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Busy Philipps is My Friend: The Instagram Story Impact

28 Sep

The reason I started watching Instagram Stories was because of Busy Philipps. The reason I started doing my own Instagram Stories was because of Busy Philipps. And now Busy is getting the New Yorker ‘Persons of Interest’ treatment. Yes, I found out about this on Instagram.

Social media allows you to carefully curate what you want the world to see; there are aspirational influencer elements of brand building and giving a sneak peek into the lives of the rich and the famous mixed in with seeing a friend’s walk to work. Up to 15-second clips that last only 24-hours and can tell you absolutely nothing about what is really going on. And the amount of time you can spend watching and skipping through these videos/photos and Boomerangs (which I mostly despise, despite doing some on the odd occasion) can feel infinite. Just don’t hit the ‘Watch All’ option.

Snapchat did it first, but I found it mostly impenetrable and this is the first time an app has made me feel old. I downloaded and deleted in the space of a day.

The above photo was chosen after I came across this tweet, which is definitely on brand.

I was also always going to be susceptible to certain celebs using this format and while January Jones is still queen of Insta comments and captions, Busy had my heart in an instant with her almost daily updates. There’s the “Hey guys” greeting that adds an extra level of familiarity and because of where they take place there is a certain level of intimacy; in her bedroom, car, kitchen, while walking down the street, working out, in a restaurant.

The “Just Like Us” vibe isn’t restricted to location and the way Busy talks about her anxiety, frustrations, her skin—I too am a picker—and career ups and downs, the shit that is going on in the world and eating habits is also #highlyrelatable. See also the way she talks about the TV she watches including old reruns of Friends.

But the joy of Busy’s Stories also comes from getting access to places we are not so likely to experience; the bathroom at an award show, working on a movie set or making a music video. When else am I going to hear Michelle Williams jokingly swear after losing out on the Oscar to Viola Davis? The familiar is tangled up in the glamorous and while I have never been to the Golden Globes, I have been locked out of my house in the rain after a night out.

Busy is incredibly popular on Instagram for a lot of the reasons and if this is the 15-second equivalent to a sitcom then there is one regular guest star who I am always thrilled to see. This connection goes back almost twenty years—yeah now I really feel old—and the occasional appearance by Busy’s bestie, Michelle Williams, is an instant nostalgia trip that also points to how some relationships in Hollywood are forever.

I’ve written at length about hair influences and how much I heart this power couple and the pair couldn’t be more different when it comes to their social media habits. For starters, Michelle Williams doesn’t partake and even before personal tragedy, Williams came across as guarded. These appearances lack any kind of pretense; whether during award season or hanging out at a very Dawson’s Creek location, as they reminisce about the actors Williams kissed on the show. Sometimes actors get a little precious about where they got their start and thankfully there is no such BS here. Instead it is tales of smooching.

Between Busy at Lekfit and Gina Rodriguez’s pull up bar—another Stories fave—there is also a better living kind of motivation. Not that I have started either, but I have bought some workout clothes so edging ever so closer to this. I am nothing if not prepared when it comes to having the right outfit.

Plus there are these kind of top notch observations that you can expect as TV costuming intersects with my Insta viewing habits.

And while experiencing my own existential and career related woes there is something comforting and motivating about Busy’s own musings on these subjects. Also seeing her procrastinating when it comes to writing is perhaps the most relatable. She says while picking up her phone to see what is going on elsewhere.

You know, Kim Kelly is my friend and so is Busy.* And now I’m going to go rewatch some Freaks and Geeks and contemplate the pros and cons of buying a mini-trampoline.

*This sounds far creepier than intended

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From Teen TV to IRL Besties: Celebrating Busy Philipps and Michelle Williams

16 Nov

TV Ate My Wardrobe regular readers will know how much I love it when onscreen friendships blossom into IRL ones and the ultimate version of this is decades long relationships from the teen shows that shaped me; Devon Odessa who played Sharon Cherski on My So-Called Life was one of Claire Danes’ bridesmaids, Keri Russell is still super tight with her Felicity ex-roomie Amanda Foreman and Busy Philipps is often Michelle Williams’ date to big award season events like the Independent Spirit Awards, Oscars (see below) and the Tonysmichelle-williams-and-busy-philippsThe Philipps/Williams friendship is perhaps the most important thing to come out of Dawson’s Creek. Well that and my never ending crush on Joshua Jackson and Michelle Williams being my forever hair icon.

