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Archive | April, 2015

TV Rewind: Felicity, “The Paper Chase” & “Ben Don’t Leave”

30 Apr

Felicity, Episodes 4.15 & 4.16
“The Paper Chase” & “Ben Don’t Leave”
Original Air Dates: Apr. 10 & Apr. 17, 2002

Felicity 4.15 Felicity paisleyJulie: My eye muscles hurt from all the rolling they had to do during these two episodes. The DRAMA. Everything that happened would’ve been right at home in an after school special, or in Season 2 of Felicity where many of these things already happened. And most of the characters were acting like crazy people/idiots. This show is spinning its wheels. Again, I think it would’ve benefited from a shorter episode order, but networks weren’t doing that back then.

Where to start…Probably with Felicity and how her life is imploding. Her story is basically the same (or a continuation of the same) in both episodes. She is BUSY. She is busy and she’s distracted. She has the architecture thing that Noel set her up with. She has Ben and his baby mama drama. And she has schoolwork, which seems to have been placed on the back burner.

She realizes WAY too late (after she sees Meghan typing up a paper for their art history class), that she still hasn’t started her 25-page final paper. Whoops. Meghan, who’s interesting here because she’s actually doing her paper and working hard at it, suggests the opposite to Felicity — Go to the library and copy someone’s thesis.

Felicity balks because a) it’s a dumb idea and b) SHE’S DEFINITELY BEEN IN TROUBLE FOR CHEATING BEFORE. This show can’t come up with a new storyline to save its life. We’ve seen cheating before and unplanned pregnancy and Noel dating someone who looks like Amy Smart. But, when she finds herself staring down the deadline, Felicity does the stupid thing and copies the work.

Instead of getting in trouble with her teacher, the professor (played by Jane Lynch) wants to publish this magnificent paper in the school magazine or whatever. Felicity hopes this will just blow over, but it doesn’t. And I just kept feeling sorry for the Jane Lynch character the whole time. This poor woman. She doesn’t deserve this kind of nonsense from Felicity. The professor even told Felicity how much it was going to mean for her career to have one of her undergrad’s papers published, and Felicity kept doubling down on the lie until — finally — she spilled the truth on the day she was going to have to defend her work.

I’m sorry, but this whole storyline made me stabby. It made me mad at Felicity, and I do hope she gets into trouble, big trouble, because this was such a moronic thing to do. Also, what did you think of Meghan’s hunting and pecking typing style? Does anyone type like that anymore? The internet is quite prevalent in 2001. I’m surprised Meghan is not more computer savvy. Also, she’s a senior in college and will have had to write many papers by this point. Did she write them all this way? How annoying.

Were you as bothered by this storyline as I was?

Felicity 4.15 FelicityEmma: This cheating story is the dumbest. So, so dumb. And like you I was annoyed by the whole thing and while it plays into Felicity’s tendency to be impulsive I don’t think she would be this stupid to do it again. As you mentioned she has got into trouble with this before (she rewrote one of Ben’s papers without telling him) and I find it hard to believe that even in this desperate state she would be this reckless. Especially this close to graduation. This is the time when you go to talk to your professor and ask for an extension and considering how lovely Jane Lynch’s character is I’m pretty sure she would be more than understanding.

Another one of Felicity’s traits which tends to get her into more strife is that she tries to deal with things alone. Here she asks Meghan for some advice and learns this is a terrible idea – side note I realized Meghan and Sean are perfect for each other as they give equally bad advice – as Meghan’s solution involves copying someone else’s dissertation. Of course this is a terrible plan. And of course this is cheating. Felicity is frazzled because of everything that has been happening and sees this as a last ditch solution. There is another way out and that’s talk to Jane Lynch, but nope.

Instead Felicity goes to the library and is the least subtle ever about her dissertation copying (Elizabeth Jennings would be so disappointed). She looks so guilty the entire time she’s pretty much letting everyone know what she is doing. And of course she cheats too well as it’s the best piece of work ever or something like that.

I have a couple of quick academic questions – firstly, the page limit is confusing to me as we did ours to a word count rather than pages. And secondly wouldn’t she have had to out her sources in the paper via footnotes and a bibliography so why are they asking for her sources at the review?

One thing I will say about both episodes and particularly this one is that pretty much everyone is leaning on their bad habits to an extreme. So Felicity’s is impulsive in the worst possible way, sometimes this part of personality works in her favour like coming to New York but on this occasion it most definitely doesn’t. Ben who likes to help people and also has a habit of being a bit of a social chameleon is helping Lauren so much that it is not only putting a strain on his relationship with Felicity, but is also just putting a strain on Felicity. It’s not just this pair as Sean is at his worst, most over bearing self and Noel is too nice to tell Sean to shut the fuck up and lay off the really terrible business speak he thinks works so well (it doesn’t). This doesn’t make it all that enjoyable, but this is definitely a theme.

As you mention they are at this point regurgitating storylines and it’s all got so melodramatic as everyone is having such a hard time at the moment. I just want some silliness again and no I don’t mean whatever the fuck Richard was doing.

What I did like was how much time Meghan and Felicity spend together even if we are subjected to Meghan’s bad typing style – I’m trying to remember when I started typing properly, I didn’t have a computer until my third year of university but I was definitely better than this – and terrible advice. They have moved far from frenemy into total BFFs and I just wish we had more of this pairing this season rather than all the Sean/Meghan bickering. If only there was more Elena.

Were you as glad as I was to see this friendship come back into focus?

Felicity 4.15 laughingJulie: Amen! Why did it never occur to Felicity to talk to her teacher (who seems quite cool and understanding) about her predicament and ask for a brief extension? So much ridiculousness.

And, yes, she would’ve had to include her sources within the paper, so this whole “What are your sources?” thing is nuts. And the 25 page paper thing is how we do it here. Usually it means that the font has to be 12 point Times or something similar and double spaced, but most papers have to be a certain number of pages (which is how it was back when I was in college during Felicity time, anyway). Now that I write novels and everything is word count, it’s so frustrating when people ask how many pages something is. I don’t know. I no longer think in pages.

I love that you point out that everyone here is exhibiting their bad traits to the extreme. That is dead on. Also, I’d point out that Noel is being very Noel by jumping headfirst into this relationship with Zoe and Richard is being a giant boob. Elena is being herself to the extreme by basically not being here at all.

Yes, the straight up friendships were the shining moments of these episodes. I’ve always liked the Meghan/Felicity pairing, I just wish it could’ve come with different circumstances this time. The other friendship that worked for me was Javier and the girl from A League of Their Own. They have such a sweet relationship, and I love how age-appropriate they are for each other. Javier needs a mature lady in his life, especially since the other ladies are busy stealing papers and being stupid. (Also, their relationship reminded me of the mature person version of a book I just finished — Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens’ Agenda. SO GOOD.)

Also being stupid here is Ben. Or really, maybe he’s not being stupid, but he’s definitely being Ben to the nth degree. This highlights the reason why I have CONCERNS about Ben and Felicity’s relationship. He’s too standoffish. He does his own thing regardless of who gets hurt in the process. He really doesn’t seem to worry about how all of this baby/Arizona stuff is hurting Felicity. I don’t think he’s thinking about Felicity at all. But all she’s thinking about is Ben. That’s why this relationship is a bit toxic.

However, I don’t really blame him for being all caught up in the baby stuff. It’s his baby. That’s a big deal. Also, yeah, it makes sense that a dude with daddy issues is going to want to be there for his kid. I just think it would’ve been a kindness if he had ended things with Felicity, at least for the time being. That would’ve forced her to get her academic life on track before graduation, then she could’ve either followed him to Arizona or not. As it is, he’s keeping her in limbo and that’s sucky. She has a 25-page paper due!

I’ve written a lot. What do you think about the Ben/Felicity situation?

Felicity 4.16 Felicity and MeghanEmma: What I’ve found with a lot of the conflict this season is most of it could have been avoided and the contrivance levels are super high. If characters actually spoke to each other then a lot of this could be avoided and maybe then the writer would have come up with new and interesting ways to mess with these characters. Instead we just get a repeat of certain storylines.

I don’t know why but to me 25 pages sounds far more daunting that 5000 words and far more abstract. Also I love it when we find differences between academic practices.

One thing I really liked about Meghan and Felicity is how far they have come and that it is Meghan who is worried that they won’t be friends when college is over. Slightly vulnerable Meghan is always a delight to see and Felicity’s ‘of course’ reaction followed by laughter is a moment of levity that was very much appreciated. And really out of all the friendships this one does seem like it will stick. And it is one that has done so in real life too, which you know makes me rather happy. I’m still giddy that Sharon was Angela Chase’s bridesmaid IRL. Such a sucker for this.

If only Elena got to be involved in this storyline too. I have a feeling she would tell Felicity just how stupid all of this is. In fact if Elena was more of presence I doubt this would have even happened, bringing me back to plot contrivance.

With Javier and Rita I really like what they’re doing here too although I wish the Michael stuff hadn’t played out quite how it did as it made Rita look a little silly falling for a gay guy again. Also I don’t really get what Michael’s motivations were and no one even considered that he might be bi.

It really bums me out that after the whole magical getting back together in the airport moment everything that has followed for Ben and Felicity has been such a chore.  Like you I think his concerns and reaction makes sense but Felicity is very much out on her own and the way the episode ends with her responding to Ben’s millionth assertion that they’re going to get through this with a not so confidence building “I’m not so sure” is worrying. But then SOMETHING HAPPENS: Ben finds out that Lauren is moving to Arizona and I can’t blame her, to be honest, although her situation with her ex sounds super sketchy, so I get why Ben really doesn’t want her to move. Ben has also changed his mind about moving to Arizona even though his lawyer suggested it, instead he decided to help Lauren move her stuff and that’s when SOMETHING HAPPENS. (repeating to be extra dramatic)

Meghan is making jokes about Lauren being drunk (this is about to get awkward) when Felicity complains about Ben being late and then a phone call out of nowhere has Felicity running to the hospital. Ben and Lauren have been involved in a car accident – Lauren and the baby are fine, Ben is in surgery with never mentioned injuries (just that he lost a lot of blood). Meghan’s jokes don’t sound all that funny when Felicity overhears the doctor telling Lauren her alcohol level is over the legal limit and I love it when doctors draw attention to the pulling the curtain around for confidentiality and then you can totally hear everything anyway. Felicity is really angry for totally legitimate reasons and they’ve turned Lauren into a bit of a villain by having her act like an asshole to Felicity on several occasions before the crash.

How did you find this whole setup? They sure are getting a lot of use out of the hospital set this season first with Trevor, then with Ben’s dad and now Ben.

Felicity 4.15 Ben and Felicity in bedJulie: When you put the difference that way — 5000 words sounds like nothing these days. It probably would’ve seemed like a lot in college, but after blogging for ten years, I can vomit out 1000 words in a half hour.

Yes, I also love when these TV friendships wind up lasting, like Busy Phillips and Michelle Williams. And the whole cast of Full House. You, as a viewer, spend so much time enjoying these relationships, you really root for them to work in real life. It’s so sad to find out that your favorite TV friends hate each other in real life.

Again, yeah, why wasn’t Elena also in that scene? It would’ve been easy. Elena could’ve been on her laptop working on another homework assignment or something. Something must have been going on with Tangi Miller during this season, either she was busy working on something else or she really ticked somebody in the writers’ room off. It’d be one thing if she was off having her own storylines, but nothing. She’s nowhere.

Rita really does have a type, doesn’t she? And good call that Michael could be bisexual. Look at Javier, trying to put people in a box.

Onto the SOMETHING HAPPENS. A car accident! Has Felicity ever done a car accident before? Oh yeah, Todd Mulcahy. He was hit by a bus. I feel like maybe there was another car accident at some point, but no matter. Ben is in the hospital! He has a head injury! (With both this show and Grey’s Anatomy this week, I saw a lot of people hit by cars.)

What we find out is that Lauren was driving. The baby is fine, but Lauren was drunk. So that’s terrible. Not only was she drunk driving, she was drunk pregnant driving. And she’s having Ben’s baby. How do you think this is going to play out? I mean, she’s walking around the hospital all not arrested, but the cops came to talk to her and she was over the alcohol legal limit. Does she have Ben’s baby in prison?

Felicity 4.16 hospitalEmma: I have no idea why Elena has not been in the second half of the season except for the odd moment to remind us she is still on the show and then when they do give her story it’s with Richard and he becomes the worst of himself when he asks her to be his date to impress another girl with how PC he is. Which urgh times one million. He deserved to be punched and so much more – the sound effect on that moment was pretty full on and the shiner he had to match is equally as impressive.

Elena should not apologize under any circumstance and Richard is lucky she even wants to talk to him. Suddenly there is this whole question of who Elena hangs out with and I’m hoping this is here to point out that the show could be a little better on the diversity front. The whole Richard/Star Wars analogy didn’t make much sense to me and while I’m glad they are dealing with issues relating to race to me this comes across as a little too much on the “isn’t Richard an asshole?!” without really going into it in any depth. What did you make of this pairing/moment?

I was wondering what kind of charges Lauren might face and it is the kind of case where a judge could be lenient because she is pregnant or go the opposite way because she endangered her unborn child as well as Ben and others on the road. She ends the episode with a note saying she is going to get herself sorted out whatever that means. Maybe she will end up in rehab instead.

What this second episode does is put Ben out of the picture while he is in surgery and while his life never feels like it is in danger it gives Felicity that something else to worry about while she is dealing with the cheating drama. Also I don’t get why they couldn’t reschedule the panel when Felicity’s boyfriend has just been involved in a major car accident. This seems like something they would do or not. Anyway I wish Felicity had just interrupted Jane Lynch earlier when she was talking about her ex rather than waiting until right before the panel. Felicity has been reckless but she is the kind of person who was always going to spill. It is another case of dragging out to create tension but instead just leaves me frustrated.

Felicity ends up taking Lauren in even though Lauren has not only been an asshole to her by being generally hostile but by getting behind the wheel even though she was drunk. Felicity does yell at Lauren after she finds out about the DUI and rightfully so after all the shit she has given her and I think she is rather restrained considering. When Lauren comes back to the hospital to find out how Ben is Felicity is friendly and civil even taking her back and letting her stay in her room. In this moment Lauren realizes the impact on Felicity and it is nice to see her acknowledge this. So they made her the villain but not in an out and out way as if they had it would have been too extreme. For however irritating I am finding a lot of these storylines I am glad they allow Felicity to make mistakes but also acknowledge that with something like this it is far from her fault.

