The Parent Trap Is Our Aesthetic

It’s summer, and our aesthetic is The Parent Trap (1998): a rustic cabin in a pine forest, a kicky new summer haircut, a sedate London home, secret twins, a sprawling Napa estate, getting your ears pierced by a child, comfy yet timeless sundresses, midafternoon dips in the pool with your dad’s too-young fiancee, casual camping gear, finding out your parents were totally OK with never seeing one of their children again… The Parent Trap has it all.

Although remakes usually pale in comparison to the original, The Parent Trap is different. The Hayley Mills version is fine, but it’s the Lindsay Lohan adaptation that I go to time and time again. It came out when I was 11 – the same age as Hallie and Annie, and could have passed as their triplet – and although almost two decades have gone by, it feels ageless. It’s no mistake that this is our second “___ Is Our Aesthetic” post featuring a film from Nancy Meyers, romcom queen and kitchen guru extraordinaire: all of her movies feel fresh and current when they come out, and thanks to her use of timeless and playful styling, they stay that way.

The Entire Camp Experience

I never went to sleepaway camp: not rich enough to afford it, nor poor enough for a scholarship (even at 11, I was able to recognize that the Parker-Jameses were seriously loaded). But maybe that’s for the best, because I am free to imagine summer camp exactly as it is in The Parent Trap. Camp Walden is everything you expect in a New England summer camp. Nestled among tall trees, the girls really do bunk in rustic cabins, wake up to bugle calls, eat at a mess hall, swim in a lake, hold unsupervised poker tourneys and engage in elaborate prank wars.  It’s the kind of low-tech, high-fun camp I could imagine generations of the same family attending.

Even the preppy-yet-simple uniforms are great, and those little touches like how Annie always chose the more formal version: the polo shirt instead of the tee, for instance.

To get it out of the way: those twin scenes were filmed with the help of Erin Mackey, Lindsay’s double and now a theater actress, who is sort of the Kathryn Alexandre of the Parent Trap universe:

The Handshake

Annie and her butler Martin have a secret handshake, which Hallie must learn to replicate in order to impersonate Annie. Not sure what is cooler: having a butler, or having a secret handshake.

MAKEOVERS!

Whether it’s The Parent Trap, Clueless, The Princess Diaries, The Breakfast Club, She’s All That, or one of our many other throwback favs, we loved a makeover scene 20 years ago and we love them still. There was something so satisfying about Hallie getting the haircut and ear piercing just right… thank goodness.

The Soundtrack!

Not strictly aesthetics, but music is a big part of the timeless summertime vibes in The Parent Trap. I’m not ashamed to say I owned the CD. (Off topic: Mid-to-late 90s: the golden age of movie soundtracks?) The score even has the whimsical, pretty sound of The Holiday, another of our Nancy Meyers favorites, although The Holiday was a Hans Zimmer score and The Parent Trap was Alan Silvestri.

Hallie (And Annie-As-Hallie)’s Relaxed Wardrobe

(Links to a Hallie Parker-inspired look. I always loved those multi-colored beaded bracelets and the plaid shorts and denim jacket combo)

hello, moto jacket.

Hallie is a laid-back Napa girl: she’s outdoorsy and informal, but she wasn’t exactly wearing hand-me-downs like the rest of us poors (not that she could have, as her sister was a secret).

Annie (And Hallie-As-Annie)’s Classic Style

Don’t panic, but the headband matches. This is why I matched my school uniform kilts to a headband with the same plaid. Also because I was a dork.

This is how I’d love to dress my children, who will hate me.

Blair Waldorf’s style inspiration.

Oh, to have Annie’s upper-class, finely-tailored, utterly timeless wardrobe: tweed and Peter Pan collars and A-line dresses as far as the eye can see. If you weren’t one of the fanciest children in all of London town, it was probably just a dream for you, but it was Annie’s reality.

The Napa Ranch

I’m floored Hallie even GOES to camp, because her real home has an in-ground pool, horses to ride, acres of land and a Nancy Myers kitchen. I especially love her lived-in, pretty bedroom:

The London House

Like the girls’ respective wardrobes, Hallie’s is the one you can imagine possibly having in an alternate universe, but Annie’s is the unreachable goal.

[All house images are sourced from and link to a page on Hooked On Houses about the Parent Trap homes. Hooked On Houses has been a favorite of mine since I bought my house – I seriously cannot get enough.]

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Bad Trips: A Tribute To Celebrities Falling Down

There was a time when I thought the lowest form of comedy was what I called “people falling down humor.” There’s no wit, no punchline, just a human hurtling toward the earth. But those days are over, friends. I can admit it now: there are few things funnier than a person – especially a person who is well-dressed, dignified, graceful, or just plain old richer than you – eating pavement. Lucky for all of us, celebrities fall down as much (more??) than your average person. Just pin it on their predilection for fancy footwear, the blinding lights throwing off their balance, or wearing borrowed shoes that they haven’t broken in.

Just last night, Meghan Trainor fell gloriously on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon. It was the end of her performance. She struck a pose, turned her ankle, and crumbled to the ground. It couldn’t have been more beautiful if you choreographed it. Then Meghan – sweet little Meghan – just lay there, as you do when you’ve had the wind knocked all the way out of you and can’t stand up without flashing the entire audience.

Let’s look at it again, in gif format:

The important part is that she fell straight down, collapsing from the top like a building during a controlled demolition. The second-most-important part is that Jimmy Fallon called “safe” when she landed, proving once and for all that his is the dad of two small children. Because who doesn’t do that when a toddler falls down?

As far as celebrities falling down, this one was pretty good. But you can’t talk about celebrity tumbles without talking about Jennifer Lawrence, who I would say defined the art form with her 2013 Oscar acceptance trip:

This one actually became a meme simply because she fell so beautifully that it looked like a print ad for Dior:

You may also remember Ms. Lawrence for her lesser-celebrated falls at the Hunger Games: Mockingjay premiere, the 2014 Academy Awards, and the X-Men Apocalypse premiere.