Michelle Williams doesn’t have an Instagram, but Busy Philipps often uses her page to celebrate the achievements of her best friend including Broadway achievements and general hangouts. This week Philipps went to a screening of Manchester by the Sea; a movie that is getting a lot of award season buzz with Michelle Williams being hotly tipped in the supporting category. michelle-w-and-busy-pAt the after party a crab cake tray getting dropped all over Philipps led to an early exit that was documented on Philipps’ Instagram Story with Michelle Williams adorably asking if she can swear on this video. Here is a frame from that moment, but alas Insta Stories only last 24 hours before they disappear forever. Trust me, it was a delight.

 

They also went shopping in Beverley Hills this week and looked super cute while doing so.

michelle-and-busy

Later Busy Philipps wore this outfit to a Madewell event and this is a boozy brunch ideal line-up.

 

Plaid and stripes 4EVA.oscarsAnd ending things as I often like to with a Jake Gyllenhaal bonus at the 2011 Oscars when Busy Philipps was Michelle Williams’ date for that night too.

Oh, Hello 2016! Resolutions, Weddings and Peak TV

4 Jan

As this is the first post of 2016 it is time to shake off those writing cobwebs and look to the year ahead after spending so much time looking at the one we just had. I’m not one for specific resolutions and September feels as much like a new start as January does (for more on that read this), but there are some things I want to think about in terms of what is to come and what I would like to do in this shiny new year.

First of all this is going to be a huge year for me on a personal level as I am getting married this year. This means I have to finally stop calling watching marathons of Say Yes to the Dress ‘research’ and actually get out there and find a dress. I’m not someone who has all the details of this garment or day planned to a meticulous level (far from it) and I knew that going from “I’m getting married next year” to “I’m getting married this year” would definitely cause momentary panic.

April and AndyThere is still a lot to plan and I know my strengths do not lie in this kind of organizing, luckily the guy I am marrying is much more adept in this area; however I have to remember that there is also much for me to do beyond flicking through a few magazines or making jokes about getting inspiration from Marnie’s forthcoming wedding on Girls. I’m sure there will be more on this during the year (including dress photos after the day) and while it does feel very daunting, I also can’t wait.

SerenaThen comes the career* orientated resolutions and turning my general weekly note to myself that I need to pitch more to outer outlets into an actual thing. TV Ate My Wardrobe is the safe space in that it is mine and I can come here and just post whatever. There’s no emailing, waiting and worrying about rejection. This blog is something I am incredibly proud of, but I also know that I need to push myself more and stop getting in my own way. The underwear piece I did for Flavorwire is one of the best writing experiences I have ever had; I got to talk to three incredible costume designers and while it was nerve wracking it was also very rewarding. I need to do more of that and by writing about this on such a public forum I hope to remind myself that pitching is something I should be spending more time doing. I was better at doing this stuff in 2015 than I was in 2014, but there is still ways to go.

*Note – Using this photo of Serena when she had assumed Gossip Girl blogging duties because of how similar her writing attire is to mine (because who doesn’t wear that many necklaces while typing) and because I found that storyline way more amusing than I probably should. I also spent way too long on Netflix looking for this screencap so I had to use it.

Some other things are just generally related to TV habits and pretty much remembering there is no way to watch everything, because #PeakTV. Sometimes it feels like you are missing out on what everyone is talking about, but there are not enough hours in the day to watch every single BIG show.

[Source]

Last week I started both Making a Murderer and Mr Robot with one being a much talked about show over the summer and the other being the hot topic over the festive break. Staying up to date is kinda important when writing about something like television, but there is also no point in stressing out over the ever growing list of ‘must see TV’ (feeling so NBC 90s right now).

