Throwback Thursday is your weekly concentrated dose of nostalgia, where we round up the bests and worsts of all things 90s (and the early 2000s.) This week: A Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen takeover.
I can’t be the only one that found Escape To Witch Mountain to be kind of scary and awesome at the same time. I’m pretty sure what freaked me out the most about that movie was just how in sync the protagonists—twin brother and sister—were. I bet the Sklar Brothers could never do half of what the twins in Witch Mountain did in one of their sets. However, most sets of twins are just regular people who happen to look exactly alike, and usually star in their own Disney TV show. Tia and Tamera Mowry could tell you all about it. In case you hadn’t guessed it yet, this week is Twin Week, and in honor of twins everywhere, I’m giving you the best of the most successful set of twins there is: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen—sorry Dylan and Cole, you guys just didn’t quite compare. Before there were eating disorders, crazy clothes, and questionable connections to the death of Heath Ledger, the Olsen twins were on the top of the twin market, and here’s the list to prove it:
I’m pretty sure all anyone did for fun in the 90s was play soccer. Everyone was all about bending it like Beckham (unless you, like me, had very breakable glasses and an affinity for cats). Mary-Kate and Ashley did not hesitate to jump on the soccer bandwagon. As per the norm in Mary-Kate and Ashley movies, the girls played twins that also happened to be polar opposites who then switched places, leading to hilarity and hijinx out on the soccer field. There was also something in there about an overbearing parent and daddy issues, as if the psychology of the movie is what all of us 10-year-olds were looking for when we were watching. But, in the end, as is often the case with movies of the 90s, everyone is a special snowflake and everybody wins. Literally. The two teams of the girls tie for first place champion in the soccer tournament, appease themselves and their parents, and also go out on dates with their cute boy teammates. How convenient for all parties involved.
The “Goes To” genre became a pretty popular brand of cinematography in the 90s, and everyone was going to everywhere in their movies. Mary-Kate and Ashley were no exception. They went to Rome, the Bahamas, Paris, The Salt-Lake Olympics, New York City, the Witness Protection agency, and of course, London. Each “Goes To” movie is complete with its very own site-seeing montage, followed later only by a shopping montage, and of course budding romances with attractive foreign boys that are probably also twins. Winning London happened to feature super hot star of TV’s hit show, House, Jesse Spencer. I’m a little surprised about why it’s House that he’s known for and not this classic American film. The major plot point of this MK&A movie comes straight from their own lives—proving that they are smart. No, really, the basic plot consists of a Model UN competition. See, they can play soccer and know things too, this movie proves it!
The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley
Have a mystery you need solved? Forget the Ghostbusters, those guys know nothing, call up Mary-Kate and Ashley because they “will solve any crime by dinnertime”, usually through a process of poorly written musical numbers and tacky puns. They’ve also got the help of a basset hound, so basically they’re the equivalent of FBI, CIA, Scotland Yard, and Scooby Doo put together. Seriously though, I’m pretty sure the best thing to come from this VHS series was the theme song, with great lyrics like, “Who makes the finest pizza? / What’s in my brother’s dresser drawers? / Mysteries of life, / screaming to be solved!” Really, it just touches my heart with its poetic lyricism.
If I had to put it to a vote, I’d say this straight-to-VHS movie is definitely the best of the Mary-Kate and Ashley films. Let’s talk about all the great things it has: California and surfing, parent-trap style tricking adults into dating, artistry (their father in the movie is a renowned artist), business scandal, and also it teaches you how to make scrambled eggs MK&A style—which is to put the egg in a bag, shake the bag, and serve chilled in a glass. Who said they wouldn’t be quality maternal figures? Seriously though, the only thing this movie is missing to be a classic twin trickster movie is Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson.
If you don’t like Full House, you can leave. Seriously. No joke. John Stamos, Dave Coulier, and Bob Saget are comic genius in this BRILLIANT television series. Of course the holy trifecta of sitcomedy is nothing in comparison to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen as Michelle Tanner, with her classic catchphrase, “You got it, dude!” Ruthie from Seventh Heaven was nothing compared to Michelle from Full House. This show combined the heart-warming elements of learning life lessons with the comic aspect of Mr. Mom. I won’t even lie to you, Internet friends, when I say that I definitely still watch this show in marathons every time I’m home on winter break, which is probably why I still have no job offers—by the way, Internet, I’m available for employment! Although I have to admit, my talents do not quite match up to the jingle-writing skills of Joey and Uncle Jesse, nor do I have Jesse’s quality hair.
Also for your viewing pleasure: