Advertisements
Tag Archives: Keidrich Sellati

Out of the Box: Look of the Week – An Americans Finale Round-Up

1 Jun

The Americans is over. They did that. And as there is so much Americans related content this week from costume rundowns at Racked to the many amazing reviews/discussions—PasteVarietyVulture and Vox are a few of my faves. There are also interviews with the cast and showrunners. At Esquire a Matthew Rhys profile reveals the role Adam Driver has in The Americans legacy, which was unexpected, but amazing. For podcasts the official Americans Slate one rounds off an excellent series with the cast. Todd VanDerWerff’s “I Think You’re Interesting” features a conversation with Matthew Rhys and showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields. I think it is interesting.

And I have a couple of pieces at other outlets that I am incredibly proud of. First, I wrote about how pop culture has been used in season 6 to illustrate wider points at Little White Lies. And in the final scene of the finale, something from Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears is referenced in the best possible way. In the goodbye post from a few days ago I mentioned that I have reviewed every single episode on TV Ate My Wardrobe since the season 1 finale.

Absent is the series finale and that is because I had the pleasure of writing about it for Collider. Some of my favorite essays about this show have been for Collider, I love that I got to breakdown this excellent/devastating/satisfying final outing. If you enjoyed my meditations on this show and particularly marriage, you will likely enjoy this review.

“Out of the Box” has also been absent recently—due to my increased workload elsewhere—but I do want to include some moments from the FYC event from Wednesday night. Because I love Keri Russell’s outfit. This Dior skirt and simple white tee combo is the perfect miss of casual and fancy. And also because feelings. So many feelings.From the season 1 premiere. Aka how to feel old.Great sock game.And from Jimmy Kimmel Live! Keri Russell has legs for days. I love a Hollywood Reporter roundtable and I was thrilled to see Matthew Rhys is one of the drama dudes. Also he looks super handsome in this photo. Someone get this man a period show/movie set in the ’40s. Also let him make his Griffith J. Griffith biopic. This story sounds fascinating. As is this dude’s mustache.There’s of course been a lot of finale discussion this week, but one of the most interesting comes from this panel with the cast and two former CIA Agents. It is fascinating. Martha Peterson reminds me so much of Becky Ann Baker, also she is a badass.

This will not be the last time The Americans is written about here at TV Ate My Wardrobe, but I really am thankful that a show like this exists, that it got to tell this story and I got to write so much about it.

Advertisements

Saying Goodbye to The Americans

30 May

Television fulfils many roles; there are shows for all kinds of viewing experiences. In this age we call Peak TV, there are now more options than ever before. Shows you watch to keep up with the conversation, long running series’ you just can’t quit, the thing you stick on to fall asleep to, the ones you obsess over and can’t get enough of. It isn’t just new TV that is readily available, when Hulu added E.R. earlier this year, the level of chat from new viewers and old fans filled my Twitter feed for days/weeks, much to my delight.

My So-Called LifeThe X-FilesE.R.Buffy the Vampire SlayerThe Sopranos and Lost are all examples of shows that impacted me on deeply personal level. They made me understand what television could do and be. An inspiration to this career path I have taken.

In recent years Mad MenThe Leftovers, Friday Night LightsThe Good WifeHannibal and Halt and Catch Fire have resonated in way that have made me a better writer. But there is one show, which has run parallel to some of the biggest leaps I have made in my freelance career. And that show is finishing tonight.When The Americans made its debut on January 30 2013, this blog was just a twinkle in my eye. I was reviewing The Vampire Diaries for free for another site; I had a different blog that mostly consisted of (bad) Mad Men musings. Cut to April of that year and TV Ate My Wardrobe was born. It didn’t take long for the disguises to make an appearance on here. The second ever “Out of the Box” column,featured Elizabeth in curly wig and glasses.

I was hooked on The Americans from the first episode, from the first TUSK. The spy stuff was fun, but the central relationship was what drew me in. And this has since turned into thousands of words about Philip and Elizabeth Jennings. The costume design, which didn’t scream the 1980s of music videos, wasn’t just a case of throwing on a ridiculous outfit whenever the story called for a cover disguise. Big glasses, big hair, later big shoulder pads all factored, but it was grounded in the narrative. And as her permanent cover, no one has made me want to wear silk blouses as much as Elizabeth has made me want to wear silk blouses.

Now for a brief interlude with my Top 5 Elizabeth disguises. Not to discount the many dirtbags and mustache dudes Philip has played, but Elizabeth is my style queen. Yep even when she is Jennifer.

1) JenniferLovely, lovely Jennifer. The first appearance at Clark’s wedding was also an early “Out of the Box” contender. It is hard to make Keri Russell look dowdy, but this almost does it. And there is a vulnerability we don’t get to see too often when she has to interact with her husband’s other wife. Face eating specs are my weakness, Jennifer’s sartorial prowess in this area is strong.

2) Patty

Super glamorous Patty was the first time Elizabeth got to play into the ’80s trends we might expect. Big earrings, bigger coats. The first time Elizabeth had connected with one of her targets on a personal level. The Young Hee storyline was devastating, the costumes were incredible. And this shot from the Matthew Rhys directed “The Magic Of David Copperfield V: The Statue Of Liberty Disappears” is one of my favorites from the six seasons.

3) Brenda 

Brenda is probably the most on trend disguises Elizabeth has worn, she is a fashion buyer after all. And I was subconsciously influenced by Brenda’s specs when I bought my pair last year.

4) Velma (and Clark)

The blonde Velma look from season one and an outfit I would wear now.

5) I don’t have a name for this disguise, but everything about this look is fierce af. Also my Halloween costume inspo.

Back to the task at hand.

The reason why I wanted to write this specific goodbye post is because The Americans has made me, not just a better writer, but has given me the push into pitching various outlets over the last few years. The first costume designer I ever interviewed was Jenny Gering, the first professionally paid writing gig I got was writing about The Americans.

