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Tag Archives: Alan Cumming

Needing to be Needed on The Good Wife or Why “End” is Disappointing

9 May

Alicia didn’t become a lumberjack and nor did she end up with someone other than the mother, but The Good Wife’s finale sure did burn everything to the ground in a way that was incredibly disappointing. I am sitting here staring at my screen wondering what on earth I just watched and why coming full circle means leaving Alicia with nothing. And no you can’t throw in Ghost Will to appease all those other very bad Diane related decisions because it doesn’t work like that and “End” has left a very bitter taste in my mouth.

Ultimately if Alicia Florrick needs to be needed what does it mean that she ends up alone?The Good Wife 7.22 Alicia and DianeLet’s start with THE thing that really spun the whole finale on its head and that is Alicia’s decision to zealously represent her client with no regard for her partnership at work. A couple of weeks ago Alicia watched Diane and Kurt looking all happy and asked them what their secret to good coupledom is; at the time I mentioned that Alicia pretty much screamed RELATIONSHIP GOALS  at them. While I am in no way suggesting that getting Lucca to ask about an affair was through jealousy, I do think she went in hard on Peter needing her when a couple of scenes before she was whatevering the whole thing.

There was no looking for another option and while Alicia and Diane were screaming at each other it appeared that Lucca was trying to suggest there was another way; one that didn’t get a follow up and instead Alicia asked Lucca to ask Kurt about a possible affair. We never get to hear the answer because when Diane gets up and leaves the courtroom showing her public disgust and humiliation at this question, we also leave the courtroom too. Considering this evidence is then thrown out I think it is safe to say that Kurt said yes this affair (oh, Kurt) and I don’t get why the torpedoing of Diane’s marriage was the necessary course of action for this finale.

One thing I did get was this idea that Alicia can’t be happy at this place of work which holds so many memories particularly as she refers to this office as having gotten sad and it probably is time for Alicia to move on; but did she have to go out in such a self-destructive and alienating fashion? And while Alicia and Diane are far from the martini drinking besties I wish they were, there is a strong level of respect and going for the jugular like this seems too selfish even by Alicia’s standards this season.

What she has done is dished out a version of her story to Diane all in the name of getting Peter’s plea deal down to probation when he was willing to do two years last week. Some of this is about protecting Grace and her path to college as somehow she was meant to be leaving for Berkeley in the midst of all of this; convenient timing and all that. Grace has deferred for a year and now she doesn’t have to worry about years of visiting her dad in prison. The Good Wife 7.22 Roosevelt hotelIt looks like Lockhart, [insert name here] and Associates is going to need new letterhead paper and signage as that slap suggests Diane is dunzo with Alicia. This puts Alicia in the Peter position mirroring the pilot opening sequence and is that what we are meant to take away from The Education of Alicia Florrick? Everyone is corrupt and will stoop to the lowest level to be left with nothing? We don’t know if Alicia will divorce Peter or if she will go for Eli’s political plan* or if there will be a positive response to her running for office again. God knows I am happy I never have to watch another campaign storyline again.

*I did enjoy seeing The Roosevelt Hotel popping up in the above scene as I got to play New York, not Chicago bingo and because I have stayed there on a couple of occasions. 

The number of loose ends is longer than my quest to find out exactly where Robyn went. Even the things I liked about this final season were given a short shrift with Lucca continuing her role of relationship coach and getting used by Alicia to stick it to Diane. Guess someone else is probably out of a job now.

Random aside alert – if there were to be a spinoff can I suggest a college set series with Cary as a guest lecturer at various institutes where he ends up helping solve cases. Maybe the hoodie can make a return.The Good Wife 7.22 AliciaOne big aspect of “End” is the conversations with dead people aka here is what you could have won. This is the Alicia Florrick version of the exceptional episode “The Giving Tree,” but this not two seasons ago when The Good Wife was creatively on fire and it ends up being wish fulfillment of the worst kind. Don’t get me wrong as I loved seeing Will Gardner on my screen again and the chemistry between Josh Charles and Julianna Margulies crackles as much as it did before; however all this did was underscore where this show has gone wrong over the last two seasons.

Ghost Will (or really Alicia’s imagined version of Will) appears when Alicia is pondering who she would like to see when she gets home from work offering a glass of wine to her. First Jason, then Peter and sadly no surprise appearance from the other one that got away with Finn Polmar. It surprises her when there is magical option number three and as with other Alicia memory pops or in this case fantasy pops she remarks on how stupid it is before leaning into the fantasy and Will. It is a little fan servicy, but I have to admit as someone who was sailing on the Will/Alicia ship this was an all the feelings moment as soon as I realized the Josh Charles returning for the finale rumors were true. Yes I even got teary because that’s what this pairing does.

And it didn’t just end in the kitchen and Alicia’s venture into old files led to a conversation about the law, college and life. It is very cute and there’s no denying how much I enjoyed seeing Alicia flirting with Will, but it also feels like a bit of an emotional cheat. A distraction of sorts and also a way to try and explain Alicia’s thought process without really explaining anything; “It was romantic because it didn’t happen.” The Good Wife 7.22 Alicia and WillAlicia’s asks “What do I do now?” and this is when Ghost Will tells her to go after Jason as her Peter fever is done with and this is what she does at the press conference the following day. Unfortunately she is chasing a guy who isn’t there and this is when the corridor of slapping gets another hit.

