The Olsen Twins.
June 16, 2001 12:31 AM   Subscribe

The Olsen Twins. A magazine. A new tv show. Bestselling videos. Music publishing. Dolls. Six different video games. Did their agent negotiate a good deal with Beelzebub or what? Talking about their show in EW: "We're putting chocolate sauce all over the place and dancing. It's a really cute scene." They're 14. Does Uncle Joey know what's going on?
posted by owillis (39 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
they're prolly already on coke...
posted by omega^man at 12:33 AM on June 16, 2001

The question is - what comes first: Maxim, Playboy, Penthouse or Hustler?
posted by owillis at 12:36 AM on June 16, 2001

I've had my friends convinced I can tell them apart for years. I always thought Bikini would have them for their 18th bday. Bikini was the first to have Clarissa weren't they?
posted by spynotebook at 12:43 AM on June 16, 2001

id say hustler, theyre dirty lookin
posted by omega^man at 12:44 AM on June 16, 2001

they're actually media giants outside of the system with creative control and huge personal wealth. not to mention a force to be reckoned with. and also beautiful, smart, and down-to-earth, it seems.

i love you, mary-kate and ashley.
posted by palegirl at 12:46 AM on June 16, 2001

posted by dong_resin at 12:48 AM on June 16, 2001

they both can get it tho
posted by omega^man at 12:51 AM on June 16, 2001

I saw the Olsen twins' magazine at the store yesterday. I was tempted to buy it for my housemates as a joke. I chickened out thinking someone who knows me might see me buy it. I wasn't buying hand lotion or tissues at the time, but somehow it still felt dirty.
posted by hwright at 3:35 AM on June 16, 2001

I actually enjoyed their last TV show. I think it's an abomination that they have books, but as to the rest of it, their family was smart and taught them well, and they learned how to use their enormous popularity to generate revenue.

Whatever anyone says about them, remember that they are ruthless capitalist geniuses. They probably own stock in something you depend on or work for. These are young girls whose personal worth is greater than some of the smaller nations. These girls are not, and will never be, jailbait.

$500 million in retail this year. $800 million in 2002. Think about being their age and generating that kind of income in retail sales alone.

God, this is so out of character for me. I think I need to go and rant about something just to get myself back to normal.
posted by Ezrael at 4:21 AM on June 16, 2001

posted by frednorman at 5:57 AM on June 16, 2001

The Olsen twins multimedia empire is helping Holly Long, a friend once removed, get some airtime for her terrific album. They picked "Just Fine" (a song on her MP3.Com page) and another song for two of their movies.

So I have to appreciate that. However, after seeing a recent interview with Macauley Culkin, I fear for their long-term mental health. Veal are raised better than some child stars.
posted by rcade at 5:58 AM on June 16, 2001

"God, this is so out of character for me."

As it is for all of us.

TV is evil. TV is an insidious, mind numbing force in this country. TV has turned us into slack-jawed sofa pilots, trained to twitch and giggle at the pretty flashing lights.

Don't just kill your TV - exorcize your TV. Kill your TV in a soul affirming ritual. Destroy your TV and take back your brain.

That fact that these girls have sucked large piles of money from people using their contrived caricatures doesn't mitigate the fact we have become sadly addicted to the Glass Teat.

TV is the bad guy here. And we (and the Olsen twins) are it's victoms.
posted by y6y6y6 at 6:32 AM on June 16, 2001

So, what will be the title of their porn debut? May I suggest Full Mouths?

Of course, I'm only referring to their delightful smiles.
posted by Optamystic at 6:48 AM on June 16, 2001

Since nobody watches SNL anymore, I'll pass on last weekend's re-run of Kid Rock taking David Spade's seat on Weekend Update's Hollywood Minute:

[cue Olsen Twins background card]
"Hey girls. {unconvincingly} If the grass is growin' it's time to start mowin'. {beat} Man, this is sick stuff, Spade."
posted by dhartung at 7:02 AM on June 16, 2001

i would love to see the olsen girls kicking the crap out of mr. no-talent spade. and why is tim meadows funny? Id bet these girls bank accounts are bigger then anyone here.
posted by clavdivs at 7:32 AM on June 16, 2001

1. (mmmmmm...veal)
2. TV is NOT fact, it is neutral. There are many, many good things to watch on TV, such as news & movies, and even occasional network-stype sitcoms and dramas. It's what you CHOOSE to watch and how you USE what you learn/observe that determines which way the *GOOD/EVIL* needle points.
3. The Olsen twins *appear* to be reasonably stable kids with a decent shot at turning out somewhat "normal." It's gotta be a good sign that they didn't rely solely on Full House for their income, sense of self & security, or subsequent career. These two girls have spread themselves around, so to speak (no jokes - you know what I mean), and diversified to the point that no single project or failure will force them to sue their parents (see: Gary Coleman), drive them to robbing video stores in Las Vegas (see: Dana Plato), turn to a life of crime (see: Todd Bridges), or turn to prostitution (see: "Father Knows Best" TV-daughter). Hey - don't get me wrong - they turn my stomach in many ways, but my kids enjoy their shows and they are way better than lots of other junk out there (MTV, WWF, etc).
posted by davidmsc at 8:14 AM on June 16, 2001

1. (mmmmmm...veal)

David, you are slowly, almost imperceptibly, being corrupted by this place. I can feel it.