My knowledge of these characters, this world, what they wear, made me feel confident pitching articles calling Paige “The Final Girl” (will she be?), asking why Cold War panic was on trend, discussing the complex relationship dynamics of these characters and how The Americans is the rare prestige drama to get the teen family members right (it still is). Or how I obsessed for ages about the concept of ‘summer’ and ‘winter’ shows and finally got to put it in writing.

I have interviewed costume designer Katie Irish about Coach coats as pregnancy bump concealers, retro sports apparel and leaning in to the ’80s in this final season. I spoke to Jenny Gering about an article of clothing that rarely gets costume design column inches; the foundation garments, the underwear.

I went to a wedding earlier this month and even though I have bee freelancing for the last few years, this was the first time I felt fine saying “I’m a writer” when asked what I do for a living. In the past I would mention this career, but make some self-deprecating joke about how it was my side-gig. That I wasn’t worthy to call it my profession. I still get that imposter syndrome feelings, but they are getting easier to push to one side. Bury deep. What would Elizabeth Jennings do? I mean, not care about writing about TV shows for starters, but in this final season she has softened to the idea of what art can be. Just don’t ask her to watch a soap opera without pulling faces.

[Source]

Here at TV Ate My Wardrobe I have reviewed every single episode since the season one finale. I dread to think how many words this adds up to. I have talked best wigs, the marriage disguises, the vulnerability of Elizabeth, the huge season three truth telling moments and a personal essay about my wedding in relation to this secret service (that could now be Philip and Elizabeth’s undoing).

To the showrunners, Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields, thanks for making a show that didn’t pander to its audience. That was smart and sad with a thread of hope throughout.

To Emmy voters, now is the time not only to honor the show, but also two of the best performances on TV for as long as I can remember. I talk about it a lot, but it is worth repeating; the things both Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys do with their faces without any dialogue is constant wonder. And what they do with those words is just as compelling.

You never know what you’re going to get with kid actors when they are cast. Luckily Holly Taylor was a Kiernan Shipka and Keidrich Sellati was not a Bobby Draper. Noah Emmerich hasn’t always had flashy scenes that will play as a nomination clip, but it is a steely performance that deserves examination and praise. My stomach hurts just thinking about Stan in this finale.

It is a cast from top to bottom that has wowed, but special shout outs to Alison Wright, Costa Ronin, Annet Mahendru, Margo Martindale, Frank Langella, Dylan Baker, Ruthie Ann Miles, Miriam Shor, Richard Thomas, Brandon J. Dirden and Lev Gorn.To all the other many people that have worked on this show in the costume department to props. Those photos I always point out in the Jennings house, small details like that add to the depth of The Americans. And I am definitely going to miss writing about these characters.

Don’t worry, I still have a few more pieces in me still. I have no idea how this show is going to end, but just know I will be looking as sad as Philip and Henry do in this season three finale moment. Actually I won’t look half as composed as this.

The Americans 6.06 “Rififi” Review: Henry Jennings, Marriage Counselor

3 May

It has all been building to this. Those operations that seemingly delivered nothing, other than a whole lot of wasted man hours and bloodshed are finally producing results. The net is closing in on Elizabeth, she knows this particular mission is going to be tricky, but she has no idea how close Stan is to figuring it all out. The diplomatic pouch X-rays has struck the goldmine, the contents being the other half of what Elizabeth has been trying to acquire. This links to the warehouse she broke into, killing three guards, but leaving with nothing. As the FBI gets results, everything is slipping through Elizabeth’s fingers, including stability at home.

The halfway line for this final season has been crossed; tension levels have been set to high.All is not well in the Jennings house. This has been the case for almost all of season six, but the opening scene had both Philip and Elizabeth looking at each other with a seething contempt previously unseen. Philip is disgusted with Elizabeth for murdering people in front of a kid, which she notes she didn’t actually do. Well, the murder part yes, but not in front of the child. He just had to see the bloody aftermath. Informing Elizabeth that he’s not going through with the Kimmy plan is met with the level of bitterness you would expect, Elizabeth digs deep with her choice of words.

First by noting that of course he wasn’t going to do it, then by saying he just wanted to fuck her because he wasn’t getting enough at home. Low blow, Elizabeth. And the first f-bomb uttered this week. A word that hasn’t been uttered before (to my knowledge) on this show. It feels like a twist of the knife. It is also a good example of how well The Americans uses words. The impact is felt here and later on because of how rare this is. The distance between Philip and Elizabeth has been vast; even when they inhabit the same space there is a wall. Whether a physical wall such as the one in their garden or the kitchen island, or a metaphorical one. They came back together briefly last week, but this is the worst it has been between the pair. Even when they were separated during season one it didn’t feel this bad because they still had to work together. They’ve slept in separate rooms before, but when Philip told her “it’s over” regarding the Kimmy op it, it feels like a very loaded phrases about them as well.

Not too fast though, there is still something that can save this marriage. And his name is Henry Jennings! Ah, Henry. Comes home for Thanksgiving to find it isn’t just freezing outside. First he thinks he is helping out with Philip’s business woes because he’s told his rich friend’s dad all about it. Philip is already feeling emasculated by one child, now the other one goes and mentions his business failure.* Then Henry gets offered a cigarette by his mother; she barely even reacts when he comes outside to see her. Henry might be somewhat oblivious to what goes on at home, but this tension is hard to ignore. Because he has been away for so long it is even more obvious that all is not well.

*Poor Stavos, he’s been at the travel agency for an age but he’s first on the chopping block as his sales are low. Capitalism at work in its most devastating fashion.Philip plays hookey from work to hang with Henry, if Henry hadn’t picked up on all the cues like the sleeping in separate rooms, then Philip’s frustrated “FUCK” response to his car going off the tracks at the slot-car racing is definitely enough for him to wonder what on earth is going on at home. Everything is crumbling. Philip tells Henry that “Everything is fine. I love your mother, she loves me. It’s just sometimes… Everything is fine.” This really isn’t all that convincing, but it is the second time this season they have reiterated this point to their kids, Elizabeth did this with Paige a few weeks ago.

