Archive | August, 2014

Adam Driver Covers the GQ September Issue

19 Aug

The next few years are going to be big for Adam Driver including more GirlsStar Wars sequels and a Martin Scorsese movie. Scoring the cover of GQ’s September issue is the natural progression, though I am pleasantly surprised it has happened so soon (I’m sure Details and Entertainment Weekly will happen in the not too distant future) and it’s a pretty relaxed looking shot. The all Burberry London ensemble (Henley and vest) kind of looks like one of Adam’s stage costumes during the last season of Girls and the third undone button is like the Henley version of the deep deep V, but acceptable hotness.

Adam Driver GQ coverNo Star Wars secrets are spilled, nor does he reveal anything about season 4 of Girls (which at the time of the interview he was still shooting). Finding out more about who Adam Driver is and how he came to become an actor is a subject that isn’t off limits and while he doesn’t want to talk about his family he does discuss his time as a marine, why he left and getting into Juilliard after one early rejection.

You might not think there would be a point of convergence between his first and second career, but Driver has found a way to unite the two by founding Arts in the Armed Forces; using performing arts to engage with those in the military as well as to entertain. Driver explains his desire to bring this kind of performance (rather than say cheerleaders) to those in service saying “When I think of my military experience, I don’t think of the drills and discipline and pain. I think of these, like, really intimate, human moments of people wanting to go AWOL because they missed their wives, or someone’s dead and they can’t deal with it. And that’s what I wanted to show.”

Driver seems uncomfortable with the success he has experienced so far “It’s very nice. But in a way, I don’t feel like I’ve really put in my dues. Like it doesn’t feel earned.” There’s still a personal conflict at play, however he has proven himself to be a very talented and charming performer and there’s just something about him. Considering how I felt about Adam at the start of Girls (so many hate tweets) and how this had dramatically changed by episode 6; this has as much to do with his portrayal as it does with the writing. Even in Inside Llewyn Davis and his limited screen time he shines.

Adam DriverThe editorial focuses on clothes with looser proportions – I know the 90s are having a renaissance, but let’s not get to that level of baggy again – and you can see the full collection of photos here. The first time he graced the pages of GQ  for a fashion shoot it involved a lot of sportswear (the 70s feel of this one including short shots is fantastic) and while there’s a lot more practical clothes for fall, it’s not self-serious either. Plus stripes and standing on the tips of his toes!

Adam Driver stripesThis outfit – all by Ralph Lauren, except the boots by Red Wing Heritage – is an ideal look and doesn’t slip into the baggy territory I fear.

For more from this fascinating interview (there really does seem to be something different about Driver to the usual actor profiles in these magazines) head here.

Homeland Season 4 Teaser: Tyranny of Secrets

19 Aug

Season 4 of Homeland is all about Carrie Mathison’s struggles with motherhood. Okay, maybe that’s not quite the central focus of this new promo, but the shot of the adorable framed mother and baby photo seems to indicate that this will come into play particularly when you factor in the baby as Carrie’s last tie to the now departed Brody (which, groan I guess). Juggling work/motherhood is not always the most interesting angle and yet with Carrie I am fascinated with how they will address this conflict. As the first Brodyless season Carrie’s obsession will have to take on a new focus and while it looks like she is rejecting motherhood – she “doesn’t have a choice” – this could be the constant niggle for her this year. That and the amount of casualties from the 14 year war (or 14 one year wars as Saul suggests) are taking their toll on all involved including the new addition of Corey Stoll who already looks flustered and a very sad looking Quinn surrounded by takeout and booze.

Homeland season 4Homeland has struggled to hit the highs of season 1 and like many I have grown frustrated with the show (nothing has been as good as the Carrie color coordinated wall of investigation) sticking with it out a sense of hope that it will get better. The Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin factor (plus my maybe irrational shipping of Carrie and Quinn) is another reason I’ve continued watching and I’ve yet to tire of the Cry Face of Glory as some have. Carrie is rather restrained in this teaser for anyone who is fed up of extreme Carrie. The lack of any Brody family members in this teaser is also satisfying (sorry guys, but your time has come) and I want to see what Homeland can do when the focus is elsewhere.

Homeland returns Sunday, October 5 and the song playing in the teaser is “Hole in the Middle” by Emily Jane White.


Masters of Sex 2.06 “Blackbird” Review: “Lilantha”

18 Aug

Intimacy comes in a variety of ways far beyond the study at the center of Masters of Sex and in “Blackbird” we see multiple characters wrestling with the truth behind certain relationships. This takes place in both a personal and professional setting as the two overlap in several cases; new lows are hit and life changing acknowledgements are proclaimed. Change is coming and there is of course resistance, particularly when there are different agendas at play. While Bill claims he will let the facts speak for themselves, when his own personal space is penetrated by the press he pushes back in the most abhorrent way and he’s not the only one who goes to extreme lengths this week.*

*While watching this episode and seeing the depiction of racial tension in 1950s St. Louis, Missouri it is incredibly bleak spotting similarities and the lack of progress with what is happening right now in 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri.

Masters of Sex 2.06 LilanthaI’ve talked a lot about Virginia and Lillian as the best female friendship on television and “Blackbird” cements this assertion (and I’m pretty sure I’m going to end up crying while I type this). Lillian references Virginia’s inability to take no for an answer – I realized while watching this that there is a slightly Leslie Knope steamroller like quality to Virginia – and by the end of the episode Virginia has learned that there is a point where you stop pushing someone. Lillian decides to end her treatment, which is met with resistance by Virginia as she believes there is still plenty to fight for. At this point Lillian is performing this fighter charade for Virginia “I can’t do this for you. I tried, but I’m done” (aaaaand the screen just went blurry as I typed that).

Between Lillian and Bill, Virginia has opened herself up emotionally in a way that she can’t quite comprehend and she tearfully explains to Bill that she never lets anyone in the way she has done with Lillian emphasizing “She knows me.” Virginia doesn’t do close emotional relationships (remember she locked up her heart a long time ago) and Bill points out that the reason Virginia didn’t see it coming is because Lillian is a woman. Yes we have seen Virginia with other female friends, well Jane, but none this intimate. They are of course complete opposites and yet they provide that something the other has been missing.

