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Archive | May, 2016

The Wish List: iZombie and Peyton’s DVF Dress

31 May

It has been a while since my last Wish List piece and as I just spent the last couple of weeks catching up on iZombie it feels like the ideal time to add another item to the ever growing costume coveting collection.

Filling in the fun solving murders with a special talent hole left by Pushing Daisies with the added bonus of the writing voice of Veronica Mars and Party Down (the references to both had me clapping with joy at every turn) and this pretty much hits all my TV sweet spots.Costume wise I’ve enjoyed the changes to Liv’s attire depending on the brain of the person she has eaten; sometimes this is subtle and other times it becomes a vital part of the plot. This is also a really great show for sweaters with Liv’s signature sweater and jeans attire pretty much looking like half my wardrobe and Ravi’s is a knitwear and button down dream.

For this Wish List however I will be looking at Peyton and a dress which featured in “Pour Some Sugar, Zombie” and my accidental late night one episode before bed somehow turned into three episodes and very late night. Damn this end of season amping up the storyline and twists thing. But it was worth it.

It is well noted on this site how much I adore Diane von Furstenberg and the first two seasons of Hannibal was pretty much me drawing heart eyes around Alana Bloom’s wrap dresses before she switched these up for the even more incredible ladysuits.DVFThis one is going in a somewhat different DVF dress direction and the purple, pink, yellow and blue bouclé Pop Violet print of the Minetta dress really sets it off and turns what could be a blah shift dress into something fun.

This could work as the ideal wedding guest dress or fancy work wear.Expect more thoughts on iZombie in the not too distant future, but for now enjoy Ravi really loving himself and the A+ facial reactions of Peyton and Liv.

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Out of the Box: Look of the Week

27 May

TV award season is gearing up with roundtables and For Your Consideration events – initial Emmy voting starts June 13 – and this means plenty of fun frocks. This isn’t just an accolade considering time and we’ve got three different award ceremonies included in this week’s round-up. Plus Vulture Fest and talk show appearances all embracing bold color and pattern. Claire Danes At the Homeland FYC Emmy panel Claire Danes goes all in on the Peter Pilotto florals and this is a very different and fun take on the usual summer botanical styling. Also at the panel they discussed season 6 and the fate of Peter Quinn with this extremely vague description from showrunner Alex Gansa “How Peter Quinn’s character is gonna be dramatized this year is going to surprise people, and it may not be what you think.”Lizzy CaplanRoksanda Ilincic is a go to bold color favorite of mine and Lizzy Caplan’s yellow Roksanda Ilincic dress paired with chunky strappy sandals is ideal attire for her appearance on The Late Show and the wedding I am attending on Saturday. Might be too late/pricey to get hold of it. Caplan with a shorter choppy ‘do is also the dream. Constance Zimmer and Shiri ApplebySparkly metallic shoes and matching tops and skirts for both Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer at Vulture Fest and my anticipation levels are high for the return of UnREAL. Zimmer’s all red approach edges out Appleby’s delicate crop top/skirt number, but only just and I am so ready for more Quinn and Rachel in my life.Jessica WilliamsMore crop top/florals from Jessica Williams at the Peabody Awards (The Daily Show was one of the recipients) and she looks cool as fuck in this outfit. My 2 Dope Queens catch-up has been going well so far and I would highly recommend this podcast for people who like to laugh.Rami Malek and Christian SlaterAlso at the Peabody Awards the Mr Robot guys continue to dominate in their menswear choices and they’ve got casual, smart/casual (as above) and fancy pants nailed. Swoon levels set to high.Mindy KalingMindy Kaling looks stunning in bold blue Elizabeth Kennedy at the Gracie Awards Gala, which is a less dramatic than the Elizabeth Kennedy gown she wore to the Oscars but I think packs a bigger punch.Danai GuriraThis is one intense backdrop at the Obie Awards and Danai Gurira continues to mix it up on the red carpet in a fun summery ensemble. Perfect for celebrating the Best Ensemble Performance for her play Eclipsed. I am very much looking forward to seeing what she will wear to the Tonys in a couple of weeks. Lupita Nyong'oAlso at the Obie Awards and part of the Best Ensemble for Eclipsed is Lupita Nyong’o in a hard to pull off length Prada dress. Pleats means shimmying perfection and this bold color and pattern even against this dizzying backdrop is producing all the heart eyes. The above Tonys remark also definitely applies to Lupita.

The Americans 4.11 “Dinner for Seven” Review: No Control

26 May

An FBI Agent moving in across the street from a pair of deep cover KGB spies posing as Americans was one of the initial setups in The Americans pilot. That FBI Agent went from suspicious to best friend, dinnertime crasher and video provider (well he can’t give them to Nina anymore). Stan is having a sort of crisis at the moment relating to those he has killed (Vlad) and those friends who have been killed by the KGB (Amador, Gaad) or because of the KGB and the FBI combined (Nina). Plus there is the matter of his co-worker who turned out to be a spy and his non-existent personal life.

Everything is spinning out of control for all the major players on The Americans and because events can’t be fully predicted or sketched out there is a lot of doubt seeping through the cracks.The Americans 4.11 Elizabeth and PhilipTake Elizabeth and the Young Hee operation, which ultimately was the Don operation. When Elizabeth started out with Young Hee she commented that it felt different, but she had no idea of the strong emotional impact that would come. It could’ve been Lisa who she bonded with in this way or Elizabeth could have stayed completely neutral on the whole thing. Instead Young Hee has left her mark in a big way. There are several reasons for this including Elizabeth’s state of mind after finding out her mother had died and Young Hee filled a very big hole in Elizabeth’s life. Also Young Hee is several levels of charming and fun so it is hard not to want to be her BFF. I’m going to miss Ruthie Ann Miles, but I am not going to miss those teary phone calls about why Don is behaving so strangely. Every scene post fake hookup has been soul crushing and I can’t bear to see Don’s confused/sad face anymore.

