Out of the Box: Look of the Week

4 Sep

Avoiding all things sheer from the VMAs and still picking some maybe contentious looks from the night showing my bias toward certain patterns and colors. Plus it is time for tennis and cute frocks as we transition from summer and fall. And we’ve also got the TGIT Entertainment Weekly cover.

Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift’s glitzy Ashish ensemble has been pretty divisive and I am firmly in the love it camp; yes it looks like fancy pajamas or exercise attire, but I am all in on the houndstooth pattern and it is something slightly different for Tay. The Christian Louboutin ‘Pumpstagram’ pumps don’t entirely go with the look and yet I am still drooling all over them.

Cara DelevingneStarry Saint Laurent for Cara Delevigne and my favorite sartorial turn from Team Taylor at the VMAs. This is relaxed cool and Cara really looks like she gives none of the fucks. And I suspect she probably doesn’t.

Gigi HadidIn the same way I can’t resist houndstooth this shade of yellow is my weakness and this Emilia Wickstead dress happens to be called ‘Emma:’ yes Gigi Hadid looks like she has come to the VMAs cosplaying the Mad Men episode “The Jet Set” and I am more than fine with this. Still shaking my head at myself as I only just realized that Yolanda from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is Gigi’s mother.

Kat GrahamKat Graham is not one to shy away from a bold red carpet look and vintage Versace is ideal for her. Plus pockets!

Amanda SeyfriedMoving on and I will spending the next two weeks obsessing over the US Open and this kicks off a busy couple of weeks in New York (Fashion Week is coming). The 15th annual USTA opening night gala took place on Monday and Amanda Seyfried’s RED Valentino frock is cute collar perfection.

Anna ChlumskyAnna Chlumsky’s white ribbed dress is tennis watching simple chic and would look even better with a glass of Pimms and lemonade in hand (yes this is the US Open, but traditional Wimbledon drinks are where it is at).Fall TV is right around the corner and Thursday night television is Shondaland on ABC. This is my favorite of the four Entertainment Weekly covers as it showcases Shonda and her leading ladies and with Shonda at the center; the red of her dress matches the cover title and she is the star here. 

Dresses of the Venice Film Festival Jury – Day 1

3 Sep

September is a busy month for fashion, TV and film and as I’ve previously written it always feels like the start of a new year (I’ve been out of full time education for a few years now, but my brain is still wired to the academic calendar). The Venice Film Festival kicked off yesterday and the jury consists of some TV Ate My Wardrobe faves; day 1 of the red carpet and photocalls definitely delivered on both the casual and formal threads so I’m taking this as an early birthday present.  If there was a daytime theme it would be florals and Diane Kruger is kicking it in sailor inspired Preen. Pairing this with black Chelsea boots is giving me slight My So-Called Life vibes (DMs would be full MSCL vibes). Also pockets! Going full floral in Dolce & Gabbana and Stuart Weitman sandals; Elizabeth Banks is a romantic dream. Paz Vega dons vintage looking Salvatore Ferragamo and stacked platform peep toes.

I would like all of these dresses in my closet please. Comtinuing the floral trend is Emily Watson at the Everest photocall and she looks delightful in a bold take on this print. Bonus dudes in great suits includes a dreamy beardy Jake Gyllenhaal in Salvatore Ferragamo and Jason Clarke (that hair has to be for a role) in walnut Bruello Cucinelli. Pretty in Prada and caped perfection for Diane Kruger at the Everest premiere.  The ladies of the jury are also coordinated in their evening wear in such a way that is unique to the individual and shows that there was maybe an email chain laying down themes; pale and ethereal gowns with slight embellishments. Dolce & Gabbana again for Elizabeth Banks and an amazing red lipstick to top it all off. 

A beaded Ralph & Russo beauty for Paz Vega in another stunning turn. Bonus Jake in velvet and he’s once again in Salvatore Ferragamo and wearing it so well. Because she is a Magical Fashion Unicorn, Kruger can pretty much make all jumpsuits work so effortlessly including this Cushnie et Ochs ensemble at the opening dinner event.

