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Archive | March, 2014

Wishful Thinking and Voicemails on The Good Wife

31 Mar

At the start of season 2 of The Good Wife Will left two voicemails for Alicia; one told her to forget his declaration of love that ended season 1. The second retracted this and instead reiterated his original “I love you” statement, reinforcing his point further by saying he’d loved her since Georgetown. The latter message is one she never heard because Eli deleted it (oh Eli) and “The Last Call” is the tragic voicemail sequel. This is an incredibly exhausting, draining and exceptional hour of television that features an endless stream of A+ performances as reaction to Will’s death vary including anger (Cary) and general disbelief at the situation. Alicia deals with a series of unanswered questions as she tries to come to terms with this news and the mystery reason behind his phone call.

The Good Wife 5.16 alicia“Alicia… Hold, hold on Your Honor. I’ll call you back.” That’s all it is, no indication of what he wanted to talk to her about and Alicia spends the episode trying to piece together what happened in Will’s final hours and the reason behind his call. The voicemail is a distraction, so Alicia has something to do while she doesn’t know what to do. It’s why Alicia calls Kalinda, but instead of turning to each other with a couple of shots of tequila they both go about their separate business in searching for a why; Kalinda with Jeffery and Will’s final message for Alicia.

With a death this sudden it leaves a lot of unanswered questions from the more grand existential ones to the more immediate like how was he feeling before he died. The previous two episodes set up a reconciliation of sorts between Alicia and Will after months of anger and animosity; first over a semi-passive aggressive beer that cleared the air in a diner in New York. This was followed by Alicia sharing some information with Will to help him (well not in the end) with his client and it was clear things were finally thawing between them.

At this point it should have been clear that something was up, but as this is a show that doesn’t tend to kill its regular characters the signs were not all that obvious. Even if Will had been celebrating his last day, I wouldn’t have seen this coming. The sudden nature and finality of it all feels like a punch to the stomach to both the characters and us as an audience and while we were privy to the season 2 declaration of love voicemail, we are just as in the dark as Alicia on this occasion.

The Good Wife 5.16 DianeAlicia asks those closest to Will in both proximity – Finn, the judge and his assistant – and emotionally – Diane – why he was calling. Diane doesn’t know, but she also doesn’t think Will was upset at her. This is one of the many bleary eyed scenes (to be honest my screen is looking pretty hazy as I type this) as Diane tells Alicia that Will loved her. Of all the reactions to Will’s death there are several moments where people recoil from a tender shoulder squeeze. Alicia rejects Eli’s attempt to reach out when Kalinda calls to tell her the news as Eli is part of her Peter world and has no place in this (even if he is of course saddened by the news) and David Lee does the same to Diane. David doesn’t want to let his emotions betray his shark like exterior as this is something he has perfected over the years. When he barks at people to leave a room at first I thought he might be thinking only of the business, to see him grief stricken for a moment is completely unexpected and shows that everyone, even David Lee has humanity. Well aside from one of Will’s clients who demands a meeting, amazing kickass reactions from Diane as she blackballs this douche to other law firms “They liked Will, they don’t like you.”

With Alicia and Diane it is different; they both know how the other felt about Will and they’ve already shown a public display of grief and unity in their lobby embrace. The hand holding/shoulder squeeze is in an extension of that and despite their recently fraught relationship, all differences get put aside. It’s also worth noting that both Alicia and Diane are wearing colors both associated with mourning with Alicia in black and Diane in purple. Alicia’s jacket is structured and armor like with its zips and Diane’s bold chain statement necklace suggests that she is unbreakable and steadfast even at a time like this.

The Good Wife 5.15 WillThere are two versions of Will that flash through Alicia’s mind when she first hears the news; the warm smiling Will who loved her and the angry Will who felt betrayed by Alicia. Maria, Finn’s assistant confirms Alicia’s fear that Will was calling to rail against her for stealing Candice as a client. There’s nothing Alicia can do to change this and a conversation with Grace about God, heaven and the meaning behind this is tainted with this belief that Will’s last message was rooted in rage. Grace tries to explain why it is better to have faith, with Alicia countering that her lack of faith is “not better, it’s just truer. It’s just not wishful thinking.”

One detail makes all the difference and that is the gender of the person who Will was angry at for stealing clients and not only does this swiftly deal with the character dead end that is Damian (so long, you will not be missed) it also gives Alicia some small comfort. While Finn can’t offer up Will’s last words as he didn’t have any – he was trying to speak but couldn’t – Will was not alone as Finn held his hand until the ambulance arrived. Even though this is the first time Finn and Alicia are meeting there is an instant rapport and I’m really glad that Matthew Goode has signed on for the rest of the season. I’m not suggesting this is going to lead to anything romantic (far from it, he mentions a wife and son for starters), but there is an immediate bond because of what went down in the courthouse. Finn is Alicia’s last connection to Will and while it’s most likely due to his drugged up state Finn shares one very important vague piece of information that is left open to interpretation “He wanted to tell you something.”

The Good Wife 5.15 middle distanceAlicia constructs the fairy tale version of Will’s voicemail while Peter attempts to comfort her; Alicia has spent the entire episode avoiding him as he’s not part of her Will world, far from it. While she stares into the middle distance this is the call she imagines with Will telling her “Alicia I’m sorry. I want what we had, I want to be with you and only you, forever.Call me back please.” It’s her own version of the other voicemail she never heard and even though she can’t be sure what he was going to say, sometimes you have to cling to wishful thinking.

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Scandal 3.15 “Mama Said Knock You Out” Review

28 Mar

Olivia Pope will always been on the outside when it comes to Fitz family matters; even though she has his heart there are doors that will always be closed to her on Scandal. “Mama Said Knock You Out” is a tough watch at times and even though it didn’t include anyone gargling on their own blood, it rivals last week for heartbreak and pain. I don’t know what to make of B613 anymore and while I understand that shows have to evolve beyond their original premise, I do miss the case of the week aspect especially as the web of conspiracy continues to expand to everything. The parts of this episode that worked are the ones that deal with the emotional implications of the secrets that have been kept and the examination of what family and work means.

Scandal 3.15 the first familyStarting with the First Family and this homecoming is far from happy. It’s rare to see both Fitz and Mellie nervous, but in the opening scene they are both apprehensive about their kids visiting. This is for a variety of reasons; it’s going to impact the campaign and they’ve both been largely absent in their role as parents. Karen and Jerry are less than subtle when it comes to showing their disdain and Olivia figures out that Jerry has been using the internet as a tool against his father, Karen’s just pissed that her mom has stuck by Fitz despite the cheating. Karen’s rage increases tenfold when she walks in on Mellie in a very compromising kneeling position (she wasn’t praying) and this opens up a whole new can of Grant family worms.

