Sunday, 1 August 2010

Top Ten Fictional Crazy Bitches.

Crazy Bitch Syndrome is an ailment that affects many people of all walks of lives. I am, unfortunately, one of those hindered with the condition. There is no known cure. The way I see things either we can deny our Crazy Bitch Syndrome (or CBS for short) or we can celebrate it. In light of that, let's take a look back over the Top Ten Fictional Crazy Bitches.

10. The Cat Lady The Simpsons.
The Cat Lady is one of the few female characters on The Simpsons and I love her. Because she is a sufferer of Crazy Bitch Syndrome, she is often seen around Springfield throwing cats at people and yelling incoherently. Some would argue she is an insignificant presence in the series, but I think a little bit of craziness goes a long way in the already crazy world of The Simpsons.

9. Cassie Skins
I'm going to be honest with you, folks. I have never sat down and watched an entire episode of Skins before. If I wanted to watch a bunch of teenagers behaving like utter bell-ends I'd go to Shakeaholic on a Saturday night and offer a group of youths my provisional license to buy cider with. But there is something very endearing about the character of Cassie. I'm a big fan of the "manic pixie dreamgirl" phenomenon, from Phoebe in Friends to Zooey Deschanel in (500) Days Of Summer, which Cassie completely epitomises.

I'm always drawn to characters with eating disorders (worryingly) but Cassie is unique in that she isn't defined by her disorder, she's a fully rounded character with flaws and feelings and dreams. She is child-like without being immature, wide-eyed without being particularly innocent and simple without being unintelligent. I suppose she's a lot like myself. Of course, on top of all that she is one crazy, crazy bitch and that is why I love her.

8. Mrs. Lovett Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street
At one point in Sweeney Todd, Mrs. Lovett looks over at her beloved and says fearfully, as she realises what her feelings have allowed her to overlook, "You're barking mad". However it is you, Mrs. Lovett, who we adore for being so mental. Mrs. Lovett is amazing because she is a dreamer. She knows her life is shite and- as crap as this image is- she wants someone to sweep in and rescue her. As her sad life has gone on it's become more and more obvious that this is not going to happen, and she ends up in love with someone who goes around killing people. Of course, by this time Mrs. Lovett has the fairytale image implanted in her head and so, when she discovers the man of her dreams is in fact a killer, she decides that rather to summon up her inner Sasha Fierce and send him on his way she will help him dispose of the bodies by making them into meat pies and selling them to customers of her pie shop.

What's beautiful about Mrs. Lovett is that she is hardened and almost quite bitter, but she is still a big dreamer and wants to be away from it all. Watch this, for Heaven's sake:



Poor old Mrs. Lovett. She knows there's no chance, of course, but she dreams anyway like a true crazy bitch. Of course in the end it turns out she's a bloody great liar and ends up being flung into her own pie furnace, but that's neither here nor there.

7. Alice American McGee's Alice.
I am a massive Alice In Wonderland geek, ever since I saw the Disney movie when I was 7 years old. I just adore it. The idea of a whole other world in your mind where potentially anything is possible and logic and reason just go out the window; all those brilliant colours and giant mushrooms (and by the way, bell ends, if you're one of them who reckons it's all about drugs then you can go and do one because it so, so, so is not)...it all just sounds luscious and gorgeous.

Long before Tim Burton raped interpreted the story of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland for his 2010 film, American McGee came up with Alice, a computer game where you played as Alice returning to a warped version of Wonderland. This version, however, had nothing to do with a fear of growing up nor was it a tale of self-discovery.

You see, American McGee's Alice is based around the idea that shortly after the events of Through The Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, Alice's parents were killed in a fire that she was lucky enough to escape from. Unfortunately, as time goes on Alice is driven insane by the guilt and institutionalised. If you know me well, you'll know there's nothing I love quite so much as old-fashioned mental asylums, and eventually Alice begins to hallucinate and retreat into "Wonderland". But it is not as we remember. You see, folks, Alice's mental state is not what it once was and so the cheery faces of the Wonderland gang she once knew and loved have become a bit distorted.

Unlike Cassie and Mrs. Lovett before her, though, Alice is absolutely kick ass. Rather than being a passive character she embraces her craziness by fighting everyone she can with any weapon she can get her hands on, and delivering fatal one-liners that would make even Megan Fox blush. She struts round the place clutching her blade, calling on the newly anorexic Cheshire Cat whenever she needs advice, and having a few breakdowns along the way (at some point or another everyone Alice loves dies, which doesn't have very good effects on her mental state).