So many amazing outfits and it is only day 1! 

Behind the Insta-Scenes: Photos from the Set

2 Sep

Counting down to You’re the Worst, amazing red lipstick, flashbacks to The X-Files and more Mindy costuming treats as we round up the best of TV Instagram.

 

This is your less than one week countdown to the You’re the Worst season 2 premiere and I am so ready.

#SundayFundayLA brunch with these worsties 🚨#dinela

A photo posted by Allan McLeod (@allanmcleod) on

 

Even on a Wednesday it is perfectly acceptable to sing Sunday Funday when new episodes of You’re the Worst are this close. Loving Aya Cash’s shorter ‘do.

Meanwhile, on the Island of Misfit Toys… This Sunday on Masters of Sex.

A photo posted by Teddy Sears (@teddysears) on

 

Confession – I have been working away and travelling all week so I have not seen the latest Masters of Sex, but I can definitely say how much I love Betty’s ensemble and Helen’s red lipstick. They are all giving great face.

JFC JANE 🔥🔥🔥

A photo posted by alabama whitman (@mistergarf) on

 

Mae Whitman is all kinds of awesome in a cute romper as she celebrates Jane Levy’s killer Kenzo campaign. More red lip goodness.

Elevator work.. #ElevatorSelfie #GoingUp #AllAboard #VMAs

A photo posted by Mariska Hargitay (@therealmariskahargitay) on

 

If you have this many people in an elevator at an event (I suspect famous or not) then the obligatory group selfie is going to happen (see the upfronts). When Team Taylor is in attendance it is definitely going to be a thing and what I really like about this one is that it doesn’t look like a fourth or fifth attempt to perfection; it’s a little blurry and everyone is doing their own posing. Thanks Olivia Benson!

Early morning crane action. #themindyproject

A photo posted by Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) on

 

The Mindy pajama coveting continues switching from flamingos to cherries and now to plaid.

The @mindyprojecthulu blouse closet for @mindykaling #color #emmynominee 💜💗💖💚💙💛

A photo posted by Salvador Perez (@salvadorperezcostumes) on

 

Mindy’s blouse closet is awash with signature bold color and print; so pleased Mindy Project costume designer Salvador Perez has been nominated for an Emmy this year.

Not typical files. #xfiles

A photo posted by Robbie Amell (@robbieamell) on

 

Files. Of the X-Files variety.

Wish I could remember what we were doing. Any ideas?

A photo posted by David Duchovny (@davidduchovny) on

 

Speaking of which… David Duchovny keeps digging up gems like these. Ah the baggy suits of the 90s quandary; why so baggy?

Those fabulous ladies of #Arrow @katiecassidy @emilybett @EmilyBett @MzKatieCassidy

A photo posted by Paul Blackthorne (@paulblackthorne) on

 

This is a pretty cool shot from the Arrow set.

Eloise, real life Slim Pug, and her new boyfriend on the #broadcity set

A photo posted by Eliot Glazer (@eliotglazer) on

 

#YasKween

@abbijacobson at STRAND yas

A photo posted by ilana glazer (@ilanusglazer) on

 

Speaking of Broad City and here is a good gift to get anyone who is currently into the coloring trend. Even if they are not into it then you should still get this for someone.

Some curlers and gorgeous location is really all you need @vinyl #vinyl #onset

A photo posted by Birgitte Hjort Sørensen (@bhjortsorensen) on

 

Vinyl is high on my most anticipated list for cast, costume and story reasons. Mostly so I can yell KATRINE at Birgitte Hjort Sørensen again.

 

Dubsmash plus the Orange is the New Black ladies leads to this amazing dance party.

 

Hannibal Season 3 Gag Reel Sneak Peek

31 Aug

The Hannibal set looks like a very fun place to work amidst all the operatic horror set pieces and philosophical debates taking place on our screens. In fact I would argue that season 3 has taken us to some new (twisted) hilarious heights as I’ve laughed a whole bunch this season. 