Another celebrity racking up the Frequent Faller Miles – but for reasons other than pure clumsiness – is Lindsay Lohan. Why, for a time in 2009, you could scarcely open an US Weekly without seeing her tripping her way out of the Chateau Marmont:

 

Now I don’t know Lindsay’s life, but I do know her reality tv show and general arrest history. While she might just be clumsy, there’s at least a reasonable suspicion that she was under the influence during some of these falls. I would argue that a drunk or impaired stumble is a lot less funny. What I need is the pure, klutzy humor of a sober stumble – the fall of a persons who can stay upright, they just aren’t. So how about a palate cleanser?

See, that’s the kind of fall I like – when you’re too much of a handsome puppy to keep from tripping over your own feet. Harry Styles brings up a good point: pop stars fall a lot because they’re giving 110%. It’s not quite as silly as falling on a slow stroll down the red carpet, but we all love a good mid-performance stumble. Just ask Ariana Grande!

Or Mariah Carey:

While there’s no better wholesome fun than a person falling down and getting up more or less unscathed, my research on the subject raised a question. People have been falling as long as they’ve been upright. Celebrity culture has existed in some fashion since the dawn of the silent film era (sure, you had your Jenny Linds and such before that, but they weren’t reported on as much). So why does it seem like celebrities are falling more than ever? Are our shoes more impractical? Are there more cameras on celebrities than in the past? (The answer to that one, I’d say, is yes.) Did the old studio system allow for reports of who was seen fake-dating at the MGM commissary, but not unflattering depictions of celebs falling down? Or are people just faking it because falling is, for whatever reason, the cool thing to do?

I picked a few of the top silent film stars, then Googled their names plus the word “falling,” as you do. Hits turned up for “falling in love” (yay, Mary Pickford!) or “fall from grace” (sorry, Mabel Normand), but nobody seemed to be pulling a Humpty Dumpty. Then again: most magazines from the era aren’t archived online, and premieres and awards shows weren’t filmed. To find a celebrity in an unscripted or semi-unscripted setting, you have to fast forward to the big studio era.

Audrey Hepburn apparently never fell, but then again we all knew that. I bet she didn’t even fall when she was learning to walk. Katharine Hepburn, either. Gregory Peck, John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart: all non-fallers. Even little Shirley Temple, a star before most kids even have all their fine motor skills down: just another Upright Ursula.

Moving onto a broader search for “celebrities falling,” we only get into the early 2000s – which, with all its Paris Hiltons and low-rise whatevers, was a golden age of the celeb stumble. The question still burned in my mind – when is the first recorded celebrity fall? Despite the pratfall being a comedy trope as old as laughter itself, the grandiose celebrity stumble seems to be a modern invention.  However, fortunately for those of us who need a little levity in our late-night musical performances or awards show speeches, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

#RightNowAFreshman versus In 2004, A Freshman…

Right now, a Freshman …

is perusing the trending Twitter hashtag #RightNowAFreshman to find other people sharing the same experience.

In 2004, a Freshman ….

thinks the last sentence was just a bunch of nonsense words. Also, why is there a pound sign?

Right now, a Freshman …

is wearing the same outfit my sister wore to her college move-in day in 1996.

In 2004, a Freshman …

would not have been caught DEAD in 90s clothes, unless it was part of a group Saved By The Bell Halloween costume. But I sure did look fly in my low-rise boot cuts, hot pink American Eagle polo, and pukka shell necklace!

Right now, a Freshman ….

is streaming episodes of Keeping Up With The Kardashians  – a show that has been on since she was 10, by the way.

In 2004, a Freshman …

had to be back at the dorm at 9:00 for the next episode of The Simple Life with Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. I’m not sure what a Kardashian is?

Right now, a Freshman ….

is illegally streaming episodes of Real Housewives from Korea in order to avoid awkward conversation with the new roomie.

In 2004, a Freshman …

was illegally downloading the latest Dave Matthews album on Kazaa – also in order to avoid awkward conversation with the new roomie. Then the internet broke.

Right now, a Freshman …

is realizing that her new roomie’s tumblr persona greatly misrepresented the kind of person she is.

In 2004, a Freshman …

is realizing that that 10-minute phone conversation on mom and dad’s land line with her new roomie greatly misrepresented the kind of person she is.

Right now, a Freshman …

is avoiding the lame alcohol-free foam party mixer the Student Association is putting on by staying in and making it a Netflix Night.

In 2004 a Freshman …

was avoiding the lame alcohol-free foam party mixer the Student Association is putting on by staying in and watching the MTV marathon of Laguna Beach. It’s so easy to keep watching when they don’t run commercials in between episodes! I wonder if I should buy the DVD when it comes out.

Right now, a Freshman ….

is nervous about wasting all of their good outfits the first week.

In 2004 a Freshman …

was nervous about wasting all of their good outfits the first week.

Denim minis were the perfect dress up/ dress down item.

Right now, a Freshman…

is desperately trying to connect her phone to the dorm’s weak WiFi network so she doesn’t get socked with data charges. I don’t have the unlimited plan, here.

In 2004 a Freshman …

accidentally opened the internet browser on her flip phone then shut it in a panic. We aren’t millionaires here.

Right now a Freshman …

has decided that she’s not really the kind of person that goes to Frat parties. This is likely to change within a few weeks despite her aversion to pastel shorts worn with Oxford shirts.

In 2004 a Freshman ….

also decided that she wasn’t really the kind of person that goes to Frat parties, but changed her mind within a few weeks despite her aversion to popped collars and cargo shorts.

Right now a Freshman ….

is wondering if it would be too much to Google Maps her way from her dorm to all of her class buildings.

In 2004 a Freshman ….

had to learn how to get around campus with a one of those old-timey maps with a cartoon of the wind in the corner, the advice of upperclassmen who knew the secret tunnels between buildings, and a portal to Narnia. Who designs these campuses?

Right now a Freshman …

is letting her tumblr posts get real dark for a while. Moving is hard.

In 2004 a Freshman …

keeps posting cryptic away messages on AIM for a while. Moving is hard.

Right now a Freshman …

is ignoring the groups of future friends in her floor’s ice breaker game, choosing to mass text old friends instead.