Of course, provided you finish the game (which admittedly I never have, damn you final nemesis!) there is a happy end and all is well for Alice. She gets out of the asylum and that is that. OR SO WE ALL THAT. Because recently, a brand new trailer for an upcoming sequel was released (!!), and unfortunately it doesn't look like things are getting any better for poor old Alice (I warn you before you watch this video that it is absolutely horrific):



Oh dear.

6. Val Bassett Will and Grace
On a slightly more light-hearted note, here's Val from Will & Grace. The first time we meet Val she's just getting out of a divorce and sees Will in the laundry room of their building just as he's having a hard time at home with Grace. Hilarity ensues as it seems Val is trying to usurp the role of Grace in Will's life, and it all ends up with a fabulous cat-fight between Grace and Val.

However, each time we meet Val as the series goes on it seems she gets crazier and crazier. As time goes by Val is revealed as a kleptomaniac, an alcoholic and a stalker. She clearly has no time on her hands following her divorce, hence why she has enough hours in the day to see "Just Jack" four times in one night, or go out to dinner with Will whenever he needs it, or drink herself into oblivion at every opportunity. She has also fought both Karen and Grace at one point or another, which always makes good viewing.

5. María Elena Vicky Cristina Barcelona
I watched Vicky Cristina Barcelona for the first time the other night, and fell absolutely in love with it, particularly Penélope Cruz's character of María Elena who is the very definition of a "free spirit" without being some bullshit hippie. María Elena is someone driven by passion, who believes if something is worth doing then it's worth doing well, and someone who takes absolutely no bullshit. In short, she is absolutely captivating. More importantly in this ever-shallow world I've made for myself, she is completely beautiful to the point where you are unable to look at anything else. And, more importantly still, she is an utter crazy bitch.

I'll not spoil it for you, but she's the sort of character where the first time you meet her she's bloody insane, time passes and you get used to her, and then suddenly she'll remind you. Not being a cliché, but María Elena is an utter loose cannon. There's this fabulous P!NK lyric in her song Bad Influence, "wind me up and watch me go, where she stops nobody knows" which sums María Elena, and the entire Crazy Bitch movement, up perfectly.

4. Britney Spears (Everytime)
OK, so obviously Britney Spears is not a fictional character but in the Everytime video Britney plays an exaggerated version of herself, and surely no Crazy Bitch countdown would be complete without a mention of La Spears? Let's watch for ourselves before we go any further shall we?:


So in this video we meet Britney, a woman completely confined within her own life. She's trapped in a relationship with a man who mistreats her and can't handle the baggage that comes along with her, and she's so smothered by the celebrity world that she can't even get out of a car without a paparazzi photographer clocking her round the head with his camera. In the end, death is the only escape from her life and she ends up drowning in the bath-tub, eventually escaping and finding new life (represented by the newborn baby at the end of the video).

The best bit of the proper music video (embedding disabled by request *grumbles*) is cut out of the remix video I just posted above, where she's running for her life down that white corridor. Now, I'm no psychologist but I'd say that right there was a spot of method acting. Because for all it was a music video, so much of it was real. She probably did wish there was some way she could make that corridor real and escape from her life.

We, the public, watched the chaos that surrounded Britney like a black cloud as her life collapsed around her. Every day we were opening newspapers and magazines, and every time we did something else catastrophic was happening to poor Britney. She was having problems adjusting to motherhood, her life was spiralling out of control, she was getting divorced, she was shaving her head, she was beating a car up with an umbrella. The next thing you know she's being carried out of her home on a stretcher doped up to the eyeballs on pills her psychotic ex-boyfriend was using to manipulate her.

She may be doing OK in her private life now, with her new boyfriend and her career backing track, but at least we'll always have Everytime if ever we should want to re-visit Crazy Bitch memories...

3. Blanche DuBois A Streetcar Named Desire
Blanche DuBois could only possibly in a hundred years have been dreamed up by a gay man. I heartily recommend watching A Streetcar Named Desire to anyone who appreciates any of the following:
  • Crazy Bitch Syndrome.
  • The fashion of the 1940s.
  • Hot men.
  • Gorgeous women.
  • Scandal.
  • Old films.
  • Southern American accents
  • Marlon Brando
Seriously, though, Blanche DuBois is something else. I studied the play A Streetcar Named Desire for English Literature AS Level, so I can tell you now that the first time we meet Blanche she is described as "moth-like", a fabulous description which has changed my opinion of moths ever since. Blanche is fragile, delicate and most importantly flocks towards any traces of light.

