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Archive | June, 2014

Masters of Sex Season 2 Promo: “Keep Your Heart Out Of It”

30 Jun

Experiencing upheaval aplenty in the new Masters of Sex season 2 promo as Virginia and Bill commit to something that goes way beyond the study. “No strings” gets a whole new meaning after an encounter that doesn’t involve their usual wire setup. At the end of season 1 Bill lost his position at the hospital after his grand presentation was received in an extremely negative light – the dudes didn’t seem to mind the ‘size doesn’t matter’ assertion, just everything else to do with women that came after. Now Bill has no job, a newborn baby at home and a wife who is frazzled and trying to encourage him to find work outside of his obsession.

Masters of SexRendezvous in hotels and Virginia’s apartment means the clinical blue robes from the hospital are ditched for terrycloth and floral ones (the latter I am coveting pretty hard) and things are getting far more intimate after Bill’s rom-com like rain soaked declaration at the end of season 1. Virginia is indispensable to both Bill and the study, but there are obstacles aplenty including Libby and I feel just as invested in her as I do Bill and Virginia. Familiar faces return including Dr. Lillian DePaul, Dr. Austin Langham and Betty with her husband Gene the Pretzel King (who we last saw in episode 3) offering Bill a solution.

Leaving your heart out of it is advice that Virginia and Bill probably won’t stick to as emotions seem fraught and heightened in this new promo, which has me clamoring for this new season of Masters of Sex (back Sunday, July 13).

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Out of the Box: Look of the Week

27 Jun

It’s another red carpet “Out of the Box” with plenty of premieres and a special visit delivering some excellent looks. As the previous edition focused entirely on the Critics’ Choice Awards, there are going to be a few photos from other events that took place last week.

GoT the QueenOne significant and unusual public appearance from this week involved the Queen (on a trip around Northern Ireland) visiting the set of Game of Thrones and meeting some of the cast – yes I really hope Lena Headey is explaining just who Cersei is – including a statuesque Sophie Turner, a newly bobbed Maisie Williams (sadly not in this picture), Rose Leslie in a dress I adore, Kit Harington looking dapper and Conleth Hill with a lot more hair than his character. The Queen didn’t sit on the Iron Throne, but she was presented with a miniature version and seemed rather amused by the whole thing. Maybe she does watch the show after all (someone find out what’s on the Buckingham Palace DVR please).

Diane KrugerThe Bridge returns for season 2 next month (July 9) and I’m looking forward to the return of the show (plus this jacket) and all the Diane Kruger public appearances as she rarely has a sartorial off day. Yellow pumps and polka dots are pretty much my catnip so this was always going to be a winner even with the cropped aspect. I really like the slightly different sized dotty effect of the Roland Mouret top and skirt. Both hair and makeup are looking fresh and relaxed.

Ellie KemperEllie Kemper looks super cute in a Pankaj and Nidhi printed dress and blue flats – maybe this look needs heels, but I am all for Kemper’s choice – at the The Came Together premiere.

America FerreraIt feels like America Ferrera has been promoting How to Train Your Dragon 2 for months now, however she has delivered on the red carpet looks time and time again (she’s been an “Out of the Box” regular). This time she’s looking summer chic in a Dolce & Gabbana white lace dress. Kim Sears wore a similar (but much more affordable) version of this dress by Reiss at Wimbledon on Monday.

Keri RussellKeri Russell delivers a different kind of summer style at the Coach Summer Party and the leather mini/striped tank combo is an excellent one. Stripes really are the key to relaxed and funky outfits. Love the dash of pink lip color.

Lean Headey and Matthew RhysAt the top I mentioned some of these events are from last week, well this is a couple of weeks old and yet I really wanted to include this shot from the Variety Studio day as I really love Lena Headey’s super cool casual three quarter length denims and pale blue shirt look. Lena Headey is one of these people who looks amazing dressed up, but her dressed down style is where she shines. Matthew Rhys is also rather suave even if he is in an awkward facial hair phase (which is so much better at the Critics’ Choice Awards).

Gwendoline+Christie+Inside+Fragrance+Foundation+ck0BpOiDS8RlMore Game of Thrones cast members (and I’m finally all caught up) with Gwendoline Christie serving up some flamingo realness in Giles at the 2014 Fragrance Foundation Awards. This is a really fun dress and I love that at 6ft 3in, Christie is still wearing heels.

Coming this Fall: A Scandal Inspired Line at The Limited

26 Jun

One hashtag you might see popping up on a Thursday night when an episode of Scandal is airing is #ScandalFashion and discussions dedicated to what Olivia Pope is wearing are just as prevalent as those talking about what crazy twist has just occurred. On TV Ate My Wardrobe we write our Scandal reviews with a specific look at the costuming and where possible we share where you can buy these items. A Scandal inspired clothing line from a national retailer isn’t too surprising, however this is the first time a lead star and head costume designer from a hit network show has collaborated with a store in this manner.