Like Virginia, Lillian has erected walls and she tells Virginia over wine that she has missed out on being loved. Lillian tells a story of her cotillion, the cruel name she was called – giraffe as she was both tall and spotty – and how a little piece of us is the girl we were at 13 (which I kind of agree with). So while Lillian hasn’t experienced romantic love, this here on this sofa and later when Virginia tucks her in bed is love. Lillian is also the only one who can get Virginia to accept that Bill loves her, even if this comes with a feigned shocked expression followed by eye acknowledgement. If this episode was just these two women sitting on the sofa drinking and telling stories I would be more than happy. Alas, the end is here and Virginia puts Lillian to bed in the same way she does her children; by drawing words on her forehead. What really slays me in this scene is Virginia telling Lillian she sees “constellations in these freckles” including the previously undiscovered “Lilantha” a “Warrior princess, strong and brave” and if I wasn’t already a wreck then this line would tip me over the edge “But she knew who she was. And that is why she burns so brightly, you can always spot her in the sky.”

Earlier Virginia has told Lillian she will take care of the letter to her family and that she will ensure that her body goes to science so she can maybe help with the cause she has spent so long on beyond her death. Virginia returns to Lillian’s house to pick up the letter and finds her in bed struggling to breathe after she has taken a bottle of sleeping pills. Virginia’s natural reaction is to call 911 and halfway through the call as she looks at her friend she hangs up, recognizing this isn’t her fight. Instead she lies down next to Lillian and makes sure she isn’t alone in her final moments.

Masters of Sex 2.06 Bill and VirginiaWhen Bill and Virginia have sex they don’t kiss, if they did then they might have to admit to themselves and each other that there is something here that goes far beyond research. This point is emphasized in the opening scene and while it might seem like a bit too on the nose for them to reference this in such an overt way, I’m glad they did as I haven’t actually noticed before that they don’t kiss (I’m not sure if this makes me horribly unobservant or if my brain is filling in the gap). So when this moment takes place it’s not while they are sleeping together, instead it comes in at a point of vulnerability as Virginia is opening herself up rather than closing herself off. We don’t see anything beyond the kiss so it’s unclear if it leads to anything else, the way I read it is that it is just the kiss and nothing more.

This is a strong and effective scene; the “I know you” and everything that comes before and after really underlines everything this relationship is about. One aspect that works incredibly well is how the camera pushes in so slowly starting at a distance and ending in a close up. It’s like we are Bill and Lillian sneaking past Virginia’s carefully constructed walls.

The red of Virginia’s blouse in this scene is in contrast to the blue in her later scenes with Lillian; one suggests passion while the other is nurturing and both represent the two sides of Virginia we see in her relationships with these two characters.

Masters of Sex 2.06 MorganBill’s being all Mr Sensitive with Virginia, however when things get a little too personal with the story reporter Morgan Hogue is writing he ends up in a scenario he has never found himself in. Morgan wants to talk about Bill’s past and his recent estrangement from the white medical community; this is not the angle Bill wants as it reveals far too much about whom he is and is a narrative he finds uncomfortable. To kill the story Bill threatens the editor of this newspaper with made up research findings that will paint black people in a negative light. It’s repugnant and so unlike the Bill we have seen admonishing Libby for her recent racist actions. Bill is for what it is worth disgusted at himself for stooping to this tactic telling Hendricks that he has never misrepresented his work like this. Hendricks refers to Bill’s methods as coming from a desperate place, but it still leaves a nasty taste behind and Hendricks fires him as this pairing is not going to bring the change that either of them is striving for; Bill needs to go out on his own as Hendricks did.

Masters of Sex 2.06 LibbyThese last few weeks I have been pretty much watching Libby scenes through my fingers as she continues her descent into obsession and paranoia going from watching Coral and Robert to getting a police check on Robert. Banning Robert from picking Coral up leads to following them to their home and Robert confronts Libby as she’s figuring out where Coral lives. Robert tells Libby that he’s Coral’s brother (they haven’t different surnames) revealing Coral’s ruse for getting under Libby’s skin (which Libby deserved in that moment). Libby has cut her leg, something Robert notices and asks if he can help her. Libby accepts this aid for a moment and then things get too personal for her and she overreacts by firing Coral and fleeing the scene. Later she caresses that cut and smokes in the darkness; this act of care and intimacy has stirred something in Libby. Part of her obsession with Coral and Robert is from this factor of closeness that is absent in her own relationship and while this doesn’t excuse Libby behavior and prejudice, it goes some of the way to explain her actions. I worry they have pushed Libby too far into this corner and as I mentioned last week it comes across as an attempt to make Libby unlikeable so as an audience we feel less sympathy for her and her loveless marriage.

Masters of Sex 2.06 awkward double dateWhile I’m on the subject of loveless marriages “Care is what you have for a stray dog you find in the road. Love is what you have with someone you share your bed with.” These words by Gene to Betty suggest that this relationship has come to an end as Gene finds out the biggest secret Betty has been keeping. Gene’s friend Al is beyond clueless as even though he witnessed the kiss between Helen and Betty last week he doesn’t connect that this is romantic as his only experience of lesbians is a stereotype; neither Betty or Helen look like this so they can’t possibly be. This also goes back to what Betty said about them not being accepted by this community as they don’t fit this description. Gene figures it out and while he thought Betty’s outburst was because she was into Al – he tells a sad story about what it’s been like to double date with Al in the past – when Al mentions the kiss he instantly knows who Betty’s heart belongs to. Betty thinks that she can make it work with both Helen and Gene as they have money now and “money means options.” They already live an unconventional life and they can maintain afternoon hookups as long as Helen is willing to go along with this. Helen isn’t content with being the mistress in this set up and plays Betty at her game with an impromptu proposal to Al.

Masters of Sex 2.06 Betty and GeneWhile Betty is okay with performing this charade and she really does care for Gene as she suggests, it’s not enough. For Gene he could get passed the kids lie and he doesn’t want to adopt, he tells Betty “You’re enough.” The problem is that Gene is not enough for Betty and he never will be. An unconventional set up yes, but one that isn’t fair to anyone involved. Helen pushed her point with the Al proposal and Gene confrontation with Betty about truth shows that he can’t play this game. Ultimately I don’t think Betty can either and while she has got used to comfortable living and an incredible wardrobe she owes it to Gene, Helen , Al and herself to own her truth.

Masters of Sex 2.06 BettyAs I’m on the subject of Betty frocks here is another incredible one. There is nothing quiet or subdued about either Betty or Helen’s clothing choices. They clash at times in both color and pattern as they clash in their methods of continuing their relationship. Even their underwear is in stark contrast as Betty wears the white of innocence and Helen’s strapless basque is in super sexy black. Now that Betty is no longer getting ‘fertility’ treatments from Bill this story is now rather separate to the overall narrative and I wonder how they will converge again in the future. Sarah Silverman has been a terrific addition and I hope we get to see more of this relationship as we move forward.

