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Mary-Kate Olsen Is Dragging Ashley Down

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Guide To The Characters Of ‘The Force Awakens’

The highly anticipated seventh episode in the ‘Star Wars’ series, ‘The Force Awakens,’ which will be released December 18, will feature several returning characters as well as a host of new ones. Here is a guide to the characters of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.’

Robert De Niro Stunned To Learn Of Man Who Can Quote ‘Goodfellas’

‘Bring Him To Me,’ Actor Demands

NEW YORK—Immediately halting production on his latest project after hearing of the incredible talent, legendary actor Robert De Niro was reportedly stunned to learn Wednesday that Bayonne, NJ resident Eric Sullivan, 33, can quote the critically acclaimed 1990 Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas at length.

Timeline Of The James Bond Series

This week marks the release of the 24th film in the James Bond franchise, Spectre, featuring Daniel Craig in his fourth appearance as the British secret agent. Here are some notable moments from the film series’s 53-year history

Netflix To Temporarily Remove Every Movie Except ‘Hard Eight’

‘Everyone Should See It At Least Once,’ Company Says

LOS GATOS, CA—Saying that everyone, including all 65 million of its subscribers, really ought to see the film at least once, Netflix announced Tuesday that it will suspend all streaming content except Hard Eight for a full month.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of September 15, 2015

ARIES: Some things only become funny when you look back on them years later. Conversely, the events of next week will seem funny at the time, but as the years go by, society will gain sensitivity and learn to outgrow that sort of thing.

Your Horoscopes – Week of May 1, 2012

ARIES: You will experience unbounded happiness and success in every area of your life this week, unless of course there is something fundamentally and irreversibly wrong with you.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of August 18, 2015

ARIES: Your feeling of impending doom shall come to nothing again this week as the world continues to turn and your life goes on as normal. Perhaps you should consider feeling useless and stupid instead.

Highlights From ‘Go Set A Watchman’

Harper Lee’s buzzed-about new release, Go Set A Watchman, went on sale last week, taking the world by storm with its new investigations of Scout Finch as a grown woman and its divisive portrayal of her father, Atticus Finch, as a racist figure. Here are some highlights from the new book:

Leonardo DiCaprio Agrees To Donate It-Factor To Science

LOS ANGELES—Saying the gift would immeasurably improve their understanding of the ineffable quality that makes certain big-screen stars positively radiate, researchers at the University of California Los Angeles announced Tuesday that A-list actor Leonardo DiCaprio has agreed to donate his it-factor to science.

How Theaters Are Trying To Win Back Moviegoers

The number of Americans who went to the movies hit a 20-year low in 2014, leaving theaters scrambling to find ways to incentivize the public to see new releases on the big screen rather than watch films at home or on the internet. Here are some methods theaters are using to win back audiences and increase box office sales:

Comic-Con Survival Guide

San Diego Comic-Con is expected to draw more than 130,000 fans to Southern California this year to participate in cosplaying, attend panels, go to film screenings, and learn more about their favorite series. Here are some tips for surviving the four-day conference

Your Horoscopes — Week Of July 7, 2014

ARIES: Your belief that nothing can stop you will be tested this week by depression, procrastination, concrete barriers, dysentery, armed gunmen, and the unanimous passage of several laws targeted specifically at stopping you.

Disney Unveils First Virgin Princess

LOS ANGELES—In an effort to better reflect the diverse backgrounds and experiences of their audience, Disney officials this week introduced Lily of Hazelberry, the company’s first virgin princess.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 23, 2015

ARIES: The universe, in all its wisdom, has a plan for everyone. Strangely, you’re supposed to be the nun who holds up a distributor cap and winks while the Nazis try to start their car.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 9, 2015

ARIES: Your death next week will seem in­explicable until people remember the ill-advised 1985 “cross your heart and hope to die” pledge you made to be best friends with Jenny Bosben.

New Music Festival Just Large Empty Field To Do Drugs In

Declaring the event a rousing success so far, organizers confirmed more than 45,000 people turned out Wednesday for the first annual Cavalcade Folk and Roots Festival, a four-day gathering that consists solely of a big empty field to do drugs in.

Director Seeking Relatively Unknown Actress For Next Affair

LOS ANGELES—Saying that he’s going for a certain look and will know it when he sees it, feature film director Peter Hastings, 52, confirmed to reporters Wednesday that he hopes to find a relatively unknown actress for his next extramarital affair.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of May 26, 2015

ARIES: You’re not sure if your new mousetrap is better, but due to its horrifying use of liquefying blades, the world will beat a path to your door out of sheer morbid curiosity.

Famous Television Finales

The award-winning AMC series Mad Men ended its seven-season run on Sunday night and drew critical acclaim for its final episode, a conclusion that many felt was poignant and satisfying. Here are some other memorable TV finales across the years

Plan For Future Still Involves Drumming For Lifehouse

SOUTH BEND, IN—Fifteen years after first envisioning the path he hoped his professional life would take, local man Brent Gibbs is still planning his future around being the drummer for Los Angeles-based alternative rock band Lifehouse, sources confi...

Fox Revives ‘X-Files’: What To Expect

After months of speculation, Fox has announced that it is bringing back its hit ’90s TV show The X-Files, about a team of FBI special agents investigating unsolved cases about strange and paranormal phenomena, for at least six new episodes...

Your Horoscopes — Week Of March 24, 2015

ARIES: Your belief that everything happens for a reason may remain unshaken in the face of personal tragedy, but you'll certainly be upset when you find out the reason is "to get the Zodiac some chicks." 