Alicia is left showing those emotions she has been stealing away from and faking in hilarious ways and this crumbling is followed by wiping tears and giving fierce face because Alicia is forever a master at putting on this mask. Or she can give you a demure smile if you want.The Good Wife 7.22 Alicia demureIn the immediate aftermath of watching this finale I am angry and disappointed; for how things went for Diane and that ultimately Alicia burned it all down for a man she is leaving anyway. It makes no sense and I am all for ambiguity, but this ending feels like it is trying to be too clever for its own good and I can see why they put out the ‘not everyone will be happy‘ signals before this even aired. Alicia going all in on getting what she wants after years of sacrifices for Peter is something I am here for, but this version where she blows up everything for Peter is far from satisfying and right now all I want to do is bask in the glory of season 5.

The conflict between Alicia looking out for her interests versus her ‘good wife’ mantle is something season 7 has been striving for and sadly it hasn’t always hit the mark. Part of this I think is due to the decision about whether this was the final season coming in late, which left this season unfocused for large periods of time and it has generally been ticking along. Spending the last 3 episodes covering Peter’s trial has felt like a rush job and really much more time on this rather than his presidential run would have made this storyline/season a lot more cohesive (once again I wonder if this was related to the late announcement). Instead what we are left with is cramming so much ‘goodbye’ plot into such a short space of time giving very little time for character reflection.

The astute comment by Jason about why Alicia has stuck with Peter followed by Ghost Will commenting on how little self-awareness Alicia has also speaks to some of the issues; we still don’t really have a grip on exactly who Alicia is after seven years and this ending certainly doesn’t help out in answering these questions.

One last thought and what feels like my Good Wife mantra, but where is Robyn?

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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.

Behind the Insta-Scenes: Photos from the Set

23 Mar

Instagram delivers on the charming and delightful this week including The Good Wife nearing its end, flashing back to award and promotional tour favorites and an array of shows in production right now.

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☕️🍫➕👔

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One of the best things about this recent awards cycle was everything Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay and thanks to a Room promotional tour in Japan we’re being gifted more of this adorable. Can they promote this movie for forever, please?

 

To be filed under ‘co-stars supporting co-stars’ and the extra special Teen TV variety – the ultimate.

 

Last week, Holly Taylor from The Americans took over the Yahoo TV Instagram account to celebrate the return of The Americans including some face swapping that might induce nightmares. Instead we are going for all the sweater feels.

 

The Good Wife only has a few more episodes to shoot which means an uptick in set photos (which is why I’m posting two this week). This is from episode 20 and shows just how close they film to airing; we only just had episode 17.

 

And now episode 21 otherwise known as the penultimate episode. *sob* Yes I know I said it was time for the show to be done, but I am still very sad it will soon be over.

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#OnFleek On a shoot 💁🏽

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The introduction of Lucca Quinn has been one of the main highlights of this final Good Wife season and hopefully a decent project will snap Cush Jumbo up when this is all over.

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Empire awards!

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A super snazzy touch of floral and John Boyega continues to impress with his suit game.

 

Posing up a storm with Stars Wars co-star in the Empire photobooth (after they both took home awards). I am already excited for the next Star Wars promo tour.

 

This is Lucy Liu’s third time behind the camera on Elementary and she looks all kinds of relaxed here. Somewhat related but I’m still not quite over the level of cute coming from this photo of Jonny Lee Miller with Liu’s son.

 

And while we’re on the subject of adorable set moments – this one from Jane the Virgin is pretty great.

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😑

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Barry’s all caught on The Flash and after this mini break it is good to have him back.

 

Important Zoo costume news – the Henley stays! Good view on every level.

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Between set-ups #unrealtv

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More from the UnREAL set and I am really excited for the return of this show. And that Rachel now has a pair of leather pants.

 

So it is another day of listening to the Cruel Intentions soundtrack as a result of a SMG post. This is not a bad thing and the TV version has a lot to live up to on the music front.

 

And also a hankering to rewatch Master of None even though there are other Netflix shows I haven’t started yet.

 

Line up the 100 emojis for Abbi Jacobson’s top procrastination air guitar jam song choice.

Cockiness and Confidence on The Good Wife

21 Mar

As The Good Wife edges closer to the end each moment holds stronger weight than it would if this was just the final run of episodes in a regular season and everyone is maybe a little too cocky right now; this house of cards is about to take a tumble before the last hurrah. Take the grand jury investigation of Peter and it is going far too well thanks to the leverage Eli’s eavesdropping spot has given them with preparing strategy. They did have the upper hand, but Lloyd Garber getting called back to give more testimony was not something they foresaw and while Alicia crushed her subpoenaed appearance there is still more to come.

