Newest Review: ... of worthlessness which you otherwise encounter, and it saves the best 'til last. Or at least, it should. Twisting a dagger into your... more
Actress, novelist, Princess, script doctor...
Member Name: ronniec
Date: 17/03/01, updated on 17/03/01 (237 review reads)
Advantages: Absolutely none. And I really mean that. It's appallingly, painfully bad.
Disadvantages: Every page is either "Coming Soon" or contains a page of irrelevant spiel which either bores or misleads. And, disgustingly, there are no pictures.
Oh, woe is me, woe is me. My lonely crusade in search of simple pleasures, I fear, has come to an end. And worst of all, it's all thanks to dooyoo.
I don't ask for much from life - forty pints of cider a week, neighbours who don't mind ELP at 310 decibels and the odd crafty peek at an entertaining website. Surely that isn't too much to ask for? Generally, I work through the cider part on Thursdays when it's £1 a pint, and it does help having a deaf genius living next door. And up to now, my simple lusting for free celebrity pictures has been satisfied by the wonderfully cheap (see: free) university connection I abuse. That is, until dooyoo introduced me to the Official Carrie Fisher Website. Oh dooyoo, has our love come to an end?
You may remember Carrie Fisher from such films as Star Wars, The Blues Brothers and The Man With One Red Shoe (also starring talented actors Tom Hanks and James Belushi). She is now also the budding author of a number of best-selling books, including Postcards From The Edge, the story of her battle against Hollywood madness. Like most females, though, you'll probably remember her first and foremost for her looks. It has to be said, her most famous character Princess Leia ranks somewhere in the top three fictional space princesses of the seventies (ahead of that chick from Space: 1999, who I don't think was a princess but still, but behind Flash Gordon). The Star Wars trilogy - the proper ones, not these new-fangled things with talking giraffes and what-not - made the bun the most alluring hairstyle of the time, and whether she liked it or not (leaning towards the not, she would later reveal), cast her as one of the most desirable women in Hollywood.
With this glorious past behind her, it's perhaps reasonable to expect the dawn of the digital age to bring the legions of Star Wars fans something special to remember Carrie Fisher by. You don't really think all those fat sweaty men
still like it for the "story" and the "comedy", do you? For those men, Jabba the Hutt remains a timeless hero, a man (blob?) for whom forcing attractive members of another planet's royalty into slavery is an everyday occurance. That it happened to be captured on film and used as the main selling point of a weak sequel is just a trivial aside. It seems a travesty, then, that what the hypernet offers us as tribute to the beauty of Carrie Fisher is not a supreme work of design and content, but the lamest effort I have ever had the misfortune to stumble across. Curse you, dooyoo.
Let's think a little more about what one would expect from an official site. Some news every now and again, perhaps, and maybe even a little contribution from the esteemed celebrity themselves. For those genuinely interested in the career and history of the star (yeah, right), maybe a biography or filmography would come in handy. You might also want the chance to talk with other fans through a bulletin board or chat room, should you be sufficiently sad. Most of all, you would have a furious desire to gorge your pathetic eyes on pixilated renderings of chosen celebrity (- pictures). I'm sure you can see where I am leading you... And can you guess how many of these desires the Official Carrie Fisher site fulfills? Yep, that's right - precisely zero.
To be blunt, I was shocked when I first came across the site. Any site with .com after its name has got to be good, right? Not so, it seems. From the very moment you load up the first page, you have a taste of what is to come. The design is amateurish in the very meaning of the word, with a grainy, cheesy photograph of Carrie in the top left and exuberant use of Times New Roman. The immediate question springing to mind, is whether this is an official site at all? My eleven year-old sister could seriously churn out something better in an hour, not a statement you want attributed to the official hom
epage of a major Hollywood B-list celebrity. The layout is tacky, and one quick glance at the source reveals why - it is written using Microsoft FrontPage, the design tool of the Devil.
First impressions last longest, and the majority of visitors will be disappointed from here on. It becomes immediately apparent that website is no longer maintained, with the last announcement dating from November 1999, over a year and a half ago. Amusingly enough, it is to announce that Carrie herself will shortly be starting her "Postcards from the Web", whereby she will be "posting messages on a frequent basis." And that frequent basis would be every two years, would it? On the one hand, I find it hard to criticise the site too much, as it is obvious that no one runs the site on a daily basis. Yet, on the other, it would surely be a more prudent move to remove the site entirely, rather than leave visiting fans with the sour taste in their mouths this site gives. It seems most likely that Carrie was caught up in the rush to "get online" before losing interest in the site, and it has since fallen into sorry disrepair.
A very short biography particularly disappoints, as there is much about Carrie Fisher's life that could have been explored here. In official sites I always look for inside info that other sites cannot offer, yet sadly it is not offered here either. From her turbulent childhood (daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, who left the family home when Carrie was two), to her rise to fame in Star Wars and proceeding drug addictions (to the celebrity favourite Percodan), so many avenues could have been explored, yet none are. This biography precedes a more lengthy filmography which lists her most famous appearances, including the Star Wars trilogy which propelled her to fame, although (perhaps wisely) it skips over her less notable roles, including Mary Brown in Amazon Women On The Moon and Beatrice in She's Back.
Oh, the IMDB can be cruel... In an effort to up her image, her role in Austin Powers has been included, although it took some searching to find her listed forty-fifth on the cast list (though if there is any saving grace, it is that Rob Lowe comes in last - at forty-sixth).
What follows is a Literary Info page which we are told is coming soon, a Movies On TV page which does not in fact exist, and a page of Articles (which really should be Article) which informs us that Those Old Broads, written by Ms. Fisher herself, will be coming soon (July '99) to a cinema near you. Again, all this merely serves to dishearten you, each click offering a faint glimmer of hope but never delivering. In this state of affairs, it really would be better to completely remove the site and either start afresh, or link to one of the far better fan sites.
By this point, there will be only one link left on the irritatingly slow Java navigation menu, and it will be the one you have deliberately saved to last - Pictures. Like keeping roast potatoes to one side, browsing a celebrity site this way eases the guilt and feeling of worthlessness which you otherwise encounter, and it saves the best 'til last. Or at least, it should. Twisting a dagger into your heart, the cruel swines behind carriefisher.com have elected to put the link in place, only to lead you to a page which contains those most painful (and familiar) of words - Coming Soon. Having tolerated the downright appalling state of the rest of the site, finding this when I had hoped for at least one redeeming feature was the last straw.
The Official Carrie Fisher Website is, to be blunt, appalling. This in itself is very sad, as there is so much that could have been said about a fascinating woman whose career has led her out of the limelight, but still actively contributing as a scriptwriter and editor. As it seems clear that the site is no longer maintained, not even the feedback form allowing you to cont
act whoever is (was) behind the site is of any use. The message from Carrie herself promising regular updates merely rubs salt in the wound, when as a devoted fan of hers (I've seen Star Wars) I had hoped for so much more. The site really should be taken down and replaced with something useful, or perhaps even better, nothing at all. As it stands, it merely serves to frustrate the visitor and leave you with a slightly jaded picture of the beautiful Leia in your mind.