The AfterEllen.com Huddle: You Can Call it a Comeback
Lucy Hallowell: In high school, I used to walk by this poster every day in our dorm.
Flashdance is an amazing movie with iconic moments echoed in TV and film (Rachel Green and Spencer Hastings both used to take your bra off under your shirt to mixed success). But after it, Jennifer Beals sort of went into the ether (or Yale). She popped up here and there but nothing major until she swagger into Bette Porter’s power suits. My teen crush on Alex the welder/dancer returning to TV as a badass, often assholic, power lesbian? Oh hell yes. Welcome back, Jennifer. Please don’t leave us again.
Dana Piccoli: How appropriate Lucy, because my favorite comeback happens to be BFFs with Ms. Beals. Anyone who grew up in the ’90s, lived and breathed Saved By The Bell. Elizabeth Berkley played the caffeine pill-addicted, smart and beautiful Jesse Spano. She was so much cooler than Kelly Kapowski. After the show ended, Berkley had the world at her fingertips—and then came Showgirls.
Now, I probably love Showgirls more than what is acceptable, but not everyone can appreciate it’s nuanced charm. Ok, the movie is an unmitigated hot mess. The thing is, Berkley was only 23 years old when she starred as the unforgettable Nomi Malone. Someone she probably trusted advised her to take that role, a lead role in a Hollywood blockbuster at 23. Who wouldn’t be swayed? And she she gives that role her everything. Can you imagine, that one role, would end up making you a Hollywood pariah. The butt of a joke? At 23 yrs old! I have always thought it was so shameful that she was discarded in such a way.
In the years since Showgirls
, Elizabeth Berkley has created a website and subsequent book
, called Ask Elizabeth,
where she invites young girls to express themselves and come to her for advice. I think that is pretty damn fantastic. She is a person who has stared humiliation in the face, and found a strength inside of her that she now shares with others who need guidance. A class act.
She is a contestant on Dancing with the Stars this season, and she’s amazing. She’s really embraced her fans and tweets things like #Imsoexcited without pandering or an ounce of insincerity. That is a woman who has got it together.
Elaine Atwell: A few months ago I did my biannual Well-I’m-Depressed-Anyway-So-I-Might-As-Well-Watch-My-Girl thing, and afterwards, as I mopped up my tear puddle, was filled with the urge to google what ever happened to Veda Sultenfuss. As you may know, Anna Chlumsky gave up on acting for a number of years, but returned to be in Veep. I haven’t actually gotten around to watching it yet (although I’m sure when I do my childhood crush on her will return, stronger than ever), but it’s just nice to know that she’s out there, being functional and intact. I wish more child stars could say the same.