Showing posts with label Movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Movies. Show all posts

Friday, January 13, 2012

Ten Facts You May Not Know About The Baby-Sitters Club!

By Maribeth Curley of, where you can find great kids costumes.

If you were a young girl during the 80s or 90s, you most likely read The Baby-Sitters Club. (I know I did.) You had a favorite sitter, a favorite client, and you probably even had a favorite Super Special. This book series was a big part of many little girls’ literary lives, so let’s take a look at some things you may not know about the BSC.

1. The popular series was created to capitalize on the popularity of another book about babysitting. The book was Ginny’s Babysitting Job, which was published in the early 80s. An editor at Scholastic saw the success of another novel about the hobby and decided that the publishing company needed their own version.

2. Author Ann M. Martin was originally a freelance author when she was hired to write a book about baby-sitting. Martin was responsible for creating the plot-lines, details, and characters of The Baby-Sitters Club, as well as writing the first books. The series was about a club, rather than a single baby-sitter, to help promote team work and unity among young girls.

3. The series was originally slated for just four novels. However, thanks to the success of those four, Scholastic ordered two more, and after that, another twelve.

4. Author Ann M. Martin only wrote about 60 out of 213 total Baby-Sitters Club books. Most of the novels were ghostwritten by other authors, including 43 by Peter Lerangis, who also wrote for a spin-off of another popular teen series of the 80s, Sweet Valley Twins.

5. During the 14-year run of the series, there were 176 million copies of The Baby-Sitters Club books printed.

6. While there were popular spin-off's of the series (Baby-Sitters Little Sister namely), there were also less popular spin-offs. The California Diaries was a series of books based on Dawn Schafer's return to California in her teenage years. It took a slightly darker tone in its writing and touched on subjects such as anorexia, sexual identity, and racism. However, only 15 novels were published before the series’ end.

7. In 2006, a division of Scholastic named Graphix published a graphic novelization of the first Baby-Sitters Club novel. The animated versions were updated adaptations of four of the early BSC books: Kristy’s Great Idea, The Truth About Stacey, Mary Anne Saves the Day, and Claudia and Mean Janine.

8. In 2009, the New York Times wrote an article about the upcoming re-release of the first two novels of the series. Scholastic hoped to spark a comeback of the books with the current generation of readers. Also, that same year, Ann M. Martin wrote a prequel to the series called The Summer Before.

9. Throughout the run of the series, there were five types of novels in addition to the core series of novels: Super Specials, which were longer stories and were narrated by a different girl each chapter; Readers Request, books that focused on non-main members of the BSC; Mysteries and Super Mysteries; Portrait collections, novels that were biographies of the girls’ pasts; and Baby-Sitters Club: Friends Forever, a 13-book mini-series, which ended with the girl’s graduation from middle school.

10. There was an (amazing) 13-episode long TV series named The Baby-Sitters Club, which aired in 1990. The shows were broadcast on The Disney Channel, as well as HBO and Nickelodeon. The other live-action version of the BSC was the feature film, released in 1995. The role of Mary Anne was actress Rachael Leigh Cook’s movie debut, and the film also starred Larisa Oleynik (The Secret World of Alex Mack, 10 Things I Hate About You) as Dawn.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Guest Post: Adolescent Ingenues of the 90s

About guest poster Kari, in her own words: I’m a 90s kid hailing from the suburban South and living in New York City. I frequently prefer kid’s movies, often watch Saturday morning cartoons, always enjoy nostalgia, and determinedly refuse to grow up for good. You can visit me on Tumblr, and I also write a book blog.

There was just something about certain actresses of 90s movies; they seemed to pop up in everything (kinda like the klepto kid from Can’t Hardly Wait, who was also the pube pizza kid from She’s All That, and also in American Pie). These ladies were the ones I wanted to be—maybe because they rocked awesome kicks, hats, and had great hair, but most likely because they were individuals. They were a little bit quirky but entirely confident with themselves.

You’ll be pleased to know that most of our adolescent ingenues are still in the acting world, though most of them have gone more of the indie flick route (just further evidence that these 90s ingenues were destined for great things beyond the dreaded child actor stigma). Your individualism has paid off—you’re no longer just “former child stars”!

Anna Chlumsky

Oh my god, what I would’ve done to be Vada Sultenfuss in My Girl 2. (For some reason, always liked that one better than the first. Inexplicable.) I can’t even count how many cheap mood rings I bought after those two movies and how much of an internal struggle I had about flowery 1970s hats (I was a huge tomboy, yet she just looked so damn cool...). Beyond the My Girl flicks, Anna also starred in Trading Mom and Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain with fellow ingenue Christina Ricci (two movies my mom rented for me on sick days). Anna took almost a decade off from acting after 1998 to attend college (International Studies), get married, and apparently be a woman of all trades (food critic, restaurant guide, editorial assistant). She’s back to acting, though, with several recent indie movies and lots of TV roles.

