#4 The Secret World of Alex Mack?

amackThings were pretty rough in 1994. People were clubbing other people in their Olympic kneecaps, the MLB players’ strike resulted in the cancellation of the World Series, John and Lorena Bobbitt suffered a stressful time in their marriage, Cobain departed for Rock Heaven, O.J. was [*ACCUSED AND LATER ACQUITTED OF*] killing folks, Whoopie hosted the Academy Awards, and, of course, Woodstock ’94. But if you were still having your birthday parties at the local roller skate rink, then I’d bet that many of 1994’s headlines didn’t capture your interest quite as much as Nickelodeon’s Saturday night SNICK line-up.

Now I’m typing to all the gentlemen out there. One of the earliest prepubescent crushes a grade schooler could bear emerged from Clarissa Explains It All. Clarissa explained many a thought-provoking issue over the course of the program, but she could never explain why watching Melissa Joan Hart every Saturday night made us all weird and stuff in our tummies or why Clarissa’s male friend, Sam, climbing up a ladder to her window left a bad taste in our mouths. So naturally when C.E.I.A (this is cool to do, right?) left SNICK, it created a void in our young hearts that neither Ren, Stimpy, nor our fear of the dark could fill. Not even the pure awesomeness that was the mobile Roundhouse T.V./grill recliner could roll the loss out of our minds. I, for one, couldn’t dance it all away so easily. It was a sad and confusing time.

And then, in late 1994, The Secret World of Alex Mack debuted. It starred Larisa Oleynik as Alex Mack, and then some otherlarissa people as other characters probably.

It is my understanding that Melissa Joan Hart went on to become somewhat of a successful teenage witch, but no spell or pixie demonry could draw me away from the beckoning allure of Larisa Oleynik’s Siryn call. Perhaps that was a little too over the top. Suffice it to say that Alex Mack was this young boy’s snack attack. Perhaps that was a little too creepy/rhymey. I liked the show and I thought she was pretty. Let’s leave it at that.

Besides my infatuation with the show’s star (and I know I’m not the only one…where my dudes who pretended to hate The Baby-Sitters Club movie be at?), the actual show was pretty great. You got your unassuming ‘girl next door’ tomboyish lead with mysterious new super powers, your scientifically sound chemical spill to elucidate said powers, your evil corporation bent on hunting down said lead with said powers, and your brilliant older sister and comical best friend to help said lead evade said evil corporation from discovering said lead’s said powers. Simple. What’s that? I’m sorry. Did you say you wanted a twist? How about Alex Mack’s dad just so happens to be a scientist who works for the evil chemical plant and therefore cannot know of his daughter’s secret? Oh, that’s good…

But surely the girl’s mother knows, right?

Nope. No way. We’re not talking about the slightly reticent world of Alex Mack here, folks.

Now, instead of unfurling the specifics of this series, I’m going to use this opportunity to explore a related form of nostalgia that is both funny and inexplicable. Possibly the worst feeling a young man can experience whilst harboring a boyish crush on a television/movie star (short of hearing she’s dating J.T.T.) is the disappointment he undergoes when he discovers the girl on the screen is older than he. It’s gut wrenching. For me, some of these (now) women include (but are not limited to) the aforementioned Ms. Hart and Ms. Oleynik, Thora Birch, Christina Ricci, Jewel Staite (Flash Forward), Christine Lakin (Step by Step), Rachel Leigh Cook, and Jodie Sweetin. Now, I’m not too much younger than these women, but that didn’t matter at the time; it hurt all the same. I still can’t explain why. I’m not sure if the little girls in class felt the same when they found out Devon Sawa or whoever was older than them, or if other guys suffered from similar letdowns as mine, but it was really important for me to be older for some reason. Why was it so important? I’ll never understand. Of course that’s just the silliness of a child and I’ve obviously matured to the point where a woman’s age doesn’t bother me within reason. I mean, I still have a shot with any of those ladies I mentioned regardless of my age, right?

Right?

Okay, you know it’s coming. A little Alex Mack intro for ya head. I totally spot some bare shoulder. What were you trying to do to me, girl?!

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~ by Kevtron on April 25, 2009.

2 Responses to “#4 The Secret World of Alex Mack?”

  1. I remember feeling the…stirrings…when I watched this show. Especially whenever she had to turn into slime and then solidified again. I think you know why. Kind of like in the Terminator universe lose their clothes when jumping through time.

    10 Things I Hate About You absolutely tortured me.

  2. Very well said!! I know for the ladies Jonathan Taylor Thomas (JTT) of Home Improvement was the central character in my Lisa Frank diary. And why did age matter? I agree though, I was sad when I found out Macauley Culkin was a couple years older me. It killed the deal.

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fighting fire with unlit matches

Gonna raise me an army, some tough sons of bitches /// Recruit my army from the orphanages

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