The great Jennings kid duties divide is no more apparent than with Henry because his screen time this season has only been with Philip, whether over the phone or watching him play hockey. The running joke is of course the teen boy gets shuttled off to boarding school, but I have always thought that Henry would end up playing a vital part in their downfall because he is the most American of all of them. Plus he is still pretty tight with Stan. For now it looks like he might be saving his parents’ marriage and he doesn’t even realize it.When Elizabeth offers him a cigarette she says that he is an adult now, that she can tell him things. But she still doesn’t tell him every single thing. This would be a betrayal to Philip. Later while she is in Chicago about to attempt a mission that has very slim odds of succeeding, she phones Henry to have what most would consider a very normal mom/son chat. She asks about school, girls, how everything is going. It feels like goodbye. Henry recognizes how not normal this conversation is so when he tells his dad about it, Philip knows that things are bad. He’s just been poking around her wig cave, seen her vase drawings, sending a coded note to Oleg—it is very fun seeing the spycraft side of this all set to Tears for Fears. Henry also can’t understand why his mother is so unhappy when she has everything, if only you knew Henry, if only you knew.

Last week ended with a phone call that would cause this deep rift between husband and wife, this time it is a reconciliation. The last time they spoke it was less than cordial; Philip didn’t want to let this tension fester, Elizabeth responds with something more conclusive telling him “take your Forum bullshit and shove it up your ass.” Way to spill your feelings, Liz. She admits that what they are attempting in Chicago is probably not going to work, they need more people. He wants to know if she is asking him to come, she isn’t. He tells her to come home, she can’t. Leaving Philip with only one option, to offer his help.

Earlier he bitterly mentioned how she had somehow dragged him back into this, this time he is doing it of his own volition. No one is asking him to, but there is no way he can leave her with her neck on the line like this. He loves her, she loves him. Some sacrifices are worth making. This is what happens when Elizabeth asks her son how he is doing at school.I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was thrilled that they will be working together again, even if it has a ‘one last job’ feeling. Philip and Elizabeth are the best agents they can be when they are working together. Her words to Tuan have come back to haunt her; you can’t do this work alone. But it is worrying that Aderholt has pretty much figured out all the ways to track down illegals. Including the cars they use, the garages they rent, how they keep safe houses and targeting priests. All the pieces are falling into place. It is going to happen fast.

Soon they will know the people they have been eating many dinners with are the same people Stan was talking about in his way too intense Thanksgiving toast. As a viewer it is fun to hear about how they have been acquiring so many cars, safe houses and wig caves. See also getting to watch Oleg with his coding kit.The episode title comes from the French movie, Rififi. AKA the greatest heist movie in history. I haven’t seen it so I’m going to have to take the word of this very Timothée Chalamet looking dude’s word for it. Elizabeth takes a break from killing anyone this week; instead she is in the recruiting business. It is unclear exactly what she wants, but it has to do with Senator Sam Nunn, Wikipedia tells me he had a lot to do with nuclear disarmament. A good indicator as to why Elizabeth is sniffing around this kid.

The Rififi trivia from not-Chalamet—because of course this dude has to correct her—was also relevant in the long battle between the Soviets and the US; it is a French film, but director Jules Dassin was American. He was blacklisted as part of the McCarthy-era trials.

A stomach churning episode that digs deep into everything that is so good about The Americans. The inevitable Stan discovery is so close, there is no happy ever after in this world. Everything is far from fine, but at least Henry got his parents talking again. Got to take those small victories where we can.

Teens in ’80s Jeans (Part III)Paige was frozen out of Elizabeth’s plan, she had to smile through Stan’s toast, but she did get to spend some quality family time with her brother. Including him giving her a look as if to say “What the fuck is going on with mom and dad?” Not that she could say. She also had to wear these less than flattering jeans. Great shirt though.

I Heart ’80s Athleisure Retro sports apparel is always my fave. This is no exception. It is also worth noting that Erica is having a major influence on Elizabeth. Instead of smoking, Elizabeth sketches in this moment of high stress.

MAIL ROBOT  After that bitter pre-credits exchange, the physical comedy that followed was welcome. Stan gives Aderholt some sass about how every time he goes downstairs someone dies, when Mail Robot gets in the elevator with them, Aderholt asks if he wants to blow off steam. Shout out to Agent Gad (RIP) and the last unprovoked attack.

The Americans 6.02 “Tchaikovsky” Review: The Dark Parts

5 Apr

Elizabeth Jennings has a lot on her plate. Not only is she running all the operations alone, when she used to have a partner to share the load, but now she is also being taught how to draw. This is of course part of a very important operation, but Elizabeth could end up exploring a part of her psyche that could be enlightening. But only if she lets it.

Right now she doesn’t get why someone would dedicate their life to something she sees as unimportant, but being told to draw what’s dark is pretty much what she does every day. Her darkness isn’t the mug before her, but the life she lived for all of her adult life. Erica explains that drawing is about looking at what is light and dark, but Elizabeth has spent so long in the moral grey area her eye isn’t trained in this way.The world Elizabeth works in is far from black and white, no matter how much Reagan tried to paint the Soviets as the Evil Empire. A point that Elizabeth reinforces when Paige mentions some light reading she has been doing on the tactics of spies. Paige is still very much in the dark about some of the things her parents have done in the name of the cause; when she asks outright whether operatives use sex as tool to get information her mother lies. The truth would be devastating because as we saw from last week’s opening montage Elizabeth is still very much using this tactic. Not to mention the many men and women her parents have seduced in the name of Mother Russia including the one that ended up as a wife and the one that ended up in a suitcase.

Dancing around the subject Elizabeth explains that those close relationships with sources could turn into something else. This conversation also reinforces how cut off Elizabeth is from everyone else; there is no water cooler in the spy biz. Or at least not in the version Elizabeth lives.

Words like monster and evil have been applied to Elizabeth in the past, most notably in the incredible season three episode “Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?” when she forced an old lady to kill herself (I watched this episode again recently and Lois Smith is devastatingly good in her condemnation of Elizabeth’s justifications). Here she tells her daughter that things aren’t black and white, the world is complicated.But the weight of doing this alone is getting to Elizabeth. She lies back on Claudia’s couch talking to her as if this is therapy appointment—Matthew Rhys directed this episode and the intimacy of these moments is extraordinary—and when Paige comes in things switch from work chat to another Russian history lesson.