I like the Olsen twins. I even watched an episode of their new show and thought it washellip;OK.
posted by rodii at 8:20 AM on June 16, 2001

That fact that these girls have sucked large piles of money from people using their contrived caricatures doesn't mitigate the fact we have become sadly addicted to the Glass Teat.

Someone's been reading Harlan Ellison. Somehow, that doesn't surprise me. Do you have that book, Jon? Can I borrow it? (I have been unable to find a copy.)

Ultimately, I don't disagree, of course. But as Stephen King once pointed out, Harlan has a TV. A big one. I once spent a year without one, and you know what? It was very hard to keep up with world events.

Otherwise, I could shitcan the thing right now, if not for my brand new DVD player and the collected works of Terry Gilliam waiting for perusal. (I know, I'm a sellout.)
posted by Ezrael at 9:24 AM on June 16, 2001


posted by rodii at 9:24 AM on June 16, 2001

Who are these people? Are they like Charlotte Church?

(Ezrael: the BBC World Service is my TV. And the pictures are better.)
posted by holgate at 9:29 AM on June 16, 2001

skallas: Thanks heavens for remote controls, eh? I don't particularly like commercials, don't watch them unless my wife forbids me to channel-surf during the breaks, and I rarely, if ever, let them influence me, but I do occasionally admire the creativity that goes into some of them.

And let's face it - the ad-supported TV industry is, for the most part, FREE to consumers (wait - I know that we all "pay" via higher costs due to corporate ad budgets in the long-run, but the TV programming itself is free to watch).
posted by davidmsc at 10:46 AM on June 16, 2001

I find interest in the domain of their music publishing site. Haha, all I can say is, "Not for long."
posted by physics at 11:12 AM on June 16, 2001

davidmsc: that's brilliant---the "unless my wife forbids me to channel-surf during the breaks"---you've hit upon a noble justification for channel-surfing! "Honey, if I don't change the channel during this commercial, you and I both will be eaten alive, by the capitalist media forces, and you don't want that, do you?"

it's genius. and I say that even while trying hard to come up with a good comeback to it the first time *I* bitch about break-surfing and get hit with the "it's for our own good" retort.
posted by Sapphireblue at 12:07 PM on June 16, 2001

hey, i haven't had a tv for over a year, and i keep up on events just fine.

thank god for the internet.

well... actually no... i *do* have a tv. but it's for my video games.

and really, that's the only thing a tv is good for.

maybe that's why ellison has one?
posted by jcterminal at 12:36 PM on June 16, 2001

Do you have that book, Jon?

No, not for about 20 years now. Very good stuff. I read trashy romance novels these days.

I have no TV. I subscribe to many periodicals. I think I'm pretty current on world events. But even if I'm not, I can still claim that I haven't seen a TV commercial in months.

And with the money I would have spent on cable I'm going to buy my girlfriend a nice present.

So there.
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:22 PM on June 16, 2001

If there were no TV we wouldn't have the Olsen Twins, Britney Spears, or Anna Kournikova. Ergo, TV can only be good. That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.
posted by owillis at 1:41 PM on June 16, 2001

"I have no TV. I subscribe to many periodicals"

At the other end of the spectrum, I have the TV positioned so I can see it whilst I pee.
What, like I gonna miss a nanosecond of Invader Zim?
posted by dong_resin at 1:52 PM on June 16, 2001

No, really, who are these girls? Where did they come from? Will someone please enlighten us non-American readers?
posted by chrismear at 2:35 PM on June 16, 2001

chrismear: They came from Suburbia, USA -- somewhere in Orange County, CA, near some strip mall or the other. No one knows if they are real people, actually, but major newspapers insist that they are, and they could be, since they look like 14 million other girls out there, only with more shoes. They are ubiquitous and cute beyond reason. If you look up ubiquitous in any American dictionary, you will find the Olsen twins, in your mind if not on the page. Future generations, after a dark ages, will discover the turn of the 21st Century via the Olson Twins. Dubya will seem a minor character by comparison, a trivial man with serious speech problems -- only people acted as if he were more important, for whatever reason. There will then be a new Renaissance, with Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton, Elvis, Kevin Bacon and the Olsen Twins hailed as demi-gods of a great and glorious American past and eternal future.

It's a Saturday afternoon. I tried.
posted by raysmj at 2:59 PM on June 16, 2001

TV is NOT fact, it is neutral."

TV's don't kill people. People kill people.