While I’m on the subject of TV to watch in 2016 there are some old shows on the list including Gilmore Girls which I need to get back to for TV Rewind (and because those first two episodes made me want to watch a lot more) as I know my co-writer in all of this, Julie Hammerle is now definitely ahead of me. I blame the two shows I mentioned above for derailing my plans to watch more over the holidays. There are also things like Outlander which is very much at the top of the “To Watch” list before the new season begins. Also the stack of books I got for Christmas would very much like to be read (along with the other stacks sitting on my bedside table – pretty much need Hermione’s time turner necklace or the About Time power). Plus there is the exciting X-Files revival and other favorites such as The Americans and Broad City returning in the next few months.

So here’s to an exciting year and one I can’t wait to share with you all!

Teen Girls Rule the World on The Americans (They Just Don’t Know It)

15 Apr

Paige Jennings is having one hell of a year on The Americans (and still two episodes to go) and there is something impressive about the importance of teenage girls to the central plot and balance of this season. The Paige Problem has been at the heart of pretty much every argument between Philip and Elizabeth ever since they were informed of the KGB’s second generation program plans. While Paige has been relatively protected up until now there is another fifteen year-old who has been less fortunate at falling prey to those targeting her father.

The Americans 3.11 PaigeThere are plenty of parallels between Paige and Kimmy particularly when it comes to absentee parents; however Kimmy has been searching for connections from a more traditional teen source with booze and boys. Or rather weed and a dude pushing 40. Exploiting weakness is one way to make an asset more complicit and Philip has tapped into Kimmy’s desire for someone to be close to and in this case her hormones are driving the situation. Paige has gone in a more spiritual direction and both are essentially dealing with identity. Fifteen was a long time ago for me now, but that feeling of not knowing who you are or whether what you are feeling is normal is hard to wipe clean from your memory. That’s the kind of shit that might stay buried until you are given a prompt – in my case it happens when watching/writing about teen shows (see My So-Called Life/Freaks and Geeks) and these pit of your stomach awful feelings can be quick to resurface.

I am drawn to teen TV/movies and not just the ones which prompt nostalgia (related – I saw The Duff yesterday and Mae Whitman is a treasure). Like pretty much everyone I had my fair share of soul crushing teen moments where I longed to be in my twenties and everything would be far less complicated and my skin would be great (nope and nope). Teen girls getting their moment to shine in adult drama doesn’t always play out well and can often be a source of contention – I think Morgan Saylor was excellent on Homeland but Dana’s storylines did not hold up to Saylor’s performance – however when they do play a pivotal role that goes beyond just being an obstacle for the main characters it is something I find incredibly compelling; there is something so raw and open about this period in your life.

This season of The Americans has been brutal on a physical level – suitcase, dentistry, necklacing – but it is the emotional weight which has left me drained and invigorated after each episode. The story truly sings when the focus is on the relationships at the heart of it all; Philip’s small nodding gesture which sets in motion the huge revelation in episode 10 is indicative of this as a huge emotional weight is lifted and comes crashing down all at once. The spy stuff is a big draw, but the dynamics between these characters going far beyond the wigs is why The Americans is so compelling.

The Americans KimmyNeither Paige nor Kimmy are aware of how significant they are in the grand scheme in the fight between the Soviet Union and America. It sounds somewhat ridiculous when typing it out like that, but without Philip’s semi-seduction of Kimmy they would be without good access to the main operation they have been running this season with the CIA Afghan group. With Paige her relevance comes on both a macro and micro level; we know how the Cold War ends but at this point this is still over six years away for these characters and if Paige were to get on board she could access the CIA in a way Philip and Elizabeth never could. On the smaller scale Philip and Elizabeth have been experiencing disagreements aplenty regarding the fate of their daughter and even though they ended up telling her together it isn’t necessarily a quick fix for their relationship.

One teen is easier to control at the moment and this makes Kimmy’s story all the sadder for how she is being manipulated. Philip’s not a complete shit and there is a paternal quality to how he treats her with a side order of frowny face because of how much she wants to sleep with him. This storyline is far from over and it is hard to seeing it getting resolved in a way which will benefit Kimmy; the better for her would be to have her heart broken with plenty of tales to tell when she is older of the guy she listened to music with who ended up being an asshole with issues. Alternatively this story could end with far more than her heart getting trampled on and while Paige is the one who knows the truth about who her parents are, I fear if Kimmy is to find anything out about who Philip really is she will end up paying a grave price. That’s far more than the typical identity issues your average teenager might experience.

