Archive | April, 2016

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

29 Apr

Celebrating the end of The Good Wife and the Time 100 Gala in this edition of Look of the Week. Plus fashion campaigns, magazine photo shoots and other events with plenty of sartorial delights on offer. Julianna MarguliesThe cast of The Good Wife celebrated the last ever episode at a screening event in New York followed by an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. I’ve opted for photos from the latter as I’m having a jacket moment and this pink and black Antonio Berardi is given an unexpected edge here.Christine BaranskiMore coat and dress delights and what I would give for Christine Baranski to wag her finger at me like this. Priyanka ChopraPriyanka Chopra joins the #LadySuitWatch2016 list in a super sexy white ST. studio by Olcay Gulsen number at the Time 100 Gala.

I’ve stuck with Quantico until the last couple of weeks when I maybe forgot it was on and I think this might be me done with this show, which is a shame as I really like Chopra but the plot twists got too silly and convoluted for me to care about anything taking place on screen. Instead I started to note who has what buttons undone of their training Henley and who wears a round/v neck tee. Karlie KlossAlso at the Time 100 Gala; Karlie Kloss wore purple to honor Prince and this Victoria Beckham dress is simple and elegant. Part of me is picturing a white babydoll tee and a pair of Cons because my brain automatically shifts back to the 90s with this silhouette. Jessica ChastainWhat a great going to watch a play outfit and Jessica Chastain looks fantastic in swirly green and black at the opening night of Long Day’s Journey Into NightLea SeydouxThe Louis Vuitton campaigns are among some of my favorites (see Michelle Williams and Alicia Vikander) and Léa Seydoux’s debut for this brand is no exception. Another striking image and I cannot wait to see this in both print and digital editions of fashion magazines. Iwan RheonStripes on Iwan Rheon are a very good look and bravo Interview for this four shot showcase. Rheon discusses auditioning for Game of Thrones before it aired as he went up for Viserys and Jon Snow. On the latter he explains how close he got to playing someone else:

“I think it was between me and Kit [Harington], which is quite crazy. It could’ve been so different. I’d be dead now. [laughs] I think they made the right choice; it would’ve been a very different Jon Snow if I’d played him. I don’t think there’s much point in dwelling on these kind of things. You’re inevitably going to know other actors going up for parts and you have to be open about it. The majority of the time it’s a specific thing they’re looking for, which could easily come down to how you look, and there’s not an awful lot you can do about that.”

Rheon also auditioned for Daario at the same time as Ramsay so there is a lot of variety in the parts he went for and I think the casting team chose well across the board. To read the rest of this interview head here.

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The Americans 4.07 “Travel Agents” Review: A Lonely Life

28 Apr

Running away from it all is an idea that has been touched upon on The Americans this season with Philip’s inner voice whispering ‘run, run, run’ as a reaction to Pastor Tim knowing their big spy secret. Now Martha knows a version of everything and she’s the one on the fleeing; she is out there on her own and her whole world has collapsed. Leaving Martha with Gabriel was a bad idea as the only person holding her together was Philip and now they have a valuable asset to find in a huge city while the FBI are also trying to do the same thing.

Season 4 is all about consequences that come from living a double life and the resulting spiraling from Martha and to a lesser extent (at the moment) Paige is a result of their relationships that are not as they seem. Martha has been torn from everything she has known and flung into a very dangerous place and her fleeing is an attempt to regain a sense of control; but what do go when everywhere is a potential danger and every face could be the one coming to arrest you?The Americans 4.07 MarthaMartha was chosen as a target not only because of whom she is secretary to, but because of her lonely heart status and I can’t help but picture Miss Lonelyhearts from Rear Window when I think of how they picked her. Later when Philip tells Martha she will be making the trip to Moscow solo she remarks that she will be alone “just the way I was before I met you” and if my heart hadn’t already been crushed by this storyline then it would be in pieces after that. Stan and Gaad talk about the why of what Martha has done with money and sex coming up and then pondering if she was really that unhappy and I think we have our answer. Stan even wonders if this is a real love scenario and at first this interpretation surprised me and then I remembered how he felt about Nina; it isn’t that uncommon to fall for the person you are meant to be working or vice versa.

Emotions are manipulated in this business and sometimes it is hard to know what is real and with every new bit of information Martha is getting she is becoming harder to keep at bay with promises and reassurances. Knowing who Philip works for peels back another layer and shatters her illusion of what this relationship was. When she speaks to him on the phone she is desperate and broken, but not completely done as we see her contemplating jumping from a very high bridge and not following through. Chekhov’s Valium does not come into play either. Martha wants this all to end and she is now wise to Philip’s methods knowing he will “tell me some version of the truth that’s not very true.” There is a moment where she contemplates hanging up the phone and not revealing her location, but she is all out of other options and Philip is the only person she can turn to.The Americans 4.07 carElizabeth gets to her first and has a job convincing Martha to a) calm the fuck down and b) come with her willingly. Elizabeth has one hand in her pocket and the other one is not giving a peace sign; there is a strong sense that Elizabeth really doesn’t want to have to resort to the ultimate silencing method and yet you know she will if this goes bad. Martha has a whole host of questions about who Elizabeth is and whether she is “sleeping with my husband.” Knowing this is not the time to speak wife to wife she denies the sleeping with part, but does explain they are all part of this operation. When Martha continues to freak out Elizabeth sucker punches her hard in the gut and whispers the very real facts of how she has nowhere else to go as the FBI knows who she is. Martha needs to do exactly what Elizabeth says and she will live.

As Martha has seen Philip’s true face it is why Elizabeth (and an unseen Hans) get sent out to find Martha while Philip gets to go hang at their phone operator’s apartment. In terms of a lonely existence this job seems to encapsulate all of that and this is probably why Joan is so pleased to have someone to talk to that isn’t just a voice on the end of a line. Philip is of course rather preoccupied and isn’t much up for chatting although he does indulge in some day old borscht. While he isn’t hungry he does seem to appreciate the taste and reminder of home. When they do converse it is about the person who had this job before her, the person Larrick killed and before Philip can answer her question the phone rings and it is Martha. Back to solo living for Joan.The Americans 4.07 PhilipA taste of home food and Martha’s forthcoming trip to Moscow and Philip couldn’t be blamed for longing for a way out. This is how Elizabeth infers things and she is at her most vulnerable and forgiving in “Travel Agents.” Instead of reacting with anger as I expected she would that Martha has fled and knows about them being KGB she instead shows empathy telling Philip that this is not his fault. This is a very different Elizabeth to the one we met back in season 1 and she is much more in tune with how complicated things can get. Plus she also went through something similar when Gregory was put in the cross hairs of their operation.

Later on when Martha is back at the house and Philip has gone to find some ice – ice that is stored next to the infected rat – for the injury caused by Elizabeth they have the kind of open conversation that didn’t seem possible until this season. For all their skills at emotional manipulation Philip and Elizabeth are not so good when it comes to sharing their real feelings and this has caused issues in the past such as when Philip slept with his ex Irina in season 1 and then lied about it. Pot helped them open up last year and they have been getting better at telling each other how they feel; EST can also take credit as Elizabeth’s willingness to listen and even participate when Philip told her about the classes showed how much she has changed. The Americans 4.07 ElizabethNow Elizabeth is allowing herself to be vulnerable in front of her husband even if that means potentially (she talks as a hypothetical) losing him and she takes off her Jennifer glasses (because you can’t have a serious conversation in those specs) and asks him if he could go with Martha, would he? Confusion is part of Philip’s response “Are you crazy?” that she could suggest he would want to leave her and she tries to fill in the blanks by saying she knows this is different. It is a huge amount of different and he emphatically tells her “I love you.” I think Elizabeth also forgets that Philip is the one who has been deeply in love with her since the beginning and all these feelings are still somewhat new for Elizabeth. She was also not privy to Philip’s conversation with William while she was ill a few weeks ago when he said he would only want the normal life if it was with Elizabeth. This is the kind of reassurance Philip probably doesn’t think Elizabeth needs as he doesn’t see her as an insecure person, but her slightly teary eyes while she tells him she would understand if he did want to go with Martha indicates otherwise.

Elizabeth getting ready for bed by herself – and this is the only time we see Elizabeth as Elizabeth in this episode – at the end of “Travel Agents” mirrors Martha’s pre-bed routine in “Clark’s Place” but this time no one is having any kind of sex; desperate, sad, fierce, passionate or otherwise. Instead we see Philip wide awake starring at the ceiling contemplating the lonesome existence he is about to send Martha on, while Martha lies with her back to him also getting no sleep whatsoever. At first he insisted he would be home within a few hours, but Elizabeth smartly pointed out that he should stay because otherwise what would Martha do? This one night of what Elizabeth perceived as comfort is pretty much two people sleeping in the same bed, but two people who are very much apart. Now Martha knows his real name – both Philip and Mikhail (Mischa was his nickname) – it appears the ties that bound them have disappeared with everything Clark.

