Archive | June, 2015

TV Rewind: Felicity, “Felicity Interrupted” & “Back to the Future”

18 Jun

Felicity, Episodes 4.21 & 4.22
“Felicity Interrupted” & “Back to the Future”
Original Air Date: May 22, 2002

Felicity 4.22 FelicityJulie: Having watched the Felicity finale (again), I feel like I can say with much certainty that clip show finales stink. I am not a fan. I think back in the day when DVDs and then streaming weren’t available, when your only hope of seeing old episodes was if the show made it into syndication, clip shows were great. I remember actually liking them quite a bit in my younger days. But now, it’s just lazy. And to pull out the clip show trope in a series finale? A slap in the face to everyone who has stuck by your show for its entire run.

Maybe if the clips had come during the penultimate episode I wouldn’t have been so upset, but I don’t know. It’s all very cheap to me.

I guess at least we did have that second-to-last hour with all new stuff, and it was somewhat compelling. Felicity, having confessed that she’s from the future, gets committed by Noel and Ben who are (rightly) concerned about the state of her mental health. I love that they used Ben’s dad’s illness as the way to convince Ben that Felicity is for real. I was wondering if that HUGE plot line would make an appearance, and it did, in a really clever way.

The other plot line from the past that comes into play here is the fire in the building that for some reason housed both the career counselors and the art department. This time, Felicity isn’t trapped inside the art studio, but Noel is still there working in his office. He ends up dying, which is grim, and not the intended result of Felicity’s time travel. This spurs her to get back to the future, and she (with the help of Meghan) finds Dr. Korsakov, whom Felicity helps realize that his time travel spells do work.

I’m assuming that this is one of those time travel-y situations where Felicity came from the future to help him realize that he needed to publish his book, that it worked. It reminds me of the time travel stuff in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (right?) where Harry thinks he sees his dad conjuring a patronus, but really it’s himself doing it in the future or whatever. Anyway. This time travel talk is confusing.

Let’s talk about this: How the heck is Elena now alive in the future at Noel’s wedding and also how is she with Tracy?

And how nice was it that the show ended with a Sarah McLachlin song?

Felicity 4.22 groupEmma: What the clip show?! Honestly I was so mad as soon as I realized what they were going for as this is not the kind of thing you use for the finale and in a way it would have been so much better if they had flipped the episodes because “Felicity Interrupted” was really great making this finale choice even more disappointing. I’d never considered that a clip show acts as a way for an audience to see best of moments before we had instant access to everything, but yeah don’t go all in on this for your finale. I’m trying to think when shows did away with this format. Part of it was to do with the amount of episodes they had to produce, right? As it gave the writers a chance to catch up/have a break. I feel like I have read that somewhere. But it did feel very dialled in and just a meh way to go out after the amount of fun from the 4 previous time travel episodes.

So I did a little research in that I watched this clip and it reveals just why they did this time travel arc. Long story short they were repeatedly told they would have 17 episodes for the final season which is why episode 17 feels like the series finale with Felicity graduating and then ending with Ben coming to her. Then they got a surprise 5 episode order so they pretty much went fuck it and went with the path untravelled with Felicity choosing Noel instead. So pretty much what we figured. They wanted her to end up with Ben but at the same time they needed a reason to explore the other version so time travel! This brings me back to my original issue with the whole thing because while I LOVE the whole time travel arc I still hate the catalyst because I still don’t think Ben would do that. Or if he did cheat he wouldn’t do it in the way it occurred and it just makes her final decision at the end to just forgive him seem a little hollow and a disservice to both Felicity and Ben. The Team Noel fans must have been fuming.

And yes the Elena thing because if Elena is alive then surely the whole reason Ben cheats disappears as well. Speaking of which YouTube also gives an explanation as to how she is alive and it will also make you mad about how much time they wasted on SCENES WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN and cut out an actual important plot point. Elena is alive because Felicity made her promise to go to Duke instead of Columbia and I’m shaking my head so hard that they cut this out and instead showed us a history of Felicity and her friends. We know all of this stuff so why get rid of something that might confuse/piss people off?! I figured something like this had probably happened but this was a case of show not make us guess what the fuck happened. I watched this episode a week ago and I’m still mad it would seem (the photo below is an accurate representation of my reaction).

Felicity 4.21 FelicityIt was nice seeing all these moments again, but not at the expense of a good finale. Instead it just comes across as super sentimental and empty all at once. I was going to rematch the pilot but it turns out I don’t need to do that.

I have more to say about the finale, but first I want to discuss the penultimate episode and in my internet hunt for a song that was used (this site has all the Felicity tracks – I love how early 00s it looks) I just noticed that they aired both these last two episodes back to back which would have maybe cushioned my clip show rage if I had been watching it live when it first aired. And you’re so spot on about how great a final track that is for this show.

The way they blend in the actual past with Felicity’s current predicament is great and it makes sense that out of the two Ben would be the one who ends up believing her. It also led to one final Ben and Noel team up and while these have been far and few between it still made me so happy to see them working together in this way. From the research on the computer – got to love internet diagnosis practices – to when they show up at Felicity’s with their broadest/fakest smiles. For all their animosity while these two will never be besties they do work well together even if Ben goes and ruins it by believing Felicity. A call from Lauren sparks this as Felicity has both mentioned her and his father’s illness; I really love the scene where Ben wakes Noel up to tell him he believes Felicity because Scott Foley does sleepy dopiness so well. And because I want them to snuggle. I did think it was interesting at no point did Felicity tell Ben about sleeping with Lauren or the son he now has. What did you make of this?

