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Showing posts from 2018

It Came From the '90s: My Secret Crush on The Nanny

This series looks back at the 1990s and its influence on the generation of people who came of age during the decade.
For six seasons in the 1990s, The Nanny made many of us laugh. At times, it could be downright hilarious. At others, well, not so much. This isn't a review of a '90s sitcom staple, though. No. This is simply an excuse to come clean about something I've kept buried deep inside for over two decades now: I had a secret crush on The Nanny herself, Fran Drescher.

While The Nanny was sometimes quite funny, thanks largely to Drescher's spunky charisma and wholehearted commitment, the show was never considered hip. People my parents age seemed to love it, but my friends preferred, well, Friends.

I watched Friends with my friends, but I also thoroughly enjoyed The Nanny, too. Obviously, I'm aware that much of that was owed to my little crush on Drescher.

She was an effervescent presence at a time when most of my crushes were of the alternagirl, angst-ridden varie…

Michelle Pfeiffer: Ant-Man and the Wasp

Revisiting and celebrating the work of Michelle Pfeiffer, the best actress of my lifetime.

Spoiler alert: I'll be discussing plot points for the new film Ant-Man and the Wasp.

If you've spent any time at all on the internet this week, chances are you've noticed the gushing adulation and hyperbolic lovefest surrounding Michelle Pfeiffer's performance in the newly released, and extremely fun, Ant-Man and the Wasp.
It's fascinating to behold this lovefest—and also to be an active participant in it! Obviously, I spent some time on Twitter praising Pfeiffer's work as Janet van Dyne, the original Wasp, after seeing the movie. And of course I'll be heaping more praise on her work here. Yet, what's so intriguing about it all is that she only appears in the film briefly! It's a glorified cameo. She has, max, fifteen minutes of screen time (an awfully generous estimate on my part), but she is the highlight of the film, no question.

The main plot revolves…

"That girl looks just like Pat Benatar"

Linda, that girl looks just like Pat Benatar.
I know. Wait, there are three girls here at Ridgemont who have cultivated the Pat Benatar look.

I was just a kid when Fast Times at Ridgemont High opened in 1982. Still though, even at the tender young age of seven, I knew who Pat Benatar was, because a.) her music was all over the radio and even then I recognized the utter awesomeness of her vocal talent in songs like "Hit Me With Your Best Shot", and b.) some of the older girls around town were obviously cribbing their looks—clothes, hair, makeup, strut—from Benatar's own style. Benatar was ubiquitous.

So, when I see or hear vintage-era Benatar now, I think of Fast Times, but mostly I remember that ubiquity—of both the performer and her legion of young imitators. I know it's not true, but when I recollect those years I swear every older girl looked like either Benatar, Juice Newton, or Joan Jett.

It's easy to forget, years later, that Benatar was both a powerhouse …