Mellie and Andrew’s affair is both a new and an old one; emotionally it goes back 15 years, physically it’s only a couple of weeks old. Fitz is enraged and shows his truly ugly side with a tirade about how he cheated first, but Mellie killed their marriage long ago when she shut him out physically. Of course we have the knowledge that she was raped, but even if this wasn’t the case the blame and vitriol that Fitz spits in Mellie’s direction is unacceptable. Olivia enters the room and this is when it becomes apparent that there are some doors she can’t just walk through as Fitz screams at her that “I’m talking to my wife?” This is a terrible display from Fitz on every level.

This comes on the heels of Mama Pope telling Olivia that “You think you’re family. But you’re nothing but the help.” This is a knife twisting assessment of Olivia’s role in Fitz’s life and it underlines the notion that there is no Vermont or jam no matter how many times they steal away kisses in the Oval Office. Olivia is there to clean up, it used to be a different person each week, now it is all Fitz and B613. It’s her job as she emphatically tells Fitz later on, after she has had a heart-to-heart with a still grieving Cyrus as he confirms that yes, they are pretty much the help and even though he resents it, he also knows it’s important. This is another stellar week for Jeff Perry who expresses rage at Jake, followed by a heartbreaking understanding of why James died. Plus there is the cutest scene with Ella – it’s a banner week for the children of Scandal.

Scandal 3.15  24Family is a repeated theme this season as we have come to know both of Olivia’s parent (both shadowy and duplicitous with so much blood on their hands) and their beyond dysfunctional relationship with their daughter. No wonder Olivia likes to pound so much red wine. Rowan at first refuses to help with the B613 money trail investigation and for some reason they decided to 24 the editing, all that is missing is the ticking clock in the middle and two other shots showing what else is going on at this moment (I vote Mellie and Andrew in one box, Abby investigating something in the other).

Rowan is not a very tender father, but one thing that pushes him into darling daddy territory is Jake paying him a visit threatening him and if there’s one thing Rowan won’t stand for it is being told what to do by Jake. Jake is acting like the big I am and this power and arrogance is going to be his downfall if he isn’t careful. No one likes a smug leader Jake and while you look rather fetching in your Command suit you’re still not invincible. Joe Morton delivers yet another word twisting monologue and I don’t think I’ve heard the word alone be uttered in this way before. It’s as if the word was a bullet and he shot it through Jake’s heart.

Scandal 3.15 Mellie and KarenIn terms of costuming and color there is a mirroring between Karen and Mellie, however the different shades of green (Mellie in teal, Karen in emerald) show they are not quite on the same page. For the interview Karen wears the blue dress Mellie described as crafting a sweet and wholesome image. Mellie is also in blue, but hers is on the purple end of the scale with a bold print showing where the power lies. The children have relented and the Grant’s are presenting a united front; baby Teddy gets to be involved even if he is just a super cute prop.

Scandal 3.15 Fitz and OliviaFor some reason Fitz and Olivia keep getting it on in front of windows, which for a secret relationship isn’t very smart. I guess the lighting is better here, but still. There are multiple sexy shenanigans this week including close ups on side zips being undone, hands going up dresses and underwear being taking off while still wearing everything else.  Adnan is guilty of the latter seduction move and it turns out she is playing Harrison, manipulating him so she can get all the information on Fitz, his campaign schedule and his security detail. They really need to lock things up in the OPA office. There is also some stuff with Quinn and Huck, this show needs to retire anything that even hits at face licking.

Scandal 3.15 capeIn other news Olivia wore the most spectacular Dolce & Gabbana cape; perfect for strutting with purpose. Oh and for bump cover, which is why there is sadly no good full shots of this outfit. Olivia should definitely get more capes in her closet.

 

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

28 Mar

It’s week two of Paleyfest and this has delivered more fantastic outfits from the stars of shows like Mad MenMasters of SexAgents of SHIELDThe Mindy Project, Community and Veep. Here are the ones that stood out.

The Paley Center For Media's PaleyFest 2014 Honoring "Mad Men"The women of Mad Men work a variety of styles both on and off the show; however they don’t look like they are attending different events which can sometimes be an issue at these panels. Kiernan Shipka is once again showing that being a teenager doesn’t take away any fashion credibility and her Dolce & Gabbana floral dress is once again age appropriate and on point. Christina Hendricks does a nice job of honoring L’Wren Scott in an amazing green dress by the designer that flatters and accentuates those famous curves.

Jessica Paré is the most high fashion of the group (the absent January Jones also vies for this spot) and this Roksanda Ilincic frock looks pretty standard from this angle. What this shot is missing out is how extreme the half-wrap orange fold is and this is a dress that looks amazing in a lot of photos and a mess in others. Paré pulls it off even if I’m not in love with her shoes. Elisabeth Moss is showing off her fun side, which we have been seeing on the red carpet and in the recent New York magazine profile in a black mini Emilio Pucci number. The white lace panel and bow detail adds a hint of vintage and combining bold red lips and shoes adds that extra something to the outfit.

Chloe BennetI really shouldn’t like this Mason by Michelle Mason jumpsuit that Agent of SHIELD’s Chloe Bennet is wearing as I’ve made my feelings on jumpsuit’s clear last week and black tends to be the only kind of jumpsuit that I could even consider. For some reason I think this looks really great and I’m just going to go with it. The slightly different blue pumps make sure it’s not too matchy matchy and I am forever a sucker for pockets.

Annaleigh AshfordNow this is more my usual speed (pockets again) and Annaleigh Ashford from Masters of Sex looks incredibly charming in this Novis dress. I was worried the red pumps might be a step too far, but the more I look at them, the more they work. The variety of textures, pattern and color make this a frock to covet and I’m excited that Ashford’s Betty is returning for season 2.

Mindy Kaling and Chris MessinaThe Mindy Project is back next week after they left us on a kissing cliffhanger in January and here is a sneak peek of how adorable Chris Messina and Mindy Kaling look together. Kaling is wearing a beautiful emerald green jacquard Topshop high-waisted skirt and crop top; she explains in this month’s Vogue that “It’s really tempting to not take chances. But I don’t want to be fearful.” This sentiment sums up Kaling’s outfit decisions well and I love how she embraces fashion in this way even if it doesn’t always work. On this occasion it definitely does and this is great color on her.

Gillian JacobsAs Britta Perry, Gillian Jacobs doesn’t get to wear a whole array of party frocks – don’t get me wrong I love her endless supply of striped sweaters, plaid shirts and jeans – so at the Community panel it is good to see her bring it in House of Holland. The coral and navy starburst disco dress is a bold, fun choice.

Julia Louis Dreyfus PaleyFestVeep returns in a couple of weeks and it’s yet another show I need to catch up on (Game of Thrones is giving me so much side eye right about now). Julia Louis-Dreyfus looks super sophisticated in this charcoal grey getup; the black pattern and belting are both flattering and stops it from becoming just a dress for the office.

The Americans 2.05 “The Deal” Review – What is Home?