Paige’s power has shifted from in the dark and passive to a more dangerous and unpredictable place. She has questions aplenty and picking a time to ask them is not her strong suit. Being pissed off at your parents is pretty standard teen behavior and in this case Paige has earned all snark privileges. While it is easy to write off her sniping as bratty her entire foundation has been destroyed; figuring out who the fuck you are is hard enough without the extra bonus of everything about your family being a giant lie.

Rebellion for Paige has so far included the odd lie here and there coupled with her religious journey. What if this moment leads to Paige rebelling in a much more familiar manner? There are only two more episodes to go and plenty of ways for her to add to her parents already stacked roster of shit they have to deal with. Something as simple as Paige going out and getting wasted is going to compound things or she could start poking around the real family business. Whatever they have planned for these final episodes it is not a stretch to say this season of The Americans has been exceptional and devastating television with the two teen girl characters playing a big part in this. Special mention to both Holly Taylor and Julia Garner for their performances which cut straight to my soul and have me longing for happy endings for these characters however unlikely that is. What sets this apart from other drama shows with a teenage girl character of this kind is they feel incredibly relevant to the story as a whole; they are not here to remind us solely to remind us the leads have children or as another obstacle for them to overcome (see 24Homeland).

Cliches are avoided and Kimmy could have easily come across as the sad, whiny, horny girl with daddy issues (see The Fall) instead all of these aspects are part of who she is, but those are not the only things that define her. Kimmy is the parallel to Paige and the writing/performance is just as strong for each character. Even Henry avoids total second child/teen boy insignificance as others have (waves at Chris from Homeland) thanks to his interactions with Stan and his accidental awkward timing when it comes to doing impressions. Henry hasn’t been the cause of every argument ever between his parents, but they still have found time to give him a personality.

Oh and Paige if you need a therapist I have a really great idea for a spinoff/crossover thanks to Betty’s decision to go study psychology on Mad Men; after all she knows a lot about living with someone who hid their true identity for years. TV world make this happen.

 

Why the ‘Felicity’ Date Rape Storyline Was Important and Still Is

7 Apr

Teen TV often deals with some pretty heavy subjects relating to sex and one area where Julie Hammerle and I have praised Felicity in our conversations both here and over at This Was TV is how it explores matters of sexual health. One such storyline which was handled with sensitivity was when Julie was date raped by Zach in season 1 and the reason I felt it was necessary to bring this up is due to this interview from Cosmopolitan with Devon Gummersall. Gummersall also played Brian Krakow on My So-Called Life and like many other fans of this show I went to Twitter with all caps blaring when he appeared as Peggy’s date on Mad Men.

The post Mad Men interviews with Gummersall have mostly stuck with reminiscing about MSCL (you know I am so here for this) and Mad Men, which is why when the Felicity rape storyline is broached Gummersall’s response is incredibly disappointing “I loved being on the show, but in the end I realized that it was sort of a mistake to do that kind of a storyline. I would have much rather been on the show more long-term and done something that didn’t have to end in such a bad way.”

Felicity ep 4 Brian Krakow all grown upI’m guessing that playing a rapist is not high up on any actor’s wish list and his character on Felicity was a sweet and shy guy, not necessarily who you might expect to do something like this. Gummersall notes how quickly the storyline turned “And also it’s weird because it started out with this light-heartedness, the whole thing with him washing his clothes the wrong way and all his clothes were pink, and he was a sweet guy. And all of a sudden he becomes this bad person and you’re like, What?” This factor is something we addressed when we talked about these episodes as we liked Zach a whole bunch and then he did this; not every rapist is a scary dude hiding behind a bush with a knife or waiting for any girl to get drunk at a party. Sometimes it is the guy who you trust and doesn’t listen when you say no. This story is not played for sensation, instead it is portrayed with sensitivity in showing the consequences of a sadly common scenario like this.