Elizabeth might scoff at artists, but she appreciates classical music. She took Paige to see The Nutcracker and Claudia explains that Tchaikovsky was all she could listen to after the war. It all sounds very melancholic to this classical music novice’s ear, but each woman seems to take something different from this moment. I really love what is going on with the three generations of women this season. These moments are really effective. We have come a long way since Elizabeth beat the shit out of Claudia; now Elizabeth is asking Claudia to continue with Paige if anything happens to her. This is a disturbing conversation when you think about her relationship with Philip because he has been entirely cut out of this huge part of this life.

Considering how many risks Elizabeth is taking that now seems more likely than ever. Whether it is switching out wigs/outfits within the State Department walls or wildly underestimating how much General Rennhull wants to help out the enemy. Formally a Colonel, who first appeared in the season one finale, “The Colonel” (btw I am so glad I rewatched all of The Americans before this final outing), Rennhull believed he was sharing intel for the greater good. It was to stop a crazy arms race that was more a sci-op than technology that would be possible in this period. But it spun out of control (as things do on this show) and he ended up killing someone to save his skin. It also shows that in this world, anyone can come back. No matter how long ago they were involved. It isn’t an easy life to escape no matter how much you try. Just ask Philip and Oleg.

Elizabeth uses this knowledge as leverage to get a lithium based radiation censor—for the Dead Hand—but what she doesn’t factor in is Rennhull’s state of mind. He would rather kill her than go to jail or betray his country again. The climatic moments in the park has Elizabeth using her kids as a way to stall, to get sympathy and after a brief tussle, Rennhull shoots himself covering Elizabeth’s face in his blood. It is quite the striking image, one that Paige sees as she runs over to make sure her mom is okay. Just another day at the spying office. Of course this isn’t the first time Paige has witness the aftermath of a violent act, but it isn’t getting any easier. And I don’t think Paige is ready for Disposing of a Body 101. After all, it was meant to be better for Paige in this line of work. Not the shit Elizabeth has been through. Getting a bloodier version of Dustin Hoffman in Straw Dogs vibe from this shot. Again, Matthew Rhys did an incredible job behind the camera as well as in front.

As Elizabeth juggles her care work (and art classes) where she offers her euthanasia services—while lying about how effective morphine can be—and the various other multi-wig requiring ops, Philip is having some money woes at the travel agency. Not so much life and death, but Philip is learning the price of expanding the business too much. Capitalism at its finest. A call to a very relaxed and happy sounding Henry has his son noting how forlorn his dad sounds—see Henry is perceptive. But with the Oleg thing hanging over his head it isn’t surprising to see that very familiar clenched jaw.In terms of Philip/Elizabeth interactions it follows the same pattern as last week, but without the fight at the end. She comes down for breakfast, which is a cigarette outside and later on they have a stilted conversation (also while she is smoking). She shares the vaguest of information with him about Paige; it is heartbreaking to see just how much she is keeping from him. This is worse than when they were screaming at each other about whether to tell Paige in season three. They are shells of themselves with each other and you can feel the ache emanating from them both. Philip’s different perspective is why they were so effective as a team, he took the time to think rather than act on a duty bound impulse. Without this Elizabeth ends up in a park at night with blood all over her face. Just how long will it be before he gets pulled back in? Her impulsiveness is a strength, but it can also be a near deadly weakness.

The Jennings aren’t experiencing marital strife per se, more like marital emptiness. Maybe they could do with the not so stellar marriage advice from Stan. Stan is mostly working homicide, but Sofia and Gennadi—the Russian couple from last season—are experiencing relationship woes that could impact a long running operation. Gennadi is a courier and we get to see his operation play out with another excellent music choice; “Slippery People” by Talking Heads. How to x-ray a diplomatic pouch while undetected is hard

And just like Philip, Stan seems reluctant to be drawn into his old life. But the return of Oleg certainly causes some interest.

The Felicity LinkFelicity could teach Elizabeth a lot about art. I don’t think Elizabeth would enjoy it very much. Felicity could also give Elizabeth some curly hair tips for her Stephanie wig.

Teens in ’80s Jeans The ’80s jeans continue to be amazing. Particularly the ones they give Holly Taylor and Keidrich Sellati to wear.

Fake Teeth

When I spoke to costume designer Katie Irish, one of the things she mentioned was the fake teeth that everyone loves, but rarely get used because the actors can’t really speak in them. Well, they made an appearance in “Tchaikovsky” in one of the many new Elizabeth disguises.

Smoking Cardigan UpdateElizabeth has more than one. We will continue to update the smoking cardigan collection as hey come. There’s a lot of walls between Philip and Elizabeth right now.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

12 Jan

Last week felt like a busy “Out of the Box,” then the Golden Globes and so many other events took place. Coverage of the very different Golden Globes can be found across three posts including the activists that attended and why it is important to credit designers. Being a feminist and caring about fashion are two concepts that don’t have to exist separately.

Post Globes parties, other awards, premieres and looks from TCA panels are featured. For the Critics’ Choice awards—which were held last night—there will be a rundown post soon. Busy Philipps is usually Michelle Williams’ award show date. But after discussing using her place of privilege in respect to what has been going on in Hollywood in her Harper’s Bazaar interview, Williams came up with the idea of bringing activists as guests. Williams was accompanied by Tarana Burke, the woman who created #MeToo over a decade ago and seven other A-list actresses followed suit.

Don’t even get me started on the shit Marky Mark pulled with regard to the reshoots.

Later in the night the pair did hangout, Busy’s Stories included the ridiculous question a paparazzi dude asked Michelle “What’s next for women?” But if Busy did decide to put this Q on a tee or sweatshirt and donate the money to #TimesUp I would be first in line.

Blurry mirror selfie with my bb.

