Married… With Children Character Review: Kelly Bundy

*The schedule for the Character Review posts will be changing to Friday (or Saturday at the latest from now on).

*I apologize for not posting last weekend. The family came first.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television show Married… With Children. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show. There is something to be said about a well-written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

If we can say nothing else about Kelly Bundy (Christina Applegate), we can say that she is a chip off the old block. Like her mother, Peg (Katey Sagal), Kelly is not above using her sexuality to get her way. Like her father, Al (Ed O’Neill), she isn’t the brightest bulb in the box. Combine that with the blonde hair, and you’ve got the typical dumb blonde teenage girl.

Though she has a long series of boyfriends, none of them last. Al takes particular pleasure in sending them packing. She also loves to mock her little brother, Bud, who turns around and mocks her right back. When she is in school, Kelly would prefer to be elsewhere. Which accounts for grades that are nothing to brag about. In the eyes of her classmates, she is the mean girl.

But when push comes to shove, she is a Bundy. Bundys stick together, no matter what.

To sum it up: Obviously, Kelly is a dumb blonde who relies on her physical features to get by. But that is what makes her a brilliant character. She is a satire of a character who in another program might be wholesome, studious, and, well smart. In being who she is, Kelly ridicules the trope that often appears in family sitcoms. Applegate is clearly a smart performer. It takes a certain kind of intelligence to play a girl like Kelly.

Which is why she is a memorable character.

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Clueless Character Review: Cher Horowitz

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the movie Clueless. Read at your own risk if you have not seen the movie. There is something to be said about a well-written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations. If you watch enough high school movies, you might get the idea that the popular girls are all versions of Regina George (Rachel McAdams). The surprise comes when we realize that what we see on film does not always match reality.

In the movie, Clueless, Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) is a modern teenage version of Emma Woodhouse, the heroine of the Jane Austen novel Emma. Living in Beverly Hills with her widower father, Mel (Dan Hedaya), Cher has a good heart, but her head is not always in the right place. She buts heads with her stepbrother Josh Lucas (Paul Rudd) and spends most of her time with her best friend Dionne Davenport (Stacey Dash). When new student Tai (Brittany Murphy) arrives at Cher’s school, she sees an opportunity to do some good in the world via a makeover and a potential match with Elton Tiscia (Jeremy Sisto).

She will soon learn that what she sees, the rest of the world does not see. Elton would prefer to be with her than Tai. Tai is crushing on Travis (Breckin Meyer), who is equally into her. Christian, her new boyfriend (Justin Walker) is gay. The only relationship that works is out between her teacher Mr. Hall (Wallace Shawn) and Ms. Geist (Twink Caplan). Her pest of stepbrother is not only right about a few things, he is also the right boy for her.

To sum it up: Cher is an interesting character because unlike other similar characters, she is not a b*tch. She is may say and do things to hurt other people, but she does not do that on purpose. She just thinks she knows everything, when she clearly doesn’t. This makes her likable, even if she is completely frustrating to the audience and the people around her.

Which is why she is a memorable character.

Mean Girls Day

Today, October 3rd, is officially known as Mean Girls Day.

Every generation has its own iconic teen film. For teenagers in the early 2000’s, that film was Mean Girls (2004).

Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) is the new girl in school. The popular girls, known as The Plastics, led by Regina George (Rachel McAdams), take a liking to Cady and invite her to join their group.  Then things get dicey when Cady develops a crush on Regina’s ex, Aaron Samuels (Jonathan Bennett).

With a screen play co written by Tina Fey, this film stands out from other teen films. It has a sarcasm, a bite and a dash of reality that many films of the genre don’t have.

Happy Mean Girls Day!

 

Throwback Thursday-Mean Girls

Most of the iconic high school/teen movies are from the 1980’s or 1990’s.  Mean Girls, premiering in 2004, is one of the few movies of recent memory that I think deserves to be included on the list of iconic teen movies.

Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) has been home schooled for most of her life. Now she is going to public school for the first time.  She settles in socially initially with Janis (Lizzy Caplan) and Damian (Daniel Franseze). Then the Plastics, the most popular girls in school come calling. Regina George (Rachel McAdams) is the leader of the trio with Gretchen Wieners (Lacey Chabert) and Karen Smith (Amanda Seyfried) following right behind her. Trouble starts when Cady falls for Aaron Samuels (Jonathan Bennett), Regina’s ex boyfriend.

Lindsay Lohan is brilliant in this movie. It should have been the start of a long and beautiful career. Instead it is one of her best movies, which is now ten years old. Rachel McAdams was perfectly cast as Regina, queen bee in the social hierarchy that is high school. Despite the fact that it is a movie, it is so true to the high school experience. Adding to the greatness of this movie are the SNL alumni playing some of the adult characters.

I recommend this movie.

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