So for all of you who haven’t seen the episode in years/have never seen it here is a brief explanation of what happens in “Drawing the Line.” Zach is dating Julie and they’ve been fooling around a bit. Julie wants to take things slow as she’s been hurt in the past by guys who haven’t been good for her and while we only hear about the assault after the fact (not showing it puts the audience in the position of choosing a side to believe) it becomes quite clear that Julie said no and Zach carried on regardless. The scene where Julie describes what happened to Felicity is devastating and heartbreaking right down to details such as he rolled over and fell asleep after he was done. Julie does not think it is rape at first and she blames herself; scenes like these add to why this episode is such a vital piece of television.

Felicity 1.08 Julie and FelicityI didn’t watch these episodes when they first aired in 1998 and it was depressing to note when we watched them for This Was TV in 2013 for This Was TV how relevant it is 15 years later. This is still the case in 2015 and the issue of consent in college is sadly still a hot topic. One of the reasons why Devon Gummersall’s response is so disappointing is that he can’t see the wider social implications of a story like this instead it all revolves around being sad that he couldn’t be on the show longer because his character did something awful or because of the reaction he received as he references what fans said to him “Oh my God, you were Brian Krakow and then you broke our hearts when you were on Felicity because we were like, ‘Oh my God, Krakow raped her.'” And I was like, Dear God, what have I done?” I get that this must suck to have a fan encounter like this, but putting a storyline out there like this has far more value. In our discussion I talk about how to me he is Brian Krakow still, but ultimately I can disassociate between the two characters. And it’s not like I don’t still heart Brian Krakow after this.

While watching the new episode of Mad Men (spoiler alert) and Stevie went back to Peggy’s all drunk and horny I momentarily worried we were going to get a repeat of the Zach incident. Thankfully this was not the case and Stevie listened to what Peggy said. My fears weren’t due to the role Gummersall has played in the past, instead Zach provides a frame of reference for a character that doesn’t get what consent means.

Felicity challenges our perceptions of characters and their actions in the two-parter “Drawing the Line.” It also calls into question the conclusions we have drawn from previous episodes as I had incorrectly assumed that Julie had slept with Ben. When Ben punches Zach he also emphatically beats him with words too, telling Zach “The difference is, when you told me to stop, I did.” Zing.

Gummersall ends this brief foray into Felicity with “I never talked to J.J. Abrams or Matt Reeves about that actually, but I wonder. I bet you they were like, “Yeah, maybe we should have gone in a different direction with that.” I wonder if they think that. I don’t know.” I really hope they didn’t think that because in terms of important storytelling this is one of Felicity’s benchmark moments addressing a subject which is sadly all too relevant almost 20 years later.

Happy 20th Birthday My So-Called Life: Why Angela Chase Means So Much

27 Aug

My So-Called Life premiered August 25 1994 when I was two weeks shy of turning 12. I didn’t see this show until 3 years later and this was probably for the best as I didn’t need Angela Chase until that miserable summer. Despite its short length of only 18 episodes I have managed to spill a whole lot of personal/analytical/style observations and while I touched on what I cover below, the level of angst and introspection was not worthy of this show.  To celebrate 20 years since the debut of MSCL I want to talk about why it meant so much to me when I first saw it. Please read the following in the style of an Angela Chase voiceover.

MSCL ep 2 AngelaBeing ignored for no particular reason is one of those awful teenage rite of passage that every girl in my class went through, it just so happened that mine occurred during the summer break. So I faced 6 weeks of not a whole lot going on. This was the summer of 1997, I was 14 years old and I have to admit that maybe I was to blame for some of this as I had recently changed friendship groups. At first there was mass acceptance and then like that I lost whatever factor had made them embrace me into their way cooler circle. My journal (which I no longer have, something I regret) entries at this time swayed between strained optimism where I pretended that everything was fine to more desperate pleas of insecurity.