A post shared by Busy Philipps (@busyphilipps) on

Black iridescent Jeffrey Dodd looks great on Busy, but I am also very much a fan of their day after outfits. This is such a fun spin on the ladysuit by Sonequa Martin-Green; cropped/high-waisted Vitor Zerbinato suit with high ruffled collar Elisabetta Franchi shirt. The latter is making me feel like my Alienist as a style influence prediction isn’t totally off.Amy Brenneman looks cool af at the HBO Golden Globes after party and I am still mad Leftovers got no love. I never thought I would be this enamored with a sheer turtleneck, but holy wow is Tessa Thompson working another fabulous twist on menswear inspiration in Alexandre Vauthier.

And after calling out Lena Dunham for doing the most Lena Dunham thing, Thompson got embroiled in an apology/not apology news cycle. She handled it well and with eloquence, even though her first statement didn’t need explaining or walking back as it sounded pretty accurate. But, Hollywood. Or as Ira would say, “Keep It” (check out his new podcast, which is also great).Including this photo mostly because of how great Gaten Matarazzo and Joe Keery are together in season 2 of Stranger Things. Also because I just remembered Keery was in Molly’s Game. His hair was just as impressive. Gillian Anderson got a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this week. Her new shorter, blonder do has been getting quite the workout this week, much to my delight. This silver number by Sophia Kah is my favorite of the three dresses she has worn this week. The specs with the glitz are excellent and X-Files co-star Annabeth Gish is also crushing the style stakes.

Oh, and this week’s episode of The X-Files was incredible, especially in comparison with last week’s mythology mess. So many fun Mulder and Scully scenes. Their chemistry is still off the charts and enough to make me feel like I am fourteen again. Lots of giggling.  There’s been a lot of dressed up Greta Gerwig this week, but here she is at a SAG-AFTRA Foundation Conversation event in a super cozy sweater just to mix it up.

After Lady Bird won at the Golden Globes, Gerwig was asked about her position on Woody Allen as someone that has worked with him in the past. She fumbled with a non-answer; it was disappointing even if I could recognize that it was once again a woman being asked to justify another man’s abuse. But, she did follow up with a response that is far more definitive on her position and also acknowledges why it is important to speak up.At the 2018 Film Society Of Lincoln Center & Film Comment luncheon, Greta Gerwig got daytime dressed up in this fabulous pop of floral color. Get Out’s Lil Rel Howery took the suit/turtleneck pairing to new levels in this amazing color combination. At the National Board of Review Awards, Gal Gadot wears an Elie Saab dress that is reminiscent of her blue frock from Wonder Woman. Minus the giant sword of course.The Black Panther press tour is approaching and I am so ready. Lupita Nyong’o looks in command of a space ship in a sparkly Balmain ensemble.I finished Maureen Orth’s Vulgar Favors this week, the book the new American Crime Story is based on so my anticipation levels for the show are now even higher. Penelope Cruz gives Versace-adjacent vibes in velvet custom Stella McCartney.Queen Judith Light has been cast in the perfect part for her and she lights up the red carpet as always.As far as I can tell, Anna Chancellor is not in American Crime Story, but I wish she was. But I do love this patterned frock and ankle boots combo even if it looks more Sundance attire.

This is also a good time to mention how much I miss The Hour. If any show deserves another season it is this one.TCA is still going, but it is the FX panels from last Friday that I am mostly interested in. Including Edgar Ramirez wearing a lovely sweater while discussing American Crime Story. I would love to know what Darren Criss is reacting to. The last TCA panel for The Americans and Keri Russell brought out the polka dot pussy-bow blouse big guns. I’m still in denial that it is ending. And their TV family was rather well coordinated, all getting the black/grey/white memo. I mentioned this on Twitter, but Keidrich Sellati looks like he should be hanging out with the Stranger Things teens in star collared Givenchy. Holly Taylor’s long jacket/legs out is the perfect spin on panel attire and I am still super impressed with how The Americans broke the teens in a prestige drama curse.Atlanta returns for season 2 in March and I am so ready. At the TCA panel Zazie Beetz brought all the floral ensemble glory, while Donald Glover and Brain Tyree Henry worked the more casual versions of their red carpet style.At yesterday’s HBO session, Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams were there to discuss 2 Dope Queens. And Phoebe is offering up another fun take on the ladysuit including a faux fur sash. I am very much looking forward to these specials.

Bowling at the FX All-Star Event with The Americans, You’re the Worst and Fargo

7 Apr

FX is having quite the year already and what better way to showcase talent than an all-star upfront bowling event. This is now a set annual tradition for FX as this is their 8th bowling outing and at Lucky Strike in New York, casts from shows such as You’re the WorstThe AmericansFargoAtlanta and Legion gathered all in the spirit of FX.

Outfit wise this means a whole lot of casual attire because bowling and then there are some stacked heels that should be going nowhere near these lanes.

The You’re the Worst cast and creator Stephen Falk give great posing with weighty balls.

A post shared by Stephen Falk (@stephenfalk) on

FX knows how to put on a shindig just as well as they make good TV if the size of Aya Cash’s beer is anything to go by.While these shoes might not be the best for this activity and look like they could easily slide off, Aya Cash’s jumpsuit is a great choice. Also her technique is going full Tom Haverford and as I found out when I last went bowling this is hit and miss. My terrible performance might have also been down to the amount of drinks we had while waiting for a lane to free up at The Gutter in Brooklyn. Also I am not a good bowler. Chris Geere gives great bowling stance. Still no bowling shoes though.We’ve seen that this is a favorite activity of the Jennings (and their covers) on The Americans and it is nice to see everyone out of the super tense environment of spy life in 1984. Also just how tall is Costa Ronin? It also looks like Henry found some Sun-In. It is really hard to write about this event without falling down an innuendo spiral (see the first photo). But what I will say is that it is nice to see Matthew Rhys with Costa Ronin as the pair have never shared a scene and probably won’t. But who knows.Great shoes for very different reasons from Margo Martindale and Keri Russell. Those heels are probably way too stacked for me – I can still love from afar – and Russell is leaning into the cool af thing she does so well at events like this mixing casual with some edge. Meanwhile I now very much want some silver Vans in my life.

