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Tag Archives: Carrie Preston

Paranoia Runs Wild on The Good Wife

22 Feb

The big Good Wife Super Bowl announcement has put a countdown clock on this season and with each passing week it becomes clear that Alicia Florrick’s journey is going to come full circle; with Peter accused of a crime he may or may not have committed, resignation and the question of whether his wife will stand by him. The Education of Alicia Florrick is not going to see her making the same mistake twice and I have a strong feeling that Peter might be standing alone the next time this kind of press conference takes place; especially if she take Ruth’s advice to put herself first and get out while she can. The question is what charges are they going to bring against Peter and Eli is scrambling to get ahead of the FBI. Now there happens to be a big Elsbeth Tascioni shaped obstacle in his way.

Ah yes! It is always a pleasure to see Carrie Preston as Elsbeth and while there is a danger that things could tip into overly kooky territory; Preston manages to walk this very narrow line stopping her from appearing too cartoony. Plus it is always fun to see characters interact with Elsbeth for the first time and now we get to meet her equally disarming ex-husband. Plus it helps that she isn’t always sickly sweet and is very protective of her clients and her duties as a lawyer.The Good Wife 7.15 ElsbethThe question of who the redacted name is and how Elsbeth connected the dots has apparently been answered in the episode and yet I have a feeling it is someone else entirely who Elsbeth is keeping attorney/client privilege with and I’m pretty sure that person is dead. Yep I think Will Gardner is the one and it goes back to the stuffed ballot box from Peter’s election at the end of season 4. Will showed Peter a video of said ballot box and was being pursued by the Office of Public Integrity just prior to his death.

In “A Few Words” Will approaches Elsbeth at a conference in New York and asks her to represent him in this case as he is being pressured to break attorney/client privilege and threatened with jail time if he doesn’t. It meets all the criteria as to why Elsbeth has to excuse herself from working for Peter; a grand jury case (tick), against Peter Florrick (tick) and Will was a client of Elsbeth’s (tick). At the time it looked like this was going to be a huge story arc and that it might spell the end for Peter, but then the courtroom shooting happened effectively killing two birds with one stone for Peter and his Will problem. Not that I think Peter welcomed this solution, but you can’t say he hasn’t benefited from it.

This isn’t the conclusion Eli comes to as after following Elsbeth (oh hi Jason!) they see her meeting with one of Peter’s top donors (and dairy owner) Lloyd Garber and assume he is also being investigated. But Garber is also very close to Gardner and maybe I’m being David Lee/Cary Agos levels of paranoid, but I think Garber is a big red herring here. Now Will is dead (*sob*) so where this leaves Elsbeth in terms of lawyer duties is something I am not clear on. Regardless I kinda like the idea of Will bringing Peter down from beyond the grave. There are some things like the Russian in The Sopranos or the outrigger in Lost that never come back regardless of these shows ending, but I have a feeling we have not seen the last of the stuffed ballot box.

Over at Lockhart, Agos and Lee all the years of takeovers, schemes and power plays – Derrick Bond, anyone? – have taken their toll and David Lee takes the interest in the female lawyers for a profile piece to mean that Diane is intending to turn this into a female run firm. Because of course he does. And because Cary has been involved in several of these plots he is easily influenced in believing this is a thing. There is a lack of trust at this firm from all angles and it is hard to imagine a time when it will settle down and the major players won’t suspect that there is someone working against them. As outsiders both Lucca and Jason thinks this is kinda insane and Lucca questions Alicia about why they came here in the first place. Money. The answer is always money.The Good Wife 7.15 Alicia and JasonWith Jason, Alicia has a whole different kind of interaction going from elevator smooches to late night office hookups and finally Alicia has thrown caution to the wind in what looks like the same office where she had a very chaste moment with Finn Polmar. I know there was some John shenanigans as well last season, but eh there was nowhere near the heat as with either of these other potential suitors. Jason has concerns about where this might be headed and those concerns begin with Peter; Alicia explains the situation and that Peter is fine with it. Jason intuitively knows this is far from the case so Alicia tries another tactic first by playfully and emotionally manipulating him about her drinking followed by being direct; she wants him.

We don’t get to see where this leads as we cut to the NSA dudes who are not only listening into Alicia’s calls but also any conversation that happens to take place near her phone, which is pretty much all of her conversations. The episode ends abruptly and with a sense of uncertainty about what the NSA’s role is other than being an audience stand-in and how their investigation will impact the FBI’s investigation and Alicia’s work seeing as they did influence Alicia’s top secret case. I loved the look of pride/happiness that came across Alicia’s face when she was told that Judge Leora Kuhn was the one who recommended her and if Linda Emond isn’t coming back before the end then I’m glad they gave a nod to one of my all time favorite Good Wife judges in this manner.