Scandal 3.3 Olivia DKNYIt isn’t just the Scandal cast who have embraced Twitter and costume designer Lyn Paolo is just as interactive with fans and when it comes to finding out where the clothing that we see on screen is from, she is more than happy to oblige. Now you will be able to buy your very own Scandal inspired clothing from The Limited (in store and online) from the end of September and the 42-piece collection ranges in price from $42 to $248. Paolo explains that “The whole team took great care in creating a collection that reflects Olivia Pope’s unique style. We believe the collection tells a story of confidence and professional sophistication as well as maintaining a strong feminine point of view.”

As Kerry Washington has been an advocate for Twitter interactions with fans, particularly when the show airs (meaning there is a constant dialogue when an episode is on) there is a strong focus on Scandal viewers. Not everyone can afford Burberry trench coats or Prada purses and so this affordable selection of clothing allows fans to experience the Olivia Pope style for themselves through both Kerry Washington and Lyn Paulo’s involvement. In a statement from Washington she alludes to this notion “By creating a line inspired by the show, we are introducing a collection that embodies the elegance and power of the Scandal aesthetic for real-life gladiators and everyday fashionistas. The collection is a nod to our devoted fans, to fans of fashion and to women everywhere who are inspired to boldly pursue their passions and look good while doing it.”

If you’re wondering what you might be able to purchase come September than we have a couple of sketch photos (courtesy of Women’s Wear Daily) and wide legged pants, belted outerwear and tailored jackets are on the menu (this makes me very happy). It wouldn’t be a Scandal inspired line without some white items that for reasons I have previously outlined (okay I spill) I might have to avoid. We will keep you updated when more pictures get released so keep checking back.

Scandal clothing scandal02

 

 

A Very Cool Behind the Scenes Mad Men Photo of January Jones (from 2009)

25 Jun

January Jones’ Instagram is a treasure trove of Mad Men related antics, party shots, old modeling jobs, throwback Thursday childhood photos and everyday pictures (well as everyday as the life of an actress can get). Jones is also a hashtag maestro with the likes of #comeonbettysaycheese, #bitchesbebossesnow and #poemstohelpmefindBetty (following a Sylvia Plath quote). I was maybe a bit lukewarm to Jones prior to following her on Instagram and this is one case of social media changing my mind about someone for the better (so often with celebrities, especially on Twitter it is the other way around).

This recent photo comes courtesy of Lisa Guerriero, a photographer who has taken some Mad Men behind the scenes shots and she specializes in street photography. This shot comes from 2009 and Jones offers up more hashtag wisdom with #ladiesalwayssitsidesaddle.

Guerriero also recently posted this shot from the season 3 episode “Seven Twenty Three” of Kiernan Shipka (who looks SO young) and Abigail Spencer.

Mad Men Season 3 – solar eclipse scene @kiernanshipka

A post shared by Lisa Guerriero (@analogstreets) on

Watch John Oliver Take on Dr. Oz with Bonus HBO Related Cameos

24 Jun

Last summer John Oliver introduced a new dance to the world when he filled in for Jon Stewart on The Daily Show (the “Carlos Danger” dance if you will) and so far he has been killing it each week on his new show Last Week Tonight on HBO. In previous episodes he has taken on the FCC and FIFA among others and this week comes the turn of Dr Oz, lobbyists, the FTC and the FDA. Exasperated outrage at what some companies/industries get away with thanks to power they wield is delivered with biting humor and the segment ends with a cameo-filled pander party (which would only be better if it was a panda party). This includes George R.R. Martin teasing his latest Game of Thrones kills (I’d say he was joking and yet the death rate in those books would suggest otherwise) and some dancing from both John Oliver and a Boardwalk Empire star. HBO show so HBO related cameos and the future possibilities are plentiful.

John OliverIt’s also worth noting that John Oliver continues to bring his shirt game (maybe not in the promo photo above). More checked bold colors please.

Hand-Me-Downs, Helena and Identity on Orphan Black

23 Jun

“We’re so different, all of us.”

This assertion made by Sarah in the Orphan Black season 2 finale is by no means a bold statement as it has been clear from the outset that no one clone is like another (aside from the obvious matching faces). Nature vs. nurture is being won by the latter on Orphan Black and from a narrative perspective having such easily identifiable and contrasting characters helps an audience when these characters are played by the same actress (the formidable Tatiana Maslany and I could spend this entire essay discussing how phenomenal she is).

As I discussed in the Best of 2013 Orphan Black article costuming plays a big part in establishing who these women are; it helps to identify through non-verbal communication and provides a way for each clone to pretend to be another through clothing and accessories. The clone that has undergone the most changes is Helena and I want to take a look at how costume has been used to signify this and why she is the one person on this show that doesn’t have a definitive look beyond her wild blonde hair.