Hanging at the bar is also my bowling speed (see early mention of my last bowling experience) and they’re with Christine Lahti. Lahti most recently popped up on The Good Fight as one of the many Good Wife actors who have made the jump and the depth of this guest star bench is outstanding.Ewan McGregor gives great bowling technique and he’s wearing bowling shoes. Yes he looks amazing.Jean Smart is doing that thing where you’re willing the ball to hit some pins, but in my case this doesn’t do much to help. Now I’m wondering which FX cast member is the best bowler.A couple from the red carpet and Legion’s Amber Midthunder – what a great name – will definitely need to switch out those amazing silver heels to bowl. Great dress choice that manages to swing between casual and fancy. A hooded henley is not something I’ve encountered a lot (or maybe ever?) and Atlanta’s Keith Stanfield pairs it with a great jacket and some classic Cons. Stanfield is straddling smart and casual in a way that I applaud.

Behind the Insta-Scenes: Photos from the Set (Emmy Special)

21 Sep

An all Emmy weekend edition of “Behind the Insta-Scenes” including pre-parties, getting ready and the actual awards.

Reunited. #Emmys #fnl #blurry

A post shared by connie britton (@conniebritton) on

 

I’ve said this many times before, but out of all the cast reunions the Friday Night Lights ones give me the most feeeeeeelings. This is ultimate.

#BudCrossover @masterofnone @strangerthingstv

A post shared by @ azizansari on

 

Stranger Things kids are in big demand and the height difference here just made me laugh a lot.

 

I also appreciate the fact that actors will freak out over other actors. Also still so here for Henry Jennings in a turtleneck.

 

Chris Geere also demonstrating good internal freak out here.

Step one. Bow tie. Thank you @zegnaofficial #emmys2016

A post shared by Keegan-Michael Key (@keeganmic) on

 

And who wouldn’t be thrilled to meet this handsome chap. Good bow tie work.

I met the brilliant @sharonhorgan last night and it was so damn exciting!

A post shared by Rachel Bloom (@racheldoesstuff) on

 

Emmy weekend on Instagram is pretty much a series of these kinds of pictures. This one makes me so happy.

Yo! He's ALIVE!!!!! #Emmys

A post shared by Kerry Washington (@kerrywashington) on

 

And another.

…just like to thank me mam xo

A post shared by Maisie Williams (@maisie_williams) on

 

Maisie Williams didn’t win, but she did get an edible Emmy. Sounds pretty great to me.

 

Lots of getting ready Emmy stories including Keri Russell’s make-up routine. Her eyebrows in this shot are giving me inspiration for the big day on Saturday.

 

Yara Shahidi was one of our best dressed over the weekend and she switched things up after the awards giving a detailed photo diary of her Emmy night for Elle.

 

Constance Zimmer got a bold blunt bob on Emmy day and it looks fabulous against her super pink frock.

Emmmmmyzzzz🍕🍕🍕🍕

A post shared by Ilaria Urbinati (@ilariaurbinati) on

 

Super stylist Ilaria Urbinati definitely deserves some pizza.

CE LOVES T-FEY 💚 #outfitchange #celoves

A post shared by Cristina Ehrlich (@cristinaehrlich) on

 

And now for the after. Comfy tee on, amazing dress in hand.

Slayer

A post shared by Tom Cullen (@tom_cullen) on

 

Tom Cullen delivered on the proud boyfriend looking on at his award winning lady.

Found @tatianamaslany swanning around this morning. As per.

A post shared by Tom Cullen (@tom_cullen) on

 

And also on the post party arrangements from earlier in the weekend. Fave couple alert.

Best of the Pre-Emmy Parties: Vanity Fair and BAFTA

18 Sep

More pre-Emmy gaming at the Vanity Fair and FX party with a whole host of TV Ate My Wardrobe faves and this party also showcases just how good FX is at the moment. Plus the annual BAFTA LA Tea Party, which always delivers on the daytime shindig attire.keri-russell-and-matthew-rhysGot to kick off with the show that dominates a lot of costume chat in these parts; Keri Russell always brings the casual glam to events like this and for this occasion Matthew Rhys has dialed back on the hiatus beard grizzle with a trim. Nice color suit too and I am looking forward to seeing more of this IRL couple tonight.keirdrich-sellatiAnd this is several shades of adorable from the Americans kids and Keidrich Sellati’s turtleneck/blazer combo is levels of spy and casual attire that his TV dad would wear. schwimmer-paulson-brownDelightful is the word I would use to describe this photo with the cast of American Crime Story giving off all the good vibes. Excellent lipstick choice from Sarah Paulson too.
connie-britton-and-jesse-plemonsThis Vanity Fair/FX party is just a long list of feelings pretty much; including this Friday Night Lights reunion. Tami and Lance feeeeeeelings. donald-gloverDonald Glover keeps the same shirt and changes the suit and still looks just as good as the day before.angela-bassettAngela Bassett always looks incredible and this is no exception. tatiana-maslany-and-maisie-williamsNow to the BAFTA LA Tea Party and there are a lot of super cute patterned dresses to scroll through including Maisie Williams in a very fun House of Holland number, which pairs really well with Tatiana Maslany’s also starry patchwork Coach frock. yara-shahidiGoing slightly more pattern delicate is Yara Shahidi in an ethereal Tommy Hilfiger dress and another stunner from the Black-ish star.millie-bobby-brownA few days ago I mentioned some red carpet similarities between Millie Bobby Brown and Kiernan Shipka; this look continues this notion and while I’m not a fan of the term ‘age appropriate’ (as it can sound quite stuffy) this is exactly that. Good choice of flats too.melora-hardinTransparent’s Melora Hardin also has the right idea for a frock that bridges the summer/fall gap especially when it is still this warm.alison-wrightA different spin on print and Alison Wright’s Stella McCartney jumpsuit (the top version has been worn by Cookie on Empire) is a fun take on daytime party attire.rupaulPolka dots and pink at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, zebra print and yellow at the BAFTA Tea Party; RuPaul crushes it in color and print every single time.

