Archive | July, 2013

Joshua Jackson Discusses Past and Present Style For Mr Porter

31 Jul

It’s probably not that surprising to hear that Pacey Witter was one of my first teen crushes and as this recent hair story involving Michelle Williams also shows, Dawson’s Creek played a rather pivotal role in my teenage viewing. The year 1999 is long gone, but the 90s are very much in the spotlight as fashion continues to take style cues from that plaid covered decade. Joshua Jackson has grown into his look and doesn’t look out of place appearing in the Mr Porter weekly online magazine The Journal. Let’s just say this isn’t a crush I regret. Happy Wednesday everyone!

Joshua Jackson suit

Jackson talks fashion with the magazine; how style and his personal take on fashion has evolved “When I was a kid I was part of the punk tribe. My group of friends were all kids from broken homes. And I guess we were a band of outsiders.” Jackson cites the recent punk theme at the Met Ball and mentions how he would have previously considered fashion and punk as an odd pair (though as we saw on the night, most people seemed to forget the punk theme). In viewing how things were and how things are now he observes that “It’s an odd time to be a man really. We live in a funny era where every rebellious thing has been mainstreamed. You can really pick out of anything in the grab bag.”

What style does Jackson prefer now? “I guess I like sort of classic men’s stuff, rather than anything too current. Not pushing the envelope too much.” Classic is good, especially if this photo shoot is anything to go by.

Joshua Jackson Mr Porter

For more photos and the whole interview head to Mr Porter where you can also shop the look.

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Summer Rewind: The Comeback Episodes 4 and 5

30 Jul

I’m back with Kerensa Cadenas to discuss The Comeback as part of TV Ate My Wardrobe’s Summer Rewind season. We’re looking at episodes 4 and 5 – “Valerie Stands up for Aunt Sassy” and “Valerie Demands Dignity.”

The Comeback ep 4 show night

Emma: The episodes dealt with two very different aspects, the first one with the show Room & Bored, gender politics and Valerie’s terrible relationship with the writers and the second looked at reality TV and what an audience wants/expects from this genre of television. They were both focused on Valerie and her position within both her shows and how her expectations don’t necessarily match reality (boom boom).

So episode 4 picks up with the Room & Bored in full production and Valerie’s relationship with Paulie G hits a new low after Valerie objects to a specific line in the script. Instead of taking Jimmy’s very good advice (which he undermines by patronizingly calling her honey) and letting the audience show that the line is terrible, Valerie lets all of her insecurities control her actions. The line is terrible and refers to a box of puppies as Korean barbecue (the line before it is equally bad as it plays on the word puppies and Juna’s ‘puppies’) and Valerie is worried that this will make her character unlikable and even worse could get the show cancelled. In the same conversation with Jimmy he informs Valerie that I’m It! didn’t get cancelled because of a badly timed Rodney King joke, but because they had a chimpanzee as a lawyer. Valerie maintains after that it was the joke and that everyone loved the chimpanzee but after seeing how quick Animal Practice was cancelled last year, I think Jimmy is probably correct.

This episode highlights how self-absorbed and unaware Valerie can be; her focus on how Aunt Sassy could be perceived as unlikable in turn could make the Valerie on the reality show look unfavorable instead, especially if it is edited in the ‘right’ way. This stems from her interactions with Gigi, the new female writer. At first Valerie has little interest in who Gigi is and dismisses her until she realizes that Gigi might be able to help her out with the line in question. Gigi is new to LA and television writing as she is a playwright from New York so when Valerie suggests some bonding time it seems like a good idea to Gigi to help out. The episode highlights the predicament for a lone female writer on a staff of guys (which still isn’t all that uncommon sadly – though from my count The Comeback bucks the trend and has 4 credited female writers to 3 credited male writers) and how the writer has all the power, not the actor.

When Valerie’s multiple attempts to get the line changed before filming the episode fails and she has to deliver the line, she does so with enthusiasm even though she hates it and the line bombs (because it’s terrible and racist). Instead of leaving the writers to come up with a suitable replacement Valerie does the one thing that she has been warned against as it might lead to “The hate show” for her character as a reaction to her interference. This scene is so hard to watch because we know that she’s not going to leave it alone and we know that whatever the writers give her will be worse. I thought they were just going to cut Valerie from the scene which would play into Valerie’s fear of becoming the hated character – Valerie explained to Mark that this is a defining line and if an audience doesn’t like her character then she will be included in less scenes until she is removed all together and then she will have nothing. This fear that drives Valerie throughout the episode (and in all the episodes really) is understandable considering she has had such a big gap between shows and this vulnerability makes me root for her, at the same time it also makes her blind to all the help and support around her and can make her seem very self absorbed.