Gabriel gave Elizabeth the chance to ask for another way into Level 4 and while Gabriel could have done this prior to her seducing and drugging Don, it didn’t really matter in the end as the Centre turned down this request. It is important for us to see Elizabeth contemplate her feelings in all of this even if she thinks they don’t matter as it shows her humanity. All goes to plan from Elizabeth telling Don she is pregnant to Philip and Gabriel (with their new asset) gaining access to Don’s office by pretending Patty has killed herself (RIP Patty and all those fabulous clothes) and they need money to pay for her funeral. Here’s the kicker as they don’t find the codes, but they have copied all his floppy disc files so hopefully something will turn up otherwise all of this emotional turmoil and family destruction would be for naught.The Americans 4.11 Pastor Tim*A quick production design note about the above shot because I want to point out once again how much of a family home this is right down to the photographs that are pinned onto the kitchen phone.

Even something as straightforward as planning dinner can meet an unexpected turn. When Alice asks Elizabeth if she makes a big spread like this every night Elizabeth says she tries to but it doesn’t always go according to plan. This is what the grilled cheese and Sloppy Joe nights are for; for when you feel so shit after a mission and you just can’t be bothered to cook. Elizabeth invites Pastor Tim and Alice over for dinner as a way to maintain the position of power they now have over this couple after Alice accused them last week of having something to do with Tim’s disappearance in Ethiopia. As Elizabeth later explains it works to their advantage because both Tim and Alice feel bad about accusing them and making them worry about their safety. Whether the tape exists or not (I suspect that Elizabeth suspects the latter) they’re not going to do anything about it yet because of their new advantage.

The dynamics have shifted in favor of the Jennings, but there is something that Elizabeth can’t quite shift in terms of her current feelings and there is something inviting about Pastor Tim’s counsel even though she does not believe in God. Three separate conversations all with the convenient excuse of picking Paige up has Elizabeth talking to Tim about some deep and meaningful things. You can chalk it up to working an asset and sometimes it is hard to tell what is real and what part is the spy talking, but there is definitely an element of trying to work through Elizabeth’s current crisis. Not a crisis of faith (toward her country) specifically, but a crisis in letting her emotions impact her ability to complete a mission. One of these conversations focuses on this idea of control or the lack of and that faith helps Tim in these moments; what does Elizabeth have as her version of this?The Americans 4.11 Elizabeth, Stan and HenryFamily is probably the nearest thing along with duty to country and in a later discussion she asks what he does when he has something on his mind that he can’t stop thinking about. Tim’s answer is prayer and not one for the Elizabeth Jennings playbook; Tim responds that none of these things matter and it is how we treat each other is all that is important.

Well that’s a whole lot of awkward because Elizabeth has done some very terrible things to a lot of people. Whereas Philip has found EST as a way of walking through his anguish at the very terrible things he has done, Elizabeth has yet to find her outlet, but I think her just talking about it is a big step.The Americans 4.11 Philip and StanBack to the serendipity of having a neighbor who is an FBI Agent and Stan is also feeling adrift much like his KGB pals. Stan tells Philip about Gaad’s murder and how he doesn’t buy the ‘robbery gone wrong’ theory and he suspects it was the Russians who did it. He doesn’t know why they would target him, but he is certain those ‘animals’ played a part. Philip’s face stays impassive throughout as it does at dinner when Stan’s occupation comes up with Henry enthusiastically telling Pastor Tim and Alice what Stan does – Tim questions the happenstance of this and Elizabeth points out that they lived there long before the Beemans – and Stan is at a low ebb. Philip for his part is concerned that by mentioning Gaad’s trip in one of his Stan reports he might have accidentally planted the seed of this operation and this is another example of a lack of control; Philip simply thought of it as a throwaway remark and Gaad wasn’t even supposed to end up dead. It was just bad luck.

Rather than go all in on the Oleg plan as I suspected Stan might he instead calls a meeting to tell him about the original plan to blackmail him using Nina or his brother. Stan has a lot of guilt with what happened to Nina and how he killed Vlad in retaliation to what happened to Chris Amador (another wrong place, wrong time death). This also goes a long way in showing how deep The Americans storytelling well is as names like Gregory, Irina and Chris are all important long after their last appearance on the show. Consequences stretch back and Stan is feeling the weight of the conscience that Gaad warned him about. The Americans 4.11 mail robotThere is what you would call a lucky break at the FBI and the return of Mail Robot both hanging out in the background as if on cue and in one of the Martha reports gives them a new lead. Aderholt notes a curious note as when Mail Robot was being repaired a 911 call was made from that building and a woman was found dead of ‘natural causes.’ Aderholt is rightly suspicious of this cause of death and this is another case of a past event coming back to the forefront.