This episode marks the halfway point of season 2 and it has an end of chapter like feel to it as Bill realizes that he can no longer work in a hospital if he wants to continue his work. Other characters hit low points (Libby I’m looking at you), relationships hit their natural breaking point as secrets are revealed and walls are broken down exposing a whole new set of raw emotions. Bill discovers at the end of the episode that maybe he doesn’t know Virginia as well as the thought he did as when he turns to her first after yet another sacking he finds her ‘beau’ on the doorstep. This is a guy Virginia has been dating for a couple of months and like Bill we are only just finding out about this relationship. Bill stumbles away having what appears to be a panic attack and the Virginia/Bill merry-go-round continues to spin.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

15 Aug

Movie premieres featuring TV husband and wife adorableness, street style, talk show appearances, a sneak peek at new web series and a HFPA event are all included in this edition of “Out of the Box.” Alas there is nothing from the Teen Choice Awards, but the sea of crop tops was kind of uninspiring and even Taylor Swift has been wearing better outfits when leaving the gym (and on The Tonight Show as you will see below).

Aubrey and ChrisOne thing that is always guaranteed to warm my heart is when cast members show their support for their co-stars other projects. Chris Pratt has of course had a huge week with the monstrous success of Guardians of the Galaxy so he is forgiven for ditching tailored suits – I think I like this rugged style better on him anyway – for a more relaxed look at the LA premiere of Aubrey Plaza’s Life After Beth. Plaza has been making some interesting red carpet choices recently and this floral lace Valentino frock is another one I love as both Plaza and her character April Ludgate continue to reign supreme here at TV Ate My Wardrobe.

Kate MaraThe color and cut of Kate Mara’s dress is pretty much my ideal (yellow is an ultimate clothing weakness). Paired with shades, a Coach bag, white Jil Sander buckled loafers and an iced drink makes effortless summer in the city styling.

taylor swiftTaylor Swift has turned leaving the gym into something of a catwalk and she delivered when visiting The Tonight Show earlier this week in a Bec & Bridge dress that is giving me all the long legged envy. Also the ability to walk in super stacked Prada sandals without stumbling/falling into an embarrassing heap. Still not sure about the shaggy, voluminous hair as it’s looking a touch bad ’80s, however the dash of pink lip color avoids being too matchy matchy with the similar shade on the dress. Jimmy continues the trend for striking purple ties this week.

It was announced earlier this week on Buzzfeed that the Veronica Mars team are coming back with a web series and creator Rob Thomas explains it “will have more in common with Party Down tonally, but it will be about Ryan Hansen, or at least a version of Ryan Hansen, deciding to capitalize on the current Veronica Mars heat to get his own series on the air.” This is terrific news as I need to find something to fill the Party Down hole in my life; Ryan Hansen shared a sneak look at what we can maybe expect from this show on his Instagram and it is glorious.

Kerry Washigton and Kristen BellOh hey, Veronica Mars! Kristen Bell with a lovely bouquet of flowers and a rather fetching companion at the HFPA Grants Banquet in LA. Kerry Washington’s strapless Mary Katrantzou floral number is sweet without entering saccharine territory; pairing it with pumps that have colorful edge makes me so happy. No beige shoes here.

TV Rewind: Felicity, “Party Lines” and “Running Mates”

14 Aug

Felicity, Episodes 2.18 & 2.19
“Party Lines” & “Running Mates”
Original Air Dates: Apr. 19 & 26, 2000

Felicity 2.18 Ben and FelicityEmma: Last time we discussed Felicity you posed the question of how Ben might win Felicity’s heart and once again I did not guess correctly. Nope I didn’t see “is super adorable with a kid after he has used his basketball therapy technique” as Ben’s way back in. Not that anything has happened beyond lingering stares and a whole lot of tension.

Before I get into the next classic teen TV trope of student council, I want to talk about Ben some more as he continues his quest to find out who the real Ben Covington is. Ben wisely stops listening to Sean and goes to see a professional, Dr Pavone. Here he does a career test – I have to say that any career-related meetings made me get super twitchy and my response was always a shoulder shrug as I thought writer sounded far too fanciful – and the results are all over the place, much like Ben. So the choices are stock broker, teacher, tour guide or a captain of a ship. I want to see Ben as a captain, but he of course picks the one with the best financial prospects. Plus this means we get to see him in a suit, but because this is the year 2000 it is super baggy and unflattering. Why so baggy?

Ben is of course doing the gesture thing without doing it; this is all inspired by Felicity (she makes him want to be better), but he doesn’t want to show that he’s doing it for her. Plus it’s a total bust as he ends up as a babysitter rather than learning anything about stocks as his boss is caught up in work and pretty much ignores his visiting son. Ben, as we know, has a complicated history with his own father, though it’s not like this dude is Ben’s dad level of bad, he’s just caught up in his shit. When Ben finds out that Steven quit piano a year ago, they ditch the planned recital and go play basketball instead, because of course.

There’s a montage and it’s clear that Ben should be teaching (so the test was kinda right) as he’s really great with motivating and encouraging this kid. That is until he busts his finger and conveniently the NYU health center is the nearest place to the basketball court. Greg is reluctant to help and I think it’s more his concern for his job, rather than jealousy but, eh, he’s still a jerk so this didn’t win him any points. Felicity is super enamoured by this new side of Ben and I really wanted them to kiss (after the kid was gone of course), but alas I think we’re going to have to wait a few more episodes for that. Especially as there is other DRAMA that has got in the way. Before I get to that, what did you think about Ben in this episode? Do we know who Ben Covington is better than we did before?

Felicity 2.18 basketballJulie: I loved the way Dr. Pavone said, “Captain of ship.” I don’t know why Ben didn’t jump at that one. Ship’s captain = adventure!

But, yeah, he should be teaching (or coaching). It’s kind of obvious, isn’t it? He’s been mooning about all season, crying over the loss of his swim team. He’s helped Julie through tough times. He supported Noel during the whole Ruby debacle. He’s a fixer. He’s the guy who’s had all the experiences and he can help other people get through their own issues. Of course, teaching isn’t just being good with kids. He needs to understand the subjects he’s teaching and know how to present them to a class. So, when ti comes down to the nitty gritty of actually instructing kids, I don’t know how much he’ll actually dig the profession. But maybe counselor is a better job for him, working at a boys and girls club, hashing things out on the basketball court. Because isn’t that truly what Ben does best?