In 2004, a Freshman ….

was ignoring the groups of future friends in her floor’s ice breaker game, dashing back to her room as soon as it’s done to chat on AOL with old friends instead.

Right now a Freshman …

is wondering whether it’s too soon to Snapchat that cute guy from the next floor up.

In 2004, a Freshman …

is wondering whether it’s too soon to Myspace friend that cute guy from the next floor up. Will these people EVER work their way into my Top 8?

Right now a Freshman …

is on Instagram, gathering evidence that Miley is seriously starting to get out of hand.

In 2004, a Freshman…

was on Perez Hilton, gathering evidence that Lindsay Lohan is seriously starting to get out of hand. Hey, did you know that Billy Ray Cyrus has kids? No, I don’t care, either.

Right now, a Freshman…

thinks that she’ll “never change who she is,” but also knows that if she ever got famous she would be on Insta visiting kitten farms with Taylor Swift in a hot second.

In 2004, a Freshman …

thinks that she’ll “never change who she is,” but also knows that if she ever got famous she would be on Oh No They Didn’t stumbling out of a club with Lo Bosworth in a hot second.

Right now, a Freshman …

is establishing herself as the “funny one” on her floor with her spot-on impression of “Miley, what’s good?”

In 2004, a Freshman…

was establishing herself as the “funny one” on her floor with her spot-on impression of “that’s hottttt” (I was *known* for it).

Right now, a Freshman…

is stealing Trump 2016 stickers from cars on campus. Who DOES that? Hillary forever!

In 2004, a Freshman …

was stealing Bush/Cheney 2004 stickers from cars on campus. Who DOES that? Kerry forever!

Right now, a Freshman…

Thinks socialism could work in theory, it’s just never been implemented properly. Posts a rant about it on tumblr. Has not done any class reading yet.

In 2004, a Freshman ….

Thought the same thing, but posted it on a “board” online. Also had not done any class reading yet.

Right now, a Freshman…

Has decided she’s being *serious* about school now. Has created separate desktop folders for all her different classes.

In 2004, a Freshman….

Has decided that she’s being *serious* about school now. Uses ALL the different highlighter colors.

Right now a Freshman ….

is making “friends” with some random kids they won’t be talking to by next semester.

In 2004, a Freshman…

Remembered those people well enough to friend them on The Facebook once that came out … and are still Facebook friends with them to this day. Not sure why.

 

Camp Cookies + Sangria: Movies And TV Shows For The Camper In You

Summer camp? If you’re over the age of 20 or so, you probably don’t have time or money for that. Besides, if you’re over the age of 20 and have always dreamed of going to camp, the only way to get there is going to have to be by impersonating a kid. [Sounds like a good camp movie, right? I’m adding it to my to-write list; it sounds like an ABC Family-level concept.]

While you may not have two weeks and thousands of dollars to go off to camp, these movies and TV shows can transport you there – if only for a few hours at a time.

Movies

The Parent Trap

The movie: The Parent Trap – Hayley Mills and Lindsay Lohan versions alike – is tween girl wish-fulfillment, served straight-up. Think about it: realizing you have a secret twin. Living in London with a cool wedding gown designer mom, or in Napa with a fun dad and horses. Divorced parents reconciling. And the big one — spending six weeks at a camp where you’re given free reign to play poker, pull elaborate pranks, pierce your ears and try out a new hairstyle. No, really — where were the counselors?

For would-be campers who: are, or ever were, an 11-year-old girl; or, who want to give 11-year-old Lindsay Lohan a hug, a copy of a 2007-era US Weekly or Star Magazine, and a stern talking-to.

Troop Beverly Hills

The movie: Not technically a camp flick, this 1989  classic follows a group of rich girls trying to become real Girl Scouts.

For would-be campers who: like camping in theory, but realistically would rather have a slumber party in a hotel.

Addams Family Values

The movie: Your typical fish-out-of-water scenario — Pugsley and Wednesday Addams go to camp, finding themselves at odds with “camp culture.” The Harmony Hut scene still cracks me up.

For would-be campers who: will not – nay, can not – sing Kum Ba Ya or participate in group bonding activities.

Wet Hot American Summer

The movie: A counselor-centric comedy, this is a pastiche of 80s teen films and summer romances. Also, Amy Poehler. Paul Rudd. Molly Shannon. Bradley Cooper. AND SO ON.

For would-be campers who: suspect that the counselors are the ones having the real fun.

Camp Nowhere

The movie:  With the exception of Lisa Loeb dancing the Macarena while wearing a slap-bracelet and sporting the Rachel, this is probably the most 90s thing you’ll ever see.  Kids tell their parents they’re going to various fake summer camps, but actually create their own dream camp. It’s sort of a trumped-up version of the TV trope where kids tell their parents they’re staying at eachothers houses in order to go somewhere they shouldn’t.

I think there was also a wacky cop.

For would-be campers who: love summer fun, but hate the man.

Heavyweights

The movie:  A group of kids eat their way through fat camp. Most of them were “90s-fat,” not “HBO documentary series on childhood obesity-fat”.

For would-be campers who: hate-read weight loss articles or obsess over “fitspo” on Pinterest and Tumblr.

Meatballs

The movie: A quintessential camp comedy and a clear inspiration for Wet Hot American Summer. Classic Bill Murray vehicle.

For would-be campers who: approach competitive events with the cry of “it just doesn’t matter!”

Camp

The movie: A teenage Anna Kendrick stars in a musical comedy about teens at theater camp; complete with requisite Gay Theater Boys (TM) and acapella moments that will make you tear up.

For would-be campers who:  are former, or current, drama nerds.

Moonrise Kingdom

The movie: A very sweet, super-Wes Anderson-y tale about two kids (literal kids) in love against the odds.

For would-be campers who: enjoy a bit of visual interest and can maintain a healthy suspension of disbelief.

Indian Summer

The movie: Part of a wave of early 90s camp movies that I never quite realized happened until I was compiling this post, Indian Summer follows a group of adults taking a last-chance stab at the camp experience. I think it wanted to be The Big Chill. It isn’t.