Stan told Philip that he couldn’t tell him stories because they are classified, but he has far looser lips with his son Matthew who in turn told Paige some things last week. Paige tells Elizabeth about the spy secretary as they are walking back to the car in a notably sketchy and deserted looking neighborhood. In a bit of foreshadowing Elizabeth tells Paige that they will “do anything to keep this family together” and she doesn’t just mean with the Pastor Tim situation. As they approach the parking lot it is clear something is going to happen as very little of the episode remains and no amount of driving lesson talk can subdue the tension. What does happen is Paige gets to see who Elizabeth really is as a spy way beyond the ‘social action and making the world a better place’ party line; she gets front seats at the Elizabeth is a deadly and badass spy up show.The Americans 4.11 Paige and ElizabethYou can see Elizabeth assessing the situation straight away going for tempering with handing her wallet over so they can get away without having to resort to violence. Unfortunately one of the would be muggers makes a would be rapist suggestion and there is no way Elizabeth is letting that happen to her daughter so she pulls out some swift self-defense moves that turn deadly when one of the guys pulls a knife. Big mistake there buddy and the end results are what you would expect, except Paige did not expect this and has wide eyed horror all over her face. Now she’s getting a look at who her mom really is and I’m not sure Philip and Elizabeth will be able to talk their way out of this one. Time for Paige to step up once again and the question of trust will come into play once again. Also this is a good time to point you in the direction of my essay over at Collider where I discuss in detail the teenagers on The Americans and how this is one drama that gets this age demographic right.

Everything keeps on spinning and with just two more episodes left of this season there is a chance that some of this will come crashing down; in good news it was announced yesterday that The Americans has been renewed for two more seasons with the 10-episode sixth season as its last. While I am sad that my favorite show has an end date, I am also happy my favorite show has an end date and 23 more episodes to complete the story after this year. This means the writers can carefully plot the conclusion and there is nothing better than a show that can control its own destiny.

Shot(s) of the Week

The Americans 4.11 Elizabeth, Alice, Tim and PaigeStarting with one that made me laugh for a number of reasons; first of all because Stan made a very terrible ‘roast in the oven joke’ which everyone is politely reacting in good humor to. Second because of the biggest salad bowl in the world as an IRL pregnancy bump cover up, when Alice is holding a tiny bowl over the actresses’ fake but very large bump. There’s several references to pregnancy throughout with Patty pretending she is pregnant and it all gets a bit meta as we know Keri Russell is really pregnant. For those who listen to the Slate Americans podcast I am assuming this episode is the one they referenced a few weeks ago when pointing out that Keri Russell was still doing stunts this late in the game.The Americans 4.11 Philip and ElizabethAnd to the heartbreaking as Philip tells Elizabeth they didn’t find the Level 4 codes in Don’s office and she asks him whether he thinks Don will tell Patty. He doesn’t think so, but it is hard to really know. The Jennings bathroom mirror has been put to good use this season and this is another great shot of the pair.

Disguise of the Week The Americans 4.11 Philip and GabrielThis is a disguise we first saw way back in season 1:

 The slightly rough around the edges blonde hair/glasses dude is making a reappearance as Patty’s brother. Also along for the ride is Gabriel as Patty’s father and new recruit Kathy Geiss (she doesn’t have a character name yet so I’m going with her 30 Rock name).

The Elizabeth Jennings Coat Parade The Americans 4.11 Elizabeth coat 1It’s winter so it makes sense that Elizabeth is wearing a lot of coats and there is a secondary reason for this garment particularly in the second half of the season to cover up Keri Russell’s bump and like myself Elizabeth is a woman of many coats. All of which I would probably wear in 2016.The Americans 4.11 PattyThe saddest coat of them all and this Patty stuff is such a heartbreaker that I’m gonna leave it there.The Americans 4.11 Elizabth purple coatThis purple number is one Elizabeth has worn for quite a few seasons now and I am always fond of a bit of wardrobe repeating.The Americans 4.11 Coach coatAnd to the coat of the season and the tan Coach trench which I am coveting hardest of all.

Behind the Insta-Scenes: Photos from the Set

25 May

There isn’t so much on set action this week as most shows are on some form of hiatus, but we still have plenty of behind the scenes treats including the UnREAL press tour, Vulture Fest, some new exciting projects, lots of glam and the odd bit of TV making magic.

At last I meet her! Gina Rodriguez @hereisgina at @eclipsedbway!

A post shared by Lupita Nyong'o (@lupitanyongo) on

 

Dream pairing alert and can someone cast Lupita Nyong’o and Gina Rodriguez in something? Please and thank you. Bonus excellent outfit points.

😍 Divine #eclipsed

A post shared by Gina Rodriguez (@hereisgina) on

 

And it’s double Lupita and Gina as I couldn’t pick between the two photos. This one also gives a better look at Gina Rodriguez’s hiatus hair (and here’s a more dramatic angle) and I love it so much. Such a bold and fantastic cut.

 

I am behind on every podcast I listen to at the moment, but I am very excited to hear this one from Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson aka 2 Dope Queens from Vulture Fest (which pretty much had my dream lineup).

 

More Kevin Garvey Leftovers beard evidence (and according to the panel they have just finished shooting the Texas section of season 3).

 

A before Vulture Fest getting ready shot from Carly Chaikin and this is kinda making me want to figure out how to use Snapchat (my username is frazbelina). Also for more from the Mr Robot panel head here.

 

We have to wait until August 31 for season 3 of You’re the Worst so for now enjoy this collection of photos from the Vulture Fest Pop Culture Trivia Game Show.

Doing Vulture Fest with these jerks tonight.

A post shared by Stephen Falk (@stephenfalk) on

 

Also drinks.

 

While we’re at it here is a nice reminder of way back when and that shooting season 3 will be underway very soon.