I am feeling more Team Ben after these episodes. I still think he’s an immature guy playacting as a mature one. He’s done all these “things” in his life, but has never reflected on what any of it means or where he might be going. I love that he’s finally taking life seriously. I still don’t know if he “loves” Felicity or if he just loves the idea of Felicity. I think a big chunk of his infatuation with her has to do with the fact that he’s trying to grow up, and a relationship with someone like Felicity would be a step in the right direction. Also, Felicity has never shied away from telling people what to do, and I think Ben thinks he needs that. He loves when people tell him what to do (hence Sean and Dr. Pavone’s test).

But, because Felicity’s with Greg and busy with her own life, she isn’t really biting, is she? She’s pretty much been staying out of the “Fix Ben” business, which is good for everyone involved. It’s forcing Ben to  think about what he wants for himself. We’re starting to see his true colors. And if his true colors are those of a guy who is nice to kids and wants to help his friends, I like it.

I also think Ben pushing Felicity to run for student council (which, this whole storyline has me SMH) is a bit of a role reversal. Felicity has always been the one to support Ben, to tell him to go for it. Now he’s returning the favor. And thank goodness, because we would’ve missed out on all the campaign speeches and chicanery.

Any other thoughts on Ben? And what did you think about Felicity’s deciding to run for president of the school?

Felicity 2.18 MeghanEmma: One of my chief complaints about the first half of the season was how divided it was with Felicity/Noel/Elena on one side with Ben/Julie/Sean existing in another space and I’m so happy with how organically both groups now share stories. Part of this has been the focus on Ben and now that he is friends with Noel it’s made it a lot easier for the writers to mix up the groupings. With Ben especially and as we have seen in how much we have talked about him recently they have really found his footing and while it’s  still ambiguous in terms of who he is (which makes sense because he doesn’t even know) I’m really enjoying this meditation on the guy who had everything at high school and is now a big ball of confusion.

Normally with the high school stud it’s all about the burnout after they leave with the classic case being Tim Riggins from FNL, but I don’t know if I’ve ever seen TV deal with it in this manner. Maybe because high school shows that venture into college don’t have a character like this (I’m thinking The OCBuffyGossip Girl) and so this feels very fresh. I guess I’m just very excited about the quandary that is Ben Covington.

I also think you’re right when it comes to Ben and Felicity; there is an attraction of course, but he’s definitely into the idea of this love and how she makes him feel. Like I said before I definitely want to see them kiss and when they were on their breaking and entering mission I was sure it was going to happen – hiding in a confined space normally leads to these kinds of shenanigans, but alas – and now Ben has fucked up his chance for now by being impulsive and outing Greg’s coke past.

Ah yes the election storyline and like you this had me shaking my head. Okay so I’ve never run for any kind of council or president and while I remember election stuff going on on campus I was never part of it of anyone’s campaign. But hey TV loves a campaign arc as they can use it as a backdrop to work through all the issues.

Greg of course wants to be president and he wants Felicity to be his campaign manager, which considering how passionate she is actually makes sense, plus I feel like there’s a slightly skeezy motive behind this. The problem is that Felicity disagrees with almost everything on Greg’s platform and it’s actually Leila (the girl who kickstarted the morning after pill protest) who’s campaign she’s all for. Now this is where it made me feel uncomfortable as Leila had a panic attack before her speech and she asked Felicity to save the day and I wish that if Felicity was going to run it wasn’t so she could take over from a WOC. It smacks a little of the white woman coming to save the day again and it feels like they did this just for the visual gags in the speech. What did you think about this moment?

Everyone, but Greg wants Felicity to run and so of course she decides to and Greg comes crawling back because he loves the feisty side of Felicity (it’s that pattern again). The second episode is all about dirty politics – shows also love using this as an analogy of what’s going on – and how far people are willing to go to win. Richard is pretty much the best in both these episodes and I wanted to point that out before throwing back to you. Also random observation, but it feels like the only character who is allowed to call anyone a dick is Ben, including about himself “she thinks I’m a dick.”

Felicity 2.18 free pizzaJulie: You’re right that Ben is sort of a novelty when it comes to teen TV. He hasn’t had a moment of complete collapse. While he was popular in high school, he didn’t seem like much of a golden boy (unlike Tim Riggins, who at least had football). Ben, I’m assuming, despite the swimming and running, kind of coasted through high school, and now he needs to figure out what else is out there. Oddly, Steve Sanders comes to mind. He was a bit more sinister and less serious than Ben, but kind of the same idea. He was the cool guy, but he was never the star athlete, nor was he a great student.

I basically liked nothing about the campaign plot. Except Richard. If I were running for school president, I’d run on the platform of “more Richard.” I ran for student council once in high school (lost) and basically paid no attention thereafter. I don’t remember anything about college elections. I don’t even know if we had college elections. I do know that if we did, the members of the council certainly did not wield the amount of power Richard, et. al. are banking on.

As far as the ickiness, yeah. Greg is all kinds of no (oh, and good call on him liking her again because of her feistiness). I don’t know if he had an actual angle in courting Felicity as his campaign manager, but it felt contrived somehow. And Felicity taking over for Leila was really unfortunate. Why couldn’t Felicity have just figured out she wanted to run on her own? Or why couldn’t she have jumped ship and just joined Leila’s campaign instead of Greg’s? Have a spine, woman. Know what you want. She’s worse than Ben sometimes in the flightiness department. One day she’s an art major. Then she’s back to medicine. Next she’s heading her boyfriend’s campaign, then she’s running on her own (stolen) platform. At least Ben’s honest about the fact that he has no idea what he wants.

Ben writing “Dick” on the poster was fabulous. “Dick” is a word that should be used more frequently on television.

I suppose we should talk about the Sadie Hawkins dance and (what?) are they trying to put Julie and Noel together? Is that really happening or are the writers just “trying it out?”

