Tag Archives: Sex and the City

Behind the Insta-Scenes: Photos from the Set

14 Jul

Lots of behind the scenes treats this week including soon to be returning shows such as You’re the Worst and Looking (in a one off movie form). Plus the first table read of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend season 2 and a whole lot of style highlights from Instagram.

 

Aya Cash gives an inside look into the different types of cover ups worn when filming sex scenes on cable and on network. Yes I googled (or rather Binged as I’m on my mother’s laptop and maybe on a CW show from two years ago) Shibue; they have a lot of products.

 

All the LOLs at Aya Cash and this not so subtle shade throwing.

 

I am already highly anticipating this episode. As I mentioned last week 2 Dope Queens turned my teary state into a much needed moment of laughter and this is one of many endorsements I have for this podcast.

 

The Looking movie is almost here and while I am not ready to say goodbye, I am ready for all the behind the scenes photos like this.

 

BrainDead is a lot of fun and pretty much the ideal summer show. It doesn’t entirely know what it wants to be tonally, but I could watch Aaron Tveit and Mary Elizabeth Winstead heating up the screen all day long.

 

And the Orange is the New Black cast are back on set for season 5.

 

UnREAL hasn’t been hitting the heights of season 1, but this week’s episode was a turn in the right direction and the it happened to be directed by none other than Shiri Appleby who crushed it (and me) both in front of and behind the camera.

 

Busy Philipps is on a dress hot streak of late and this is yet another reason to fire up that 100 emoji.

 

Busy Philipps is also killing it in the robes stakes and I’m gonna go ahead and add this to the robes I love list.

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On the way to cacio e pepe in MA, babies! ❤️

A post shared by Jenny Slate (@jennyslate) on

 

Jenny Slate delivers us a good example of a great cooking look.

 

I finished Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (which I love) and now I get to follow Rachel Bloom on Instagram! Season 2 table read time!

 

Also on the recently followed list and I am so ready to look back at the many varied costumes on Sex and the City.

 

Also looking back as yesterday was the fifteenth anniversary of Legally Blonde and Reese Witherspoon celebrated in style with an Elle Woods costume retrospective including this bikini number.

Music Monday – Girls Season 5 Closing Credits Playlist

14 Mar

For any Music Monday regulars you will know already how much I appreciate the variety of end credit music on shows like GirlsYou’re the Worst (which took the Best of 2015 crown) and TogethernessMad Men crushed end credit music selections week in week out and Orange is the New BlackDeutschland 83 and The Leftovers are also strong contenders in this field. With this in mind and for this season Girls instead of producing a playlist at the end of the season I will be adding to the closing credits playlist on weekly basis.

Starting on episode 4 makes it an EP of sorts and one of my favorite things about the music on Girls is that even if the episode has been kinda shitty for the characters there tends to be a hopeful edge to the song choices. The last few moments of “Old Loves” showcases the after of the bad/awkward sex encounters we have just witnessed with Elijah wondering around Dill’s fancy apartment in his underwear and Jessa watches a sleeping Adam before laying her head down on his bare chest. Hannah and Fran are dealing with non-sex related issues this week and this is the most fractured environment.Girls season 5Thankfully we are spared Desi and Marnie post-coital bliss or tears or whatever because if Desi can’t even get his top off properly I’m not sure I want to see that. The song that plays over these moments and the credits is “iT” by Christine and the Queens.Girls season 5There is a whole lot of coming together in “Old Loves” but as the title suggests there is a lot from the past bubbling beneath the surface and like those old celebrity couples has time run its course on a friendship like Hannah and Jessa’s? The argument in the rice pudding place (which I really want to go to because I love rice pudding) would suggest this and perhaps this is Jessa’s way of self sabotaging her friendship because of Adam. And also because Hannah and Jessa have always had this contentious thing that doesn’t quite match up with the best in best friends.

PS I love Old Loves and now I share this with Marnie I’m not entirely sure how I feel because as Abbi pointed out in the Broad City season 3 premiere with Charlotte from SATC – who Marnie clearly is the closest equivalent of* – even if you can identify that way you’re reluctant to admit it as she’s really annoying at times. I also have love/hate feelings towards her silver pants and they are the perfect clothing representation of my relationship with Marnie.  