 

Puppy heaven on The Late Show for Emilia Clarke (love her green dress) and she discussed the recent Free the D Game of Thrones moment. I’m not exactly sure this is what was being asked for (no one wants to hear about warts) but I guess it is a start?

Late Show with Stephen Colbert #unrealtv #lssc

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Shiri Appleby didn’t get to play with puppies, but she did pose with this Late Show cushion and the UnREAL cast are doing an excellent job on the Instagram promo front with plenty of photos.

 

Cute dresses and shoes ahoy! And we are under two weeks away from new UnREAL (returns Monday, June 6).

 

I am also beyond excited about this and Jenny Slate’s outfit is pretty much the platonic ideal of casual wear. Can never go wrong with jeans, Cons, a grey sweater and sunglasses.

At work:) #TopoftheLake2

A post shared by Elisabeth Moss (@elisabethmossofficial) on

 

This week’s “Behind the Insta-Scenes” should be renamed “Things I Am Very Excited About.”

 

Priyanka Chopra flies in gown style when hopping from one event to another and this also reminds me that I am about 5 episodes behind on Quantico (I am behind on so much). This dress/color on her is fantastic.

 

LadySuitWatch2016 alert! Anne Hathaway was in the fantastic Jenny Lewis video for “One of the Guys” and here she is giving a nod to Lewis in custom Jenny Packham while promoting Alice Through the Looking Glass.

When you show up to work dressed just like ya girl

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Allison Williams’ style is morphing into Marnie on the final season of Girls while Lena Dunham and Jemima Kirke are accidentally twinning in very similar checks.

I needed a laugh today. This did it for me. Thanks @cushjumbohere #bra

A post shared by Adrienne Moore (@acmoore9) on

 

Cush Jumbo and Adrienne C. Moore are currently performing in an all-female production of The Taming of the Shrew and there are plenty of ways to adapt Shakespeare as the above clip shows.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

20 May

A fun mix of casual and glam this week with Upfronts fashion (for more from the Fox and NBC panels head here) delivering some “Out of the Box” sartorial highs. Plus Cannes gives us red carpet decadence and a dash of chic French Rivera daytime photocall outfits. Oh and there is an extra special treat at the end.Hayley AtwellIt wasn’t a surprise considering the ratings and the fact that Hayley Atwell had already been cast on another ABC show (Conviction – watch the promo here), but the Agent Carter cancellation still hurts and I’m sad we’re not going to be getting any more Peggy adventures (for now).

I will be watching Conviction based on its star (and Francie from Alias is in it!) and Atwell is giving me even more positive feelings towards jumpsuits in this strapless number.Constance WuConstance Wu’s got the ideal blend of casual and cool in this dress which is giving me early 80s sports vibes (maybe because I wrote this dedication to athleisure wear this week) at the ABC Upfront event. Love the bold pink lip color with the mint green of the frock.Martha PlimptonMore lipstick treats from Martha Plimpton in an outfit which is ticking all the pocket and excellent office vibes boxes.Krysten RitterKrysten Ritter making another “Out of the Box” appearance switching out stunning crimson for studded and sparkly Zuhair Murad at the Webby Awards. Ritter is another red lip color queen. Kirsten DunstKirsten Dunst continues to crush it on all levels at Cannes and this aerial shot of her walking the Loving red carpet in a delicate (and okay maybe slightly bridal, but who cares) Dior Couture gown is pretty stunning. Dior it turns out is a much better brand for Dunst than JLaw if this festival is anything to go by. Also check out Dunst on the cover of the new Hollywood Reporter Emmy roundtable issue.Ruth NeggaA very busy time for Ruth Negga with Preacher about to premiere on AMC and a performance in Loving which has been getting rave reviews at Cannes. A gold long sleeve pleated Suno frock is maybe a little too fall for Cannes, but I think she looks fantastic. Excellent choice of footwear with bronze sandals that gives this ensemble a more summery feel.Personal ShopperKristen Stewart looks like she has been having a blast at Cannes this year and she’s been wearing a whole lot of Chanel (not a surprise) over the course of the festival. This daytime look at the Personal Shopper photocall is my favorite (you can read about/see the rest here) and this is ultimate Chanel cool. The sunglasses and her general vibe also helps. Co-stars Sigrid Bouaziz and Nora von Waldstatten are also slaying their daytime style and I particularly love Bouaziz’s ultra-mini patterned frock.Oscar IsaacEnding this week on an excellent (and dreamy) Rolling Stone cover note with Oscar Isaac smoldering it up a storm. Yes the release of this cover derailed work yesterday afternoon. The interview is great and this might be my favorite anecdote for obvious reasons “In high school, he began writing an invitation to Claire Danes, then the teen star of My So-Called Life, to appear in one of his productions, but he reconsidered.”

The Americans 4.10 “Munchkins” Review: How To Earn Someone’s Trust

19 May

It was at this point on The Americans last year when Paige found out the truth about who her parents really are, but it has taken this amount of time for Paige to finally feel like she can trust them again and they have Pastor Tim to thank for this. Trust is a fundamental part of a spy’s job; getting someone to open up to extract the information needed without looking like that is all they are after and there are many ways of achieving this.