Bryan Fuller’s weekly behind the scenes pictures (including the one below of Mads Mikkelsen from the finale) reveal not only influences, but also the love and care that goes into each episode.  This might be the end, it might not and the DVD/Blu-Ray tend to be special feature heavy (including my personal favorite – episode commentaries) and for now enjoy the sneak peek of the gag reel as gifted to us by Hannibal executive producer Martha De Laurentiis. So many Chilton shenanigans. 

Head here for our thoughts on the Hannibal season finale. 

Hannibal 3.13 “The Wrath of the Lamb” Review: Twisted Romance

30 Aug

Boy meets boy, boy understands boy in a way no other person ever has and somewhere in the middle lots of people are maimed, changed and killed. Hannibal is what could be described as one hell of a fucked up romantic comedy and before you click over to another review just hear me out as this season has added to humor levels (albeit in twisted and super dark ways) and really upped the whole Will and Hannibal as a couple notion. Murder husbands might be their cheap tabloid name, but even Bedelia a so-called mental health professional – who by the looks of that closing shot is in desperate need of some serious saving – has been playing up the couple euphemisms going so far as to pointing out Hannibal’s love for Will last week.

Hannibal’s well versed in getting what he wants through manipulation tactics or using his influence to draw out a killer. With Will he has done both and as soon as Will was back in his sphere all he had to do was wait for an opportunity. This Will is very different to the one Hannibal met in season 1 and the game is a lot more complicated this time.

Hannibal 3.13 Will goodbyeThe life Will has been living ended as soon as Jack Crawford went to ask for his help and the attack on Molly and Walter at the hands of Dolarhyde via Hannibal is enough to taint it. This is what Will feared would happen and even though the hospital scene revealed a strength in the couple all Will is going to see is himself reflected as her killer. I am so mad at Hannibal for playing the bitter ex and poisoning this relationship as he tells Will to think about him when his relationship with Molly is so “maddeningly polite” sowing the seeds of doubt. Hannibal is playing a good game even if he comes across as the desperate reject; so sad that Will has replaced the family he gave him with another less fucked up one.

Even though Will knows it hasn’t been good for him seeing Hannibal he still goes along and creates the ‘get Hannibal and Dolarhyde’ plan because ultimately he does want to be rid of both men. Dolarhyde’s downfall means something on a primal level even if Will has championed catching him alive in the past; this man tried to kill his family and therefore he needs to die and if they can kill two serial killers in one then Jack Crawford is all for it. Alana makes up the conspiring squad and as with all their other plans this one has terrible written all over it. Drinking whisky at the same time as sorting out the details is not the way to keep a clear head, but booze is not to blame for their awful ideas and you would think after how it went last time this trio would leave the dangerous schemes to someone else. After all there are no advantages, just “degrees of disadvantage.”

Hannibal 3.13 RebaThis also happens to be where my one major criticism of this finale comes into play because the sequence of events is somewhat muddled and this is where a two-part episode would have served the story better as the Red Dragon arc and the Will/Hannibal stuff ends up interlinking in a way which makes it feel rushed. The speed with which Reba’s participation is wrapped up is a surprise even if it mirrors the source material and Rutina Wesley is particularly impressive in showing both Reba’s fear and strength in this scary situation.

Don’t get me wrong as it is so much fun seeing the sassing off between Will and Hannibal followed by how they come together to slay the dragon, but other aspects of the story fall far too quickly by the side.

Hannibal 3.13 Dragon SlayersIt really does look stunning.

As does this pair of winged images.

Hannibal 3.13 burning dragon Hannibal 3.13 Dead DragonIn a way the Red Dragon arc mirrors the first half of the season in how it doesn’t leave room for too many other characters; yes Hannibal and Will are the central figures but the supporting cast are just as vital in telling a strong story. Jack’s motivations over this half have presented him in a more callous manner and maybe the loss of Bella and what went down in Italy has left him cold, but it would have been beneficial to see more of this just to get a read on his feelings beyond the ones he doesn’t appear to have.