There is no lie from Philip that he will join her in Moscow and he ignores Elizabeth’s advice and while telling Martha this lie would give her hope at first, it is ultimately kinder her to tell the truth that this is them done. She is never seeing him again. And while I say this pretty much every week Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys and Alison Wright are crushing it on every single level possible. Wright could quite easily fall into hysterics, but instead she plays Martha as walking the line between holding it together and coming apart at the seams. There is an economy in the interactions between Philip and Elizabeth; so much is said in a look so that when Philip does go all in on his “I love you” moment we know it matters and he means it. Basically I am in awe in a weekly basis and it would be a wonderful thing if the Emmys would recognize their talent this year (although I am not expecting them to after ignoring this show for three seasons).

I’m also pretty sure the last time Philip said “I love you” was after Elizabeth found out about what really happened with Irina. Back then his words had no weight or meaning; here it is everything.The Americans 4.07 GaadOver at the FBI the fallout from Martha is swirling around Gaad, who as he notes had a bug in his office, the Gene stuff and his secretary fell for a Romeo plot and has been married to a KGB agent for two years. Not a great list of things for the person in charge of counterintelligence. Richard Thomas’ delivery of “They seduced and married my secretary” is full of disbelief and he would find it funny if it wasn’t so bad for his career. Actually he probably wouldn’t find it funny even then, but it definitely made me chuckle.

When sorting through Martha’s things we get to see her photo albums and once again The Americans art department does a fantastic job with how authentic these look using real photos of a young Alison Wright. There is also the heart necklace Philip gave her back in season 1 (which belonged to Elizabeth) and if only Stan knew who the former owner was.The Americans 4.07 photo albumThe Americans 4.07 necklaceAnd while the FBI are working hard to catch Martha, Oleg and Tatiana are the travel agents of the episode title and are planning an escape route for Martha, well at least Oleg is. Tatiana has other ideas by the looks of things and she is only concerned with transporting the sample; she has her backup pilot and isn’t so subtle about shutting the red folder when Oleg comes to see her. It will be interesting to see how the office politics plays out here and what impact it will have on the wider operation if they try to fuck Martha over (and in turn really piss off Philip).

What we got in “Travel Agents” is an accumulation of the Martha plot and now it has all spilled over into the point of no return and season 4 is firing on all cylinders in new and unexpected ways.

Shot(s) of the WeekThe Americans 4.07 Philip and MarthaThis week director Dan Attias employed a lot of tight close ups particularly during moments of high emotion, but the two shots I want to single out are wide angles which help isolate the characters contained within. After Philip tells Martha he won’t be joining her in Moscow we see them from a distance, this is them coming to an end as a couple and as an asset; the two are intrinsically linked and this really emphasizes how alone she was and is going to be. Philip might be sharing the same space, but that means nothing now.The Americans 4.07 Elizabeth and MarthaWhen Elizabeth finds Martha in the park she approaches slowly and there is a certain gun duel aspect about the framing here (or I have listened to Hamilton too much) and the hidden gun versus the secret Martha knows makes this a potentially deadly set up. Elizabeth inches closer and closer before she makes her move and this is another case of excellent tension building and execution.

Disguise of the WeekThe Americans 4.07 Philip and ElizabethThere are no new disguises this week unless you count Philip’s super light cap disguise – the point that Martha has seen his face is reiterated – but I do love the Jennifer look so much and this is the longest Elizabeth has stayed in one disguise over an episode and we only see her true self at the end when she gets ready for bed.

Outfit I Would Wear in 2016The Americans 4.07 teensThis isn’t about what is worn in the above shot, but more about the ad on TV. First I want to say how much fun this scene is because teens are often the much maligned characters in shows like this and The Americans is doing a good job of incorporating the kids; Paige in the main story and Henry (and Matthew) as ultimate latchkey kids ignored by their busy at work dads. Here they drink beer and rather than getting all self-righteous Paige joins in and even gives Henry some extra.

Before Paige came in the sound of a Calvin Klein ad was heard and Henry comments how hot the model is and finally Henry has found a girl around his age to lust after as Brooke Shields was 16 when she shot this campaign. Now this commercial reads on the creepy end, though nowhere near as bad as the last commercial this show led me to look up.

But yeah I’d wear some Calvin Klein 80s jeans, but this ad would not be the reason.

Behind the Insta-Scenes: Photos from the Set

27 Apr

What is probably going to end up as the musical event of the year took place over the weekend and this week’s Instagram round-up kicks off with this seminal moment. Plus the usual TV season beginnings, endings and everything in-between as there are a whole lot of shows wrapping up and just getting started.

🐝🐝🐝

A post shared by amandla (@amandlastenberg) on

 

This was a huge weekend for HBO, but rather than dragons it is Beyoncé dominating pop culture conversation after she released her visual tour de force album Lemonade. There is the massive cultural impact as well as the more surface level aspects to pore over like every outfit Beyoncé wears throughout.

Plus plenty of celebrity cameos including TV Ate My Wardrobe favorite Amandla Stenberg and she shared this very cool looking shot.

When you @beyonce af

A post shared by Zendaya (@zendaya) on

 

Zendaya also appeared in Lemonade and instead of a moment from the shoot, here she is enjoying the broadcast of this incredible visual and musical feat.

 

Lots of shows wrapping up this week with Scandal being one of them and the sight of Angela Bassett is enough to get me to check back in for the finale (although it looks like she might have been there in a non-acting capacity).

#GoodWifeFarewell 🍷

A post shared by The Good Wife (@thegoodwife_cbs) on

 

There was a lot of wine on The Good Wife this week even by Alicia’s standards and here is fantastic shot of a laughing Julianna Margulies with a glass of red (or most likely grape juice).

 

Broad City finished its third season last week and here is a very cute photo of Abbi and Ilana from filming the finale.

With two of my favorite actors today- Messina and the Red Glasses

A post shared by ikebarinholtz (@ikebarinholtz) on

 

Those red glasses are very special. I checked back in with The Mindy Project a couple of weeks ago and it will be interesting to see how the rest of this season plays out now they have done that big thing.

Some locations are better than others:) #TopoftheLake2 #TOTL2

A post shared by Elisabeth Moss (@elisabethmossofficial) on

 

Shooting of Top of the Lake season 2 is underway and Elisabeth Moss is reveling in the stunning locations.

 

And in her incredible new co-star. Okay this photo is a month old and I don’t know how I missed it first time around, but there is too much amazing in this one picture not to share. I am beyond excited for the return of Top of the Lake as it was a big 2013 highlight.

(12/12) Ps. Thanks for the dragon egg cookies, they were THA BOMB

A post shared by Maisie Williams (@maisie_williams) on

 

Maisie Williams surprised some UCLA students having a Game of Thrones viewing party by joining them for the season 6 premiere. She even brought snacks, but none of them were dragon egg shape.

Date night #unrealtv

A post shared by Shiri Appleby (@shiriappleby) on

 

The UnREAL cast continue to deliver with set treats including this shot of new guy cast member Ioan Gruffudd and Michael Rady in formal attire.

 

A couple of things – I love that Margaret Qualley hangs out with Liv Tyler (who I also think could easily play her sister) and this is a reminder that The Leftovers will soon start shooting its third (and final *sob*) season.

 

Meanwhile, Justin Theroux continues to work on his fabulous hiatus beard.

My 1920's family! New episode and one of my favorite Fantasy sequences yet on #JaneTheVirgin

A post shared by Gina Rodriguez (@hereisgina) on

 

Now for the most adorable moment on TV this week and Jane the Virgin costume designer Rachel Sage Kunin crushed it with these 1920s silent movies inspired ensembles.

@louisvuitton

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Michelle Williams appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert earlier this week to discuss her current Broadway stint as well as the Shia LaBeouf incident from when she was in Cabaret. She wore a fantastic Louis Vuitton outfit and I am so pleased stylist Kate Young gives a close up of the stunning skirt detail. Excellent lipstick points as always too (click here to see more).

#narcissist

A post shared by January Jones (@januaryjones) on

 

I definitely want some Betty beer.

❤️eloped a bit ago🌺❤our only witness was this lil guy️ 🐃

A post shared by Chelsea Peretti (@chelsanity) on

 

On Late Night with Seth Meyers Jordan Peele casually dropped it into conversation that he is now married to Chelsea Peretti and Peretti confirmed the happy news on Instagram. So what better way to end this week’s Insta highlights than with this little cute guy in his Hawaiian shirt.

The Battle Between Truth and Power on The Good Wife

25 Apr

Funeral flowers and a buttload (an official measurement) of wine is all that is needed to get a Good Wife celebration going and there are a lot of moving parts this week what with divorces, engagements and Peter’s looming trial. Reasons to talk stack up and Alicia is in demand while she tries to play happy host for Howard and Jackie’s ketubah, hence all the wine. There are Jason problems, kid problems, parent problems and of course Peter problems. Although the latter isn’t so much about the end of their marriage, but more about the allegations against him. The Good Wife 7.20 Alicia and PeterAlicia at the moment doesn’t have any work concerns and all of that is going rather smoothly because David Lee understands brands (and will be getting the same amount of money regardless of not having his name in their fancy new title). What they probably need to do is cool it on the reshuffling; this should be the final one because otherwise the brand means nothing. It is fun seeing Diane so giddy at this new name now they have a letterhead and everything.The Good Wife 7.20 Lockhart FlorrickNow for the various messy dealings Alicia had this week, which were plentiful. First up Jason and “Party” employed a Good Wife narrative technique favorite; starting the episode on the question/statement where the last one ended. Alicia tells Jason that the thing she wants is him and in return Jason gives her a very random gift that causes Alicia to question everything about their relationship. He thinks it would be bad if she is getting a divorce because of him and I believe her when she says she isn’t and this is about taking a moment rather than blaming things like bad timing (*sob*).

The timing is bad and their very important conversation is interrupted by a hollering Grace – I don’t understand why she doesn’t just come inside, but then I guess that would kill the comedy/drama – who is having flower issues. They leave it in this weird place with Jason giving Alicia a deed to some land on Mars and it is a bizarre gift which he makes even worse by badly explaining his thought process. The Good wife 7.20 GraceMeanwhile Jason is also much in demand with Eli as he still has him investigating the investigation into Peter, despite Peter’s disapproval and the potential awkwardness here. What Jason does is show they have a strong case against him as his involvement on the Richard Locke case was unusual and it can be spun to make it look like he was overbearing with regard to evidence. Peter has a good explanation for all of the suspicious behavior and says he was so involved because he feared this case would be their OJ (hot topic reference alert). The lab technician does have a history of sloppy mistakes and even though Jason’s services are no longer required after Eli confronts him about whether his feelings for Alicia are interfering, he returns to the crime lab and lets the technician know he is onto her and whoever is trying to set Peter up.

The battle between truth and power is something Matan – always happy to see you! – talks about over drinks with Cary; in this case they are the truth and Peter is the power, but there could be someone else pulling the strings with Peter as the fall guy. Who is this mystery force trying to bring Peter down? The ghost of Will? Colin Sweeney (I just want to see Dylan Baker on this show one last time)? An old political opponent? A random someone we have never met? Robyn? Okay I just want to know where she is.

Regardless, everyone is lawyering up and Cary has gone with Louis Canning as his representation and now Canning wants to start a “coalition of the innocent.” Canning starts with Eli and does this via Diane (his lawyer). This is a non-starter as is his conversation with Alicia; he tries to sway her by pointing out that somehow she might be culpable in all this. Nice try, Canning. Alicia might be divorcing Peter, but she is still loyal.The Good Wife 7.20 Diane and KurtOne person I am concerned for is Kurt and what part he is going to play in this as it sounds like he was the last person who had the piece of evidence that went missing. It is also notable that Kurt’s name is not mentioned later when Eli talks to Jason about Peter’s explanation for everything. We spend a lot of time seeing how happy Diane is and Alicia pretty much shouts #RealtionshipGoals at them; this gives me a feeling that something bad is going to happen at this late juncture and goddammit if Kurt gets dragged into this mess.

Kurt also gets hero points for how he dealt with Hannah – Zach’s fiance – bailing through the need for more booze. Ah yes, Zach and his big engagement/dropping out of college/moving to France news. Alicia’s reaction is laughter which she tries unsuccessfully to cover with fake tears. She finds it hilarious that Zach wants to become a writer – “what would you write” – and equally hilarious that he wants to move to France. Hannah is kinda the worst and therefore perfect for Zach who has always had this streak of self-righteousness. I’m sorry Grace for all the times I thought that Zach was the better Florrick child and he is clearly who Alicia was talking about when she said she wasn’t sure if she likes her kids.

They talk it out and Alicia is fine with Zach going through with his plans and this is very much the Alicia who gives none of the fucks that we have seen a lot of this season. The kids find out about the divorce plan because Veronica has been drinking a lot of wine (much like everyone else at this party) and she wants to provoke Jackie forgetting that Grace is sitting right next to her. And to think moments before they were enjoying an episode of everyone’s fave prestige cable drama “Darkness at Noon.”The Good Wife 7.20 Grace, Owen and VeronicaThere are a lot of goodbyes this week with Jackie telling Alicia she never has to see her again, although I think she is forgetting the small matter of Peter’s trial and this seems like a place they will cross paths. Plus other family events involving her grandchildren. Jackie gives as good as she gets by telling Alicia that they are more alike than she can imagine and the look on Alicia’s face is pure horror. This also feels like the last time we will see Veronica and Owen; Veronica is very happy Alicia is going with the hunk and all she wants is for her daughter to be happy. Marissa also goes in hard on the hug front and what a delightful bunch of recurring guest stars this show has. The bench is deep.

Marissa mentions they could all die tomorrow and Eli’s stress levels suggest he would be number one on his list. Due to a dog related issue Mike Tascioni has dropped out and now they need a new lawyer for Peter. It is a shame they don’t know any. Considering this Instagram behind the scenes photo I think I have an idea who they might choose (speculation/spoilers).The Good Wife 7.20 Alicia and LuccaBringing it back to Jason and after all the awkwardness and random gifts they talk it out on the street. This is a very public location and being this cavalier with where they smooch might have consequences. They figure out where they stand and Jason explains his itchy feet when it comes to staying in one place. It is resolved with a hint of still not quite hitting a solution. For now they are fine and if Jason could stop using Lucca as his relationship go-between then that would be swell; she deserves much more than being their relationship adviser and sadly this is what she has been reduced to at the moment.

One costuming note and Alicia brings it again in red and this ensures she stands out in every single scene she features in and she pulls all the focus; she is very much in demand from all angles and in this outfit she is not hard to spot. It is such a signature look for Alicia particularly at big events and I am glad they are keeping with this costuming theme right to the end.The Good Wife 7.20 wineAnd the end is nigh, so make like Alicia and get prepared.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

22 Apr

It is an all Tribeca Film Festival offering this week and TV got in on the action with panels for shows such as Broad CityThe Good Wife and Mr Robot. As with a lot of these events the outfits range from the fancy end to casual cool, which makes for a very fun and varied “Out of the Box.Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer, Kelly RipaThe Broad City panel took place before the ABC morning TV drama and season 2 guest star Kelly Ripa moderated. Ripa is one of my favorite ever Broad City guest stars and not just because my go to gif about pizza is one featuring her. I am very much in favor of this argument and Ripa in this whole debacle because there are certain words that only ever get used about a woman when she has been fucked over.

Completely unrelated to the behind the scenes stuff going on, but her outfit here is really cute. Abbi and Ilana look funky and panel ready with the option to go out after in this attire. Abbi’s shoes are stacked strappy greatness and Ilana’s hair is giving me curl envy. Good Wife panelThe Good Wife is in farewell tour mode and normally I might be bothered by the presence of such a new cast member, but Cush Jumbo’s Lucca Quinn has been one of this seasons highlights from her funky styling to filling in the much needed Alicia friend position. Plus she gives such great side eye. Here at the Good Wife Tribeca panel Jumbo’s Michael Kors frock is my favorite of the three looks, but Julianna Margulies and Matt Czuchry are also killing it in the panel style stakes. Mr RobotRounding things out on the three co-stars posing together front are Mr Robot’s Christian Slater, Carly Chaikin and Rami Malek. Oh and season 2 has a premiere date; Wednesday, July 13 and you can see them discussing the show here.

At the event Carly Chaikin wore something you might see pop up on Elementary as it is very much in the Joan Watson wheelhouse, which I am very much here for and I would very much like a pair of those Aryn Glasser pants. Malek and Slater are both doing their top button thing and this is one cool looking cast.Gillian JacobsRecent “Out of the Box” columns have been awash with color and print, but this week there are quite a few variations on black classic outfits including Gillian Jacobs at the Dean premiere. The ruffled neckline and detailing makes this more than just a run of the mill black dress.
Viola Davis - CustodyAnd Viola Davis puts a cutout spin on this black fit and flare frock at the Custody premiere. Lots of really great strappy sandals and nail polish combinations this week too and I can finally crack out some color for my toes. SJPOn the effortless end of the scale Sarah Jessica Parker does denim with a pair of SJP ‘Echo’ gold booties, long sleeve grey tee and a brown jacket at the #ActuallySheCan film series event.TOm HiddlestonEnding things on a dapper note and Tom Hiddleston has a lot of projects to promote at the moment and he continues to wear suits very well. Hiddleston is another Ilaria Urbinati client and anyone familiar with TV Ate My Wardrobe and award season will know how much I love Urbinati’s work, particularly on the menswear end as she dresses her dudes in suits of all colors. Here Hiddleston is in a brown Dolce & Gabbana while on the High-Rise trail (a movie in which he wears suits well).

TV Rewind: Gilmore Girls, Season 1, Episodes 16-21

21 Apr

Gilmore Girls, Episodes 1.16-1.21
“Star-Crossed Lovers and Other Things,” “The Breakup: Part 2”, “The Third Lorelai,” “Emily in Wonderland,” “P.S. I Love You,” & “Love, Daisies, and Troubadours”
Original Air Dates: Mar. 8, 15, 22; April 26; May 3 & 10, 2001
Gilmore Girls 1.17 Lorelai and roryEmma: We have a lot to cover as we’re going to be discussing the last six episodes of the first season of Gilmore Girls and a lot happens. So I figure it is best to kick off with the love story that I am least interested in or rather the love interest I am least interested in and that is Dean. In the first of our six episodes “Star Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers” Rory and Dean have hit the big three month anniversary. 3 months is a big deal when you’re a teen (and even as an adult) and especially if it is your first relationship – pretty much all my teen relationships fizzled at this point – and it is especially telling that Rory does not even realize they’ve hit this point. Dean goes ALL in with a fancy dinner and then a grand gesture.

First he shows her a car that he has bought for her and that he will be restoring. This is a very thoughtful gift, but also too, too much at this early stage. He leap frogs the too much when he tells Rory he loves her. Rory was not expecting this because it is too soon and then he is a complete brat when she doesn’t say it in return. This is the point where I realized that Dean really isn’t the dude for Rory because while it must suck to lay your heart out and not get the same in response don’t be a total dick in return. My notes for this point in the episode simply says “Dean is an asshole” and I am sticking with that as he goes after Rory’s relationship with her mother as a reason for why she doesn’t say “I love you” back. No Dean, it is because you are the worst. Yes I know Lorelai worries later on that she has maybe stunted Rory’s capacity to love a guy, but nope, nope, nope.

I didn’t realize how angry I still am about Dean’s petulance in this moment until I was rereading my notes. Nice turtleneck, bro.

So Dean and Rory break up and Rory goes through an expected whirlwind of emotions where she tries to not be the mopey girl even though some moping is incredibly healthy and all it takes is for Tristan to lay one on her for the tears to hit because who wouldn’t cry after that? Okay probably Paris. Other stages include a very grumpy Rory and one that sees her argue with her mom and flee to her grandparents’ house much to Lorelai’s dismay.

What the latter does is bring up all the Lorelai and Emily tensions which continue to simmer and provide Gilmore Girls with a deep, deep well of material that is one of my favorite parts of this show. But before we get to that, what say you about Dean?Gilmore Girls 1.16 Deam and RoryJulie: So, pulling off the bandage of lameness first, huh?

Oh, Dean. Dean is terrible, and I give the GG powers-that-be a lot of credit for making him kind of objectively terrible. On paper, he seems like the perfect boyfriend, the perfect gentleman. He’s kind of quiet and sweet and simple, and maybe he might be good for some other girl, but not for Our Rory. I think Dean has his own expectations of what their relationship is supposed to be. He’s all in. He’s a Real Romantic, which is supposed to come off as swoon-worthy, but really comes off as kind of try-hard and too much. Rory, to her credit, is feeling out the relationship, navigating the initial months with her first boyfriend, not putting too much pressure on the thing, but for Dean it’s true love or nothing.

I wonder if Dean was expecting more from the car than just a little making out, which, ew.

I do think Dean’s right that Rory’s relationship with her mother has influenced her outlook on boys. Her mom fell in love at age sixteen and wound up with a baby. That’s not lost on Rory. She’s a smart girl. It’s going to take a lot for her to open up (ew, no pun intended) to someone.

I always love everything with Lorelai and her mother, and the ways her mom uses these Friday dinners to her advantage are always great. There’s so much formality and procedure involved with each dinner. They always start with drinks in the living room, then advance to dinner in the dining room, and a post-dinner aperitif in the living room. The writers (and Emily Gilmore) always find ways to play with this form. (And I definitely wonder about the drunk-driving coming out of these nights. I hope everyone eats A LOT of food at dinner.)

In this episode, Emily brings in a man for her daughter. Lorelai hasn’t had a serious boyfriend in a while, and Emily wants to help (in the form of a terrible, boring date). What do you think about Lorelai’s love woes? She’s pining after Max, which, did that seem out of left-field for you? It was for me. They’d spent the past few episodes playing up her past with Christopher and teasing stuff with Luke, and then all of a sudden…Max Medina is the one she’s dreaming of. Did that ring true?Gilmore Girls 1.17 fightEmma: Dean is definitely someone who would describe himself as being a nice guy.

I get what you/Dean/Lorelai are saying about Rory’s outlook on love and I do think it is more to do with what Lorelai was like when she was 16 rather than what Lorelai is like now. Repeating her mom’s ‘mistake’ is definitely not on the getting into Harvard plan. One thing I do find interesting is unlike her mother she runs to the house in Hartford when things go to shit as it represents warmth and safety to her, whereas for Lorelai it was everything that was stifling her.

The Max stuff does come out of left field and this is not a woman who has been pining. Yeah she’s just had a crappy set up date situation but I don’t buy this sudden Max shift. I think they just remembered that they need some romantic tension and Max makes sense as an opposition to Luke. I do love that her dad is totally with her on lame this other guy is and I’m glad things have been resolved since we last saw them.

Everything Luke and Lorelai makes so much sense to me, but they are keeping at this super slow pacing and it’s not just Lorelai that gets a love interest from the past acting as a Luke barrier because Rachel is back! And Luke is surprisingly chill about it considering how angry seeing Lorelai in her hoodie made him. Like they just slide back into coupledom without a hint of tension and that I don’t buy either.

Luke holds Rachel at a distance and in a way I think he is going through the motions as he expects her to get bored and leave again. Plus he is also fine with this because he is beyond into Lorelai even if he can’t admit it at first. Lorelai for her part befriends Rachel and is also reluctant to acknowledge any kind of feelings for Luke even if it is clear to everyone else. Including Rachel.

What did you make of the return of Luke’s ex so quickly after Lorelai’s first love has also been on the scene?Gilmore Girls 1.16 Lorelai and RachelJulie: Dean is totally an “I’m a nice guy” nice guy. Exactly. And then he’d mansplain all sorts of nonsense.

Yeah…this part of season one feels like a bunch of filler, a lot of getting from A to B. Sometimes shows really do benefit from shortened seasons. That said, I wish they would’ve mentioned Max at least once in the episode prior to this one. The moment was just, like, “I’m Lorelai, I’m completely hung up on someone.” And I thought, oh, it has to be Luke or Chris. But then it was Max. I really do like Max, but I think he was shoehorned in here.

Obviously I knew we’d see Rachel again (just like I knew we’d see Chris at some point), but I thought maybe she’d make a big entrance in the finale or something. But here she is, flitting back to Stars Hollow, out of nowhere, which can’t make Luke feel too comfortable.

I some ways, she’s just a vehicle to get Luke to recognize his feelings for Lorelai, which is great. They’re adult humans who should recognize how perfect they are for each other. It’s amazing that nothing has ever happened between them before, like even accidentally.

I will say, though, that even though we know Luke and Lorelai are OTP, the show does a pretty good job of making the relationships on the way to their probable pairing seem real and natural. Luke is a hermit bachelor who needs a training woman in his life so he can be ready for Lorelai. That’s all Rachel is. She’s that and she’s a way for him to deal with his past nonsense.

Going back to Rory for a second, since we’re on the breakup episode, how about Stars Hollow’s reaction to her and Dean splitting up and then Rory kiss with Tristan?Gilmore Girls 1.17 Tristan and RoryEmma: I did jump ahead with Lorelai and Luke and while we’re on the subject of Luke I love how protective he is of Rory even if it is a bit much that he gets into a vague scrapping match with Dean. As Lorelai points out he is a grown man and Dean is a teen boy. Living in a community like this would be a lot and especially when it is someone who is as beloved as Rory is. Patty gets it when Lorelai tells her to spread the word about mentioning Dean because who wants all those comments and prying on top of feeling like shit?! Even if Rory is trying not to feel like shit. Kirk doesn’t get it because of course he doesn’t.

So the big party and I’m so glad they laid the seeds of this event in the previous episode. It is also just as ridiculous as I hoped it would be and I’m sad there was never the chance for a Gilmore Girls/Gossip Girl crossover (GG squared) as Paris versus Blair would be so much fun to watch. Madeleine (thanks to my notes I now know which one is which) has also invited Dean because he’s hot but of course the breakup has happened and so Rory takes Lane instead, which I am all for.Gilmore Girls 1.17 Lane and RoryLane happens to meet a Korean guy she actually likes and is mad at herself for being attractive to a guy her parents (she says parents but I assume she means just her mom) would approve of. She resists at first but the offer of dancing is too much to say no to. Oh and side note – while the fashion of this period is BAD, the music is much better. If Paris didn’t race out of the party at the earliest she could I have a feeling that the Rory/Tristan situation would have been very different but alas Paris hates parties and she is a very unlikely school queen bee. She’s got all that power but hates social events and I find this whole hierarchy to be fascinating.Gilmore Girls 1.17 partyBecause it has already been established that Rory always has a book with her it doesn’t come as a surprise that she find a quiet nook to read in to get away from the party. Tristan who has been having girl problems also does the same and this is where things get messy and my notes are all caps NOOOOOOOOOO for several lines. Rory cries and runs out; kissing a terrible dude reminds her of her breakup and the wallowing can commence.

In the next episode Rory apologizes for crying and suggests he take Paris out on a date. This is never going to end well and it doesn’t. I get what Rory is trying to do and I love their bonding over what Paris should wear so I guess we should be thankful Tristan led to this moment. But he’s also the reason they go back to being non-friends and I am far more upset about this than the Dean breakup.Gilmore Girls 1.21 ParisJulie: A GG/GG crossover would be amazing! There’s still time, especially since Netflix is reviving the Gilmores. Maybe Blair can stop by.

Minor spoiler (can you spoil a lack of information?) I’m on season seven now, and I still don’t know a thing about Lane’s dad. Okay, I know exactly one thing, but I don’t know what happened to him or where he is. I’m guessing we’ll never know. Unless this is something they decide to explore in the new series. Lane’s dad: Where the hell?

