High School Movie Showdown: The Mean Girls

Welcome to the High School Movie Showdown, a new Friday FabOoolousness series here at The Ooo Factor!  At least once a month, we’ll take two popular movies in the teenage genre and pit them against one another.  We’ll feature the classics (like Grease), some popular Generation Xers (like Cluelesss), and some that are a bit more recent to the scene (like Project X).

First up, the mean girls…

Pretty much everyone is familiar with or has lived through high school cliques and mean girls.  And for the most part, we all survived or are in the process of surviving.  But no matter how hard we try, these two obstacles will live on and continue to haunt teens for generations to come.

Not long ago, as I flipped through the channels, I happened upon Heathers.  Like I do with a handful of the ‘80s classics I have seen numerous times, I sat down and watched the film again from start to finish. I say again because it had to be at least the twentieth time…  And while the movie might be a tad dated, from the outfits, to the actual clarity of the frames, it reminded me why it will forever be one of my favorite movies about high school.

Then again last night, as I was waiting for a new flick to begin, the particular movie channel I happened to be watching aired a commercial for their current features—Heathers being one of them.  The sound bite called the film, “the original mean girls.”

Which got me to thinking, when paired up side-by-side, which of these films would win—Heathers or Mean Girls?

Both films do share a few similarities: both are loaded with popular young actors from that particular generation (Heathers stars Christian Slater, Winona Ryder, and Shannen Doherty… and Mean Girls stars Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, and Amanda Seyfried), and the overall messages of the two movies are not all that different—in high school, everyone wants to fit in; no one wants to be a pariah; yet, everyone is awkward and insecure in one way or another; and more times than not, there’s always that one obstacle preventing them from shining, making them feel inferior… and often times, this obstacle can only be described in one way (well, two ways)—the Heathers and the Mean Girls.

Heather, Heather, Heather, and Veronica.

However, the two films are really nothing alike, the most important element being the fact that Heathers is a dark comedy and Mean Girls is a flat-out, laugh-out-loud comedy.  For instance, the main characters in Heathers play murderous games with their classmates, whereas the “Plastics” in Mean Girls are just plain mean.  Say what you will, but poisoning a friend, staging the said friend’s suicide, shooting classmates, and planning a bombing at a school function goes way beyond mean.  What did the girls in Mean Girls do again?  Oh yeah, they spread rumors, secrets, and gossip (although they do this as well in Heathers), and played tricks on one another.

Cady, Karen, Gretchen, and Regina.

Bottom line, both films were popular in their day.  And both will achieve cult classic success and live on through their fans year after year.  But which one would win in a head to head battle?  The Heathers, and Veronica and J.D., or the Plastics and Miss Cady?

I say Heathers.

How about you?  Heathers or Mean Girls?  I’d love to hear from you!

Tele-Tuesday: March Madness, TV Style

Television programs air sporadically today, and we’re not safe assuming (we all know what that really means) all new series and returning shows begin in September and January.  It’s simply not true anymore.

Since introducing so many new programs to 2012 in January, we decided to take the first few weeks of February to provide a breather of sorts.  But now we’re back, introducing yet another pilot series to ABC and two returning sophomores to Fox and USA that perhaps not everyone will be familiar with.

What will you watch?

*****

GCB

Originally Good Christian Bitches and later Good Christian Belles, GCB follows a former high school Queen “B” (Amanda, played by Leslie Bibb from Crossing Jordan) after she returns to her home town (Dallas) following a divorce and moves in with her mother (Annie Potts, Designing Women).

Despite the fact that Amanda left her “mean girl” days behind her, the girls she terrorized in high school haven’t quite forgotten the way she treated them.  Everyone, including Amanda’s mother, seems to be stuck in the past and the tables have turned on her.

GCB also stars: Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies) as Carlene, Marisol Nichols (24) as Heather, Jennifer Aspen (Party of Five) as Sharon, and Miriam Shor (Damages) as Cricket Caruth-Reilly, the girls Amanda terrorized in high school.  The series wouldn’t be complete without the husbands: David James Elliott (JAG) as Carlene’s husband, Ripp; Brad Beyer (Jericho) as Sharon’s husband, Zack; and Mark Deklin (Lone Star) as Cricket’s husband, Blake, who happens to have a Dallas-sized secret of his own.

GCB premieres Sunday, March 4thon ABC.

*****

Breaking In

How many shows can actually say they have officially survived a literal network cancellation?  Not many; Fox first resurrected Family Guy in 2004 after watching continued success of the previous seasons in DVD sales and reruns airing on Adult Swim.  And now Breaking In can, a Fox program originally cancelled in May 2011.

Breaking In follows a team of “legitimate thieves” working at Contra Security, a high-tech security firm.  Clients hire Contra to break in and highlight flaws in security systems already in place.  For example, in season one the Contra team is hired to break into a house with a supposed impenetrable security system in an attempt to retrieve a valuable belonging to the homeowner.  Later, they discover that the house belongs to their team leader, who unbeknownst to them happens to be on the verge of a nasty divorce.

Perhaps our favorite episode of the first season was when the Contra team was hired to protect an invaluable DVD sequel until its national release party at Comic-ConGoonies 2.  The pop culture references and comedic events were absolutely spot-on and hilarious, at least for those of us who will forever be a Goonie.

The Contra team is led by Oz (Christian Slater, Heathers), a man who loves to play mind games on his staff… a staff composed of: Cameron (Bret Harrison, Reaper), a genius with top-rated hacking abilities; Cash (Alphonso McAuley), a gadget guy and hacker; Melanie (Odette Annable, House), the hot girl with safe cracking abilities; and Josh (Trevor Moore), the master manipulator and master of disguise.   Season two will see a new, yet familiar face at Contra Security when Megan Mullally (Will & Grace) joins the cast as Veronica, Contra’s new boss.

Breaking In returns to Fox Tuesday, March 6th.

*****

Fairly Legal

We love the USA Network’s programs here at Tele-Tuesday, which is why when Fairly Legal premiered last year we immediately checked it out.

Fairly Legal follows Kate Reed (Sarah Shahi, Life – a great short-lived series, by the way), a former attorney turned mediator working at her father’s law firm in San Francisco, as she deals with life both professionally and personally following a failed marriage and her father’s untimely death.

Kate, while extremely beautiful and successful, lives life by the seat of her pants.  She resides on her father’s boat, arrives late to almost everything, and relies heavily on her assistant (Leonardo, played by Baron Vaughn) to keep her day straight.  Once Kate arrives at the office, she not only has to deal with arguing clients assigned to her by the courts (especially those difficult cases assigned by Judge Nicastro, played by Gerald McRaney), but also with her new boss and step-mother, Lauren (Virginia Williams, Monarch Cove).

Unfortunately for Kate, her professional life isn’t the only thing leaving her rushing around with her head cut off.  Factor in her soon-to-be-ex husband Justin (Michael Trucco, Battlestar Galactica), who she continues to have an on-again/off-again relationship with, and the secrets surrounding a man (Richard Dean Anderson) involved with her father prior to his death, and Kate’s life is hectic.

Fairly Legal returns to the USA network Friday, March 16th.

*****

Will you watch GCB?  Do you agree with ABC’s decision to change the title?  How about Breaking In and Fairly Legal?  Did you catch the first seasons and if so, what did you think?  I’d love to hear from you!