One love prevails and any regular TV Ate My Wardrobe readers will be more than aware of my strong feelings toward Alana Bloom. As with Jack during the latter part of this season, Alana’s relationship with Margot in those first few episodes could have done with some more fleshing out and this is the first time we see Alana’s wife after the three year time jump. They are leaving their home as a result of Hannibal’s actual escape and he isn’t backing down on the promise he made Alana. He coldly tells her that she died in his kitchen when she chose “to be brave” and that he owns everything that has come since mentioning her wife and child. Yes Hannibal is also a dick to his ex-girlfriend and essentially threatened their lives as well as hers.

Hannibal 3.13 Alana entranceAlana doesn’t flinch in front of him and also gets one hell of an entrance; one great thing about their interactions is how she doesn’t let him get to her. Well at least not in front of him. She explains why she is here to offer the deal and not Jack – she knows him better and he would just torment Jack – and he in return tests out his threat powers once again.

Now there are no longer five locked doors between Hannibal and Alana she does the smart thing and gathers all her best lady suits, Margot and their son departing on their own chopper. This is one benefit of being crazy rich; you get a speedy and elegant escape route.

Hannibal 3.13 Bloom and Verger Hannibal 3.13 Family BloomAlana’s back to wearing red and bold prints in this episode after several weeks of muted (but still fantastic) outfits. It’s like she can feel the freedom around the corner as red is definitely her power color. It is interesting that she chooses a flash of this for her hospital trip to see Chilton as he points out that this is the first time she is visiting and how culpable she is. Once again guilty feelings mean deflecting onto Hannibal, but she doesn’t exactly protest when Chilton mentions how she is capable of doing these terrible things too.

Self preservation is something she cited to Will earlier this season and even though she wasn’t thinking of herself when she freed Hannibal, she was definitely doing this when she suggested Chilton last week.

Hannibal 3.13 Alana and ChiltonChilton’s chamber is similar to the one used on Georgia Madchen in season 1 and he’s already burned all over. He mentions getting new skin and how he wouldn’t mind wearing some of Hannibal’s; this feels like a nod to Buffalo Bill and Silence of the Lambs. It doesn’t get much easier looking at Chilton even if he looks less crispy this week and his speech is still distorted, but his anger toward Alana is palpable.

Every great (and not so great) rom-com includes a mid story break up that you know will most likely be resolved with a grand romantic gesture. In this version Will rejects Hannibal and Hannibal immediately goes big surrendering himself so he can assert dominance. Hannibal is playing the long game in getting his murder soulmate back and he can’t let Will get away with referencing their breakup and then returning to ask for help. And yes Mads Mikkelsen’s delivery of the mic drop line had me full on cackling. As did his ‘worry’ about Chilton being ugly. Sassy Hannibal forever.

In the end Dolarhyde is the accidental matchmaker as he takes the Hannibal bait in a manner which results in a lot more violence than intended – see you should never make plans over booze – and a brutal fight to the death. This brings Hannibal and Will together by having them fighting for each other as Dolarhyde shoots and stabs them making them weaker opponents. It is a whole big thing and as he does in the book, Dolarhyde delivers a rather horrific stab would to Will’s face. I have a feeling Hannibal digs scars.

Hannibal 3.13 Will and HannibalThis season has gone all in on the Hannigram factor and taken it to even higher heights; they are together in an embrace as Will leads them over the edge of the cliff. Tumblr is already magical gif heaven. Yes I did yell “KISS HIM” several times during this bloody hug which thankfully did not include Will’s belly getting sliced open. This is what it finally feels like to Will Graham to be free.

Bedelia might need her license revoking, but she is right when she tells Will that he can’t live with or without Hannibal Which is maybe why she has set a third place at the table in the end of credits scene. It is ambiguous as to who did this to her; my take is she did it to herself and she awaits the dinner guests who might never come. Meat is definitely back on the menu in her house.