For would-be campers who: Are adults who think camp still sounds like a blast. (If this sounds like you, stay tuned for our post on throwing your own “camp!”)

 

Television

Salute Your Shorts

The show:  An anchor of the early 90s Nickelodeon schedule, Salute Your Shorts had some awesome characters and a theme song that’s probably still stuck in your head.

For would-be campers who: had cable as children.

Hey Dude!

The show: Hey Dude! was nearly interchangeable with Salute Your Shorts – again, the early 90s Camp-Based Entertainment Boom was a real thing — and probably the reason I still long to go to camp as a full-grown adult.

For would-be campers who: are pretty into horses or Southwestern decor.

Bug Juice

The show: Bug Juice was an early incarnation of the reality show and provides a true-to-life look at what camp is really like.

For would-be campers who: are reality TV junkies; watched and can remember Kid Nation.

 

28 Co-stars Lindsay Lohan (Maybe) Didn’t Deserve

Well folks, she made it. Lindsay Lohan is celebrating her 28th year on earth today and we’re all alive to witness it. We’ve watched LiLo grow up in front of our very eyes – from The Parent Trap to acquiring an annoying celebrity nickname to befriending Oprah, Lindsay’s roots as a child star have putting her in the precarious position of being scrutinized in the public eye while still attempting to have a professional career. And while her heyday came between the late 90s and early 00s, Linds has still been in a number of films and TV cameos in her nearly 20 year career in the business, and many with exceptional co-stars. But let’s be real, how many of these outstanding co-stars deserved better than Lindsay Lohan? Hint: almost all of them. But in honor of Lindsay’s 28th birthday, here’s a definitive list of which of her former castmates deserved way better than a (in some cases, future) drug and alcohol addled LiLo to share the screen with.

28)  Megan Fox from Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen

Who knew Megan Fox would turn into one of Hollywood’s sexiest and most profitable stars? Well she did, even though it may have been hard to tell when she played opposite Lindsay in this teen musical movie. Actually, as I’m looking at this picture, maybe Lindsay’s hat should’ve been on the list instead.

27)  Tim Gunn in Project Runway

Linds served as a guest judge on the season six premiere of the fashion competition series, but let’s be real – the best part of Project Runway is Tim Gunn. And his fabulousness was wasted on Lindsay – like what even are those pants? She couldn’t even make those work.

26) The garbage can she fell into in Mean Girls

Warning: this is just the first of a few Mean Girls co-stars on this list – but I feel like one of the most iconic scenes from the movie is this one, with Lindsay’s legs just sticking straight up in the air. Who falls into a garbage can like that? And what ever happened to the garbage can after filming?

25)  Bette Midler in Bette

If you don’t remember this show, it’s because it didn’t last long – Lindsay played Bette Midler’s daughter in the pilot, but when production moved from New York (where she was based) to LA, she had to pull out. Probably for the best since the show was short-lived and Bette probs could’ve found another child star.

24) Jamie Lee Curtis in Freaky Friday

Jamie Lee Curtis: THE scream queen and certified babe of the 1980s/1990s. She quickly became an A-list actress and then she decided to do this Disney movie with LiLo? Not to mention she came from Hollywood royalty (Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis).

23) Woody Harrelson in  A Prairie Home Companion

I have a renewed love of Woody Harrelson after seeing him in The Hunger Games and True Detective. This guy can act. He’s not just the bartender from Cheers anymore (is that a reference people still make these days?) But his acting skills are severely undervalued and he should be playing quality roles like True Detective more often.

22) Natasha Richardson in The Parent Trap

To be fair, The Parent Trap kicked it all off for Lindsay, when she was still young and full of promise, so working with the great Natasha Richardson before her death is such an honor. Like Jamie, she’s Hollywood/possibly British royalty (Tony Richardson & Vanessa Redgrave) and was taken way too soon – Natasha seemed like a breath of fresh air when watching her on screen and made a simple kid’s film into a movie full of heart and hope.

21) Rachel McAdams in Mean Girls

Rachel McAdams is the actress that Lindsay should’ve become, if it weren’t for the, you know, downward spiral and all.

20) Jane Fonda in Georgia Rule

When Georgia Rule was made, Lindsay was in her prime – it was a post-Mean Girls world and she had so much hope and promise as a young actress that it’s obvious why Jane Fonda, a longtime veteran of the industry would want to work with her. It’s just that also around this time, Lindsay could barely work with herself.

19) Jimmy Fallon in SNL

After appearing in this classic Debbie Downer sketch (its first appearance on the show ever!), Jimmy has always been a fan/supporter of Lindsay – although who ISN’T he a fan of? Anyways, she’s appeared on his show multiple times and even participated in bits like Ew! JFal is one of the greatest comedians of our time and Lindsay’s just lucky he likes her.

18) Chris Parnell in Labor Pains/ SNL

I will say this about Lindsay: she’s actually been pretty good every time she hosts SNL. She’s not afraid to make fun of herself and always goes all in. Except for that last time she hosted – it was like Britney made her first public appearance since the meltdown and you could TELL she was on all these drugs to keep her sane. Anyways, SNL is clearly the breeding ground for the best comedians in the game, so when acting alongside the likes of Chris Parnell, you gotta step your game up. I know it’s hard to be funny sometimes, but you can’t win ’em all.

17) Lily Tomlin in A Prairie Home Companion

True story: when we were in high school, we decided to see this movie in the theater solely based on the fact that Lindsay was in it and singing. It was probably one of the most boring movies of our teenage lives, and a lesson on why you should never go to see a movie you’re not interested in (plot wise) just because there’s an actor/actress in it that you want to see. Anyways, revered funnywoman Lily Tomlin is in this and she sings with Lindsay.

16) The Danny DeVito Chick in Mean Girls

Because Danny DeVito lookalikes are hard to come by these days and she was severely underused.

15) James Franco in the fake movie in The Holiday

Lindsay and James Franco made a surprise appearance via movie trailer as the stars of the film that Cameron Diaz’ character was editing. Like Lindsay, James had already appeared in a bunch of TV shows and films prior to The Holiday, but let’s face the facts – only one of these people has earned an Oscar nomination.

