is forced to be submissive to a mean boss.  This film is said to take place 13 years after American Pie, and the film was released in 2012, thus the timeline placement.


Here's what the Crew has posted lately about American Pie.

So in American Pie Presents: The Book of Love The Main characters find the book of love it gets Destroyed so they go to the original creator Noah Levenstein (Jim's Dad) and Recreate it he calls up some contributors form over the years including Dustin Diamond C. Thomas Howell Robert Romanus Tim Matheson and Christopher Knight Snice they're not named I'm just going to assume they're ll older Versions of they're characters form Saved by the Bell,Secret Admirer, Fast Times at Ridgemont High,Animal House and the Brady bunch

If faux cigarettes, dirty magazines, and airlines are connectors, what about the fictional 555 prefix? If so, then I can bring into the TVCU a bunch of films and TV shows, including Bruce Almighty (and thus Evan Almighty), the Transporter films, the American Pie series, the Friday films, the interconnected Adam Sandler films, and Airplane and it's sequel.

I think I found a veritable hub of Crossovers from Japan all centering on one series: Mahou Sensei Negima! (Magister Negi Magi).

It translates as:
"Magical Teacher Negima! (Master Mage Negi)"

Which can be initially summarized like this: Imagine if a 10 year old Harry Potter was sent to teach at an all girl's High-School in Japan.

Later, when the writer primarily escapes from the mandate of his editors, the series is more of an intelligent fighting series with combatants so varied it would make Doctor McNinja proud.

It's EXTREMELY well researched (tracing the roots of all the magical traditions used to real world sources and going into details about the philosophies involved with them), but I should warn you, it's an "echi" series. Which means it has about as much Raunchy Comedy as a several "American Pie" films.

But, the crossovers is what matters at the moment. I'll only mention ones that might have solid links with other series rather than just references or people dressing in costume (called "Cosplay"). Which this series also has a lot of (ranging from Laputa in the Sky to Call of Cthulhu).

The first crossovers is with the writer's previous series: Love Hina (which set the formula of the "Harem Comedy": One guy, several girls, hijinks). A fighting style (Shinmeiryuu - "God's Cry Style") and featured a minor cameo between two of its practitioners. Further, a cursed blade that possesses people and is tied to that style off swordsmanship appears in both, with the same effects.

The title character, a welsh mage named Negi Springfield, is mentioned to be a collector of magical artifacts. One of which he is seen using in an early chapter acts and looks like a "Caster" gun from the series "Outlaw Star".

One character receives a mind-reading artifact in the form of a book. One character, whose mind is being read by it, initially mistakes it for a Death Note (from the series of the same name). I doubt it confirms the existence of the series, just the artifact.

One character, a Gun wielding assassin, substitues her guns at one point for flicked coins. The technique is linked to Zenigata Hieji, a famous detective. Effectively, this is a reference to a Japanese Sherlock Holmes and his martial art of Baritsu.

If the name Zenigata is familiar, that is because it is also used in Lupin the 3rd, where Inspector Zenigata is an ancestor of Zenigata Hieji.

In this series, magical realms are created on top of other places, just shunted over dimensionally "Half a step". When describing the effect, one character references other places: "the Dragon Palace, Ryuugujou and Takamagahara, the land of the gods...and more recently, mysterious towns with public baths found at the end of a tunnel." Which is a reference to the Studio Ghibli film "Spirited Away".

Mars, as it turns out, is also one, called "The Magical World." Just throwing that out there because it made me think of John Carter of Mars immediately due to later plot developments.

Vampires play a pivotal role in the series, but the most powerful type is given a name reference also seen in the Castlevania series: Shinsho or "True Ancestor". This is given to Dracula's final form in "Castlevania: Symphony of Night". It's also used in "Tsukihime" but reconciling anything else with what Type/Moon does is an exercise in futility and frustration.

One of the most infamous and theologically confusing characters in recent Japanese fiction, Haruhi Suzumiya, makes a possible cameo (in way of facial design) for one panel during one of the odder events in the series.

That the can explain away magic powers and the like as "CGI" and have people believe them helps keep things in order, I bet.

When a ghost is spotted in the girl's classroom, they head to the (ridiculously over-funded, and given a boost by a time traveler) science department and come back with totally-not Proton Packs to deal with the (harmless) ghost.

9 Crossovers of varying strength. Sadly, none are like Black Lagoon referencing Law and Order's 27th Precinct (where one of the Black Lagoon Character's is Wanted), but within Japan at least, that's a ton of crossovers for one series.

Sounds like a good place to start with any other Crossovers from Japan, because I know there are more (I'd mention them myself, but this post is damn huge already).

Jason Biggs' character from Orange is the New Black is not the same character from American Pie, but both of them seem to have embarrassing past incidents, one of which involved a webcam and the other involving the shaving of the private area. I'm sure that's more than coincidence and was the writers' nod to Biggs' more famous character.


Bonus.  No American Pie in the Horror Crossover Universe, but there is an American Psycho!


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  3. You provide some great detail, but I take issue with your timeline.

    I may be mistaken since I haven't seen the first couple of films in a while, but I don't believe there needs to be an alternate timeline at all.

    1. Matt's age, as you say, is never really addressed. This means we don't know his age in AP2, and the actor is 13. We know the film takes place in 2000. No issues so far.
    2. In Band Camp, you set the timeline as 2003, but the film DIRECTLY, in numerous places, sets the year as 2005, the same year the movie was released. That's a big hurdle for your timeline to alter the year. However, I think the year actually is 2005, and that issues sort of come later in the series.

    Matt Stifler is likely 13 in AP2, so five years later in 2005, he is 18. Even if he is 14 in AP2, he could have been held back a year in highschool. Not far fetched given common Stifler hijinks and academic attitudes.

    You also mentioned that Mr. L references Jim and Michelle being married, but they were married in 2003, so if Matt Stifler didn't know this, which he seemingly didn't, there is no issue mentioning their marriage in 2005.

    Finally, you mention driving age, but to account for this, all you have to realise is that Matt may just be driving illegally. Given how little Stiflers care about others, it's not a leap in logic.

    So, I posit that all timeline years are correct except Band Camp which is properly in 2005 as it states it is in the film.

    AP = 1999
    AP2 = 2000
    AW = 2003
    BC = 2005
    NM = Early 2006
    BH = Late 2006
    BL = 2009-2010
    AR = 2012

    Now, a slight problem occurs in American Reunion.

    Given that by my timeline Michelle gets pregnant in Early to mid 2005, that means her child is born in late 2005 to early 2006. That would make their child about 6 or 7 in AR, but the actor who plays their child doesn't look that old, but since I don't think his age is mentioned, we could pretend that he recently turned 6.

    I think I got it all.

    Let me know if there are any other references I missed that conflict with my updated Timeline. Otherwise, I don't think an alternate timeline is needed and it seems all films can it in one canonical timeline.

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