The replacement line isn’t racist, but it is sexually deeming and takes the conflict between Valerie and Paulie G to a new level (“Here comes the hate show” Jimmy mutters). The new line not only calls Valerie old, but also makes her sound desperate. Once again Valerie shows professionalism and delivers the line with enthusiasm, but it’s her reaction after where she looks broken and utterly alone for a moment that is heartbreaking. As we saw in the upfronts episode Lisa Kudrow is so good at delivering this kind of reaction as Valerie lets the mask drop just for a second.

After Valerie has gathered herself and put the mask back on there is another difficult scene as she talks to Paulie G about what just happened. She quietly begs him to go easy on her and it’s so painful to see her plead her case in this way. Basically Paulie G is the worst and I really hope they have something awful in store for him. Valerie is clearly concerned with perception and this episode shows that her perception and reality don’t often match up. It’s frustrating to watch her like this and it’s the most I have yelled at the screen because of how oblivious she is to everything – including the empty gesture of wanting a puppy and then clearly not actually wanting one.

What did you think of this episode? Were you as frustrated with Valerie as I was?

The Comeback ep 4 puppy

Kerensa: I really liked this episode especially because I thought it had some super timely topics in it that you’ve touched on. I agree that Valerie was super frustrating in this episode and I cringed with so much embarrassment for her. That whole puppy thing felt like an even more extreme version of buying Mickey that $4000 plane ticket because the cameras were there (Imagine me saying cameras like Jenna Maroney).

Sometimes I wonder if Valerie is aware of how ridiculous she seems because you are so right in that if they edited her show in the right way she’d look like a monster. But I do think she’s aware of that especially because in this episode she mentioned likeability so much, that if we were having a drinking game, we both would have been very, very drunk. And I think it’s interesting Valerie discusses this so often–she knows that in order (at least then) in order to be female and on television, she needs to be likeable and she needs her character to be likeable not saying terrible and racist jokes.

Paulie G’s humiliation of Valerie with that joke was so awful especially since he knew she had to go along with it. And the gross thing was that everyone enjoyed it which is so depressing. Because Valerie knew that she wouldn’t be likeable with the previous joke but then joking about how she’s basically sexless makes her likeable. Ugh.

Valerie’s manipulation of Gigi was kinda gross especially how she blew her off at first when she didn’t realize who she was. But at the same time, the whole dynamic between the two showed how little power they both have and how blowhards like Paulie G. are running things. And I’m guessing that this isn’t very far off from reality in a writer’s room for a lady. Like you said, I’m hoping they have something awful in store for Paulie G.

I really like Valerie and am rooting for her but sometimes she makes it hard. Granted, we still aren’t that far into the series but I feel like I only know portions of Valerie. I don’t really feel like I know her–other than her on I’m It! (which we saw that clip of!) and this persona she’s constructed. In the next episode, I feel like a little of that peels off, but I’m wondering how real Valerie will actually get. Because I kinda have the feeling she’s terrified that the real her is super unlikeable. What do you think?

Also, we must talk about her speech about fading out…

The Comeback ep I'm It clip

Emma: Jenna Maroney will always be on my mind when someone says camera, especially in situations like this.

I’d agree with you about not really knowing who Valerie really is and this is emphasized by Mark’s bewilderment to how Valerie is behaving in regards to the original joke in the script, as to him she is acting like a completely different person. She explains that he’s never seen her when she’s been working before and I don’t think this reaction is just down to the fact that their conversation is being filmed. This neurotic response is perfectly explained in the fade away speech which could be viewed as a completely over the reaction to one joke in the script but in terms of stardom it might not be as crazy as Valerie makes it seem.

When it comes to reality TV stars the whole Andy Warhol 15 minutes of fame perfectly symbolizes how quickly their cycle of stardom is. Valerie is a slightly different case because she is a marriage of being a sitcom star and now a reality star. Any of the reality shows that have celebrity in the title are examples of these whereas competitions like Idol or The Amazing Race (more on this when we discuss episode 5) and reality lifestyle shows like The Hills or Keeping up with the Kardashians create celebrity in a different way. One is about maintaining relevance/fame whereas the others are about becoming famous.

Everyone wants to feel like they matter in some way and for Valerie her career has stalled in a huge way, going from a hit show to an actress who is barely recognized. Room & Bored is her opportunity to reclaim those glory years and for her this joke could put an end to that; she’s trying to convince herself it’s because the show could get cancelled but in this fading away speech she reveals that she’s worried that it’s her character that will get the push and this in turn will be the end of The Comeback. There have been a couple of moments where the real Valerie comes through and it’s always at times of heightened emotional vulnerability – at the upfronts, when she performs the new joke and here.