14) Chad Michael Murray in Freaky Friday

Ah, Chad Michael Murray: The teen heartthrob so nice, they named him thrice. It’s hard to believe, but when Freaky Friday came out CMM was in his early 20s and seemed a bit old for Lohan. Only five years had passed since The Parent Trap, and little did we know that in five more years, LiLo would be filming such classics as Labor Pains.

13) Ashton Kutcher in That 70s Show

Take yourself back to 2004. Lindsay Lohan was THE teen queen – I mean, she even had a public feud with Lizzie Maguire herself, Hilary Duff, for goodness sakes – and the teen king of the day was none other than (technically 26-year-old man-child) Ashton Kutcher. Of course, Lindsay’s real That 70s Show love was Wilmer Valderrama. We’ll address that later.

12) Ana Gasteyer in Mean Girls

Imagine what could have happened if Ana Gasteyer had been able to sub in as Lindsay Lohan’s actual mother instead of Dina “Not Really A Rockette” Lohan.

11) Wilmer Valderrama in That 70s Show/Real Life

Wilmer Valderrama dated fresh-faced, attractive, pre-train wreck 2004 Lohan. This makes him fare better, dating-wise, than any other guy named Wilmer – past or present.

10) Chris Pine in Just My Luck

Remember Just My Luck? It doesn’t even air on TBS or  ABC Family, but it was a sort of TV movie-quality theatrical release. It was an early attempt to turn LiLo into a RomCom leading lady a la Meg Ryan or Katherine Heigl (WHY ARE NONE OF OUR REFERENCES CURRENT? Do they even still make these movies? I feel like the last one I saw was in about 2009). Anyway, Chris Pine was a beautiful newcomer at the time.

9) Joshua Jackson in Bobby

Pacey Witter, Dream Man? Now it’s personal.

8) Jared Leto in Chapter 27

I don’t care if it’s skinny Jordan Catalano, ombre-haired Jordan Catalano, or chubby Jordan Catalano, Jared Leto will always be some incarnation of Jordan Catalano to me. But you, Ms. Lohan, are no Angela Chase. Arguably, Rayanne Graff if things really went south for her, but I always imagined she’d find her niche and really ~thrive.

7) Lizzy Caplan in Mean Girls

Proving that “slow and steady wins the race” (s/o to Aesop!), you didn’t hear too much from Lizzy Caplan right after Mean Girls, except for effusive praise from her co-stars. Now she’s winning acclaim for her role on Showtime’s Masters Of Sex, while Lohan is garnering attention for her factually inaccurate list of sex partners.

6) Maya Rudolph in A Prairie Home Companion/SNL

Maya Rudolph is one of those actors who’s able to make anyone she’s working with look good. Plus, she seems like a really fun and nice person. We’re jealous.

5) A Pre-Drugs Lindsay Lohan in The Parent Trap

The frustrating thing about Lindsay’s long, horrible demise is that at one time, she was really good. So how lucky were the people who got to work with Lindsay before all the troubles? Among those lucky people: Lindsay herself, really Orphan Black-ing it as Hallie and Annie in her film debut.

4) Meryl Streep in A Prairie Home Companion

Before Lindsay was accidentally calling out Jennifer Lawrence for saying “I beat Meryl!” at the Golden Globes, Lohan was costarring with Streep herself! But make no mistake: A Prairie Home Companion was still boring. Or, I mean, we thought so when we were 18 anyway.

3) Tina Fey in Mean Girls/SNL

Look, if you can’t build a viable career after Tina Fey wrote your breakout role, I don’t think anyone can help you. And don’t say that Tina didn’t try. Around the era we were all first realizing Lindsay wasn’t doing so great, Tina Fey and the other SNL folks even staged an intervention for her. Remember that show Intervention? If they’d had Tina Fey as the coach instead of that random guy they did have, they probably would have had a 99% success rate.

2) Amy Poehler in Mean Girls/SNL

Again, if having Amy Poehler as a potential mentor cannot help you rise above, I am not sure what can. I mean, Ask Amy videos alone are responsible for thousands of women Lindsay’s age (I mean… teen girls, who are the target audience, right?) getting their shit together.

1) Herbie in Herbie: Fully Loaded

WHO LET HER WORK WITH A CAR?

She isn’t great with cars, guys.

Herbie is an icon. He deserved better.

We all did.

 

Class of ’04: What’s My Age Again?

You can tell me that we graduated 10 years ago, but I still have a difficult time convincing myself that that much time has passed since I last used a locker and attended a gym class (note I didn’t say ‘participated’). And when looking back at pop culture a decade ago, it’s hard to believe that some of these things happened so long ago. Here’s a list of just a few things that happened in 2004 that will make you want to pull out your Sony Discman and blast Blink-182 in an attempt to reclaim your youth.

Oops… I Did It Again

January 3rd: Britney Jean Spears decided to go to Las Vegas and marries her childhood friend Jason Allen Alexander at The Little White Wedding Chapel, the same place where Paul Newman married Joanne Woodward and Pamela Anderson tied the knot with Rick Salomon (the first time).

January 5th: Brit filed an annulment petition stating she “lacked understanding of her actions” and two hours later, her marriage was completely dissolved.

July 5th: Brit gets engaged to dancer Kevin Federline, whom she met three months earlier. Besides the fact that their relationship was on the fast track to marriage (read: divorce), they were under a lot of heat since Kevin’s and his ex-girlfriend Shar Jackson was still pregnant with their second child.

September 18: B & KFed get married. This is a picture that was taken during the reception.

Nipplegate/Boob Bowl

February 1: Ah yes, the floppy breast that all Americans young and old were exposed to during Super Bowl XXXVIII. As we know, JT ripped off a piece of tear away material covering Janet’s (Ms. Jackson if you’re nasty) right boob, and in their defense they deemed it a “wardrobe malfunction”, but conservatives called it “a sign of decreasing morality in the national culture”, while others just said to “calm the fuck down”. The legal ramifications from the FCC and subsequent lawsuits seemed to be never ending – in fact as recent as 2012, the Supreme Court declined an appeal from the FCC over the $550,000 fine on Nipplegate.

