Out of the Box: Look of the Week

24 Oct

“Out of the Box” is serving up an almost all Elle Women in Hollywood rundown with a bonus fantasy casting prospect courtesy of the GQ Gentlemen’s ball. There’s a shift into fall threads and a whole lot simple designs with a twist sticking with a blue/black/white color palette. Oh and the event was in association with Calvin Klein, this is pretty much what most attendees are wearing.

Lizzy CaplanLizzy Caplan’s color block big collar number is like the Calvin Klein sporty twist on this Louis Vuitton outfit Michelle Williams wore to the Cabaret opening night. The zip details give it a playful edge and it’s a super cute dress.

Ashley MadekweWearing a Calvin Klein LBD with a difference thanks to the addition of a metallic bib is Ashley Madekwe and this is another stunning simple look with a slight edge.

Kerry WashingtonMore dramatic zip detail and an even more dramatic neckline, which looks like the fanciest serviette; Kerry Washington is totally pulling off a dress that might be too much for others. The dash of blue eye makeup doesn’t delve into matchy matchy territory and I love her oxblood nail color next to navy of the dress.

Tina FeySo we’ve had a LBD with a twist and now here’s just a simple and effective LBD from Tina Fey.

Brie LarsonAnd another very simple outfit from one of the cover stars of the Women in Hollywood issue of Elle and Brie Larson hits one of my sweet spots for a fancy(ish) pants event as I’m a sucker for the menswear influence (owning a really good lady tux is the dream)The only thing that doesn’t quite work is going full monochromatic with the Louboutin pumps (which are a slightly different shade of white).

Joshua Jackson and Taylor KitschI would make a #TrueDetectiveSeason2 gag here if one of them wasn’t probably/definitely been cast, but if someone could cast ‘Grizzly McBeardy’ Andrew Garfield, this dashing and well tailored Joshua Jackson and a very Riggins looking Taylor Kitsch in something then I would be thrilled. Make this happen casting people. Oh and maybe trim Andrew Garfield’s beard down just a smidge (okay a few inches). For now we have this excellent image thanks to the GQ Gentlemen’s Ball.

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Behind the Insta-Scenes: Photos from the Set

23 Oct

Welcome once again to Behind the Insta-Scenes! A new feature offering a roundup of the best behind the scenes photos posted on Instagram from a variety of TV show and personal accounts from the people who are on them. This includes anything from future episode sneak peeks, what’s airing this week, flashing back to the past and general on set (and sometimes off set) antics.

This week we’ve got a whole array of photos ranging from press day outfits, a shout out to Spirit Day, prop hair (and where it is stored) and a maybe flashback hairstyle.

Dressed all in purple for Spirit Day and somewhat suburban crime duo Alison (Tatiana Maslany) and Donnie (Kristian Bruun) are rocking this color alongside Orphan Black co-creator Graeme Manson.

Before the excellent and super smutty Hannibal PaleyFest panel Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy and Caroline Dhavernas took part in a gif reaction Q&A of sorts for the official Hannibal Tumblr. They also had a Will and Hannibal Funko doll on hand and some mini white boards to deliver messages to fans.

New Girl wasn’t on this week, but we do have a teaser from Hannah Simone. If the shorter ‘do is anything to go by I think we could be getting a Hannah Simone (rather than the younger actress who plays Cece and looks exactly like Hannah Simone) featuring Cece at school flashback.

Oh, hello! Kroll Show will be back for a third season soon and this Comedy Central post suggests the return of Gil and George. Will there be too much tuna once again?

Mindy Kaling’s press day attire is just as cute as her Mindy Lahiri’s threads and these Piamita separates are a delight.

Watch out when you go looking for strawberries on the set of The Walking Dead as you might end up with your hand in a bag full of Rick’s beard hair.

The third Rookie yearbook was released yesterday and the ladies from Broad City are showing off their featured pages. Having bought the previous two editions, I can say that I will definitely be picking this up even if I’m still a smidge older than the demo.

TV Rewind: Felicity, “Surprise” & “One Ball, Two Strikes”

23 Oct

Felicity, Episodes 3.5 & 3.6
“Surprise” & “One Ball, Two Strikes”
Original Air Dates: Nov. 1 & 8, 2000

Felicity 3.06 Elena

Emma: As we predicted Ben did indeed find out about Felicity’s drunken mistake and the mistake is she passed out in another dude’s bed. It doesn’t matter to Ben that she didn’t do anything besides take her top off because a) she couldn’t initially remember whether she had slept with Randy (I can’t believe this is his name) and b) she didn’t tell Ben it happened and he found out via an email. His anger at this whole thing is understandable, except for the super anger part, that is not cool. Of course he’s going to pissed that his girlfriend got so wasted she took her top off and slept in another dudes bed. Plus the whole lying factor.

Bad form from Noel and Dr Pavone encouraging her to keep it a secret as this is terrible advice. I get that Noel was trying to do the right thing by both Ben and Felicity as he knew there was a surprise party, but with that email flyer out there it is some Sean levels of dumb advice. Dr Pavone thinks Felicity just wants to unburden her guilt, which yeah she probably does but it’s also the adult thing to do when he’s blatantly going to find out.

I’ve skipped ahead so I’m going to go back to the beginning and raise an eyebrow at the timeline of this episode and the last one we discussed – so this is meant to be the same day as the end of “Greeks and Geeks” and we’ve not heard Felicity’s birthday getting mentioned until now. Hmm. Scepticism aside, we do get to see Felicity going to see the doctor and getting the morning after pill (not from the NYU health service by the looks of things) and getting a small dose of judgement from the doctor. Look lady she already feels shitty enough without your sneering that tomorrow is her birthday.