Felicity 2.19 poster graffitiEmma: I am having so much fun talking about Ben in this manner and to be honest I didn’t expect there to be this much depth to him; they’ve done a really good job of fleshing him out beyond that super cute smile. If only he wasn’t so impulsive with the Greg info and in turn driving Felicity away. Ben’s not done though and he heads to Grand Central (obligatory Broad City gif dancing moment) to pursue her and it was the hardest thing to not stick on the next episode to see just what he is going to do. Felicity has of course only gone on this weekend trip as a reaction to Ben’s deception – Ben once again went to Sean for advice, because he never learns and Sean flip flopped with what Ben should do – and had previously told Greg that a weekend away was far too soon (what it is it with these older dudes wanting to do the big step stuff after a month together, eager beavers or what). As a way to punish Ben she changes her mind and Greg goes along with this sudden change even though he knows Ben is the reason, way to sell yourself short dude. This is not going to end with a weekend of happiness. As you mention Felicity can be just as flighty as Ben and this is the embodiment of that.

Meghan has the best reaction to all of this as it “makes he wanna puke” and after she wore a straw boater hat for Greg and everything.

Do Sadie Hawkins dances happen at college? This felt like an excuse to have a dance and create some awkwardness between the couplings and to set up whatever the Noel/Julie stuff is. I like Noel and Julie as friends and while I’m not opposed to something romantic happening it does feel a little incestuous with this group and that Felicity and Julie have swapped guys. The advice Julie gives with regards to Ruby is solid, though once again it feels like she is being defined by something dramatic that happened in her life; her storylines tend to focus on the rape or her adoption and I want more from her and for her. It does get a little flirty between them in both this episode and the next one and yeah, it’s a bit out of the blue. They even have a moment on that stairwell where big moments happen and that indicates to me that this is something they are trying out, which is fine.

I’m glad that there is no kind of jealousy at the moment between Ben and Noel regarding Felicity as they both help out with her campaign and I keep expecting there to be passive-aggressive comments that never come. I hope this continues, but when the inevitable happens I suspect this friendliness might not be so forthcoming.

Elena gets her own story! It’s tied to Tracy as their back and forth continues with something I didn’t expect to get in the way. What did you make of Tracy’s revelation?

Also I’m writing this while listening to a Felicity playlist on Spotify – there is lots of lady angst.

Felicity 2.19 Ben and NoelJulie: I don’t think we had any Sadie Hawkins dances in college, or high school, come to think of it. I love the addition of Tracy to the group, and I think they, yes, definitely need more guys. The whole man-swapping thing is starting to reek of 90210. There can be other guys besides Noel, Julie.

Honestly, I have no idea if they even let the Noel/Julie pairing go beyond the dance. I’m remembering vaguely what happens in Season 3 (we’ll get there soon!), and I just don’t think it’s feasible that Felicity would dick over Julie not once, but twice, in the guy department. Spoiler. Alert.

I really do love Ben and Noel together. They have great chemistry and Shonda Rhimes should definitely consider bringing Scott Speedman on as a Scandal regular. He needs work! Obviously the writers are on a FeliciBen trajectory now; and, I think, because of Ruby and because of Noel and Ben just generally getting along, he won’t have as big an issue with Ben and Felicity finally hooking up. The Noel/Felicity friendship ship is steady and on course.

I was a little surprised by Tracy’s virginity revelation the first time around. But when I think about it, most of my friends were still virgins when they got to college (by sophomore year? not so much). This show (and most teen shows) treat teen virginity as something sort of freakish, but I don’t think that holds up in reality. It will be interesting to see how Elena deals with this, though, because she’s all about “being the ball.”

What did you think about Tracy? And why didn’t anyone ask Sean to the dance?

Felicity 2.18 Julie and NoelEmma: Sadie Hawkins is definitely one of those things that in my head only exists on TV.

More guys would benefit the show, especially ones of the of the non-skeeze variety. Particularly for Julie. I like Tracy too and the energy he brings. The banter is fun and he gels well with the group.

It’s funny because while I know there will be Felicity/Noel shenanigans down the road (in the same way I knew she would get together with Ben at some point) it’s hard to picture that at the moment as the friends thing is working so well. And you’re right, I can’t see them doing that to Julie again. Widen your scope, show.

Yes, yes, yes to the Scandal idea. Maybe we should start a letter writing campaign. He could be an old college buddy of Jake’s, no backstory needed. The next two movies Scott Speedman has coming out are horror movies, come back to TV (still sad Last Resort got canceled). Also Noel goes to a dark place when they start discussing breaking and entering which felt very Jake on Scandal (fishing hookers out of the Hudson). All this spy talk also gave me all the Alias feelings. I do love how many people on Felicity have gone on to play spies in other shows.

The Tracy revelation was a surprise in that the typical virgin on TV doesn’t tend to look or act like Tracy, though this is of course a stereotype and not representative of reality. You’re right it is always treated like something bizarre and I liked the way he owned it. Elena has always been sexually confident (which I think is cool and I’m glad she’s never been painted as a harlot), she knows who she is and what she likes and her reaction/subsequent decision isn’t surprising especially after she made an issue of Felicity’s maybe hang ups. Going forward I am intrigued to see where this goes and I understand why this is asking for one commitment too many from Elena. That friends smooch suggests there is a lot more to come.

If only Richard and Sean could go to the dance together, although I guess Sean doesn’t technically go there (he’s like that girl in Mean Girls, note this is my first a Mean Girls reference in some time). Sean is still making his movie and he is trying to engineer a Ben/Felicity reunion. He’s going to be so pissed when he realizes that Ben’s gone to make a big declaration without the cameras present. What do you think Ben is going to do when he gets to Rhinebeck (upon googling I found this and it does seem like a fancy weekend away choice)?

Felicity 2.18 Tracy and ElenaJulie: How does poor college student Greg afford a place like that? Is he selling drugs? Embezzling from the clinic? There has to be something sinister going on here. Since I don’t remember, I’m going to guess that Ben shows up in Rhinebeck, catches Greg in the act of some bad deed, tells Felicity about it, and she blows him off because he’s just jealous of Greg.

I feel like Scott Speedman could find a really good home somewhere on TV. I’d love for it to be Scandal, but really he’d fit in anywhere. I don’t know why actors still think it’s more “prestigious” to make the move to film. TV is doing waaaay better stuff than movies these days. (Witness: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Would you really rather have that on your resume than Mad Men?)

I also found it very hard not to put on the next episode. I want to know what happens! (Even though I should already know what happens, considering I’ve seen it before. Old age.) I think probably the most important thing on the Felicity Season 2 docket is to figure out a way to get rid of Ruby. Down with Ruby!

Felicity 2.19 Ben, Felicity and SeanEmma: Yeah the magical amount of money some characters have takes me out of a show sometimes, I get suspension of disbelief but sometimes it is truly ridiculous.

