Posted at 5:00 AM Aug 18, 2008
By Sharon Steel
It's one thing to heart the girls on the idiot box for their confidence, their perceptive insights, or their ingenue status. But it's their flaws that often have a way of turning them into relatable heroines instead of paper-doll idols. Because, really, nobody looks sexy when liquid is streaming out of her eyeballs and green stuff is leaking from her nose. Which is why the ladies of the t00b who've gone totally crumple-face on camera deserve nothing less than our highest praise and admiration.
Our Top 10 Worst Televised Cry Faces is dedicated to La L.C., who will lead her cast of semi-scripted Hills cohorts in a brand-new, much-anticipated round of inarticulate, soulless blubbering: season four kicks off on MTV at 10 pm EST Aug. 18. Feel the rain on your skin! And cry about it!
10. Lauren Conrad: The Mascara Wiper
Lauren Conrad has her own line of clothing, drawers full of headbands, and a contract with Avon, but she doesn't know who her true friends are. A Hills girl can't live on Marc Jacobs and puppy dogs alone, after all. She needs friends. Friends who don't date douchebags who spread rumors about her having a sex tape. Friends who will listen to her boy misadventures. Friends who will help her get good internships at fashion PR firms while making shocked and surprised faces when someone does something crappy to her. Friends who are there for her at every moment of the day, especially if they're her roommate! God, why is the world so cruel? More importantly, why doesn't Lauren wear waterproof mascara when she's filming?
9. Angela Chase: The Chin Shaker
It all just hurt so damn bad, didn't it, Angela? Whether it was Jordan Catalano's refusal to commit, Rayanne's drugging, or Mom's inability to comprehend absolutely anything, your chin would shake and tremble and vibrate like a tiny, cold animal left out alone in the snow. This happens to me, too, every time I think too hard about what Jared Leto looks like in eyeliner.
8. Serena van der Woodsen: The Eye Scruncher
The tangled webs those Upper East Siders weave! Considering all the shit that's gone down so far -- manipulative school chums, rumored pregnancies, sex with the BFF's boyfriend, conniving parental units, and crazyface former pals coming out of the woodwork to annihilate her -- Serena van der Woosen has held it together fairly well. But at the tail end off the first Gossip Girl season, after she admitted to leaving a drug addict in a hotel room who had just OD'd on coke, thereby contributing to his death...well, S. just couldn't take it anymore, could she? And why should she have to? Life can still suck when you're popular, wealthy, and have really floaty blond extensions.
7. Shandi Sullivan: The Bawler
Remember when Shandi Sullivan and the rest of the America's Next Top Model gang were in Italy? I've watched Ty-Ty Banks reduce her model charges to blubbering, hysterical shells for, oh, about 10 cycles now, but this is the one I'll never forget. The former Walgreen worker got drunk, balled a foreign dude, called her boy long distance, and owned up to the act. The painful wailing that followed was wrenching in that way only early reality TV shows could be. This before the contestants figured out how to cry pretty.
6. Ellie Nash: The Hold-It-Backer
Degrassi: The Next Generation's Ellie Nash has an alcoholic mother, an absentee father, and a cutting disorder. I love her. Not only because she went through an awk goth phase, is a budding journalist, and falls hard for cute dorks that are either a) gay or b) lusting after the school slut, but because she's always stubborn and always herself. Ellie only cries if it's a big freaking deal. Like, when you're ratted out to the school psychologist after Paige Michalchuck finds you hacking at your arm flesh with a protractor.
5. Rory Gilmore: Mamma's Girl
Rory Gilmore is a perfectionist, and sometimes it's hard for her to let go unless she's in the presence of Lorelai, the awesomely awesome woman who birthed her and helped make her cool. Despite the fact that Rory is a brain, she doesn't usually get teary over schoolwork. (Chilton gave her a thick skin.) Mostly, she reserves serious freak-outs for when a guy has wronged her. She only had a few gentleman callers on Gilmore Girls, yet they were all significant enough to make her whimper. But as long as young Rory had Lorelai's shoulder to blow her nose on, her emotions could always find their necessary release.
4. Felicity: The Quiver Voicer
Ben Covington is the holy grail of boyfriends. He's bad, yet sensitive. He's hot and social, yet smart enough to suddenly decide to go pre-med senior year of college. And he lurves Felicity Porter. Except, first, he just sorta likes her. Then he dates her and tells her it's too serious. Then he wins her back and they're delighted and happy. Then he screws someone in their medical program and Felicity goes back in time to change the future! In the meantime, she rarely spills actual tears, although her voice quavers and cracks throughout her intelligent and mega-thoughtful Meaningful Declarations of Ben-Love. If only every NYU experience was like this.
3. Jude Harrison: The Open-Mouther
It makes sense, given that Jude Harrison was an Instant Star and all. Emo artists, belt-y ballads, and crying jags tend to go hand in hand, non? Sing it, sister. Through the power of music, your cathartic shaking fit is ours now, too.
2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Fight the Cry
It ain't ever easy saving the world. Several times. Buffy Summers kicked big baddie ass in high-heeled boots and managed to lose her virginity to a kind vampire who turned evil-troll on her at a crucial moment -- without undergoing serious therapy. Except no doubt she still feels physical pain when large night creatures pin her to the ground in a dark cemetery and punch her in the face. Aggro slayer-power aside, the Buffster isn't immune to twisty facial expressions that betray exactly how much of a girl she is.
1. Jessi Spano: The Screecher
She's so excited! She's so excited! She's so... so... well, you know! Everyone knows! Poor Jessi Spano and her caffeine pill freak-out. See what happens when you try to compete with Kelly Kapowski? I have often wondered whether the fall-out from this seminal Saved by the Bell scene is what led Elizabeth Berekely to her role in Showgirls. Sometimes, you're just crying on the inside.