I have to wonder how much, if any of this is meant to reference her experience on Friends because Phoebe was the ‘kooky/quirky’ one out of the three women and while she was never demeaned in the way Aunt Sassy was she definitely pushed to the periphery at times when it came to the bigger end of season stories (along with Joey, they generally got the C story). On the show Phoebe had a very good sex life, but in terms of promoting the show Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox were definitely more likely to grace the covers of men’s magazines so The Comeback could also be referencing how the three of them were represented in the external promotion of the show.

What did you think of the speech?

The Comeback ep 4 monitor

Kerensa: Let’s be honest, Jenna Maroney is always on our minds–well at least mine anyways.

I thought that her speech was pretty heartbreaking to watch because Valerie so desperately wants to hold on to what she had created for herself with I’m It even if that’s not realistic any longer. But at the same time you can see that underlying ruthlessness that Valerie is totally capable of to make The Comeback a hit (which we see a bit of in the next episode).

That’s super interesting regarding Friends–which I never really watched and have never particularly cared for what I did see. But that totally makes so much sense. That reminds me of the scene when Valerie slaps Jesse on the ass it felt like she was trying to sex up her image somewhat but didn’t want him to reciprocate. When he did, she did the robot so everyone would forget about it.

Do you have other thoughts on episode 4 or should we start on episode 5? Which was WOW.

The Comeback ep 4 bad line

Emma: I was pretty big into the whole Friends thing, it was one of the first really huge US shows that I watched and if I flick onto an episode and nothing else is on I’ll still gladly watch it. So I’m probably viewing it a response to her Friends career, but so far I don’t think it’s making any overt negative comments about that experience.

I thought something similar about the butt slap, it’s also another way to try as retain some of spotlight that she fears is on the younger cast.

That’s all I have on episode 4 and so let’s move on to episode 5, which as you say WOW.

It’s an episode that focuses on what reality TV is and if we had “likability” as our drinking game word for ep 4, “dignity” would be our get drunk word for this one. It’s all Valerie wants her show to have, but does it?

This is all triggered by a couple of things, first an embarrassing moment where Valerie thinks the worst thing they’ve caught is her without her lipstick on, instead it’s a videotape called “Ladies Loving Ladies 5” that the cameras have seen. This leads to Valerie trying to defend her husband having porn tape saying he only has one (he has more than one) – side note nothing dates a show more than VHS and old cell phones. Valerie wants to appeal to middle America and she wants to do it with dignity (*drink*). Porn might not be the way to do that.

There is still a question of editing especially when Jane points out “You don’t have to worry about what we’re shooting as we’re shooting everything.” Jane explains that it takes a lot of footage to make an interesting reality show which begins Valerie’s tailspin. This is made even worse when Valerie spots Entertainment Weekly’s cover asking “Is Reality TV Dying?” with sex and stunts needed to liven it up.

While I have quite a bit more to add I want to throw it back to you to find out what your thoughts are about the set up for this episode?

The Comeback ep 5 EW cover

Kerensa: The set up for this episode was so so good. Valerie’s insistence that “Ladies Loving Ladies 5” was the only porn in the house and that it was most certainly Mark’s was hilarious. Although later in the episode, I think it’s safe to assume Mark’s not watching that solo.

Valerie seeing that EW cover “Is Reality TV Dying?” sets off Valerie into a completely EPIC tailspin focused on DIGNITY. The theme of this episode.

Kudrow is a national treasure.

Do you think Valerie acted particularly dignified this episode?

The Comeback ep5 Valerie on the freeway

Emma: In some respects Valerie acts dignified in this episode, particularly when it comes to the running out of gas stunt that Charla sets up – I’ve never seen The Amazing Race so I didn’t know that Charla was a real contestant on that show but I know enough about that show that I don’t think it really matters that I didn’t have that knowledge. Charla is here to represent the veteran reality star and she knows how to appeal to an audience and go with the situations that are sometimes set up.

Valerie doesn’t have this background so she doesn’t want to play along, all she wants to do is get to her all important TV Guide interview. Which she does, but she has an epic falling over moment and it also means having to get the bus (something I thought she’d make a big deal out of and she didn’t). Valerie’s knees are all cut up but she makes it to the lunch and the critic thinks that Valerie’s dignity idea is refreshing.

Now Valerie’s main issue with Charla was that she was trying to manipulate Valerie’s show and if it had been a more thought out plan with Valerie’s input, I think she might have been more inclined to take part. This comes after that article and the dull moment shopping, where she’s trying to appeal to middle America (and features Glee’s Jayma May as the sales girl) and so I think she’s open to suggestions.