One thing I’ve found with pretty much every roundtable is the discussion of better roles on TV over film and not just for women. I guess it helps that there are so many platforms now with network, cable, Netflix plus long form and mini-series. The options are endless whereas in film it’s big studio movie or indie and both of those come with potential failure now. Casting directors you need Scott Speedman in your life.

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

Clashing Prints and Bold Color: Fantasy Costuming The Mindy Project

13 Aug

The Mindy Project is a visual treat as costume designer Salvador Perez uses a broad palette; pattern clashing, sparkles, pajamas, colorful outerwear and sparkles are all part of the Mindy Lahiri look and she exudes confidence at home and with her work wear. Mindy doesn’t care if you don’t like it as long as she thinks it is cute. And it usually is. This has been one of the most fun Fantasy Costuming columns to create, scouring the new fall collections to find items we think Mindy Lahiri would wear in all aspects of her life. The brands we have looked at are generally ones she has previously worn on the show and range in price from affordable to splashing out.

As always this 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.

A&O skirtMindy is a romantic and she doesn’t need a reason to wear hearts, however now that she has got together with Danny after an epic Empire State Building stair climb she has the ideal excuse to wear something like this super flirty Alice + Olivia A-line skirt. Perfect for either work (maybe a polka dot blouse or the starry one below) or date night.

Red ValentinoStar motifs are totally up Mindy’s style street and this silk RED Valentino blouse is another in the dress up or down category.

Trina TurkThe color might be slightly muted, but this Trina Turk ‘Joelle’ dress is classic Mindy work attire as the diamond pattern plus pleat and belting detail are ultra feminine and fun. Pair it with the coat below for a pop of color.

FC CoatNow if there is one item that Mindy has in abundance (and I covet them all) then it’s her outerwear from this incredible canary number (from costume designer Salvador Perez) to colorful plaid and classic houndstoothThe Mindy Project is set in New York so a good coat collection is essential. Step up French Connection and their mosaic blue ‘Imperial’ wool stunner. Coats are my weakness and while I probably don’t need another, this one is crying out.

TopshopAnother mixed print dress and Topshop is a brand Mindy Kaling wore a few months ago at Paleyfest. Here is another jacquard print and the A-line silhouette/short sleeves/high neck combination allows for a raised hemline as office attire (I’m using the either legs or boobs theory). It’s an interesting print that has me asking birds or flowers? It could be both and it’s an exquisite frock.

Kate SpadeMoving on to more casual threads and Mindy has an impressive sweater collection – I am beyond excited that it will be sweater season soon – and Kate Spade is going for bold color and animal print this fall with the ‘Cyber Cheetah‘ in emperor blue. This will look very much at home with Mindy as she relaxes on the couch (with or without Danny).

Tory BurchSeparates aren’t always required to experiment with different patterns as this Tory Burch ‘Ronnie’ pullover demonstrates with floral sleeves and back combined with a mini polka dots front. Mindy is not the type of woman to shy away from a top like this and it’s just the kind of bold/cute statement that makes this character a style inspiration.

Eloise Orange Ring PJsMindy doesn’t just have the fashion thing nailed for her work, going out and casual wardrobe as her pajamas are just as enviable; in fact they even make an appearance on the new season 3 artwork. Adding to the Three J NYC collection that Mindy already has with the ‘Eloise’ orange rings and to borrow a line from Steve Carell in Crazy, Stupid, Love they are the “perfect combination of sexy and cute.”

For more Fantasy Costuming check out recent posts on Masters of Sex and Felicity Smoak from Arrow.


Boardwalk Empire’s Final Season Trailer Confirms Time Jump: “Change is Coming”

12 Aug

A couple of months ago Michael K. Williams mentioned that Boardwalk Empire wasn’t just leaping forward a couple of years for its final season; nope instead the jump is taking us from 1924 to 1931. The new trailer confirms this with a bold 1931 appearing on the screen with “Lucky” Luciano taking the role of narrator emphasizing his importance to this time period (and he’s upped his tie game with a purple stunner). There are others who we won’t be seeing unless flashback or changes to history take place (I’m not going to say who, but if you want to find out which character died in 1928 then Wikipedia away).

Boardwalk Empire final seasonWith just eight episodes left there are a lot of scores to settle and plenty of money to be made even while the country suffers the after effects of the Wall Street Crash. Who will make it out alive?

The trailer is the usual mix of threats, violence, seedy glamour and super serious pensive looks as these characters try to come out on top. The song is “Tranquilize” by The Killers featuring Lou Reed and adds to the tension/tempo as it quickly cuts between moments.

Boardwalk Empire returns Sunday, September 7.

Masters of Sex 2.05 “Giants” Review: Taking the Plunge

11 Aug

So much of Masters of Sex deals with public and private battles for progression as these characters navigate a reluctant and repressive landscape; from the sex study itself to gender and most recently race issues. This is a period of fundamental change and as Bill’s new boss Dr. Charles Hendricks (played by the always excellent Courtney B. Vance) points out the actions of pioneers like Bill (and Virginia) are important when it comes to ensuring monumental change; someone needs to take the plunge.

Once again there are multiple power dynamics at play with the Virginia and Bill continuing their push/pull dance and home life at the Masters’ takes another turn for the awful. These aren’t the only relationships that are under strain as Virginia and Lillian continue to argue and Betty receives a blast from the past that threatens to disrupt her already precarious marital situation.

Masters of Sex 2.05 BillBill’s new place of work is a lot more amenable with who he wants to hire as part of his work requirements as well as being fully behind the study – well to a certain extent as it turns out that Dr. Hendricks is the one sabotaging the recruitment of new participants and isn’t as in favor of the sex study as he is projecting – on the surface Bill is getting what he wants. To Bill, his new office is tiny and yet he is being accommodated in a manner that is at a disadvantage to the other doctors, one of whom is now in an even smaller thanks to the arrival of Bill. Bill also manages to secure a contract for Virginia, something she insists upon and isn’t the norm for support staff at Buell Green. For Virginia job security is a condition of her moving hospitals as she has her family to think about and even though her working relationship with Lillian is in tatters she also needs to ensure that she can provide for her children. So while Bill might refer to the diet pills in a fanciful derogatory sense, Virginia is only selling them as a means to an end.

