Tag Archives: “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”

Thanksgiving Rewind: Dawson’s Creek “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?”

28 Nov

Sitcoms tend to be where the most memorable Thanksgiving episodes can be found, but I wanted to carry on with the holiday themed teen TV discussions that started with Halloween this year. So far My So-Called LifeBuffy the Vampire Slayer and Freaks and Geeks have been addressed and so it’s time to talk about that other ’90s teen TV juggernaut Dawson’s Creek. The episode “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” is from season 3 and deals with Jen’s estranged relationship with her mother and other family related dramas that tend to rear their head during the holiday season.

photo (3)

Pacey talks of defining moments when Jen finds out that her mother is a giant hypocrite who, instead of trying to deal with her daughter’s promiscuity sent her away. This is further compounded by the revelation that Jen’s mom had given up a child when she was a teenager (who happens to be one of the Sweet Valley High twins). Jen’s mother is pretty much your typical WASP archetype as she will do anything to avoid a scandal going public. The pearl necklace that she tries to bestow to Jen is pure waspy style and Jen rejects this. It’s a peace offering and it’s one that is too little, too late as the woman that Jen idolized when she grew up threw her away; “Pearls lose their luster if you don’t wear them. I guess that they’re like people in that regard, you should keep them close to your skin.”

Halloween episodes give characters the opportunity to be someone else and Thanksgiving is all about family. It’s the perfect time for the Lindley’s to have a frank discussion and for Michelle Williams to break my heart. As I’ve mentioned previously Jen was my favorite character on this show, not because she was the ‘bad girl’ (the antics on a show like Gossip Girl are way worse, though Jen does share *some* similarities with Serena) instead there was something compelling about her as she struggles with this label and this new environment. Plus I really wanted her haircut, though looking at this semi-crimped style I’m not sure why.

photo (7)Friends as family is also a consistent notion when it comes to Thanksgiving episodes and while this sentiment sounds cheesy Dawson perfectly sums it up when he tells Joey that “The only homes we have are the ones we make for ourselves.” I can totally see that statement on a fridge magnet or doormat. Jen isn’t the only one having a hard time as Joey is still mourning her mother and the holiday only magnifies this pain, Dawson is dealing with his parents divorce, Pacey and Andi are still in post breakup awkwardness and Pacey doesn’t want to spend Thanksgiving with his own bawdy family.

photo (6)The defining moment that Pacey mentions refers to seeing your parents “as human beings with their own problems” and how “it is oddly kind of liberating when you realize they are way more messed up than you are.” Alanis Morissette’s “That I Would Be Good” kicks in because this is the late ’90s and lady angst music is the best soundtrack choice. This also happens to be one of the episodes where Jen and Pacey attempt friends with benefits and while I never saw them as a long term couple they have great chemistry together and this storyline is a lot of fun before the Dawson/Pacey/Joey triangle angst sets in.

photo (9)Jen realizes that her mother doesn’t hate her and the reason she was exiled was due to her mother’s self-loathing and fear of disappearing off the social scene if she ever ends it with her father. It’s the closure that Jen needs and hey Thanksgiving made it all possible. The final scene with the group hanging out around the fire is all about the ‘friends as family’ idea and it’s sprinkled with Dawson’s Creek staples such as pop culture references (Charlie Brown), a sentimental speech from Dawson that leads to a mention of the Oscars.

It’s a solid Thanksgiving episode, though I’m glad I had watched “Escape from Witch Island” recently as this is the one that precedes it and I have also watched/written about this ghostly adventure recently. Ok, that was pretty much a discussion of how bad Joey’s hat is and in terms of costuming in this episode the only thing of note is how ill fitting the bras are and along with the everything is baggy look, I’m glad this trend hasn’t come back around with the recent ’90s revival. Jen’s super long black skirt, knee high boots combo is staple late ’90s look. The location is stunning and having a meal like this outside without freezing this time of year would be wonderful.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating today!

Scandal 3.02 “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?”: It’s All About the Coats

11 Oct

On the season premiere of Scandal Olivia wore a very striking white Burberry trench coat and in this week’s flashback episode she gave the audience at least 3 more reasons to have some serious coat envy.

So let’s get straight to it as we look at the costume design on “Guess Who’s coming to Dinner?” and the various coats from Olivia’s past and present

Scandal ep 2 Olivia StellaThe first flashback reveals this is five years ago and the light in the scene is softened to differentiate form past and present. It’s immediately clear even without this chyron that this is some time ago as Huck is homeless and living in Union station and this is the only point in the episode where we get a date stamp. The first flashback coat is a grey tweed Stella McCartney funnel neck and while Olivia is giving off a relaxed attitude to Huck as soon as her back is turned her expression changes and we find out that Sunday’s are dinner with dad day.