I don’t think there have been any other car accidents but it has been a while since everyone was at the hospital together, the true staple of a teen show, but we never got to see them with Ben because of those pesky rules. If only everyone had a cell phone by this point then Felicity would have known they were there.

Felicity 4.16 ElenaJulie: I googled Tangi Miller and the last season of Felicity, and the results were inconclusive. Until we get the unauthorized Lifetime Felicity TV movie, I guess we’ll never know.

Everything with Richard in these episodes was completely terrible. He started out as a semi-lovable goofball/evil mastermind, but has become completely unlikable. And 2015 me is appalled that he would compare his being a Star Wars nerd to being black. An honest exploration, however, of Elena wanting to become more in touch with why she hangs out with who she hangs out with would be interesting. Because right now I have no idea why she’s still with most of these people.

As frustrating as Felicity’s cheating actions were during these episodes, the way she dealt with Lauren was spot on. She expressed her anger, but she also showed Lauren some compassion, which is good because it gives Lauren no fodder to hate Felicity. For Felicity, being nice is a way of life. I can’t imagine Felicity not taking Lauren in. Sometimes it feels like she’s being a pushover, though. She does so many things that she doesn’t actually want to do, and then regrets it later. She’s a giant ball of doing-the-right-thing stress. So, maybe she hasn’t changed that much since freshman year.

Other people did things in these episodes, including the part where Noel and Zoe’s relationship kept being really dumb and Sean kept proving that he is completely unemployable. What did you think about the escapades of Crane and Blumburg? Also,  Sean kept talking about his sex life, or lack thereof. Will we see any actual evidence of this?

Felicity 4.16 Noel and ZoeEmma: A mystery! I can add this to the behind the scenes questions I need answered like ‘Why have Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi have not shared a scene on The Good Wife for 50 episodes?’

I would like to see more of the Elena exploration but I fear that is not the agenda. If we get more of Richard being a dick then I’m going to be so mad.

The Zoe/Noel pairing is a big ball of not interesting and I also don’t understand why Noel thinks Sean is a good person to taking dating advice from but I guess Noel doesn’t have that many friends, which is depressing in itself. I get that things are probably still a little weird with Felicity and Ben, but they are better than Sean at this. Or if they remembered Noel used to be very tight with Elena and she would be ideal.

I get why Zoe didn’t want to mention her medication to Noel because it’s awkward and she’s embarrassed/doesn’t want to scare him away and yet by what she is doing she’s pushing him away regardless. And we know Noel’s not a bad guy either and is far from the kind to put the pressure on. Did you think his late night visit was cute or creepy?

And ugh I would be happy if we don’t have to deal with Sean’s sex life because it will probably entail bickering with Meghan and there has already been far, far too much of that.

Felicity 4.15 NoelJulie: Is that true about The Good Wife? I can’t wait to watch the E! Behind the Scenes on that show. (Do they still do E! Behind the Scenes? I only watch that channel during awards season.)

Yes! Noel and Elena. I was trying to think of who Elena has shared scenes with this season, and it’s mostly been Richard (Halloween and this one) and Ben (with the tutoring). Did she have a falling out with the girls or something? Hopefully someone will find this post and give us the skinny. What happened to you, Tangi Miller? We are jonesing for some more Elena in Season Four!

As far as Noel and Zoe go, maybe these weirdos deserve each other. It was a little presumptuous of him to show up late at night with not one, but two bottles of wine. I completely understand her not wanting to disclose her medical history to him on the first couple of dates, but then I think maybe she should’ve waited to start dating him. Leading him on, as she has, was also kind of cruel — not that she can’t go at her own pace, but she could’ve dodged his advances more artfully/been more upfront. How hard is it to say, “I like you, but can we take things slow, physically?”

And on the Sean thing — I get that Noel feels loyal to Sean at work, but dude needs to start pulling his own weight.

What did we miss?

Felicity 4.15 MeghanEmma: Yeah they haven’t been on screen together since season 4 and the only scenes they’ve shared have been over the phone. It is all rather suspect/conspiracy theory generating. I am the same on the E! front so sadly I have no idea, but they totally should if they don’t.

With Noel and Zoe I think the reason why it is so confusing to Noel is because of how hot and heavy they were when they fooled around in the office way back when. She isn’t obliged to recreate this moment but Noel does deserve an explanation or as you mentioned a better excuse than the one she gives at first. And once again never listen to Sean.

Sean is both incredibly confident with a huge side order of insecurity which is why he is so hard to take at work. I’m glad he listened to Noel eventually with his constructive criticism but there is no reason for him to be such a brat about it in the first place. If Noel wasn’t so patient/loyal he would be back at the loft coming up with more terrible inventions.

One quick aughts fashion report and this year was not kind including Meghan’s sweater that is part turtleneck/part throw and Felicity’s very pleather looking oxblood jacket. Felicity’s purple paisley shirt is very cute and so this can stay. How did the start of this decade get it so wrong with style?

Felicity 4.16 Elena and MeghanJulie: Fashion-wise, I wanted to point out Meghan’s velour Juicy hoodie. She was probably the last character I’d expect to be wearing one of those. Way more Paris Hilton than Jackie O.

Emma: They’ve definitely ditched the whole ’60s Meghan theme. Ah, Juicy, how early 00s you were.

Julie 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.

 

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The Wish List: Tigers and Butterflies on Brooklyn Nine-Nine

30 Apr

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is back and so is the TV Ate My Wardrobe all things Gina love. This week’s Wish List is animal themed and Gina is joined by her drinking bestie Amy – Gina might try and deny this in front of other people but it is true – in costumes to covet.

First up and skipping to the end of “AC/DC” is Gina’s hangover outfit starting with the Torn by Ronny Kobo ‘Amira’ crop top featuring tigers. Spring is here so it is time to dig out playful prints like these. For the added morning after look add a sweater slung over your shoulders and large sunglasses that may or may not have been bought for $200 from a bodega (this cost covers two pairs and a Scarface hoodie).

B99 2.20 GinaHere is a clearer look at the top and matching skirt (the skirt does not appear to be listed anywhere for some reason, which is a shame as it is very cute):

Amira crop top and skirtEarlier in the episode, Amy also turns to a nature theme in this pajama style Equipment ‘Adalyn’ butterfly blouse.

B99 2.20 amy butterfly blouseAlthough I think I prefer the sleeves rolled up styling the model is sporting.

Equipment blouseAn episode that follows Amy and Gina on a night out when things get this messy is definitely something I need in my life. Make it happen, Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Behind the Insta-Scenes: Photos from the Set

29 Apr

You’re the Worst doesn’t have a return date yet (*sigh*) however the cast are back on set and they are already gifting us with plenty of photos. More like you’re the best (I will see myself out). Also included in this week’s Instagram round-up is my new favorite show, an unexpected crossover idea, Mad Men feels and getting ready for wrestling.

 

Aya Cash calls it like she sees it when it comes to her co-stars dissatisfaction at this adorable photo. Yes I am still coveting Cash’s Alice + Olivia dress that she wore to the FX event.

Worstie Sitings Complete! #youretheworst

A post shared by Kether Donohue (@ketherdonohue) on

 

Worstie besties forever.

