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November 02, 1995 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-11-02

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The Michigan Daily - W/a&.z4 . - Thursday, November 2, 1995 - 58

From 'Beverly Hills, 90210' to
'Mallrats,' we hate Brenda

By Jennife Pginskl
Arts Witr
What does Shannen Doherty have in
common with Ricky Schroeder, Danny
Bonaducci, Alyssa Milano, Gary
Coleman, Soleil Moon Frye and
Emmanuel Lewis? It shouldn't take
aayone too long to figure out the an-
swer to this one.
They're our "TV friends." We've
grown up with them; we've laughed at
their clever ways to trick their parents;
wevewatchedtheschool bully steal their
lunches; we've followed many of their
crushes and their first dates. Even though
it'..pretty embarrassing to admit, we've
pvdbably wanted to be just like them -
uil they started growing up.
Shannen Doherty exemplifies this fall
of a childhood star.
So maybe we did think that Doherty
was a cute kid. She was the perfect,
mischievous younger sister in "Girls
Just Want To Have Fun." Later, most of
us probably didn't have a problem with
her acting abilities in the family show
"Our House" (we were too busy won-
dering how Deidre Hall got the role of
her mother). Basically, we followed
Doherty through her teenage years; she
was the cute, everybody's-best-friend
type of girl.
But, as we look back now, that de-
scription seemspretty funny. What were
wethinking?
"Cute" wasn't really the right word
to describe Doherty during the "Bitch
Years," popularly known as the time
she spent on "Beverly Hills, 90210."
This show was the true turning point in
her career. From nice girl to snotty
bitch, Doherty began to show us the
range of her acting ability. Yeah right.
If it's safe to say that Doherty was a
cute kid, it's even safer to say that
everybody-other characters and tele-
vision viewers -hated heron"90210."
Her friends were annoyed with her ev-
ery other day; her boyfriend got pissed
every time she slept with another guy;
even her own family couldn't stand her.
We all knew by the tone of their voices.
"Brinda" this. "Brinda" that. Couldn't
they ever figure out that her name was
Brenda?
At didn't take any of us long to dis-
cover that Shannen Doherty was even
more annoying than Tori Spelling (for
those ofyou who don't watch regularly,
that's pretty bad). Many of us even
developed a disgust for Doherty. There
came a point where we could not stand
to see her buck teeth every Wednesday
night.
Eventually, we got what we wanted.
Doherty left the show (not soon enough).
"Brinda" went to study acting in Eu-
rope, and now the Walsh family pre-
tends that she never existed. Even bet-
ter.
And just as "Brinda" disappeared
from "90210," we expected Doherty to
disappear altogether. Sure, it was fun
watching her grow up. But, as for most
other childhood stars, there is a definite
end to "cute." Doherty's cute died in
Beverly Hills. Her success died shortly
after. Will someone please tell her the
news?
Unfortunately, Shannen Doherty just
won't disappear. We assumed that she
was at her low point after quitting

"90210." Her next (straight-to-video)
movie, "Blindfold: Acts of Obsession"
and her photographs in Playboy could
not have proved us more wrong. Does
anyone else notice this downhill trend?
Now, after not hearing from
Doherty for a while, she's making her
latest comeback in director Kevin
("Clerks") Smith's "Mallrats." Judg-
ing from her track record, we don't
even have to see this movie to know
that this "comeback" just isn't going
to happen.
Looking back on the careers of these
child stars, we notice a definite pattern.
At the beginning, they all fare well as
the clever and charismatic children who
attract the attention of viewers close to
their own ages. Everything is ruined, of
course, when they grow up. That's when
we realize we would rather be anyone
but them. The cute stage is so far gone
that we can't even remember the way

your idols used to be.
And the most important question:
Where are they now? Well ...
Danny Bonaducci: Last seen in his
own talk show "Danny."
Soleil Moon Frye and Emmanuel
Lewis: Last seen on "Jenny Jones" with
Eve "Jan Brady" Plumb talking about
breast reductions and age.
Gary Coleman and Ricky Schroeder:
Who knows? Most likely in some made-
for-TV movie.
Alyssa Milano: Last seen with
Jonathan Silverman in some stupid
movie that always plays on HBO.
Get the picture?
Sadly enough, we can add Shannen
Doherty to the lengthy list of child star
success stories gone sour. Who knows?
Maybe someday soon, she'll be seen on
"Jenny Jones" with the rest of them,
struggling to regain a successful career
that just isn't there anymore.

