Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Early Retirement


Every morning as I prepare for work I watch the news, both to remain informed of recent international developments and to stay abreast of which politician said something offensive that week. Monday morning as I was eating breakfast I was confronted with several tragedies; the ongoing oil leak in the gulf, the 47 mine workers killed in China, but nothing could prepare me for devastation of discovering that Amanda Bynes was retiring from acting at the age of 24.
The announcement came through her public-relations matrix (Twitter) and quickly superseded coverage of the BP Oil Spill and escalating tensions in Gaza. Bynes admitted, after an implied period of soul-searching, that acting “wasn’t fun anymore” so she has “stopped doing it.” While this type of admission is common among proctologists and career criminals, it is unusual for such a young thespian. The impact of her premature departure has sent waves of panic through the pre-teen population and several executives at ABC Family. It is rumored that a handful of middle schools in the Midwest are offering grief counseling.
For those of you who had the misfortune of missing her meteoric rise to fame, she began as a spokeswoman for Nestle Buncha Crunch candy at age seven. She went on to star in the aptly titled Nickelodeon vehicle The Amanda Show and briefly appeared on The Drew Carey Show. Soon enough Hollywood came knocking and she received star billing in such cinematic milestones as Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure and What a Girl Wants.
She became a household name in 2006 with what is still considered the single greatest Shakespearian-themed teen movie to utilize cross-dressing as a plot device: She’s The Man. While the critics may have been reluctant to acknowledge her talent, the fashion industry was not. In 2007, Miss Bynes signed a five-year contract with elite clothing boutique Steve & Barry’s University Sportswear. Unfortunately, the company filed for bankruptcy within a year of agreeing to carry Byne’s clothing line and as of 2009, ceases to exist at all.
She followed this up with a made-for-television movie and a sitcom that was not picked up. She recently wrapped production on Easy A which is to be her last silver screen appearance. It is a modern reimagining of The Scarlett Letter that takes place in a high school and was written by a casting assistant on the television show Third Watch.
One can only dream of the future projects humanity will be missing out on due to Byne’s absence:
·         She’s The Man, Again
·         Easy C-
·         What A Girl Wants Back
·         Charlotte’s Web 3: Wilbur’s Pork Roast Debacle
In all fairness to Miss Byne’s, if she reaches 27 and none of the activities on her resume are preceded by the term “court ordered” she will have done more than Lindsay Lohan. Perhaps most disheartening of all is that she seems self-aware enough to avoid substance abuse and self-destructive behavior; and as everyone knows she will never get an E! True Hollywood Story that way. If anything she will be briefly mentioned as a counterpoint in the next 2-hour Lohan special. If only Justin Bieber would retire early…..

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