#youretheworst

A post shared by Kether Donohue (@ketherdonohue) on

 

Will Edgar still harbor his “This Woman’s Work” infused crush on Lindsay? All signs point to yes, especially if she is wearing this super cute strapless dress.

We are wondering what happened to our baby… #MadMen #AMC #endofanera #VincentKartheiser #theonethatgotaway

A post shared by Elisabeth Moss (@elisabethmossofficial) on

 

Adding to the forever always Peggy Olson worship is this photo courtesy of Elisabeth Moss from the set of Mad Men. Forever wincing at what Vincent Kartheiser went through to get the perfect Pete Campbell hairline.

In the process of becoming #thecoldwarrior ! #JaneTheVirgin

A post shared by Yael Grobglas (@yaelgrobglas) on

 

Dramatic eye makeup for Yael Grobglas as she gets ready for Petra as The Cold Warrior on Jane the Virgin.

Me and @agraynor gonna bring you some turtlenecks right to your heart. ❤️

A post shared by @jennyslate on

 

Without having seen a single episode I’m already calling the untitled Jenny Slate/Ari Graynor FX show from The Obvious Child team my new favorite. T-necks and leather jackets assemble.

bless this mess. Work yesterday. #lordblessthismess #eatcraylove #dailyshow

A post shared by Jessica Williams (@msjwilly) on

 

This organized chaos desk scene looks very familiar and Jessica Williams audacious Effie Trinket inspired outfit is all part of a Daily Show bit skewering CNN’s coverage of the WHCD over Baltimore.

That's a wrap #elementaryseason3 @jonhillm @boppitybop @haackattack11 #aidanquinn

A post shared by Lucy Liu (@lucyliu) on

 

The Elementary team are pretty prolific Instagram users, but alas they have shot the final day of season 3 so this will be the last one from awhile (it hasn’t been renewed yet, but it seems likely it will).

#tbt yesta

A post shared by ilana glazer (@ilanusglazer) on

 

I just really adore this photo/sentiment/Abbi’s outfit.

Pre-coffee #WalkingDead #Scandal at the #WhiteHouse #GardenBrunch. ☕️💀😝

A post shared by Darby Stanchfield (@darbysofficial) on

 

Crossover potential ahoy! The Scandal team would probably do pretty well in a zombie apocalypse situation particularly the B613 trained folk. It would not be so good for all the beautiful costumes which feature on the show. If they ever get to Washington DC on The Walking Dead they might need a fixer of a different kind.

Jane the Virgin and Being Alone or Why I Can’t Stop Crying at TV Shows

28 Apr

The unifying theme of television this week has been tears or more accurately how every show has made me cry for one reason or another including Mad Men and The Good Wife. Even Game of Thrones got me all misty eyed when Arya couldn’t bear to get rid of Needle and her last connection to home. It isn’t limited to TV either as I finished Cheryl Strayed’s Wild over the weekend and the end had me balling; it has been an emotional end/start to the week.

Enter Jane the Virgin and as this makes me cry on a regular basis it is more a case of what will cause the tear ducts to start working. The Villanueva women are generally at the center of my outpouring and their bond is unbreakable even during periods of conflict. For all the talk of love triangles (full disclosure – I lean towards Michael over Rafael) it is Team Jane or rather Team Villanueva that has my heart and all three women are embroiled in complicated matters of the heart. Jane is very much a high achiever; she’s read all the books and now she is focused on doing this by herself including making sure the baby is not a breech birth. It’s not like she can physically turn the baby around inside, but nor can anyone else and as she works her way through the methods a device of her own making seems like the perfect solution.

Jane the Virgin Chapter 20Except it isn’t and a small fire starts. Thankfully Alba is close by and puts it out before any real damage is done. Cue imminent devastation as Jane responds to this really fucking scary moment reasoning “I just needed to prove I can do it myself because I’m going to have to do things myself now. And I know you’re here but still there are some things I have to do on my own.” Jane’s voice starts to break and Gina Rodriguez does a really good job of showing Jane’s attempt to hold it together while also falling apart. Jane planned for everything, but she has been blindsided by the breakup and this is her attempt to retain some control.

Healing a broken heart is not easy and we’ve seen Jane crumpled against a wall. Rafael’s breakup plan was to tell Jane he didn’t love her (even though he does) using this finality to push her away and Jane explains to Xo that this is why she can move on. It is not that simple of course and Jane’s anguish as she explains why she didn’t ask for help with the moxa burning is part of her attempt to ignore the pain she is in. The baby is almost here and as much as you can count on Jane the Virgin to induce the misty eyes the plot is moving at breakneck speed. Jane doesn’t have time to cry over Rafael and in Chapter 20 she goes from wanting a healthy co-parenting relationship to making a huge declaration at the end which would shut him out entirely. As long as she has the help and support from her family, which she does.

Jane’s decision is not vindictive and this has nothing to do with the breakup (okay maybe there is a small part that is anger/breakup infused); instead it comes down to the presence of Petra (who I also adore) and Petra’s mother who pushed Alba down the stairs. Rafael is in the middle and little does he know his decision to focus on the hotel so he can leave a legacy to his child could leave him without access to said child. Fear causes us to do a whole range of things and while cutting Rafael out completely is an extreme reaction Jane is doing this to protect both the elder Villanueva and the one who is about to enter the world.

Chapter 20 hits multiple emotional moments moving from devastated teary to smiley teary when the baby moves and Jane offers up a celebration to her bump “Can I get a fist bump?” Jane the Virgin manages to be several things all at once including the ridiculously sublime as a wrestling match allows our antagonists to be pitted against each other with Petra and Jane getting to step inside the imaginary ring.

Jane the Virgin Chapter 20So-called ‘cat fights’ are boring, but the Petra/Jane disagreement is about much more than Rafael (even if Petra still harbors feelings for her ex) and in this instance they are motivated by family. Jane the Virgin is an all emotionally encompassing show with as much laughter as anguish; this is an impressive balancing act particularly as this has been present since the pilot and it has been sustained throughout.

Chance of Emma crying during the last two episodes: 100th percentile

 

Peggy Olson – Queen of the Sofa Confession on Mad Men

27 Apr

Couches are a vital part of the office furniture on Mad Men; just think of how many times we have seen Don Draper reclining on one. In this episode he does so contemplating how they can keep their independence (they can’t). Don’s reclining experience is not what interests me and it is Peggy Olson who springs to mind when I think of this location. From her early morning encounter with Pete back in season 1 when only a cleaner was in the office to the end of the second year as nuclear annihilation loomed. Pete confessed his love as the Cuba Missile Crisis peppered the unburdening of the soul with Peggy revealing how she “could of had you in my life forever if I wanted to” because she had his child. In “Time & Life” this story is revisited in a couple of ways and Peggy earns her Queen of the Sofa Confession title.

First between the parents who never were.

Mad Men 7.11 Peggy and PetePete is having a shit fit about the merger and after he storms out of the meeting the first thing he sees is a very awkward looking Peggy getting hugged by an over-excited child.