I was once told when I was an adolescent, that the generation which would be spawned from my generation would do things that would make us squirm. If children today actually buy mary-kateandashley magazine, they have succeeded in fulfilling that prophecy.
posted by ZachsMind at 3:07 PM on June 16, 2001

Mary-Kate and Ashley are exposed to us UK MeFi'ers via the joy that is Nickelodeon (and ITV on saturday mornings). They are creepy. I significantly prefer the harmless joy that is...

Sabrina the Teenage Witch!
posted by nedrichards at 3:26 PM on June 16, 2001

If TV is so bad, then why do programs like "Sesame Street" exist?

I mean, I'm not a couch potato (more like an Internet potato), but, according to my parents and grandparents, I was intrigued by television from a very early age. I taught myself to read after watching PBS on weekdays--and I was only about 2 or 3 when this happened--and if it weren't for "Sesame Street" and other such programs, I might not have begun reading at such a young age.

Personally, I find the whole "TV is evil" concept really snobbish. It's one thing to not like TV. However, it's quite another to say, "Oh, I don't watch TV" like it's something to be proud of.

Of course, if I didn't have cable--including 2 HBOs--I wouldn't as watch as much TV as I do. Also, if it weren't for the 'net, I'd be watching more.

And yet I still read! Imagine that!
posted by lannie628 at 5:21 PM on June 16, 2001

I find interest in the domain of their music publishing site. Haha, all I can say is, "Not for long."

Oh my god, that was dirty on so many levels...
posted by SpecialK at 6:43 PM on June 16, 2001

Mary-Kate and Ashley got their start due to stringent California work rules regarding underage actors, who can't work as long every day as adults and teens. In order to use a baby or very young child character on a TV show, you often need twins to spread the workload. The sitcom was Full House, an unbelievably insipid yet somehow still game family comedy involving a single father, his three girls, and his best pals helping raise them. The littlest girl character was the type where hamming it up is more important than, uh, acting.

When Full House folded after a successful run, the girls branched out into a series of Olsen Twins adventures, where they would go camping, have a party, solve a mystery, etc. Distributed on video, they were phenomenally successful due mainly to lack of quality competition in the young girls' market. Since then the videos have exploded into a secondary market of licensed products, books, home-shopping-network appearances, and ghu knows what else, including a magazine which the still-barely-adolescent girls ostensibly edit themselves.

As the NYT mag article suggests, the thing that really made it work for them was being able to zero in on the tween girl consumer market, without ever getting filtered by the media machine. They didn't have to slog through the worlds of TV, music, or any of the other normal paths to stardom; they just created appealing product and found ways to get to their demographic themselves.

Inredible, and scary.
posted by dhartung at 8:46 PM on June 16, 2001

Inredible, and scary.

I don't find it particularly scary. Lots of these girls had the Olsens forced upon them by ultra-moralistic parents who were doing a lot of the purchasing, at least originally. (Olsen crap is marketed very very strongly in Wal-Marts, which should tell you a lot.) And in any case, it won't be incredible much longer. The tweens of tomorrow are not going to want to watch fully-developed girls in their mid-20s prancing around like they're still 13. In a couple years, the Olsens will either assimilate into the mainstream entertainment industry (and yes, that will require a few slutty Maxim photo shoots to kickstart their "new looks"), or they will die, businesswise.
posted by aaron at 10:18 PM on June 16, 2001

but it's for my video games. and really, that's the only thing a tv is good for.

Now that is scary, for video games are (IMHO) even more mind-destroying than television.
posted by kindall at 11:15 PM on June 16, 2001

I remember hearing a story where the twin's were "shocked" when they found out everyone didn't have a television show.
posted by Mark at 1:16 AM on June 17, 2001

Video games are just more compelling, but like TV there is nothing inherently wrong with them.

It's fun to rip on forms of entertainment. For any one form most of what is offered is crap. I don't see this changing anytime soon.

I think the need is to not harp on the bad stuff. We need to find ways to cultivate taste. Maybe it's that highbrow stuff tends nuture elitism while lowbrow stuff tends to be more inclusive.
posted by john at 1:17 AM on June 17, 2001

To conflate the shared memories we have of these girls into that of the about-to-be sex goddesses they appear to be striving for, is really, quite haunting. I hated Full House even as a kid (Why Bob Sagat for anything at all? He should have been homeless a long time ago). But their bobbingly innocent heads of theirs and one in a million smiles as babies in a campy, not quite ever ready for prime time sitcom coupled with what seems to amount to their ongoing, lifelong primping for the dirty impetus behind a man spitting into his palm is a little horrifying. Really horrifying. They're still babies in my eyes. I'd forgotten about them.

My moral:

We're all really just babies who've grown hair. We need to seek true, healthy sexuality rather than uphold the whoring of celebrity children for all the "regular" children who will one day grow up merely to masturbate to the product of the suicidal tendencies at least one of these girls, I predict, will face.

Hhhock. . .


But they are lookin' good!
posted by crasspastor at 2:48 AM on June 17, 2001

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