The email discovery comes courtesy of Noel’s new computer fixing job and this brings up issues of consent with the photo of Felicity that has been used. She is very rightly hacked off they’ve used her image and a photo she can’t remember being taken. This plot is not as insidious as some of the very horrific, real life college/frat video/photo stories in the recent press and I wonder if this show was on now how they would deal with this. It’s 2000 and this email blast feels so quaint considering where we are now, but I had full on stomach churning tension feelings as Richard was checking his emails.

Once again I am impressed with how this show deals with sexual health issues and general health issues over both episodes with Sean. Felicity has made a mistake and it did in love getting blackout drunk, however I don’t get the impression that this is a ‘don’t drink, kids’ PSA. It’s definitely more of a ‘check your balls and go see a doctor if there is anything unusual’ PSA. Before we head into Sean territory, what did you think of the whole Felicity reveal?

And doesn’t Randy look a whole lot like MPDG Eli from S1?! Which also brings me to slight trouble in Ben and Noel friendship paradise. And the episode started so adorably between them.

Felicity 3.05 Ben and NoelJulie: OK. I just put randy and Randy together.

And, yeah, that nurse was every timid patient’s worst nightmare. You’re supposed to be helpful, woman. You’re supposed to want people to feel comfortable seeking help from you. You’re not doing your job.

Also the email thing vs. today’s media onslaught was really interesting. I mean, I check my email 4700 times a day, thanks to the phone. But back in 2000, we were only checking whenever we had access to a computer. And, if I remember correctly, I think we only moved to webmail right around that time. Before that, you had to be at a computer with an internet portal for the university, I think. I don’t remember, but I do remember that our early college emails were text only and all black and white. I am old.

As far as the Ben and Felicity stuff, A) she did not handle ANY of this well and B) I definitely told my TV after Ben got jumped at the end of the second episode, “Yup, he had to see that coming.” These two episodes were a master class in doing the wrong thing.

I don’t think Dr. Pavone’s advice was completely off, other than the fact that there was no way Ben wasn’t going to find out about Felicity’s night. EVERYONE knew she didn’t sleep back at her dorm that night. Someone was going to slip about that, and then the truth would come out. The email just sped everything up. But, since Dr. Pavone didn’t know that there were other friends involved in the situation, I think her telling Felicity to keep it to herself was kinder (assuming Felicity could find a way to fend off Ben’s sex advances while waiting for her STD test results). OK, never mind. Dr. Pavone was way wrong.

What Felicity did that was the MOST wrong, though, was asking Randy to talk to Ben. Give it up, girl. Move on. Yes, Ben is mad at you. Quit dragging Randy into this. What good could POSSIBLY come from Ben talking to Randy? No good. No good, and a lot of punching.

Ben, other than the punching, was in the right, in my opinion. Yes, he was hard on Felicity, but all he had was the fact that she didn’t remember anything, there was a picture of her topless, and Randy’s word. That’s not a lot to go on. Merely the fact that she allowed herself to get into that situation had to be disturbing for him. That said, I think a lot of this problem could’ve been rectified if he had just let Felicity talk for once, and if she had just apologized and said, “I understand why you’re mad. Yes, nothing happened with Randy, but the fact that I allowed myself to get into the position where something might have happened, is also problematic. I’m very sorry, and I promise never to let it happen again.” But of course, things had to get much more dramatic than that.

Before we move on to Sean’s balls, I just want to say before I forget, that when Felicity was telling everyone that the paintings with the red dots had been sold, I said (to my TV), “Has Molly also been sold, because she has a red dot on her forehead.”

Felicity 3.06 paintingEmma: It’s now clear why Ben’s father stopped by at the start of this season and not only to show the daddy issues are strong here, but also to emphasize where Ben gets his anger issues from. It’s dumb that Felicity asked Randy to talk to Ben and it’s even more dumb that Randy did it while Ben was sitting at a bar with a drink in his hands. Terrible, terrible idea. Randy didn’t deserve the four punches he took (and the way Ben was going I thought he was going to put his hand through his skull), but this really wasn’t the best way to go about it. And yeah Ben also did deserve the retribution, even if it was very melodramatic in the set up.

Now that Ben and Felicity have made up is this going to be the elephant in every argument? I always knew there were going to be issues this season between them, but ugh I’m annoyed it happened this quickly. It’s surprising that Felicity is the one who fucked up and I pretty much had Ben pegged for the one to cause the friction. I’m glad our lead has flaws and she does fuck up, I just hope the next run of episodes isn’t miserable.

Approaching Ben in a bar doesn’t go so well for Noel and I get why Noel is reaching out to his now friend, however it’s one thing Ben coming to him and crossing the personal boundary line telling him his “I knocked a girl up in school” as opposed to Noel’s “oh I’ve been there with Felicity” comparison. He’s trying to be a good friend and I bet he feels guilty for telling Felicity to wait, this is not the solution and it’s not surprising Ben isn’t receptive to this advice.

Ha on the Molly thing at the art show and yeah she continues to wear bindis and be generally annoying.

This was also the very rare instance where someone’s art on TV didn’t make me cringe, the symbolism is on the nose, but it was a rather good simple image. Yay Felicity!

Now onto Sean’s balls and I’m glad Sean has been given a story that doesn’t involve his documentary or some other scheme. Yes it’s super shitty they’ve given him cancer, but this is a meaty (hmm maybe bad word choice) opportunity for this character. It’s also an important story to tell as dudes are less likely to go see a doctor about these matters and particularly at a younger age (how old is Sean?). This is around the time Steve from Sex and the City also had testicular cancer (and also had to have a testicle removed) and I wonder if this was a story trend (Lance Armstrong had become the famous face of testicular cancer in the mid-90s, I might be reaching for a link).

Regardless, they did the whole it’s awkward for dudes to talk about this stuff for each other, though I do get why Ben and Noel passed on looking at his balls and told him to go to the doctor instead. Ben doesn’t want Sean to say the word testicles because it’s gross and Noel pipes up that it’s like when a woman says labia. I don’t know if I’ve ever said labia, except right now of course.