Thora Birch

Never have I wanted anything as badly as I wanted a pet monkey, thanks to the movie Monkey Trouble. (I also desperately wanted a copy of that movie, and, it was incredibly hard to find. I never got it.) And lest we forget Thora’s best and most memorable role as Dani in Hocus Pocus. (This assertion is not up for debate.) Thora’s early acting also included Now & Then and Alaska. In 1999, she made a swift move to adult roles with American Beauty, and she’s steadily done indie flicks since (most notably Ghost World).

Gaby Hoffmann

I never really knew Gaby Hoffmann until Now & Then (where she and Demi Moore were most perfectly cast), but since then, I’ve seen her pop up in a ton of stuff made prior. Who knew that wasn’t her break-out role? (Me.) She started her career with Field of Dreams, Uncle Buck, and Sleepless in Seattle, and starred in All I Wanna Do (total underrated late 90s teen flick starring lots of the up-and-coming famous females of the late 90s/early 00s—Kristen Dunst, Rachel Leigh Cook, Monica Keena, Heather Matarazzo...) before joining fellow ingenue Christina Ricci in 1999’s 200 Cigarettes (again, end of child roles). Lately, she’s done some guest-starring TV roles and has several new indie movies under her belt.

Christina Ricci

Christina was the “It girl” of the early to mid-90s, with a breakout role in Mermaids to her pre-teen roles in flicks like Addams Family and its sequel, Casper, Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain, Now & Then, and the 1997 version of That Darn Cat. Just one year later, in 1998, Christina officially ended her career as “child actor” with The Opposite of Sex—a poignant moment I remember in the video store when I saw her sporting blonde hair and cleavage, and thinking, “That’s it—my childhood is dead.” Christina’s had arguably the most well-known career of our ingenues throughout the past twenty years, leading most recently to ABC’s new series Pan Am.


Tina Majorino

Who could forget the adorable girl from Andre and Corrina, Corrina (which were released, in my mind, at exactly the same time)? Tina’s childhood career wasn’t quite as notorious as the previous four ladies, but she was a familiar face. You probably remember her now from Napoleon Dynamite; I bet every 90s kid’s reaction to that movie was: “She looks familiar...” Tina has done lots of TV acting since Napoleon, most famously on Veronica Mars and Big Love.

Anna Paquin

I give Anna Paquin an honorable mention for this reason: I always thought she was one of these ingenues that appeared in everything mid-90s, but when I recently checked her creds, I, she wasn’t in as much as I thought. Yet, I DO remember her and associate her with these 90s childhood flicks, so that must mean something. While her official breakout role was in 1993’s Piano, her breakout role to OUR generation was in 1996’s Fly Away Home. The next really memorable role of hers was as Freddie Prinze Jr’s goth-chic sister in She’s All That, which led her to more teen/adult roles in Almost Famous, the X-Men flicks, The Squid and the Whale, and...her current claim to fame...HBO’s True Blood.

As you can see, no troubled former childhood stars from this group of girls. Further evidence that 90s kids are the best kids.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Guest Post: 90s Hearthrobs

When Ginger of Taste of Ginger came to me with this idea for a blog, I jumped at opportunity. Why? Because I’m pretty sure every one of these BOP magazine spreads graced my walls at some point during my preteen years. The memories...Oh, the memories!

Be sure to check out Ginger’s blog and follow her there as well for more great posts.

About Ginger Pennington: I’m a broke-ass dilettante artist living in L.A. I act, I write at least something every day, I sing, play instruments, and paint. Sometimes some of that is good. If any of this interests you, check out my blog, Taste of Ginger.

Heartthrobs of the 90s: Who's Still Pin-up Worthy?

If you were a straight, white, American teen or preteen gal (the word "tween" didn't exist) in the 90s, your bedroom walls were likely covered with a pin-up selection from Bop, BB (formerly known as Big Bopper), Tiger Beat, J14, or some equally trashy rag that pedaled one commodity only: teenage white boy actors with thick hair dangling in their squinty eyes.

In the mid-nineties, the shaggy hair was the only prerequisite for my own easily-won lust, but as I got older and grew a brain, my requirements got more rigid for male objects of desire. However, as you shall see, the life trajectories of these teen heartthrobs have taken many turns on their way to manhood. Here is my top ten list of middle school crushes, now re-ordered based on how crush-worthy they are as of 2011, according to my adult opinion. (I wish I could have compiled an even more comprehensive list of my nineties crushes, but that would take months! You may be wondering why certain gentlemen are notably absent from this list --Mark-Paul Gossaler, Ethan Embrey, Jared Leto-- and that's because they're still on your radar. I hope to bring back some less obvious old memories. Enjoy!)