Building up relationships is important and sex is one method. The other is friendship and as we have seen with both Philip and Elizabeth they have to really commit to make a convincing agent. With Paige they have used some of the same somewhat emotionally manipulative techniques to try and get her on side, but faking it with feelings is much harder when it is your own daughter.The Americans 4.10 Elizabeth, Philip, PaigeOne of the points of entry and really one of the reasons why Paige initially started to question everything was the lack of extended family. Taking her to Germany to see Elizabeth’s mother was meant to bring them together; instead it caused her to spiral further and confess to Pastor Tim about their Russian nationality. Paige didn’t think she could convincingly lie and yet we have seen her gradually get much better at faking her way through things. Elizabeth going all tough parent on her a few weeks ago certainly helped underscore exactly what is at stake and the disappearance of Pastor Tim coupled with the suggestion of having to leave if things did go south have further cemented this notion.

In terms of parenting Elizabeth is the tougher of the two and has been since the pilot episode; her relationship to her own mother is something I discussed in detail over at Collider and it provides the foundation for everything Elizabeth feels about duty to country. With Philip, details about his childhood have been sparse with the odd comment about icicles and the fully fleshed out version of his milk story that we saw at the start of this season. In “Munchkins” we finally get to hear about Philip’s relationship with his parents after Paige asks whether his mom was a good cook. We find out that like Elizabeth’s mother, Philip’s was also tough and so was his dad. This is not unusual for post-war Russia and Philip explains it wasn’t about what you liked; instead hard work and protecting your family was what mattered. Both are values Philip and Elizabeth adhere to now. The Americans 4.10 Philip kitchenThis bonding session is much like last week’s Philip and Paige scenes; intercut with Elizabeth and her soul crushing Young Hee operation. It goes a long way to explaining exactly why they do the terrible things they do and a word like ‘tough’ could easily be assigned to Elizabeth when thinking about what kind of mother she is. Philip mentions his dad was often tired and this again could describe his state when returning home from work at all hours of the day.

It is pretty magical seeing how Philip’s face lights up when he thinks about his childhood and this in stark contrast to his other most recent memory from his past; Paige’s curiosity opens up this part of him that has been sealed off for over twenty years. These father/daughter moments are lovely and the chemistry between Holly Taylor and Matthew Rhys gives off these nurturing warm and fuzzy feelings. Philip was the one who appealed to Paige last season based on their family history with photos from her childhood and his relationship with his daughter is much warmer than Elizabeth’s is.The Americans 4.10 Young HeeWithout the KGB the Jennings family would not exist because Philip and Elizabeth are only together because of this assignment. Paige and Henry are part of their cover as Americans, but unlike a lot of the relationships they fake their way through the bonds here are very real. “Feelings matter” as Gabriel later tells Elizabeth and this certainly became the case when they committed to each other at the start of season 1. Now these feelings are seeping into every crack like a warm and gooey poison. Elizabeth is no longer the stone cold agent and this is most likely not down to one thing, but an accumulation of everything that has taken place over the last four seasons.

There is nothing fake about Young Hee and her family; they are loud and love each other very much. Elizabeth is about to destroy all of this. If the seduction scene was hard enough to watch last week, well then this family dinner with a super awkward Don is even more excruciating as he can barely look at Patty. It gets even worse when Elizabeth listens to Young Hee’s tear filled phone message and her instance at completing this mission only wavers when Gabriel pushes her.The Americans 4.10 kitchenDiscussions between children and parents or about children and parents run throughout the episode and as the father figure in her life Gabriel holds a lot of sway. He has changed his handler tactics and instead of admonishing or simply pushing her to complete the mission he offers the chance of a way out. There are no guarantees, but they can always ask. Elizabeth pauses for what feels like an age as she contemplates this suggestion and you know there is a big part of her that feels like a failure for letting her feelings get in the way; her feelings don’t or shouldn’t matter. But they do and Gabriel now has a much better read on who his agents are and how to work with them. It is a really touching scene and watching Elizabeth peel away her cold exterior continues to be one of the highlights of this season. Insert my weekly Keri Russell is amazing comment here. Same with Matthew Rhys.

The core parent/children conversations take place between Philip, Elizabeth and Paige over three scenes. First comes Alice’s surprise arrival after family dinner and before her bombshell we see they are now at a place where they can joke about getting Paige to mop the kitchen floor. The news that Pastor Tim has disappeared in a country which is a Soviet client state does not go down well and Alice has a whole contingency plan if anything happens. Paige also questions her parents and doesn’t think she can believe anything they say on the matter and storms out of the kitchen once again mirroring that big reveal from last season. In a hilarious moment Philip waits a beat and then ponders whether they did have anything to do with it.The Americans 4.10 AliceElizabeth has zero time for this line of thought pointing out that they would have been told if a plan like this was going ahead. It would also be incredibly sloppy if this is how the Centre decide to deal with the Pastor Tim problem months after the Epcot aborted plan. Paige doesn’t know anything about that though and so this version seems plausible.

Later on when Paige returns from seeing Alice a tense conversation in the kitchen is peppered by the sound of Henry banging a tennis ball against the garage door, which adds an unsettling tone to proceedings. It is pretty funny that both Paige and Elizabeth make the same ‘break the garage door’ comment independent of each other; like mother, like daughter. This is where Paige gets to act like her most teen as she flips out when she finds out that a move to Russia will be on the cards if things go south. Paige tells them that everything they say is crazy and then lands a blow asking them who they are going to lie to and kidnap? This might be a good moment to sing the praises of Holly Taylor who shows the conflict Paige is feeling in numerous ways including wide eyed confusion, anger and fear at what might happen to both Tim and her family.The Americans 4.10 Elizabeth and PhilipWhen Pastor Tim shows up unhurt – they ran out of petrol and got lost, way to go Tim – Paige realizes her parents have been telling the truth all along. Well about this anyway. Getting to a place of trust is hard and sometimes it needs something big like this to earn it. Closing ranks is important and Elizabeth explains that “the one thing dad and I have is we tell each other the truth.” The one time Philip didn’t was when he slept with Irina and as the blowup argument proved a few weeks ago this is still a deep burn. But other than that they are golden and now Paige is also part of this. They can’t tell her everything, but they promise not to lie to her. This is what Philip did with Martha too and that definitely made her more willing to go along with things like the Moscow move. Martha did not have a shit fit like Paige threw.