Sean is embarrassed to tell Meghan and she’s worried he has crabs. The moral of these two episodes is tell your beloved about whatever shit you have going on. Meghan is pretty great with walking Sean down off the ledge as he goes into denial about what’s going on and I’m so glad they’ve made them a for real couple. Everyone has a story about someone they know who died from not getting treatment/getting treatment too late and Meghan doesn’t want to have her own story like that. This is extra great coming from her as she has stories for everything.

Cancer isn’t funny, but I’m glad there was still humor after all the trauma and denial. The peanuts gag could have come across as cruel, but it’s Richard and it’s rather sweet.

There’s a whole thing between Ben and Sean, with Sean telling a Ben that he’s needs to get his shit together. It’s something Ben needs to hear and it’s the first bit of advice he gives a go. In this scene Ben is wearing a black beanie, he should never wear it again because it looks awful. And yes Ben you are out of control and he needs to find a better way to deal with things

What did you make of this Sean centric story?

Felicity 3.06 Richard and NoelJulie: I loved the way Meghan handled Sean’s ball scare. The speech about not wanting to have a horrible story about testicular cancer was spot on. I also loved the way she called him out for being a dreamer, who just assumes everything is going to work out, and this time, in this instance, he actually has to live in reality and face the fact that this is serious business. The two of them together are delightful. They really bring out the best in each other.

And while this was definitely a Hot Topic of the Times that they were tackling on this show (I’m pretty sure Lance Armstrong was the impetus), I think giving one of the characters access to the kind of perspective that comes with a death scare like that worked well. Sean was the one who called out Ben for running away from Felicity, and he was able to tell Ben, with certainty, that if he didn’t forgive her, it would eat away at him.

It also gave us a little insight into Tracy’s faith, and while I’m not religious, I thought what he said was beautiful and positive and exactly what Sean needed to hear.

And, yeah, Sean should’ve definitely told Ben to torch that hat.

Now, I think we can move on to what we really want to talk about, which is Noel’s new job as a computer genius. In the first episode, he became the object of his client’s affection (and started to suspect that Richard might be gay, which I’m really sad he isn’t because he’d be a great gay character and very different from Javier). In the second episode, Noel’s client was a hot junior dance major played by none other than Ms. TYRA BANKS.

How was Tyra’s acting for you? Did you catch her smizing at all? Was her hooch tooched?

Felicity 3.06 Meghan and SeanEmma: I agree with you on the Tracy/Sean conversation and like you I am not religious, but it shows how it can offer comfort particularly at a time like this in the form of a universal language. Tracy’s beliefs have only been spoken about it terms of sex before marriage prior to this and I’m glad to see them referenced in a different way for once.

While I’m on the subject of Tracy he goes away for the weekend in “One Ball, Two Strikes” as part of Habit for Humanity and Elena says she’ll help Tracy’s partner with his sociology work. In a point of contrivance Tracy’s partner happens to be Finn, the hot guy from across the hall who Elena has a crush on. Of course they end up doing the work in Elena’s bedroom and even though they don’t do anything initially, Finn falls asleep and when he wakes up smooching happens. Gross morning breath alert. Finn’s all Tracy is my friend, but who cares because I’m into you and Elena succumbs to the long standing crush. Elena feels guilty for what she did and I wonder if she’ll take the Dr Pavone don’t say anything route or whether she’ll end up spilling (I predict the latter).

Noel makes a couple of misteps other than the Felicity/Ben shenanigans. First he assumes Richard is gay because of a photo and while he’s trying to be a good friend it’s so awkward and he goes about it in a very naive way. I really wish we could have seen the apology email. Richard is a virgin and he’s never kissed a girl, something he is very embarrassed about – Meghan finds the whole thing hilarious and while Richard is embarrasses it’s clear none of his friends think any less of him because of it – but by the end of the episode he gets a smooch off Molly. Which, I guess is the best thing she’s done so far. Maybe.

The other bad Noel act is some of his creeper antics with the one and only Tyra. He peeks on her while she is getting changed, which makes me question why no one on TV ever shuts the bathroom door when there is someone in the next room and they’re getting into their undies/naked. He also looks in her diary. Bad Noel.

Ah yes the acting style is very much a combination of her whisper voice and that super upbeat thing she does whenever they do anything awful and over acted on ANTM. It’s not terrible, but it definitely in a different lane to everyone else on the show. If only Tyra had been to Harvard Business School at this point.

Does Noel stand a chance with Tyra? Were you just as skeezed out by his creeping as I was?

Felicity 3.06 TyraJulie: I feel like the less said about the Elena/Finn situation the better. He’s super skeevy. He hooked up with Julie and now he’s willing to throw a bro under the bus to get to his ‘ho. Not cool, Finn. And not cool, Elena. Tracy doesn’t deserve any of this.

While Noel did not handle the “Is Richard gay thing” well, I did like the storyline, because I think we all had those friends in college everyone assumed was gay but not out yet. Most people (at least back in the late ’90s) do not show up at school out and proud and sure of their sexuality. I think Noel was trying to be supportive (like he wasn’t with his brother back in Season 1), but I don’t think this is a mistake he’ll make again.

I’m assuming Tyra’s coming back, otherwise what was the point of Noel looking in her journal (other than to have him spill the coffee). Maybe that was it. I don’t know. I thought she acquitted herself well, but yeah, what’s with the open door policy? Between that and Feliciben’s living room bathtub, there’s not a lot of privacy at the University of New York.

Where does the show go from here? Ben and Felicity are back on track. Sean’s going to be dealing with the cancer stuff. Whence will the drama come? Elena? Noel?