Scandal 3.2 Prada PurseThe coat that Olivia wears for most of the flashback scenes is a traditional looking camel Burberry trench coat and in the shot above you can also see the Prada purse that costume designer Lyn Paolo got shipped in for the episode. It’s the black version of the bag that Meryl Streep has at the start of The Devil Wears Prada. Last week’s big bunker moment saw a completely different Burberry coat/Prada purse combination and shows that Olivia is consistent with her designer choices. In this scene Olivia is so transfixed by her dad’s possible deception that while searching for the pen she literally throws the other contents on the floor.

Scandal 3.2 BurberryHere’s another close up shot of the Burberry coat and pretty much all of Olivia’s coats and jackets have amazing buttons on them (I’m a sucker for great button details).

Scandal 3.2 McQueenIn the present Olivia is also having frantic and threatening phone calls and here she is showing off both her old school looking Fitz only phone and her white backed (off course) smart phone. The navy blue Alexander McQueen jacket is what I want to focus on and once again it’s all about the buttons. This the kind of tailoring we expect to see from Olivia when she is in full crisis mode and it also reflects how buttoned up her character is as she rarely lets anyone in.

Scandal 3.2 white pantsThis is paired with white trousers and the light/dark motif is repeated in the flashback scene where Olivia meets David Rosen for the first time.

Scandal 3.2 Meeting David RosenThe difference here is that Olivia is wearing a skirt and this goes against her pants only work wardrobe. This is prior to Olivia’s big dad discovery and involvement with Fitz and a lot has changed in the last five years for this character and her clothing has evolved with these personal changes. David looks different too, his suit isn’t tailored showing he isn’t making all that much money – he jokes that he should have gone into corporate law. His glasses have heavier looking frames and yes that’s a goatee. It’s a small scene but I’m glad to see how these two crossed paths and how David inadvertently helped Olivia discover the truth about her dad as he’s always a strong purveyor of the truth.

Scandal 3.2 white dressAh yes Eli Pope the man who is Command and this episode filled in a lot of the blanks about Olivia’s fraught and estranged relationship with the man who didn’t really raise her. In the scene above Olivia is in her defiant color – she’s wearing a white dress so we know she means business and this is where she threatens her father to get Huck back. Of course Eli has his way of showing his daughter just how powerful he is and that involves hurting Edison. Eli Pope might look meek in his Sunday sweater but he’s one scary dude.

Scandal 3.2 HarrisonHarrison isn’t as scary as Eli but he’s pulling a face to suggest that Olivia needs to do something and do something now. All while looking snazzy (standard) in another power clashing ensemble. Now that we know pretty much everything about Huck can we please find something out about Harrison? He’s still pretty much a blank slate right now.

Scandal ep 2 AbbySame applies for Abby and while we know more about her than say Harrison, her background is still full of holes including what exactly prompted this awesome new look. This is a lot funkier than anything we have seen Abby in before and it could be as a reaction to everything that happened with David, whatever it is I hope we continue to see more of this side of Abby. That’s a nice flash of leopard print.

Scandal 3.2 DKNYAbby also gets to join Olivia in the amazing coat club with this DKNY wine colored cashmere shawl collar coat and it compliments her amazing raven hair. Good scarf accessorizing too.

Scandal 3.2 shoppingEverything is about perception which is why they take Jeneane shopping and they need something current but classic and professional yet relatable. This is what Olivia is an expert in and it’s why she has been so good at creating an armor for herself out of the clothes she wears.

Mellie cobalt blueRandom observation time but is it more than just a coincidence that Mellie and Quinn are wearing the same cobalt blue color? Mellie is aware that all of her snooping is bad – when Cyrus calls her evil she simply responds with a “You’re welcome.” Whereas Quinn is tapping into her dark side and not realizing the consequences of her actions; this involves Olivia’s emails and accidentally revealing that Olivia’s father is actually the head of the program that ruined Huck’s entire life. Pretty sure Olivia is going to be super angry when she finds out that Quinn has been looking through her emails. Mellie is learning the hard way that her meddling is having the opposite effect of what she hoped.

Scandal 3.2 MorgueOne final coat and it’s in the present viewed through the smeared windows of the morgue that Olivia checks throughout the episode for the missing Jake (he turns up at the end beardy, bruised, bloody and alive at the end of the episode). This is a grey Max Mara belted shawl coat and it’s another one to add to the “Olivia Pope Coats I Covet” list (see also the “Virginia Johnson Coats I Covet” list).

What is your favorite outfit from the episode?

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