I was hoping that with Alicia’s return to the firm there would be more for Christine Baranski to do; alas this week she was just dealing with paranoid dudes. Looking fabulous in the process (standard).The Good Wife 7.15 DianeIn a similar vein Lucca also got dealt the short straw this week as Cary tried to get info from her about this possible all lady takeover and getting booted from Alicia’s office when she wanted a word with Jason. There is also the small matter of a Top 5 Lucca Quinn outfit with this colorful dress.The Good Wife 7.15 LuccaAnd for a random Lockhart, Agos and Lee observation – I wonder why they have to spell out what is in this jar. Is it so people don’t think it is decorative?The Good Wife 7.15 candyI think it would be in Cary’s best interest if he did not align himself with David Lee even if he has cockroach levels of survival skills at the firm. The pieces are falling into place and it will be interesting to see where loyalties lie and who is willing to stand by who when it comes down to it.

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Papa Pope, Pornstache, Elsbeth Tascioni and more in SAG’s Conversation with Guest Stars

16 Jun

Roundtable discussions tend to focus on leading or supporting characters and so this guest star panel from SAG is a real treat especially as it features pretty much my favorite guest star – Carrie Preston plays the magical TV unicorn Elsbeth Tascioni on The Good Wife.

Guest stars can go from a three episode arc to becoming a central figure (see Michael Emerson on Lost) or they might do a short run and gain legend status. The phrase “potentially recurring” is often mentioned to guest stars and as Annaleigh Ashford can testify with Masters of Sex it can happen; Betty departed early in season 1 and she’s been upped to a regular for the new season.

Taking part in this SAG panel are Annaleigh Ashford (Masters of Sex), Sarah Baker (Louie), Aimee Carrero (The Americans), Joe Morton (Scandal), Carrie Preston (The Good Wife) and Pablo Schreiber (Orange is the New Black).

SAG guest starLevels of experience vary, as does the way they were cast on the shows they have most recently been on with some getting offered the part without an audition like Carrie Preston and others having to go through multiple callbacks, or getting a part that is different from the one they originally went for. Pablo Schreiber was originally offered Larry on OITNB and he didn’t see him playing this role. Schreiber had already worked with creator Jenji Kohan on Weeds and so that relationship was already there, but it was actually a friend on the writing staff that suggested Pornstache.

Schreiber also goes into how they developed the Pornstache look including the process of picking out the right moustache and how bushiness was an issue. Pornstache’s hair is influenced by Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV and while the ‘stache is fake; the hair is all Schreiber’s.

Carrie Preston mentions the amazing reputation The Good Wife has when it comes to guest stars (both Joe Morton and Pablo Schreiber have also appeared on the show) and how after appearing in the first year she didn’t get called back for a season. Thankfully the writers found an organic way to bring Elsbeth back on multiple occasions; including this very special moment in season 4.

One of the most discussed episodes of this TV season has been Louie’s “So Did the Fat Lady” and while I haven’t seen the actual episode yet (I know, it’s still sitting on my DVR) I have read a lot of the discourse surrounding it, so hearing Sarah Baker talking about the auditioning and filming process, as well as her general experience is really fascinating. Yes, I need to watch this episode.

In terms of how much the actors know when taking on these parts and how long their guest arc will be varies and someone like Shonda Rhimes doesn’t tend to share too much, although Joe Morton did know that his character was Olivia’s father on Scandal. What he doesn’t know is how long Papa Pope will be around for and generally the guest star rule is “If you don’t die there’s always a way.” As we know from other shows, even if a character does die there is still a way.

Watch the whole discussion below for more on general guest star feelings and the shows they have been on.

 

 

The Good Wife: What We Wear and How We Are Perceived

17 Mar

Presentation and perception are at the heart of The Good Wife – it all started with a woman standing beside her disgraced husband with the media and public making all kinds of judgement calls. Alicia Florrick has come far since that press conference; she has her own firm and she’s the wife of the governor. So while we know Alicia’s origin story and we’ve seen her life as a stay-at-home mom, her attempt to go back to work immediately post-scandal is something previously discussed and not shown. “A Few Words” revisits this period as Alicia writes a keynote speech about “opting back in” after a period away from practicing law and we see her struggle to get a job thanks to her name and how a chance elevator meeting (of course) led her to Stern, Lockhart & Gardner.