I love Lane’s cute Korean boyfriend, Henry, and I think it’s fitting that she would balk at dating him simply because her mother would approve. Rory may be Lorelai’s daughter, but Lane is her teenage soul sister. I think it’s pretty masterful how Lorelai and Lane are basically dealing with the same issues, but those issues manifest themselves in different ways. Their mothers both want/wanted them to fit into their particular societies — Lorelai rejected her mom’s social climbing and Lane is rejecting her mother’s cultural/religious demands. Lane is lucky to have Lorelai around, to talk to and to go to bat for her.Gilmore Girls 1.18 Rory and ParisTristan-wise, ew. He’s the worst, but good for Rory for kissing a horrible dude. She’s been too perfect up to now, so I love that she had a moment of complete stupidity. Tristan is a douche and he’s been spoken for by Paris and Rory has only been separated from Dean for a minute.

The setup between Tristan and Paris had “bad idea jeans” written all over it, but I like that we got some real Paris/Rory bonding out the situation. And, as obnoxious as Tristan was for telling Paris about him and Rory, it’s probably for the best that it came out now. Soon, both girls will hopefully be rid of Tristan.

Nestled among the whole Paris/Rory/Tristan nonsense, we met Richard’s mother. What did you think of Trix, and how much did you love her throwing Emily off her game?Gilmore Girls 1.18 Gilmore ladiesEmma: Rory was definitely trying to do good with that date set up and also relieve a bit of guilt for having smooched Tristan as she knows that Paris is way into him. The getting ready stuff was really cute and this episode also reminded me that water bras were a thing that existed at one time. What was with the early aughts?

This is a really big friendship step as they not only discuss Paris’ date/what she should wear, but also the whole Dean stuff. I am looking forward to when they get over this big Tristan hiccup.

Random observation but the fact they are studying the feudal system gave me so many flashbacks to school. Not that we had to do a project like this or come in on a Saturday (thankfully).

Ah yes the third Lorelai (who goes by the name of Trix) and I love how much it causes Emily to spiral. Her mother in law is no fan of Emily and Richard seems blissfully unaware of how shitty his mom is to his wife. Everything Emily does is not good enough and even though I adore Emily like her daughter I am enjoying seeing her being put under the same level of scrutiny as she puts everyone else under.gilmore girls 1.20 breakfastThis includes making sure she has all the gifts she has stashed away for years on display including a very ugly coat stand she regifted to Lorelai.

Trix is very particular and she also drops a huge money bombshell which causes Emily to spiral even further. The money is for Rory and it is a HUGE sum ($250,000) covering college tuition and much more. It would be surprising that Rory hasn’t met her grandmother prior to this but she lives in London and up until recently Rory and her mom have spent very little time with any extended family. Trix wants to make up for lost time and missed birthdays with this generous offer and I didn’t think Lorelai would accept such a huge fund from a relative as she has pretty much done everything by herself up until Chilton.

But she is very grateful for Trix’s offer and it makes sense to secure Rory’s academic future through this trust and if Lorelai had a point to prove to her mother with how she has brought Rory up then she has certainly done this. Emily is upset that Lorelai is more than happy to take this offer and this is linked to what this money might mean for the future of the Friday dinners. Money is how Emily got her daughter and granddaughter back in her life and if Lorelai no longer needs her for this then she fears they will stop coming by. Money means freedom; freedom to choose what to do but also freedom from spending time with them.

If Emily told Lorelai about why she is so against the trust I think Lorelai would a) understand and b) reassure her mother that they will still see them. This is where the lack of communication between the pair comes into play and it is something we see strongly in the episode that follows. Instead Lorelai calls her mother ‘petty, controlling and mean’ and my heart breaks with how at odds they can be when if they simply said how they felt then they could work through things. But then they wouldn’t be showing their ultimate WASP behavior. In the end Trix withdraws her offer and everything is back to where it was.

“Emily in Wonderland” really gets to the root of the Emily/Lorelai relationship strife and the ‘Emily won’t listen and Lorelai won’t talk’ description is super accurate. Rory’s Stars Hollow tour starts off well with Emily borrowing some sneakers as her heels won’t do for all that walking, but it turns sour when Emily sees where Lorelai lived with Rory when she was a baby opening old wounds in a fresh way. What did you make of Emily’s reaction and can they ever get over this painful moment from their past?Gilmore Girls 1.19Julie: The mother/daughter relationships, in all their permutations, are my favorite part of this show. (Also waiting for Luke and Lorelai to just kiss already.)

The Trix and Emily situation is such a fraught mother-in-law relationship. In some ways, yeah, it’s kind of great to see Emily spin her wheels with Trix, but at the same time it’s hard to watch this character, who we have a much deeper relationship with than Trix, not be able to get the upper hand at all. Trix is just as manipulative and conniving as Emily, but she has the advantage of Richard’s unrequited love. Emily, whose entire life revolves around Richard, can’t say anything for fear of upsetting him, so she just takes beating after beating.

The Rory trust fund thing is an obvious power grab, and I completely get Emily’s reaction. Trix is beating her at her own game, and it truly seems like she’s giving the money to Rory for the express purpose of annoying Emily.

Emily’s insecurity does feed right into “Emily in Wonderland,” where Emily gets a taste of life in Stars Hollow. I love her interaction with Mrs. Kim, because the two of them are fairly evenly matched, and they also play the twin roles of “overbearing mother” on this show. They are one in the same, Emily and Mrs. Kim.

Rory taking Emily to see where she grew up is heartbreaking. There’s so much there there. You can see the wheels turning for Emily. Because she wasn’t a more supportive mother to Lorelai, her granddaughter was raised in a shed. Because her relationship with her daughter was so strained, Emily missed this entire phase of her granddaughter’s life. She had no idea this was how they were living. She missed it. There’s a lot of regret and sadness there, even if Emily plays it off as appallingly disgusted.

In this episode, we also get the return of “Roon,” whose name I always thought was spelled “Rune,” probably because of Harry Potter. “Roon,” makes more sense because it’s probably short for “Rooney.” He’s notable for being the only man who can resist the charms of Lorelai Gilmore. He’s now working at the inn and living in the Lorelai’s old shed.

We also get more Luke and Rachel and what is possibly the most overt acknowledgement of Luke and Lorelai’s attraction for each other so far. What did you think of Lorelai’s advice to Luke. Were you screaming for her to just kiss him already?Gilmore Girls 1.16 Luke and LorelaiEmma: It’s crushing when Emily sees their first home as she takes this not only as a reminder of how much she missed, but it also as the physically embodiment of how terrible her relationship was with her daughter when she needed her most. All of Lorelai and Rory’s memories of this place are good; to them it isn’t a shed but their first home and a loving one at that. No matter how unhappy Lorelai was with her family, in this place she was happy. I’m sure there were terrible, fraught moments but this far away from that time the only memories that remain are the good ones. The opposite of how Emily feels when she sees it.

Emily is pretty reactionary so her answer to seeing this is giving Rory her own room at her house which is why she wants to know whether Rory likes the Backside Boys. Emily is of course clueless regarding this kinda stuff and Rory is much more into indie music over pop, but it is very sweet and she even fills the room with flowers. Lorelai thinks there must be an ulterior motive, but I actually think this one comes from a very genuine place. And it does happen to come in handy in the next episode.Gilmore Girls 1.19 new roomIt leads to another argument and this exploration of this very deep rift is one of my favorite things about this show. They aren’t just going to suddenly be fine because that is not who these characters are.

In her trip around Stars Hollows I also very much enjoyed how much Emily got on with Michel because that also made perfect sense.

It’s kinda weird that Rachel wants Lorelai to talk to Luke for her because by this point she must have already sensed something is up, but either she has and she’s ignoring it or she hasn’t and girl needs to put her camera down. And yes there was plenty of yelling at them to kiss. Just do it already. In fact I just looked at my notes and I’ve written “goddamnit you guys” at this scene.

I believe that Lorelai believes she is giving good advice because at this point she is in heavy denial about what they are to each other. I like that in general there is no animosity between Rachel and Lorelai as that would have been the easy route, but I never really considered Rachel to be someone who would stick around as she has guest arc written all over her. She’s fine, but I don’t have any other feelings about her other than that. Did she provoke a greater reaction in you?Gilmore Girls 1.19 Emily and MichelJulie: Another GG mystery for me (along with the whereabouts of Mr. Kim) is Michel’s personal life and sexuality. I think he mentions dating a woman once, but that’s it. It’s left pretty ambiguous after that, and I like the idea of Michel having this whole life beyond Stars Hollow that no one really knows about. And he and Emily are perfect for each other.

As far as Rachel goes, she barely existed for me. She was simply a vehicle for Luke and Lorelai to start considering their feelings for each other. She was obviously never going to stick around, and there was really not much all that dynamic about her, for all of Luke’s pining in the past.

Sticking with the rest of Lorelai’s romantic story, it’s Luke vs. Max for the rest of the season (Where for art thou, Christopher?). Rachel thinks Luke should open up to Lorelai about his feelings, which he doesn’t even know he has yet. Max is feeling insecure because Lorelai hasn’t told anyone about him. He wants to get married because…he wants more of a commitment from her? I guess that’s it. The whole thing moves a little fast. She doesn’t want a half-assed proposal. She wants the real deal, so Max gives her a ton of daisies in the Independence Inn.