Did you enjoy the Ben/Noel team-up as much as I did? Also did you get Alias vibes when Ben broke Felicity out of the psychiatric hospital? Because I definitely did, from the way it was shot to the general look of it. I think you can tell the two shows shared offices.Felicity 4.21 Felicity, Ben and NoelJulie: Wow. Good on you with the research. That’s all very interesting. It makes sense that episode seventeen was meant to be the finale. The stuff afterwards really does feel tacked on (even if it was, for the most part, very cool). Like you, I do wish they had shown the Elena scene because COME ON she’s alive in the final scene (with Tracy, no less) and they give no explanation for it. I guess we can also assume that before she tries to return to the future she tells Ben not to sleep with Lauren and tells Meghan and Sean to get back together?

I also loved the team-up of Ben and Noel. They do make a good, if odd, pair. Maybe now that everything has been figured out, that Ben and Felicity are now good (and, yeah, presumably he doesn’t cheat on her now that Elena’s alive?) and Noel is married, maybe now they can be friends?

Felicity 4.21 Felicity and the boys

Speaking of the Ben cheating thing, nothing’s really solved here, is it? I mean, he knows she was mad at him for cheating on her, but I feel like they could still run into the same issue again if Felicity finds herself sad or stressed about something again. She’s the one who learned the lessons here, not Ben. I also wonder about his reaction to her telling him about Lauren and the baby. Was any part of him like, wistful that if he doesn’t hook up with Lauren, his baby won’t be born? That’s a pretty big butterfly effect, and would’ve been a much more interesting thing to see, writers, instead of clips from freshman year.

Actually, yeah, that would’ve been great. They should’ve showed us what happened between the time where she decides to go back to the future and before the actually does. What does she tell people? What advice does she give? Does she set herself or her friends up with some good stock tips? Wasted opportunity.

What would you have told Felicity’s friends if you had been her?

Felicity 4.21 Ben and NoelEmma: This is the ultimate problem with time travel stories as we’re now left with all the ‘but if this happened then that wouldn’t have and then we wouldn’t be here in the first place.’ Or the time travel paradox in its more concise form. They do the whole it was just a dream thing because Felicity had a crazy fever and it looks like this is the case, except Elena is alive. And Ben utters the same declaration which is all full of flowery and meaningful words that won’t mean anything if he does it again. And I love that all it takes is for Ben to promise he won’t cheat for Felicity to be all okay with the whole getting back together thing. I mean I guess he did break her out of an asylum and believe her when no one else would, that’s got to earn some points.

I got a whole lot of Eternal Sunshine feelings from Felicity and Ben’s bedtime chat as they talk about whether she will remember any of this and that she will find a way to remember. I maybe whispered ‘Meet me in Montauk‘ at the screen. Because whatever Felicity does the end result is the same; Ben is who she ends up with.

The one clip that made the most sense to remind us of is the one where Ben refers to the movie canister as a time machine, but they could have done away with all the other ones. This one reinforces not only Ben and Felicity as a couple but is also a fortuitous piece of writing from season two that nicely links into this ‘oh shit we have five extra episodes so let’s do time travel’ thing they’ve got going on.

Also scoring on the ‘huh this ties in nicely’ is Zoe in the psychiatric hospital as they have already laid the groundwork for this and it not only gives Felicity hope that she isn’t going through some kind of psychosis but it also links back to the present day with Noel’s wedding. Felicity also tells Zoe about Noel and now I want to see the wedding toast to see if anyone mentions how Noel first met Zoe. Maybe this is why everyone is laughing so heartily during the final montage.

Felicity 4.22 fake laughingThe lack of Lauren/baby mention feels very Friday Night Lights season 2 in that if they don’t acknowledge it this means it didn’t happen. Other advice I think Felicity needs to give people before coming back includes telling Julie to not be such a terrible friend and to quit it with the awful pink tops already. I also want her to tell Meghan not to get back with Sean because I just can’t with their bickering – her project presentation did make me laugh a lot mostly because of all the facial expressions.

Felicity 4.21 Meghan presentationSpeaking of facial expressions this was another great Keri Russell showcase including all of her exasperated looks at the Ben/Noel brain trust. They are right to be concerned but could they get her committed like this? I know I’m questioning the validity of this whole thing in a time travel plot but it does seem far too easy in how she ends up in hospital. I guess she complies to it all and it isn’t entirely against her will. As soon as Ben asked to see her it was clear that she would end up with him because the trust level despite the whole cheating thing is much higher. Plus as Noel pointed out there is a connection between Ben and Felicity that runs far deeper than any of her other relationships.

I have been firmly on Team Ben for since season 2 (I’m such a team switcher) and I know you have been less sold on Mr Covington at times so do you think Felicity ended up with the right person? And would you feel differently if it had ended at episode 17? Also in the name of fairness here are Buzzfeed lists selling the merits of both Ben and Noel.

felicity 4.21 BenJulie: I feel like, in general, there wasn’t a lot of thought put into research for these episodes. They seemed to have winged it with the time travel conceit and with the logistics of getting someone committed. I mean, would they really go from girl on the street not hurting anyone to padded cell in, like, a minute? That seems quick. Also, it’s a little scary if someone can diagnose you from WebMD and then get you locked up in a psych ward like it’s nothing. But it works for the narrative, I guess, so whatever.

That kind of sums up all my feelings about this finale: Whatever.