Felicity 3.06 BenEmma: I worry that Ben and Felicity despite reconciling aren’t going to be able shake this bump in the road, especially with Ben getting jumped like that and he’s going to have a big dent in his pride as a result. I dunno, I hope they can but I keep thinking that they’re going to reintroduce Noel as a possible love interest soon and ugh I’m not looking forward to that. I liked Noel and Felicity together, but the way things are now with Noel and Ben living together and as friends, I don’t want to see the implosion of this set up.

Yeah I think Tyra will be back as it did seem like this was setting up for something more. Don’t be a stalker Noel. I just checked to see when ANTM started (2003) so this must have been when Tyra was trying her hand at the acting thing.

Drama wise there’s no way the Elena cheating thing isn’t going to come up soon and now she has kissed Finn I think she’s only going to get more tempted, plus he lives across the hall so she won’t be able to avoid him. I predict an awkward elevator ride that ends in a smooch.

Any other thoughts?

Felicity 3.05 Ben and FelicityJulie: I just can’t believe how young Tyra looked in 2000.  I guess that was fourteen years ago, so, yeah. We probably all looked young.

You know Felicity and Noel is on the return, but I’m not sure how they’re going to get there at this point. Right now both characters seem so far from being romantically interested in each other. It would be kind of out of left field. But that’s TV for you.

Emma: I am super intrigued as to how we will get back to that place of Felicity and Noel. I predict booze or beets will be involved.

Julie: Maybe some of Meghan’s smart powder :)

Julie Hammerle is, according to Klout, an expert in the areas of both Morgan Freeman and glasses. Her writing can be found at chicagonow.com/hammervision and you can holler at her on Twitter as well.

The Wish List: Gina’s Lightning Bolt Shirt and Plaid Jacket on Brooklyn Nine-Nine

22 Oct

Last year Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Gina became an instant TV Ate My Wardrobe favorite thanks to her collection of patterned sweaters, love for wolfies and penchant for interpretive dance. And of course the all-round Chelsea Peretti related goodness. The clothing coveting continues this season and this Wish List is dedicated to Gina’s attire in the recent “Halloween II” episode. No, Gina doesn’t wear a spooky costume and instead she works the whole pattern clashing thing with aplomb.

Gina B99Pairing a Collection B plaid baseball jacket with faux leather sleeves (also available in black and white plaid) with the contrasting lightning bolt shirt from Topshop (it also comes in coral) is one way to mix it up as we head into the chillier season, but it isn’t quite ready to dig out all the knitwear.

Lightning shirtHere are a couple of alternate jacket suggestions:

TartanFirst up more faux leather sleeves and a biker jacket rather than baseball style from Chicwash.

tartan and leatherReal leather-trim with multiple zips and tartan patterned Karl Lagerfeld biker jacket for another take on this trend.

Not forgetting the excellent sweater game Gina brings on Brooklyn Nine-Nine and “Halloween II” was no different:

Brooklyn 99 Gina sweaterPolka dots and sleeved florals – the sleeve/body contrast is a big thing this year – and if you like the look of this ‘Sloane’ sweater but want it in a non-clashing way, Equipment has a couple of other items which have caught our attention using these patterns separately.

The ‘Aubrey‘ polka dot silk dress looks beyond slouchy comfy and I love a 3/4 length sleeve:

EquipmentAnd here is the ‘Lynne‘ floral collarless shirt:

Equipment floral blouseFor recent Wish List posts check out Robyn’s sweaters on The Good Wife and more pattern clashing from The Mindy Project

What’s in a Dress on The Affair?

21 Oct

The Affair has many secrets it is yet to divulge including the identity of the person who has been killed and why the police want to talk to Noah and Alison about their relationship in so much depth. It is a show that begs to be watched more than once from the way scenarios change and the dialogue differs in both perspectives. It is a spot the difference if you will and this goes beyond the words that are said with hairstyles and clothing differing in each version of events. I’m going to focus in on the latter and the dress Helen wore to the fancy soiree at her father’s house in the second episode.

At this point we don’t know if Alison or Noah is reliable in their recollections as there are enough discrepancies to suggest both have inaccurate memories. Or they are both lying. Or one of them has a better memory. The other thing to remember is this is also a matter of perspective so Alison comes across as sexier in Noah’s version, whereas in her own retelling of the story her dress and mannerisms are far more tempered around him. By looking at how they view the secondary characters we can also learn more about Noah and Alison, which is where Helen and her dress come in.

The Affair 1.02 which dressHelen asks her husband’s opinion regarding which dress she should wear with Noah picking the one that looks slinkier and with a whole lot of plunge and cut outs. Helen instead picks the more covered up simple dress and this is the one we see her wearing at the party. Helen looks pretty, but there is nothing about this outfit that suggests she is a woman who comes from money. Noah’s side of the story reveals Helen to be a good mom who isn’t really anything like her parents (who he clearly despises) and while they’re still sexually active they constantly get interrupted by the kids. There is no time for just them and any excitement Noah once had about this relationship is now gone; he even turns down her shower suggesting as he’s too busy masturbating to thoughts of Alison. Which, urgh Noah you’re wife seems pretty great to be honest and you’re just feeling restless about the life you are living. This projection of his wife could also be coming from a place of guilt and so the version of Helen we are seeing is everything good.

The Affair 1.02 Noah and HelenAt the party the woman Helen’s father had an affair with is there and Noah listens while Helen has a mini meltdown about this intrusion. Later in a move that maybe makes Noah feel emasculated (so much eye rolls towards Noah’s discomfort in this scene); Helen tries to big up his second book while also complimenting his less commercial first novel. Alison delivers a whisky to Noah in this scene and there is no interaction between Helen and Alison, not even an acknowledgement they have met before. This could be Noah separating the two women in his life as best he can.

