Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Gauche and Unsophisticated List: The Early Years

Sadly I had a deprived childhood. Despite my warm loving family, inspirational speeches, stylish back to school wardrobe, and lack of curfew during my teenage years (however I was the perennial good girl, I stayed out late because I was hanging out with Joooan!, RToo, and Weather Girl and playing Trivial Pursuit), I always felt that something was missing. That something was a subscription to the Disney Channel.

When I was very young, and my family still lived in the booming metropolis of Concord, California; we did have the Disney Channel Subscription, and I lived for Kids Incorporated. So when we finally moved to Washington state, I was heartbroken when my cruel, cruel parents refused to subscribe again. So that means I lived, lived for the Winter and Spring Preview weekends, where I would watch all the great shows that I could not watch normally. And I was addicted to both Kids Incorporated and The New Mickey Mouse Club (or MMC).

Some of my earliest TV memories are watching Kids Incorporated, and when I was three and four Martika (she later went on to sing Toy Soldiers) was my favorite. Here's the intro: behold the fabulous Martika applying blush and Fergie (yes, the little blonde Stacy Ferguson playing jacks grew up to be the infamous Fergie) before she had any street cred. Also for more interesting, and probably well known by now, trivia -- Renee and Stacy were in the short lived group Wild Orchid together. Ahh the bonds of Kids Incorporated.

I'm not going to lie - the theme song is still damn catchy. And I still maintain that the seasons from 1985 - 1989 were the best (they rerunned those seasons all the time). Jennifer Love Hewitt and Eric Balfour could not compare. See what I mean?

Amazingly Eric's character, named Eric, did not die, and Kids Incorporated went on for two more seasons.

Anyway, during preview weekends, I also discovered the wonders of the MMC. Now the media made a big ole hoopla about J.C., Britney, Christina, Justin, Keri Russell, and Ryan Gosling being Musketeers, but I was there from the beginning when Tiffini was the coolest and when they formed the rockin band The Party. Jennifer and Lindsey were my favorites from the show, and they were on all seven seasons, so whenever preview weekend came it was always comforting to know they were still there.

However, I had totally forgotten about Video Jam! If you had thought that early 1990s power ballad videos were too gritty, edgy, and inappropriate - no worries, the MMC was there for you with the cheesiest, most sanitized videos ever - safe for even the most sheltered of youth. Here are my favorites!

Watch a bunch of MMC hotties frolicking in open fields covering Toad the Wet Sprocket.

There's frolicking, twirling and rainbows! Draw your own conclusions.

And Disney even thought Amy Grant was too edgy for its audience and needed to be more innocent. And what's more innocent than flirting on bicycles?

I would have coveted Terra's purple leggings when I was ten.

So thank you You Tube for allowing me to relive my childhood. And I don't even need a Disney Channel subscription (though now it is included on extended basic cable on Comcast). However, Disney Channel does not show these gems anymore. Hannah Montana does not compare.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Gauche and Unsophisticated Potpurri

Oh, I have sunk to new lows during the past few weeks. Let's just get to it, shall we?

Good Thing I'm Not a Celebrity:
Otherwise my picture would be posted on Go Fug Yourself....
After lamenting the rise of the leggings since 2006, I finally succumbed and bought two pairs (brown and black, depending on what I want my outfit's neutral to be). I'm so ashamed!

Back when I was in elementary school I lived in leggings. I had a fun lace trimmed pair in second grade. In third grade I was all about the paisley and floral prints. In the fifth grade I discovered the wonderful plaid. Finally in sixth grade, I discovered the wonders of solids. In fact I was sad when the middle school dress code stated no spandex, and my mom told me, I would not be wearing leggings. Thanks Mom for saving me from middle school fashion humiliation. (Instead I started wearing overalls, and I had the hottest red Mickey Mouse sweatshirt - I was the envy of all of Vista Middle School). However after sixth grade, I realized that leggings were such a bad idea.