I’ve been a bit wishy-washy about my team allegiances. I know I’ve been a Noel apologist, which angered some people I don’t know why. I do love Noel. He, specifically, first season Noel, is exactly my jam. He’s dorky, smart, and sweet. Ben is a little too aloof in the early goings, and, while he ends up being a decent guy, I still think he has growing up to do. As does Felicity. So, as far as who I think she should’ve ended up with, the answer is: Herself. She should’ve pulled a Kelly Taylor. She should’ve chosen “me.” It’s what she did basically back in the faux finale, and I like how that ended. She chose herself and then Ben came to her, which is right. I really could’ve done without the back-tracking, honestly. They could’ve ended it right there, with everyone still alive and in love and happy, and it would’ve been fine.

Though we would’ve missed out on all the good frantic Keri Russell acting. She (and Speedman) were great in these final episodes.

Now that the show is done, what were some of your favorite moments from the four seasons?

Felicity 4.21 hugEmma: Once again Scott Speedman shows off his exceptional hug skills and these last five episodes really did showcase the best of the chemistry between Speedman and Keri Russell.

Season 1 Noel is also my jam which is why I was Team Noel in the early days and then things shifted for me maybe because Ben did sort of change, but yeah the dude does still have a lot to do in terms of growing up. He definitely needs to quit the hero act – I love that Meghan mentioned this quality when Julie looked all sad about Ben going after Felicity rather than sticking with her. It was bitchy but delicious. The graduation episode really was the perfect ending and I wonder if Scott Foley got to direct as a sort of second place prize for not getting the girl. But I did really enjoy the time travel episodes for the most part so I don’t mind the WB fucking them around too much.

Okay favorite moments time!

One relationship I really enjoyed seeing develop and grow is between Meghan and Felicity which went from pure animosity to full on BFFs. Those final moments in the last episode as they nuzzle into each other is just as important as any of the many Felicity/Ben hugs which I’ve mooned over. Lady friendships on teen shows are often contentious for obvious reasons like dudes but they started out disliking each other for the simple fact that they were so different to each other and they had been thrust into each other’s world through a simple room assignment. As you know I also really dig that they are besties in real life too. I would also like to see Amanda Foreman in more stuff please.

Felicity 4.22 Meghan and FelicityThe sexual health stuff was generally a high point and Felicity’s contraceptive pill campaign is just as significant now as it was then. This was also the episode where Ben and Noel got drunk, played video games and hit each other so it was general all around good stuff (except for Felicity kissing that Greg dude, he sucked). The same goes for how they Julie rape storyline was handled, also still depressingly relevant even if certain actors involved with said storyline disagree. There were maybe a few too many pregnancy scares and actual pregnancies for my liking and it is a convenient way of adding extra drama.

I also appreciate that Felicity was far from perfect and that she fucked up on multiple occasions whether it was getting blackout drunk and not knowing if she had slept with that frat bro or the time she lost her virginity to the MPDG, she made mistakes and had regrets but they were still hers to have. She isn’t just this sweater wearing A grade perfect student. The time she copied that dissertation was not good storytelling. That was one fuck up too far in that there were no real consequences.

Holiday themed episodes were also pretty great from the first season Halloween where Felicity threw up in Noel’s lap to the first Thanksgiving where she frantically smooched Noel in the bathroom. It’s not holiday themed but the mid-term episode in season 1 which introduced us to Noel’s beets reaction is also a high point.

The randomness of the Twilight Zone inspired episode and attention to detail of the homage makes that one really special. Considering it was one of the only things I knew about the show before I came in it could have been a huge let down but instead it was what I hoped it would be and more.

I have more to add including costume favorites but I will pass it over to you before I write an entire essay entitled “What I Love about Felicity.

Felicity 4.21 Meghan and ElenaJulie: One thing that kept me from watching Felicity when it originally aired (aside from the fact that I was in college myself at the time), was that I assumed Felicity was going to be this perfect, no mistakes, cool girl. I was very wrong. She is not that. She’s awkward and confused and she sometimes makes horrible decisions (including sartorial ones). She’s very earnest and socially conscious, which could’ve gotten old, but the people around her bring her back down to Earth. I love how real and flawed she is, and the writers kept her that way for the duration of the show.

My top favorite moment is the Thanksgiving kiss with Noel during freshman year. For me, that is one of the top five kisses of all time on television. It’s just so…college. It happens in a women’s bathroom, for goodness’s sake. (This show could’ve used more bathroom drama, all told.)

Other things I loved were Ben getting in touch with his feelings on the basketball court, Dr. Pavone, the pre-rape Pink Guy, the MPDG (Even if he was a MPDG. Felicity deserves to have hot sex with hot people.)

I didn’t love almost every storyline involving Julie, what happened with Elena at the end, Javier jumping from being their cool uncle to being their classmate, Meghan and Sean’s breakups, whatever happened with Richard by the end of the run.

This show did have a tough time with character consistency, and the writers never really knew what to do with Felicity, career-wise. They never knew what to do with anyone, career-wise, unless that career was something straightforward like “doctor.” Actually “doctor” was the only career they ever really had a grasp on. What was Megan’s major? Psych? Education? I don’t even know. What about Richard or Javier? For a show about college, they never really explored the whole point of going to college — to learn and prep for a career.

Okay, now I want to hear about your costume highlights and lowlights.

felicity 4.22 photo of NoelEmma: That kiss is spectacular and the level of bathroom shenanigans particularly in the later seasons is depressingly low. All I can really remember is those random girls who moved in and Felicity’s bedroom/en suite sharing debacle. That is not the kind of bathroom action I want from my teen shows. Meghan and Felicity did manage to sneak some good stuff in when they were at the loft on the odd occasion I guess.

Another great kiss moment is Felicity and Ben’s first smooch as it is so playful and flirty. It’s not quite the heights of the Noel kiss but still really good nonetheless.