The Affair 1.02 dress fixingWhen we see this scene take place from Alison’s side there is not only interaction, but the same level of intrusive comments from the rich to the wait staff as if they think they have the right to make overly long remarks about personal tragedy (Helen’s mother to Alison) and to fix Alison’s dress in front of everyone with an unsubtle reference to the tightness. It is both patronizing and humiliating with a strong whiff of belittling. Helen is cut from the same summer folk cloth as her mother to Alison; the precise demands she makes about the glass of water (no ice) and a very thin sliver of cake sounds so utterly specific and ridiculous. Helen is stood on the opposite side of the table to her husband, rather than by his side and everything in part two suggests there is no closeness between husband and wife.

The Affair 1.02 Alison's versionThis is clear in the interaction Alison witnesses above and it is a hostile looking conversation between Helen and Noah. Helen’s dress is far more opulent here and she looks like a woman of money in her stance and styling. There is nothing approachable about Helen in this scenario and something as simple as an updo can make a character look frosty in comparison to the no fuss hair down approach of Helen in the first part. Alison’s hair also changes between the two; Noah remembers it being down and flirty (maybe Noah thinks of women with their hair down) whereas it is tied back when Alison recalls this evening.

It’s funny that I was leaning towards Alison being the more reliable unreliable narrator up to the point where she paints Helen as just another rich lady bitch and my sympathy at this point is very much with Helen. Maybe this is because I really like Maura Tierney, but also because up to this interpretation of her she seems pretty great. Of course this could be Noah romanticizing the woman he is stepping out on and the mother of his children and in the same respect Alison might be painting her in a more negative light to ease her guilt.

For another spouse comparison here is how Noah sees Cole as the cowboy and super macho dude:

The Affair 1.02 Cowboy ColeLater Noah comments that “married people don’t fuck like that” adding further credence to this idea that Noah’s perspective of Cole is all about masculinity and excitement.

The Affair 1.02 ColeTo Alison, Cole on the same day looks like the surfer dude from the first episode in a Henley and sans cowboy hat. The change of top could simply be that Cole was all sweaty from working and horse riding and yet it is notable because they look like two very different kinds of people in these shots.

The narrative set up on The Affair is disorientating because it isn’t clear at this point exactly what is going on or what is motivating Noah and Alison in the present day scenes. Costume projects an image telling us more about the character in question and because clothing is being used to show differing perspectives on this show it adds another level of intrigue; sometimes the changes are subtle with how well something fits and at other points such as Helen’s party dress the discrepancies are far bigger. Maybe Helen wore neither of those dresses to the party and we might end up seeing a third version of this pivotal event showing what really occurred.

 

Sucking it Up on The Good Wife

20 Oct

From Scorned Wife to State’s Attorney Candidate! The political press has been gifted a great fairy tale of sorts with Alicia’s announcement and it is not surprising to see direct callbacks to The Good Wife’s pilot this week; the media use the shot of Alicia standing by her man at the prostitute confession press conference to frame this narrative and the audience revisits the corridor of confrontation where Alicia slapped Peter in the very first episode and it acts as a Peter/Alicia showdown location once again.

This is a strong visual parallel and “Shiny Objects” is primarily concerned with the idea of compromise and while we’ve seen Alicia make a lot of sacrifices for Peter in the past, she’s no longer the meek looking woman standing beside him when he needs her to be the ‘good wife.’ If a relationship is all about the give and take, then Alicia is using this moment to show Peter how serious she was when she said their facade of a marriage would benefit them both.

The Good Wife 6.05 news coverageSince Will’s death Alicia has questioned her role in the legal world, wondering if she made a mistake becoming a lawyer and this crisis of faith (the faith being the law) was completely understandable given the personal trauma. A new fire has been lit inside her and despite all of Alicia’s persistent remarks that she wasn’t going to run, it was very clear from the first episode of season 6 that Alicia would enter the SA race. Flattery is a big part of her decision and who wouldn’t want to run after multiple people (including personal heroes) have said how good she would be. On this stage Alicia is the shiny object and Peter is the one dishing out all the compliments and no matter how much disdain she has for him earlier in the episode, Alicia can’t hide how much pleasure she derives from Peter showing up like a hero at the crucial moment.

Peter might come across as the good husband at the end of the episode, but it is only after he has acted like a spoiled brat not wanting to share the stage with a dude who he thinks Alicia is sleeping with. It’s all about pride of course and during this argument Peter isn’t willing to concede. Instead he resorts to pathetic innuendos when Alicia tells him to suck it up, suggesting this is what Alicia has been doing with Finn. No, nothing has happened between this pair beyond so much flirty banter on the phone and in bars (just kiss already please). Alicia is the one with the power in her personal relationship with Peter as she laid out the rules of their marriage and there has been no wiggle room for reconciliation; these are Alicia’s terms and she’s not letting him get close again. This is until he swoops in to offer his endorsement after Finn has delivered his; this is quite the master manipulation moment and I wonder if this action will open Alicia up to a more cordial and receptive relationship with her husband.

The marriage for show arrangement to help both their careers is going to get more difficult as the spotlight will be firmly back on their every move and they might have to spend more time together to sell the whole power couple thing to the public. Alicia brought up the prostitute scandal to emphasize why Peter was out of turn for objecting to Finn’s involvement and considering the location of the argument (the same corridor from the slap in the pilot) it isn’t surprising that Alicia’s mind went there. Plus it is her trump card in any given situation considering she “stood by you like a grinning fool” – sidenote there is no grinning on display when Alicia stood by his side 5 years ago – and he really does owe her for this. Peter tells her to “Let it go” (cue singing) and is he justified in this response?