When leggings returned to the scene, I was appalled. I did not want to relive my horrible fashion moments. However then I found three very cute sweater dresses and one cute sundress, with very flattering necklines, but they were a wee bit short. Hence the leggings. However, I will only wear them with said dresses, and not with tunic tops, oversized t-shirts, or even regular sized t-shirts like a BU undergrad, and brown and black will be the only two colors I ever own. There will be no paisley, plaid, lace trim or flowers. I mean it! Nope!

Hopefully Heather and Jessica will forgive me!

Helen Hunt's Best Movie Role Ever:
I wish I could be Lynn Stone...
When I was at Target about two weeks ago, I found the dance epic Girls Just Wanna Have Fun on sale for $5. This 80's movie starred Sarah Jessica Parker, as a Catholic school girl who loves to dance and just wants to star on Dance TV; Lee Montgomery, as her 5'5" "rebel" dance partner in the dance contest (though he is slightly more threatening that Adrien Zmed); Shannen Doherty, as his little sister who tries to be more grown up by dressing "punk," and Jonathan Silverman, as "the rebel's" dorky best friend with a budding career in selling knock-off goods. But the best character was Helen Hunt as Lynn Stone, who created awesome fashion creations out of her Catholic School uniform, sang Calypso music in choir so SJP could sneak out to dance practice with Pocket Rebel, and had the brilliant idea of inviting a bunch of punks and outcasts to evil, rich girl's debutante party. I haven't like Helen Hunt as much in any other roles she's ever played. Lynn Stone is the best, and honestly if the movie was about her and her exploits, the movie would have been much more entertaining, though I do love the movie so.

Seriously, though, this movie was so low budget that they did not even use Cyndi Lauper's "Girl's Just Wanna Have Fun" for the soundtrack, instead it's a terrible cover with shouting "hey, hey!" and clapping. The plotline is so incredibly cliched with good girl discovers herself through dance and brings around her strict parents, while falling in love with a not-very-threatening rebel. Then this team of opposites wins the dance competition with their tumbling passes and backflips (that's where Neil from So You Think You Can Dance got his solo strategy!) and find love. However, I must say that SJP's character here in this movie is much, much, MUCH more tolerable than Carrie from Sex and the City.

One Tree Hill is influencing my music choices
Like many of my favorites songs during the summer months, I always enjoy the exit song from So You Think You Can Dance. This past season it was, "It's Only Life" by Kate Vogele. This song also was frequently used in numerous movie trailers (and I also enjoy the pop music used in movie trailers as well - what can I say? I'm plebian). Anyway, so I finally bought her CD. Then I learned that she played a character on One Tree Hill. It was a small point of pride for me that I never watched OTH (hey let me cling to small claims to having decent taste in very few situations), yet here I am indirectly supporting one of their stars. Sigh...

Tis the Season...
One of my favorite things about December is the great number of cheesy Christmas movies. If the movie is a Christmas Carol remake/modernization/retelling, the main character discovers the importance of family/small towns, the main character finds true love with the small town boy she loved many years ago, or the son or daughter of Santa Claus discovers the true meaning of Christmas, then I will be sitting in front of the TV on my couch with my feet on the coffee table, with a cup of hot chocolate.

Speaking of Cheesy Movies....
Many people watch Lifetime Women In Peril movies as guilty pleasures. But I take those movies way too seriously and cannot deal. However, I do love their romantic comedies. I cheered on Tara from BTVS when she decided to do the 7 things on her list (that she wrote when she was 12) before she turned 30, and of course this led to self-discovery, true love, a fulfilling job, and a wedding. I quite enjoyed Janeane Garafolo's road trip with her mom's dog which led her to figure out all her commitment issues. Of course, by watching these movies I keep Canadian movie production companies in business, and since I grew up in Whatcom County which is right on the border with Canada, I'm really indirecing supporting the Whatcom County economy. Plus, Degrassi guest stars always seem to be in them, so it always exciting to see pervy Mr. Oleander as a romantic lead who loves Tara just the way she is, or Tracker, Sean's responsible, yet troubled brother, as Janeane's one true love. (Yes, I realize I need to let Degrassi go already, but I did love that show once!)

Until next time...