Yeah character consistency is definitely an issue the show had and while I don’t mind them not necessarily knowing what they want to be/do after college – and I think they nailed the anxiety this causes – it is a shame doctor is the one that sticks for three of these characters. I also would have liked more Felicity and her lady friends time as I don’t think they were terrible at this, but Elena and Meghan definitely got sidelined in favor of whatever boy drama was going on. Basically I wanted more girls’ nights out.

This nicely leads me to costume highlights as one of the worst outfits is also one of my favorites and I’m sure you know which one I’m going to say – yep the double red denim. The dream! Speaking of red and the super sexy dress she wore at the start of season 2 is a killer as is the really cute spaghetti straps super 90s dress at the start of season 1 which she pairs with some Cons and a cardigan. Felicity reminds me how much I still like 90s fashion and how bad the early 00s were for clothes. And she was generally good when it came to party attire that didn’t involve double denim as this sparkly top from the shooting episode (I still can’t believe that is a thing that happened) is very cool. Her sweater collection is like no other with more turtlenecks and chunky knits than any other characters. She even had a summer t-neck collection for when she needed to hide her Noel induced hickey.

What stands out to you clothes wise?

And we can’t talk about the legacy of Felicity without talking about the big hair chopping moment. This was one of the only things I knew about the show going into it and how it supposedly impacted the ratings. In terms of haircuts I think she looks cute with it short but she definitely experienced the awkward growing out stage. I did also enjoy the big wink reference to this haircut in the finale and it is funny how big the reaction was to it. But she was the girl with all the hair so I can understand why this was a BIG DEAL.

Felicity 4.22 Felicity timetravelJulie: Double red denim IS the dream. I’m considering wearing it to all my fancy weddings this year.

I’m bad at remembering specific outfits (I think you mentioned most of my favorites), but I really do love the nostalgia feelings that come with all these clothes. I was in college at the same time that Felicity aired and I definitely had a lot of sweaters in the late ’90s and sparkly tops in the early ’00s. Everything Noel wears feels like it could’ve been lifted from the closet of every guy I knew at the time. The only thing missing, boy-fashion-wise, was some dude with a giant, curly mop on his head. Ben and Noel’s hair situation was always quite attractive, unlike a lot of the guys I knew back in the day.

One of the only good things about the flashbacks in the finale was that it took us on the Felicity hair journey again. I still don’t get all the pearl clutching about the short ‘do. She looked so cute. The growing out phase, however, especially toward the end of season two and the beginning of three, was the real tragedy.

Maybe Felicity should’ve turned back time all the way to the beginning of the second season. Maybe all of her problems would’ve been solved if she had just not gotten that haircut.

Felicity 4.22 weddingEmma: I did wonder if it would have been better if she went right back to the end of season 1 when the first Ben vs. Noel choice was presented. It would save a lot of heartache although she ultimately would end up with Ben (or so the show would like us to believe and I agree with this).

This show made me super nostalgic too and I do wish I had watched it when it was on. I hate the phrase ‘role model’ in this context but I do think Felicity is a pretty great character for all the reasons we have written about. Keri Russell’s performance has been excellent throughout and I barely got any character whiplash when alternating between this and The Americans, which speaks to how she plays these characters. Speaking of which it is funny that she has gone from much talked about haircut to a show where the hair or rather the wigs are a big topic of conversation.

After watching and discussing this show with you for two years now I am feeling rather emotional that we are all done and there is no more. It has been very fun and now we’ve been through TV high school twice we’re now graduating from TV college too.

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.

 

Behind the Insta-Scenes: Photos from the Set

17 Jun

An ideal summer outfit, collaborations aplenty, dancing and more onset fun thanks to the glorious world of celeb Instagram photos.

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behind the scenes #hitrecordontv #anchorsaway #designjob

A post shared by Salvador Perez (@salvadorperezcostumes) on

 

If you are suffering from Mindy Project withdrawal then the second season of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Hit Record on TV might be just what you need as Mindy Kaling dreamed up a short for the series and got the dancing Chris Messina to show off some of his skills in this department. Here are JGL and Messina performing in front of a green screen and the Hit Record site has a variety of making of videos to watch before the premiere.

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❤️🌾🍓🐩🌷💆👑❤️

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Ideal summer vibes outfit and food choice from Jenny Slate.

 

I miss Jane the Virgin. Luckily most of the cast are big Instagram users and there’s a lot of pre-Emmy chat surrounding this show.

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powerful greenroom shot

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#SquadGoals

https://instagram.com/p/35bcqFjvA-/?taken-by=taylorswift

 

TV’s Olivia Benson meets Taylor’s Swift’s Olivia Benson and all seems to have gone down rather well. No need to for any law or order (yes I will see myself out)

https://instagram.com/p/37nTY6ACIS/?taken-by=channingtatum

 

Now this is how you celebrate LA Pride and get the word out about your little dance movie sequel.

 

Now that season 3 of Orange is the New Black is available to watch the number of set photos has dramatically increased including this beauty.

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In the makeup trailer.

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And this one.

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Sippin on that Boo drank. 🍷

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A Boo cup is top of the list of OITNB merch I am now interested in. Especially after the devastating and super satisfying episode 4.

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Pink. Drink.

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This drink looks really good and I love when TV friendships spawn into IRL forever BFFs (that’s a whole lot of caps).

 

I think they did a pretty good job with the posing switcheroo.

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If you give a girl a bike… #GirlsSeason5

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Just remember to lock it up. Don’t want Hannah to lose another bike (after that episode last season I became extra paranoid every time I locked my bike up).