Winona Ryder and Anne Bancroft bond over ice cream in "ow to make an American Quilt."

'Chick flicks: At wedand wakes

v.e

By Jennifer Petlinski
Daily Arts Writer
Remember atime when "chick flicks"
were fun to watch? When you and your
friends unanimously agreed to rent
"Girls Just Want To Have Fun" foryour
sixth-grade slumber party?
Ohhh ... those were the days. Unfor-
tunately, these movies are becoming
distant, fleeting memories of the past.
All we have left are pathetic efforts to
replace them.
The big question, of course, is: Why
did these "chick flicks" of the'80s easily
win the hearts of their target audience?
Certainly not because of their cheesy
plots. Definitely not because of the sym-
bolism or the hidden meaning within
them. In fact, these "chick flicks" basi-
cally had no point, no action and, most
important, they had nothing beneath the
surface. Unlike "chick flicks" of today,
these were just plain fun.
Fun. It seems like such a simple con-
cept. So simple, in fact, that most direc-
tors of today cannot grasp it.
We loved to watch Sarah Jessica Parker
dance to silly songs for two hours in
"Girls Just Want To Have Fun." We
jumped at the chance to see Molly
Ringwald make a fool of herself, as she
triedtogetoneboy's attention in"Sixteen
Candles." Our hearts melted when John
Cusack blasted "In Your Eyes" outside
lone Skye's window in "Say Anything."
These are the moments that we live for.
Forget plot, theme and purpose. We want
a break from our complex lives.
"Chick flicks" of the '90s, however,

have brought us from la-la land back to
the real world, and we don't like it onebit.
And how, you might ask, do directors
of the latest "chick flicks" intend to top
those of the past? They have taken the
simple, typical, embarrassing, hilari-
ous love story and turned it into some-
thing much more complex. And tragic.
And stupid.
Now, there's always a funeral, where
the other characters cry over a dead
person for the bulk of a movie. There's
lots of pregnancies - you know, the
kind with complications. And don't
forget marriages and weddings; usually
this plot ties in somehow with the preg-
nancies and the dead people. Pretty
deep stuff, huh?
So maybe "chick flicks" of the past
weren't exactly intellectually stimulat-
ing. But who says they were supposed
to be? On the other hand, with the '90s
came tragedy - a concept that direc-
tors will weave into their story line at
every chance they get.
It usually goes something like this:
Someone who is dying of a tragic dis-
ease befriends someone else who is
pregnant at awedding ofamutual friend.
Throughout the entire movie, they'll
talk about their problems, one of them
will die and the other one will write a
song for her friend's funeral. The "deep
thing"just doesn't work here.
Many movies follow along this same
line of tragedy. In "Beaches," we're sup-
posed to cry when Barbara Hershey dies
of cancer (this is Bette Midler's cue to
sing). In "Steel Magnolias," we sit through

Julia Roberts' wedding, pregnancy and,
death (the big three), only to watch her
friends and family get their hair done for
each occasion. In "Boys on the Side," wq
follow the getaway of three women; b)
the end of the movie, we've witnessed
two deaths, Drew Barrymore's pregnancy
and Whoopi Goldberg's rendition of a
Bonnie Raitt song. It doesn't get mucl:
worse.
What about the latest movies such as
"Moonlight and Valentino," "How To
Make An American Quilt"and"Now an4
Then?" "American Quilt" is the only one
that comes anywhere near success --
until the whole marriage dilemma i&
brought up again.
Different characters, same tragedies
How are we supposed to worry about
other people's problems (whom w4
don't even know), when we are con-
cerned with passing our own midterms:
It just isn't going to happen.
In case "chick flick" directors ofth,
'90s missed the message: We don 't
need another movie about somebody
else's life-threatening problems. In-.
stead, we want that hilarious and simple
story back. You know, the one without
a point. Anything else would be settling
for tragic, stupid mediocrity. Enough
already. Let's get back to the basics.
Now, our eyes never blink and our
heads never turn at the sight of a
advertisement for yet another "chick:
flick." We are not threatened by them:
Our VCRs will play our favorites again
and again before we ever pay six buck*
to see another big flop.

Shannon Doherty of "Beverly Hills, 90210" fame (or is it infamy?), tarnishes the
silver screen in "Malirats," director Kevin Smith's follow-up to "Clerks."

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