Why Carol From Single Drunk Female Looks So Familiar

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Why Carol From Single Drunk Female Looks So Familiar
Hulu/Youtube

From “The Bold Type” to “The Fosters,” Freeform has become a go-to destination for wholesome programming families of all different stripes can enjoy. It’s carved out a unique niche for itself with socially-conscious programming designed to liven up conversations, and it looks like the network could have another hit on its hands in the form of “Single Drunk Female.”

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Don’t let the title of the show fool you; the series follows Samantha Fink (Sofia Black-D’Elia), who’s forced to move back home with her mother, Carol (Ally Sheedy), after an embarrassing public meltdown involving booze. While she may go back to her childhood home as a way to stay clean and avoid time in jail, it’s also a chance for her to reassess her life and decide what direction she wants to take as a sober individual. 

There encouraging her is her mother, or as Deadline refers to Carol, her “smother,” who’s played by the talented Ally Sheedy. She’s had an illustrious career dating back to the 1980s, and as you watch your new favorite obsession, you can go back to see where Sheedy got her start.

One of her earliest roles was as Jennifer in WarGames

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Why Carol From Single Drunk Female Looks So Familiar
MGM/UA Entertainment Company

Ally Sheedy got her start in made-for-TV movies and one-off appearances in TV shows, but she broke out into the mainstream in a big way when she landed the role of Jennifer Mack in “WarGames.” She’s best friends with David Lightman (Matthew Broderick), who’s the one responsible for hacking into a United States military supercomputer program designed to execute nuclear war against the Soviet Union if need be. The two then have to clean up the mess before they send the two global superpowers on a collision course with one another that can’t be reversed. 

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Years later, Sheedy did an interview with Den of Geek where she spoke about how the film has remained relevant decades after it came out, stating, “I realize now it was ahead of its time. I loved the message. But it’s hard to have that kind of perspective because at the time, it simply seems that you are on the present cutting edge. If that makes sense.”

However, continuing to enjoy a fanbase is just one of the ways the movie has remained relevant. After President Ronald Reagan saw “WarGames,” he completely revamped computer security at the Defense Department (via Slate). Additionally, the movie would influence the passage of an anti-hacking law that would eventually transform into the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. 

She became a Basket Case in The Breakfast Club

Why Carol From Single Drunk Female Looks So Familiar
Universal Pictures

A couple of years after “WarGames” came out, Ally Sheedy starred in what’s arguably one of the most defining films of the decade — “The Breakfast Club.” She’s one of the five members of the titular group, all of whom come from different cliques, who have to spend a Saturday in detention with one another. Naturally, they don’t get along at first, but over time, they come to respect one another’s differences and learn that it’s not their responsibility to make themselves palatable to what adults expect of them. 

Of course, few classics come without controversies, and for “The Breakfast Club,” fans continue to debate whether Allison Reynolds (Sheedy) should’ve gotten a makeover at the end of the flick. 30 years after it came out, Sheedy reflected on the moment to Elle, “It wasn’t my thing at all. I’m not a big makeup person and I don’t particularly subscribe to the idea that you have to look a certain way to suddenly look gorgeous to everyone. I like how Allison looked anyway. But it was a moment of passage in that movie. It had to do, I guess, with her becoming more part of the group in some way. Not using what she looked like to put people off. To become more inviting in some way.”

Sheedy won critical acclaim for her role in High Art

Why Carol From Single Drunk Female Looks So Familiar
October Films

Ally Sheedy continued to act regularly throughout the 1980s and ’90s, appearing in the likes of “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “Short Circuit,” and “Fear,” to name a few. She was a solid performer over all of those years, but critics and audiences saw her in a completely different light when she took on the role of Lucy Berliner in 1998’s “High Art.”

The film follows Sydney (Radha Mitchell), whose life is seemingly on the straight and narrow until an unexpected encounter with Lucy Berliner (Sheedy). Lucy’s a renowned photographer, and seeing how Sydney works at a high-end photography magazine, the two can help each other in more ways than one. The movie earned immense praise, and Sheedy won Best Female Lead at that year’s Film Independent Spirit Awards. 

It remains some of Sheedy’s best work, as the actress is quick to say herself. She told The Independent, “It was the role of a lifetime. I identified with that character in so many ways. It was almost all women on the set, and everything came together and worked beautifully. It was one of those experiences that made me feel, ‘Ah, you know, I’m glad I’ve done this with my life.'” Sheedy has another significant role on the way as a mother to an alcoholic on “Single Drunk Female,” and now, a new generation can receive an introduction to an immeasurable talent.

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