Also happy and in love are (barf) Rory and Dean, which, really, since her other option was Tristan, is the lesser of two evils? Ugh. Rory needs some better love interests.Gilmore Girls 1.20 Paul Frank[Ed note. the above Paul Frank pajama top is the most quintessential bedwear of the early aughts and I am very jealous of this] 

Emma: Rachel is very much there to get the plot moving, which is a shame as I thought the actress did a good job with the material she had. Luke knows she isn’t going to stick around and so do we so there is no attachment there. Because Luke doesn’t seem to have strong feelings either passionate romance or passionate anger because of the way they broke up it was pretty much a non-starter.

My issue with the Max stuff is tided into what we have already discussed and that is the sudden nature of his return. They are dating again and as has been the pattern with them in the past it is complicated due to Rory, his job and timing. This all comes up while Rory is off at her grandparents’ house and Lorelai is distracted for good reasons. In the following episode they somehow go from actual dating for real this time to this semi-proposal and woah this is far too fast to be a good idea.Gilmore Girls 1.21 flowersPart of Max’s reasons come after an encounter with Luke in which he senses the vibe that everyone other than Luke and Lorelai can sense. He thinks they are exes or at least something has gone on between them, but Lorelai reassures him that they are just friends and Luke just likes to fix up her house out of the goodness of his heart. It is by this point that Luke has been forced by Rachel to admit that something is there and I was expecting a big gesture of some sort from him to put a spanner in the Max daisy works, but alas he did nothing (yet). This finale felt like it was missing the cliffhanger aspect; the classic who will Lorelai pick and even though the final scene between Lorelai and Rory was cute, it also lacked that something extra to hold you over until the next season starts three months later. Or in our case when we can stick in the next DVD.

One of the topics covered pre-proposal is the matter of if they slept with anyone while they were apart. They both did and while that has got to hurt a little on both sides, I don’t think either of them can be mad at the other for not wallowing alone. Lorelai’s hook up has a lot more weight as there is history there and Lorelai makes sure she points out this fact. This is a very weird time to propose, but Max goes for it leap frogging so many other dating steps.

With Rory her Dean feelings turn into anger; anger at her small town, at her mom, at everything and she flees to her brand new bedroom much to Emily’s delight. I like Rory and her grandparents scenes and the breakfast discussion with Rory in half pajamas/half school uniform is a lot of fun. Her argument with her mom wasn’t on the full on screaming at each other scale, but it is easy to see how Stars Hollow could feel suffocating.

Winning Dean back is very much on the agenda for some reason and this includes going to his house and inadvertently making his sister cry and stalking his place of work. Dean is definitely better than Tristan (who doesn’t even know that PJ Harvey is a woman), but yeah he is still nowhere near a Ben/Noel/Pacey or even Jordan Catalano on the lusting/dream boyfriend scale. But apparently they are also in love. Hmm.Gilmore Girls 1.21 Max, Lorelai and LukeJulie: The writers definitely gave short shrift to both Rachel and Max, the latter of whom I really do like. I think the actor is quite charming and Max has/had the potential to be an asset to Lorelai’s life. But he’s marking time, obviously. He’s not OTP, so every scene with him feels a little wasteful. Like all of Ross’s wives and girlfriends on Friends 🙂

The proposal is certainly way too soon, and comes from a place of insecurity about Luke, so that’s never a good thing. Jumping into marriage to mark one’s territory is probably not the best reason to do it.

The lack of cliffhanger thing is one of the great parts of Netflix, one season flows seamlessly into the next, which is a good thing, Gilmore-wise. The show, as you’ll discover, doesn’t follow the usual pattern of “season ends in May, next season picks up in the fall.” Oftentimes, the next season picks up right where the last one ended, and we get a few “summer” episodes before we see Rory going back to school, or whatever.

One thing I really love about Rory is that she’s the product of her mother, but she’s also willing to let herself be influenced by her grandparents as well. She doesn’t have the same history with them as Lorelai, so she’s much more open to experiencing the Hartford Gilmores’ lifestyle. She doesn’t automatically reject everything they give her. She doesn’t see them as trying to butt their way in. She just likes being with her grandparents. And I completely love her relationship with Richard. She softens him up so much.

But, yeah, Dean. He’s back. Again. And it sucks, because Dean sucks.

What did we miss?Gilmore Girls 1.18Emma: I don’t have much to add other than some general season 1 feelings and those feelings are positive. When starting a show that is this beloved it can be letdown, but Gilmore Girls lived up to those sentiments and this is a really good first season. Occasional certain storylines are dropped and then picked up out of nowhere, but that is as much down to the 20+ episode structure as anything else. The important stuff like the Gilmore ladies dynamic is super strong throughout and I’m really excited to see how this progresses. Same with Luke and kissing.

While Rory’s love interest situation is on the eh side, her lady relationships from her mom and grandmother to her friends are my fave and I hope Rory gets back in with Paris soon. The dramatic display on the steps by Paris and her minions was rather wonderful and so very high school.

I’m also excited to hear they don’t do the usual lack of summer set episodes. I’m always bummed out when pretty much every teen show/and show skips those few months of story.

I am also excited to venture further into the early aughts and see what other terrible fashion we have in store. There will be many.

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.

 

The Americans 4.06 “The Rat” Review: Trust Me

21 Apr

Guilt can do funny things to a person and Philip has been feeling increasingly bad about all the terrible things he has done over the years starting with the moment he killed someone when he was 10 years old that we saw in the season 4 premiere of The Americans. More recent events have left their mark including what happened to assets like Anneliese who ended up broken and shoved into a suitcase to the random strangers who have ended up dead at their hands. Martha is the embodiment of everything terrible he has done with all the lying and violent acts committed and Philip’s ability to deal with the possibility that Martha has been compromised is soaked in the guilt of everything he has done for his country.

At the end of last week’s episode “Clark’s Place” we saw Martha alone in bed with Stan and Aderholt keeping watch outside while across town Elizabeth and Philip were letting off steam in an entirely different way. This was in part a reaction from Elizabeth to seeing (and maybe lip reading the “I love you”) Philip’s face after he called Martha and she was both acting out of jealousy, but also comfort and this was a way to take both their minds off everything that is going on right now. This diversion doesn’t last long and the episode opens with them in bed entangled in each other with the conversation quickly shifting from nipple size observations to the status of Martha. Elizabeth reassures Philip that nothing has changed since they fell into bed. The Americans 4.06 William and PhilipSoon everything will be very different as Philip’s increasingly twitchy feelings about whether Martha has been blown or not cause him to do something impulsive that could jeopardize everyone. Philip has in fact already been incredibly impulsive with Martha; when he removed his disguise and didn’t inform either Gabriel or Elizabeth that he had done such a thing. Now Philip has scooped Martha off the street rather than waiting for their Tuesday appointment time and we are in uncharted territory. Promises that all will be okay and the repeated trust assertions are all well and good, but there is very little to back up anything Philip is saying and his actions are getting increasingly desperate.

Here Philip is very much the married man having an affair making promises he knows are unlikely as a way to keep his mistress on side and once again The Americans takes a very unlikely spy problem and makes it relatable in a relationship sense.

The act of removing his Clark face is something he can’t quite put into words when Elizabeth confronts him and the mixture of hurt and betrayal is all over Elizabeth’s face when she turns up to the safe house and sees him as he is; now it probably feels like he is cheating on her. This is one hell of an awkward set up with Gabriel, Philip, Elizabeth and Martha all under one roof and I half expected we would see a contender for most fucked up dinner party with Philip, his two wives and his handler/dad substitute. Instead Philip insists that he stay because that makes most sense for keeping things on an even keel with Martha and Keri Russell delivers a mixture of sadness, confusion and acceptance at what Philip has done by taking off his Clark disguise. Luckily for Elizabeth she doesn’t have to hear what Gabriel does later.

One other striking thing Keri Russell does here is change her voice from her Jennifer tones to her regular Elizabeth voice when Martha realizes she isn’t really Clark’s sister. She is giving off reassuring Elizabeth and it sounds exactly the same as how she has been talking to Philip about Martha’s safety.The Americans 4.06 JenniferNot only has Philip shown his face, moved ahead with the extraction plan before they have a clear idea of what the FBI does or doesn’t know, but he has done the one thing he really shouldn’t and that is reveal who they work for. My reaction to Philip uttering “KGB” caused a full out loud gasp and I still can’t believe he went so far as telling this truth. I am looking forward to seeing just how Elizabeth will react to this one especially considering what happens at the end of the episode. This is a betrayal of who they are not only as agents, but as husband and wife.

But first back to this sharing scene and it seems like Philip sheds another layer of his Clark persona every time he thinks he needs to give Martha something to convince her she can trust him; but the more he spills, the more he risks everything.

Philip feels responsible for Martha and now she is in a position of no return there is this extra element of culpability and it all started with the pen discovery and has spiraled since then. Blaming Gene was a good distraction, but that never quite sat well with Stan and so ultimately that was another needless death. Martha can’t go back to work or the way it was before now that she has called in sick because Stan and Aderholt keep on digging and keep finding things that could be suspicious. They now know Clark’s name and this whole web is unraveling at a quick speed. They have even put two and two together with Amador’s murder and how it might be connected to all of this, which it is. And somehow this is all happening by the mid-point of this season and I can’t get over how the writers can crank up the tension this much, this early. Everything teeters on the point of oblivion and Philip is getting closer to the edge with every move he makes.The Americans 4.06 PhilipLast week Philip told Elizabeth that it can all move so fast and he has become a self-fulfilling prophecy as he is the one who is making this happen. When he has no secrets left to share – Martha asks if he is involved with Jennifer and all he says is they have worked together for a long time, which is technically not a lie – things lead to a moment of comfort and an embrace. One thing leads to another and sex is a distraction tool once again; however this is more desperate and sad than the passionate release we saw between Philip and Elizabeth in “Clark’s Place.” And Gabriel has to listen to it all.