27 Mar

Notions of identity lie at the heart of The Americans and while season 1 focused on marriage, this year broads the scope as there is new found stability and trust in Elizabeth and Philip’s relationship. Last week ended on a cliffhanger as a simple snatch and grab descended into chaos. “The Deal” picks up immediately after this incident as they must try and rectify what went wrong. The man who attacked them and who they end up taking hostage is a Mossad agent and this brings a whole new set of ideologies that conflict with what our protagonists believe.

The Americans 2.05In terms of costuming Philip wears his snatch and grab beanie attire for the majority of the episode as he is left to deal with the captured and injured agent – whose name we never learn – and the discussions about home stem from him as he tries to mess with Philip’s psychological state. Philip as we have seen throughout the series isn’t just an automaton despite what he is later accused of by Anton. Philip has feelings, he also has orders and even though he likes living in America he is a KGB officer first and foremost. The question of identity is raised throughout, from this agent mentioning the icicles and asking if they have them in Russia – Philip lies that he doesn’t remember as he’s trying not to give up anything about who he is. Later when Philip hands him over the agent mentions they spent the night together and they don’t know each other’s name followed by a dissection of the man Philip might not be “But your name isn’t your name, is it? Is your face your face? Are your children your children?” All this man knows about Philip is that he likes the cold, that’s all he has given to him.

There are two defining identities when it comes to Philip; the “Mr KGB Man” aspect of Philip, the one plays many roles and who will kill a young kitchen porter after he has seen his real face and there is Philip, father of two, loving husband and travel agent. The two aren’t separate people, he’s just very good at compartmentalizing these aspects when he is out in the field and it’s why he is so good at his job. Identity is something he does possess even if there are conflicting aspects and this is why his bond with Elizabeth, which evolved throughout last season, is so important to whom he is and this is no more apparent than in the closing scene of “The Deal.”

The Americans 2.05 E and PIn flashbacks last season they were told to never speak of who they were and where they came from before they became Philip and Elizabeth. After Elizabeth was shot in the season finale she asks Philip to come in their native tongue and while the Mossad agent doesn’t think that this home for Philip – because his heart lies in the motherland – he couldn’t be more wrong. The bed that he sarcastically quips must be so nice to lie in, is in fact where Philip is at his most content. The bed on this occasion is the sofa as Philip lies down next to his wife after a terrible and exhausting night at work. Philip’s long exhale as he can finally relax tells Elizabeth of the trying night he has had so she gently jokes that “Clark has some explaining to do” as she spent the night with Martha.

Philip brings up the icicles he refused to discuss with the Mossad agent and it leads to a very tender conversation about their train ride out of Moscow and how when Philip grew up they played with the icicles using them as swords. Elizabeth is the one that brings up the Moscow train and while she isn’t sure what has prompted the icicle questions, she is intuitive about Philip needing an anecdote like this. Elizabeth understands her husband and when she tells Brad earlier as part of her cover that it has taken her time to start feeling again, she is telling the story of her relationship with Philip. Now she can reveal these parts of herself to him. It’s important that we get these moments, however brief, so we can see beneath the surface and share in the emotional honesty before the next day begins. It’s because of this that we know the accusations leveled at Philip by Anton are not true.

The Americans 2.05 driving“You’re a monster. You’re not a man. Whatever you once were, whoever you were they trained it out of you. No feeling, no humanity. You may as well be dead.” This what a pleading, crying Anton tells Philip as she drives him in silence to his very much unwanted journey back to Russia. In this moment, for Anton this assessment is accurate as Philip doesn’t engage with him. A stone cold stare forward is what Philip gives him, nothing else. He is merely the driver, delivering his cargo. For a brief moment, in his eyes you see all of his humanity.

Philip does show compassion earlier in the episode when he’s with the Mossad agent; he helps him go to the toilet even if he has to wipe his ass and knows that it will end in an attempted escape. There is no pleasure taken in operations like this and he doesn’t use it as opportunity to exert again kind of aggression or put on a display of extreme masculinity. The same cannot be said for Oleg, who is not only going up against Arkady, but he also confronts Stan about Nina; what is his overall play here?

The Americans 2.05 BradPhilip’s not the only one in the Jennings’ house doing the heavy lifting as Elizabeth gets the files she needs from Brad and then has to let him down gently. From the shot above you would think this could be a rom-com rather than a spy show.

The Americans 2.05 J and MThe other major role Elizabeth plays this week is with Martha as she goes to stop her from putting down Clark’s name on the job application and this means the return of Clark’s sister Jennifer and the amazing bouffant short wig and giant glasses combo; she really does look like the female equivalent of Clark. Elizabeth plays up how awful Clark is with everyone card so Martha doesn’t suspect he is only terrible at maintaining contact with her and as the wine flows so does Martha’s mouth about Clark. That’s right this also includes chat about what Clark is like in bed – he’s an animal. This is the only time that Elizabeth betrays her cover as she asks “what does he do?” and this is something no sibling would ever ask follow up questions about. Elizabeth looks sad when Martha tells her that Clark makes her his and I think this is in part because Elizabeth knows this is not true, but also as it’s upsetting to think about the person you love having sex with someone else, even if it’s for work. Both Brad and Martha are collateral damage on the romantic front; Brad’s was brief but it will have a lasting impact on him. With Martha it’s going to be more devastating in the long run.

One person who Elizabeth doesn’t know who to talk to or understand is Paige and when Paige comes to her to explain why she is going to this church group it misfires. Paige starts to explain that it’s not her mom, it’s her “My life, my crazy life. I don’t know where to put everything.” Paige goes to elaborate further and stops; she just can’t articulate these feelings and while Elizabeth knows how to relate to Philip, there is something stopping her from interpreting her daughter. As Elizabeth mentioned last week, they know what their values are, but Paige is searching for a connection and it’s something she can’t find at home.

“The Deal” also introduces Kate (Wrenn Schmidt, Richard Harrow’s wife Julia from Boardwalk Empire), the Jennings’ new handler and she’s not a Claudia. Philip has no time for her friendly introduction and while her appearances were brief I’m looking forward to seeing more from her, especially when it comes to meeting Elizabeth.

The Americans continues to expertly handle both the spy and relationship aspects of the show, while also making my stomach lurch thanks to the endless tension. The final scene this week between Philip and Elizabeth illustrates why their relationship which exists in this complex world is so simple at the heart of it all as they do really love and understand each other; excellent performances from both Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys once again.

 

New Girl 3.20 “Mars Landing” Review: “Nothing You’re Saying Makes Any Sense”

26 Mar

It’s that time of year when the TV stakes are raised and I didn’t expect New Girl to get added to the list of shows that have put me through the emotional wringer this week (I’m looking at you The Good Wife and Hannibal). Thankfully I am not hungover otherwise I don’t know how I would deal with this level of serious talk that begins with building a child’s toy and ends in a break up.