Valerie attempts to sex up her own show by wearing new satin nightwear to bed and arousing Mark, but then she stops him short and the bathroom is the only place they’ve been having sex. As we find out later in the episode the bathroom might not have visuals but we can hear everything they’re doing. So Valerie is attempting manipulation in her own way and this in turn pisses off Mark as he tells her that she “gave me blue balls for ratings.” These last two episodes have endeared me to Mark and what it means to be a less willing participant in a reality show.

You’re so spot on about Lisa Kudrow and I really need to start watching Web Therapy as it returned this week.

What do you think about Valerie’s interactions with Charla and Mark with her quest for dignity?

The Comeback ep 5 Meeting Charla

Kerensa: I never watched The Amazing Race either but I knew about this episode because one of my best friends who LOVES this show told me I had to alert him right after I watched it.

Charla’s manipulation of Valerie’s show is kinda what I imagined all reality television stars to be like. I agree that I think Valerie might have gone along with it all if she had been given some notice especially since she wants to amp up the action on her show.

That bus moment was so epic. I was glad to see that Valerie didn’t care about riding the bus either and it was hilarious when she asked the bus driver if he could hurry. I loved it when she told Charla off though.

I was so glad that the TV critic that Valerie met with thought that her concept was “refreshing.” I think it really gave Valerie the boost she needed to feel more confident in what she wants to do with the show. Because after she saw that EW cover, you could just feel the tension of her subtle manipulations to sex the show up–from the sexy nightie scene with Mark to her reluctant agreement to Charla working as her assistant. It was really nice to see Valerie get a win even if it’s a pretty small one.

However, like you mentioned with Mark and Valerie having sex in the bathroom, I think that’s a pretty big example of how oblivious Valerie is with some of the aspects of reality television. She’s super concerned with how she looks and within that constant worry I think she forgets to look at the bigger picture.

I still don’t really get the Mark thing? I do agree with you that I feel like you get to know him a bit better in this episode but I still don’t feel like I understand the dynamic of their relationship at all.

The comeback ep 5 Valerie and Mark

Emma: We need to talk about the super cringe part of this episode and Valerie’s lack of dignity. This occurs when Valerie is introduced to Charla and she’s super condescending, this is in part because she doesn’t know who Charla is (Mickey is a huge fan and he mentioned The Amazing Race in the upfronts episode so this isn’t a surprise), but also because Valerie has problems interacting with people for the cameras. This leads back to what you mention about Valerie not considering the big picture, she’s so concerned with certain aspects that other important factors pass her by.

Charla knows how to make things work for her and turns the incident in the dry cleaners into a perfect moment of TV, do you think we’ll see Valerie adapting to the reality show format to her advantage or will it always end in some kind of disaster?

With Mark I agree, as while I find his manner around the cameras to be understandable I also don’t get them as a couple. Hopefully this will get expanded upon. I would love to see his daughter again as I love how she plays up to the camera.

Quick LA question, is Montana Avenue the average persons shopping street? That’s what I got from Valerie’s attempts to appeal to middle America with that trip.

Valerie did use her catchphrase “I don’t want to see that” at the perfect moment as she discusses that porn tape. Oh and Valerie’s attempts to flag parts of the tape even when Jane and the crew isn’t there is both hilarious and pointless as we know that Valerie’s feelings probably won’t be taken into consideration when it comes to the editing.

Any other thoughts on either of these episodes?

The Comeback ep 5 reading EW

Kerensa: When Valerie first meets Charla it is SUPER uncomfortable. Although Mickey was so funny when he met her and kept calling Valerie to talk to Charla. I think Valerie can’t deal with other people on the show because she’s so terrified of being upstaged by anyone. I don’t know if I can imagine Valerie adapting to the format–I think she’s still so stuck in her fame for I’m It, she just wants to recreate that which isn’t going to happen in the same way.

I don’t think that anyone shops on Montana–I thought it was weird that she was shopping there.

Emma: Just as we were wrapping this discussion up the TCA panel for the new Anna Faris/Allison Janney sitcom Mom was going on and this tweet from Slate critic June Thomas popped up in my Twitter feed: “”You’re suddenly the aunt”–Anna Faris on how moving into one’s 30s affects actresses’ employment opportunities.” This perfectly represents what Valerie Cherish is going through with her career and shows once again that The Comeback nails its observations about both the Hollywood climate and reality TV.