Kanye Drops College Dropout

February 10: Kanye West releases his debut album, The College Dropout, which hits the top of the charts and receives critical acclaim. It’s hard to believe there was a time when we ALL liked Kanye because his music was so good, but then he started talking too much and grabbed the mic from Taylor Swift, etc. and he became one of the most polarizing artists in music. But no one can deny just how freaking good this record was. Even the weakest track on the album was better than most of the rap songs released that year.

You Go, Glen Coco

February 20: Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen was the first of two leading roles Lindsay Lohan had in 2004, which is considered her breakout year. After appearing in Freaky Friday in 2003, Linds landed another Disney movie with the teen musical that pitted her against a young Megan Fox.

April 30: You know it, you love it, you wear pink on Wednesdays. Mean Girls was released and became a defining teen comedy of the 2000s and launched LiLo into superstar success.

May 1: Luckily, Lindsay had connections at Saturday Night Live thanks to Tina Fey/Mean Girls, and hosted the show for the first time, AKA the show with the most epic (and first) sketch of Debbie Downer.

June 5: Linds becomes the youngest host of the MTV Movie Awards at just 17 years old. Meanwhile, I think I was busy “studying” my Sparknotes for my AP English exam.

December 7: Lindsay’s first album, Speak is released and surprisingly gets certified platinum. I’m not going to lie to you, she has some pretty catchy tunes that may or may not have been downloaded via Napster. But seriously though – Over?!

Jimmy Meets World

May 15: Jimmy Fallon makes his last appearance as a cast member on Saturday Night Live, closing out his six-season tenure with a rousing all cast musical rendition of Grease’s Summer Nights, with his leading lady, Tina Fey.

You Can’t Be Sirius

May 23: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azakaban hits theaters. I admit, I was such a late bloomer to HP. Like I didn’t start reading until the day the 7th book came out :\ I hang my head in shame (And I also blame my parents who I’m convinced believed that reading the books legit made you some kind of witch frreal). Anyways, the Alfonso Cuaron-directed installment grossed a total of $796.6 million worldwide, making it the lowest-grossing in the whole HP film series, but still ranks it the 44th highest-grossing film of all time. Whatever. This was my favorite movie up until the last one, and arguably my favorite book.

I Believe In Miracles

May 26: Fantasia Barrino wins the third season of American Idol in one of the most memorable and dramatic reveals in all of television history. Reminder that this is the same year Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson placed seventh and Diana DeGarmo was the runner-up. (Sidenote: I just saw Diana and hubs season 5 Idol alum Ace Young in the Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat tour and like a fine wine, her voice has just gotten better with age. Ace, maybe not so much. They’re cute tho. Go go go Joe!)

Closing Time

Our beloved Friends came to a close (which you can reminisce over at our Friends 10 Week tag), while shows I was too young to watch (Ed, Sex and the City, The Practice) and shows I was too old to still be watching (Lizzie McGuire, Hey Arnold!, Rugrats, The Wild Thornberrys, CatDog) also met their demise. RIP Lizzie + Gordo, forever in our hearts.

Meet Michael Phelps

August: The 2004 Summer Olympics are held in Athens, Greece and the main takeaway is that America came out with a new sports legend in Michael Phelps. At just 19 years old, he won 8 medals, 6 of which were gold, the other 2 bronze, well on his way to becoming the most decorated athlete in Olympics history. In the video above, Michael wins his 5th gold of the games in the 4×200 relay, helping his team edge out Ian “Thorpedo” Thorpe and the Australians by a hair. UGH I miss the Olympics.

Pieces of Me

October 23: Ashlee Simpson gets caught lip synching on Saturday Night Live and I have second hand embarrassment for all involved.

Beyonce Realizes Her Full Potential

November 16: Destiny’s Child releases their fourth and final studio album, Destiny Fulfilled. This record is not as solid as The Writing’s On The Wall (but really, which DC3 record is?), but it has one of my all time favorite Destiny’s Child Songs, Girl, as well as Cater 2 U. It’s fine, they all did well after the breakup. Right, Michelle?

Ken Jennings Makes Jeopardy! Event Television

November 30: Ken Jennings’ 74-consecutive win streak finally ends at the hands of competitor Nancy Zerg. He’s won a total of $3,196,300 from the show, which is… a heck of a lot of money and knowledge. Question: Where is Nancy Zerg now?

BriWi Takes Over

December 2:  Tom Brokaw resigns as anchorman of NBC Nightly News after 22 years at the desk and is replaced by Brian Williams. Love ya Tommy B, but if you didn’t retire, we would have never been able to get MC BriWillie out of his shell.

 

Class of ’04: Celebrity Superlatives

Wasssuupppp?! This week we’re reflecting back to 2004 – aka the year Molly & I graduated high school. It’s been exactly 10 years this month ::insert quarter-life crisis freakout here::  since we received our diplomas and officially became “adults”, and while it seems like it happened just yesterday, it equally feels like lifetimes ago. All this week we’re looking back at pop culture, fashion, and all things early 2000s, but also fast forwarding a decade and reflecting on our 2004 selves with our 2014 selves. We’re putting it all out there, folks.

Today, I’m kicking it off with one of my personal extracurricular activities in high school: Yearbook. I know, hard to believe right? ‘But Traci, you’re so cool and hip, it’s hard to imagine you were in something so academic and somewhat nerdy like the Yearbook Club!’ You’re right, reader. Not only was I in choir and did theatre, I ALSO was part of putting the yearbook together.

In the spirit of my infinite coolness, here are some superlatives from a faux celebrity yearbook for the stars who took over Hollywood between 2000 and 2004 when we were impressionable teens and TRL ruled the world. Put on your sparkly flare jeans and let’s get started!

Best TV Host

Carson Daly

If there’s one show that will define our generation, it’s TRL. I rush home every weekday and obviously vote non-stop for BSB to be number one on the countdown. True story: I was the TRL fan of the week in 2002 and Carson showed my picture on TV AND he said my name!!! So maybe I’m a little biased, because we’re best friends, but whatevs.