Hannibal 3.13 BedeliaThat ending could be the forever end of Hannibal *sob* and while it doesn’t quite pack the same punch as the house of horrors bloodbath (not that this doesn’t include gallons of fake blood and Dolarhyde’s wounds are very similar to Jack, Will and Abigail’s from that episode) I am not ready for this show to be over. Not that this is my decision and even though it doesn’t look so good for Hannibal and Will their fate is not so uncertain as Jack, Alana or Abigail’s at the end of last year.

Hannibal 3.13 Hannibal in plaidCostume wise Hannibal served up another incredible take on his Italian styling in his mind palace with Will in lighter plaid mirroring the pants of Alana’s escape outfit.

Hannibal 3.13 WillIn the same memory palace location later on Hannibal sees Will enter in front of a group of mourners; just who is being mourned here?

Hannibal 3.13 Hannibal and WillThis is a really great shot from a really fun scene of the pair trying their best to out sass the other. I really want to know what the orderlies say to their friends/family about the shit they see at work.

 

Hannibal 3.13 Will and JackWe’ve barely been there this season, but I am still going to miss the FBI building and hallway chats like this one.

Hannibal 3.13 Jimmy and BrianThere was definitely not enough of Brian and Jimmy in this episode or this year.

Hannibal 3.13 AlanaAlana says goodbye to her old life. Wearing killer red lipstick of course.

Hannibal 3.13 Hannibal sweaterHannibal is just as stylish in casual threads and I would love to look through the rest of his secret hideaway closet as he definitely likes to curate a look for a location.

Hannibal 3.13 StagThe stag burns and the one we saw unfurling towards the start of the season was so incredibly fucked up, but during the Red Dragon arc the stag has existed only in the background in offices and on walls. Hannibal’s power over Will no longer extends to this beast and Will is in control. Will is the one who chose to take Hannibal over the cliff and letting go in this situation was his decision. This isn’t typically how romantic comedies end, but it is a very fitting emotional climax to this twisted love story.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

28 Aug

This week there is an array of good shoes/bad shoes or rather shoes that don’t got with the outfit, but we’re not going to let awkward footwear get in the way of fabulous patterned dresses.

Lizzy CaplanWhile my mind is already thinking about fall fashion Lizzy Caplan is serving up lat summer vibes in tropical Proenza Schouler Resort 2016 at the LA Sleeping with Other People – a film I am very excited about -p screening. The only thing not quite working is the baby blue Louboutins; even though I am happy they are not beige pumps the lace up aspect is far too fussy here.

Lake Bell MarniNow Lake Bell is wearing some really great shoes – Christian Louboutin ‘Nicobar’ sandals – although the tan lines you might get would be interesting. This is the second week in a row for Lake Bell on “Out of the Box” and last week she went classic; at this No Escape screening she has gone down a very different, but still fabulous route in an asymmetric Marni skirt and long sleeve crop top ensemble.

Part II in this week’s “Hmm those shoes” and once again while they beat beige there’s still something not quite working. Other than this Sarah Paulson has picked the ideal Erdem floral frock for Television Academy Emmy Awards cocktail reception. I am looking forward to all the pre Emmy shindigs (even if they didn’t nominate all of these people).
At the second Sleeping With Other People screening this week Alison Brie wore bold orange Derek Lam with a curious crotch zip. However her shoe game (Louboutins – of course) and lipstick game are strong.

Homeland Season 5 Trailer: You Can Take the Girl Out of the CIA…

27 Aug

Homeland ventures to Europe for season 5 as Germany takes center stage with Carrie getting pulled back into her old life. A breach, paranoia, explosions and a conflicted Carrie Mathison are vital Homeland ingredients and last season went a long way in restoring my faith in the show. It was still messy in places, but Brody’s death breathed new life into the show and its lead character. 

There’s a lot to take in with plenty of new characters who might prompt “Hey! It’s that guy/lady!” including Miranda Otto (Lord of the Rings), Sebastian Koch (The Lives of Others) and Alexander Fehling (Inglorious Basterds). 