Kerensa Cadenas is a writer living in Los Angeles. She is a staff writer for Women and Hollywood. She also writes for This Was TelevisionForever Young Adult, and Bitch magazine. She was the Research Editor for Tomorrow magazine. You can follow her on Twitter and read her ridiculous thoughts about teen television at her website.

Music Monday: Bill’s Sandwich, The Who and “Freaks and Geeks”

29 Jul

Sometimes the simplest scenes are the ones that stay with you and one such moment that I have been looking forward to seeing again as I rewatch Freaks and Geeks for This Was TV, is Bill making an after school snack and watching TV. It doesn’t sound particularly memorable when put like that but the way the scene is constructed and the performance from Martin Starr elevates it to favorite scene status. The episode is “Dead Dogs and Gym Teachers” and I’ll be discussing it in length with Julie Hammerle later in the week, but I thought that both the scene and the track “I’m One” by The Who are perfect for this “Music Monday” feature.

Start your week with Bill Haverchuck related joy (and maybe a grilled cheese sandwich).

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

26 Jul

Comic-Con might be over and while Out of the Box covered the all important X-Files reunion from last Thursday’s panel, there are plenty of style moments from the weekend that deserve a place on this list. This week is an all Comic-Con edition and includes flower crowns, Team t-shirts and the perfect casual but stylish Comic-Con panel attire. 

Winner: Hugh Dancy and Bryan Fuller at the Hannibal Nerd HQ Panel

Hugh Dancy Flower Crown Bryan Fuller Flower CrownIf you spend any time on Tumblr in the Hannibal tag then you have probably seen the flower crown meme; basically it’s photoshopping a flower crown onto a Hannibal character (it’s not limited to the Hannibal fandom but it’s prevalence is clear to see). At Comic-Con last weekend many Hannibal fans donned the flower crown and at the main panel showrunner Bryan Fuller was given one and proudly wore it. This continued at the Nerd HQ fan Q&A where Hugh Dancy and Fuller were given crowns and both were game to wear the head piece; they look delightful.

Hannibal is the first Bryan Fuller show that I have watched (though I very recently finished watching Wonderfalls) and it is clear why he is beloved by the viewers of his shows, as he not only acknowledges the quirks but takes part (this includes referring to the stag as “Swiggity Swag the Nightmare Stag”). Hannibal doesn’t have a huge audience but the one it does have is passionate and this can help a shows survival when it lives on the bubble (sometimes it doesn’t matter as to whether a show lives or dies, as Fuller can testify). It’s through Twitter and at events like Comic-Con that showrunners and cast members can share moments and this flower crown incident is indicative of that. 

Runner Up: Yvonne Strahovski at the I, Frankenstein Panel

Yvonne Strahovski Comic Con

Mixing patterns can go horribly wrong but it’s also one of my favorite things to see on the red carpet when it works; Yvonne Strahovski shows how to get power clashing right. Strahovski is a Comic-Con pro by now after several years of attending with Chuck and this year she was on double duty with Dexter and I, Frankenstein. Straddling the line between being casual and stylish for the Comic-Con setting can be hard but Strahovski nails it in this Sportsmax dress and black pumps.

Runner Up: Keri Russell at the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Panel 

173986630AK00001_Dawn_Of_Th

Keri Russell’s super cute tweed shorts/white jacket combo is both relaxed and professional looking. While this probably wouldn’t work in your average office (not that Comic-Con is anyone’s average office) it’s something that can easily be recreated for those warm (read humid) summer days that some of us are experiencing at the moment. I’ve got so used to seeing Russell in her Americans 80s attire that it’s good to see her wearing something from the current decade. Even if I miss the wigs.

Runner Up: The Veronica Mars Guys at the Veronica Mars Panel 

Team Veronica Mars Comic ConJason Dohring and Chris Lowell play devil’s advocate with Veronica Mars shippers as they sport the name of their rivals character on their chest at the Veronica Mars panel. Ryan Hansen takes part in the Team t-shirt game but instead of showing preference to a romantic connection he wears his own character’s name with pride (which is perfectly Dick Casablancas). While I am definitely Logan all the way when it comes to Veronica, I have to say that Ryan Hansen wins this team game for me (even if Jason Dohring’s arms are a little distracting in the best possible way, in the above shot).

Teen Hair Confessions & the New Michelle Williams Louis Vuitton Campaign

25 Jul

TV Ate My Wardrobe likes to explore how costuming and styling from TV shows can be a source of inspiration and here’s the tale of how one character had a big influence on a huge hair decision I made; when Jen Lindley from Dawson’s Creek got a drastic shorter style so did I. That’s right I went from long to short hair at the age of 16 because of a TV show. Luckily it turns out that I’m one of those people that looks better with short hair and it wasn’t the disaster it could be (the story of my earlier super shot blunt bangs is a horrorshow, thanks to teenage stupidity rather than Jen Lindley).