Best Dressed

Paris Hilton

 Guys, this Paris Hilton girl is apparently a big deal and she has this weird show with her best friend Nicole Richie that’s like about them going to different parts of America and having different jobs even though they’re both uber rich. But I can’t help but notice Paris’ style. It’s so edgy and hip! I’m probably never going to wear anything like this, but I bet a lot of other girls will soon enough!

Most Likely to Succeed

Beyonce of Destiny’s Child

Through a whole bunch of lineup changes, DC3 finally settled with Beyonce, Kelly and Michelle, but the two longest members of the group, Beyonce and Michelle have always stood out. Okay, maybe just Beyonce. There’s just something about her that makes you want to see more. If she does solo stuff in the future, she’s definitely one to watch out for!

Biggest Prankster

Ashton Kutcher

The guy from That 70s Show has his own TV show about pranking celebrities, so basically nobody else deserves this title but Ashton. I mean, he got away with punking Justin Timberlake – that’s epic enough.

Best Couple

Britney and Justin

Speaking of Justin, I’m still not over the fact this perfect couple broke up in 2002, so let’s just pretend they’re still together, okay?

Favorite Celeb Couple On & Off-Screen

Adam Brody & Rachel Bilson

If Seth and Summer isn’t your favorite couple just turn around right now. The geeky loner guy gets the popular girl? That never happens. AND IN REAL LIFE TOO?! Stop it. (PS that pic is from a Halloween party where Adam was an astronaut and Rachel was a martian (?) and they’re with The OC creator Josh Schwartz & Summer Cohen’s mom, played by Melinda Clarke. I mean…)

Best Hair

Chris Kirkpatrick

Obviously.

Class Clown

Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy is totally hilarious on Saturday Night Live. Even though he’s leaving the show (which will never be the same without him) I know he’s gonna be a huge movie star. He even has a movie coming out with Queen Latifah that’s supposed to be really funny!

Most Athletic

Apolo Anton Ohno

Molly & I are probably a little too obsessed with America’s golden boy. Literally golden boy because he’s physically incapable of not winning gold medals at the Olympics. Also he’s so dreamy. Who knew short track speed skating could be so exhilarating (not me. didn’t even know it was a sport)?!?

Most Attractive

Heath Ledger

With The Patriot and A Knight’s Tale, Heath and his flowing hair are the stuff dreams are made of. And to top it all off – he’s Australian!!! That means he says things like G’Day and Vegemite!!! I’m not even going to admit how many posters I have of him on my wall…

Most Changed

Lindsay Lohan

lilo pt to mg

From Parent Trap to Mean Girls, I can’t believe Lindsay Lohan has grown up so much! It’s also hard to believe we’re the same age. But remember how cute she was in The Parent Trap and now she’s hanging out with Tina Fey and Lacey Chabert from Party of Five (still one of my fave shows). Hopefully this is a rollercoaster that only goes up for Linds!

90s Teen Starlets Before Going Down the Rabbit Hole

A couple of weeks ago, Jessica Simpson posted this video of herself playing Cassie in her high school production of A Chorus Line. Much to a lot of people’s surprise – she was actually good.

But here’s the thing we forget about these child/teen stars – at some point they had talent. Long before Jessica Simpson was known for her reality TV show and “chicken of the sea,” and years before we found out the once pure virgin was labeled as “sexual napalm” by John Mayer, she could sing.


(RIP Nick & Jessica)

But what about our other favorite teen stars who went/are currently going insane? Here’s a reminder of some of the biggest Hollywood starlets and their humble, talented beginnings.

Britney

Brit is really the most tragic one out of all of them. We all remember where we were (ok, maybe not, but it was a big day) when she went insane and shaved her head then proceeded to attack a paparazzo with an umbrella. And it seems like although B has gotten better, she’s not the same as she used to be. Just watch this and listen to the Oops album on repeat and remember the good old days.

(Bonus: Full JT & Brit vid from Mickey Mouse Club)

Christina

Xtina didn’t go all the way down the rabbit hole, but she did have a few questionable years. Now she’s back on track with The Voice and her younger beau, and luckily, she still has the pipes to stay in the game.

Amanda

Who the hell knows what’s going on with Amanda Bynes? I don’t, per this previous post.

Lindsay

Lindsay is also still kind of scratching her way out of the rabbit hole… it seems like every time you think she’s out of trouble, she gets in deeper shit. Maybe she should do The Parent Trap 2?

Si Se Puede! The Best of DCOMs

dchan

a horribly photoshopped shot of my head on la laine’s body, living out my dream of doing the dchan bumpers

I have no shame in saying I love the Disney Channel. Back in the day, having it was a luxury, since it wasn’t part of the regular cable lineup. Finally, it became part of the regular cable package sometime around 2001, and because this one time unattainble network was at my fingertips whenever I pleased, I became obsessed. Also, I got into it at a fairly older age, which explains why I dressed up as the Miranda to my friend’s Lizzie for Halloween like, freshman year of high school.

Anyways, as many of you know, Disney Channel Original Movies (or DCOMs, as the cool kids call them), hit the height of their popularity around the early 2000s. Hit after hit after hit, these gems would be a good reason to stay in on a Friday night. Or if you were me, I had no social life so I justified spending time with Hilary Duff instead. Here are some of my favorite DCOMs, that were totally my jam. Spoiler: There is no Zenon, Halloweentown, or Brink! on this list. You’ve been warned.

Ed note: I had Tia and Tamera’s Seventeen Again on this list, but upon my research found out it was not a DCOM but in fact first aired on SHOWTIME. Boy has their programming changed.

Wish Upon a Star
This movie was made in 1996, but I obviously saw in when they re-aired it in the 2000s. Starring a young Katherine Heigl and Danielle Harris, this was a Freaky Friday-esque movie where two sisters magically swap bodies because of a wish they made on a star. Hilarity ensues. For the longest time my only reference to Katherine Heigl was this movie. Right when Grey’s was becoming popular, I was always like, ‘that’s the girl from Wish Upon a Star!’ I was the coolest.