One of the many striking aspects about The Good Wife is how costume designer Daniel Lawson uses clothes to add insight into a characters thoughts, feelings and background. This is something I have written about on multiple occasions this season and this episode incorporates many of these aspects; memory, power and sex. What you wear can be a powerful tool and the contrast between present day Alicia and the one we see in her flashbacks is striking.

The Good Wife 5.14 contrastAlicia’s first flashback suit is a cornflower blue jacket and she instantly stands out while waiting with the other all male job candidates. These dudes are all pretty interchangeable even if their suits are slightly different colors. Alicia is reading a magazine (one that she buries beneath the stack as she sees her own photo) while everyone else is busy (or at least pretending to be) on their Blackberries. We’ve already seen Alicia in this attire in the previous interview scene and this just reinforces the notion of how much she has changed both in her style and who she is.

The Good Wife 5.14 buttoned upKalinda’s original investigation into Alicia reveals that Alicia was going to get fired from her job just prior to her leaving to raise her family as she lacked “a killer instinct.” This is something she definitely possesses now, it took time to get there but her departure from Lockhart Gardner demonstrated her killer instincts. What this past look at Alicia also shows is how buttoned up she is in both senses of the word; just look at that collar. This attire reeks of her well-to-do suburban lifestyle and this color is not something that would feature in Alicia’s current wardrobe.

The Good Wife 5.14 elevatorHere’s a slightly better shot of the jacket and the reunion between Will and Alicia happens in an elevator, as if it could have happened anywhere else. This is where memory comes into play and while there isn’t a suit color change this time – thoughts aren’t clouded by sex recollections – both remember their greeting in a slightly different way. Both recall the other calling them by their full name; the flirtatious, warm overtones are present in each one.

The Good Wife 5.14 cream jacketEverything Alicia wears in the past is from a soft color palette and while Alicia still wears cream now, everything we see in the present in this episode is on the dark end of the scale.

The Good Wife 5.14 speech writingOther than factors such as hair and makeup this provides instant coding as to what is now and then; Alicia is in a position of power and while she’s still trying to sell herself to other lawyers, she’s far from the bottom of the pile.

The Good Wife 5.14 pearlsAh yes, imaginary conversations with Jackie Florrick as Alicia awaits her interview with Will and ‘Jackie’ tells her “You like nice things, so go be a whore.” ‘Jackie’ also calls Alicia a slut; imaginary Jackie as her inner voice isn’t very kind. Alicia’s interview attire is more revealing than her previous attempts and yet it still screams wife of a politicians thanks to the pearls. Grey is definitely going to make you look more lawyer like than cornflower blue.

So what purpose does ‘Jackie’ serve? Well she lets us know that on one level Alicia does feel like she got the job because of her past almost romantic relations with Will (bad timing remember). It’s a complicated situation, especially as Will claims he never linked work and Alicia together. This I don’t completely buy and maybe Will only pushed hard (phrasing) for Alicia because she was his friend at college, but a small aspect of it had to be down to their connection. Alicia has reconciled these feelings in her speech “Use everything you have to get the job and don’t feel entitled.” Basically don’t listen to your inner Jackie.

The Good Wife 5.14 Cary and AliciaThere’s a fun moment with Cary and Alicia’s first meeting – that is not a good hair look Cary – as Alicia asks what his first impression of her was. Cary initially lies (“I liked you”) and then admits he thought Alicia was entitled. Alicia agrees with this summation as does he with her assessment that he was a “cocky new associate.” Now look at them! The Cary/Alicia relationship progression is one of my favorite things on The Good Wife and it shows that sometimes we can be semi-right about our first impressions, but there is also much room for growth.

the good wife 5.14 got the jobAs we already know Alicia got the job (as did Cary) and between this closing scene and the diner handshake between Will and Alicia, I have a feeling she will be bailing him out soon in one way or another thanks to this line from Will “Alicia, when I’m broke and lying in an alley somewhere, do something nice for me.”

The Good Wife 5.14 red tweedBack in the present and the keynote speech not only acts as a way to add another layer to the Alicia/Will story, but it also shows Alicia trying to sell herself in another manner. Now it’s all about promoting the new firm and they want to land lawyers like Rayna who bring big business. The speech is the perfect way to do this and Alicia uses feminism as the overall theme to try and win Rayna over. It doesn’t quite go to plan and while they don’t end up with Rayna (she’s setting up shop with Elsbeth!), Alicia is definitely in demand as one of the original firms that turned her away because of her name offers her a job. She doesn’t take it of course, but it must be incredibly satisfying to come full circle in this manner; some new clients for Florrick/Agos would have probably been a better score though.

