The following is something I submitted to Bitchin’ Kitchen for consideration. It didn’t quite make it, but I still think it’s a good read. Enjoy!
Guilty Crush of the Week: Elizabeth Berkley
If we’re measuring guilt by the number of times “just awful” has been used to describe my crush’s acting, then I’m doomed to haul brimstone with the adulterers and coveters.
Here’s the thing. Despite the efforts of a respected indie film director, Elizabeth Berkley’s acting is really that bad. There are no two ways about it. Sure, we can blame it on the writing (like when she sings “I’m so excited” and starts wailing “I’m so scared” on that don’t-do-drugs episode of Save by the Bell, where her character, you know, does drugs). But at the end of the day, it’s about the choices she makes as an actress (come on, Showgirls, do people really throw fries in a huff when their rescuer just wants to help?). When she was paired with David Caruso on CSI:Miami, playing his character’s ex-lover, you had to wonder if the producers were secretly betting on who’d win the subtlety war.
So why is Elizabeth crush-worthy? ‘Cause girl got gumption! Despite one epic fail after the next, Lizzie keeps marching on. You have to admire that in a person, especially if there’s a chance that delusion is the mystery ingredient holding the recipe together. Plus, she has a sense of humour about herself, even when interviewed about the things she’s (in)famous for.
And this is where it starts to smell of Suzanne Somers. The next time her attempt at serious drama makes you chuckle, remember that Smirky Berkley is laughing all the way to the bank! Her turn on CSI is nothing short of cringe-o-matic, but her episodes are among the highest rated (maybe it’s a train-wreck thing). Perhaps realizing the limitations of her acting chops, she turned to reality TV to take on the gruelling yet rewarding life of professional dancers, winning over a comfy niche. And last we heard, her Ask-Elizabeth self-help program was being parlayed into a show on MTV. They say no one will hire her, but somehow, she’s still on the payroll.
All I know is that if ever I’m on the cusp of obscurity because of a monumentally horrible performance, I only hope I can sashay some of Elizabeth Berkley’s sass all the way to the next gig.
It is my earnest opinion that few things are funnier than a Bitchin’ Kitchen video. If you haven’t watched any yet, it’s about time you did.