• Joe Pace

Favorite Fictional Characters, #201: Girl

Favorite Fictional Characters, #201: Girl

She's got that certain something, all right.

In 1993-94, as I was making the transition from high school to college, my life soundtrack unquestionably included Aerosmith's Get a Grip trilogy: Cryin', Amazing, and Crazy. Of course, the album contained other hits, such as Livin' on the Edge, but what made the three songs I've mentioned indelible reminders of that time in my life wasn't how they sounded, but how they looked. Because the music videos of those three songs included the iconic performances of Alicia Silverstone (billed solely as "Girl" or "Girl #1" in the third video, Crazy, alongside Liv Tyler's "Girl #2").


Silverstone's career had a brief peak that began with her debut on the Wonder Years in 1992, included her competent turn in 1995's Clueless, and ended resoundingly with her much-derided Batgirl in 1997's much-derided Batman & Robin. But what a peak. For a very short window of time, Silverstone was the very epitome of sexy cool, both take-home-to-mom wholesome schoolgirl and pouty rebel igniting the navel-piercing craze of the '90s. She smoldered in those videos, the perfect intersection of sound and image, capturing a time when we were all rebelling a little, searching for our freedoms and identity, and holding out just a little hope that maybe we'd happen across a mysterious leggy blonde of our own. There was a sense of limitless possibility and the future as a crazy, amazing road.


Of course, like Silverstone's peak, that time in our lives passed, and horizons narrowed, and forty isn't twenty. Even when it's all over but the crying, we'll always have 1993.

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