What they also find out is Paige is starting to think like them as she explains the reason why she didn’t ask for the tape straight away was to make sure Alicia knew that she cared about Tim being found and not just to save her parents. There is now an immense amount of trust between Alice and Paige; their plan is working. The girl who didn’t think she could lie is now becoming quite the little spy.The Americans 4.10 Paige and MatthewWithout even knowing it Paige has also gathered some vital information from Matthew as he tells her that Stan has been opening up a lot more about his work at the FBI. My first thought when he told her about the Martha stuff was for her to run and tell her parents, but at this point Paige doesn’t know the goldmine she has stumbled upon. This conversation is also important for another reason as Matthew is the other side of the Paige coin; Matthew wasn’t privy to Stan’s work life and had a strained relationship. Now Stan is being more open with him things are a lot better. I also love that Paige used to be super nervous around Matthew as she had a crush on him. Now she has so much other shit going on these nerves have gone and she isn’t concerned with looking super cool going so far as asking him for a lift and taking him into her church. They can be like the KGB/FBI version of Romeo and Juliet except both houses are seemingly friends right now.

There is another teen in this equation (not you Henry – go back to listening to your Walkman) and this week marks the return of Kimmy! Julia Garner it is so good to see you again especially now that Kimmy has a boyfriend and Philip is much more of a surrogate father/big brother type rather than someone Kimmy is launching herself at. Thanks show for making this a lot less uncomfortable. Kimmy tells Philip that her dad told her who he really works for and suddenly everything to do with her dad makes so much more sense. The Kimmy storyline ran parallel with Paige’s last season and it does so once again here. Philip tells her she shouldn’t have told him this big secret as it breaks her father’s trust (much like Paige did) and it will bring her closer to her father if she does keep his trust (also see Paige). We also find out that Kimmy thinks Philip has the best pot and that he is a pot connoisseur. Maybe it is time for Philip and Elizabeth to get stoned together again.The Americans 4.10 Stan, Aderholt, Martha's dadOne more father/daughter relationship makes an impact this week and that is the one between Martha and her dad. We know Martha was super tight with her parents and it makes it all the more heartbreaking that they still don’t know where she is. Her dad has traveled to DC to meet up with Stan (who drags Aderholt along for this beer and awkward chat) and he tries to convince them how good his daughter is. In the most polite way Stan explains that they target people like Martha and they assure him they won’t give up on looking for her, but probably not for the reasons he hopes for.

The new boss at the FBI is no Gaad and is what Stan would refer to as a “Munchkin” (like the episode title) and is someone who is a carbon copy of the director with no out of the box thinking. A rule follower if you will. Gaad is on vacation with his wife in Thailand and nothing bad could happen to him there, right? I thought we had seen the last of Gaad, but now we definitely have. A visit from some shady looking Russians who want to talk ends with Gaad impaling himself of the glass pane door and bleeding out. This all made me pretty sad. Why they wanted to talk is unclear, but Arkady had something to do with this mission. Stan takes the news as you would expect it and at the moment he doesn’t know the how/why. When he does I think he might be more inclined to step up his Oleg op.

Oleg meanwhile is still enjoying some out of office time with Tatiana and she tells him what department she works for. I still don’t trust her in the slightest and this opening up seems pretty calculated to me.

Shot of the Week

The Americans 4.10 Elizabeth side eyeThe side eye from Elizabeth coupled with the excellent use of counter top props to cover Keri Russell’s IRL pregnancy bump is pretty wonderful. And just think if they had written her pregnancy into the show then she would have got to wear the Princess Di inspired (costume designer Katie Irish confirmed this) maternity wear. Cute collars make a tent dress almost bearable.

Disguise of the WeekThe Americans 4.10 Kimmy and JimThe return of Jim Baxter and his leather jacket definitely warrants a mention here. Also Patty is making me too sad.

Outfit I Would Wear in 2016

The Americans 4.10 Philip tneckA black turtleneck is a classic for a reason and Philip always wears it well.

The Americans 4.10 PaigePaige takes after her dad in the fashion stakes this week, but pairs her tneck with a sweater and even though the weather is getting warmer (although not as warm as May usually is by this point) I am getting a hankering for knitwear.

Next week we have the ominously titled “Dinner for Seven” and it sounds like we are in for a culinary accompanied hoot.

The 2016 Emmy Roundtable Season is Here!

18 May

It is no secret how much I love all things awards from the pre-nomination chatter to the red carpet decadence. Film award season stretches for months dominating the start of the year and now it is time for TV to bask in the glory of all things accolades; who deserves them, who should be nominated but probably won’t and the standout moments from television from the past year. Taking into account what will qualify as recency bias means certain things might get forgotten (anything that aired between June 1, 2015 and May 31 2016) so Mad Men is out (the finale aired May 17), but something like Show Me a Hero is in (which means Oscar Isaac in a tux hopefully). And maybe this is the year Emmy voters started watching The Americans.