It also looks like Carrie is back to making excellent art collages or rather figuring out evidence. This isn’t quite the color wall delight, but it’s almost that good.   Plus there is a blink and you’ll miss it maybe hooking up moment between a very divisive pairing. I am firmly in the shipping camp and have been pretty much since his introduction; it isn’t as out of the blue as some suggested last year.

Watch the trailer below and Homeland returns Sunday, October 4. 

Behind the Insta-Scenes: Photos from the Set

25 Aug

So many fall shows are on the horizon and there are plenty of countdowns to premiere dates on Instagram from a variety of sets and editing bays including Jane the VirginEmpireThe Mindy Project and Black-ish.

And the saga continues…#janethevirgin photo cred: @bradsilberling

A photo posted by Gina Rodriguez (@hereisgina) on

 

Gina in the middle with the ongoing battle between check shirts and v neck sweaters on Jane the Virgin.

♍️ #virgoseason ✌🏾️💋💋💋

A photo posted by taraji p henson (@tarajiphenson) on

 

Working mirrored sunglasses in a way I could only dream of is Taraji P. Henson.

I've never been more proud of my accomplishments. #EmpireAfterDark

A video posted by Gabby Sidibe 💗 (@gabby3shabby) on

 

And what it might look like if Empire was on cable.

I just moved and have no bowls so trash juice cans for cereal. Thanks FX.

A photo posted by Aya Cash (@maybeayacash) on

 

When branded freebies from your own show come in very useful. Yes I would very much like my own trash juice receptacle.

What happens between takes with my TV hubby @anthonyanderson on the set of @blackishabc! #blackish #Sept23 #ComingSoon

A video posted by Tracee Ellis Ross (@traceeellisross) on

 

Black-ish is on my never ending catch up list and this clip alone is enough to bump it up the list into a prime spot.

My resting face

A photo posted by @abbijacobson on

 

A much needed dose of Broad City and the best kind of resting face.

 

In this week’s Orange is the New Black installment something is going down in the kitchen.

Editing the premiere of #themindyproject with @hklein1957 and Dave. #saturdaysessions

A photo posted by Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) on

 

Mindy Kaling’s Saturday night premiere editing shows off more Bedhead pajama treats on a variety of screens.

Having the night of our lives #derbydollsla #fierce #rightandtight

A photo posted by Jessica St. Clair (@stclairjessica) on

 

Playing House is pure lady friendship happiness and Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham blew the first whistle at the Los Angeles Derby Dolls bout last weekend. Here they are clutching their whistles and Parham’s Johnny Depp tee (from Clashist) is a good reminder of his pre-Pirates persona.

 

Eye makeup goals from Tina Turnbow with The Affair’s Julia Goldani Telles showing off ultimate wings.

 

Best birthday present food truck. Don’t spill any sauce down your costume (because that is definitely something I would do).

 

A new hair color and a stunning blue Monique Lhuillier gown for Elisabeth Moss. Excelled lipstick too.

 

<3

Get the Look: Donna’s Stripes Tees and Plaid Shirts on Halt and Catch Fire

25 Aug

The amount of good TV which has aired in 2015 has become a hot topic item as we get to the point where there are too many shows to keep up with. Fall television is quick approaching so now is prime catch up time and this week I decided to go against my better viewing style judgement skipping Halt and Catch Fire’s first season and diving straight into the second. I did watch the pilot back when it aired, but if I recall correctly I didn’t like it enough to keep watching even though the Girls in Hoodies podcast – miss you guys – always made me want to check back in.

So now I have and if I was to start my own Mutiny community room it would be dedicated to all things Donna and Cameron with a costume focused annex. As Halt and Catch Fire is set in the mid-80s the ideal places to find era appropriate garments are from vintage and thrift stores shopping. With Donna her Mutiny work style gravitates towards classic staples such as striped t-shirts, high waisted jeans, plaid shirts and college hoodies. It is the kind of wardrobe which easily doubles for off duty leisure time and she has plenty of business suits for those all important meetings.