*Updated because it just occurred to me that her apartment/wall situation made me think of Aidan renovating Carrie’s apartment and there is also something Carrie about Marnie. Aidan is no Desi thankfully. 

Here is the start of the Girls season 5 closing credits playlist.

 

Check back every week as the playlist gets longer and becomes album length.

Update! The “Life on Mars” AURORA performed cover of the incredible David Bowie song is not available on Spotify (it is on iTunes) so instead I have opted to switch it out for my favorite non-Bowie version of this song. This one comes from another soundtrack (The Life Aquatic) with Seu Jorge singing this track. The original version also appears on this soundtrack.

Hello, Hello, Hello: The Comeback 2.02 “Valerie Tries to Get Yesterday Back” Discussion

21 Nov

It’s time to talk The Comeback and I am joined once again by Kerensa Cadenas as we take a look at the second episode of this second season “Valerie Tries to Get Yesterday Back.” More familiar faces return and the issue of cosmetic surgery is discussed along with some maybe shade at how certain shows are treated with regards to HBO’s legacy.

The Comeback 2.02 oscarEmma: I want to start with the return of the greatest producer there is – Jane. Jane Benson that is, but Valerie doesn’t know that and this is one of many forgotten or fumbled names from this episode alone. Valerie is terrible at remembering, but she hasn’t lost her ability to wear someone down until they say yes and she just keeps going with flattery and pointing out the benefits with a splash of emotional blackmail. Jane of course relents despite her better judgement and she’s back producing the behind the scenes footage for Seeing Red.

This is a searing indictment on the Hollywood setup in that Jane has an Oscar and yet she can’t get the funding for her next documentary. So she uses the Oscar as a doorstop “because it doesn’t matter.” Valerie is super impressed by the Oscar and has multiple photos taken posing with it and who can blame her. I know I would and I’m not fame hungry like Valerie.

Jane’s living a super chilled lifestyle up on a ranch and it’s easy to see why she rejects Valerie’s first 20 attempts to get her back on board. First of all she feels like shit for how it all went down with The Comeback and she points out how uptight Valerie is around Paulie G. What could loosen Valerie up is the joint that’s getting passed around (and that Mickey is very happy to partake in) and the reason she relents to having some is to prove that she isn’t uptight. More stoned Valerie please.

Do you think Jane is already regretting returning to this project?

The Comeback 2.02 JaneKerensa: She might be? But I don’t think yet. And I think that any regrets that Jane will end up having will be because of Paulie G and not Valerie. It was so nice to see Jane and Valerie interact again even though Valerie has no idea what she’s talking about and literally did no research or even tried to understand Jane’s viewpoint or personal work.

I don’t think that Valerie’s particularly great at trying to talk people into doing things for her but no matter how off-putting she is she ends up as pretty endearing. Which is kinda how I felt that HBO meeting worked out–super awkwardly the whole time but ended up with Valerie getting what she wanted–this new reality show footage.

What did you think about that meeting?

Emma: Yeah I think you could be right about Jane and Paulie G, especially as there isn’t the same agenda with what kind of footage they get. Jane’s feelings of guilt from how The Comeback went will make her far more sympathetic to Val and I can’t see Paulie G keeping up the civil act.

With the HBO meeting it comes across to me like they want to keep Val sweet so and because they don’t really get what this whole project is, plus it does tie in with stuff that they can throw up on their website/social media. Plus the young exec who suggests this loves Valerie from I’m It! and The Comeback, feeding into her ego. I figure they think it’s an easier to say yes and then she kind of forgot about her other questions. Well she didn’t forget about the schedule but that’s something that she can’t negotiate.

This tackles one of the subjects Lisa Kudrow mentioned in the Buzzfeed profile addressing the plastic surgery question. Kudrow thinks that Valerie is the type to go down this cosmetic route, but Kudrow herself doesn’t want to do this. They get around this by moving the schedule out for the start of Seeing Red and so there’s no time to get anything done with recovery. Val still tries and this where Mark comes in with a photo of a bad filler experience. HBO wants Valerie to look real and I’m pretty sure it’s because Paulie G has been rather disparaging about Valerie’s age/appearance in his script.