Your Horoscopes — Week Of March 10, 2015

ARIES: As long as people don't look too long and the lights aren't too bright, no one will be able to see where they tried to fix your face from what will happen to it this coming Thursday. 

Nation Delighted As Many Famous People In Same Room Together

HOLLYWOOD—Expressing their immense personal satisfaction at the gathering appearing on their television screens, millions of Americans across the country were reportedly delighted Sunday night upon seeing many famous people in the same room together...
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Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

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Nightlife

Ugh, This A Place Where Bartenders Wear Bow Tie

PITTSBURGH—Saying they should have known from the moment they walked in the unmarked speakeasy entrance and spotted the extensive wood paneling, customers confirmed Friday that, ugh, this is one of those places where the bartenders all wear bow ties.

Satisfaction

Mary-Kate Olsen Is Dragging Ashley Down

Mary-Kate Olsen. I don't even know where to begin.

Can Mary-Kate really be the incomparable Ashley Olsen's twin sister? They may have the same genetic code, but Mary-Kate certainly does not have her sister's prodigious dramatic gifts. For eight years on Full House, the pint-sized duo shared the role of Michelle Tanner. But, despite their identical outward appearance, it was easy to tell which sister was Michelle at any given moment. I cringed whenever Mary-Kate would appear on my TV screen, her clumsy, ham-fisted portrayal of the littlest Tanner devoid of all nuance and depth. And her incompetence was laid all the more bare by her sister's mastery of the role.

The twins' post-House work only widened the gap. Over the course of countless children's sing-along videos, TV movies, and such sitcoms as Two Of A Kind and So Little Time, it's been made painfully obvious who's got the chops and who doesn't. Ashley is George Michael to Mary-Kate's Andrew Ridgeley. She's Daryl Hall to her sister's John Oates.

Yes, it's clear that Ashley Olsen is the one with the true talent and personality. She is the majestic airship hovering in the sky, while Mary-Kate is the oppressively heavy, rust-encrusted anchor to which that airship is cruelly tethered, preventing it from ascending high into the firmament. Ashley could be another Hepburn, another Streep, if not for the cumbersome ballast that is Mary-Kate.

Examples of Mary-Kate's incompetence are as abundant as blades of grass. Space limitations force me to restrict my examples, yet the handful I have selected are nevertheless damning:

Mary-Kate lacks charisma. That elusive quality is vital to a performer, yet Mary-Kate is almost completely devoid of it. With her vanilla features and expressionless, fish-eyed gaze, one must wonder why this singularly untalented waif was ever placed before a camera. Case in point: In 1995's "The Case Of The Sea World Adventure," from the direct-to-video children's mystery series The Adventures Of Mary-Kate And Ashley, Mary-Kate delivers such lively and toothsome lines as, "The pearl necklace must be in that bucket of bait... yecch!" with about as much élan as a TV agribusiness reporter delivering the day's livestock quotes. If she required guidance or inspiration, she need only have turned to Ashley, whose unmasking of the jewel thief was as suspenseful as the climax to any classic 1940s film noir. "Trenchcoat Twins," indeed.

Mary-Kate's diction is poor. Another acting skill so vital, yet so utterly lacking in Mary-Kate, is clear enunciation. Her high-pitched, reedy, mealy monotone seems oddly out of place coming from her ponderous maw. Yet, like the call of the shrike, it pierces the eardrums and inspires profound irritation. This paucity of resonance applies to her singing voice, as well, and is readily apparent in the girls' 1994 recording, "Brother For Sale." No amount of studio wizardry could conceal the cracks in her off-key, phoned-in "singing." It was clear she didn't believe in the song. Meanwhile, Ashley's hearty vocals and peerless phrasing were reminiscent of a brilliant prodigy of yesteryear, Judy Garland. Whereas Ashley sang from her diaphragm, Mary-Kate's voice seemed to emanate from a tinny transistor radio with a dying battery.

Mary-Kate is not as good-looking as Ashley. Mary-Kate's disheveled rat's-nest hairdo looks as though it has never experienced a comb or shampoo. She never seems to have a straight part, and the fussy little barrettes stuck randomly throughout her hair only accentuate its unruliness. Her wardrobe, from To Grandmother's House We Go to Billboard Dad, has always been tacky and dowdy, inspired by some bizarre Schoolmarm Chic trend that exists only in her head. By contrast, Ashley is a heavenly apparition. Her strawberry-blonde mane falls in glossy ringlets, her well-scrubbed skin radiates a golden, healthy glow, and her erect bearing exudes a sylph-like grace, giving her a larger-than-life appearance despite her diminutive frame. Her fashion instincts are as unerring as Mary-Kate's are clueless.

Mary-Kate could also stand to lose a few pounds.

I say these things not to humiliate Mary-Kate. It is altogether likely that the girl possesses talent—just not in an entertainment-industry capacity. Perhaps, after extensive training and a long probationary period, Mary-Kate could make a serviceable cashier, nursing-home orderly, or cafeteria worker. Or maybe she could serve as an assistant to Ashley—a star of her sister's magnitude surely needs someone to answer her fan mail, clean her trailer, and fetch her bottled water.

I fear that if Mary-Kate is not forced to relinquish her partnership with Ashley, the duo will eventually go down in a blaze of mediocrity. Their careers will become mired in a bog of formulaic sitcoms, forgettable TV movies, and mindless, mercenary merchandising peddled to the lowest common denominator. And that will be a real shame, because the girls have so much to offer. Well, Ashley does.

Mary-Kate, please do your twin a favor: Set her free to soar like the eagle she is. Only when she is loosed of the sisterly bonds that hold her down can Ashley assume her rightful place in the pantheon of greats.

This full house must be divided, or it will not stand.

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