This anecdote leads me to Michelle Williams’ new stunning Louis Vuitton campaign that will feature in the many September issues of fashion magazines next month and while Williams has perfected the short ‘do since her time on The WB, the strong eyebrow/brick red lip combination has a distinct ’90s influence. 

Michelle Williams Louis Vuitton AW 13The ’90s revival is in full swing as the nostalgia dial is set to high as everything that happened in this decade becomes new again; this includes TV show reboots, movies that are celebrating their 18th anniversary (hello Clueless) and makeup revivals from brands like MAC, even the political sex scandals sound like something from the 90s with a technological twist. This is enough to instantly make anyone in their late 20s/early 30s feel the weight of time and thanks to the recent My So-Called Life and Freaks and Geeks discussions that I have been taking part in for This Was TV with Julie Hammerle I’m pretty sure I’ve past the threshold of embarrassing teen stories (soon there will be embarrassing university stories when we tackle Felicity in the fall – another show that has a defining hair moment).

For all the fashion mistakes we make as teens (and as adults) it’s a learning process that we all go through, the short hair that Williams had as Jen Lindley is nowhere near as polished as the pixie cut that Williams is famous for now (hey stars they’re just like us) and this new campaign shows Michelle Williams rocking updated 90s grunge makeup (albeit while holding the very non-grunge but beautiful new Louis Vuitton bag).

This campaign is not only stunning but it also reminds me that thanks to Jen Lindley back in 1999 I made the best hair decision and went short.

Michelle Williams for Louis Vuitton

 

What do you think of the new campaign?

Any teenage style choices you made thanks to a TV show that you are thankful for or regret?

 
Images courtesy of WWD

“The Conversation” and Busy Philipps on Body Image

24 Jul

It’s hard to escape the wall-to-wall news coverage surrounding the birth of the Royal baby and while this isn’t going to descend into an article about how the polka dot dress that Kate Middleton wore to unveil her son didn’t hide her post-labor bump, it has reminded me of an interview that Busy Philipps gave on the web series The Conversation a couple of months ago.

The Conversation is hosted by Amanda de Cadenet and the mission of this series and their website is “to explore, nurture and empower the modern woman, through interviews and topics ranging from: health and wellness, beauty, style, fitness, diet, parenting, sex, love, truth and wisdom, career and finance.” The interview with Busy Philipps is one that is particularly relevant this week as it highlights the unnatural expectations that are being heaped on women both famous and non-famous with the obsession that has grown regarding body image and post-pregnancy weight loss.

You don’t have to go far to see headlines about Kate Middleton’s “mummy tummy” with the same site posting photos of Busy Philipps (who recently gave birth to her second child) stating that she’s “embracing her new curves” and is in “no rush to slim down.” These comments might not appear to be all that venomous but there is an inherent value judgement, particularly as tabloids love to do “My Body after Baby” spreads – something that Philipps mentions in her Conversation episode.

It’s not just post-pregnancy ideals that Philipps discusses as she also talks about a time in her mid-20s when she was asked to lose weight for a pilot and how body image could be considered the “last frontier of feminism.” In a recent behind the scenes look at how The Conversation is made de Cadenet explains that this series believes it is “important to be honest because otherwise we are comparing ourselves to unrealistic lives.” This topic is covered in the Busy Philipps edition and it is important to untangle ourselves from these unrealistic expectations that some publications peddle to us on a daily basis.

There is a reason why the Freaks and Geeks episode “Kim Kelly is my Friend” is one of my favorite episodes of TV and a lot of that is to do with Busy Philipps’ performance; the candid nature of this character is something that appears to be shared with the person who plays Kim.

Fantasy Costuming Fall 2013: Dressing Olivia Pope

23 Jul

TV Ate My Wardrobe’s Fantasy Costuming series took a brief hiatus and now that all of Scandal has been consumed it’s time to turn to one of the most talked about characters currently on TV. Olivia Pope is an interesting figure beyond her clothing of course, but aspects of her wardrobe set her apart from the usual Washington D.C. power suits and the lack of navy and red makes her stand out from the political crowd. Scandal costume designer Lyn Paolo isn’t a stranger to the White House scene as she worked on The West Wing. Even though they share a location Scandal is far removed from the that version of politics and creator Shonda Rhimes told Entertainment WeeklyI feel like The West Wing brought us Washington as we’d all want it to be. And this show brings us Washington as we hope it would never be.”