Best of the 2016 TCA Awards Style

8 Aug

The 2016 TCA Awards (not to be confused with the Teen Choice Awards) took place on Saturday and it is one awards show where the attendees know they have won* and that aren’t televised. They also don’t separate the acting awards by gender and ladies won big this year with Sarah Paulson and Rachel Bloom taking home the drama and comedy accolades. American Crime Story was the big winner of the night and The Americans received Best Drama for the second year in a row. For a full list of winners head here.

Sidenote – I also can’t help but think of this episode of The Comeback when it comes to award shows where the recipient knows they have won.

Check out our style highlights from the event below.Mr Robot and CubaThe Mr Robot cast continue their best dressed domination with Christian Slater and Rami Malek crushing their suit choices (as per usual). Malek’s penchant for color instantly makes him standout. Portia Doubleday and Carly Chaikin’s excellent dress picks continue with pleats and a super sexy black number; they are high on the Emmy red carpet anticipation list. Oh hey there Cuba Gooding Jr. Stephanie CorneliussenMore royal blue pleats from a Mr Robot cast member and this time with one of my other favorite things; sequins. Stephanie Corneliussen also happened to be a TCA panel style highlight last week.Sarah Paulson and Holland TaylorThere’s a lot of sheer/net curtain elements to this dress and much like this Philosophy frock Sarah Paulson wore a few months ago I am somewhat on the fence; however she wears it incredibly well and the shorter hairstyle continues to be the best. Also got some strong #RelationshipGoals going on as Paulson poses with girlfriend Holland Taylor.Holly TaylorIt was a busy week for Americans stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys and they didn’t make the awards (it looks like Matthew Rhys was shooting Girls), but the rest of the cast looked amazing with Holly Taylor in a sparkly Marc Bouwer frock. Bonus lipstick points.Alison Wright and Keidrich SellatiWhoa! Keidrich Sellati who plays Henry Jennings sure looks tall/scrubs up well and is finally out from behind the computer screen. Pockets and florals, plus gold shoes equals a fantastic look from Alison Wright. Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKennaI love how genuinely thrilled Rachel Bloom looks at events like this and the red/white coordinating with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend co-creator Aline Brosh McKenna is striking. Jane Fonda and Lily TomlinAll the feelings and a good way to start the week with a hug from Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.

The Americans 4.12 “A Roy Rogers in Franconia” Review: “Did You Have to do That?”

2 Jun

It is hard to hide who you are on The Americans when confronted with a moment of danger and when Elizabeth’s protective motherly instincts kicked in with her training last week there was only going to be one winner against the two would-be muggers/rapists. Elizabeth was not only quick in her methods; taking out both guys in a matter of seconds, but her calm demeanor after the incident also has Paige questioning the few non-specific bits of information her parents have given in regards to their work.

There are only so many vague and repeated phrases a girl can take before she demands a little more and seeing her mom in full self-defense mode has sped up this process. The Americans 4.12 ElizabethQuestions and doubt are seeping through the ever growing cracks and it isn’t just the threads on the Russian containers that are unstable. Paige is in shock over what she witnessed and Elizabeth is doing her best to keep her queries to the minimum. Yes she had to do that and no this is not the first time. The conversation about ‘how many?’ is never a fun one, but on this occasion it is even more problematic (don’t even ask Elizabeth or Philip the more common and often contentious between couples ‘how many?’ query) and even if Elizabeth did know the number (and I can’t see her keeping a tally of the dead) it isn’t going to offer Paige any comfort. They’ve also told Paige that they’re not going to lie to her and so going with a non-committal “I don’t know” is the safest option.

Paige is pushing back in a big way this week as we have seen her do on a number of occasions and part of this includes a common grumble from a teenager; they’re treating her like she is 12. The difference here being that anything they do tell her could severely impact their safety and how she sees her parents. When Elizabeth tries the “I wanted to serve my country” party line Paige calls her out on this and so we get a deeper insight into Elizabeth’s motivations for joining the KGB beyond her mother.The Americans 4.12 Philip, Elizabeth and PaigeMirroring Paige’s conversation with her father about his background we find out more about the city of Smolensk and how like a lot of Russia it was torn apart during WWII and the years that followed involved a lot of hardship. In essence what Elizabeth took from this experience was seeing a community up against it surviving and fighting. This is all she wanted to do and it didn’t matter whether it was dangerous or not. What this does is reinforce Philip’s proclamation that it wasn’t about what you liked growing up because they grew up in a war ravaged and poor climate worlds away from where they are.

Danger still exists, but it is the cloak and dagger variety. Although it is worth noting that this season opened with a mugging turned murder in Philip’s flashback and a version of this has happened in the present; danger lurks beyond their work. The difference here being that it is Paige who is new to this killing business and she will also need therapy. EST probably is not the answer.

Elizabeth’s explanation works on a couple of levels as it deflects Paige from some of the more insidious answers she could give about the work they do (multiple murders for example) while also giving Paige the connection to her past and family that she craves. Elizabeth mentions how much she would love to go back home with Paige to see how much has changed and this is the first time Russia has been discussed by either Philip or Elizabeth in a way this season that hasn’t been tinged with the notion of having to return home as a last resort.The Americans 4.12 groceriesThrowing a spanner in the works is Philip having to leave for work during these conversations with Paige as it just prompts more questions they’re not inclined to answer. However, Paige keeps pushing and in these pauses Philip and Elizabeth do the wordless communicating with their eyes thing that is so incredibly effective; these silent agreements to tell Paige a little bit more coupled with the way each of them takes part of the info dump reinforces the notion that the Centre matched well when they paired Elizabeth with Philip. It doesn’t matter how much they differ in their opinions on matters such as the bio-weapon plan, when it comes down to their family they will present a united front. Luckily for them the op Philip is leaving for is William and not Kimmy and I’d love to see them explain away why he needs to go hang out with a 16 year-old and smoke pot.

Fear, intrigue and wonder all cross Elizabeth’s face as she watches Paige with Matthew; Paige is becoming exactly what the Centre wanted and yet there is something a little disturbing about seeing her in this role. Another place where the pauses are loaded with meaning is when Elizabeth tells Philip about what happened prior to the violent incident and this is the thing she can’t stop thinking about; Paige was reporting what Matthew had told her about Stan and Martha (Gabriel follows through on his promise to contact Martha’s parents to Philip’s satisfaction).