NG_319-7_0008The episode starts with everyone’s favorite nonsensical history infused drinking game and True American is as chaotic as ever. Even with the terrible hangovers they’re all suffering from the next day I still want to play this game. If only to shout random historical names and situations followed by beer. The last game of True American ended with The Kiss; the alcohol of the evening gave Nick the confidence to make a bold move. The opposite occurs in “Mars Landing” as the hangover leads to a different kind of truth sharing. One of the things that has been clear about Nick and Jess is how different they are and the old “opposites attract” can easily be applied here, but what happens if the only thing they have in common is that they love each other?

Scattered throughout their arguments which range from their feelings on education – Jess is unsurprisingly for it, Nick thinks kids should beg to go to school – where they want to live and if they will have a horse. While the content of these shouting matches don’t make a whole lot of sense (Nick is an intergalactic truck driver) the sentiment is clear; Jess makes plans, Nick doesn’t. There is a suggestion made about a breakup which they initially laugh off before returning to the toy building task that started all of this – I’m with Nick on this one, just give it to them in the box – at first they make a great team putting together the part that looks like a meth lab with the pipe bomb looking component. This doesn’t last long and the disagreement erupts again, this time causing a blanket fire. This really is a hangover of epic proportions.

What this leads to is another less shouty discussion and one that references how things used to be when they were just friends; there was no trying to be something they are not and they didn’t fight all the time. It’s a painful conversation and one that gives Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson the opportunity to show how good they are hitting the emotional honest moments on top of the more comedic aspects of the episode. Is it not enough that Nick loves her more than anyone he has loved before?

Apparently not at the moment and this conflict feels very much part of the nearing the end of season “we need to do a big storyline” thing. Other than a few other disagreements, Nick and Jess have been pretty solid all year and this has meant that there has been very little stakes when they have fought as they resolve it by the episode end. The only time this didn’t happen is recently when Schmidt moved back in and scuppered the room situation. This point is revisited when Nick walks Jess to her room, only for her to come out seconds later after remembering Schmidt is in there (naked).

At the end of “Cooler” Nick kissed Jess, the end of “Mars Landing” mirrors this moment, albeit in much sadder circumstances. Jess is the one who grabs Nick this time and instead of a kiss it becomes an embrace, the kind where you don’t want to let go.

New Girl 3.20 Nick and JessTo make it even more of a painful parallel, Nick is wearing the same green t-shirt and Jess is dressed in pink again. Not to rub salt in the wounds and add to the hurt, but here is the shot from “Cooler” just to highlight how consciously similar the scenes are.

New Girl Cooler KissYeah, sorry to do this to you. *Sob*

The B and C stories are a good counter to the emotional heavy lifting going on in Nick’s cabin sized room; the guys duke it out with each other to get the attention of the two new hot women who are moving in across the hall. There are some funny moments with Winston slapping Schmidt and Coach being high on the list. Yes, Michelle (Alexandria Daddario of True Detective) does do a good crazy witch eyes face. No none of the guys get to “sex her.” I’m thankful for this and also for Schmidt’s hangover hair, which is of an epic volume. Cece gets to play “What did I text last night?” The answer ranges from Jewel lyrics to rabbit buying suggestions. Schmidt’s emoticon face impression is a thing that should be savored. Both of these storylines are pretty light weight, but I do like the Buster/Cece thing even if I’m not sure why. Maybe I am charmed by the accent.

So is there finality in this breakup? I don’t think so, they don’t even use the phrase, it just happens. It’s a way to respond to those viewers who have been less satisfied this season and some of that blame has been placed at the feet of the central couple. When the point is raised about missing the time when they were just friends it feels like they are speaking for some of the audience and while this season has been incredibly disjointed at times, for me personally, it has never felt like a Nick and Jess problem. This year will go down as a messy one for New Girl as they’ve struggled to find story cohesion for all of the characters, but it hasn’t been a complete disaster and there has been some very good episodes. It’s ambitious in what it strives to achieve with these characters as they challenge the relationship dynamics and for some reason this season, they’ve just had trouble sticking the landing on several occasions.

 

Abbi and Ilana’s Best Broad City Style Moments

25 Mar

The first season of Broad City comes to a close tomorrow (Wednesday 26) and it’s going to be a strong contender for best of 2014 (yes we’re only a quarter of the way through the year). We talk about TV in comparison terms all the time – the “it’s like x meets y” mantra – and thanks to the setting and gender of its stars Girls became the instant benchmark. Broad City is very much its own show with Abbi and Ilana paving the way for a brand new kind of voice; one that doesn’t feel trapped by general comedic conventions. It helps of course Broad City has been going since 2010 through their web series and this is an extension of those characters – I’m so happy to see the denim vest print t-shirt made the leap.  Even with this early start, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer’s show took time to go from what it was to what it is now and as it’s the season finale (it’s already been picked up for a second season) I want to celebrate this show by taking a look at all the incredible style moments.

Broad City 1.02 t-shirt denim vest printHere at TV Ate My Wardrobe costume and style is something that stands out when watching TV and the costume designer Staci Greenbaum has gone for isn’t all that different from the original web series. From all of the wish lists and posts on TV costuming there are many character closets I would like to pore over and share; quite often when I find out how much an item of clothing costs it’s clear that it is out of my budget. With Broad City it doesn’t feel this way and Greenbaum tells The Cut this is her aim “We try to keep it real-real not TV-real, you know what I mean?” The characters don’t have a crazy amount to spend on clothes so neither does Greenbaum.

Outfits are repeated and Abbi’s boots are on the more expensive end, but she wears them constantly. Same goes for her brown shoulder bag; shoes and bags tend to be where I spend more money on a single item as these are items you use daily. Ilana hasn’t met a pair of short shorts she doesn’t like and Abbi is all about the Lindsay Weir army style jackets. Both use layering to maximum effect and while casual attire accounts for about 75% of their wardrobe, they’re not timid when it comes to dressing for an occasion.

Here are some of my favorite looks from season 1:

Broad City 1.01 fursThey didn’t get paid for their humiliating cleaning experience in the pilot, so they paid themselves in furs, fancy looking booze and hats. I mean who wouldn’t?!

Broad City 1.01Also from the pilot and the many layers that are required for the sometimes cold New York City climate. Ilana’s brown leather jacket is one of her most worn items and it has plenty of space for any office equipment she wants to exchange – no liquid money, plenty of bartering power.

Broad City 1.03 judith lightA shirt the size of a napkin might not be considered as appropriate work attire, nor are the boy shorts or ripped jeans. Judith Light doesn’t seem to mind and neither do I.

Broad City 1.04This is their super casual look and the amazing Abbi boots. These outfits go through the ringer in this episode and this is part of the Broad City charm; there’s no vanity here.

Broad City 1.06 lost phoneAbbi is a girl after my own heart with how many stripped items she owns. I wish I could say the same for short shorts, but alas I lack the Ilana confidence (and legs). Maybe one day.