The Color of Friendship

Friendship is colorblind, y’all! This movie was based on actual events about a girl is from a wealthy (white) family in an apartheid South Africa, and goes to Washington D.C. as an exchange student. She slowly but surely forges an unlikely friendship with her host sister (who is black) and they learn about the real color of friendship.

Tru Confessions

One of my faves, this is seriously one of Shia LeBeouf’s greatest roles. No, really. He plays a mentally challenged kid, and his twin sister, who is the only one he really trusts and confides in, makes him the focus of a documentary film she’s making. It’s heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time.

Gotta Kick it Up!

SI SE PUEDE!!! Before there was Bring it On, there was Gotta Kick it Up. Before Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, there was a young America Ferrera. A fun and inspiration movie about young Latina girls who aspire to win their dance team championship. Literally like Bring it On but with Spanish.

Cadet Kelly

Hilary Duff goes to military school and proceeds to learn how to do color guard stuff with rifles. Also starring Even Stevens’ Wren and an Ashmore brother.

Get a Clue

A young and innocent Lindsay Lohan (RIP) plays a Harriet the Spy type girl who attempts to solve the mystery of one of her missing teachers. Also, Alfalfa is in the movie, and it was initially jarring to see him all grown up, since the last time I saw him it was on my personal VHS copy of Little Rascals. But Bug Hall grew up like the rest of us and is now randomly BFF with David Henrie from Wizards. I know too much.

Princess Protection Program

I ship Delena, IDEC. Demi plays a privileged princess of some random ass country and has to hide out in the States with tomboy Selena in rural Louisiana.  I remember thinking the casting was weird, bc obvi Selena would be the princess, but I guess it worked out. They just need to be BFFs for life.

Tips for Fox’s Reboot of The Swan: 2004 Hot vs. 2013 Hot

If you haven’t been up on your reality show gossip, you might have missed some big news — Fox is bringing back The Swan! In case you’ve forgotten, in the early 2000s there was a brief trend on reality t.v. where unfortunate-looking people got their faces did. Surgically, I mean. Those shows were the Swan and Extreme Makeover (the real Extreme Makeover, before it was about bringing joy to selfless people and making you cry).

The thing was, this format seems like it was part of a moment in time. Think back to 2004 or so. We followed every step of Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. Lindsay Lohan was a hot damn mess, but still a kind of adorable, age-appropriate mess. Britney Spears was a party girl with nary a Jayden James nor Sean Preston in sight. This photo really captures the zeitgeist of the time:

Never Forget. Also, what context put these 3 girls in the presence of wood paneling? It looks like my late grandparents’ house in Appalachian NY.

It was a really, really awesome time for boring or unimaginative girls. You could be cut- and-paste hot so, so easily. Heavy fake tan? Check. Get crazy skinny? Check. Nasty ratty weave that looks like you scalped a blonde Barbie Styling Head? Yep, that too. Fake boobs, denim mini skirt, plain tank top? Check, check, check. If it was daytime, you could wear a terrible velour sweatsuit. If you wanted the word “juicy” printed across your ass, then the word “juicy” was printed across your ass.  You had to buy a pricey bag to carry your dog around in, then if you were out of money for a dog, you could just get a rat or mole from nature and say it was a chihuahua mix. Then you just topped it off with a really boring or bored attitude – see, eg, the Paris Hilton “that’s hot” vocal fry/drawl.

It was probably not the best era for those of us who were more goofy and pale, but it was good business for makeover shows. Cut-and-paste hot really lent itself to The Swan’s format. Once you cleared off any iffy facial features (hook nose, giant gums, hairy warts, what have you), you just had to add the right elements and, at the end of the hour, you had turned an ugly duckling into a sort of skanky-looking swan.

The thing is, this isn’t really the look these days. There’s a whole different thing happening in 2013. I don’t even know what to call it. Quirky-hot? Anyway. With that in mind, I think these are the elements that the new Swan should incorporate:

1) Surgical Facial Quirking

If the subject has a boring face, then the staff plastic surgeons need to make it interesting. But like, the right kind of interesting. We’re not going to go all the way to ugly, more like adorable …  in a way where it’s still believable when the subject says that the cool girls used to pick on her in junior high.

Some options: The Bambi (eyelash lengthening and eye-widening surgery).  Permanent light freckling (not like freckle-freckles. About ten adorable ones, across the bridge of the nose). Colored contacts to add flecks of gold so that the subject’s eyes are so pretty that she can claim to be self-conscious about it. Infinitesimal tooth gapping. Nose upturning.

2) Ukulele lessons 

Accompanied with “how to sing like you’re from the ‘30s” voice lessons. The end project is a YouTube channel.

3) Shopping

The subject learns to shop from small online outlets, so that when people ask where she got something, she can say “oh, I don’t know, I think it’s vintage?”

4) Diet

Whomever the subject is, if she wants to be the ideal 2013 lady she can probably benefit from more recipes from Pinterest . I suggest cooking classes and recipes that involve quinoa, kale, or cake pops.

5) Manic Pixie Dream Quiz Show

The subject has to provide the correct answers to the following questions: What is your favorite music? (Answer: Anything on vinyl). Do you like kittens? (Answer: No. I LOVE kittens.) What was the best decade? (Answer: Any anything from the 1920s through the 1990s is  acceptable, but probably not the ’70s or ’80s, which were objectively speaking the least adorable decades of the 20th century).

6) Hobbies:

I don’t know, probably a blog.

Honestly, I feel bad for all of the boring or unimaginative ladies in our modern times. In 2004 all you had to do was look sort of tan and uninterested. These days, there are so many Etsy shops to monitor and so much individualistic nail art to create and so damn many hair braid configurations. It’s got to be exhausting.

But despite all that, rebooting the Swan for 2013 has to be one of the best ideas Fox has had, because watching all of this transpire is going to make for some great t.v.

Editor’s note: If you’re reading this, and this sounds like you and your friends, it’s all in good fun. This sounds an awful lot like me, too – I  can’t help it if music sounds better on vinyl and I want to go online shopping with Daisy Buchanan. I also have a cat named Mabel who used to be an adorable kitten. I win at Swan: 2013!