Miserable real life friendship situation not withstanding something amazing did happen over this summer as I fell in love and felt completely understood by one person – enter Angela Chase and My So-Called Life. I didn’t see this show when it first aired in the UK the previous year; however it was part of the daytime TV schedule throughout this summer alongside Eerie, Indiana, The Secret World of Alex Mack and Sister, Sister. Those extreme feelings of teendom are hard to capture as everything means so much and nothing all at once; there’s the rush of discovery and then disillusionment. For me MSCL had all of the former and none of the latter.

I have another confession to make about this transitional period and that’s on the subject of best friends. The whole BFFs situation is full of so many fraught memories; will I ever have one? Is this person as those three capital letters scream going to be part of my life forever? Why do you have to label one person as ‘best?’ I actually still have some of these feelings today about this notion and the term “best friend” feels so loaded with preconceived ideas that it makes me dizzy. Clearly at this point I didn’t have a best friend, or really any friends (actually I had one very dear friend who went to another school, but during this summer she grew up all of a sudden and started drinking, smoking and dating and I was a year away from any of these things) and so fictional characters whether in books or on screen became the next best thing.

The ache you feel at 14 is hard to articulate, god knows I tried spilling my emotions in a way I thought you had to at this age. Journal writing really wasn’t my forte and it made me feel uncomfortable; half the time I was lying to myself both in my mind and on those journal pages. Step up Angela Chase and from her first introspective voiceover I knew I had found a heroine for a life; someone that understood who I was and what I was going through and it was a voice coming from my television.

Like Angela, at this point in my life I had never kissed a boy and it suddenly felt kind of ok that I hadn’t; I was no longer the biggest loser in the room. Everything about that period in your life is trying to do things so fast and worrying that you’ll be the last to experience all of these moments, as if being last is the worst thing in the world (hyperbole is the key tool to an adolescent mind). Suddenly there was this cool, pretty – but not in a typical popular girl Hollywood way, remember she does the best quiver cry face – and lost girl who was saying everything I was feeling. It’s also the first time I think I was honest in my journal as I overly emoted about how much I loved this show and this character. Jordan Catalano was an object of affection as he really does lean incredibly well, however it was Angela who had my heart.

Finding salvation in fiction lets us experience our own pain and fears through the gaze of someone else; as everything is heightened emotionally during adolescence the desire to be understood and find a connection can often take place in a world that has been created by another. It’s one reason why YA fiction thrives and can cause such strong visceral reactions. For some it is rooted in the supernatural, for me it was that girl in plaid with dyed red hair.

I also have to wonder how much this experience has affected the focus of my writing; The X-Files and E.R. were the first two shows that revealed just how much television can be, but My So-Called Life exposed something I had never felt before. So not only was my summer of misery saved by a TV show, my personal investment and interest in this format was probably enhanced by this experience.

More heartbreak followed when I found out that only 18 episodes of this show had been made and it was rather fitting that this intense love affair with this world and characters lasted for just one summer. Unlike most summer flings I managed to last the distance with this one and when I watched it again in the mid-2000s (and then for This Was TV) I found that my feelings were still strong and the connection is still very much alive.

Going back to school after the break was over wasn’t so terrible as it was someone else’s turn to get the silent treatment and soon we grew up beyond this petty and inexplicable tradition. The next summer was not one of abject loneliness and I had the kind of vacation that I previously thought existed only in fiction; one where you hang out, have fun and don’t feel bad about yourself. We had a time. Looking back I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t change a thing from the summer of ’97 as it really sucks to have such a low opinion of yourself. Instead I will say that I am incredibly grateful that Winnie Holzman created a show that made me feel like I wasn’t alone in huge mess of adolescent misery and that is the power of a well crafted story.

10 New Yorker TV Posts: From The Hummingbird Theory to Reality TV

24 Jul

The New Yorker has dropped the paywall for all articles dating back to 2007 for the summer and now is the time to catch up on seven years of writing that you may have missed or only read select quotes from. The New Yorker is calling this “a summer-long free-for-all” as they launch their new site and introduce a similar system to The New York Times in the fall. Content wise they are also introducing a Daily Cultural Comment column “in which our critics and other writers confront everything from the latest debates over the impact of technology to the latest volume from Chicago, Oslo, or Lima and the ongoing sagas of Don Draper, Daenerys Targaryen, and Hannah Horvath.”

