Anyway, on to today's Face Off. With 90s nostalgia running rampant through a generation of aging Gen X'ers, prompting yet another AMERICAN PIE movie, it seems like a good time to compare two of the hotties everyone loved from the original 1999 movie - Alyson Hannigan as Michelle and Shannon Elizabeth as Nadia. Each one of these ladies represented the best of what a high school girl in the 90s were about. Shannon played the über hot girl who ruled our fantasies. Alyson played the kinky every girl with whom we actually got to carry those fantasies out. But which one of the two has the more lasting high school hottie legacy? Let's see about that.
Alyson as Michelle was a hottie hidden within the band geek, thus she didn't have a lot of opportunities to get naked or even show off her goods in the body department in any of the American Pie movies. That kind of reservedness has continued in a lot of her performances since. Alyson just doesn't seem the sort to show off her bodily assets in most things she does. By the time everyone learned of her character's depravities with woodwinds, many of us had already been smitten by Shannon lying naked on a bed, having fun with some Playboys. Now if we had actually seen her work her flute, the way Nadia was working that magazine, things might have been different.
Anyone who remembers the scene in Jim's room or has seen any of her photo spreads probably understands why Shannon wins here. That's a tough body to compete with. Who hasn't imagined getting Shannon and her naked body up to their room for a little extracurricular activity? No one, that's who. Of course, most of us probably didn't have Eugene Levy walk in at any point in that fantasy, but that's just where different fantasies diverge.
Hard decision here, because Alyson is a beloved cutie for many folks. With that goofy smile and lovely red hair complementing her adorable face, she was the embodiment of sweetness for most of us back in the day. It's a tough call, as the two of them have their own distinct virtues in this category. Shannon has a covergirl sort of beauty, while Alyson's beauty is more of a cute and sweet variety. Alyson comes second here mostly because I didn't feel like making it a tie, but they both work pretty well for me.
Shannon's supermodel style of beauty is not as generic as it sounds. She's got a face that's just as beautiful as any other model type, yet unique enough not to be just like the 50 other women you saw on the magazine rack in the check out aisle. I love those huge brown eyes and that infectious smile is perhaps my favorite thing about her. She's just really fun to look at. That sounds like a winner to me.
Tough one again for Alyson, as she isn't really about being a sexual creature when on screen. She's got the sweetness thing down perfect, that's understood. There's maybe only one Maxim shoot from years ago that really got down to the hotness hiding within her. Then there was her brief stint as a lesbian on Buffy. Both of those were impressive, but unfortunately didn't last long. Nowadays, when not busy being impregnated, she occupies herself with a lot of more cutesy stuff that's fun, but sadly doesn't often allow for much sex appeal potential.
Ensuring that everyone understands that she's a hottie with undeniable sex appeal has never been Shannon's problem. Pretty much every significant part she's had or photo spread she's done in the last 10 or 15 years has been one where some part of her majestic body is being made readily available for gawking in various degrees of undress. Kind of a no brainer as to who wins here.
In many of her interviews and roles, Alyson has demonstrated she has a personality just as sweet as her face. It was also Alyson and her role as Michelle in the original AMERICAN PIE that did a lot to put geek girls on the map, by both setting up the basic criteria for what it means to be a hot nerdy girl and also spreading the word on the benefits of such ladies. As a fan of the geeky ladies, I got to hand it to her for that.
It's interesting how they tried to get Shannon on the geek girl bandwagon in JAY & SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK, though she failed miserably at it. That long and lean body of hers just doesn't translate. That's the problem for Shannon as far as personality goes. Her physical attributes take the front seat most of the time, leaving little room for expressions of personality in her public profile. She's probably a great person, but her great body seems to be the more important part of herself she wants to convey.
I can't say that a lot of what Alyson or Shannon have done recently really interests me, because it doesn't. Going strictly by popularity and each lady's proliferation in the media, I give the prize to Alyson here. Apart from the AMERICAN PIE movies, she's got her Buffy the Vampire legacy as well as other popular TV shows that have kept her in the spotlight for years. She might not be an A-list celeb, but there are a lot worse ways to stay relevant than Alyson's career choices.
Speaking of worse ways, Shannon's career has basically been about making one shitty movie or TV show after another for years now, then returning to make cameos in whatever shitty AMERICAN PIE sequel was coming out that year. This is a reflection of Shannon's limited talents as an actress. Again, it's all about her physical appeal. No one is hiring her for her acting range or depth of emotion. After 15 years of being the eye candy, she's most likely aware that this is how her bills get paid. Still, it's not the most compelling body of work.
Just like the rest of us, Alyson and Shannon have moved on from their former high school hook up persona. Though also like many of us, they like to come back to those roles when nostalgia warrants. Trying to figure out which one is better is tough, because they're different kinds of ladies. One is geeky cute, the other smoking hot. Within the parameters of this Face Off, Shannon gets the award for being the all around hottie that she is, though I was more impressed with Alyson in the area of personality and career choices. Seeing as how the visual aspects of the hotties tend to take precedence on this site, I'm gonna crown Shannon as the champion here. Though Alyson is only one good nude scene away from taking it away from her.