Justice for Meredith Blake

The so-called villain of the 90s Lindsay Lohan classic The Parent Trap is being reclaimed as a hero by Gen Z.

by Roisin Lanigan
|
21 July 2021, 3:29pm

Much has been written -- ad nauseam, in fact! -- about the curious phenomenon of rewatching an old and beloved movie through modern eyes and discovering that the person intended to, and once believed to be, the villain of the saga, is in fact the hero, or vice versa. You’ve probably seen the discussion that emerges like clockwork every few months about how the villain of The Devil Wears Prada is not in fact, icy fashion editor Miranda Priestly, but instead Andy’s miserable (albeit fit) boyfriend, Nate. Or perhaps the phenomena is the other way around, where you realise the hero was actually villainous, like Glinda the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz (coloniser! shoe thief!). The most recent character to get this retrospective audience do-over (this time on TikTok) is Meredith Blake, the waspy, child-hating fashionista fiancé from 1998 classic kids movie, The Parent Trap.

Although Meredith was hated by millennials, who were probably too entranced by the movie magic of making Lindsay Lohan into two (two!) twin characters, Gen Z are reclaiming Meredith, pointing out -- correctly -- that she was simply a 26-year-old who wanted to get the bag but did not want to parent the horrible goblins, or go hiking, and that all of these things are understandable.

The groundswell of if not support, then recontextualisation for Meredith has become so great that Elaine Hendrix, the actor who played her, is revelling in the character finally “getting her due”. “People loved to hate her, now people just love her,” she told Insider. 

Most of that love is finding a home on TikTok, where creators make videos praising Meredith’s hair and fashion, or create alternative POV clips where she is going on a camping trip with her hot older boyfriend only to have it ruined by his vile children. A clip of audio from the show has been doing the rounds, introducing new and nostalgic audiences to The Parent Trap and to Meredith. One person, Insider reports, even had a Meredith Blake themed 26th birthday party. Which is iconic. 

"She was weaponising her femininity," says the actor. "She knew she could use her youth and beauty to get what she wanted. Being unapologetic about that probably is appealing these days because this generation is all about owning who you are, whoever you are. Own it and be proud of it." Words to live by!

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