Mad Men 7.11 PeggyAutomatically conjuring up feelings of their big secret it jolts Pete into telling Peggy about the drama which has just unfolded. He thinks it is only fair and no one else is going to tell her. No matter how many arguments they have about work (such as the bickering match last week) they have this unspoken bond and one that is unknown to anyone else. Yes Don and now Stan know about Peggy’s baby secret, but she has never spilled who the father is. On another show this would have probably been worked in along with a final season reunion with their son, but Mad Men is not that show and this is probably all the closure we are going to get with this storyline. If that is the case then I am more than fine as it is dealt with so beautifully this week. There is much space between them so despite their strong connection the void is wide. Now take into account the couch confession at the end of season 2:

Mad Men 2.13 Pete and Peggy couchObviously a lot has changed as 1961 is very much sponsored by the color brown (so is 1970 but there’s a lot more color) plus they both look like babies themselves. Pete’s couch has grown substantially and so has the gap between them; this secret is there forever connection and destruction of what was. There is a tiny part of me that ships these two and of course Peggy deserves so much more than Pete and yet I can’t help how much I relish their scenes particularly when they allude in the vaguest terms to what occurred in the past.

Mad Men 7.11 Peggy and Stan part 1Adventures in Stan and Peggy inadvertently babysitting while at work include Peggy revealing all about the big McCann move to Stan while the girl they’re not watching accidentally staples her finger. Peggy and Stan have a high comfort level with telling each other how it is and despite their many disagreements they are close enough for Peggy to warn him about this merger. Lots of pointing of knees toward each other.

Mad Men 7.11 Peggy and StanAfter the bleeding finger/Peggy joining the list of characters who have uttered fuck this season moment (Sally and Megan being the other two so far) Stan and Peggy end up having a the kind of conversation which pretty much has me wanting to make PEGGY OLSON 4EVA tees/cushions/banners. What starts off as a discussion about what transpired with the girl and her mother moves into very personal territory as Stan finds out his assumptions about Peggy and her feelings about kids are way off base. Stan thinks Peggy is angry she has got to this certain time in her life without having kids and he compliments on everything she has achieved because she hasn’t had kids. It is like a precursor to the “Can a woman have it all?” discussion and Peggy tells him not to “do that.” Double standards feature heavily as Stan makes a joke regarding not having any kids that he knows of with Peggy countering “It wouldn’t matter if you did. You can walk away.” Stan’s claim of understanding because he had a mother who wasn’t great is not enough for him to understand his mother.

Of course this is nothing to do with Stan, his mother or the woman who yelled at Peggy and Stan is intuitive enough to pick up on this and the strong feelings of guilt Peggy is projecting. And Peggy is right that a woman should be able to move on the way a man can in the same situation. Peggy has managed to do this because it was kept so hush hush and because the circle of people who know about it is so small, but this doesn’t stop her thinking about this (remember in “The Suitcase” when she told Don that playgrounds made her think of her son, this line still devastates me now). Also gut-wrenching is Peggy’s answer to Stan’s “What did you do?”

“I’m here… and he’s with a family somewhere. I don’t know but it’s not because I don’t care. I don’t know because you’re not supposed to know or you can’t go on with your life.”

Peggy says she’s fine and my screen is very blurry right now as this scene is heartbreaking/stunning/soul crushing/life affirming/all of the above. Elisabeth Moss is so spectacular at revealing Peggy’s pain without tipping into hysterics and she is particularly good at holding her tears so we can see them but they don’t fall from her eyes. I’m not looking forward to the moment when Peggy Olson is not in my life.

And in other non-Peggy couch moments from this episode that are worth pointing out and another encounter that comes with a lot of feelings.

Mad Men 7.11 Roger and JoanRoger and Joan have both moved on (Roger is still seeing Megan’s mother Marie and Joan is with Richard) they also share the bond of a secret child and a whole lot of history.

Mad Men 7.11 Pete and TrudyA less than happy former couple waiting on a coach at a prospective school for their child is Pete and Trudy as they fail to hide their animosity with each other. All it takes is insults from another, a punch and my new favorite Pete Campbell line – “The King ordered it!”- for Trudy and Pete to go from these faces to a tender moment. Pete is in a rush to get back to the city because of everything that is going on, but there is time to listen to Trudy’s woes including how she hasn’t got many friends because their husbands hit on her. Her worries then turn to ten years time when the attention from everyone stops and actually this might be my favorite Pete line as he tells her “you’re ageless.” Pete Campbell the sweetheart. Catch it soon before he is gone forever.

Misunderstandings, Heartbreak and a Diane Lockhart Jacket Parade on The Good Wife

27 Apr

The Good Wife has a tendency to swing left when you expected it to zig right and while this season has been on the messy side at times, I can certainly say I did not expect to be left with Alicia in a crumpled heap with just two episodes to go. The Saint Alicia brand has been destroyed by the election scandal and she is now out of a job at the firm she helped start in the heart of her home. “The Deconstruction” also features the apparent departure of Kalinda and despite a lumpy final story for her I was left in a teary mess by her silent goodbye to Alicia. This is not the farewell Kalinda deserved after several seasons of storyline limbo and it is disappointing to not get a face to face encounter between long ago confidants. To try and make up for the lack of Alicia/Kalinda shared screen time there will be a Diane Lockhart jacket parade at the end because there are plenty of marvels on display.

The Good Wife 6.20 AliciaMemory pop of the week belongs to Kalinda surveying Alicia’s collection of photos on the mantel; most are of family and the pain of seeing Peter and everything that represents is still strong. A happier memory comes in the form of Alicia holding up a handwritten sign of her own and it is a photo Kalinda took. Considering Stern is still in the title of the firm it must be from season one and a time when Kalinda and Alicia were super close. Regardless of whatever has or has not been going on behind the scenes the loss of the Alicia/Kalinda friendship comes with the same feelings as a romantic breakup and the Kings have repeatedly asserted the betrayal is so strong they could never go back to being the tequila drinking buddies they once were. Instead what we are left with is a hoodie and jean wearing Alicia reading Kalinda’s goodbye note and responding as if she has been sucker punched. As far as outfits go it isn’t the sadness sweats and yet it is unlike Alicia’s typical polished appearance.

The Good Wife 6.20 KalindaMy tears flowed freely when Kalinda left Alicia’s apartment without seeing her former friend followed by Alicia’s gut punch reaction to whatever Kalinda wrote in her note – Kalinda’s amazing stationary game is one of my favorite things about her – and this is in part a reaction to the overall loss of this friendship even if the initial event took place forever ago.

When it was announced that Archie Panjabi would be leaving at the end of this season I wrote about why this made sense for Panjabi as the writers have been finding it hard to utilize her beyond her magical unicorn case solving ways (she does this in this episode too). I also discussed the Alicia/Kalinda dynamic and this show has been at its most sob worthy (aside from the obvious devastation last season) when this pair have been involved. Kalinda’s elevator breakdown stands out as one of these moments and even though Kalinda’s departure has been common knowledge/they haven’t killed her off I am still left feeling super shitty about it. Part of this is down to her lack of agency in the clusterfuck of a storyline she has been involved in as she became a glorified babysitter and pawn in a much bigger game. All of the sighs.

There is some Cary and Kalinda stuff going on as he tries to take the fall for her; instead he just clues Dexter in on what Kalinda had done with the pen drive. It’s not your fault Cary, but the white knight routine was never going to work here. They get a goodbye and to be honest I was far more emotionally affected by Kalinda’s phone call farewell to Diane and her non-goodbye to Alicia. Sorry, Cary.