The costuming of Olivia Pope is far removed from Aaron Sorkin’s politic world (Mellie would probably fit right in as her First Lady pieces are pretty traditional). The first thing that is striking about Olivia is the amount of white she wears and this intentionally reveals several things about how she wants to be perceived – she’s the good guy, she’s not on the red team or blue team and there is a calming presence to her limited and neutral color palette.

Kerry Washington recently tweeted “I’m CRAZY excited about this #Scandal fitting that I am about to have with @LynPaolo – like giddy butterflies kinda excited. Wow” and so to fill in the time between now and the new season we wanted to find some potential outfits for Olivia Pope from all corners of the internet both high end and more affordable. For those who might love Olivia’s wardrobe, but might not want that much white in your wardrobe then we’ve got a few pieces for you. The gowns that Olivia wears are impressive (and sometimes one of a kind) but we’ve decided to focus on work and lounge wear.

French Connection Olivia Pope

French Connection A/W ’13 

Feminine tailoring is a key factor when it comes to the Olivia Pope look and this “Pop Dot Woven” jacket and matching pants from French Connection is an affordable way to deliver this sharp style. This outfit creates the all important silhouette and uses the key tones that we see in Olivia’s office wear. The contrast piping breaks down the polka dot texture, as do the black lapels, cuffs and pocket details on the jacket which help give it a structured appearance.

Burberry Spring 2014

Burberry Prorsum S/S ’13

Out of all of Olivia’s amazing clothes it’s not her incredible gowns that we here at TV Ate My Wardrobe covet (though we wouldn’t say no), instead it’s her vast collection of coats that take our fancy. Washington D.C. can get rather chilly in the winter (both the weather and politically) and so it’s only appropriate that she has so many. While we’ve already seen Olivia in a traditional Burberry trench, this more embellished “Double Duchess Caped Trench Coat” from Burberry Prorsum adds a modern twist with the canopy cape. While costume designer Lyn Paolo has said they try to avoid anything that is too catwalk, this version of the Burberry trench maintains the traditional look and enhances it without being too showy.

Carven mint-green

Carven

Mint green works on the Olivia Pope color spectrum and these Carven double crepe pants might be from last season (now on sale with more than half off) but pastel colors are here to stay and feature in collections for the fall. Olivia has worn green before in a slightly warmer shade than this in the episode “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” that saw a 10 month jump and showed Olivia trying to move on with her life (and failing to do so).  Hopefully if she was to opt for green again it would be under better circumstances; judging from how season 2 ended this is unlikely.

Maison Martin MargielaMaison Martin Margiela MM6

Not only does Olivia have a vast array of coats, but her lounge wear collection is also pretty impressive. Olivia is just as happy at home on the couch eating a bowl of popcorn and drinking red wine as she is fixing things and this grey oversized cape cardigan from Maison Martin Margiela MM6 is perfect. Luxurious knitwear seems like the worst idea as it’s super hot at the moment but come the fall when Scandal returns this won’t feel like such a ridiculous idea.

Reiss

Reiss A/W ’13

Another office look for Olivia and this one maintains feminine and slim-cut styling, while also featuring a harsher edge thanks to the “Ezra” leather skirt. This wouldn’t be the first time we have seen Olivia in leather as she has worn olive leather leggings in the episode “Seven Fifty Two” (paired with a Burberry trench) and of course there are those many leather gloves. Black leather gives off a strong impression but pairing it with the “Mimi” frill neck and sleeve top offers a soft compromise. Olivia is going to have new challenges when Scandal returns so it is likely that her costuming will evolve.

Would these outfit choices get the Olivia Pope approval?

Music Monday: Dancing Down the Street to David Bowie

22 Jul

This is primarily a TV website, but that doesn’t mean that movies, books and music are off limits. As it’s the start of the week and the weather is hot and the news is focused on the imminent arrival of a baby (and treating it like no other babies have ever been born) I’ve chosen the song that has should hopefully clear out those start of the week blues.

I finally saw Frances Ha last week and it’s probably the best film I have seen this year, a year that has featured many “that was ok” and shoulder shrug responses upon leaving a cinema screen. It’s not been a truly terrible year for film; it hasn’t been all that memorable either. My one concern before seeing Frances Ha was that my expectations might be too high; I really like Greta Gerwig and I’d heard a lot of positive comments about the film and its portrayal of a woman who is drifting while her best friend is getting her life together. My fears were unwarranted and I don’t think I’ve seen a film deal with a female character like this, without making her ultimate goal to find love in the big city and it is so refreshing. Frances is not perfect and her choices aren’t either, but that’s ok as we all stumble (and like Frances this happens both physically and metaphorically).