Broad City 1.08 wedding“Destination Wedding” delivers on the fancy frock attire; well for Abbi it does as Ilana thought they were wearing their old cater waiter uniforms. The backpack is what really makes this look.

Broad City 1.08Later Abbi ditches her fish drenched dress and changes into Lincoln’s tux; both are giving off cool as fuck vibes and a trip to a gentlemen’s club called Thrusts is the only course of action.

Broad City blue dressShopping for an exclusive rooftop party outfit is also covered and instead of a super long shopping montage Abbi is happy with the first dress she tries on and yes her ass does look amazing. Here’s Ilana’s cool girl look, complete with a super long fake ponytail – I love how many different looks Ilana can achieve just by altering her hair. Both women are exuding body confidence and it makes me SO HAPPY that this is a thing.

Broad City 1.08 drawstring hoodieSweaters with drawstring ties come in extra handy when your (still unseen) roommate’s boyfriend is going into extreme detail about his masturbation technique that you walked in on the previous day (also poor Julianna Margulies).

Broad City 1.08 Abbi and LincolnIt’s pretty cool before it’s over Abbi’s head as well. Ditto the red bag and Lincoln who I adore.

Broad City 1.06Ilana is not shy about her sexuality and while I’m a total Ilana and Lincoln shipper, I’m also glad we get to see a woman who is sexually liberated and whose bar pickup outfit is skinny jeans and a vest; there’s nothing too try about this look.

Broad City 1.03 mustard cardiganMore stripes and Abbi’s trusty brown shoulder bag, plus I haven’t met a mustard cardigan I don’t want. This is one of the many outfits that looks like someone on Abbi’s income would wear.

Broad City 1.09 balloonsIlana’s rage face while holding balloons is perfect (she is finding out if she could have herpes so the rage is understandable) and this is an extension of Ilana’s short shorts collection, this time with a pair of mini dungarees. This outfit is topped off with Ilana’s staple brown leather jacket and the repeat piece of clothing I love the most.

I will leave it to Abbi and Lincoln to show how happy this show and the costuming make me.

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Summer Rewind: The Comeback Episodes 10-13

24 Mar

Big things are maybe happening with The Comeback and there’s a chance Valerie Cherish may grace our screens once again. The timing of this announcement is pretty perfect as we’ve finally finished our “Summer Rewind.” That majority of this discussion with Kerensa Cadenas took place long before this announcement and it’s something we only address at the end. We’re both pretty excited about this possible return as we’ve become pretty attached to this character. We’re looking at the final four episodes; “Valerie Gets a Magazine Cover,” “Valerie Stands Out on the Red Carpet,” “Valerie Shines Under Stress” and “Valerie Does Another Classic Leno.” For more from our Summer Rewind head here.

The Comeback ep 10 bathEmma: So it’s been a few months since we last talked about The Comeback as various other projects/moving house/all the TV that is on has got in the way but we’re finally back to talk about the last four episodes of The Comeback. I’m pretty devastated that unlike Valerie’s own reality show, the actual Comeback didn’t get a second season and I completely understand why it is put alongside Freaks and Geeks and My So-Called Life as the one season wonders we wish there was more of.

In the final four episodes Valerie’s long standing battle with Paulie G comes to a vomit filled head (did not see that coming), her reality show premieres, the cast head to the People’s Choice Awards, Valerie gets a magazine cover and a Scandalous publicist. One thing I want to note is how each episode title is pretty much the Valerie version of what happens – “Valerie Saves the Show,” “Valerie Demands Dignity,” “Valerie Stands Out on the Red Carpet,” “Valerie Shines Under Stress” – Valerie tends to ignore negative aspects and tries to make the best out of a situation. We see this time and time again throughout The Comeback and instead of making things better, the opposite occurs. This is why her actual reality show is such a hot mess and a hit.

The first of our four episodes is all about Hollywood/celebrity fakery when her new publicist Billy (Scandal star and long time Lisa Kudrow producing partner Dan Bucatinsky) gets her the cover of “Be Yoga.” It’s not Redbook like Valerie wants, but it’s a step and the only issue is Valerie doesn’t really do yoga no matter how much she says she does. Thanks to Mark’s painkiller truth bombs Valerie has to keep correcting him on camera. Drugged up Mark is wonderful and I really like his character now after being so unsure for the first half of the season. He’s pretty genuine which is unusual in the world of reality TV and he’s not trying to be someone that he isn’t. In this episode he is even more blasé thanks to the painkillers and it makes Valerie’s sudden interest in yoga more transparent.

Turning the gym into a place of sanctuary involves a whole lot of remodeling which costs a fortune and this also feels like the show is passing judgment on the ridiculous amount of money people will spend on tranquility. It is a fad after all and after this magazine shoot how much time will Valerie spend with a $12000 Buddha?

Of course Valerie is doing this as a reaction to Juna’s very Rolling Stone Rolling Stone cover, the mock up looks like an actual issue and they’ve perfectly captured what kind of wet t-shirt image they would use for someone like Juna. And there’s a terrible pun to boot “Got Millken?” Valerie’s been saving all of Juna’s press clippings and this is part supportive co-star and part wish fulfillment. Hollywood’s such a breeding ground for competitiveness and longing, particularly when it comes to who is in demand that Valerie’s actions probably aren’t all that uncommon when there is someone who is considered the hot new thing versus someone who is in the second half of their career and it’s probably really hard to maintain a healthy, balanced attitude towards these things. This is why they need yoga and this also turns into a Juna thing as she’s invited along to Valerie’s yoga session. Juna of course ends up in US Weekly’s Stars They’re Just Like Us feature – this is my favorite part of this magazine because of how damn ridiculous it is. Valerie isn’t included and so her shining moment gets usurped by the younger star once again.

Valerie brings in a poster of when she posed in a barely done up shirt, super cleav and undone jeans from her It days and I’m glad that it didn’t come across as this desperate attempt to hold onto her youth. I think she just wanted to show that she is more than just a frumpy tracksuit. What did you think of this scene and particularly Tom and Paulie G’s reactions to it?

The Comeback ep 10 Rolling StoneKerensa: I really like the relationship between Valerie and Juna–while it does have those undertones of Valerie being jealous of Juna’s newly minted “it” girl status (I wonder if the show has got a second season if they would have explored this) it does seem based in a pretty genuine place.

I think that Valerie bringing in her poster to the set kinda straddles the line of that. She looks great in the picture (although I loved the line about her hair being 90s–when it looks exactly the same) and Tom and Paulie G’s reactions were pretty priceless. I thought Paulie G’s was creepy and condescending seeming per usual. I can’t with him, especially in these last episode. Holy crap.

What did you think about this scene?