HelenaIn season 1 Helena’s white satin baby doll and scarred back gave the impression of a deranged angel and her feral instincts (and accompanying off kilter theme music) made her unpredictable nature a terrifying prospect for Sarah. There is far more to Helena beyond these moments of intense violence and she is someone who is easily impressed upon when a family is dangled in front of her; it’s why the Prometheans managed to get their claws into her with such ease. Sarah, her twin, changed everything and despite a battle to what seemed the death at the end of last year Helena comes searching for her “seestra” once more.

Light and dark are key components to both Helena and Sarah’s look as Sarah favors black clothing and Helena is often wearing the color of purity. It’s not a simple case of good vs. evil or ying and yang as these visual cues are disrupted by the presence of blood. Bloodstained clothes are an unfortunate side effect to all the shit Helena has been through and this is no more obvious than the wedding dress bathroom scene with Sarah in “Governed As It Were By Chance.”

Helena bloody wedding dressBlack and white with a big dollop of red; it’s a scene that is about terror and forgiveness, it’s also one of the most effective and devastating Orphan Black has delivered. I was initially worried when they revealed Helena hadn’t died at the end of season 1 that she would again be the unpredictable obstacle who obsessed over her relationship with Sarah and it would end up being a repeat of the previous year. What actually happened is Helena’s murderous side, while still bubbling under the surface was eclipsed by her heartbreaking desire to be part of something and to bond with her “seestra” and *if* I had to rank the clones (please don’t ask me to do that) she would probably be number one. I never saw that coming.

In the bathroom scene Sarah is dressed in her standard all black attire and Helena is once again in clothes that don’t belong to her. Angel and now wife, the innocence motif is strong with Helena and yet it is always subverted by something more sinister that has been done to her. Helena’s wardrobe consists of hand-me-downs and none of her clothes are ever truly hers; this character just can’t hold onto anything. In season one she dressed as Sarah (or rather as Sarah dressing as Beth) and outerwear helped mask who she was when she was initially targeting clones.

Borrowing clothes is what also happens when your current ones are covered in blood (and when these clothes also double for a wedding dress from a super creepy ceremony). Felix provides Helena with her next outfit (including a unicorn tee I adore) and this one is also an eclectic mix of style: Orphan Black HelenaBeetlejuice pants, another coat, unicorn tee and cowboy boots (these are not from the Felix collection and are from the farm). It is unlikely that Helena has ever had much to call her own as she grew up in a convent and so obtaining clothes from a variety of sources is part of why she isn’t fazed by the mismatched outfits she has worn so far. Helena’s identity exists outside of the clothes she wears and because of this she is probably the hardest of the clones to mimic. When Sarah doubled for Cosima she wore The Cosima Coat and pretending to be Alison through wardrobe involves pastels, Lululemon and a headband to hide the lack of bangs. Helena’s defining characteristic isn’t her attire, it’s her hair and it’s not easily faked.

Helena returns to the Promethean farm on the promise of children and a family; this means the Felix borrowed threads are ditched and replaced by ultra conservative attire with a hint of cowboy (those boots).

Orphan Black HelenaTerrible high necked white patterned night dresses ahoy! Oh and super invasive procedures too. The violation of the female body involves extreme methods on Orphan Black and Helena gets to exact her revenge with a giant needle followed by lighting a fire. Helena is rather Old Testament when it comes to these matters.

Orphan Black Helena plaidThe clothes she escapes the farm in for a second time are less ridiculous than the first and once again there is an element of innocence to her attire. This time she looks like a school child in plaid and the clashing patterned blouse beneath the uniform like dress once again gives the appearance of hand-me-down clothing. This is what she is wearing when she meets Alison and Cosima for the first time; it reflects the sweet, shy and longing for an emotional connection side of Helena that we have come to know this season – “I like your hairs” – and it is only when Cosima puts on a record that Helena allows some of her more eccentric qualities to shine through.

In the extraordinary dance sequence Helena starts off slow and then she finds the freedom her other sisters are displaying through movement. Helena’s dancing is wild as she headbangs with her glorious mane and there’s even a point where she bites the bottom of her dress. It’s why what happens to her next is so devastating as she is taken once again, just as she was finally feeling freedom and being part of an actual nurturing family with no hidden agenda.

Orphan Black 2.10 HelenaThe red coat comes from the farm and it’s another mismatched part of the Helena look (and also makes me think of Cosima) and the only costuming addition (and yet another piece of borrowed clothing) is the beanie and this does nothing to assimilate her with the ominous military figures surrounding her. It can’t contain her locks and her fear/confusion is etched all over her face. Reasons to take Helena center on the baby she is now carrying and separating her once again from the family she has just found feels incredibly cruel. Helena was about to go looking for Jesse – the guy from the bar who she shared her first dance and kiss with – she leaves behind his hat that she was sniffing so tenderly (as tenderly as something can be sniffed) and for Helena this one possession means a lot.

