That All That 90s Crush

Come the end of this week William Hinson will drop his brand new single, “She’s Hot.” Inspired by the 90s and all the great sounds that came from it, “She’s Hot” led us to talk about his 90s crush that the song could’ve actually been inspired by – but wasn’t. Find out who William Hinson talks about when that episode drops later this week…for now, let’s focus on a girl from the 90s that was not only hot to many, but a hero of mine because crushes aren’t always romantical, they can also be admirable and well, in this case…all that. 

I’ve spoken (recently) about Logan Bruno from one of the best book series known to man, ‘The Baby-Sitters Club.’ In that, I admitted that my crush on Logan mostly spawned from his relationship with Mary Anne – my favorite sitter of babies. Mary Anne was the first girl in the club I identified with because she was shy as fuck and as a kid, that was basically the only trope I needed to read her stories and go, “OMG, SAME.” 

Now, this isn’t about Mary Anne, but I did want to go there because in 1995 Rachael Leigh Cook brought this fictional character to life on the big screen! I was enamored because she did such an amazing job with the character, and so many thereafter that I realized around college that Rachael Leigh Cook was and will forever be a huge part of my pop culture obsession. She not only played my favorite Baby-Sitter but then went on to be insanely cool in ‘Carpool,’ iconic in ‘She’s All That,’ but also came through as the titular character in one of my most treasured movies, ‘Josie and the Pussycats.’

My love for Rachael’s Mary Anne is pretty obvious by now, but Josie? I saw ‘Josie’ in 8th grade and got the soundtrack for my 14th birthday. I just turned 35 last month, and that same CD is still with me. As for the movie, it resonated with me on so many levels. It had this wild conspiracy theory that would later inspire one of my best 10th-grade presentations ever, this wonderful story of friendship, and was based around the wonders of pop music in the 2000s. I’m shocked this sort of simmered into being a cult classic and wasn’t the bomb dot com back when it originally dropped.

Rachael Leigh Cook was a part of all of the above and then some, and because of that, I’ve admired her greatly then and still to today. When Netflix announced they were bringing back ‘The Baby-Sitters Club’ I was thrilled to see Malia Baker stepping into the shoes left vacant by Cook. I was even more ecstatic when the real-life Mary Anne’s exchanged words. It never fails to make me happy when actors respect their past projects, especially ones that mean so much to so many fans because let’s face it – nostalgia is something we’ve leaned on more often than not a lot more than usual in recent years because it’s our happy place, and a place we desperately needed. Cook even returned to ‘He’s All That.’ Which was nice of her. 

When it comes to the 90s and a crush that has been in a fair share of my most revered films, Rachael Leigh Cook is that girl. Whether she’s an outcast art student, a babysitter, or singing in a band – she made the 90s (and early 00s) that much more sweet for me, forever and always. 

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