 

Variety Emmy Studio Conversations or Pick Your Dream Dinner Dates

16 Jun

You know the drill by now; it is Emmy discussion season and Variety has a whole host of conversations taking place between stars from your favorite shows. This series differs from roundtables because they are one on ones (and a two on two) with no moderator to ask the questions. What Variety delivers are the perfect bite size 10ish minute long chats focusing on the shows these actors are currently on as well as first jobs and other such general actor talking points. My list of dream dinner dates gets even longer with some of these pairings including the one below.

Allison Janney and Lizzy CaplanThis hug looks like the happiest place in the world.

Allison Janney and Lizzy Caplan light up the screen and they are of co-stars on Masters of Sex so the connection is already there. They discuss a range of topics including comedy in drama on Masters of Sex and finding laughter in the darkness on Mom. Caplan talks about her own personal experience with a storyline that devastated me last season and made this the second show that made me cry while writing a review (the first was The Good Wife and the recent third addition was Mad Men).

She also goes into some detail about how she wrote to the real Virginia Johnson before she passed away, which she never replied to and how Johnson “made it very clear that she didn’t want any involvement in it [Masters of Sex] whatsoever … I don’t think she read the script, it was more that she wrote this book, and that was her story, and then she wanted to just live out the rest of her life away from it all. Which I had to respect, but it drove me a bit crazy.”

For more videos head here and for other TV Ate My Wardrobe coverage of the Variety Emmy Studio head here and here.

Music Monday: Orange is the New Black and “Coming Down” with the Closing Credits

15 Jun

While the main TV season is over there is still plenty to watch, obsess over and feel devastated about. While recovering from a particularly bleak and bloody Game of Thrones season finale (even by their bleak and bloody standards) we have a soothing song to start the new week. The third season of Orange is the New Black debuted on Netflix last Friday and I’m taking it at a relatively leisurely pace, which might be for the best as out of the first five episodes I’ve been emotionally broken by at least three of them. And this season was meant to be lighter.

OITNB S3Avoiding getting into too many storyline specifics because everyone is at a different place in their viewing schedule and offering up the vaguest of plot hints with this song choice. Orange is the New Black utilizes its credit music much in the same way as other Music Monday favorites such as Girls and Mad Men reflecting the tone of the final moments on screen.

“Coming Down” by Dum Dum Girls comes from the end of episode 3 “Empathy is a Boner Killer” and while some of the lyrics are a little on the nose for the action that is taking place on screen it is also a fitting track for the heartbreak several of the characters are expressing. The room definitely got a whole lot dustier as these scenes played out and hearing this track over the final credits meant that I didn’t just hit the menu button so I could dive into the next episode. Instead let this hypnotic track wash all over you. 

Also getting a whole lot of Morello vibes from Dum Dum Girls lead singer Dee Dee Penny in the video for “Coming Down.”

The Return of Will Graham’s Glasses on Hannibal

12 Jun

When Will Graham was released from the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane he underwent a change in style or a makeover if you will. He ditched his signature glasses and switched to a more tailored look as he mimicked Hannibal’s refined sartorial choices without entering plaid suit territory as Dr. Chilton made the mistake in doing. Last week’s Hannibal premiere featured Will Graham in name alone, but fear not as “Primavera” shifts the focus back onto Hannibal’s favorite companion (the knife to the gut might not agree with this assessment).

When we last saw Will he was left bleeding profusely while attempting to stem the blood spurting out of Abigail’s neck and the opening moments this week revisit this traumatic moment. Hannibal plays with reality and fantasy in its structure and it has done since the opening scene of season 1 when we first experience seeing a crime through the mind of Will Graham. This episode spends a lot of time within Will from his mind palace realization pointing him to Hannibal’s location to everything involving Abigail. Will’s glasses are an important costume choice which not only represents Will’s past and time with Abigail, but how he uses them to shield himself from the world.

Hannibal 3.02 Will GlassesHannibal doesn’t like to kill its characters, well not the recurring cast anyway so when Abigail walked into Will’s room alive and well there was a small part of me that took it at face value. I mean if Doctor Chilton can survive having his insides taken out and getting shot in the face then who is to say Abigail couldn’t live through two deep cuts to the throat? Except there is always a sense from the outset that she is not really here; other than the doctor with the tea cup filled with water no other person acknowledges her and who is to say this moment in the hospital was real? Or maybe Will had another visitor all together. The return of Will’s glasses 8 months later when they venture to Norman Chapel in Palermo, Italy signifies a barrier being put up between him and the world.

Hannibal 3.02 Pazzi and WillInspector Rinaldo Pazzi is introduced this week and he has also been chasing Hannibal; his has been a long one spanning 20 years and while the broken heart symbolism is for Will alone there is significance for Pazzi who has been witness to Hannibal’s murder tableau making ways. Will’s glasses remain on for their first few meetings once again acting as a shield of sorts.

Hannibal 3.02 Will eyeEven going so far as wearing them in the black and white flashback as Will visualizes Pazzi’s encounters with Hannibal or ‘Il Mostro’ as he refers to him. This feels very much like season 1 Will and the presence of Abigail heightens this further.

Hannibal 3.02 Hannibal photoA brief interlude and oh, hello photo of Mads Mikkelsen from 20 years ago* that Pazzi shows Will. Another occasion where a show uses a real photo instead of a terrible photoshop version joining The Americans on my list of shows that do this well.

*Update – on Twitter Bryan Fuller notes that this is a photo from Mads Mikklesen’s Danish show Rejseholdet “with the hair from our production designer Rory Cheyne for a younger look.” Rejseholdet aired between 2000-2004 making it shy of the 20 years mark so the hair switch makes sense. Also this now falls under ‘good photoshop’ because this very much looks like his hair.