Each clone has a distinct personality and they share a strong ability survive despite the inherent weakness that exists in their genetics; together they are a formidable opponent and their vulnerabilities are exposed when they are pulled apart. Helena is a survivor and has already escaped from various tormentors who want to poke, prod and use her. This is another in a long line of personal battles for her and now that she is pregnant her self-preservation instincts are going to kick in even harder. Helena’s abilities shouldn’t be underestimated even when her appearance suggests otherwise as she is so much more than the unhinged fanatic we met in season 1.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week Best – 2014 Critics’ Choice TV Awards

20 Jun

Dedicating this edition of Out of the Box to last night’s Critics’ Choice Awards and it is a very solid effort as the nearly twenty red carpet shots I have ready for you guys will testify. This is the first glitzy affair in the TV awards season since the Golden Globes and SAGs back in January and hopefully some of these winners (*cough* Tatiana Maslany/OITNB *cough*) will receive Emmy nominations next month.

Laverne Cox CC

Danielle Brooks

Uzo AdubaStarting with an Orange is the New Black trio with Laverne Cox, Danielle Brooks and Uzo Aduba all looking super glamorous in gowns with a hint of sparkly in a variety of styles. They picked up awards for Best Comedy Series and Uzo Aduba won for Best Guest Star in a Comedy with Kate Mulgrew tying with Allison Janney in the supporting category. I finished season 2 of OITNB this week and I expect the accolades will continue for these talented women.

Keri Russell and Diane KrugerAn FX duo getting to dress way fancier than the characters they play and Diane Kruger’s multicolored floral Elie Saab gown plays well against the metallic reptile looking J Mendel dress Keri Russell is wearing. I also never realized Diane Kruger was this tall, although who knows the height of their heels beneath their frocks.

Abbi and IlanaBroad City has been one of THE shows of 2014 so having Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer at this awards show is a must. Picking out the perfect outfit in the episode “Fattest Assess” comes to mind when picturing how they chose their dresses, as it’s pretty much my favorite shopping montage scene that wasn’t. Abbi is wearing a Cushnie et Ochs baby blue peplum frock and Ilana is in Prabul Gurung and they both look amazing.

Tatiana MaslanyTatiana Maslany is also wearing Cushnie et Ochs with a different play on the asymmetric overlay style that Jacobson is rocking as this is less peplum and more floaty thanks to the longer length. It’s a really simple and elegant look and I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that she chose a red pump over anything in the beige region. Maslany won for Orphan Black for the second year in the row, will the Emmys finally follow suit with a nomination?

Lizzy CaplanA butterfly covered Valentino gown for Lizzy Caplan and an easy highlight of the evening. Digging the side swept hair too.

Carrie BrownsteinThe top half of Carrie Brownstein’s dress is a little Star Trek (not a bad thing) and I can’t get over how radiant her smile is. Great lip color and silver heels to make this more than just an LBD.

Kat GrahamKat Graham is never boring on the red carpet and on this occasion this translates into a fabulous outfit. Opting for a navy Escada suit with mirrored detail on the jacket she also gets the amount of plunge right.

Allison JanneyPicking up two awards (for Mom and Masters of Sex) Allison Janney chose the right color to wear and she looks radiant in gold.

AnnetThis is a lot of tulle and Annet Mahendru from The Americans pulls both this and the sheer factor off without looking like she is going to prom.

Emmy RossumRocking magenta is Emmy Rossum in Monique Lhuillier and her turquoise statement Sutra earrings stops it from looking too saccharine.

Matthew RhysNow to the guys and Matthew Rhys gets points for both his beard and striped tie.

Zach WoodsIt might seem like he is in everything at the moment – not complaining – and Zach Woods looks half awkward/half adorable; so of course he deserves to be included in this feature.

MessinaChris Messina pulls off the hands in pockets, loosened tie partly because he is Chris Messina and in this moment he is looking very much how his character Danny Castellano would look at an event like this.

Matt BomerEnding with Matt Bomer seems like the appropriate way to finish “Look of the Week” as I don’t think there is anyone who wears a tux better. Bomer also deservedly won for The Normal Heart and I hope we will be seeing more of him on the awards circuit for this role.

TV Rewind: Felicity, “Great Expectations” & “Help for the Lovelorn”

19 Jun

Felicity, Episodes 2.10 & 2.11
“Great Expectations” & “Help for the Lovelorn”
Original Air Dates: Jan. 16 & 23, 2000

Felicity 2.11 titleEmma: It’s 2000! Yep Felicity is no longer in the ’90s and yet I think we’ll still be talking ’90s fashion as the previous decade tends to linger in the style stakes – Mad Men did this with ’50s looking threads when it begun and The Americans costuming looks far more ’70s at this point as they’re only in 1982 – so I can’t see Julie ditching her butterfly clips anytime soon.