The thing is with Blanche, life has dealt her a pretty shit hand and she hasn't coped very well with it. She started off bloody rich, you see, but ended up losing it all and having to move in with her poor-but-happy sister Stella and her obnoxious-but-you-still-definitely-would husband Stanley. By this point in the proceedings, it's obvious that Blanche has some class of a past but as things unfold you realise she has a really sordid history including a gay husband (take heed, Carla) and a drinking problem (again, Carla, take heed) and by the end of the whole thing Blanche is stark raving mad. As the doctor drags her off to the mental asylum she looks at them kindly in the face and says "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers". Which proves, if nothing else, that some people were just meant to be mental.

2. Alex Forrest Fatal Attraction
Every time I watch Fatal Attraction, I side with Alex Forrest a little bit more. It's not her fault she's bloody mental, Michael Douglas was the one that led her on. He was the one who made her feel special and important, and then snatched it away straight away. No, I completely side with Alex Forrest. I would have cooked far more than the kid's rabbit, although that probably says more about the state of my own Crazy Bitch Syndrome than anything else.

You see, Michael Douglas meets Glenn Close and immediately wants to have sex with her. So he does. Except that's not enough for her. And when he tries to leave she goes absolutely apeshit. And that pretty much sets the scene for the whole rest of the film. It's amazing. If you haven't seen it then you have to fucking see it or I will come after you-- and I mean that don't forget I am a Crazy Bitch myself!

My favourite Alex Forrest moment (apart from her untimely demise, unfortunately all Crazy Bitches must either embrace their normal side or meet a sticky end) is on the phone when she delivers the immortal line: "I will not be ignored".

On a side note, Fatal Attraction notoriously features one of the most graphic sex scenes in mainstream cinematic history, when Michael Douglas gets Glenn Close home and fucks her on the kitchen counter. The first time I saw this film was in an awkward viewing with my mam who, as Michael Douglas thrusted in and out of Glenn Close, looked over at me and said "look at all the dirty dishes in the sink next to them". Amazing stuff.

1. Ophelia Hamlet
The ultimate Crazy Bitch. When I was studying English Literature I became a little bit obsessed with Ophelia (here I am doing my very best Ophelia when I was 16), who to me represented everything that happened if you don't embrace your craziness. There's a YouTube viral at the minute called Sassy Gay Friend which insists that if Ophelia'd had a sassy gay friend then she wouldn't have drowned herself. I know this video is intended is a joke but it's true. If Ophelia had somebody she could say "oh bloody Hell, I'm bloody mental" to, then she could have expressed herself in several small bursts, rather than tipping over the edge like she ends up doing in the end.

Thing is, though, who the Hell would actually be interested in what Ophelia had to say? Her brother's ditched her to go to England, her boyfriend is obsessed with his deceased father's ghost, and her own father is too busy being stabbed through a curtain to pay attention to anything. At first she runs a bit glossy-eyed and talking in rhyme (about shagging, no less!) and everything's alright, but the next thing we hear Ophelia has bloody well thrown herself in the river when flower-picking. What I like is that we never really know if it was suicide or not, which is good because I like to think that Ophelia's madness was actually all her own idea.

You see, Elsinore seems like such a restrictive and suppressive place that the only way Ophelia could ever really get out the things she'd been bottling up for so long was to pretend that she's a lunatic, running around the place and finally saying all the things she'd wanted to say all the time but hadn't really dared. And once she'd tasted the sweet fruit of self-expression, she knew there was no way she could ever go back to being Boring Old Ophelia, so she decides to pick herself some nice flowers and chuck herself in the river, knowing fine well the day she could never top the day she'd just had so she might as well be dead anyway.

And so, don't you dare feel sorry for Ophelia. She said what she needed to say, the people who should feel bad felt bad and she also had what I imagine was some hot sex with the Prince of Denmark. Ophelia, you are the Patron Saint of Crazy Bitches and we shall not forget you. Learn from Ophelia, and let your inner Crazy Bitch out while you can. Otherwise, poor Ophelia will be dying in vain :(

4 comments:

  1. Carla take heed, indeed!

    Great entry :DD
    (A good read) xxxxxxxxxxx

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  2. The "take heed Carla!" had me in stitches! :D I really liked the analysis tho, especially Britney! xxxxx

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  3. Haha also is Val from Will and Grace one of Carrie's publishers in SATC? :)

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