The Comeback ep 10 posterEmma: The Juna/Valerie dynamic is one of my favorites on The Comeback as it really wasn’t what I expected, this notion applies to a lot of this show. I’m not sure if Malin Akerman’s work on Trophy Wife has influenced my feelings (because I love that show), but I’ve really grown to love Juna and all her naïveté. She could have been the bitch of the show and her super sweet persona feels pretty genuine. I’m really sad that we won’t get to see if success and fame would change her, from the looks of things I’d say probably not and she’s always been very supportive and thankful for Valerie’s presence.

It’s the writers after all that play the role of mean girl and their reaction to Valerie’s poster is typical of how they have been in every other way – Tom is sheepish and Paulie G is repulsive and yet he can’t quite bring himself to admit that he finds Valerie attractive. Paulie G has consistently used silence as a way to put her down.

After watching the penultimate episode I said on Twitter that Paulie G would feature on a most despised list and his systematic bullying has been the hardest aspect of this show to watch. When Valerie finally loses it and punches him in the stomach I definitely cheered, even when it was followed by the double vomit comet. I mean this also becomes her reality show defining moment even if it’s for the wrong reasons.

We’ve got a lot to talk about when it comes to these writers and especially Paulie G, what do you think they were intending to say with Paulie’s nice guy routine in his one on one?

The Comeback ep 11 JunaKerensa: I agree with you on everything about Juna and Trophy Wife which I love so much. It was really great that Juna’s character didn’t fall into the stereotype that it very well could have.

I cheered so loudly with the punch scene as well. It was just SO satisfying to see Valerie stand up for herself against him after everything she’s taken from him.

Honestly, with Paulie G’s sudden “nice guy” transformation in his one on one, I didn’t believe it for a second. My first thought was that he got paid to say that or threatened/told that the Room and Bored ratings would suffer–pretty much anything along those lines. While we’ve been aware that Valerie’s show would be spun into something unfavorable towards her, it sucked to see her witness it and Paulie G’s sudden respect for Valerie really was another double vomit punch in the gut. What did you think?

The Comeback ep 12 cupcakeEmma: I just hope Trophy Wife doesn’t go the way of The Comeback with one season only.

That’s a really great way to describe how Paulie G’s kind words felt and it highlights how these testimonials are the most fake aspect of reality shows.

As soon as Jane returned from doing Paulie G’s interview it was obvious that something was up and one aspect we haven’t discussed too much is the role of Jane and this final episode shows that as a producer Jane is here to interfere when it helps the narrative like asking Valerie to start a sentence with “I feel” but she also withholds information as she doesn’t tell Valerie that Paulie G was nice about her. This is why Jane prentends she’s sick for Valerie’s viewing party as she’s aware of all the behind the scenes aspects, no she didn’t edit the piece but she feels complicit.

For a brief moment I thought Jane was in cahoots with Paulie G, especially when she wouldn’t let her in her apartment, but then I remembered that Jane has been just as repulsed by Paulie G as we have been. The relationship between producer and reality star is a complicated one I’m sure and of course the timeouts that Valerie implemented are timeouts on her end only. I think Jane probably thought Valerie was an idiot at first, but she’s definitely grown to like her. It’s little things like Valerie giving her the gift bag she got at the People’s Choice awards (how I would love an wards gift bag) or how Jane tears up as she hears Valerie’s story about her scoliosis – I definitely want to talk more about this in relation to Valerie.

Despite being screamed at by Valerie and Mark, Jane looks really happy for Valerie at the end of the final episode and if there had been a second season *sob* I would have liked to see them explore Jane and her relationship as producer with Valerie. What do you think of the whole Jane aspect?

Also have you seen any of Kroll Show? PubLIZity nails everything about these kinds of reality shows.

The Comeback ep 13 Valerie and JaneKerensa: I love Kroll Show and PubLIZity is the best! Jenny Slate should be in everything! And it really does.

I think the relationship between Jane and Valerie is really interesting. And it became apparent that they bonded in small ways throughout the show. The first moment of that to me was when Valerie got her that gift bag from the People’s Choice Awards. I never thought that Jane was in cahoots with Paulie G. because she obviously hated him so much too. So I do think Valerie’s betrayal felt kinda justified especially because Jane disappeared because she had seen the final cut and felt ashamed. But I know Valerie plays herself off as being naive, but I mean how could she not have expected the show to turn out like that? I know that we are jaded with the amount of reality television we’ve both seen and by now we are aware of the editing tricks used, but did Valerie really think that it was going to portray her in a positive light?

And then when she kinda at the end of the show seems to accept this new public persona of Valerie–I wonder if the second season would have explored her doing the kinds of things she refused to do in this season? Would have it turned Valerie into a monster? I do hope that Jane would have stayed on in the second season to explore that relationship between the two of them because it became SO apparent how much Valerie ended up relying on her especially when the creepy mic guy showed up again.

The Comeback poster ep 12Emma: Now I want to take a look at the evolution between reality shows first and second seasons – how they evolve because of what the audience responded to in the first season. I mean it goes for scripted shows as well – the first season is written in a bubble of sorts as it hasn’t been seen by anyone so at that point no one knows what people will like/dislike. I mean Girls is a prime example as cable shows tend to have most of their season written/filmed before any of it has aired so they can’t respond to criticism until the second season. Network is different as they can tweak as the season goes along and this can be very beneficial. With reality shows I’m guessing it’s more of the cable model in that it’s all filmed prior to airing. With something like the Kardashians I find it so surreal that they make a huge deal about plot points that we already know the ending to – like the big engagements/breakups. In fact this is a show I’d like to watch S1 of just to see how different it is to the way they are now.

So slight digression there and my favorite Valerie moments are the ones where she is truly herself, like all of the smoking scenes in the finale are hilarious, as is every single time that Mark mentions the coke they did that one time. Speaking of Mark, I really changed my opinion of him over these last four episodes and think he’s really pretty great. He goes all protective over Valerie whenever Paulie G is mentioned and offers to come to the studio and when she turns him down he doesn’t go all macho man and let’s her deal with it herself. He’s also pretty hilarious when he’s high on pain killers. Mark isn’t part of the Hollywood scene and so his reticence at the start is totally understandable, especially when you factor in his own career as a lawyer. I don’t think he’s more reality TV savvy than Valerie, I just think it’s his natural instincts as a lawyer to not trust anyone, especially in this town. How do you feel about Mark now the show has ended?

The Comeback ep 10 Valerie and MarkKerensa: I ended up really loving Mark too. And like you mentioned, I think he’s really good for Valerie because he isn’t involved in Hollywood. Those smoking scenes were HILARIOUS. But I really do like the relationship that became established between them and how supportive he was of Valerie even when she was being nuts.

And I think that evolution would be super interesting especially in terms of The Comeback. Like if it had got a second season–would the show have hinted that Valerie’s sudden fame was because of the show that they were shooting? Also, if there was a second season, how would Room & Bored even be on the air still? Right?