There is a thread of cockiness that runs throughout this week and I love it when Alicia is this confident when opposite people like Mr Schue in the grand jury courtroom or the admissions woman from Grace’s school who is accusing Grace of plagiarism via an imperfect piece of software (having been wrongly accused of plagiarism I know exactly how helpless Grace initially felt and I didn’t even have an Alicia to prove my case – thankfully I successfully did this all by myself). The Good Wife 7.17 Lucca and AliciaOne area where Alicia isn’t so certain is Jason especially after seeing him with another woman; this is somewhere she has been before and while this is no Peter situation it sends her through a mini tailspin. This is why it is good she has someone like Lucca to call upon for chats and tequila because Lucca is pretty forthright in her opinions and what she should do; i.e. talk to Jason because that is the only way she is going to stop spiraling. Alicia does point out that in the past there would have been tears over something like this and this relationship evolution might be down to less investment in this relationship or the scar tissue/cynicism that has filled in the gap of those previously hurt feelings.

More likely it is a combination of the two and while there is an element of some investment the long term prospects are unclear and the fact that she is still married is part of this. This is no Will Gardner ‘show me the plan’ kind of situation and I’m happy that the end of this show is not about Alicia finding ‘the one’ or romantic happiness. Instead this part of the Education of Alicia Florrick is moving beyond Peter and exerting her sexuality/giving no fucks ‘tude. I only wish it had been something different from an under the table hand job in a crowded bar because that seems reckless even for a newly confident Alicia as there is no way that a) someone won’t notice and b) the newspaper headline that Alicia jokes about will become a reality. Plus Lucca will surely be back soon from her chip run and that’s just bad friendship etiquette.

At least it didn’t involve an ice cream cone and I’m sorry for bringing up the memory of Kalinda’s husband which we all need to have Eternal Sunshined from this series. The Good Wife 7.17 LuccaAlicia is also juggling the whole Diane takeover offer and Cary is still suspicious with just cause. Alicia still seems reluctant to join forces with Diane because of her loyalty to Cary, but Diane comes through on the making things better for Lucca thing by bringing her into the courtroom rather than just doing the ‘grunt work’ and giving her an office. Alicia flat out lies to Cary when he asks her about Diane’s plans although you could argue semantics between all-female firm and all-female run firm. I do still think that Cary and Diane have been given a short shrift this season in terms of overall storyline even if the case of the week is an interesting one featuring some new and returning guest stars.

In The Good Wife hall of judges fame Denis O’Hare’s Judge Abernathy is high on the list and I’m so glad that this final case for him got to lean into his liberal interests while showing just how much he values his position. And that he got to deliver a verdict as wonderful as the one he did and his delivery of said verdict was a delight to watch. They had him at Supreme Court. Blair Underwood does a really good job as the grieving father and the opening sequence was devastating; it had me in tears even though we had spent less than 3 minutes with these characters.The Good Wife 7.17 Diane and Becky Ann BakerBecky Ann Baker returned as Alma Hoff and it was wonderful seeing Mrs Weir representing Dorota from Gossip Girl. A double night of Baker with Girls and I am always so happy to see her on anything. If only there was a way she could have been in an episode with real life husband and Good Wife guest star MVP Dylan Baker (working his magic on The Americans this season). The depth of the guest star bench on this show is like no other. The Good Wife 7.17 Lucca QuinnCostume wise this was another great week for Lucca in this Peter Pilotto dress and this image of her sitting with her feet up on the desk is everything, but I do worry about her getting caught in the battle of the firm cross hairs. I am definitely bracing for everything to come crashing down as right now things are going far too well for Alicia and we’ve still got a final act chapter obstacle to overcome.

One final observation and a request wrapped up in one; isn’t “Everybody Hurts” on the list of songs that should never be used thanks to over saturation in the 90s? Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” is on the 00s version of this list – thanks The O.C. as is “Fix You” by Coldplay (which actually debuted on The O.C. and therefore that moment is the definitive one – not you The Newsroom). And woah was that a weird cover and choice of song for Alicia spotting Jason smooching a mystery blonde. Suddenly she became a very sad teen a la Angela Chase and Felicity Porter.

Well Earned Distractions on The Good Wife

7 Mar

It is really good to see Alicia Florrick smile again as we head into the final stretch of The Good Wife and it makes sense to show a slightly more carefree Alicia before it could all potentially come crashing down. The investigation into Peter is heating up as is Alicia’s relationship with Jason and the episode opens with a ‘lost weekend’ of sex, movies, eating pizza and more sex. All the things Alicia has been denying herself for too long. Yes she might have an ‘arrangement’ with her husband, but she really hasn’t been taking too much advantage of this setup until now.The Good Wife 7.16 Alicia“Hearing” takes a farcical turn with the arrival of Alicia’s family during her weekend with Jason and I am always happy to see Veronica and Owen even if they are interrupting as they respond to Jason with such glee. Alicia has finally ‘taken a lover’ like both of them have wanted her to do for so long now. They are very much the anti-Peter brigade and an audience stand-in as Veronica was also a huge Will/Alicia shipper. Veronica has been the victim of a scam that dates back and Jason is more than happy to help get her money back. This one might be a keeper.

Alicia’s apartment is a hotbed of activity much to her chagrin at disturbing her actual hot bed of activity and Eli makes a stop by with Peter’s new lawyer Mike Tascioni. The grand jury has started and they still don’t quite know what Peter is being investigated for, but they are slowly piecing the clues together. First up Lloyd Garber who they figured was the redacted name on Elsbeth’s client list and while this might be clutching at straws I still think my Will Gardner theory is a possibility even if nothing in this episode points to the stuffed ballot box switch. The Good Wife 7.16 eliOver the course of this season Eli has spent a lot of time standing on his desk eavesdropping at a vents and he gets to put this skill into practice at the courthouse. Alicia inadvertently discovers that the vent in the bathroom can pick up dialogue coming from the room in which the grand jury is convened, but it is illegal for her to listen as both a lawyer and someone who is going to testify. For Eli it straddles the unethical/illegal line and we get to hear everything the way Eli does; it is muffled and at times the construction workers in the ladies bathroom can be heard and I love it when they mess with perspective in this way. It is frustrating for Eli, but he does manage to pick up some useful information namely that it is something from 2012 and the name Lock is important.

Like his ex-wife, Mike Tascioni has a very good way of unnerving and disarming people and he seemingly gives away all their strategy and clues. Instead he is using this to rattle their opponents and see whether they are investigating the right things. They believe Lock is a person and that he was someone that was put on trial for murder; the case ended in a mistrial and it is one from Cary’s time working at the DA’s office. Cary mentions to Eli that Lock had a top team of defense lawyers but they never did a source of funds. Lock’s father, whoever that might be could hold the key to this whole investigation. Or this is all a red herring and my Will Gardner theory is correct. The Good Wife 7.16 Diane and AliciaSpeaking of Will he comes up in conversation when Diane approaches Alicia about her long term plans for the firm. It turns out Cary and David Lee have a right to be concerned as Diane does have plans to push Cary out and bring Alicia in as a named partner again. Diane isn’t going after an all female firm, just all female named partners. Diane claims it is because she needs someone like Will and Cary is no Will. I am inclined to agree, but only because Cary has barely been given anything to do this season and not because I don’t think he is a good lawyer.

Diane thinks differently and on my list for these final episodes is for a decent storyline for both Diane and Cary. I’m not sure if this is the one I would go for and it is a bit of a bummer to see Diane turn her back on the person she championed from the start, but here we are. If this means more screentime for Diane and Alicia together then that will be one bonus at least. Post-Will funeral martinis included a discussion about this and I do think Will would be very much on board with Diane’s plan as Alicia’s comments to Lucca seemed to suggest. Even if she does an accidental Jason name slip and thereby reveals her recent activities to Lucca. Lucca at least doesn’t feel the conflict of this name mix up and instead is very happy that her friend is having fun.

For her part Lucca also thinks Alicia should tell Cary what Diane is planning even though Alicia appears to be leaning toward Diane’s suggestion; Alicia’s ambition lamp burns bright. For now she is going to turn her brain off and that means more Jason time, but she can’t ignore the knock at her door for too long.

In somewhat related news this is the style highlight from “Hearing” and when the pizza guy tries to mock him for his choice of robe, Jason delivers on the not giving a fuck response. The Good Wife 7.16 JasonAt this point in time it is hard to picture Jason getting either flustered or embarrassed. It is all fun and games at the moment, but I do wonder how Peter will react if/when he finds out and whether this is just a fling or something more.

Behind the Insta-Scenes: Photos from the Set

3 Feb

Another award show this week and that means more behind the scenes action from getting ready to after the after parties. Plus Grease: Live live, X-Files props, Empire sleep wars and some high levels of cute in our Insta round-up.

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Sorry boys. I'm off the market

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Sophie Turner is all of us in this situation at the SAG Awards.

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Buds

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Standard reaction to a picture of this pair is one that involves experiencing a lot of feelings.

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Ladies 💗 #SAGawards

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Ultimate #SquadGoals

 

Marisa Tomei was one of our best dressed at the SAGs and her pre-show ritual looks like a whole lot of fun.

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Traffic. #SAGAwards2016

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Getting stuck in awards traffic doesn’t seem so bad when Pedro Pascal and Sarah Paulson are around.

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R E A D Y @sagawards

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Oh, hello.

 

From the stage Laverne Cox gives us a view from the other side of the amazing OITNB winning cast.

 

And OITNB’s Emma Myles shows what the end of a SAG winning night looks like.

 

Kether Donohue crushed it in Grease: Live as Jan and I got a whole lot of IRL bestie feels from this post. Plus I am coveting Aya Cash’s outfit hard.

 

From the actual opening of the show (which was a feat of technical brilliance) and Vanessa Hudgens deserves all the kudos she is getting for her incredible performance. Great lipstick too.

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SUPERGIRL X GREASELIVE

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Support for Grease: Live across the networks and a crossover I now want to see.

 

A slightly different shot of Jenna Dewan-Tatum on her way to the Hail, Caesar! premiere and the classic ‘lying down to avoid creases’ situation. 

 

Last night’s episode of New Girl was directed by none other than Nick Miller himself; Jake Johnson and Max Greenfield posted a shot that captures him in all his glory.

 

The Empire sleep wars continue.

 

This one ends a little more violently.

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TV family swim lessons… #chapter35 #janethevirgin

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Adorable overload.