The Hollywood Reporter’s roundtable season is one way to mark the official start of the Emmy chat period although Gold Derby has also been on fire with their one on one chats (including this great one with Poor Martha herself, Alison Wright) in recent weeks. A few months ago Jennifer Lopez posted a pictured on Instagram (which she sadly took down) of what turned out to be the drama actress roundtable; pretty much from that point on I have been anticipating the arrival of this discussion because this lineup is on fire.

Diversity or rather a lack of dominated award season and the actress roundtable and subsequent cover was a clear example of how Hollywood is failing, With regards to TV this cover and other recent ones have done a much better job at showcasing a variety of women who are leading the way in both comedy and drama. This isn’t to say TV is always the beacon of light in this department as Kristen Warner pointed out when the 2014 cover was released and it was only last year that a black woman finally won for Best Actress in a Drama Series with Viola Davis crushing it on every level with her acceptance speech. Opportunity is key and TV is currently offering a lot more of this.

Now to this year’s cover and this is an amazing group of actresses covering cable and network shows (and surprisingly no streaming) with Regina King and Kerry Washington straddling both with American Crime/The Leftovers and Scandal/Confirmation.dramasummercoverYou can watch videos from this roundtable over at The Hollywood Reporter including Sarah Paulson talking about sexism in relation to her role on American Crime Story as well as in her career in general, Regina King discussing directing and acting and Kirsten Dunst mentions how hard TV is work load wise in comparison to film (and she also mentions her friend Lizzy Caplan, which I of course adore). Sex scenes, producing, before they found fame are also covered and I’m looking forward to watching the whole conversation.

In terms of styling the drama actress cover tends to go in the dark and moody direction (of last year), black and white (see 2013) or pastels (as with 2014). Bold and bright is for the comedy actresses. Here it is pastels again with some white thrown in for good measure and they all look great facially, but I don’t love that Julianna Margulies and Jennifer Lopez are blending into the background. I think Sarah Paulson’s pleats are fantastic and Regina King’s pink dress is probably my other standout. I think Cannes has set a super high bar for Kirsten Dunst and this is just fine, but just that.

Read the whole roundtable discussion here.

Keep an eye out for more roundtable related discussions/covers in the coming weeks. Plus more Emmys chat soon!

Behind the Insta-Scenes: Photos from the Set

18 May

Last week, just as I went to start writing “Behind the Insta-Scenes” my internet speed started to lag; I tried to watch the new Orange is the New Black promo and the blurry quality suggested some kind of wifi issue. And then my router stopped working. In happy news a replacement was quickly dispatched and I am up and running once again (no more setting up camp in my friend’s front room). So long story short is that some of this week’s Instagram round up includes some pictures that were intended for last week.

There’s Cannes glamour (and jet lag), the emotional Jane the Virgin season 2 finale and much more.

jetlaaaaag!!!!!!!!! 🎩🎩🎩 #cannes2016 @twoloversandabear

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Kicking off with Tatiana Maslany in classic Breton stripes and a not so classic Cannes pose. Excellent sneaker game too.

 

This might be more of what you were expecting from Cannes Instagram and Greg Williams is one of my favorite photographers on Insta; part of this is down to the intimate quality of the shots he gets in crowed places and this one of Caitriona Balfe is stunning.

 

Mads continues to crush it as one of the jury members and excellent suit wearer. Here hanging out with fellow excellent suit wearer Clive Owen.

 

One more from Greg Williams and Adam Driver looking cool as fuck.

 

Mark Mann is another excellent photographer to follow on Insta and here he’s captured Chloë Sevigny’s on point Chanel bag.

 

Emilia Clarke finds Jon Snow on the newsstand and lists off some very timely political hashtags to boot. Nice to see Kyle Chandler on the cover of Men’s Journal in the background there.

 

Jason Momoa has very strong positive feelings about the most recent episode of Game of Thrones hitting that ‘co-stars who care about each other’ sweet spot of mine.

Get in on all the fun tonight #janethevirgin SeasonFinale!

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Lots of emotions going on after watching the Jane the Virgin season 2 finale. Most involved some form of crying. Also laughing with a dash of yelling “DON’T DO IT” at my screen.

 

Rogelio’s third best friend gets in on the set photo shenanigans.

 

I did happen to see this before I watched the episode so I knew there would be some Rose related twist, but I did not see this one coming even with their matching outfits above. I am very happy to have Bridget Regan back even if the thing that she did ends up sticking (I don’t think it will).

Behind the scenes of @newgirlonfox finale. @therealhannahsimone

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Another recent TV wedding that made me sob my eyes out and Hannah Simone’s dress is also stunning even if it no longer lights up.

 

One of last week’s intended picks and I love this collection of Mindy’s favorite season 4 looks. My personal fave is the very 70s looking patterned pussy bow collar blouse and pants with the plunging party dress as a runner up.

 

Another one from last week and Allison Williams and Marnie are becoming one on the clothing front.

Some things never change #unrealtv

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New UnREAL is so close (June 6!) and I wonder if this means Anna will be popping up this season. Also in a fun life kinda imitates art sitch Johanna Brady is dating Freddie Stroma IRL and I am sure it is already much better than Anna’s relationship with Adam.

Fitting aftermath + Waffle 🐶 @therealkrystenritter

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A whole lot of shoes for Krysten Ritter to try on and her dog Waffle looks pretty chilled out among all the heels.

 

This is an ultimate regal pose from Tracee Ellis Ross and everything about this White House visit look is stunning.