Eli and Johnny are both concerned that if Peter is on stage when Alicia makes her speech it will recreate the scandal photo and Peter knowingly stays on stage despite this strong visual reminder. It looks like he is making a sacrifice for Alicia by doing this, but to me this is all about creating an image of humility and it also removes any kind of spotlight that might have been on Finn. Alicia tells Peter that Finn is sticking his neck out with his standing in the SA office and if he is indeed jeopardizing his already wobbly relationship with Castro then Peter is making sure Finn is doing it for no plaudits whatsoever. Finn claims he isn’t sacrificing anything when Alicia tries to bump him from saying a few words by using concern for his job when Peter is the actual reason. The scene in the bar points to a couple of things; it is another case of flattery convincing Alicia as his words prompt her defiance in the face of Peter’s petty objection and Finn is rather attuned to Alicia’s moods as he can tell she’s not giving him the real reason. This is something we have seen time and time again with this pairing (including earlier on the phone in this episode) and there’s a real sense of compatibility here beyond the crackling chemistry.

Other than the positioning of which side they are standing on the two photos from the scandal press conference to the endorsement couldn’t be more different and it is perfect fodder for the MSM (oh Eli). Alicia hasn’t worn red for quite some time now and it is significant that she chooses her power color in this moment. It projects strength and it is the polar opposite of her ‘wife of a politician’ houndstooth suit and pearls; there is no way she would wear something like the 2009 suit now (in my head she had a burning ritual of all her ‘good wife’ outfits, or at least gave them away). The 2009 shot shows a washed out, meek woman standing by her husband in this humiliating moment. Today she is standing strong, her hair looks fantastic and her husband is the one at her side and he is beaming with pride. Alicia is in command and she made this happen by not taking any of Peter’s macho BS earlier in the episode while pointing out how this works in his favor too. Peter’s pride is a big factor in his earlier ranting and rather than back down from her position, Alicia makes him see how his bullish behavior isn’t going to work and the compromise is going to work for him if he will let it.

There are other sacrifices made this week and after Diane clicks on a link that makes her look pretty naive it takes her back to her former firm and the position of asking David Lee for help. It’s not something Diane is all too happy about and she approaches her old office tentatively, before returning to a power walk when she is in view of her old office and David Lee’s new one. Diane’s return to her former workplace attire as is still Diane Lockhart levels of chic, but the Akris houndstooth coat is relatively understated.

The Good Wife 6.05 DianeParticularly when compared to the bold leopard jacquard Escada coat and chain statement necklace outfit she wore when she finished her last day at the firm. Same killer red lip color. Diane stalking the corridors of LG (or whatever its name is now) is always a joy to behold as she moves with such grace even when she is out of her comfort zone.

The Good Wife 6.02 DianeDiane has a pretty shitty week and the romanticism of a start-up firm is trumped by the less than perfect surroundings that she has become accustomed to and the cockroach in her drawer is the final straw. Diane reveals what David Lee told her about the LG lease that is still in her name and while he tried to use it to gain the upper hand he has given Diane the leverage to move her new firm back to the old one. To me this feels like regression and I can’t imagine Cary will be on board with this plan even if it does fuck over David Lee and Louis Canning. There are so many memories attached to their old offices and this power play could disrupt the already precarious workplace politics.

Meanwhile Kalinda continues to do what Kalinda does and use all of her sources to get the job done and this means no personal sharing even after the most intimate of acts. Kalinda has strong boundaries and she could end up pushing everyone away if she doesn’t learn to open up to those closest to her. Now that it has been announced that Archie Panjabi will exit by the end of the year I hope they will build upon these trust issues beyond just the rotation of former lovers in positions of power.

Returning to Alicia and the new phase this character is entering as we have already seen how much this decision has impacted those closest to her by essentially alienating her son and brother. Pushing people away is something Alicia is very good at as a form of self-protection – and it’s something she shares with Kalinda – and this campaign will test the limits of those closest to her.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

17 Oct

Pretty, patterned and textured (alliteration be damned) frocks ahoy from a variety of premieres, award shows and red carpet events on this edition of “Out of the Box.”

Aubrey PlazaIt’s not just because of the all important pocket factor that makes me head over heels for Aubrey Plaza in Mary Katrantzou; the bold and colorful print is pure Mary Katrantzou magic and Plaza is a sartorial delight. There’s no need for accessories with a dress like this and I’m so happy to see gold sandals rather than nude pumps as the footwear choice.

Kaitlyn DeverKaitlyn Dever was only in one episode of Party Down as Karen’s wannabe actress daughter Escapade, but because she was mentioned so frequently I still automatically think of the company picnic episode whenever I see her. A slight tangent to start with and here is Dever at the New York premiere of Laggies (I can’t wait to see this movie) in a stunning black lace Oscar de la Renta frock and platform Brian Atwood peep-toes. This look is elegant, age appropriate and uses the sheer trend in way that doesn’t have me yelling “Whyyyyyyyyy?” at my screen for once.

Michelle MonaghanDolce & Gabbana have embraced fairy tale fashion in their fall 2014 collection and Michelle Monaghan is working the key motif number like a charm at the 20th Annual Fulfillment Fund Stars Benefit Gala. The floral print contrasts with the black jacquard dress and is a prime example of how to wear florals long after the summer is over.

Kristen SchaalThe runway was awash with gingham last month as Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta and Altuzarra were all working this trend; Kristen Schaal wore this super cute blue and white gingham dress to the Bob’s Burgers PaleyFest panel completing the look with a pair of white Oxfords. Flat shoe high five!

Laverne Cox and Taylor SchillingMTV and Logo are both premiering Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word documentary tonight and last night Cox was joined by her OITNB co-star Taylor Schilling to celebrate this television event. Cox spent the day wearing a variety of purple outfits for Spirit Day (and you can see them all on her Instagram) and she saved the best for last in this beautiful Monique Lhuillier lace gown. Schilling’s multicolored floral button down has a splash of purple and I wish we could see her shoes (or booties if I had to guess) a little better as it looks like the carpet has merged with her feet. There’s a clash in fancy levels between the two outfits, but as Cox is the one in the spotlight it makes sense that her attire is far dressier.