 

JDM smolder, Will Patton, bagels and a dog make for a good Good Wife set day.

 

This brow contest is too close to call.

 

This week’s episode of The X-Files set my giddy levels to new highs and being a huge fan of Kumail Nanjiani podcast, The X Files Files it was so great to see him in this super fun episode. This is the file Nanjiani was given and Gillian Anderson’s reaction to this gift is hilarious.

Alicia Florrick’s Funk and Friendships on The Good Wife: How One Can Stop the Other and Save the Season

1 Feb

The reason why I haven’t written about the last couple of episodes of The Good Wife is in part to do with the award shows which have aired against it and the subsequent red carpet posts which have followed. The other part is because this season has been such a bizarrely paced and plotted mess that it has felt like I have been repeating myself on a weekly basis as Alicia grapples with her firm and the election. Thankfully Peter’s bid for president has been put to bed as he crashed and burned in Iowa; this went on for far too long and I think the writers think we care much more about election storylines than we do (see also Alicia’s bid for SA last season).

The Good Wife is about the education of Alicia Florrick and season 7 has been about an unmoored Alicia. In season 1 Alicia was entering a world she had been absent from for a substantial amount of time with her husband’s discretions hanging over her. Cut to the present and she has her own election scandal to add to this list and she’s out on her own again floundering. This is no longer to do with lack of experience and her stubbornness is standing in the way of her going back to the firm that kickstarted her legal career.

The Good Wife 7.13 AliciaThere are two episodes “Judged” draws from in terms of Alicia’s journey and they happen to come from The Good Wife’s best season with “The Last Call” and “All Tapped Out.” Alicia wants to know exactly what Will’s deleted voicemail said and Eli provides the answer remembering certain parts exactly while getting the general gist of the rest – Will had loved her since Georgetown – and this clarity is what was missing from Will’s final voicemail that he left just before he was killed. Alicia will never know exactly why he was calling that morning and plenty of scenarios played in her mind, including one which sounded a whole lot like the message he sent years before.

There is of course the notion of the road not traveled or fig tree element with finding out something this vital years after the fact, particularly when the other person is no longer around. The ‘what ifs’ are endless and after moving on from this idea of her grand romance with Will everything is brought to the surface and it has sent Alicia spiraling. What Alicia does is push people away when there is a whiff of betrayal and her list of meaningful relationships has decreased throughout the seasons. Kalinda was first to go after the Peter reveal and this friendship never recovered (off screen and green screen shenanigans did not help either), things have always been pretty patchy with Diane no matter how much I long for them to be martini drinking buddies, Cary has been both confidant and rival, there was flirtation with Finn, but he was too close to what happened to Will (and Matthew Goode left for Lady Mary) and Eli is the most recent person to feel her wrath and cold shoulder.

Basically Alicia has always needed more friends (her brother does not count) and for every potential there has been a reason – sometimes work, sometimes romantic – that these haven’t panned out. Also guest stars can only hang around for a finite amount of time. Enter Lucca Quinn and Cush Jumbo has been this season’s shining star. Okay, her character is underwritten and everything we do know about her is pretty surface level and yet Cush Jumbo is selling it and making Lucca vital. And not just for fabulous outfit reasons. *Cue screenshots from this episode*
The Good Wife 7.13 LuccaThe Good Wife 7.13 Lucca QuinnThe Good Wife 7.13 Alicia and LuccaLucca is the one who is putting up with all of Alicia’s shit; her terrible moods and refusal to consider the Lockhart, Agos offer from the previous episode. After pulling a lot of concerned faces and a drink with Jason (because why not) Lucca calls Alicia on her DGAF attitude asking “Seriously, are you gonna hate the whole world right now?” Instead of giving Lucca the same throwing plates treatment she gave Eli or simply telling her that she is fine, Alicia lays it all out and I mean all of it. Lucca doesn’t know the Will story so Alicia gives the super abridged version – “I was in love. He died” – and then everything else comes pouring out. The message she didn’t get, how she hates everything, her increased drinking habits and out of nowhere her not too positive feelings about her kids. Now come on Alicia, Zach I get but Grace has been nothing but amazing this season.

This is the same Alicia we got a glimpse of after Will died; the person who stayed in her sweats and did pull the covers over her head. But she got fired up and went back to work after initially wondering whether she had made the right choices with her life.

Those same questions plague her once again and this time she has someone to tell her that she is needed. Not Peter wanting her to snap out of it so she can attend a function, but a true partner and friend. This is the relationship I have been waiting to see Alicia have ever since the very bad Kalinda break up and it has been a bumpy road getting to this point. Both Julianna Margulies and Cush Jumbo crush this scene and me in the process and I just hope this is a sign that this season is headed in a stronger direction.

Alicia is now in a position financially and legally where Lockhart, Agos is the best option and if this means Diane gets to come play rather than being out on some random case then I am so here for it.

An accurate representation of my reaction to the B plot this week. #SaveDianeThe Good Wife 7.13 DianePart of the problem this year is how fractured everything has been, which I guess has been the point in having Alicia out on her own but it doesn’t make for the best structure or strong storytelling overall. Team Everyone at Lockhart, Agos.