With this in mind I have selected 10 articles with a link to television including some of my favorite pieces from current TV critic Emily Nussbaum (who makes up just under half the entries and hates lists, sorry Emily), recollections from Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, a range of genres and one profile that is about a current pop culture queen back in 2011 (this one is the exception to the TV focus of this list).

EnlightenedIn the same package as The Hour boxset and another show on my catch up list is Enlightened and Emily Nussbaum’s Hummingbird Theory draws on Laura Dern’s Amy Jellicoe from Enlightened among others like Leslie Knope and Carrie Mathison. It is something we touched upon during our Comeback discussions and these kinds of characters are “idealistic feminine dreamers whose personalities are irritants.”

Emily Nussbaum’s essay on Sex and the City in reaction to Brett Martin’s Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From ‘The Sopranos’ and ‘The Wire’ to ‘Mad Men’ and ‘Breaking Bad is one of my favorite Nussbaum New Yorker pieces. Nussbaum looks for reasons beyond the terrible movies as to why Sex and the City has lost its place in TV legacy discussions. All while pointing out its groundbreaking position and reinforcing why it was one of the most talked about shows beyond its ties to fashion.

Continuing with Emily Nussbaum and female centric shows that spark a lot of debate/column inches with Nussbaum’s thoughts on the sex scene in one of the most discussed and beloved (and hated) episodes of Girls “One Man’s Trash.”

The final piece from current New Yorker TV critic Emily Nussbaum is an examination of the variety – quality and genre – of work from one of the most controversial and prolific showrunners working in TV at the moment; Ryan Murphy.

Tina Fey wrote about her experiences on SNL and the lessons from working on late night in an essay from her book Bossypants (there are slight differences between the two).

Nailing those pre-college summer job feelings and slowly realizing what she wanted to do with her life is Amy Poehler in “Take Your Licks.”

Emily Greenhouse says goodbye to Gossip Girl and makes sure to mention Dan Humphrey’s fictitious New Yorker submission.

Last year Lauren Collins asked why so many (myself included) have become obsessed with Scandinavian television tracking the success of Forbrydelsen (The Killing), Broen (The Bridge) and Borgen.

While I don’t necessarily agree with everything in Nancy Franklin’s reality TV analysis in “Frenemy Territory” it is fun to look back to 2008 when reality shows like The Hills were at peak popularity.

This last recommendation is a slight cheat as it isn’t strictly TV (SNLCSI and Teen Mom all get a mention), it is however a fascinating look at the Taylor Swift angst empire back in 2011. Lizzie Widdicombe talks about Swift’s “unjaded sincerity no matter how contrived the situation” in “You Belong with Me” and it’s just as relevant now three years later.

Blake Lively, Preserve and the TV Character Lifestyle Site Wishlist

15 Jul

Blake Lively’s lifestyle site Preserve is launching soon (rumored to be July 23) and other than having a name that conjures up images of jam or something to be looked at and not touched, it promises to “focus on artisans and products, many hand-made one-of-a-kind items all selected by Blake. Items will be available for purchase through the site. Preserve is all about story-telling through video. Blake will be in some of these videos.”

Serena GG bloggingNow as someone who subscribes to the Goop newsletter (who doesn’t want a Hamptons summer update in their inbox?!) one ridiculous and extravagant lifestyle blog from an actress is probably enough. Blake disagrees and told UK Vogue last year that “the main element of it is that it’s about storytelling and it’s about living a very one-of-a-kind, curated life, and how to achieve that. There’s nothing like it out there – it’s without a genre.” Ah, it’s “without genre” other than being a lifestyle blog, which I *think* is already a genre. Flashbacks to Serena’s blogging storyline on Gossip Girl is not helping and for some reason I’m contemplating a Gossip Girl rewatch. Send help.

I wonder if Blake will go the way of Goop offering aspirational and mostly unobtainable (for the average consumer) items and vacation suggestions or will she shock us with more affordable pieces. The phrase “one-of-a-kind, curated life” highly suggests the former. So while this doesn’t sound all that original, it has inspired this list of which TV characters I would like to see with their own lifestyle websites. Even if computers don’t exist in their world, parchment also works.