So it’s a new year and a new term; last time we talked we both mentioned the lack of Ben/Felicity interactions this season and it’s like the writers heard us (or heard the people back in 1999) and there’s a whole lot of Ben and Felicity in “Great Expectations.” What easier way to have them reconnect than for their shifts at D&D to change?! It’s super contrived and yet it’s not at the same time. New York is big enough even if you do go to the same college to avoid each other, but it’s also just as easy to bring them back together with something as simple as a shift change. It’s adorable and cheesy when they mention that they haven’t worked together since the last millennium.

Both Ben and Felicity feel lost for different reasons – Ben has lost the one thing that gives him focus as the swimming program has been shut down and Felicity is out of sorts as her father has taken a temporary job at the university hospital that turns into a permanent position. Part of coming to a city so far away from home was to get away from her parents and so Felicity is of course perturbed by her father’s presence (which I can totally understand). Felicity doesn’t get in to a class that she really wanted and everything is out of sorts for her (even more so in the following episode which I can’t wait to talk about).

Ben’s a hard character to pin down as he is such a social chameleon; he can be whatever easy going guy you want him to be and this makes it difficult to tell when he is feeling something genuine. The 180 he does with his realization that Sean gives terrible advice feels a tad convenient, however as it’s Ben I also buy that it would take him this long to figure out what a bonehead decision he made at the start of the season. How do you feel about Ben’s renewed Felicity feelings?

The chemistry between Ben and Felicity crackles in a way that isn’t present with Noel; there is a familiarity and closeness between Noel and Felicity that makes them seem better suited as friends at this point even though there is sexual tension. The version of Felicity with Ben is a little more daring, she doesn’t think or analyse so much and is very much in the moment. A desire to rebel leads to swimming pool break in and I love that Ben is wearing less than Felicity during this scenario as she keeps her D&D t-shirt on. This could have been an excuse to get Keri Russell into some slinky underwear and yet they stay very true to who this character is in this moment. It also plays up to the breaking into a swimming pool TV trope that has been used on everything from The Sopranos (Lady Gaga was in this episode) to a recent episode of the amazing Playing House. What is it about TV and pool break ins?

What did you think of the whole Ben and Felicity of it all?

felicity 2.11 BenJulie: It’s not the new millennium yet, Ben! I thought for sure nerdy Felicity would correct him on that, but she didn’t.

I think you pinpointed my problem with Ben in this episode (really, I think I had problems with absolutely everyone in this episode). While I loved the shift change bringing them back together, his whole 180 from breaking up with Felicity to all of a sudden wondering if he made a mistake in breaking up with her seemed way too fast. Like you, I wonder if his social chameleonism keeps him from having/showing actual feelings, or at least making suspect all of the feelings he does have. I’m not sure who Ben really is or what he really wants. I’m not sure he knows those things either.

I just wish they had taken a little time with this Ben/Felicity thing. Even if the writers had just put off the “hey, Sean, you were wrong” conversation for a few episodes. It’s fine that they’re hanging out together (and breaking school rules), but it’s way too quick for Ben to suddenly want to be with Felicity again. I don’t buy it.

The pool break-in is such a prevalent TV trope (was Lady Gaga really in that ep? Might be time for a Sopranos rewatch. Good thing I’ve got nothing else to catch up on), but I can’t come up with any other examples right now off the top of my head. I think Felicity with Ben is sort of interesting, but I’m not sure I like what her being with him does to her. Yes, she’s more fun and daring, but is it because she wants to be those things or does she do it just to impress Ben? It seems like every time she’s with him, he just gets her into trouble (the cheating thing), and he always seems to show up at the most inopportune times (like when she’s in the process of making things better with Noel). I feel like Ben is one of those guys that you see your friend dating, and know she just can shake him. You know he’s bad for her, but she’s inexplicably (or explicably in the case of hot Ben) drawn to him.

That said, she’s a sophomore in college and if she wants to have fun with a trouble-making social chameleon, she should do that. Now is the time. Besides, Noel’s busy TA-ing Ruby’s class. Barf. What did you think of Noel and Ruby and how annoying Ruby was as one of Noel’s students?

Felicity 2.11 FelicityEmma: This sudden interest in Felicity from Ben definitely feels like it’s a reaction to audience dissatisfaction, in that I’m sure there were Ben/Felicity fans who were very dissatisfied with the start of this season. Getting a couple together to have them split up pretty quickly is a standard teen TV action, but they don’t normally spend this much time apart. But yeah I wish the groundwork had occurred in the midst of all the Teri Polo shenanigans.

