Vote ‘Yes’ on a special episode of “Skillset,” dedicated to the president/ruler/queen of ’90s high school movies: Reese Witherspoon. As we put together our season-long salute to high school movies, it was clear that Reese reigned supreme. The sunny blonde captured the innocence and the danger of an age when almost-adults learn — the hard way — that their decisions have grown-up consequences.
First up, in honor of Reese’s retro fantasy Pleasantville, where she plays a modern teenager shipped back to a perfect — or perfectly repressed — small 1950s town, we called up a guy you’re going to love: Carter Cook, a teenager who grew up in the real-life Pleasantville, where the movie threw its premiere. Then, let’s get into Reese and Mark Wahlberg’s thriller Fear and talk about abusive high school romances with Tatsumi Romano, member of the National Youth Advisory Board for loveisrespect.org. Finally, let’s go back to the future with Reese’s agonizingly prescient comedy Election, in which an overachieving brainiac blonde politician battles a school that wants to see her fail. Sound familiar? MTV News editor Taylor Trudon sure thought so, so we sat down and tried to figure out where director Alexander Payne got his time machine — and why he didn’t warn us.
That’s all in this week’s Witherspecial episode of “Skillset.” Subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcatcher, and if you learned something new — like I know I did — give us a rating. Class is now in session.