The Good Wife 5.14Red and black are the present day color palette choices with a red tweed jacket as she’s writing followed by the black keynote speech ensemble. As I mentioned before it’s all about being taken seriously and these are Alicia’s confidence clothes.

The Good Wife 5.14 red jacketRed is Alicia’s ultimate power armor and as she’s leaving the hotel she’s wearing this color. This is when she gets the job offer and all looks pretty good from here and in a previous scene Alicia’s responds to the question of “What do you want Alicia?” with “A happy life and to control my fate.” This is well within her reach, until it all comes crashing down next week with the election scandal brewing and Will’s huge dilemma.

The Good Wife 5.14 ElsbethIn terms of perception, Elsbeth is incredibly disarming as we have seen on countless occasion as people underestimate her ability to go for the jugular. Just because she wears scarves and frilly collars that have an Austin Powers feel doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be taken seriously, even if ultimately Dubeck ends up gaining the upper hand. It’s always a joy whenever Carrie Preston guest stars and I think I might be shipping Elsbeth and Clarke after her “High Hopes” rendition.

The Good Wife 5.14 bird pinThere’s not a lot of Diane this week sadly, but she does make sure Will tells her what is going on and all while wearing yet another incredible pin that rivals the dragon fly (these pins tend to come from antique shops if you are on the hunt for one). This bird pin is like a mockingjay has just spread its wings and flown free.

“A Few Words” deals with a variety of the long term arcs like Will and Alicia’s relationship which has been present since The Good Wife started and other more recent overarching stories like the ballot box swap. How Alicia is perceived in relation to Peter is another consistent theme and this time feminism in the workplace is also in focus (as my friend Noel Kirkpatrick points out the last time they were this overt was with Caitlin).

Costuming helps signify how far a character has progressed and Alicia is far from the person we met in the pilot; professionally and personally. Alicia is no longer perceived as the woman standing behind her husband with a look of shame on her face; she’s standing tall upfront and on her own. Well, she’s not entirely on her own as the Florrick name is still important and with Peter heading towards another scandal, Alicia might have to dig down into those stoic reserves. If she wants to really be happy and control her own fate, standing by Peter’s side once again might not be the way to do it.

Emmys 2013: Red Carpet Highlights

23 Sep

It’s a busy day of fashion and TV thanks to last night’s Emmys (for my brief thoughts on the show head here) and while monochrome was a big trend, bold color and the standard nude tones were also big players on the red carpet. This post is for those dresses that don’t fall into one easy category and this post features a couple of dresses that still has me pondering whether they’re a hit or miss.

Let’s get to it!

Zooey Deschanel Emmys

Zooey Deschanel has a habit of wearing princess type gowns with a 1950s influence so this Barbarella looking icy blue J. Mendel number is a huge surprise. You can’t see it in this photo but the dress had a huge sexy slit up one leg and I’m so glad to see Deschanel opting for something outside of her standard wheelhouse. She looks amazing which almost makes up for the lack of New Girl nominations. Almost.

Kiernan Shipka 2013 emmys

Kiernan Shipka continues to impress with her age appropriate red carpet looks and this floral Delpozo frock is perfect for the 13-year-old; yes at 13 Shipka has already outshone every good fashion moment I have ever had. This dress could come across as too fussy which is why the ponytail/minimal makeup works and I don’t think we’re ready for Shipka to go for the Taylor Momsen raccoon eyes approach – now or ever.

Kerry Washington Emmys 2013

Kerry Washington was top of my red carpet most anticipated list and I’m disappointed with the Marchesa gown. I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about it and while I like the floral embellishments, it’s also reading wedding gown. I think if my expectations weren’t so high I would like this fine, but considering all of the other exquisite dresses she has worn this year it doesn’t quite hit the mark. It does fall into the Olivia Pope color scheme though and as always she looks flawless. It’s just not the dress I was hoping for.

Claire Danes emmys

Following closely behind Kerry Washington on that anticipated list, was Claire Danes and this is another dress that had me wrinkling my nose in disappointment, especially after what she wore last year. I’m not a huge fan of blush tone gowns which might be why I’m finding it hard to get excited about either of these dresses and with Danes this Armani Privé number washes her out. I do like the change in hairstyle and her makeup is also a win, more accessorizes would help.