Financial security is one thing, but she also has another issue to work through with Bill and their participation in the study. After Virginia’s huge blowout with Lillian where Lillian accuses her of sleeping her way to her new position and scoffing at the scientific nature of her work with Bill, Virginia now has other stipulations. As with season 1, Virginia asks Bill if she has to participate in the study to get the job. Back then he said no and this is his initial response here too and then he changes his mind; it is indeed mandatory. Virginia finds a way to assert her dominance and agency when they venture to the hotel as she tells Bill to strip and pleasure himself. This is a twist on what happened in “Fight” when Bill told Virginia to strip and beg for it and instead she showed she has control over her body. Bill complies with Virginia’s demands from the Q&A – why he closes his eyes and who he is thinking about – to when she tells him to stop.

Masters of Sex 2.05 Virginia stopwatchThe Bill/Virginia relationship is in a state of flux as both are trying so hard to deny any actual feelings and the intimacy of their work can result in moments like this. When Virginia tells him to stop before completion this is another moment where she is fully in control and Bill continues to meet Virginia’s demands; it’s a banner week for lady pleasure as Bill follows the Outlander lead and goes down on Virginia. It’s also worth noting that as the camera pulls away we see the very naked Bill and the still fully dressed Virginia. Bill is later propositioned in “Giants” by Libby (more on the reasons why below) and the sex between this pair is stale and kinda awkward looking (plus Bill keeps his t-shirt firmly on). Having established a new power balance and one that is sure to ebb and flow as they continue to view these activities as research only, Virginia takes the position at Buell Green.

Masters of Sex 2.05 white coatThe return of the white coat! Virginia might not be an actual doctor, but the symbolism behind this garment is incredibly important. This indicates her experience, expertise and equal standing with Bill when it comes to their work on the study so while she doesn’t come with Dr. before her name she shouldn’t get overlooked. The dress Virginia is wearing is one of her super professional and very Lillian looking outfits thanks to the grey tone and high collar. We first saw this piece of costuming in the episode where Lillian was introduced and it also happens to be the first dress Virginia wore the lab coat with and this is significant. Inner strength is something Virginia possesses in droves and yet she has the same insecurities regarding her self-worth and how she is perceived as everyone else. The white coat is like armor and it sends out a message that Virginia is not here as a play thing for Bill. After her argument with Lillian it is understandable that she embraces this coat and dresses conservatively to portray a certain version of herself.

When Virginia fights with Lillian several home truths come out from both parties; Lillian gave her work away to secure its future as she always suspected that she was Virginia’s second choice and Austin’s revelation confirmed her fears. As with Bill, Virginia references money and supporting her family to explain her actions and tells Lillian that she “had it easier.” This is one of those bitter arguments where every single fear and resentment is laid out and when Lillian first met Virginia she believed that she was using her looks to get by; in one respect Lillian believes her initial assessment has been confirmed, however it is far more complex than that. In a hurtful argument it is all the ammo Lillian needs to push Virginia further away. It is not the end of my favorite lady friendship on TV, although I suspect there isn’t much time left for Lillian and she is now done with work after she collapsed in the bathroom.

Masters of Sex 2.05 Lillian and Virginia“I am scared though for what’s ahead, which means I can’t really afford to be upset with you, can I?” The line that caused my screen to go blurry and despite their big fight this friendship has not been broken and there is no need to say sorry for the things they said to each other; the hand holding is more than enough. This has been a sublime representation of a female friendship and I’m really not ready for it to be done. I know it’s not that kind of show, but I really want them to find a miracle cure.

Masters of Sex 2.05 CoralMoving on from an interaction that is tear inducing to one that causes another emotional reaction – of the “Shut up, Libby!” variety – and Libby continues down the path of self-righteous destruction. Libby’s relationship with Coral reaches new lows of patronizing after she receives a visit from Coral’s boyfriend Robert regarding the degrading shampoo incident. Libby can’t understand that what she did was completely inappropriate until Bill points out just how horrific these actions were. Libby is being painted in a very unfortunate light and her attempts to do the ‘right thing’ like impart life lessons as she “knows a thing or two about the world” lead to further humiliation and anger. With Coral when she tells her to dump Robert, Coral uses her knowledge of the separate beds in the Masters’ bedroom to poke at Libby’s insecurities (and it prompts Libby’s ‘seduction’ of Bill later on) and Robert points out how she should be apologizing to Coral not him. Libby is shocked that Robert is calling her racist and while we saw some liberal attitudes from Libby last season there is still inherent snobbery that translates at racism with how she is treating Coral and Bill’s new workplace location.

Libby doesn’t apologize to Coral most likely because she thinks it will undermine her position and because she is already feeling inferior to her employee. This is the original reason why Libby corrected Coral’s grammar in the first place and a lot of Libby’s insecurities are bringing out this ugly side of her in the same it does with Betty Draper on Mad Men. Feeling powerless is not a reason to be awful and I worry that Libby is being portrayed in this way to make her less sympathetic when it comes to her marriage.

One thing we know about Libby’s past is that she did have it pretty hard as a child with her mother dying young quickly followed by her father walking out and never coming back. This makes her comment about knowing things about the world believable, but this is not how she presents herself so she comes across as spoiled and sheltered.

Masters of Sex 2.05 B and HEmbracing the past is something Betty has to do when ex-girlfriend Helen (oh hey Sarah Silverman) turns up unannounced and threatens to disrupt the marriage Betty is in the middle of trying to save. Gene is still upset with Betty, not because she can’t have children, but because she lied about it in the first place. The scene where she tries to serenade Gene with a cute song and dance doesn’t work (he compares her voice to “migrating geese” and Annaleigh Ashford is really a Broadway star, Betty not so much) and it adds depth to the Pretzel King and shows there is genuine affection here, even if it will never be that kind of love. In the same way Barton Scully is limited to how he can love in the eyes of society this is another version of this heartbreaking story. Betty married Gene as a way to secure herself a future away from the brothel and while she sees this as another form of prostitution in this version she gets a hat for each day of the week and gold facets. When Libby says she knows the world it sounds ridiculous, with Betty it’s totally believable when she states she “has seen things.” Gene isn’t a bad guy either, but this kind of settling is only going to lead to further misery for all concerned. This is clear during the double date when a story about how much Helen cares for Betty goes from hysterical laughter to teary bathroom kisses.

Betty reinforces why she chose Gene as there is no future for them; pretending to be sisters so they can live together is not enough and they don’t fit in with the style of the lesbian scene. For Betty it broke her heart, but she wanted a future for herself even if that future is built on lies.

Masters of Sex 2.05 Betty and HelenStyle wise like Betty, Helen wears colorful and bold attire refusing to blend in. They are an explosive pair and the chemistry between Annaleigh Ashford and Sarah Silverman supports this notion that they have been in love for years.