IMG_1907The headband is also a vital part of her look and this is practical touch while serving up a girly approachable appearance. And it also means I can see a whole lot of Leighton Meester in Kerry Bishé.stripe teeRed and white stripe tees are available (in long and short sleeve) in pretty much every store including super affordablemid point and splurge.

IMG_1906Where the internet did fail me was finding a rainbow stripe t-shirt like this one and early to mid-80s fashion really excels at splashing multi-color stripes on an array of kids and adult clothing. This might be a search better suited for vintage stores.

Donna’s other wardrobe staple is plaid shirts. It might be sticky and hot at the moment, but the ideal time for this is item is fast approaching and I am so looking forward to the change in season. As with stripe tops, plaid shirts can be found in all price points and in a vast array of colors with Uniqlo being one of my go to brands.

IMG_1914 IMG_1913Pair either stripes or plaid with a pair of high waisted jeans for that Donna Clark look. These ones are from Madewell:

Madewell jeansDonna has done full fancy pants dress up mode in season 2 and looked stunning to boot; however it is her Mutiny party outfit which I am more interested in and it keeps in line with Donna’s overall casual wear look combining stripes with a shirt dress.

IMG_1916I love shirt dresses because they are easy to dress up or down and because they work in stripes, checks, polka dots and pretty much every pattern. This Tory Burch polka dot delight has caught my eye (okay I have previously featured the shirt version) and you could definitely change up the belt to something more Donna-esque.

Tory Burch polka dotAs with The AmericansHalt and Catch Fire’s costume designer Kimberly Adams hasn’t going all in on lurid 80s stereotypes. Yes Joe is all about the Miami Vice sleeve pushed up stylings and so many white jackets, but Joe is very different kind of character to Donna. He is the kind of person who would jump on trends, whereas Donna’s everyday attire is going to be similar to the kinds of clothes she has worn for the last few years.

Hopefully AMC will renew Halt and Catch Fire for a third season for many reasons including seeing how the new Cali location will impact the costume design.

Masters of Sex 3.07 “Monkey Business” Review: Apeman

24 Aug

The vast number of years Masters of Sex has covered over a three season period and particularly this season does not render it immune from cyclical plot points and “Monkey Business” goes a long way in demonstrating how patchy this season has been. It is disappointing that despite how far these characters have come, they are still falling into certain traps.

Bill is showing off his unpleasant side as he still can’t fathom why his son is so distant (don’t befriend the kid who beat him up for starters) and he unleashes his controlling side all in the guise of helping broken men (and apes) like himself. The gorilla that was introduced at the end of last week’s episode comes into focus this week as Bill and Virginia are asked to help with Gil’s mating issues. What goes from being a flight of fancy and nothing more than a whim for Bill becomes a huge metaphor for all the suffering dudes on this show, but with a strong whiff of manipulation revealing Bill’s competitive and jealous streak.

Whereas Libby Masters, forever on the periphery has been languishing in her own illusions and it is hard to see quite how she will break free without ever leaving Bill. One step towards freedom does take place this week as she acknowledges just how terrible her personal life is; now if she can move forward rather than backsliding as we have seen her do in previous seasons.

Masters of Sex 3.07 Virgina and BillInitially Virginia is the one who champions the gorilla project with Bill scoffing at how ridiculous it is. They later switch positions with Bill linking his own performance problems to both the impotent (and human) Keith to gorilla Gil. With Gil it is all about point scoring and a good anecdote to tell Newsweek magazine if they are successful. Human patient cases can’t be spoken in any detail due to confidentiality and the one which leads to the interview is pure fiction. Isabella and Al were papped on the way out of the clinic and so they have spun this into a good PR story for their broken relationship, but they can use the exposure to showcase their real triumphs. Virginia appeals to Bill’s ego by pointing out how he has a soft spot for “suffering males” and this is a point which Bill uses on her later on by reiterating how much she helped him.