They don’t need Paige to spy on Matthew for them and they are concerned as to what her motivations here are especially as Elizabeth has witnessed a little bit of flirting between the pair. Little do they know that Paige just had her first ever (?) kiss with him and it is hard to read exactly what Paige is doing here as we do know she used to have a crush on him. Philip and Elizabeth are fine with her being friends with him or whatever (I would love to see exactly how they would be with Matthew if they start dating), but as long as it is on her terms and not for them. Paige is concerned about what Henry might have been saying to Stan and I’m with Paige on this one, particularly how they shut Henry out after the ‘mugging’ incident.The Americans 4.12 Henry and MatthewThis is where Paige really digs her heels in and she wants to know what Philip is doing beyond a meeting as she now knows they lied to her about the lack of danger. She has a point when she mentions that her mom killed someone in front of her and she might as well know everything, right? Well Paige, let me tell you a few stories. Regardless, they do relent and reveal the weapon part, but not the gory details of ‘squirting yourself out your anus in liquid form.’ The way Holly Taylor responds with “Great” to this secret is ultimate teen disdain and The Americans continues to get their teens so right.

What Philip doesn’t know is he is walking into a trap and so is William. William has been resistant to getting those codes ever since Philip and Elizabeth first approached him and his concern is about how fucked up this weapon is. William doesn’t want to be part of something that could cause this much death, but Gabriel works his Gabriel convincing magic laboring the points about home and duty.

The Americans 4.12 Philip and Gabriel

Philip is surprised that William was that easy to convince, but Gabriel knows what it feels like to be alone and he taps into that part of William we have been seeing. As with soaps like General Hospital it is “not logical, it is emotional.” Side note – there is nothing funnier this week than seeing Elizabeth trying to ‘get’ an American soap opera.

Connections are important and Elizabeth and Philip’s partnership is the rarity in this business of so many people working and ending up alone. No matter their differences they are the spy equivalent of #RelationshipGoals.The Americans 4.12 Elizabeth and Paige GHOleg has been grappling with his position and what this whole war means in a way that parallels William and the death of his younger brother has had a huge impact. When Tatiana jokes about killing half the population of the Eastern Seaboard he takes this joke seriously as he understands that while they have brilliant scientists they also have terrible resources.

One such example is the near missile miss when a glare of sunshine read as a weapon and here he sees himself as the steadfast hand that didn’t leap to conclusions. Oleg does what William cannot and warns their enemy of this bio-weapon plot putting Philip in danger of being caught. Philip knows that Stan hasn’t been home from work for two days and this might be vital in reading the William situation even if his instincts have been all over the place this year.The Americans 4.12 The VaultMail Robot comes into play in a secondary sting operation as the FBI discover a surveillance device within it and catch the person who has been switching out the tapes. The title of this week’s episode “A Roy Rogers in Franconia” is also where this woman met the so-called mobster who offered $500 a week to swap out the tapes and it sounds like the most run of the mill location there is. Just how they like to do these dead drops. The key is to not draw attention. While the William op takes precedent, a car with a video camera has been left to watch this drop and I’m worried about what might happen to Hans as he seems like the number one most likely person to take the fall for this.

Everything is amping up for next week’s season finale and it is incredible to think just how much has taken place this year from the first half of the season with Nina’s sad demise and the Martha conclusion to every development in Paige’s somewhat unintentional junior spy training. Feelings have come into play far more this season than any before it with Philip’s earlier spiral and Elizabeth’s new found vulnerability reinforce this idea that it is emotions and not logic that drive things. Even when you are a spy.

Shot(s) of the Week

The Americans 4.12 Oleg and Tatiana The Americans 4.12 olegThe Rezidentura set is great for a number of reasons including how it feels like a completely different country – which it kind of is – and the huge portrait of Lenin which pulls focus. In the first shot he stands over Tatiana’s shoulder and is the constant reminder of where this version of the USSR started.

Oleg is to the side of him in both these scenes and it suggests the resistance he is currently experiencing. He is feeling a duty to something bigger because of how shitty their resources are and there is real fear in his mind. I also love that he is using his coat in the first shot in such an expressive way that would imply he is also hiding an IRL bump (he is not).The Americans 4.12 Elizabeth fridgeSpeaking of which – best use of a kitchen appliance so far this season. Also A+ reaction face from Elizabeth as Matthew tells Henry how to hook the computer up to the TV.

Disguise of the Week

The Americans 4.12 PhilipOnly one disguise this week and it is Philip’s standard William attire as they don’t know when the surveillance teams will be on him and it really weirds me out how much this version of Philip looks like my dad in the 1980s.

Outfit I Would Wear in 2016The Americans 4.12 Elizabeth and PaigeI’m going the easy route this week with the classic plaid shirt and jeans option and once again the costume department is doing a terrific job in concealing Keri Russell’s bump. And not just with an endless supply of coats. Excellent wardrobe repeating with Paige’s choice of pajama shirt too.

Ex-aspirational

Depression, creativity and the pressures of growing up, as told by a twenty-something not living her best life

Julie Hammerle

Nerds Need Love Too

Sofa and Remote

I love talking about TV as much as I love watching it

Ellie Writes Stuff

About this and that

Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan

Authors, Bloggers, Fashion Assassins

Twitter Music Club

A rotation curation music club, based on Twitter, mainly for Kiwis

INTO ROW Z

If you enjoy a challenge, like Claude Makélélé, read my blog. Its about sport.

lost somewhere in new york city

We rock a lot of polka dots

sankles

We rock a lot of polka dots

frocktalk.com/

Just another WordPress.com site

Cultural Learnings

Television Reviews and Analysis

judgmental observer

film, tv, popular culture, higher ed, unicorns

Rookie

We rock a lot of polka dots

ScreenFad

TV show news, reviews, recaps, spoilers, and photos

The Frisky

We rock a lot of polka dots

Tell Us a Story

stories about true things