Something comes up, because it always does and this means Philip has to leave Martha with Gabriel. Philip has concerns with good reason about doing this and once again he doesn’t divulge to his handler exactly what he has done and a heads up here would be useful. He takes Martha’s gun, perhaps for her safety and also so she doesn’t have a weapon to use against Gabriel, but all this does when Martha wakes is freak her out and give her reason to flee when she sees Clark has gone. Gabriel’s assurance that she can trust him means absolutely nothing and she threatens him with a weapon far more dangerous than a gun; revealing who they really are. Philip, you fucked up bad. The Americans 4.06 Philip and MarthaMartha’s gun has been threatening to go off for two seasons now, but I am now getting a Chekhov’s Valium feeling with every time we see the bottle of pills. Martha has survived for this long and this is an impressive feat considering what a burden she now is to Philip’s mission; this is a much more interesting story to see how they back themselves out of what feels like an inescapable situation and the same goes for Pastor Tim. As with Nina it does seem like there is no way out and her time might be soon, but The Americans writers don’t do easy or obvious. I can’t see her on a ship to Moscow anytime soon and I wonder if instead she will flip and go back to the FBI. Or the Valium might come into play and if she is going to die then maybe it will be at her own hands.

We get to find out a little more about Martha’s backstory and why she was such an easy mark for Philip; she lives “a lonely existence” and with that Stan observation my heart broke a little more for Martha. It also turns out that she was engaged to her high school sweetheart and he broke up with her when she fell pregnant. Martha had an abortion at a time when it was dangerous (as it was illegal) and my heart breaks even more when I think about how much she wanted to foster a kid. If she does survive I wonder if there will be a pregnancy storyline down the road as she did have unprotected sex with Philip and if there is something Philip doesn’t need then that is a fourth child. The Americans 4.06 Martha wineWilliam is another person we find out a little more about this week; the partner he used to have was also a wife who got sent back home. Her name is/was Eliza and it is unclear whether she is alive or dead. I suspect the latter. All that is clear is William wishes he hadn’t kept quiet and had done something to stop it and the dream of Philip and William as BFFs is coming closer to fruition as William is very interested in asking Philip about his life. Although now I type that out I wonder if there is an ulterior motive at play because this is The Americans after all. Hopefully this suspicion is incorrect and I happy Philip and Elizabeth have both found people they can call friends this season. They sure need this kind of connection.

Using the hero line on William to inspire action gets a snarky response about how he will return in a coffin, but he comes through and things are back to being fraught when meeting with him as they no longer know when he is being surveilled. Hence the disguises and Hans with his binoculars. William and Philip chat like any co-workers who are annoyed at their bosses lack of awareness at what they actually do and William points out that the powers that be have no idea what they are doing. Everything is reactionary and it doesn’t matter how much any of these characters get reassured as the shit could hit the fan at any point. Martha is very much this in action.

Stan’s hunch is playing out and it is time to bring Gaad into the fold and he is in shock at this revelation as Martha has worked for the FBI for over 10 years. Later on he is still ruminating about this development and he questions how he didn’t see it; Stan might wonder the same when/if he finds out who Philip and Elizabeth really are. The Americans 4.06 StanPerformance wise this is another stellar week for all with Matthew Rhys and Alison Wright edging out in to MVP territory. There are a lot of different emotions swirling around and there is one moment where Philip’s entire body sags after he sees that Martha has a gun, which is pretty much the pure expression of mental and physical exhaustion at what is going on. The Americans doesn’t normally play within a time frame that is this tight, but it has only been 3 weeks since the wig removal and so much is stacking up in a small period for these characters. Alison Wright has been playing Martha as part defiant, part nervous wreck this season and walking the line between these two aspects is hard without coming across as hysterical, but she is doing just this and crushing my soul in the process.

The use of TV in Martha’s morning routine provided some fun historical timeline information including Princes Charles and Princess Diana’s trip to Australia and New Zealand with Prince William (Princess Diana would have been pregnant with Harry at the time, but this would not have been public knowledge at this early stage in the pregnancy). This is followed by a segment about three different women – single, divorced, widowed – and how all three are loving life; Martha switches the TV off just as the single woman mentions she has never felt the need to be married. Martha’s single life was definitely less fraught/complicated than the one she lives now and ultimately less lonely.

Expectations of a different kind are occurring in the Jennings house and Henry is not giving up on his Epcot quest and he even comes up with a new slogan of sorts – “EPCOT: Don’t Kill the Dream.” Pastor Tim might feel differently about this.

For now Henry should just be happy his parents are not in jail because if this Martha thing goes south then that will be where they are headed. The hunt for Martha from both sides will be on and while The Americans is too tense to be a good binge watch show, with this cliffhanger I really wish I had the next episode available now.

Shot(s) of the WeekThe Americans 4.06 Martha's gunThe lighting of this scene and the weight of this moment are both important and every single action Philip makes is causing everything to spiral further out of their control.The Americans 4.06 handsShots of hands are repeatedly used in “The Rat” and here Philip and Elizabeth’s bodies are tangled up together with Philip’s wedding band taking a prominent position in this moment of unity. Close ups of reassuring shoulder squeezes from Philip to Gabriel, Philip to Martha and Tatiana to Oleg are all significant in their affection, but this is the one that stands out in its intimacy.

Disguise of the Week

The Americans 4.06 Elizabeth disguiseI did consider the return of Jennifer as she is one of my favorite Elizabeth disguises, but as we got a couple of new ones this week it made sense to give them a spin. First up Elizabeth rocking a slightly Felicity-esque curly hair look.The Americans 4.06 disguise close upA close up on the star earrings (which we have seen before) is necessary.

Meanwhile…The Americans 4.06 Philip disguisePhilip goes blonde again for William.

Outfit I Would Wear in 2016

The Americans 4.06 ElizabethThere’s not a whole lot of options this week, but I do really like Elizabeth’s paisley dress as she cooks a dish that Young Hee showed her how to prepare as she tries to push down feelings of resentment as to where Philip is in this moment.

Behind the Insta-Scenes: Photos from the Set

20 Apr

Lots of returning shows, endings, beginnings and other pivotal TV moments captured on Instagram this week. With a dash of Coachella, style highs and other on (and off) set shenanigans.

R U WATCHING!!?? #UnbreakableKimmySchmidt #netflix 😻

A post shared by Anna Camp (@therealannacamp) on

 

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is back and unlike Daredevil S2 I haven’t stalled at the halfway mark (I’ll get back to Daredevil, but there are just so many other shows taking priority right now). Kimmy starts off on the patchy side as one early plot doesn’t quite stick the landing, but the jokes are stacked and so wonderfully random at times. I am still thinking about the Rob Kardashian sock designer reference. Kimmy’s style has given me lots of inspiration for spring and Anna Camp is an A+ guest star choice.

He's baaaaaack(ish). #unbreakablekimmyschmidt #purvis

A post shared by Joshua Jackson (@vancityjax) on

 

And while we’re on the subject of amazing Kimmy Schmidt guest stars; I yelled WHAT?! so loud at my screen that I had to rewind the scene. Everything about this moment from the deconstruction of Dawson’s Creek to that haircut and costume is perfect.

Tonight is the finale of GIRLS and also my directorial debut. Get it while it's HOT!!!!

A post shared by @jennikonner on

 

Season 5 of Girls has been a triumph from Marnie’s wedding to Marnie’s one night adventure all the way to the two-part finale which got me misty eyed on several occasions. One surprise this season was how much they leaned into the Jessa/Adam pairing much to my delight and here Adam Driver definitely has his fighting face at the ready.

The beginning of the end

A post shared by @jennikonner on

 

Where one thing ends, another begins and while this week marked the end of season 5 for us as the audience, the Girls team started production on season 6 with their first table read.

We're coming to find you.. April 24th! #gotseason6 #behindthescenes #iainglen

A post shared by Michiel Huisman (@michielhuisman) on

 

Game of Thrones returns this week and it is a testament to the HBO promo department that even after last year’s mostly disappointing season I am so hyped for Sunday. Michiel Huisman posting this very vacation looking snap also helps.

TONIGHT ON NBC @latenightseth

A post shared by Maisie Williams (@maisie_williams) on

 

Sticking with the GoT theme and Maisie Williams’ collar and lipstick game is strong.

Just a normal family #janethevirgin

A post shared by Yael Grobglas (@yaelgrobglas) on

 

From the adorable on the Jane the Virgin set.

 

To the very surreal and slightly creepy (depending on how you feel about clowns).

Here's some BTS for you- the props department bought over 60 masks to work with for MK's signature look. #OrphanBlack

A post shared by Orphan Black (@orphanblacktv) on

 

While we’re on the subject of creepy here are some of the alternate masks for new clone M.K. on Orphan Black and the new season kicked off on a high. I also wrote an essay about Orphan BlackThe Americans and identity; I would love you to read it.