Hannibal 3.02 this is my design spaceAt the crime scene Will removes the glasses; first in his vision of how the body came to be which then turns into a twisted nightmare of the shell of Dimmond combined with the good old fashioned Hannibal stag imagery. Quick observation time – this is a perfectly okay beast to show on TV:

Hannibal 3.02 stagBut when it comes to art certain things have to be blurred out to get through Standards and Practices. Network rules confuse me a lot.

Hannibal 3.02 blurred buttsThe repetition of this notion that there is “some other world” where things have turned out in a different manner is a direct clue that Abigail is all in Will’s mind. If he could change things he would and there is a version where “no one had to die.” At this point we still don’t know whether Alana or Jack is alive, but the previews and promo photos suggest they both survived, but without this clarification there is still the chance that they are referring to either one of them. Alas it was always going to be Abigail as the sacrificial lamb; she is Will’s punishment for his deception and the breaking of the tea cup. Abigail’s appearance is different from how we have seen her in the past as her clothes are more grown up as if she has been given a chance to live and mature.

Hannibal 3.02 Abigail and WillSaying goodbye is hard to do, even when the person is not really there and it is important that Will takes the glasses off breaking the spell. The only place Will could make for Abigail is in his head and he did this in the past when he thought she was dead the first time. Fishing peacefully was how he pictured it before and there is a flash of this as it is revealed what really happened with Will after he was stabbed; he sees Abigail’s dead body lying on Hannibal’s floor and this is followed by a sequence which cuts between Will in the hospital and Abigail in the morgue. It is heartbreaking, but Will can’t hold onto this delusion if he wants to find Hannibal even if it is unclear what Will is going to do if and when he finds him. Despite what has transpired his loyalty is vague and his declaration of forgiveness could be seen as sincere or as another trick to draw Hannibal out. Whatever it is this high stakes game of cat and mouse has a way of drawing multiple players in.

It has been said many times and yet it is worth repeating that Hannibal is a show like no other on TV at the moment and there are a couple of other visual moments I would like to discuss.

First Will Graham’s mind palace as he discusses Hannibal’s own imaginary construction of this name.

Hannibal 3.02 bedBy placing the hospital bed between the two chairs which are steeped in so much history between Will and Hannibal it not only holds a strong emotional connection, but also points to a version of this show that no longer exists. It is unlikely we will see them in this location again (flashbacks/imagination aside) and yet it is definitely not the last time they will be sitting opposite each other.

Hannibal 3.02 paperAs paper rains down Will experiences the burning session and the moment Hannibal realized Will had deceived him (he smelt the not dead Freddie Lounds on him). For Will it gives him the clue as to where Hannibal might be hiding. Not that Hannibal is really hiding as we saw last week.

For Alana and Bedelia inky water consumes them whether through choice or as a kind of poison. Will’s experience in Hannibal’s kitchen leads to a different kind of drowning as he is consumed by the blood of Abigail, the stag and his own deep wound.

Hannibal 3.02 Will Graham blood Hannibal 3.02 kitchen Hannibal 3.02 Will drowningAs Will sinks down into the depths he is alone and his face cannot be seen; the shot is not quite as bleak as Alana’s entire consumption, nor is at romantically lit as Bedelia; once again placing Will Graham in the blurry point between going to Hannibal and wanting to stop him. Just what will he do when they finally comes face to face?

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

12 Jun

Premieres, pre-gaming the Emmys and the first official onset photo from the revival I have already been endlessly talking about are all part of this week’s edition of “Out of the Box.”

Anna Faris and Chris PrattInstant cheering for Anna Faris in an amazing metallic long sleeve mini Rubin Singer dress and it contrasts well with husband Chris Pratt’s blue suit and check shirt combo. They really are the most adorable at the Jurassic World premiere.

Lauren LapkusA close runner up in the adorable stakes is former Orange is the New Black correctional officer Lauren Lapkus and she looks delightful in a super chic LUBLU Kira Plastinina. At first glance the shoes look a little matchy matchy until spotting the iridescent nature of the Andrew Gn pumps. OITNB is back today (!) but sadly I don’t think we will be seeing Fischer (if her IMDb page is anything to go by).

Uzo AdubaIt’s hard knowing all of OITNB season 3 is available to watch and not having seen a single one yet (this will be a different story in a couple of hours hopefully), but Uzo Aduba is soothing those woes in a color blocking delight at last night’s ‘Orangecon’ fan event.

Samira WileyAnd Samira Wiley also looks really lovely by doing the summer dress thing.

Naomie HarrisPeter Pilotto can be hard to pull off as there tends to be a lot going on, but Naomie Harris does just this while attending the UK Entourage premiere (I had avoided acknowledging this movie until now) reminding me there is a new Bond press tour which Harris will be part of in the fall. Cue much anticipation.

Ilana glazerA couple of months ago Variety gathered a whole host of actors from comedy and drama to discuss the roles they play in the ‘Variety Emmy Studio.’ Now the videos are being slowly rolled out and with that come the official portraits. I really love this shot of Broad City’s Ilana Glazer which reads like an amused “what?!” statement with excellent eyebrow and statement jewelry game.

Keri RussellA soul piercing look from Keri Russell and a quote focusing on how Elizabeth dresses on The Americans versus her own style “I wear these silk shirts and high-heeled boots and I feel like that armor has become very much a part of that character to me. I feel very panther-like. It’s much more grown-up than I look in real life. I like the way it makes me feel. It’s much tougher and cooler than I am, than Keri actually is.” For more from the Drama Actors including co-star Matthew Rhys head here.