1. Jonathan Taylor Thomas

Though he loathed the nickname, he was known as J.T.T. back in the day when he showed up on Home Improvement for mere minutes per episode as Randy Taylor, the middle son. He also appeared, to my delight, in movies such as Tom and Huck and Man of the House, and his blue eyes and raspy voice (the voice of Simba from The Lion King, even!) made him the number one object of my affection. He is still number one today, mainly because he is the one guy on the list who has checked out of Hollywood in favor of being happy and enjoying life in (rumor has it) Vancouver, Canada. Aside from an interview with The Advocate in 2000 deflecting some gay rumors and a short film in 2005, he has been M.I.A. He reportedly attended Columbia University and now goes by his birth name, Jonathan Taylor Weiss. Sounds like success to me.

2. Joey Lawrence
I had this exact photo, from his cassette tape, taped to the head of my bed in fifth grade. Of course you all remember him from Blossom ("Whoa!"), but if you weren't lucky enough to be a fan of his short-lived music career, you were missing out. Please fill yourself in by watching this video of "Nothin' My Love Can't Fix" -- and stick around for the rap at the end; you'll be glad you did.

As you may have noticed, he is no longer big on the music scene. But as acting goes, Mr. Lawrence can't complain these days: he is rockin' the bald-by-choice look (how I miss that hair!) and starring on a sit-com, Melissa & Joey, which will return in 2012. He's also filming some movies as we speak. Not bad, Joseph. (Oh yeah, he now goes by Joseph.)

3. Rider Strong
Corey's hot friend Shawn from Boy Meets World was such a cliche crush for the girls who watched the TGIF lineup on ABC Friday nights. He was sensitive, yet from the wrong side of the tracks, and if there's one thing that 90s girls liked more than hair in the eyes, it was a tortured soul.

Rider, like Shawn, is a poet (apparently published, too), and these days, he's still acting and even directing a new short film about Dungeons and Dragons. He was recently interviewed by Vanity Fair for their "25 Questions" section, and not only does he seem like a normal, talented guy, he's also still quite fine.

4. Will Friedle
He couldn't have been more adorable as the dopey Eric Matthews in Boy Meets World.

These days, his looks may have waned a little, but he is likely rollin' in the dough and probably the personality, too. He is a successful voiceover artist for many cartoons, as you can see on his IMDB page.

5. Andrew Keegan
He was never quite my type when he appeared in the teeny-bopper magazines and popped up on TV shows and Ten Things I Hate About You, but, wow, look at him now!

Though he apparently had a recent run-in with the cops over a very loud party, he is still working here and there in acting, and I can tell you firsthand that he is keeping in shape: I've seen him with my own two eyes, jogging on the bike path in Marina del Rey. Yum.

6. Devon Sawa
There was a period of time where every other sentence in my diary sung the praises of this snaggletoothed stud. The last ten minutes of Casper, when the ghost becomes a real boy, were worth the wait for me. I would listen to the song "Remember Me This Way" by Jordan Hill (how do I still remember the name of that?) and fantasize about Devon dancing with me in an old haunted house. Little Giants was obviously a treat, but the best clip to my perverted young mind was in Now and Then, when the Wormer brothers are skinny-dipping in the lake and the girls steal their clothes. I wore out the rewind button on that one.

I'm sad not to be able to put Devon more toward the top of the list. I've actually run into him at least three times in Santa Monica -- we're neighbors! -- and he is still fly and still working on movies and TV, but after hearing about his criminal record, I couldn't rightly call him a catch anymore.

7. Jonathan Jackson
I loved that movie Camp Nowhere. This kid was a cool little renegade. And he grew up to be one of the best-looking dudes out of the bunch.

I never watched General Hospital, but apparently he is still playing the role of Lucky after all these years. He's hot and doing well! Too bad he's a republican.

8. Brad Renfro
Not only was he sexy, he was infinitely cool. I remember him from The Cure and Tom and Huck, but he had many more high-profile roles over the years.
He died of a heroin overdose at 25, but recently, his name has been resurrected by James Franco, who costarred with him in Deuces Wild. As an art piece, Franco installed a billboard on Sunset Boulevard that says "Brad Renfro Forever." I guess I'll have to transfer my affections to James Franco; they do kind of look alike.

9. Eddie Furlong
This kid had the best rock-n-roll hair ever in Terminator 2 and has done quite a bit of impressive acting work. The reason he's at the end of the list now is this:

Although he recently had a role in The Green Hornet, he also recently has been all sorts of falling apart.

10. Jonathan Brandis
If you haven't seen Sidekicks with J.B. and Chuck Norris, my friend, you are leading an empty life.
I absolutely loved Jonathan Brandis -- I even plodded through SeaQuest DSV in the nineties, just to see him in his wetsuit -- and was shocked to hear he hanged himself in 2003. Not so pin-up worthy these days, I guess.

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