While it could be said that Virginia uses manipulation to get Bill on board the ape plan, Bill certainly runs with it when Dan comes calling with plans for a night out. At this point Bill has no idea Virginia and Dan are sleeping together, but that doesn’t stop him exerting his power in preventing Virginia from going by insisting on the gorilla shenanigans. It would have probably made more sense for his jealousy to kick in if he was aware of their hooking up and instead this just comes across as dick measuring pettiness.

One awkward scene follows another as Virginia ends up flashing her boobs to get Gil in the mood with Bill offering directions out of Gil’s sight. It is all just a little uncomfortable although I should point out that we are not privy to what Gil and Bill can see; the use of nudity on Masters of Sex never feels gratuitous. They are successful in getting Gil to mate, but the victory is hollow for Virginia and she sees it as no more than a fluke. Bill wants to tell all and at dinner he teases their ‘ape’ triumph and instead references the celebrity couple lie that led to this interview in the first place. It is disappointing to see him play with Virginia in this way and even though he is focusing on the broken people they have helped he is so narrow sighted when it comes to those he is closest to.

It is no surprise Virginia turns back to Charming Dan after this dinner and despite Bill’s assertion last week that certain people are slipping away I don’t think he realizes just how isolated he might become; his son despises him, Libby is starting to come to terms with her situation and Virginia has a new ape man.

Masters of Sex 3.07 Dan and VirginiaI really wish I could say this is Josh Charles wearing a mohair sweater and not a gorilla suit.

The man who spoke about love in such a powerful and meaningful way is still there and Bill does want to help the broken and in need; however he is also a controlling asshole who likes to bask in his success. It is a credit to Michael Sheen’s exceptional performance that he is still so watchable and sympathetic even when the story doesn’t support this.

Impotence has affected several characters on Masters of Sex with Lester suffering from the condition last season after a very bad break up from Jane. During the several time jumps Lester has got back together with his former gf and had children with her; it was only after overhearing Virginia and Bill discussing her husband that Jane found out about his issue.

#In a roundabout way the original ‘important work’ ethos of the study is utilized to make Lester see why Jane wants to be the surrogate in helping her friend and while I love spending time with these characters (especially with Jane in signature yellow) it all comes across as slightly tenuous.

Meanwhile, Tessa is chatting to Dan about her mother’s extracurricular activities with Bill while never revealing who she is. That is until Virginia introduces them and causes Dan to squint in confusion. Does her believe her more now he knows she most likely has insider info or does he read their interactions as spiteful lies? When really it is a mixture of the two.

Every week I have been lamenting about the lack of Betty besides her fabulous costuming and amazing advice; the return of Helen prompts her own subplot and yet this is also on the dissatisfying scale because it all revolves around getting pregnant. Seeing Annaleigh Ashford and Sarah Silverman bouncing off each other is always a treat, but I wish there was a way to feature them without resorting to biological clocks. We already know Betty can’t have children so it is Helen with all the bunny infested dreams and how do you find a surrogate in the 1960s? Tap up Dr Austin Langham that’s how.

The fabulous Betty costuming continues in her late night adventure with paisley prints and silk head band (which is making me reach for this one again) coupled with Helen’s leopard print delight.

Masters of Sex 3.07 Betty and HelenBetty did also get to hold my favorite props from “Monkey Business” (no not the artificial insemination equipment) and old magazines whether mock ups or real hold an instant appeal to this magazine aficionado.

First up Betty’s face while showing the Isabella Ricci Newsweek article (and accompanying fake Lord Harry ad which made an appearance in season 1 – would a company really use the same copy work for 10 years?)

Masters of Sex 3.07 NewsweekAnd then I fell down a Google image black hole looking at Photoplay covers and this plays right into my recent You Must Remember This inspired interest in 1960s (and all those earlier decades) Hollywood.

Masters of Sex 3.07 Photoplay magazineThis season is far from a disaster and there is still plenty to enjoy as the performances are always solid even if the storytelling has been on the bumpy side. They just need to get out of some of the character ruts and show progress beyond the work of Masters and Johnson.

Julie Hammerle

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