Kerry Washington AllureKerry Washington does the whole fresh faced look on the cover of Allure and it’s one of her best magazine covers to date (and over the past year there have been many). Wearing what looks like an Olivia Pope wine cardigan this is a far cry from her Scandal character with choppy, tousled and shorter locks plus a whole lot of cleav.

These Boots Were Made for Walking: A Few Thoughts on The Good Wife’s Departure News

16 Oct

Yesterday was pretty much the everything entertainment news days – HBO announcing plans for a standalone service, all of Friends on Netflix, NPH hosting the 2015 Oscars – but the one item that prompted the biggest response from me personally is the news that Archie Panjabi won’t be renewing her contract on The Good Wife. Rather than going the Josh Charles ‘secret exit even though we knew his contract was up for negotiation at the end of the season’ route, Panjabi has signed a development deal with Twentieth Century Fox Television which means it is time to announce her Good Wife exit.

This is a good move for Panjabi and hopefully whatever project she ends up with will serve her well. For me this news was met with an array of conflicted feelings ranging from well this makes sense considering how little Kalinda has had to do over the past few seasons to sadness that this character has really been left flailing for so long and it’s a shame they never really figured out what to do with her. It also means The Good Wife cast has got a whole lot less diverse.

The Good Wife 5.21 KalindaKalinda has been reduced to the magical case solving unicorn on The Good Wife and the person who can seduce anyone of either sex. She knows everyone and is generally the solution to narrative issues generally regarding whatever case of the week they are dealing with. Kalinda’s personal life was stomped all over when they introduced her ex-husband Nick in season 4 and while the Kings were quick to realize how much pretty much everyone who watched this show hated this character/storyline (and I still have the image of Nick smashing eggs on Kalinda’s chest etched into my mind) the damage was done. Everything after this has come across as clutching at straws with Kalinda including her several romantic relationships which tend to lean on getting some kind of professional leverage in the form of seduction. Cary is perhaps the only one who doesn’t fit this pattern; however she did use her closeness with him to get information for Will about Cary and Alicia’s exit from Lockhart Gardner resulting in trust issues between the pair.

The two people Kalinda has been closest to in a non-sexual capacity are Will and Alicia; Will is gone and Kalinda and Alicia haven’t shared a scene (other than over the phone) in 34 episodes. The latter friendship was destroyed when Alicia found out Kalinda had slept with Peter before they had met and while Robert and Michelle King were more than happy to dispose of Nick in a swift manner, they haven’t succumbed to the calls for Alicia and Kalinda to reconcile. Just look how good they were together.

kalinda and aliciaA complex, close friendship can be just as compelling as a romantic connection and the breakdown of platonic love can be just as heart ripping out sad as the end of a passionate union. Lady friendships that don’t include petty jealousy or arguments over dudes are still too far and few between on television and even though this one ended because of a guy, prior to this it included all the tequila/beer drinking and the kind of strong rapport that makes this kind of pairing so special. Kalinda is part of the reason why Alicia grew more self-assured and confident in her abilities. The dissolution of their friendship also goes some ways to explain why both of them are pretty prickly and wary when it comes to getting close to someone new; they let down their guard with each other and got hurt in the process. Just thinking about Kalinda’s elevator sobbing after Alicia found out breaks me. Without Will or Alicia, Kalinda has been set adrift in a sea of flirtation and trying to figure out whether there is an ulterior motive to the actions of the person she is interacting with.

Alicia has also lost Will and Kalinda, but instead of reducing her to one aspect of her character she has thrived since (although I still think she needs more friends) and she does have a few drinking buddies she can trust on hand. Plus Alicia is never going find herself as a story afterthought; she is the title character after all.

The Good Wife 5.21 Diane and KalindaLeather jackets, knee high boots and a notebook at hand (okay the above photo only has two out of three) are the Kalinda signature; however a character needs much more than costuming and props to be a fully formed thing and there’s been this constant struggle to find the right fit for her. So yes I am sad Archie Panjabi is departing, but I hope this means they will give her a kickass story to end on and hopefully one last shot of tequila with her former best friend (even if she disagrees with the ‘best’ part).

[Source]

Behind the Insta-Scenes: Photos from the Set

16 Oct

Welcome once again to Behind the Insta-Scenes! A new feature offering a roundup of the best behind the scenes photos posted on Instagram from a variety of TV show and personal accounts from the people who are on them. This includes anything from future episode sneak peeks, what’s airing this week, flashing back to the past and general on set (and sometimes off set) antics.

This week we have a range of shows and behind the scenes frolicking such as snack loving from the Orange is the New Black ladies, a double Thanksgiving celebration on New Girl and a contender for best Gina sweater on Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

First up is Samira Wiley in full OITNB Poussey grey sweatshirt goodness and a cookie with love.

A lot more snacks and possible sugar induced happiness from Emma Myles (Leanne) and Kimiko Glenn (Soso) also on the set of OITNB. It’s as if Trick-or-Treating has come early to Litchfield this year.

Canadian Thanksgiving was on Monday and Hannah Simone celebrated on the set of New Girl as they shot their American Thanksgiving episode. Digging the super 90s dress and cute Heidi braid on Zooey Deschanel.

Wolfie sweater! And from the same Risto collection as the one I suggested for Gina a couple of weeks ago.

Nicole Beharie isn’t out of the woods on the set of Sleepy Hollow and that dude in the tri-corner hat in the background suggests some time warping shenanigans are afoot.

Kerry Washington’s shot doesn’t reveal anything that’s going to happen in the episode of Scandal they are at the table read for, but this goofy selfie might please Fitz and Jake fans alike.

I watched the first three episodes of Selfie yesterday and in spite of that name it has the components to be a very fun show. Karen Gillan’s charm factor is a big reason why this it could really work, plus I did laugh a bunch which is kind of what you want from a sitcom. We’ll see, but at the moment I am sold on Selfie. And here is what appears to be a selfie of Gillan, so hey it’s easy to tie in the title with an Instagram post.