Gina Rodriguez

Nailing what makes Jane the Virgin so special is Gina Rodriguez who also happens to be rocking the shit out of this cute pose/dress “I feel so lucky that in a scene, the way (Jennie Snyder Urman) writes, I can go from comedy to drama within literally a minute and a half. And it’s so freeing, and I get to stretch my wings and practice and live in my craft and fly.” My tears that flow coupled with all the laughter while watching pretty much episode is a sign this is working.

The X-Files first lookI don’t know if I was more excited by this first shot on set as tweeted by the official X-Files account, the pap photos of Mulder and Scully together again or when I found out that Hannibal costume designer Christopher Hargadon is also working on this X-Files revival. There’s been a lot of excellent moments for an X-Files fan this week even if January seems so far away.

Drama Actress Emmy Roundtable – “I Want to Play Everything I’ve Never Played Before” (Update! Watch the Full Video)

11 Jun

This is the one I have been waiting for and every year the drama actress roundtable is the highlight of The Hollywood Reporter’s Emmy series. It might be a premature declaration as there are still more discussions to come as part of this season, but I am pretty confident in this assertion after reading the transcript and watching the clips which have been made available prior to SundanceTV airing it in full come August (Update – you can now watch the full discussion at the end of this post). I do want to point to the comedy actress chat as another enlightening and fascinating entry into the roundtable Hall of Fame. And now there is another group to add to my boozy lunch wish list.

The line-up is entirely different to last year (sometimes there are repeats) with Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Honourable Woman), Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder), Taraji P. Henson (Empire), Jessica Lange (American Horror Story), Ruth Wilson (The Affair) and Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex). Gone are the questions of ‘how do you balance work and family?’ and instead there is a strong focus on their work from the shows they are currently on to past experiences. There are four Oscar nominees among these women (some multiple) and a two time winner showing the caliber of talent television attracts particularly when it comes to complex roles for women. A mixture of cable and network with ages ranging from 32 to 66 shows how well television caters to a range of experiences.

THRAs the cover so boldly states there is a focus on race, sex, age and nudity with the latter coming up on multiple occasions. Lizzy Caplan and Ruth Wilson joke about the name of their network – “Showtits” – and sex plays a big part in both Masters of Sex (it is in the title after all) and The Affair. Sex isn’t just there for sensationalism or to be gratuitous; it is worth noting that both shows have a female showrunner with Caplan going so far as pointing out that Michelle Ashford is kinda prudish and those scenes can be hard for all involved.

How to Get Away with Murder is Viola Davis’ first starring role on prime time and she talks about her initial concerns when she took the project on including her appearance. There is one point which really sticks with me and is worth quoting in full exemplifying why this roundtable series strikes a chord:

“I’ve been doing this for 27 years. I’ve performed in basements, churches, off-Broadway. I want the work to reflect my level of gifts and talent. I don’t want it to reflect my color, my sex or my age. That’s what I want most.”

The comedy actresses talked about bad auditions and incidents earlier in their careers where they maybe tried to adjust their look for an audition. This is something Maggie Gyllenhaal discusses in terms of her appearance and how she has been judged in the past in terms of being ‘sexy.’ Gyllenhaal also mentions her interest in nudity and what she looks for in a sex scene.

Cookie Lyon has made such a huge impact on the TV landscape this season and Taraji P. Henson jokes “I hate that bitch. She’s stolen my identity! My friends don’t want to talk to me unless it’s about Cookie.” I’m only halfway through Empire but within the first few minutes of seeing this character on screen it was love. Henson also reveals who she sometimes channels when she is playing Cookie and the answer is not who you might expect. There are no boundaries when it comes to want roles Henson wants to play “I want to play a superhero. I want to be a Bond girl. I want to play a man. I want to play a white woman. I want to play everything I’ve never played before.”

There are more clips to watch here before the full thing becomes available in August.

THR drama actress roundtableIn terms of the styling of the group it turns out I wasn’t proved wrong after all with an explosion of sparkle and while Ruth Wilson is the lone person in print (a beautiful Erdem frock), there is some color with Viola Davis’ Lanvin and range of styles suiting the wearer in question. Lizzy Caplan’s Donna Karan ensemble is reminiscent of her Donna Karan Atelier Emmy stunner from last year (Caplan also chose this designer when she wowed at the Met Gala last month). During the chat Caplan wears an oversized tuxedo jacket and looks super cool while doing so. Excellent lipstick game from all the ladies with Caplan’s fuchsia reminding me of my new favorite lip color. And now if you will excuse me I will be drawing hearts around this entire conversation.

Check back for more Emmy related discussions in the weeks/months to come.

Update! Watch the full uncensored Emmy Drama Actress roundtable below.

Behind the Insta-Scenes: Photos from the Set

10 Jun

If we were giving out an award for Best Cast on Instagram it would probably be a two-way split between Orange is the New Black and You’re the Worst; this week’s Behind the Insta-Scenes is dominated by these two shows. Plus a few other treats including the return of a Very Important show.

https://instagram.com/p/3ikjjUuyPk/?taken-by=tayjschilling

 

Orange is the New Black is back on Friday (two days to go!) and some of the cast were in Paris last week to promote the new season. Going full tourist in this beautiful shot with blue skies, pretty dresses and the Eiffel Tower.

 

Followed by a trip across the ocean to Brazil and Uzo Aduba was joined by Natasha Lyonne and Samira Wiley on the Netflix float at the Brazil Pride Parade. Excellent sunglasses and houndstooth action. Plus plenty of dancing I’m sure.

View this post on Instagram

#bathroomselfiegameonfleek in #SãoPaulo #2aday

A post shared by Samira Wiley (@whododatlikedat) on

 

Post Pride bathroom selfie game is strong.

