5. Tiffani Amber Thiessen
What I saw her in: "Saved by the Bell", Saved by the Bell Hawaiian Style, Son in Law, "Saved by the Bell: The College Years"
She's the least personal, facilitating her taking the five spot. Basically I got to know her through her portrayal of a single character, "Saved by the Bell"'s Kelly. Unlike the other entries, Thiessen (who doesn't use the Amber part of her name professionally anymore) didn't represent any sort of girl that I found relatable or attainable; she just represented a part of what her show told me was highschool. When I was a preteen watching this junk, I couldn't WAIT to get to highschool, where you were apparently never in class and absolute babes like Kelly walked the halls. I was too young to have really figured out my place in the social order of my peer group, so the fact that Kelly was definitely the type of girl I'd never exchange more than eight words with wasn't relevant. She was nice, she wasn't noticeably stupid and she was hot. That was enough.
What she's been up to in the past decade that I actually care about: Absolutely nothing. And she's aged terribly to boot. Hey, I calls 'em like I sees 'em.
4. Jennifer Love Hewitt
What I saw her in: "Kids Incorporated", Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, House Arrest, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Can't Hardly Wait
|A young and blurry Love Hewitt|
Anyway, she played Robin and had what I then considered to be an absolutely enchanting voice. I think it's possible I watched the show for so long simply because I wanted to see more of her. A couple years later I would also watch Family's "The Mickey Mouse Club" nineties revival but neither Britney (Spears) nor Christina (Aguilera) made the impression on me Love had (I don't even remember Aguilera).
|Hook Guy's gonna get you...|
I would watch Can't Hardly Wait (1998) when it was new on video simply to get more of Hewitt. It was...um, alright. Seth Green was there. Doin' stuff. I was aware that she was on "Party of Five" but let's face it: I had a crush on her, I wasn't obsessed (you'll have to read farther to get to that). No way I was gonna watch that.
It wasn't until a few years ago that I realized that she'd been on "Kids Incorporated". It's kind of interesting that I had two separate crushes on her bookending the nineties.
What's she's been up to in the past decade that I actually care about: Once again, absolutely squat. She's in the two horrendous Garfield movies, one of Jackie Chan's worst mistakes and a show about talking to dead people. She is still quite pretty though and can actually sing.
3. Neve Campbell
What I saw her in: The Craft, Scream, Scream 2, Wild Things
|My all-time favourite survivor girl, Sidney Prescott|
As for Campbell, who was actually twenty-two when the movie was shooting, her youthful looks and reserved acting made her one of the very few believable fake high school students I've ever seen. Her performance as the nineties version of the "survivor girl" trope won me over instantly. Sidney Prescott was smart, spunky and strong - but still innocent, pure and naive.
|Neve gets witchy in The Craft (1996)|
I was actually downright upset by her role in Wild Things (1998), and couldn't stand seeing Denise Richards and Matt Dillon with their paws all over her. I still won't watch that movie today. She played an even more prominent role on "Party of Five" than Hewitt and, in hindsight, maybe I should have watched it since I could see them both that way.
But I was happy to see her return for Scream 2 (1997), since it was really her character that I was infatuated with.
What she's been up to in the past decade that I actually care about: Sensing a trend yet? Really, the only thing that comes to mind is doing two episodes of "The Simpsons" and neither was particularly good. It was just as well, really, as I've really no desire to see her now that she's older. I just want to remember her for what she was. Apparently Sidney Prescott will indeed be in the upcoming Scream 4 and I'll have to watch it on principle but at the very best it could only be bittersweet for me.
2. Claire Danes
What I saw her in: "My So-Called Life", Romeo + Juliet, The Rainmaker, Les miserables, Brokedown Palace
|Highschool in the nineties - I was there, man|
I found her relatable (smart but insecure, disinterested in lots of things our peers thought important) and incredibly appealing. Definitely an ideal girlfriend.
Next she starred opposite the almost as pretty Leo Dicaprio in Baz Luhrmann's modern take on "Romeo and Juliet" in 1996. This film (Romeo + Juliet) features a scene where Danes is wearing a costume that has wings. Yeah, I was pretty sold. 1998's The Rainmaker then would have her as a bandage girl. The only thing she wasn't doing in those days was fighting crime and/or zombies in a sexy outfit. But she did play Cosette (Les miserables) which is still pretty cool.
|What light from yonder window breaks?|
I have a passing interest in seeing Shop Girl (2005) as it was written by Steve Martin and Stardust (2007), since it's based on a work by Neil Gaimon. But I really don't like seeing Danes now that she's older. Sue me.
(note: sometime in 2001 I saw 1997's Princess Mononoke (an amazing film that I own today) which stars Danes in the title role, but that obviously only features her voice and since it's a nineties work that I didn't see until after the nineties were over, doesn't fit the criteria for this list.)
1. Rachel Leigh Cook
What I saw her in: The Baby-Sitters Club, Carpool, She's All That
|Rachel as Mary Anne in The Baby-Sitter's Club (1995)|
Of the babysitters, Mary Anne was the most caring and sensitive. In fact, she could be downright wimpy, often bursting into tears over the stupidest things. But when I could imagine her as Rachel Leigh Cook, those suddenly became endearing qualities.
Ironically enough, Mary Anne was the only member who actually had a steady boyfriend - the chicken-fried Logan, whom I grew to despise. I should take my revenge in some totally immoral and disturbing fan fic.
Anyway I can't exactly recall how I wound up seeing the suckfest that is Carpool (1996) but I was delighted to see my Rachel in it. It was my main motivation for watching She's All That (1999) and I'll still defend that movie just to protect my sweetheart. Guess what, people? Putting glasses on Rachel Leigh Cook doesn't make her unattractive!
Sometime in the mid nineties she starred in a memorable update of the "This is your brain on drugs" public service announcement. It shows her desmonstrating the effects heroin can have on your body and your life by COMPLETELY FLIPPING OUT WITH A FRYING PAN. It was basically the hottest thing I'd ever seen in my entire life.
What she's been up to in the past decade that I actually care about: Hey, if she's in something, then I fucking well care about it. She's still amazing and beautiful. I really wish that the tv series based on "Fearless" (another series of books I wound up reading because of my sister) had gotten off the ground because Rachel Leigh Cook as Gaia = AWESOME. Apparently there is a tv movie of it that I guess was supposed to serve as the pilot so I really need to watch it then...go off by myself for awhile.
Also, her lovely voice can be heard in several otherwise forgetful episodes of "Robot Chicken" and she is the official English voice of Final Fantasy VII's Tifa which means a lot to someone like me.