Friday, March 17, 2023

Melissa Joan Hart Reveals Plot of Scrapped 'Clarissa Explains It All' Revival

In a recent interview with Insider, Melissa Joan Hart recalled the details of a since-defunct revival of the beloved Nickelodeon series Clarissa Explains It All, in which she played a quirky teenager navigating high school.

"I believe it was that Clarissa is divorced and moving to California with her two kids and living on the beach in California with her aunt," Hart said of the scrapped reboot, which was first reported in 2018. "So I don't know. It wasn't my favorite way in." 

Although there isn't currently another revival in the works, Hart would rather revive Clarissa Explains It All than her other beloved series, Sabrina The Teenage Witch.

"Of course whatever I say I'm going to p*ss off half the people," Hart acknowledged, adding that she thinks revisiting Clarissa's life would be "more fun" because the Nickelodeon show's ending was more ambiguous. 

"I do feel like Sabrina wrapped up really nicely with her riding off on the motorcycle with Harvey. I think that ending on Sabrina was so iconic that I don't want to go back and try to recreate that and have another good ending," she said, reflecting on the ABC series she starred in from 1996 to 2003. 

More recently, Hart has been promoting her partnership with CycleBar and the American Heart Association and encouraging women to keep their hearts healthy even after American Heart Month, which ended in February. 

The actor and director's connection to heart health awareness goes beyond her last name. Her niece and nephew both had open heart surgery at a young age, and she's thankful they're both happy and healthy today.

"The American Heart Association says that nearly 80% of Americans don't get enough exercise," said Hart, citing a statistic confirmed by the CDC in 2013. The CDC also reported that cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death for many communities in the United States, women included. "Let's take care of our hearts, ladies!" said Hart.

Melissa Joan Hart onstage at the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection 2018. Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for AHA

Part of maintaining her health while working in the entertainment industry involves maintaining her mental wellness, too. Hart said she regularly vents to friends over coffee on days they've dubbed "Women's Wellness Wednesday." 

"We're very real and authentic with each other and that gives us that freedom to understand each other better and feel like there's a safe place and kind of vent some of the things going on in our lives," she said, admitting that she usually ropes them into a workout before the chat. 

When she's not in front of the camera, Hart directs and produces projects through her and her mother Paula's company, Hartbreak Films.

She encourages women trying to take steps forward in their industries to remember that "everyone has impostor syndrome" instead of thinking "it's a male-dominated world and I don't belong here."

"If you prepare properly and someone feels like you deserve that job then you deserve to be there and you just focus on doing the best job you can," she said.

Although the Clarissa series ended in 1994, series creator Mitchell Kriegman brought the characters back for a book titled Things I Can't Explain: A Clarissa Novel​ in 2015, which see's Clarissa in a mid-twenties crisis which has left her with a whole set of things she can't explain: unemployment, an ex-boyfriend turned stalker, her parents' divorce, a micro relationship with the cute coffee guy, and java addiction. The audio book version of the novel is actually read by Hart's sister, Emily!

As for where Hart thinks Clarissa, her brother Ferguson (Jason Zimbler) and friend Sam (Sean O’Neal) ended up, the actor recently revealed: “I think she’d be loving her life in New York City, being a journalist and she’d probably have some kids. I think she’d be closer to her brother than we’d imagine.” And as for Sam? “Maybe Sam’s gay, we have no idea.”

These days, Melissa hosts her new new pop-culture podcast, What Women Binge, which is available on all major platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart and YouTube.

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