Forgiveness doesn’t come easily to Alicia (just ask Kalinda) and last week she told Marissa there was no way she could forgive Eli. Luckily for Eli he comes to say his piece after Alicia has had her breakdown and elevator smooch (finally!) and he tells her that he didn’t prevent Alicia getting together with Will; it happened anyway. Fate is not something they can control and deleting the voicemail didn’t have an impact on what eventually happened to Will. All very logical and Alan Cumming nails the emotion when he tells her that he never apologizes or confesses to anyone. And with that Alicia gives him the thing he came for, but probably didn’t expect.

This is very much a step in the right direction for Alicia and The Good Wife getting her out of her apartment and back to her former workplace and hopefully this last season for the Kings (and maybe Julianna Margulies) will end on a triumphant note. The first step has happened, the rest needs to follow.

When Meddling Goes Too Far on The Good Wife

14 Dec

Voicemails and elevators are two pretty mundane things, but on The Good Wife they are an important part of the emotional fabric. Elevators have been home to overflowing feelings on both ends of the spectrum from guttural sobs to kisses that have been a long time coming; after seven seasons we know how important this location can be. But it isn’t an elevator encounter which delivers the gut punch this week as it is the turn of voicemails in the Alicia Florrick devastation bingo. If she didn’t already have a drink on the go I would suggest she grab one after Eli’s soul unburdening.

The last time this show dealt with voicemails it was after Will’s death and the one he left Alicia just before he was shot and killed. The one which was so vague that it plagued Alicia with thoughts of what he was calling to talk to her about; was he still angry at her? Or was it going to be a declaration of love? It could have been something and nothing, but she was left with no answers and a choice in her interpretation. Alicia ends that “The Last Call” in a cold embrace with Peter picturing the best case scenario with Will declaring his love in what is essentially another version of the voicemail Eli deleted six years ago. The voicemail that Eli tells Alicia about at the end of “KSR.”

The Good Wife 7.10 EliEli’s been on a bit of an emotional roller coaster this year; losing his job, falling in love and trying to do right by Alicia. Okay out of those three things I have a hard time with the Courtney Paige relationship because there is very little heat between the actors and they come across as friends far more than lovers.

Now the Alicia thing is another story and while I think Eli deeply cares about Alicia I don’t believe he has been thinking about that deleted voicemail for the last six years. Maybe when Will died he thought about it especially as the phone call from Kalinda mirrors the original situation, but he is far too detached for it to be eating away at him. Although really that is Eli doubling down on the spin to try and gain favor from Alicia. And if she was looking at me in the same way she was looking at Eli I would be scrambling too.

The Good Wife 7.10 AliciaYep, that’s a death stare if I ever did see one.

What does this whole thing mean other than opening up the Will wound? Alicia already knew he had left a voicemail way back when (although Will never told her about the contents of the second voicemail), but Eli’s retroactive about turn is more about her relationship with Eli than the path not traveled. Is she meant to dwell on the idea that she could have left Peter long ago? Or is she instead meant to consider how fucked up it is that her personal life has been so open to outside influence? Eli says he wants her to be happy, but we just saw him rooting through her office looking for whatever Jason had left her. Which turned out to be a book relating to her case and nothing sexy as Eli probably thought it would be. A box of mini tacos perhaps.

Eli’s voicemail confession comes after he has had his own heartbreak and I will freely admit that the mere mention of Will’s ‘what could have been’ is enough to have me reaching for the tissues. But as with much of this season I’m not sure what the overall point is and Eli’s conflict is certainly interesting and yet it doesn’t necessarily feel earned. I get that he’s finally seeing there is a world beyond politics, but his ‘love affair’ has lacked any kind of spark especially in comparison to the killer scenes between Alan Cumming and Julianna Margulies.

Another arc which has suddenly come to a head is the oldies vs. youngsters at Lockhart, Agos and Lee. Cary has been straddling the generations and not really winning either camp over and now all the mini-Carys have mutinied. Once again this is an interesting resolution to a storyline which has been meandering all season. Although points must first be awarded to the return of Cary’s hoodie and Matt Czuchry’s excellent confused face.

The Good Wife 7.10 CaryLook he even brought donuts! And the opening of this episode with the 8 iPhones lined up and an empty office is totally Twilight Zone-esque. Now I want to see The Good Wife pull a Felicity.

Ticking clocks and schemes are two things I love to see on this show and so maybe it has all been a bit directionless for Cary this year, but goddamn did I enjoy seeing him get one over on those smug douchebags. Even more so when Diane looked as proud as she did. The Good Wife 7.10 DianePlus there was high fiving.

In fun things that Lucca Quinn wore this week we have a series of different prints.

The Good Wife 7.10 Lucca The Good Wife 7.10 Lucca and Max The Good Wife 7.10 Lucca QuinnWe also found out over drinks that Lucca avoids disappointment by not expecting anything from anyone and while we still don’t know that much about her on a deeper level, between this scene and how good she is in court my Lucca Quinn crush is still strong.