Broad CityAbbi and Ilana, Broad City: From their incredible style, money making schemes, phone finding solutions, dating antics, city travel alternatives and general lady friendship awesomeness I would definitely want a weekly newsletter from this duo.

Sally DraperSally Draper, Mad Men: Surviving boarding school, philandering/judgmental parents and pointers on late 60s teen fashion is what I would expect from this blog. And snark. So much snark and it would be glorious.

MindyMindy Lahiri, The Mindy Project: Dating advice, rom-com New York City tour spots and an endless supply of bright and bold clothing suggestions. Oh and a gym plan that involves celebrity saving scenarios. Mindy Kaling did have a lifestyle blog that she started in 2006 called “Things I’ve Bought That I Love” and it isn’t just crazy expensive items.

Olivia Pope white trenchOlivia Pope, ScandalTeach me how to wear white and not spill red wine down it and how to one might rock a white hat (metaphorical and literal) and still look stylish. Also includes sections on how to handle difficult parents and complicated relationships. And recipes for jam and Vermont vacation locations.

CerseiCersei Lannister, Game of Thrones: How to survive a patriarchal society, manipulation skills, insults to use while drinking copious amounts of wine and intricate braid hairstyle solutions. Also tips on how to accentuate any gown with some armor. Dating advice should be ignored.

Hannibal 2.02 H kill suitDr. Hannibal Lecter, Hannibal: How to look exquisite no matter what the activity with a whole host of fashion advice like “How to wear a three-piece suit while partaking in your favorite hobby.” There is also a cooking section, but you might want to change the ingredients. Take special care to read the etiquette section as rudeness will not be tolerated.

Which TV character would you take lifestyle advice from?

On TV Ate My Wardrobe Turning One

14 Apr

Over the weekend TV Ate My Wardrobe turned one and I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who over the past year has read, contributed and supported this endeavor. The reasons behind starting this site were varied; the main one was to simply write more and this has been achieved in the over 300 posts discussing many past and present shows. Reviews, fantasy costuming, costume wish lists, red carpet highlights, discussions about style and TV music playlists have all become regular features on TV Ate My Wardrobe and I can only hope to expand on this. I waxed lyrical about the passage of time when it was my actual birthday so I will hold off on doing that again, so I will simply say thank you and here’s to another year. Maybe I will finally find the mythical mustard yellow hoodie this year.

Dance party!

 

Wear a TV Logo on Your Bag

30 Jan

Anna Gunn featured on the TV Ate My Wardrobe SAG Awards red carpet best dressed and she also carried our favorite accessory at this event – a custom Edie Parker Breaking Bad emblazoned clutch.

Anna Gunn Breaking Bad clutchThe trend has continued as Lena Dunham posted a picture to her Instagram showing off a Girls clutch from Charlotte Olympia. This is part of Olympia’s pre-Fall 2014 collection and will be available from April – there are also some pretty cool looking Archie clutches currently on sale.

Lena Dunham Girls ClutchThis opens up a whole new avenue of TV inspired clothing and there’s an endless list of TV show logos, past and present that would work just as well as these Girls and Breaking Bad offerings. I mean I have a Dunder Mifflin tote bag, but it’s not really the same thing.

Carrie BagThe first season of The Carrie Diaries starts with a nail polish disaster resulting in a one of a kind purse that lands Carrie Bradshaw an internship at Interview and while that bag is long gone on the show now; it’s still one of the defining images in the intro.

The Bell Jar Clutch

TV shows aren’t the only ones to get the clutch bag treatment as Parisian designer Olympia Le-Tan has been using classic book covers as clutch bag designs since the S/S 2010 ‘Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover‘ collection and I’ve been coveting one ever since. The Bell Jar is part of the ‘Still Ill‘ 2012 series and as it is my favorite book, it’s also top of my wish list.

A bag can easily become a blank canvas and TV is the latest place to inspire; how about a ’90s line featuring shows that have either just hit or will be reaching the 20 year milestone soon?

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