At the firm which has a new, new name – it is hard to keep up but now they are Lockhart, Agos & Lee – there is a whole lot of misunderstandings going on with Alicia coming back. Diane and Cary want Alicia back and Alicia wants to come back; instead we end up with an episode of them thinking the other is stabbing them in the back. If they took a moment to actually talk to each other then it would all get sorted out very quickly, instead they all play a game of ‘secure the clients’ with David Lee taking the helm. There’s an upsetting “how dare you” moment between Diane and Alicia with me crying out for more martini drinking between these amazing ladies (there is a friendship drinking theme).

Kalinda plays mediator pointing out the mix-up to both sides and even though everything gets resolved Alicia still ends up on the outs and with no clients. This is thanks to Oliver Platt’s RD sticking his oar in pointing out what a joke the Florrick name is as a result of yet another scandal. It is a little disconcerting seeing Diane put so much faith in RD’s opinion, but he does bring a whole lot of money to the firm. Maybe now Finn can get a decent exit package for Alicia.

The Good Wife 6.20 kitchenRed wine drinking has mostly been a solo experience for Alicia swilling a goblet in the kitchen of her apartment. Since the election scandal Peter has joined her making it a much more social experience showing how far Peter and Alicia have come; the constant bickering and backbiting has ceased and this is the first huge press conference where they are united both in front of the cameras and behind them. There is nothing romantic between them at the moment and Alicia ruled that out a few weeks ago, however this scandal has brought them together rather than tearing them apart as the one that started the show did. Peter is an expert in how to deal with negative press and he suggests she writes a book. As long as it is better quality than those emails then I would read it.

Alicia likes order and now she is completely untethered; earlier she asks “What do I do now?” and this question still presents itself at the end of the episode. The book idea is fine and yet this doesn’t feel very Alicia; the uncertainty about where we will be when season six comes to a close is exciting, but I also don’t feel as confidant as I have been with The Good Wife in the past. This year has been ambitious and yet it has also stumbled along the way. So as a way to break the tension here is the Diane Lockhart jacket parade as promised.

The Good Wife 6.20 Diane jacketThe zips! That ring! Diane means business.

The Good Wife 6.20 Diane statementNot a good sign when your statement necklace blends in with your jacket. The statement is lost and this is when the initial Alicia misunderstanding takes place. That lipstick choice is A+ though.

The Good Wife 6.20 purpleToning it down in deep purple for a visit to Joy, the court appointed officer but you can’t hide a chain necklace that big.

The Good Wife 6.20 gold jacquardAnd back to Diane Lockhart power jacket choice in gold jacquard. No statement necklace or brooch in sight so Diane is not completely on top of her game.

The Good Wife 6.20 black jacketLater on when Diane returns to see Joy she once again completely tones it down covering her bold gold with a black coat, but you can still see it peaking out the top.

The Good Wife 6.20 double chainAnother gold patterned jacket and a double chain necklace which feels like it is part of this jacket rather than blending in, as the chain necklace did earlier on when she was stumbling a little. There is also something a little 70s sci-fi space admiral about this whole ensemble and I’m digging it. Diane got a win for her client and while she failed in the Alicia department her relationship with Alicia remains intact.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

24 Apr

Plenty of style highs from the red carpet this week as the post-award season dry patch comes to an end with a variety of events. Plus a magazine cover which caused me to stop and stare.

Laverne Cox TribecaLaverne Cox does simple chic in red Zac Posen at the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Grandma (Cox went for a vamp look earlier in the day).

Alison BrieThe Tribeca Film Festival is the place for cute looks as Alison Brie demonstrates at the premiere of Sleeping with Other People in Valentino.

Aya CashI really need You’re the Worst back in my life as I’m missing those glorious assholes and also this Alice + Olivia embellished dress Aya Cash is wearing at a FX bowling event this week.

Kiernan ShipkaThis is adorable and yes there was a huge cheer at every moment of snark, side eye and general over it vibe from Sally Draper on Mad Men this week. At the ‘harper’ by Harper’s Bazaar launch party Kiernan Shipka flexed her sartorial skills in a collared Valentino (who are killing it in the cute short dress department) frock.

tkIn awe of The Wall Street Journal Magazine Carey Mulligan cover and 70s inspired editorial (and of Carey in general) as this captures everything that makes this my favorite decade for style. Her Vogue cover is fine, but this is exceptional. The jacket is Valentino and they get the “Out of the Box” crown this week with three entries on the list.

Zendaya ColemanMichael Kors is perfect for spring as Zendaya Coleman demonstrates outside Good Morning America this week and she looks effortlessly cool in this matching wrap shirt and skirt.

Julianna MarguliesMore Michael Kors and Julianna Margulies at the Time 100 Gala; as a fan of pretty much all things tuxedo influenced this was always going to be an instant hit.

Lake BellBookending with a Tribeca Film Festival event and Lake Bell at the Chanel Artist Dinner looking super serious mixing Rag & Bone with Stella McCartney. Let’s just say I am getting a whole lot of coat related feelings.

The Americans 3.13 “March 8, 1983” Review: “Why Are You Here?”

23 Apr

There is no denying that Philip and Elizabeth have done plenty of bad things on The Americans as we have seen them engage in activities which compromise them in a variety of ways. The very idea of good and evil can be rather abstract, particularly when dealing with opposing ideologies so the Reagan rhetoric which plays over this season’s final moments not only shows how precarious relations are at this point in the Cold War, but also taps into the state of mind of the three central players.

The Paige Problem which shifted into the Paige Revelation altered the balance and somehow raised the stakes further; the kitchen scene in “Stingers” is the defining moment not just of this season, but the entire run so far and everything that has come after feels even more fraught. Doubling down on fragile mental states in the Jennings household is Philip who has been teetering on the edge of the abyss and this talk of good/evil is pretty on point when it comes to his current status (‘Philip is feeling broken’).

The Americans 3.13 Philip and ElizabethElizabeth has never really wavered when it comes to duty to country; a few weeks ago Betty, the old woman who Elizabeth pretty much forced to kill herself used the word evil when Elizabeth justified her actions with the usual ‘making things better’ line. While Elizabeth is not simply a stone cold killer allowing herself a few tears shed in the darkness, the ends still justified the means. When it comes to killing for the cause Elizabeth is much better at shutting off her emotions, in the same way she told Philip that she doesn’t think about the sex training she also appears to do the same when it comes to the most brutal acts they commit.

It has been notable that Philip has not actually killed anyone this season, until this episode that is. Yes he could be considered complicit in the death of Annelise and he has certainly been present when someone else has pulled the trigger (or set the fire). Yousaf is the constant reminder of what happened to Annelise and he is under the impression that Philip has no real feelings about this; instead Philip tells him “I feel like shit all the time” and while Philip claims Elizabeth is the person who really knows him he tends to reveal more of himself in moments like this when he is in disguise. Pressure has been piling on Philip from a variety of sources including the relationships he is cultivating all in the name of the cause with Kimmy and Martha. Neither appears in the finale and the absence of Martha looms large after the huge de-wigging moment. About 25 minutes in I did write in huge block letters “WHERE IS MARTHA?” and while it is somewhat disappointing she didn’t make an appearance after such a jaw-dropping reveal, the finale is already overflowing and so it makes sense to imagine her squirreled away somewhere (I’m imagining with Hans) as she tries to process exactly what is going on.