The Comeback ep 13 ValerieEmma: Room & Bored did very much seem dead in the water even if they did get a People’s Choice nomination and I loved how this whole episode pointed out how BS this awards is and how it’s all decided before the night. And while I’m on the subject of this episode, it’s another occasion where they incorporate someone from another reality TV show; first it was The Amazing Race and this time it is Project Runway. So they’re skewering reality TV, while also writing a love letter of sorts to it. Valerie looks stunning in this red dress, even when it’s on back to front. What did you think about this episode and how it portrays the People’s Choice Awards?

A couple of things that probably would save Room & Bored for a second season – Juna’s level of fame (as long as she doesn’t) leave and the success of The Comeback. I would imagine they would want to keep Paulie G on as a writer (and by extension) Tom as there is a high level of conflict here which is good for The Comeback. There’s a lot of variables and it’s easy to see why a reality show about a sitcom star would be a logistical nightmare.

What are your other highlights from these final four episodes?

The Comeback ep 11 Valerie and BillyKerensa: I agree–I do think that it would maybe get another season because of Juna and The Comeback but I bet it would be done after that. I loved that episode and how it looked at the People’s Choice Awards—while I’ve never covered or been to an awards show I bet it’s probably pretty similar to how it’s portrayed there.

On the topic of reality TV, how do you think The Comeback would have fared in the reality TV landscape? Because when the show aired–The Comeback would have been on the cusp of reality TV really blowing up–as acknowledged through the EW cover and the other reality type shows that were shown at the upfronts. I kinda don’t think it would have lasted very long, what about you?

I can’t think of anymore highlights other than Valerie Cherish is our new spirit animal and I miss her terribly already. You?

The Comeback ep 13 smokingEmma: It’s hard to say how The Comeback would have fared and for every Keeping Up with the Kardashians there is a Living Lohan or Pretty Wild (I would watch more of either of these two) so like you I don’t think it would have gone beyond a second season. Hopefully Valerie wouldn’t have been too humiliated and she would have more opportunities beckoning.

One other thing I did want to address is Mickey and his big coming out. Mickey has been one of the overall highlights of the series for me and I’m glad he got a happy ending of sorts. His story is also still very relevant and while he is out to people like Valerie, it’s not a something that everyone in his life knows. On the clip package on The Comeback it infers that Mickey has a thing for Jesse so he hasn’t hidden his sexuality very well and Mickey uses the finale to come out to the world. The response is pretty much “well obviously” and yet because Mickey is a gay man he has to make a public declaration. On the one hand it’s frustrating that this happens, on the other as we saw with Ellen Page at the weekend (ed. note this was written last month) it is incredibly powerful.

The Comeback definitely deserves to sit aside the one season wonders of My So-Called Life and Freaks and Geeks; it’s been a joy to watch Valerie Cherish and I’m definitely going to miss her. And hey, we have a new catchphrase in our repertoire and if I ever hear “I don’t want to see that” it will be a huge reminder of this show. Can we get more Lisa Kudrow on Scandal please?

The Comeback ep 11 MickeyEmma: Woah regarding the news that this might be making an actual comeback?!?!  Any thoughts and feelings on this real chance that we’ll be getting more Aunt Sassy? And where do you think she’ll be in 2014?

Kerensa: God I hope it happens! Well, there’s no way that Room & Bored could still be running right? I feel like The Comeback would have gone in a couple ways.

1. Re-kickstarted Valerie’s sticom career and she’s having a Julia Louis-Dreyfus-esque renaissance and playing “unlikeable” women.

2. Or it’s relegated her to the dregs of reality television where she’s been a contestant on any celebrity reality show i.e. Dancing with the Stars, etc.

What do you think?

Emma: If there’s no more Room & Bored I hope this means Paulie G had bottomed out somewhere.

While I hope it’s your first suggestion, I think the second one is more likely and she’ll have done every reality show offered to her. Wherever she is I’d like to see a Valerie with some edge like the one we saw in the finale chain smoking her way through her feelings. I expect it will be quite the opposite and she’ll be putting a brave face on everything.

At the start of the series I didn’t really care about Mark, but I’d really like them to be together still. If not there better be Mickey, he’s her constant so I can’t see it any other way.

I’m so excited that this is a real possibility and here we were lamenting the loss of our spirit animal. This is one occasion where more feels like a good idea, there’s still plenty more to get from this well.

I do need to see that.

Kerensa Cadenas is a writer living in Los Angeles. She is an Editor for Snakkle. She also writes for Women and HollywoodThe WeekThis 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 – Girls Season 3 Playlist

24 Mar

Girls has been a big part of Music Monday and what better way to celebrate a mostly excellent season than with a playlist featuring some of the best tracks of the year. Plus I’m also trying to distract myself from thinking about the devastating events of another show that aired last night (yes, I’m looking at you The Good Wife) and music is that outlet. Beach HouseAs discussed a few weeks back the closing credit music has been one place where the world of Girls is rather optimistic, even if it doesn’t match what we have just seen on screen. The final montage of season 3 uses Michael Penn’s “Good Girl Down” (sadly this isn’t on either Spotify or YouTube at this time, otherwise it would have definitely been part of this playlist) and in his role as Girls composer Penn penned (sorry, couldn’t resist) this track for the finale. Hannah’s smiling due to her grad school acceptance letter and while she has just had a big blowout fight with Adam, she’s still happy; this track does a good job of mirroring this.

This playlist is one to dance to, whether it’s a choreographed routine like in “Beach House” or even if it’s just a desk disco – which mine frequently are – it’s meant to be fun and uplifting. It’s not all dance party as there are some slower, more relaxing songs on here too and it’s generally got a good vibe to it. These are also some of the artists who I have been listening to for the past few weeks on repeat because of Girls, particularly Hannah Georgas and Hannah Cohen. The tracks are in the order they appeared on the episodes, except for Edie Brickell & New Bohemians’ “What I Am” as this song played throughout the season thanks to Marnie’s teeeeeerible YouTube video – why HBO hasn’t put this up on YouTube yet is beyond me – sorry if it gets stuck in your head as it did mine.

Scandal 3.14 “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” Review: “There is Someone Worth Saving”

21 Mar

What’s the point? That’s the question Olivia Pope is asking on this week’s Scandal after the dramatic events that went down at the end of the last episode and as predicted all my predictions are wrong. We don’t find out who Jake was talking or if he was monologuing to himself as he rattled off his family history and reasons for joining B613. What we do find out is that Jake did indeed shoot three people dead, leaving one witness to clear up his dirty work. Yep, I thought it was all going to be some massive fake-out cop-out resolution, so kudos Scandal writers with going through with the deed. That’s enough stalling with the big reveal, unlike “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” which went straight for the kill so to speak as Jake wearing his best spy black turtleneck attire shot James. That’s right, James is dead. And Jake did it.