I also agree with you about the version of Felicity is with Ben and it’s pretty much her version of the “cool girl” (as with MPDG I also have some issues with this trope with how reductive it can be if used in the wrong way). She’s more reckless with Ben, but it’s the PG-13 kind and yet there are also consequences. I’m also wondering what kind of punishment they’re going to get and whether Felicity will have to turn to her father to bail her out, I hope not.

Felicity’s parents are getting a divorce and it’s all been relatively civil between the Porters the few times we’ve seen them together and it totally blindsides Felicity. It’s not really that surprising considering how wistful her mom was about Felicity’s new life and the things she’d missed out on by marrying young and it doesn’t sound like it’s ending because of anything painful. How did you feel about this storyline?

I have some TA questions as we don’t really have them over here , well at least not at my university – is it always an undergrad student? Do they get extra credit for doing this? So they kind of run seminars?

Also Ruby continues to be the worst and I would rather have watched Elena making those three legged frogs than the advice/argument between Noel and Ruby. They’re both trying to help each other out and instead they poke at their insecurities.

Oh and what do you think about Julie and skeezy Eric?

felicity 2.11 JulieJulie: I was not surprised by Felicity’s parents’ separation. (And not just because I’ve already seen the show.) A lot of real-life marriages end once the kids go to college, so this seems like something that could definitely happen. Plus Felicity’s mom definitely looked wistful when seeing all the fun stuff Felicity was doing in college. Also, she had her daughter very young and probably didn’t get much time to screw around (pun intended) during her younger days. Also, she’s a stay-at-home mom who no longer has a purpose. Her baby has moved clear across the country. I expect her to show up  with a 20-something tennis pro from Belgium any day now.

Kudos to Felicity’s mom, however, for doing things in the right order and splitting up with her husband before pursuing her hot, young thing (unlike Maggie).

I never really had a TA either, because I went to a small school and majored in subjects where the classes were manageable and didn’t really need TAs. I think they’re just helpers, for the most part. The only thing I can gather from Noel’s situation is that he’s not so much teaching the class, but running a weekly study session. I’m assuming he gets either money or credit for doing this. And we all know Noel needs the money.

I really could not stand watching Ruby with her finger eyes, non-verbally telling Noel to make eye-contact. As a former teacher, I totally would’ve called on her. She was begging for it. Ruby, you’re an idiot and I wish you’d just go away already.

Oh my god, poor Elena with those frogs. Give her something to do, please! #FreeElena

As far as Eric goes, we saw that coming a mile away, right? I mean, first of all, he’s a “big time” record producer who goes to open mic nights after getting random postcards in the mail? I don’t think so. Secondly, Julie has one song. One song. And it’s not that impressive. What did he see in her (other than her looks) that would make him want to sign her on the spot. I had to say it, but Sean is right all over the place. Eric is skeevy and Ben definitely should’ve broken up with Felicity. He’s not ready for her jelly.

I guess the only other thing I have to add about this episode is that I wish Sean would just tell Julie he loves her so that we can stop hearing about it.

felicity 2.11 newspaperEmma: Well if Noel keeps buying three differs types of Christmas present then he definitely does. I am however convinced that the ugly bracelet cost $15 tops.

The eye contact bit was super cringy and Noel’s reaction was not surprising at all. Also, Ruby, do the reading.

I’m sad for Julie that this dude was all about getting in her pants and yes she really does need new material. They also need to give Sean more to beside harping on about Smoothaise and Julie.

So it’s a new semester and Felicity is taking a different direction with some of their stories and none could be more different than the second episode “Help for the Lovelorn” or the Twilight Zone episode, as I’ve heard it referred to. I’ve been really excited about watching this episode and it didn’t disappoint.

But first I have to make an admission and it’s one that might make me look bad – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a full episode of The Twilight Zone… I know. Now I have seen all of Eerie, Indiana, which is not the same thing but it did play an important part of summer vacation TV watching. I’m not sure I’m making it better. Regardless of not having seen any Twilight Zones (still hanging my head in shame), I do know the basic set up and style of the original series and how much J.J. Abrams has been influenced by it. This episode feels like a pretty great love letter to both it and Rod Serling. Plus it lets Felicity and the other regulars do something different while addressing some of the same issues.

What I want to know is if you can remember how it was received when it first aired? Did they promote it as a very different episode before it aired or was it like ‘hey surprise we’re doing a genre episode?’

Felicity 2.11 Felicity and NoelJulie: I, too, haven’t seen much of The Twilight Zone. I don’t remember how this episode was received back when it aired, but I do remember that I wasn’t a big fan the first time around. I liked it much better this time. I think I appreciated the conceit a little bit more. Maybe years of watching “theme episodes” and Community have helped me come to terms with the one-off gimmick hour.