 

Gathering a whole host of supporting actors as part of The Hollywood Reporter’s Emmy season and Danielle Brooks gets the best shenanigans partner in Empire’s Jussie Smollett. Work that green feather boa. And I’m totally feeling the beardy snarl face.

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Just broin' for a bike ride w/ my bro @mradamscott.

A post shared by Nick Kroll (@nickkroll) on

 

Well isn’t this the most adorable?!

 

We are entering the ATX Television Festival portion of this week’s highlights and the You’re the Worst team documented their time so well that I found it hard to whittle down which photos to use.

 

The new ‘squeezing as many people into an elevator’ selfie option. Just look down.

 

“Fan girling the fuck out on her” sounds very appropriate in this situation. Also Adrianne Palicki is tall.

 

#SquadGoals

 

Creator Stephen Falk gives a good array of shots from the event including Kether Donohue’s cute yellow dress. Despite there being no barbecue photos in this collection just the mention gives me an instant craving.

 

This is also a very appropriate reaction from Mae Whitman. I would have zero chill in this situation.

 

The revival of The X-Files in the Instagram age is pretty much the ideal. See also Tumblr which is already delivering with the spoilery filming photos which I can’t resist looking at (click if you dare).

 

A good portion of my Instagrams are around this theme (TV watching/booze) so I am taking Diane Kruger’s Tony watching prep as a ‘stars – they’re just like us’ moment.

 

Masters of Sex Season 3 Artwork and Previews: “We are the Sexual Revolution”

9 Jun

We have spent a lot of time with Bill Masters and Virginia Johnson on Masters of Sex as they conduct their study, but what happens when their work is released on a wide scale? This is what season 3 will be exploring as the show jumps forward to the mid sixties (season 2 ended in January 1961) including a lot of negative reactions from the general public to their controversial work.

The professional and private relationships are just as complementary and contradictory as they have ever been and the marriage between Libby and Bill still reads as fraught. The idea of their being three in this marriage is heightened in both the poster and preview with Libby going so far as kissing Virginia to see what it is like.

Masters of Sex S3Previous artwork has focused solely on Bill and Virginia so Libby inclusion here is significant and they’ve moved away from the buttoned up look of season 1 and the undressed nature of last year’s shots to this fun game of Twister coupled with a Beatles song that doubles a sex pun. Yes I giggled. The interesting thing about this poster is Libby’s position; as while she is featured she is very much off to the side and wearing neutral tones. The bold pink of the dot matches Bill’s undone bow tie (suggesting he has maybe relaxed a little), Virginia’s lipstick and the stitching on her button holes – those giant buttons are A+ and I hope she wears this dress on the show – which unites these two characters.

The costume design on Masters of Sex provides plenty of discourse here at TV Ate My Wardrobe and I am already clapping my hands with glee at this time jump. This is why I present to you shots of costumes that I cannot wait to see in the context of an episode.

IMG_0803Patterned scarf! And you know, more buttons.

IMG_0806So here for Libby’s cream cable knit and pants look. She’s also perfected the whole quiet seething while smoking thing.

IMG_0807Betty has always been the pattern queen so mid sixties fashion is going to be ideal for her.

IMG_0808I also have strong feelings about this yellow outfit.

Watch the promo and a behind the scenes preview below to get a glimpse of what season 3 has to offer. Oh hey Josh Charles! Or should I call you the Perfume King?

Masters of Sex returns Sunday, July 12.

 

Best of the 2015 Tony Awards Red Carpet

8 Jun

The Tony Awards red carpet was awash with color and print with some stunning frocks on display from nominees, presenters and attendees. Here are our favorites of the night.

Elisabeth MossElisabeth Moss is radiant in floral Oscar de la Renta wisely ditching the white belt from the original and adding extra color with her lipstick choice.

Vanessa HudgensThis is very much a summer awards show and Vanessa Hudgens is very on point in Naeem Khan with the gorgeous flower print and halter silhouette. Hudgens has been a pleasantly surprising sartorial force this year.

Patricia ClarksonRed roses for Patricia Clarkson in Alexander McQueen continuing the print theme and Clarkson is always a delight.

Emily SkeggsA dramatic and beautiful gown for Emily Skeggs with a hint of Carey Mulligan about her. And while Skeggs didn’t win in her category, it was a good night for Fun Home winning 5 awards.

Jennifer LopezJennifer Lopez delivers full elegant starry eyed drama in Valentino Couture.

Ruth WilsonMoving into the block color portion of the red carpet and I keep going back on forth on Ruth Wilson’s fuchsia Ralph Lauren frock. It’s the drop waist which is confusing matters and I’m still not over how much she made me like culottes last week. Very into the clashing lip color with the bold pink.

Annaleigh AshfordI adore Annaleigh Ashford as Betty in Masters of Sex and she won Best Featured Actress in a Play for You Can’t Take it With You (beating out my other fave Patricia Clarkson). Ashford stands out in a green Zac Posen frock with a dramatic bustier top and all important pockets.

Anna ChlumskySimple and chic from Anna Chlumsky in Sophie Theallet.

Bobby Cannavale and Rose ByrneHaving quite the Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale week after seeing Danny Collins and Spy. Byrne is a regular on TV Ate My Wardrobe and she tends to take a lot of red carpet risks including this amazing plunging crimson Delpozo dress with Cannavale looking dashing in Brooks Brothers.   

Patina MillerPrevious Tony winner Patina Miller looks divine in Jason Wu showing how to red carpet flats and killing it with her accessory choices.

Judith LightYas Kween!

For a full list of the Tony Award winners head here.

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