The Americans 3.13 PhilipWhen Philip showed his true face to Martha I figured it was an act of ‘kindness’ before he has to kill her and while I can’t see how Martha is going to make it for yet another season, Philip’s desire to avoid any more collateral damage is strong. Instead he frames Gene, the computer dude and stages his suicide. No need for a forced handwritten note when a computer sits in the center of the room. Philip’s typed words of “I had no choice… I’m sorry” double as his own apology for this and Matthew Rhys giving a masterclass in playing self-loathing and quiet desperation throughout the finale. When he comes home to an empty house towards the end of the episode it is one of the lowest points we have seen him at as he rotates from listening to the radio to lying on his bed in silence. He enthusiastically bounds down the stairs when Elizabeth and Paige get back from their trip reads as an attempt to cover up his melancholy; it is only later on when he is alone with his wife that he tries to explain how he is feeling. I’m pretty sure if Philip started crying he would never stop and so far he has been pretty incredible at only hitting pre-glassy eyes.

EST has played in the background in a seemingly inconsequential manner as a failed attempt for Stan to win back Susan. Instead it has tapped into a part of Philip and he returns to the meetings alone bumping into Susan in the process. These are two characters that have barely spent anytime onscreen together and at first it is jarring seeing them sharing such an intimate discussion. Susan suggests being honesty friends, which would be fine except Philip, can only really share a small part of who he is with her. It is also interesting that Philip has chosen the seminar on sex as his refuge as honesty is such a big part of the EST philosophy and so many of his sexual interactions involve the notion of ‘making it real.’ Sex with Elizabeth is also complicated as while they have a strong intimate bond, Philip has told his wife that in the past he has used this technique with her too. I would very much like to see Elizabeth’s reaction to one of these seminars as I’m pretty sure she would be as open to this as she is to church.

The Americans 3.13 Philip and ElizabethPhilip is looking for an emotional tether in the same way Paige has been when it comes to religion; father and daughter have this in common and by the end of the episode they reach out to the person who they believe they can trust the most. Finding it hard to formulate his feelings, Philip struggles to tell Elizabeth exactly what is going on in his mind. She thinks he isn’t necessarily seeing things clearly and yet she is also distracted by the big Reagan speech playing on their bedroom television. This is Philip really opening up about the emotional toll of all this as he awkwardly explains how he needs to know what he’s doing better. It is not entirely clear what he means by this but with the moral terms being used by Reagan, I think he needs to know that what they are doing is positive and not just destroying multiple lives. Elizabeth doesn’t register his pain, or doesn’t want to acknowledge that yes there are flaws in their organization. It is the same way she brushes off Paige’s discomfort at lying and tells Philip how the trip has been really beneficial.

The Americans 3.13 PaigeInstead Paige is having her own moral quandary as she lies on her bed sobbing and boy is Holly Taylor destroying my soul in every way possible. Really they should have take that phone out of her room the instant they told her the truth, but they are both convinced she won’t spill their big dark secret. Spill she does and the tension is almost too much to take as we cut between Philip and Elizabeth’s missed connection talk with Stan and Henry happily playing a board game oblivious to what is taking place across the street. Paige can’t take the lying and in her mind her parents are trying to infect her with their lies. Seeing Elizabeth with her mother could have been a bonding moment and in Elizabeth’s mind it was, but she is only seeing it from her own POV. Paige questions how Elizabeth’s mother let her go like that and Elizabeth reassures her that nothing like that will happen to her. I’m not sure this is the answer Paige is seeking as she tries to reconcile everything she knows now. Seeing her mother ‘at work’ as she checks to see if they are being followed is an eye opener and even though nothing comes of it, seeing her mom in full spy mode has got to be unnerving. Paige has not had to live in the moral grey area before; this is all Philip and Elizabeth know and because they see family loyalty as being stronger than Paige’s feelings of what is right and wrong I don’t think they even consider Paige uttering this

“I’ve been having a really hard time and I’m hurting a lot. And I don’t know what to do. I’ve tried praying and it doesn’t help. Please, please help me. I can’t take it, they’re just, they’re liars. They’re liars and they’re trying to turn me into one. They’re not who they say are. They’re not Americans. I’m not supposed to say it, you can’t tell anyone. They’re, they’re Russians.”

And that sound you just heard is my screaming “Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?” at the length of time it is going to be until we find out the resolution of this HOLY SHIT confession. Oh, Paige. That speech is heartbreaking on its own but intercut with Philip’s own attempt at revealing his pain it takes on the level of brutal soul crushing The Americans excels at. Elizabeth is so focused on the cause that she can’t see her husband and child are not exactly feeling it. This is not to say Elizabeth doesn’t feel anything as demonstrated by the scene with her mother and this is some extraordinary stuff from Keri Russell (this review could quite simply be two thousand words on how great all the face parts acting is from Russell, Rhys and Taylor). The Elizabeth we have seen this season has been far more connected to emotions including flashes of jealousy towards Philip’s other women to the tears we saw not just with Lois, but post the very close call early on this year.

The Americans 3.13 ElizabethElizabeth has known her mother has been sick since Gabriel’s return and while their handler has been using this connection to keep Elizabeth on side, Philip has seen it as an opportunity to assert his power. The plan Philip came up with was to get Elizabeth and Paige into West Germany and go from there with Gabriel calling this move childish; Philip said he was going to look out for his family and this is him doing just that. The tension between Philip and Gabriel is far from resolved and it is one of the many storylines which looks set to explode next season with Elizabeth placed in the middle of this rumble. This isn’t about the cause though and Philip was simply trying to do what he could to help his wife see her dying mother, a woman she hasn’t seen in over 20 years. The scene itself is rather brief, but manages to do a lot connecting three generations in this space and time, inviting Paige in but holding her at a distance as she remains standing. As Elizabeth clings onto those last glimpses, Paige is in the bathroom praying once again emphasizing how different Elizabeth and Paige are. Elizabeth can’t bring herself to pray with her daughter, but she does join her in this moment of reflection.

The Americans 3.13 prayingThe use of space in this hotel location helps demonstrate how alone Paige feels whereas for Elizabeth this experience is all about coming together. She gets to see her mother when she didn’t think that was ever going to happen again and if Elizabeth believed in miracles then she would probably call this one. For Paige it simply overwhelms and adds to her feeling of discomfort at who her parents really are. When she asked them for their real names or to speak Russian it was a test to see if they were telling the truth, being in this room in West Germany seeing her real grandmother and hearing Russian spoken so freely is an entirely new level of comprehension. It is also worth noting that Paige is not only wearing her cross, but she is also wearing a t-shirt with footprints in the sand, which has strong religious connotations. Paige is very much holding onto her beliefs.

The Americans 3.13 footprints teeOne person who is through with compromising herself is Nina and she can’t keep buying back her life. Nina isn’t going to get saved by Stan and Oleg’s partnership, a partnership which Stan is using to get leverage so he can flip him or expose his treason (more on this to come) and she also doesn’t want to sell Anton out. Anton is actually doing a lot more work since Nina’s arrival so she might inadvertently get her freedom if he comes through with something. It is all about asserting control where they can and the opportunity to explore this technology through the photos Lisa got is too exciting for Anton to ignore and there is always some hope that one day he will see his son again. Something romantic might take place between this pair, but they share a connection on a much more intimate level as their fates are entwined and they both know what it feels like to be used as a bargaining chip. Nina having some amount of agency makes me very happy and even though this story has been on the periphery it is one of many that I am looking forward to returning to.