 

There has been a lot of Coachella on Instagram this week and Amandla Stenberg is avoiding all the fashion cliches of this festival looking cool as fuck in this very 90s look. Not a choker or flower crown in sight. And this could easily be a new print ad for Calvin Klein; it is that good.

 

Aya Cash and Kether Donohue’s version of Coachella is much more my speed.

 

Looking like the back of a gown on Say Yes to the Dress with Aaron Tveit on a photo shoot.

Clarence & Virginia ❤️ #confirmation #hbo #kerrywashington #wendellpierce #rickfumiyama

A post shared by Alison Wright (@therealalisonwright) on

 

Alison Wright got to wear a wig on TV this week; nope Martha hasn’t gone undercover and instead this is for the HBO movie Confirmation. Here is Wright with co-star Wendell Pierce.

 

Another costume stunner from Salvador Perez on The Mindy Project.

 

This is all very exciting and I am so ready for season 2 of UnREAL.

 

Busy Philipps giving me so many Freaks and Geeks related feelings. The instant I see that blue coat it makes me so very happy. The caption here is also excellent.

 

While I’m dealing with feelings, here seems like a good place to end this week.

Going Back to the Beginning on The Good Wife

18 Apr

Now this feels like the final season of The Good Wife as everything is starting to come together, loose ends are getting tided up and everything old is new again with Peter facing jail. Peter remarks that they are back at the start as the odds are stacked against him and prison looms once again. After a season of bumbling along with yet another failed election storyline and another possible firm switch-up it now seems like where we are meant to be; it is really refreshing and I am excited to see what the final three episodes will bring.

Peter’s grand jury has been ticking away in the background ever since his failed presidential bid and that comes to a head this week with his arrest. Instead of playing it nice Mr Schuester (sorry I can’t seem to think of him as anything else) goes for the humiliating perp walk option after finding out that Eli was using stall tactics.The Good Wife 7.19 Peter and AliciaWhat he didn’t bank on was Alicia’s quick thinking as she quickly grabs a coat to cover the cuffs and a tie to make him look more presentable to the waiting media outside – side note how did Alicia not notice any of this media circus when she arrived home a few minutes before this went down? – and she is playing the role of the good wife all over again.

This includes walking out with him and not only standing by his side, but offering words of support at this press conference. There is no standing silently behind him; corruption charges without the prostitute allegations are a lot easier to swallow and Alicia is not the same woman she was back then. As Cary observes to Jason “people change” and The Good Wife is all about the Education of Alicia Florrick; she knows all about optics and the media now. One thing that takes Alicia by surprise is just how bad this is for Peter and she seems genuinely taken back that the plea deal is for 3 years jail time. For all they have been through and how much she now wants a divorce, Alicia does still care about him deeply and this quiet scene in his office between just the two of them emphasizes this point. The press are also sympathetic toward plight and the term ‘witch hunt’ (two words, not one) is used by both Alicia and the press.

Alicia does still want a divorce and while it is all in place, she will also wait until all this legal strife is over. She does make the big step of telling Jason about it and this makes things awkward between them for most of the episode. Jason asks Alicia what she wants and she deflects at first; mentioning how her husband slept with prostitutes (7 years ago) and that she wants everything. Jason is not only calm (a thing Mike Tascioni likes in an investigator), but he also wants to keep things simple, but life in Alicia’s orbit is complicated. It also just occurred to me how much Jason would get on with Kurt McVeigh and now all I want is too see a double date with Alicia, Diane and their significant others.

The episode ends with Alicia laying it all there; she wants Jason. Like Alicia, my feelings about this are complicated because on one hand I really like this pairing and on the other I kinda want the series to end with an “I choose me” declaration. Maybe it is because of deep rooted Will feelings (and my heart is not ready for this rumored appearance) that I don’t want to see her ending the series in a couple, but maybe for Alicia to be finally free of the Peter bond choosing herself could be ending up with someone else. I am still working my way through this prospect and this is definitely very much a ‘wait and see’ how this all turns out before I finally figure out my feelings on the matter.

Ultimate Peter/Alicia shipper Eli is shocked to hear the divorce news and Peter is surprised Alicia hadn’t already told him. Alicia is keeping this one very close to her chest.The Good Wife 7.19 Diane and KurtOne couple who did make an appearance were Diane and Kurt, much to my joy. Kurt wants to talk and his demeanor suggests it is something bad. Diane assumes the same and her reaction to finding out that he wants to sell his business so they can spend more time together is both hilarious and super sweet. I love these two together and I am also so happy to see Diane getting something to do beyond being Dipple’s lackey and contemplating what to do with the firm. There are some wrinkles in the sale of the business namely in the form of guest star Megan Hilty as Holly Westfall. Holly ‘mean girls’ Diane so hard with her “I like your necklace. I have one just like it, but smaller.” Don’t you be coming for Diane’s statement jewelry, Holly. The Good Wife 7.19 DianeAnd for my favorite reaction shot from “Landing.”The Good Wife 7.19 Diane and David LeeOther plots revisited include the NSA listening into all of Alicia’s calls and the return of Zach Woods as ex-NSA employee Jeff Dillinger (this is a particularly guest star heavy week even by The Good Wife’s standards) as he ends up in a whole legal situation in Canada while attempting to come back to the United States for his mother’s funeral. This not only ties into several seasons’ worth of story, but also reflects back on a recent episode that saw Alicia on a top secret panel, which resulted in Captain Hicks getting fired for something he didn’t actually do. It also gives one of Alicia’s NSA fans the chance to meet her IRL and Tyler’s reaction to seeing her in person plus the questions he asks her is a delight.

In the end after a lot of back and forth arguments, warrants, recorded conversations and threats of numerous espionage related charges, Jeff gets asylum in Canada as he is an asset to their version of the NSA. It is fun seeing Alicia using the knowledge of them listening in to her conversations to get leverage.

Significant costume moment this week includes Alicia in her power color of red; maybe to give her that confidence boost in telling Jason her big divorce news. It also comes in handy later on when facing the cameras with Peter when he is initially arrested.
The Good Wife 7.19 AliciaLater on when appearing at the press conference Alicia picks a more somber tone, which makes sense considering the gravity of the situation.The Good Wife 7.19 press conferenceAnd in excellent Lucca Quinn outfits I need to track down; this floral and white collar dream number.The Good Wife 7.19 LuccaAs we edge closer to the final episode the stakes have been raised and I am genuinely unsure of how Peter will fare as right now it seems like he is destined to end the show where he started it; prosecuted and on his way to prison. Hopefully The Good Wife will keep this level of energy up and end the series on a high.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

15 Apr

This week sees a lot of regular “Out of the Box” faces and a whole host of events from daytime celebrations to premieres and panel discussions. Plus Teen Vogue continues to blow their adult counterpart out of the water in the cover stakes. Bold pattern continues to reign strong and there is a lot of awesome lady inspiration below. Lupita Nyong'oLast week Lupita Nyong’o’s Variety magazine cover for their annual Power of Women issue caused all the heart eye emoji reactions and here she is at the event honoring the work of this year’s recipients. Wearing a lime green daisy embroidered Dolce & Gabbana; Nyong’o is a springtime vision with a hint of 60s to her look. Excellent lipstick choice too.Danai GuriraDanai Gurira was also in attendance supporting Lupita who is currently starring in her Broadway play Eclipsed. This is the perfect day dress for this event and looks good without drawing too much focus from the person who is being honored. This is also Gurira’s second week in a row on Out of the Box and she is crushing it in a variety of styles this year from super cool jumpsuits to flowing frocks.Kerry WashingtonConfirmation airs on HBO tomorrow (Saturday 16) and Kerry Washington recently took part in a Times Talk with Anita Hill; the woman Washington is portraying in the movie. This Carolina Herrera dress reads serious with a hint of whimsy in the floral and pink sheer trim. SJP Collection shoes top it all off and Washington looks great. You can watch the whole fascinating and sometimes rage inducing discussion about the making and history behind Confirmation here.Emily VanCamp and Chris EvansOh, hello. Emily VanCamp in J Mendel at the Captain America: Civil War premiere with a ‘just the perfect amount of beardy’ Chris Evans. The fact they are posing together gives me some hope that Emily VanCamp’s Sharon Carter will get quite a lot/something to do in the new movie (even if she doesn’t really feature in the trailers at all).Emilia ClarkeGame of Thrones season 6 is almost here and Emilia Clarke has been hitting the promo train hard on magazine covers, at the premiere and the MTV Movie Awards. This might be my favorite of the three recent looks we’ve featured as this face emblazoned Miu Miu dress is unusual in the most mesmerizing way. Gugu Mbatha-RawGugu Mbatha-Raw’s “Fresh Faces” Marie Claire cover is striking and at the party celebrating this issue she stood out in a delightful star emblazoned – perhaps as a nod to the stars on cover – Coach 1941 dress; which I am now coveting hard. Willow SmithTeen Vogue’s cover game this year has been so strong and their Willow Smith May issue is another captivating image choice. As with other recent teen covers (including another one Smith appears on) there is something beautifully disarming in the direct look to camera and the accompanying interview/editorial is just as interesting.

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