 

Hiatus beard or Kevin Garvey season 3 beard? I am hoping for the latter.

@channingtatum 's left butt cheek. #Kingsman2 #TheGoldenCircle

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Ending this week on Channing Tatum’s butt because what better way to celebrate the return of my wifi than this.

Best of the 2016 Upfronts Red Carpet: Day 1

17 May

Upfronts time and this means plenty of returning and new faces to network events as schedules are announced along with the trailers for shows that could either be here for a few episodes, multiple seasons or anywhere in-between. Day 1 includes Fox, NBC and the Entertainment Weekly and People Upfronts party. Let’s kick off this post with the new show I am most looking forward to from Fox and the return of Leighton Meester and Adam Pally to TV.

And now for the best of the red carpet. As with PaleyFest, TCAs and Comic-Con there is a mixture of fancy to casual with some new additions to #LadySuitWatch2016 in the mix.Leighton MeesterA very chic and relaxed outfit from Leighton Meester and the one person who makes me want to do a Gossip Girl rewatch. Plus she will be getting to show off her comedy chops and for anyone who watched Gossip Girl you will already know what great comic timing Meester has. Last Man on EarthOn the Last Man on Earth finale Phil shaved off his very hairy side and Will Forte looks a whole lot less scary than the last time he graced these pages. I am very glad I returned to Last Man on Earth after ditching early in season 1 as it is a wonderful and often very bizarre show; it is good to see network TV embracing comedies of this kind.

January Jones looks great in a white ladysuit and red lipstick and Kristen Schaal’s giving me so many collar related feels. I also love that Schaal is a big fan of flats making her very much a woman after my own heart.Jussie SmolettJussie Smollett crushing it in a bold blue number and doing the top button done up/no tie thing with aplomb.Rami Malek and Christian SlaterAnother fan of this style choice is Rami Malek, but at the NBC upfront he is leaning much more into his casual preferences. Still top button done up, but in a patterned number with a Members Only like jacket.

Christian Slater also opts for something similar as this pair does the Mr Robot rounds and now might be a good time to tell you to watch the new season 2 promo.

The “infinite loop of insanity” continues and I really want Darlene’s heart shape glasses.Rami Malek and Portia DoubldayMoving on to the Entertainment Weekly and People party, but keeping on the Mr Robot track with Rami Malek changing his top half for this shindig. #LadySuitWatch2016 points for co-star Portia Doubleday in a classic looking black number. All that is missing is some super red lipstick to really complete the ensemble.Samira WileySamira Wiley’s got the lipstick thing right and gives her cool LBD a color injection with a funky striped clutch. Orange is the New Black returns in a month and you can watch the promo here.Yael GrobglasMaybe this will be the summer I finally invest in a jumpsuit and my bravery levels will probably extend to a classic black number like this one worn by Yael Grobglas. The only thing I would maybe switch out here is a more colorful pump.Tracee Ellis RossTracee Ellis Ross mixes business with party in a buttoned white plunging stunner.Vanessa Hudgens and America FerreraVanessa Hudgens goes full boho in a 70s inspired sheer and metallic Haney dress and a fantastic looking America Ferrera in red lace floral and strappy shoes at the EW and People Upfront event.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

13 May

Cannes kicks off this week and jury member Kirsten Dunst is already slaying all over the place in both casual and evening wear. There is a whole yellow theme this week and we’ve got great BAFTA style. Plus some bonus runway joy.Kirsten DunstEverything about this Kirsten Dunst Cannes Jury photocall look is perfection right down to the wedges, but really the yellow Dior (yes Dior can pull a stunner out the hat still) dress and the red lipstick is what has me going full heart eyes emoji. It is also giving me flashes of The Two Faces of January; a movie I watched on a plane and I enjoyed for all things Dunst, Oscar Isaac and the A+ costume design.Kirsten Dunst CannesAnd for the evening Kiki goes for ethereal floral beauty in pink and red Gucci. As with Claire Danes, my love for Dunst goes way back to my teens with things like The Virgin Suicides and I am so excited to see what other delights she will have on offer over the festival.Mads MikkelsenMads Mikkelsen is also on the jury and he has every right to look this pleased with himself as he is a tuxedo wearing dreamboat. This helps fill in the very big hole left by Hannibal in terms of men’s style and Mads.Anna Kendrick CannesMore yellow thrills from Cannes with Anna Kendrick hitting up the Cafe Society premiere in a bold Stella McCartney gown.Cush JumboWe said goodbye to Cush Jumbo’s Lucca Quinn this week and I cannot wait to see what she does next. For now here is Jumbo at the BAFTA TV Awards in gold Michael Kors and she looks incredible.Maisie WilliamsMaisie Williams is pretty in sparkly metallic pink at the BAFTAs and this Antonio Berardi mini dress continues Williams’ funky red carpet hot streak.Danielle BrooksEnding this week’s yellow infused “Out of the Box” with Danielle Brooks walking the runway for Christian Siriano’s new Lane Bryant plus-size collection. The rooftop event showcased the collection, the city and the models in the most fabulous way.

 

If only all runway events were this fun.

Also this week saw the release of a new Orange is the New Black trailer ahead of its premiere next month and tension levels at Litchfield look set to increase.

This is what I was trying to watch on Wednesday when my internet went kaput so now is a very good time to give a shout out to my friend Tony for taking pity on me and letting me set up shop in his front room so I can do some work (and watch things like this). Fingers crossed by Monday all normal service will resume.

 

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