Because Community has so artfully used these theme eps to further the plot, I do wish this episode had had more to do with what happened in “Great Expectations.” As it stands, the Twilight Zone episode has no bearing on anything and was basically just a way to sort of explain Meghan’s box. That was really the only “value” to the ep, as far as story goes. Oh, and this is the last we’ll hear of Janeanne Garofalo.

So, okay, what did I like about the Twilight Zone episode this time around (because I honestly did enjoy it, story issues aside)? First of all, everyone looked good. Keri Russel and Amanda Foreman have the perfect faces for ’60s period nonsense. Maybe they can unearth Foreman from wherever she’s been hiding since Alias and put her in the final few episodes of Mad Men (or Masters of Sex, really). Also, yeah, I think they did do a good job of touching on the theme of being lovelorn (giving things a little Eternal Sunshine flavor), but only in regards to Felicity, Noel, and Julie. Ben and Elena (of course) had very little do do here.

What did you think of the episode overall?

Felicity 2.11 MeghanEmma: Overall I thought it was really fun, despite not really moving the plot forward as there’s still the same love triangle (quandrangle if you include Julie) discussion. In fact that’s the premise really as Felicity gets into this situation as she signs up for a treatment that will help with her ex boyfriend dilemmas. As you mention Community was so good at using the gimmick episode to further the story and while this isn’t as successful as it pretty much underlines what we already know I did enjoy the overall effort.

It’s also an example of where Felicity’s new do suits the time period as I can’t really picture her mass of curls suiting the time period as well and Keri Russell looks super adorable in this era (it’s something they’re touched on in early flashbacks in The Americans when they first arrive to the US). I am so on board Amanda Forman in either Masters of Sex or Mad Men – Matt Weiner has a thing for actresses from ’90s teen shows so this would be all kinds of perfect. I love Meghan teasing at the start and how her “you’ll find out soon enough” to the “what’s in the box?” question was suitably menacing. Also isn’t the answer always Gwyneth Paltrow’s head (spoiler I guess)? Oh and because the look of this episode is so good I’m using screengrabs from this episode alone as there are too many good ones to cut out.

Farewell, Sally! And what a great episode for the final VO from her with no blathering about John or some lame life lesson. I wish they’d used Janeanne Garofalo better and the Dear Sally setup definitely works better with just Felicity’s side. Having the tape recorder appear was pretty fun and I like how they mixed in some aspects from the present with the overall context of the past.

It is very Eternal Sunshine-like and it’s just like Felicity, even in this alt-verse to resist against the easy path if it means losing the ability to love and feel. I mean I think most would do this, but Felicity is all about thinking and feeling so this extreme goes against everything that she is.

The creepy factor is high and suspense is high; it’s disorientating for both the viewer and Felicity alike because this isn’t the world we’re used to. There are elements of horror like the waking corpse, giant needles and forced operations that would be more at home on a show like Buffy than this one. Even the final sequence when Felicity wakes up alone at first in the box is disturbing as they’re all trapped together in box with no exits. A group of exes (and Elena) in close proximity is terrifying enough.

There is tension between Ben and Noel with old resentments rearing their ugly heads. At the start of the episode they’re perfectly cordial to each other and it reminded me of that brief time in S1 when they didn’t despise each other. I miss that. They’re glad Julie doesn’t have her guitar, I am too. Elena is pretty level-headed and while her presence didn’t make much sense in the context of broken down relationships, I am glad that she was there.

I love the different credits and as we saw with the various different themed Fringe credits, J.J. Abrams enjoys mixing things up. Is this the first sign that he was already feeling a bit bored of doing a college show with no overall mystery?

Felicity 2.11 groupJulie: I think it’s OK to spoil Seven these days. That movie came out (holy shit, I’m old) almost twenty years ago. I need a moment to lie down.

That’s an interesting theory about J.J.’s boredom. Alias started in 2001, so I’m sure he was already laying the groundwork for that show at this point. Also, I think it must be hard to keep a show like this going. Obviously they’ve set up that Noel and Ben are the great loves of Felicity’s life. There are only so many ways you can keep getting them together and breaking them apart. And it’s only sophomore year!

That said, there are so many other great characters on this show that they are underusing. I want to see Sean, Elena, or Meghan get the arcs they deserve.

I’m looking forward to seeing the screen grabs. There were so many lovely shots in this episode. The lighting was beautiful.

Felicity 2.11 instrumentsEmma: There is definitely a lot that can be done with the supporting characters other than some of the thinly drawn plots they’ve been given this season and Elena hasn’t really had much to do since Professor skeeze last season and that was resolved off screen over their summer break. It’s easy I’m sure to get caught up in the central trio and it is named Felicity so of course she will feature heavily (and I wouldn’t want her to get sidelined), but Elena is getting a short shrift this season.