The tension at the FBI is ever increasing as Agent Gaad is still smarting from the pen incident so Stan’s off books work means he gets the brunt of Gaad’s frustration and anger. If it was up to Gaad, Stan would be dunzo, but red tape doesn’t stop everything and his work has been recognized from higher up. Getting the go ahead to continue with this operation but without Nina’s freedom as leverage means he is going to have to find a new way to get to Oleg.

What we are left with at the end of this season is a lot of questions and unresolved storylines; this could be considered anti-climatic in one respect, but that doozy of a final sequence coupled with how strong the narrative has been throughout means I am so close to curling up in the fetal position under my desk thankful for a bleak break. Not every plot has been entirely successful this year and at times there has been too much going on with Stan’s marriage/divorce being something that could easily have been trimmed down this year. Overall this has been one incredible season without a single weak episode and even though it is only April it is going to be hard for any other show to top this one for me this year.

Shot(s) of the Week

The Americans 3.13 GabrielDirector Dan Sackheim delivers plenty of amazing shots that could be included (and a lot of them appear in this review) and this scene at Gabriel’s uses space in the way I have discussed further up. There is so much distance between them with Gabriel only coming close to Philip when he wants to lay down some father like words of warning/disappointment.

The Americans 3.13 hotelThe light from the large windows in both shots helps frame those within the room and even though Elizabeth is standing she looks childlike before her mother in her blue nightdress (the blue dress links back to the one Elizabeth mentions to Philip in “Baggage.” Even though we hear about her tough her mother is, there is nothing but love in this scene.

Disguise of the Week

The Americans 3.13 Philip disguisePhilip has definitely borrowed one of Elizabeth’s wigs with this blonde number when staging Gene’s suicide. Maybe he thinks he can channel her ability to compartmentalize (he can’t).

Outfit I Would Wear in 2015

The Americans 3.13 NinaNina’s attire has been a whole lot of beige, grey and brown but her knitwear game is strong. Probably a must for how cold it is where she is.

Behind the Insta-Scenes: Photos from the Set

22 Apr

TV Instagram round-up time with clones aplenty, a glimpse at what Coachella would have been like in the days of The WB, show crossover ideas, tees to covet and what goes on between takes on Mad Men.

 

Spot the real Tatiana Maslany and Orphan Black season 3 opens with a clone filled scene requiring a whole lot of time and several clone doubles. Extra points for whoever uploaded this picture for using tilt shift giving it a dreamy aura much like the scene itself.

 

More Mad Men treats from new Instagram favorite Elisabeth Moss and an intense looking game of giant Jenga. Not as intense as the scene in this week’s episode which led to Peggy’s inclusion in this picture parade.

 

Coachella Part Two delivers on the photo front thanks to Busy Philipps and a WB reunion. A whole lot of good white tee action going on here.

 

Busy Philipps knows what the people want delivering a Scott Speedman photo shoot and while I am partial to the ‘Shy Speedman’ I think “Smiley Speedman” is my true weakness.

With @juliagarner94 one of my co-stars from the awesome indie film #Grandma premiering tonight at the #TFF

A post shared by laverne cox (@lavernecox) on

 

Laverne Cox looks stunning as does Julia Garner, although I can’t help but get a little nervous at the sight of Garner and if Kimmy will make an appearance on tonight’s season finale of The Americans.

Feeling like a major BABERAHAM LINCOLN in this Wayne's World T-shirt that @clashist created #NoahsArcade

A post shared by Jenny Slate (@jennyslate) on

 

Jenny Slate is super cute while showing off this amazing Wayne’s World Clashist tee while reigniting the hair envy I get while watching Obvious Child.

Just a happy happy 60's housewife! 🍸🍷✂️🔫💣💊💉 #mastersofsex

A post shared by Caitlin FitzGerald (@allthenewsthatsfitztoprint) on

 

Caitlin Fitzgerald gets back into the Masters of Sex swing of things and the checks are very on point for 2015 as well as the 1960s. Nice emoji usage summing up maybe where this year will take Libby Masters.

Again 🙌 @tarynmanning good day, great day. #Oitnb #janethevirgin

A post shared by Gina Rodriguez (@hereisgina) on

 

Patterns aplenty on The Today Show as shows collide with Gina Rodriguez and Taryn Manning. While Diane Guerrero is already on both Jane the Virgin and Orange is the New Black I could definitely see some of the other ladies on Jane ending up in Litchfield. Or some of the ladies heading to the Marbella when they get released from prison. 

 

Playing House returns Tuesday, August 4 and in the meantime you can stock up on plenty of Jammer merch, some of it as modeled by the shows stars Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair. I am very excited to have these ladies back in my life.

The Wish List: Sarah’s Leather Jacket on Orphan Black

21 Apr

Leather jackets are a big trend on television at the moment and Sarah Manning has been sporting one since we first met her back on the train right before she fell into this world of clones and conspiracy. For Sarah her black clothes and particularly her leather jacket and boots are her armor against what has turned into an even crazier and more dangerous existence; season 3 somehow managed to up the stakes even further.

Each character Tatiana Maslany plays is so distinctive thanks to her performance, but costuming and hair/make-up also plays an important part in creating who each clone is. With Sarah, her hardened quality comes from both how she holds herself and how she appears; this is one of the reasons why it is so good when we see the clones playing each other as was the case in the season 3 premiere “The Weight of this Combination” as Maslany somehow manages to show exactly who she is supposed to be. There are not enough words of wonder to describe her performance. Or how much I want a leather jacket. Maybe almost as much as I want the Cosima coat.

Orphan Black 3.01 Sarah leather jacketAs with most leather jackets this one is pricey, but (and I apologize for how wanky this sounds) it is an investment piece. Sarah’s is the ‘Assembly’ biker jacket from All Saints and this look is so synonymous with Sarah’s style that she is also wearing it in Helena’s dream (with her Clash tee!).

Orphan Black 3.01 dreamAnd Sarah’s not the only one sporting a bit of leather at their ‘Shite Beach’ hangout spot with Felix rocking a leather sleeved Ted Baker London ‘Annamae’ Ombré Moto Jacket.

Orphan Black 3.01 FelixThe coat game on Orphan Black is strong (see also Delphine) and check back for more posts on this brilliant bonkers show throughout season 3.

Ex-aspirational

Depression, creativity and the pressures of growing up, as told by a twenty-something not living her best life

Julie Hammerle

Nerds Need Love Too

Sofa and Remote

I love talking about TV as much as I love watching it

Ellie Writes Stuff

About this and that

Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan

Authors, Bloggers, Fashion Assassins

Twitter Music Club

A rotation curation music club, based on Twitter, mainly for Kiwis

INTO ROW Z

If you enjoy a challenge, like Claude Makélélé, read my blog. Its about sport.

lost somewhere in new york city

We rock a lot of polka dots

sankles

We rock a lot of polka dots

frocktalk.com/

Just another WordPress.com site

Cultural Learnings

Television Reviews and Analysis

judgmental observer

film, tv, popular culture, higher ed, unicorns

Rookie

We rock a lot of polka dots

ScreenFad

TV show news, reviews, recaps, spoilers, and photos

The Frisky

We rock a lot of polka dots

irkyle.wordpress.com/

I review this shit so you don't have to.