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Danes does get red carpet legend status for crashing Lena Dunham’s E! interview and chatting about her Scandal obsession with the Girls star. A Romeo and Juliet reference was also thrown in regarding their Showtime/HBO standing; this has me reaching for those angel wings I’ve been holding onto for a Romeo + Juliet revival.

Christina Hendricks Emmys

Christina Hendricks doesn’t always get it right on the red carpet and designers inexplicably seem to have a hard time with her body shape, not so with Christian Siriano who always hits the mark with Hendricks. Hendricks described this gown as looking like a Sargent painting, a reference that was lost on Seacrest (Twitter quickly deduced that Madame X is the painting). Incredible from H to T (yeah I’ve been watching too much Top Model).

65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - ArrivalsMindy Kaling’s eggplant colored Edition by Georges Chakra dress is not the sparkly number that you might expect from Kaling and as with Deschanel I like this change up. Hair and makeup are understated and because of the embellished neckline accessorize beyond a cute clutch aren’t needed.

Carrie Preston Emmy 2013

Carrie Preston won an Emmy last weekend for her guest starring work on The Good Wife and she shone on the red carpet in this pale pink Romona Keveza gown with a touch of black detail. Preston’s incredible auburn locks instantly make her standout and this is another winning look.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

20 Sep

It’s the Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday which means there are parties aplenty and with the earlier Creative Arts Emmys happening last Sunday we also have some winners looking fabulous as they pick up their accolades. So let’s get straight to it.

Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series - Dan Bucatinsky

Dan Bucatinsky plays Cyrus’ husband James on Scandal and he picked up the Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series on Sunday night. It was a tough category that also featured Michael J. Fox (The Good Wife) and Rupert Friend (Homeland) and in a heartfelt speech he mentioned how wonderful it is that he can thank both his onscreen husband and real life husband. Wearing an amazing Alexander McQueen Dogtooth Jacquard tuxedo, Bucatinsky showed there are options for men beyond just the standard black tux and the Scandal cast is one of the most stylish both on screen and on the red carpet .

Carrie Preston Emmy

The Good Wife has a huge amount of excellent guest stars and Carrie Preston plays one of my favorite recurring characters; Elsbeth Tascioni. Tascioni’s quirks could come across as forced but Preston shines in this role and so I was delighted to see her win for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series on Sunday. I’m also a sucker for a cape and while most of the red carpet looks at the Creative Arts Emmys played it safe, it was good to see Preston trying something a little different.

Kerry Washington Emmy party

People magazine named Kerry Washington the World’s Best Dressed Woman this week and I’m definitely not going to dispute this title; who else could pull of this bubblegum pink ruffled Halston Heritage dress without looking like a Barbie doll?! The white shoes/clutch and matching lipstick to the dress color could be seen as accessorizing overkill but for some reason it works. All eyes will be on Washington on Sunday and she is high on my list of most anticipated red carpet arrivals. The Outstanding Actress in a Drama category is incredibly strong and my loyalty is split three ways between Washington, Elisabeth Moss and Claire Danes.

Tina Fey, Allison Williams

From last night’s Hollywood Reporter Nominees Night party both Tina Fey and Allison Williams have opted for the simple and effective black dress approach. It might be the similar outfit choices and natural makeup look but they could definitely play sisters in something. Along with Kerry Washington’s gown another thing on my Emmy anticipated list is what Amy Poehler has planned for the announcement of the Outstanding Actress in a Comedy category that Tina Fey is part of; previous years have included a silly glasses, mixed up speeches and a pageant approach. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are also slated to present at the Emmys this weekend.

Candice Accola

While The Vampire Diaries isn’t nominated for anything, Awesome Vampire Caroline herself Candice Accola attended the Hollywood Reporter party and looked, well awesome. This is another occasion where matching lipstick color to the dress actually works and while the nude shoes are not my favorite this is a really good look for a party that doesn’t require a full on gown. The dress is really cute with the bow belt and Rorschach like image (it’s definitely a butterfly).

Darby Stanchfield

As I’ve already mentioned the Scandal cast are just as stylish off screen as they are on it and Darby Stanchfield bookends this week’s Scandal filled post. This outfit could look a bit too business but as it’s a skirt and crop top this gives it a party edge. The clutch and statement ring add flare to the look and I love the belted detail that helps break up the grey tweed. Once again Stanchfield has avoided her Abby like super straight hair and opted for the wavy approach; as always I have long auburn hair envy.

For more photos from The Hollywood Reporter’s Emmy party head here.

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