What she does do and it’s one thing that I want to do since I’ve had the song on repeat is dance down the street to David Bowie’s “Modern Love” (for some reason the soundtrack incorrectly lists it as “Young Americans”) and while it’s probably too hot to do so, it might make you want to do the same. And yes falling over will likely happen.

This David Bowie video will also help with a style solution if you ever wanted to wear a bow tie, but didn’t know how to do it up.

Frances Ha gif courtesy of Tumblr

Veronica Mars Debuts New Footage at Comic-Con

22 Jul

Comic-Con is big business for a range of shows that we cover here at TV Ate My Wardrobe and the one show now turned movie that probably caused the most excitement for this writer is Veronica Mars. The Kickstarter funded project debuted new footage and it doesn’t disappoint (well maybe the amount of Piz disappoints but hey, at least he references Buffy).

My first experience of Veronica Mars was last year and so I’m pretty new to this world and while The X-Files reunionCatching Fire trailer, X-Men: Days of Future Past panel and Hannibal gag reel appear high on my best of Comic-Con list, this Veronica Mars preview tops. Though as a sidebar if someone could put the whole Entertainment Weekly “Women Who Kick Ass” panel online I think it could challenge Veronica Mars for that title.

Veronica Mars Comic Con

The preview includes new footage from the film and interviews with several cast members old and new. Shots of creator Rob Thomas and some of the cast watching the Kickstarter counter increasing reminds us why this film is happening and that it’s the fans that have made this possible. A Party Down reunion is a welcome sight as Ryan Hansen and Martin Starr are interviewed together; I would be very happy to see the pair don pink bow ties and trade insults once again. Oh and that look Logan gives Veronica in the car is enough to reignite the shipper flame (that never really went out). Expect dancing, back flips and wet guys in suits.

Style points are given to all the Team t-shirts (with Dick being the overall winner, because, well it’s Ryan Hansen) and Tina Majorino’s new shorter and voluminous cut gets the biggest nod of the day as she looks fantastic.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

19 Jul

It’s been a busy week with Emmy nominations, Comic-Con and magazine covers and this edition of “Out of the Box” covers all three. While it’s still very much the summer and my Scandal catch up is underway, it’s also time to look to returning shows like Breaking Bad  and from the activity on my Twitter feed most casts are returning to their shows for the fall season. As always this is a snapshot of what I have been watching and what news/photo shoots have caught my eye online and in print. 

Winner: Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny at The X-Files Reunion Panel, Comic-Con

X Files Reunion

The X-Files holds a very special place in my TV watching history and the relationship between Mulder and Scully is a very big part of this. I have never been to Comic-Con but I know that if I was attending this year then this X-Files reunion panel would be number one on my list and from this ScreenFad live blog it sounds like it was a relaxed and fun affair. Both Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny look content and happy to be reunited in front of a large audience of fans and thrilled shippers all around the world when Anderson suggested that Mulder and Scully would “Have sex” on a date. Duchovny followed this up with “Then maybe dinner?”

Runner Up: Bryan Cranston for GQ 

bryan-cranston-gq-magazine-august-2013-04

It’s been a good week for Bryan Cranston as he received an Emmy nomination and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; he’s also on the cover of the August issue of GQ. The photo shoot has Cranston ditching the Heisenberg/Walter White threads (this is a far cry from standing in the desert in his underwear) and going for a tailored look. It’s a good choice and I don’t think we’ve ever seen him look this dreamy.

Runner Up: Aubrey Plaza for The New York Times

Aubrey Plaza NY Times

Aubrey Plaza is currently on the promotional trail for The To Do List and this includes a profile in The New York Times. Opting for a photo that wouldn’t look out of place on Instagram (because that is a thing we do now) the styling leans much older than the skort wearing teen that Plaza plays in The To Do List and is more polished than Plaza’s Parks and Recreation character April.

Aaron Paul and Neil Patrick Harris Announcing the 2013 Emmy Nominations 

65th Primetime Emmy Nominations Announcement

I’m pretty sure there is nothing more adorable than Aaron Paul in polka dot bow tie (ok maybe his Price is Right appearance) and I’m sure he will offer something just as delightful at the Emmy awards come September. Here Paul is announcing the nominees for the 2013 Emmys and while I’m still simmering from some of the missing names/shows (like Hannibal, Jake Johnson and The Americans), Aaron Paul deservedly got another nomination for his role of Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad. Neil Patrick Harris looks just as dapper as always and was a late minute replacement for Kate Mara (she had travel issues) showing that even with short notice and at 5.30 am he’s always on it when it comes to hosting.

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