New Girl 4.05 “Landline” Review: “Shut it Down”

15 Oct

When five people live together boundaries are probably going to get crossed and this doesn’t even factor in the two characters on New Girl who still live together after a break up or that Schmidt and Nick are still sleeping in the same room. After sharing one phone charger in season 2, now there is only one good spot in the loft for phone reception – a new building has messed with the previously good signal – and that spot happens to be the window by Nick’s bed.* This intrusion is solved by the purchase of a landline phone and I kind of wish they’d gone further down the retro path with a rotary dial or even a burger phone as the visual gags would keep on coming. Taking messages for people is no longer common place and as Nick is the only one in the house during the day he takes his new found role and runs with it. The phone also reveals Coach has been sleeping with the school nurse and as Jess is now vice-principal this is a matter that crosses the work/personal line so she will have to address it in the workplace; enter shenanigans (and a new super cute teacher).

*I remember what is now long ago being at my grandpa’s house in the middle of nowhere trying to text the boy I liked from the only good spot in the entire house, pretty much hanging out of a window in freezing cold temperatures. I am smooth.

New Girl 4.05Despite attempts to date/hook up Jess has so far not really connected with anyone to a point beyond a conversation, not at a wedding, with a dating app nor with the micropenis dude. So it’s some kind of bad luck that she has chemistry with the one guy she isn’t allowed to date and this is the new science teacher Ryan (who also has a particularly hard surname to pronounce). I’m jumping ahead here and after lecturing Coach about sleeping with his co-workers and making him fill in HR forms, Jess herself gets flustered when she is introduced to Mr. Geauxinue included messing up his surname so much she says “goes in me.” Coach witnesses all of this and instantly recognizes why Jess has turned into a bumbling mess and this leads to a very funny faculty meeting where Coach causes Jess to mess up her “Shut it down” demonstration by hitting Ryan in the bikini suit area.

Coach probably shouldn’t be defining himself at school as the guy who has sex with everyone – so far this seems to be one of Coach’s only defining traits, c’mon show you can do better than that – and Jess is right to note there are certain stipulations in place for a reason, however she realizes that no amount of paper work or hand gestures are the solution. What follows is a classic story obstacle set up; just as Jess is about to approach Ryan in a dating capacity she is informed her position as an administrator means she can’t date anyone who is in a position below her, which means Ryan. The forbidden fruit trope is nothing groundbreaking, but it’s fun seeing Jess getting extra awkward and Zooey Deschanel has a strong rapport with guest star Julian Morris. Plus he has excellent cardigan game so hopefully we will get to see more from him soon.

Back in the loft Nick is mooching about by himself after his suggestion of beers and a catch-up with Schmidt and Winston is dismissed as they are too busy with police academy work and interview prep for Business, Man magazine. Nick (and to a certain extent Cece, who briefly appears this week to record a voicemail message that is too steamy for Schmidt even when she goes full deadpan) is the only character who is still adrift when it comes to his career and the landline gives him both a purpose and a connection to his friends he feels has been missing. By taking everyone’s messages during the day he finds out Winston has been dating a woman called Judy and Schmidt is looking to get a spoiler for his car. The messing up of the spoiler alert gag is hilarious, but also reveals the depths of despair Nick has reached. Nick comes across as a parent in this moment trying to find out what the kids have been up to and getting not much back in return.

Taking it further Nick indulges in a three-way phone call to give them their messages in one of the funniest sequences in the episode. Schmidt calls it a teleconference call, but I prefer the terms of teenage years long gone. Unlike Winston, my best phone position is sitting crossed legged in the hallway. Now I’m feeling nostalgic for landline chats and all those hours I spent talking about nothing with people I had spent all day talking to at school. Today the landline in my house knocks out the wi-fi connection for 30 seconds whenever it rings (who knows why) and the only calls are from telesales and robots. No warm and fuzzy feelings there.

Nick sings himself a theme song for his new found role with “I’m a very good secretary” even though he’s actually kind of terrible at it. He takes it upon himself to break up with Judy for Winston and send in a photo to Business, Man magazine of Schmidt and he manages to mess up both. The photo he sends of Schmidt is the most recent he has and he looks like he’s in the middle of telling Nick to fuck off, which in the end works out well for the ‘bad boy’ image the magazine profile creates for him. Winston should have probably broken up with Judy himself and Nick shouldn’t have crossed this line even if he does want to reconnect with his friends. There are better ways to go about this and they probably don’t end with someone recreating the big gesture moment from Say Anything.

Eating bowls full of jelly during the day – Nick pretty much has a bowl of something on the go throughout the episode – and finding comfort in taking other people’s messages is a cry for help of sorts from Nick; will this season be the one where Nick finds purpose? Nick doesn’t tell Schmidt about his interview as a result of the answer machine replacement service and when the answer machine fails to record the message Winston has to step up and use his excellent phone skills. Winston is socially awkward in real life, but dynamite on the phone (cue hilarious flashback) and scores the kind of douchey profile Schmidt thinks is the dream. Winston even remembers to include the acronym Schmidt has for his own name – Some Can Have Money, I Desire Thoughtfulness – which you know Schmidt has been waiting to see in magazine print for years and probably has stitched on a cushion or at least on a business card.

New Girl continues to be a lot of fun this season and this is another episode where they play around with the different character groupings. While Cece gets a short shrift, her brief appearance is one of the highlights of “Landline” declaring “I don’t know what is happening” as the conversation descends into random movie talk (Winston likes Splash).

New Girl Style Watch

New Girl 4.05 Jess A+O sweaterJess loves Alice + Olivia sweaters this season and ribbon -graphic black sweater is adorable and so very Jess; complete with detachable collar depending on how preppy you’re feeling.

 

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