Control and Alicia’s sense of taking charge is something I have discussed a lot this season and this Eli confession is going to deeply impact their relationship. Alicia has always been aware of a certain aspect of meddling from Eli in her personal life, but this opens up a huge old wound and I’m not sure how Eli is going to regain her trust after this bombshell. It’s not just about the what could have been with Will; instead it is about the overall commitment to Peter’s political career that Alicia has made. Hopefully this will add focus when we return in the new year as while these episodes are enjoyable there needs to be something more. Especially if this turns out to be the final season.

Full Disclosure on The Good Wife: The Rules of Being The Presidential Candidate’s Wife

30 Nov

For someone who has known Alicia for as long as Eli has on The Good Wife, he is an expert in how to push her buttons and not in a good way. There has always been a bit of a push/pull between these two characters with Eli trying to work the best angle for the campaign while being more than aware that Alicia isn’t just going to drop everything and say yes. Some of this has been discovered the hard way and he knows better than anyone not to try and use the Florrick kids in any capacity without checking with their mother beforehand. It gets a little murky when Alicia’s love life comes into play and he has definitely overstepped his bounds long before “Discovery” with both Will and Finn. When Ruth comes to him regarding her Jason fears he does what Eli does and pisses Alicia off; ending the episode with a wordless reply and a door getting shut in his face.

The Good Wife 7.09 AliciaEli has intimate knowledge of Alicia and Peter’s complicated relationship; the affairs that both of them have had, their living situation and even their most recent hook-up. It is actually a very bizarre set-up when you consider all of this and when he tells Courtney that you have to be obsessed with your candidate he is skimming on the thorough and kinda creepy details. Okay the word “obsessed” has those connotations and he is maybe one step away from having a photo collage wall, except that wall is in his mind and files that they gather on the candidate and all their associates.

It is why it comes as a surprise to both Ruth and Eli that he missed the Jason thing (he has seen Jason, right?!). Ruth notices straight away and the way the camera lingers as Jason shows Alicia something on his phone and she puts on his glasses might as well have been Ruth seeing them going at it in the hallway; she is viewing it through salacious smut goggles. AKA what a lot of the audience (myself included) wants to see happen. Please don’t let this be a repeat of the Finn Polmar non-affair.

The Good Wife 7.09 Jason and AliciaTo give Eli some credit, I guess he is very reluctant when asking these awkward questions and maybe (okay definitely) a little intimidated by Jason, who also happens to have no time for Eli’s not so subtle attempt in telling him to back off. Although it does work because Jason goes from grufty warmness to grufty at a distance and Alicia is pissed. She’s still making homemade margs (and getting better) and alcohol is required to deal with this level of interference from Eli especially when he is giving his rules speech. It also doesn’t help that when he mentions hotel bars all I can think of is the season 2 finale and Will. And now I’m feeling a whole lot of things.

There are ulterior motives at play and full disclosure is not something Eli is offering as he is using the Courtney funded Alicia focus group as a way to see if she is a viable candidate for a Senate position, when Courtney just wanted to see if the Saint Alicia brand had been resurrected for this presidency campaign. Eli has moved beyond his sabotage plan, but the self interest level is still at play. One tactic he employs which is so dumb for everyone involved is sending Nora on an interference mission. When he sells it to her it sounds like it could be something which has a lot more value than cockblocking and after one awkward interruption Nora is no longer up for serving as Eli’s stooge.

Nora happens to interrupt a deep and meaningful about Jason’s previously uncomfortable life – flashback montage please – and now he likes to keep things simple. He is quickly learning that by spending time in Alicia’s orbit things are far from this state. Although he should have known that from the investigation he did on her and like Eli I don’t really buy his excuse of checking out his new boss. Alicia looks concerned by this discovery (drink because I just said the episode title) and it is unclear what she is going to do with this information. Probably start by drinking another margarita.

There are a couple of interesting Alicia costuming touches to note such as the leather and lace combo that comes after Eli’s chat; she certainly isn’t going to tone her wardrobe choices down and in fact this up the sex factor.

The Good Wife 7.09 Lucca and AliciaThe other thing is when she is filming her ‘wife of the candidate’ pieces she is wearing her very wifey pearls, which she then ditches for when she heads to court.

The Good Wife 7.09 Alicia Florrick The Good Wife 7.09 Alicia and LuccaOne person who doesn’t worry about pearls and politician’s wife associations is Diane who goes all out on her triple pearl necklace for court.

The Good Wife 7.09 Diane pearlsAnd I am definitely feeling this look both in the office and out on the street (I couldn’t pick which one I wanted to use so a double shot it is).

The Good Wife 7.09 Diane Lockhart - Copy The Good Wife 7.09 DianeLucca and Alicia are also both sporting fantastic outerwear and a whole lot of side eye.

The Good Wife 7.09 Lucca and Alicia ChumhumThe case this week has Alicia representing an old client with a new boss as Piper’s brother from Orange is the New Black is the new COO at Chumhum with Lockhart, Agos representing the opposition. This is a Canning case and they know it will look better with Lucca as part of the team because the case is about race, which she is obviously not so thrilled by. Somehow they find a way to have both sides win, but it leaves an unpleasant taste in the end because of a) what Alicia and Lucca had to do at the behest of the dude paying their bills (bury evidence) and b) Diane and Cary also kinda lost because the restaurant in question was failing before the app was launched.