Masters of Sex 2.05 Gene, Helen, BettyI also really want to include this shot as there is so much going on in this scene costume and set wise; there is a clashing quality between Betty’s colorful stripped skirt, Helen’s floral teal dress and Gene’s camel suit. The opulence of the room (haunted by the ghost of a 93-year old) adds to the busy looking frame underpinning the conflict at play. There are ghosts in this room of course, but not the one Gene thinks there is.

Masters of Sex 2.05 VirginiaThis whole episode is full of vibrant colors with strong blues dominating scenes; Coral is in blue when Libby attempts to give her advice and Libby is in a similar shade when she tells Coral she can take care of the master Masters bedroom. Betty wears electric blue when she confronts Helen and Helen in turn wears this to dinner. It’s like there is a power struggle between the women who wear this color. Virginia reverts back to red after her initial grey power dress and it’s the Capri blue car that gets referenced as a way to show the neighborhood isn’t so bad; this car is also the location for the Virginia/Lillian reconciliation. In the final scene Virginia is wearing a beautiful darker blue outfit when Bill pays her the ultimate compliment by referring to something she does way better than he does and I’m not sure if I’m reading too much into it, but this color plays an important part in the power struggles between some of these relationships. Now Bill and Virginia are in a better place she is wearing less black around him. The overall challenge is far from over and this is not a conflict free situation, however it does appear that Bill and Virginia are on the same page in the same hospital once again.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

8 Aug

The second season of Orange is the New Black was released on Netflix two months ago and it is still dominating discourse; this week’s “Out of the Box” includes creator Jenji Kohan as a cover star and the cast at a panel event- also check out this conversation with Laverne Cox. Plus we have other magazine covers to discuss, a Mad Men pair working on another project and effortless street style. All in all this is a very colorful edition of “Out of the Box” from H to T (head to toe for those non-America’s Next Top Model viewers).

Jenji KohanThe Hollywood Reporter produced two covers for their “New Disrupters” feature and while one provided jokes aplenty on Twitter thanks to Nic Pizzolatto’s critic ire and self-serious posing (Emily Yoshida’s Preserve model comment is spot on), it is Jenji Kohan’s stunning head shot and super colorful hair that really stands out. The studio shot photos are equally delightful as the leather jacket isn’t trying to portray ‘bad boy realness’ like this one and the print wrap dress paired with polka dot strappy heels are as fun as this shoot is. This isn’t to say that Kohan’s interview is fluff, far from it and it is one of the most honest I’ve read from someone in her position as she discusses gender inequality, how hard she has worked to get to where she is, issues on the set of Weeds and her current show Orange is the New Black.

Taylor SchillingThis outfit is so perfect and simple; the violet Roland Mouret ‘Timarcha’ dress paired with red pumps is a straight up style victory for Taylor Schilling at a panel discussion for Orange is the New Black this week.

Uzo AdubaAlso going for bold pumps and a purple hue is co-star Uzo Aduba. Instead of going for two block colors for footwear and frock the woven material includes an array of pinks, oranges and greens. It is a super adorable summery frock and while Schilling is killing it, I know which one I would rather wear for a sit down discussion panel.

Chris Pratt EsquireThe man of the hour and while the internet might be reaching peak Chris Pratt due to the success of Guardians of the Galaxy (which I loved) and how everything he does is treated with J-Law levels of adoration (pre-backlash) I am still here for all of this including the September issue of Esquire.

Christina Hendricks and John SlatteryMad Men co-stars Christina Hendricks and John Slattery were in London this week promoting the Slattery directed/Hendricks starring God’s Pocket and it’s always fun to catch up on the Mad Men cast in non-1960s threads. John Slattery has relaxed handsome silver fox dude down and I love Hendricks in this bold striped Vivienne Westwood dress (slightly related – there is a boutique I visit often just to peruse their Vivienne Westwood collection and look longingly at the fantastic necklines/colors). Hendricks gets extra points for the pop of lip color and Joan-esque updo.

Diane Kruger and Joshua JacksonSwapping the red carpet for a pair who is the epitome of cool summer in the city chic with Joshua Jackson and Diane Kruger. Kruger is a sartorial queen both in couture and regular day wear like this floral strapless dress and sandals. Jackson’s rocking a not too deep-V, the perfect amount of beardy goodness and classic red Ray-Ban wayfarers.


SAG Emmy Series: Conversation with Orange is the New Black’s Laverne Cox

7 Aug

Orange is the New Black is nominated for 12 Emmys with 5 in acting categories including the incredible Laverne Cox (for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series). As part of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation Emmy nominee Conversations series Laverne Cox sat down with Mark Peikert, Executive Editor of Backstage – the series is in partnership with Backstage – to discuss the role/episode she is nominated for and her acting journey.

Laverne CoxThe focus is on training and the acting process which sounds like it could be rather stuffy to someone who isn’t in this industry, but this is far from the case and I think I could listen to Cox talking about her experience for hours. Anyone who visits TV Ate My Wardrobe regularly will know that I love these kinds of discussions (particularly with fascinating women) from Comic-Con panels to Emmy roundtables and one reason I am such a fan of these longer discussions is that you get so much more from the person being showcased than you do in a regular interview. Part of this is because there’s something more informal about these chats so the participants will share more, but as Cox also mentions she has to shorten everything to sound bites for live TV interviews, whereas in this setting she can provide further insight.

This includes not only talking about her background in acting, but also how Orange as the New Black as a cultural phenomenon is helping a wider audience understand more about the transgender community. Cox references the Time cover as the obvious point when she realized she was becoming a spokesperson for this community, but she also mentions the reality show she was on prior to OITNB as well as the Katie Couric interview as a major shift. One aspect of this role that she mentions is how it isn’t a PSA; instead this show has provided an affirming point of reference as Sophia is a “really human, nuanced, complicated chick who people can relate to and happens to be played by someone who is actually trans.”

Cox is currently writing a book (when can I pre-order?) and while her publisher would probably like her to hold back on certain stories she goes into detail of what her first day was like on the set of OITNB (Jodie Foster gave her a tour of the set), the scene that made her realize how incredible and unique OITNB is, which piece of costuming puts her in the right Sophia headspace, her academic background and how dance training helps when performing a scene (and why she chose acting over dance).

It’s a really fun discussion and kicking off this series with Laverne Cox has set the bar high for the other participants.

Julie Hammerle

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