It’s funny as I thought there would be a ton to talk about with this very different episode and yet there’s probably less to say beyond the aesthetics – and yeah the lighting is very strong – as it’s not going to come into play for the rest of the story. Remember that time we were in a box. Actually one other thing I did want to mention from a technical point is the human tower as Felicity crawled up everyone, of course they are lying down and they’ve just changed the camera angle but I appreciate J.J. Abrams’ dedication to using these old tricks. For all his lens flare shenanigans he does have a habit of using the old classics and that’s why I’m looking forward to his Star Wars.

Felicity 2.11 dollsJulie Hammerle is, according to Klout, an expert in the areas of both Morgan Freeman and glasses. Her writing can be found at chicagonow.com/hammervision and you can holler at her on Twitter as well.

Aaron Paul, Christina Hendricks and Allison Williams Cover Variety

18 Jun

Earlier this week the role of guest star was in focus as part of the SAG “Conversations” series and now Variety is showcasing supporting actors. We’re in the somewhat protracted period of pre-Emmy nominations as the recent season of TV is being discussed and analysed by various sites; trade publications like Variety and The Hollywood Reporter have delivered extensive roundtable conversations and print/digital articles.

Variety has chosen three actors who play supporting characters on critically acclaimed shows; one of these shows is over (Breaking Bad), however it is still very much in contention for the Emmys this year. Aaron Paul’s current stint on TV is no more and Christina Hendricks’ is coming to an end relatively soon as they are shooting what I believe is the last episode of Mad Men. I am sure this will feature heavily in the awards discussion this time next year as we won’t get to see the final 7 until 2015.

The third cover is occupied by Girls’ Allison Williams and I expect her inclusion might be met with some eye rolls and questions of “Why her?” There are of course plenty of other supporting actors who could take her position who are more likely to receive an Emmy nomination (pretty much all of the OITNB cast), but I would also argue that Williams has been incredible on the latest season of Girls as Marnie experienced a steady stream of humiliation (YouTube videos) in her portrayal of a character who is so incredibly unaware of her many awful qualities. The comments Williams makes in the interview might not endear people any further as she mentions that Girls was the first audition she did upon arriving in Los Angeles, while both Hendricks and Paul discuss their long journey to success.

The cover themselves are pretty cool as they show a double exposure like shot of each actor – the ladies get a close up and a body shot, whereas Paul looks like he is dancing – and while the article itself focuses on how strong supporting roles can lead to greater opportunities, characters like Joan, Jesse or Marnie should not be scoffed at. Not that this article is necessarily doing this in an overt manner, but it does have a hint of movies over TV to it and by now we should be at place beyond this outdated value judgement, even if it is in the subtext.

Christina Hendricks

Aaron Paul

Alison Williams

 

French Connection’s Pre-Fall 2014 Collection: Dressing Arrow’s Felicity Smoak

17 Jun

A year ago I started the Fantasy Costuming as a way to look at new offerings from designers and stores alongside some of TV Ate My Wardrobe’s best dressed characters. For Scandal’s Olivia Pope, high end designers Olivia has previously worn such as Burberry Prorsum (and I picked that coat) were featured among some more affordable pieces. It is meant to be just a bit of fun and in no way am I saying that these items should feature on any of these shows, rather it is about whether you could see this character wearing this garment and drawing influence from what they have worn in the past.

The first character to receive the Fantasy Costuming treatment was Jess Day from New Girl using French Connection’s autumn wardrobe and it is only fitting then to use this brands pre-fall collection and one that has recently been released. Instead of treading ground with a character that has been featured heavily or has previously been Fantasy Costumed, I am going to take a look at a character I adore and who should be a more frequent TV Ate My Wardrobe staple and that is Arrow’s Felicity Smoak.

Felicity SmoakFelicity does the whole funky office wear with peplums and blouses – including this French Connection fitted jersey dress (also seen on The Mindy Project) – and French Connection’s pre-fall selection is perfectly suited for Felicity’s transitional style that bounces from clothes to wear behind a computer to chic, smart attire with a hint of out in the field work (even if it is sitting in a van and then using said van as a weapon).

There are no masks in Felicity’s wardrobe, neither is leather a key component and yet Felicity doesn’t wear just one type of garment or signature tone as both pattern and color blocking feature throughout. It’s not a choice of skirts or pants and Felicity can dress up or down for what the scenario demands. As Felicity’s confidence has grown so has the boldness of her costuming and season 2 saw raised hemlines and more fitted silhouettes. I don’t want to lose the empathetic qualities Felicity possesses along with her fierceness and so the mosaic and floral prints that dominate French Connection’s pre-fall wardrobe add a sense of whimsy in a world that grows darker.

FC long sleeve dressFC penicl skirtFC JeansClick on the photos below to see more picks for Felicity from the French Connection pre-fall collection and to purchase/browse head here.

 

 

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