We also get to hear Cary spout a whole lot of white male privilege and I’m not entirely sure if this was out of character or completely in line with what he actually thinks. Cary has been used so little this season it is hard to tell who he is in a post-Kalinda Good Wife as he was so defined by that relationship. Now he is going dancing with Lucca and I would be way more into this if there had been any sense of a build-up; they have gone from pretty much zero non-case based interactions to this in no steps at all.

This season is still trying to figure out exactly what it wants to be and as we near the halfway point it is a little concerning. With one episode left before the break (airing December 13) I hope it figures things out soon.

Understanding Motives on The Good Wife

23 Nov

In the battle of Diane Lockhart versus Diane Lockhart there are no winners and it is becoming increasingly clear that one very rich client may end up being detrimental to the rest of their business. Actually there was one person who did rather well out of this fight as Grace scooped up all of the clients who are unhappy with Diane’s role as Reese Dipple’s mouthpiece. It doesn’t matter how many times she mentions this is First Amendment case when the subject matter is one dealing with choice. Why does Diane go so hard line on it?

The Good Wife 7.08 Diane LockhartPart of this is down to being presented with a quote that came from her own speech to EMILY’s List and there is a certain amount of trying to keep bias out of the courtroom. But I also have to wonder if this is all there is to Diane’s motives and even though this video is against everything she believes in why does she take it as far as she does? Dipple is their most valuable client financially and he has already impacted the firm by laying down stipulations to stop Alicia from returning last season.

So there is this element of Diane bending to accommodate because of how much Dipple is worth. And because it is a First Amendment debate Diane can at least pretend she is arguing for something she does believe in. My main concern with this case and the Dipple relationship (which is being conducted through the always amazing Peter Gallagher) is how much it compromises Diane and what it looks like it might be setting up in the long run; a Diane versus Alicia showdown.

Don’t get me wrong I am thrilled to see Diane getting a story of her own – now can we find one for Cary please? – but I worry that it will result in more animosity between Alicia and Diane. Take last season when Alicia’s campaign got in the way of her job and she had what still feels like a very manufactured fight with her then partners followed by the blow up over the supposed Howard related sabotage. The latter was a misunderstanding and while Alicia and Diane have never been the besties I long for them to be (Alicia’s lack of friends is something I worry about more than I probably should) there has always been a strong level of respect. So it is a concern that the pieces are aligning to put them in conflict especially now Alicia potentially has four of Diane’s clients and the little matter of Jason moonlighting for Lockhart, Agos.

The Good Wife 7.08 Diane and JasonAh yes this is something Jason hasn’t disclosed and the surprised look on Alicia’s face when she heard Diane in the background during a Jason phone call is also steeped in displeasure; I don’t think Alicia wants to share.

When Diane utters “well that was easy” we know it is probably going to be the opposite and the resolution is pretty much Diane pulling a catch 22 and excusing herself from the case. Cary gives her kudos for this conclusion, but I’m not entirely sure what the overall point was other than to show that Diane is good at arguing against something she believes in and to create a rift with some of her clients.

Diane dresses for battle in the way we know and love from one her phoenix like pins to the double chain necklace of glory. Also delivering on the “Who the fuck are you face?”

The Good Wife 7.08 DianeThere is a certain element of feeling slightly unmoored this season and despite this being a creative leap from last season’s messy endeavor it still lacks direction. Every week has been fun and it definitely more enjoyable watching Alicia and her startup than Alicia and her SA campaign, but we are reaching the point of the year where the wheels needs to be doing more than spinning. Especially as this could be the last season (there has been no official announcement but all signs point to this could be the final outing).

In the Florrick, Quinn (not Florrick, Agos) the firm continues to explore their options in making this venture a success with varying results. Quinn meets with Canning in a move to find some clients to poach and this fails spectacularly; they are a formidable team in the courtroom, less so in a boardroom. Maybe talk to each other before these pitches. Meanwhile Grace solidifies her position beyond her mother’s lackey (what about school?) as she uses the many computers in their apartment to create what sounds like a busy office and ends up doing rather well out of Diane’s case. Part of this is luck and good timing, but Grace can’t just be dismissed as she does a much better job than her mom and Lucca.

The Good Wife 7.08 GraceGrace gets points for pattern clashing delights and then some get subtracted for that awful ‘famous’ cushion on her bed. She earns those points back for telling her mother how much she now owes her after scoring these new clients.

The Good Wife 7.08 LuccaIt also looks like Lucca has been taking jewelry tips off Diane and this necklace is like a less intimidating version of the chain link statement pieces Diane favors.

One place where motives take center stage is between Eli and Courtney Page. Eli has a crush and his eavesdropping is no longer about revenge. His desire to get Courtney to change her mind about how/what she pays her employees does relate to the campaign, but really it is an excuse to spend more time with her and seeing a vulnerable Eli always makes for a fun and rare change.

I’m not entirely sure what the purpose is of this courtship or where this storyline is headed and yet I’m thoroughly enjoying the change of pace; aka the perfect way to describe this season.

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