Scandal 3.14 light and darkOlivia calls on her father s he can explain why any of this matters. At first Rowan is very much “ugh” about the whole thing, offering up a “what” instead of a “hello” as a greeting. Olivia practically begs for him to act like her dad and show her some guidance; a reason why everyone she knows is a monster. Last week Olivia had a hysterical laughing fit upon her realization that all the presidential candidates are murderers. This week there is no more laughter with the death of her friend at the hand of her sometimes lover. Rowan gives her a reason to continue, a point to all of this if you will and that’s because everyone is worth saving, no matter what they have done – Joe Morton delivers yet another fine monologue and there’s a reason he keeps getting them, just listen to the way he says 183. Jake explains that he is different because he actually pulls the trigger, but Rowan still claims that he is responsible for the 183 people who have died because of him; Jake just cuts out the Huck-like middle man.

One aspect Olivia laments is the lack of white hats and how the deck is always stacked; Rowan points out that there are exceptions, exceptions like Olivia who in the face of darkness drags them into the light. This is why Olivia’s power color is the one she is wearing in this scene (an amazing Alberta Ferretti white coat) and Rowan dressed in black is in direct contrast to her.

Rowan’s exit is as warm as his arrival, but it has done the trick and Olivia has renewed faith in both her abilities and she turns to one of the only non-murders she knows. David Rosen is deeply affected by what has occurred; he ended up as the sole survivor with a face splattered with someone else’s blood and now he’s got to send an innocent man to jail. David is a skittish mess and he’s visibly nervous when Jake stops by his office. Going it alone is not going to work and the first step is to tell Abby what is going on, after all they are the most stable couple on Scandal. All roads lead to Olivia Pope and now as well as a presidential campaign Olivia has vowed to take down B613; in her eyes Jake is not the problem, the institution is. White hat back on.

Scandal 3.14 white teeWhite isn’t only worn by Olivia this week and in this shot of Jake nothing seems to be wrong, he’s just on the phone wearing a white tee. When the camera pans down we see just how muddy this once white shirt was and how he’s burying Vanessa and Shelby in the woods. This battle has been won, but there’s a war coming to B613.

Scandal 3.14 neck beards and leather jacketsThe story of James and Cyrus gets played out in a series of flashbacks including their first semi-flirtatious encounter where James thankfully points out that Cyrus’ neck beard is a big pile of terrible and Cyrus isn’t a fan of James’ leather jacket (well not for reporting). Gone are beards and the a suit jacket replaces the leather one; flirtation leads to smooching and soon they are a secret couple. It’s sad to see what they once were and how Cyrus took a leap, only to use and manipulate James. This latter part is why Cyrus breaks down in the press briefing room as we go from a quick montage of all the recent deceit to their public coming out. Their relationship started in secret because of who Cyrus is and it devolved into secrets because of his job and desire to stay in the White House.

James’ death is particularly brutal because Jake had to make it look like a carjacking, no bullet to the brain for him and end of the episode takes us to a very dark place. Too dark perhaps, I’m not sure how much we needed to see him gargling on his own blood, but I guess they got their point across that bad things happen to good people at the hand of whoever is Command.

Scandal 3.14 shootingMellie is stepping out of her usual dress/cardigan twins sets and is swapping them for some Town and Country threads as she teaches Andrew how to shoot a shotgun. Of course Mellie is an excellent shot. They look like a couple here in matching plaid flannel shirts and vests; Mellie in purple and Andrew in blue. Later on as they debate gun control legislation they’re wearing these colors that complement each other and this time Mellie succumbs to temptation. This is all going to end horribly – it is Scandal after all – but at the moment Andrew is paying her the kind of attention that has been absent for far too long in her marriage.

Scandal 3.14 Adnan and HarrisonAnother pair mirroring each other are Harrison and Adnan both in teal (Adnan’s coat is Vivienne Westwood). Adnan is in over her head after partnering up with Mama Pope and she just witnessed her shoot someone in the heard during negotiations. This is enough for anyone to rethink their current position and while Adnan doesn’t reveal why she is so afraid to Harrison, he’s already turned to Olivia. Olivia chose Project David, but both Project Adnan and Project Quinn have been brought to her attention. The less said about what transpired between Huck and Quinn, the better.

In the gallery below you can see some of the black and white still shots from “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” of Cyrus being comforted by Fitz and his flower filled office. James and Cyrus dancing together is a poignant reminder of their happier days. There’s also Olivia in another black and white jacket; this time it is by Lafayette 148 New York. When Mellie isn’t in her hunting gear she’s wearing raspberry Giambattista Valli and amethyst Escada.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

21 Mar

This week PaleyFest has featured panels for show that are just ending, have barely just begun and ended long ago. Out of the Box is taking a look at some of the best looks from the various panels this week and with shows including Mad Men, Masters of SexThe Mindy Project and Community still to come expect more next week.

Yunjin KimYunjin Kim is wearing a stunning red structured wrap dress at the Lost reunion panel where we were told once again what we already know and that is the island wasn’t purgatory. Discussion gripes aside it was good to see some of the cast reunited and it’s hard to believe how much the TV landscape has changed since Lost debuted 10 years ago.

Troian BellisanoPretty Little Liars is a show I fell behind on and never caught up with, I still hope to but in the meantime here is Troian Bellisario rocking a super cute Charlotte Ronson dress. The red belt breaks up the pattern and it’s making me want to crack out the summer frocks even if it’s still too early (it might be sunny today, but it’s still not warm enough for that).

Aubrey PlazaJumpsuits aren’t generally my thing; black tends to be where I can jump on board with this trend and Aubrey Plaza’s Jonathan Simkhai getup can join the shortlist of jumpsuits I would consider wearing. First of all it has pockets, always a plus and I like that it cinches in the waist which prompted a mini ‘is this a jumpsuit or top/pants?’ debate. The slight pink accents are a nice touch too.

Lyndie GreenwoodLyndie Greenwood has been bumped up to a series regular on Sleepy Hollow next season as Abbie’s sister Jenny and this pleases me no end. Greenwood’s mint green Ted Baker skater dress is both casual and dressy; if I dared to wear light colors this is something I would very much like in my wardrobe. This is maybe a random observation, but Greenwood has the best eyebrows on TV.

Sleepy Hollow PaleyFestBonus Sleepy Hollow cast as Tom Mison assures the audience while his jeans may look of the skinny variety, they are most certainly not. The cardigan/tee look works very well for Mison. Orlando Jones is repping for his character with a t-shirt bearing his mugshot and “Free Frank Irving” underneath (sadly obscured by his hand here). Nicole Beharie has opted for monochrome and looks amazing; I do wonder what it would be like if the women dressed as casually for these events as the guys. Like I get why they dress up and after all most of Out of the Box this week is women in fancy/casual attire, but it feels like there is an expectation for actresses to get dolled up for these events, whereas the guys can rock up in whatever.

 

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