It’s another smart critique on Hollywood standards from The Comeback, but what do you make of Mark’s reaction to it all?

The Comeback 2.02 GG partyKerensa: It just really endears Mark to me even more. When we first talked about the show, I didn’t get Mark and I didn’t understand his and Valerie’s relationship at first. But I think he’s truly a grounding force for her and this was just another example of that.

I do agree with Kudrow that Val totally would get work done if she thought it would benefit her career. But then it’s funny how in some respects to her her looks, she’s completely unwilling to negotiate. I’m thinking specifically in her fitting for the Golden Globes with Brad Goreski–she really doesn’t want to try on that insane red feathered dress, even for the cameras, which fair. But then the dress she picks for herself is pretty terrible itself. I think that it’s an on point example of the hypocrisy of Valerie Cherish which makes her such an interesting character.

Do you have thoughts about their whole failed Golden Globes trip?

Emma: Mark has definitely grown on me too and while he is definitely not that bothered by the showbiz side of things, I love how happy he is about the Golden Globes invite and dressing up all fancy. I figured he was going to be ditched for the camera crew – didn’t Val do this at the People’s Choice awards? – so I was glad to see he made the cut even if Mickey didn’t.

I was actually impressed with how Valerie took the whole Golden Globes viewing party situation, but it’s classic Val hiding disappointment with optimism. Valerie isn’t the only one to get a little screwed over by HBO as Paulie G’s there and Mark really doesn’t want to talk to him. Valerie does her thing and Paulie looks pretty pissed that Jane and the crew are back, but he is trying to be civil even going so far as apologising. I don’t buy this whole reformed act and I’m pretty sure he will be back to his vile self soon.

Am I being too harsh on him?

Kerensa: No, you aren’t. I think the exact same thing about Paulie G–there is something here that isn’t adding up–I don’t buy the reformed act and all that.

So I’m just gonna go ahead and throw my theory out there–just from the way he was around Valerie in this episode and body language things, I think he wants to fuck Valerie. And I could be completely wrong and off base but that was just the very intense feeling I got from this episode.

The Comeback 2.02 SATCEmma: Especially because we overheard him saying he didn’t want her in the first episode when her mic pack got stuck in the door. I don’t think he wanted her anywhere near this project.

It’s not something I’d thought about before you mentioned it, but I can definitely see how that could be a thing. He is strangely awkward around her and that might be why, plus he’s also kind of weird with Mark. The way they ditched the party, but wanted to make sure they didn’t get the same elevator with Paulie is hilarious.

Going back briefly to the HBO trip and I really want more Valerie comments about past and present HBO projects. The Leila Durham name confusion was a highlight, but it was her “the show that started it all” comments about Sex and the City and The Sopranos that really stuck with me and I couldn’t help but wonder if this is Michael Patrick King’s way of calling out everyone who ignores SATC when HBO’s TV legacy is discussed.

Kerensa: Oh man, I didn’t even think about that! I hope so because that would be SO smart–also even thinking about how ahead of its time The Comeback was and no one really appreciated it at the time.

God, we don’t deserve this show.

Emma: Right?! Like I know he’s said some shitty things at TCA panels regarding Two Broke Girls and the SATC movies are terrible, but the show deserves so much better. And yeah same with a The Comeback. It definitely made me think of the Emily Nussbaum piece in response to the Difficult Men book.

Kerensa: Yeah, he’s certainly very flawed but SATC has received a much rougher legacy than it really deserves.

Kerensa Cadenas is a writer living in Los Angeles. She is an Editor for Snakkle. She also writes for Women and HollywoodThe WeekThis Was TelevisionForever Young Adult, and Bitch magazine. She was the Research Editor for Tomorrow magazine. You can follow her on Twitter and read her ridiculous thoughts about teen television at her website.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

25 Oct

It’s “Out of the Box” time and it’s we’re covering a variety of shows this week including a returning show with a bright and bold wardrobe, an “Out of the Box” regular, a new favorite and another example of the excellent costume design on The Good Wife. We’re also looking at a Halloween themed episode and there are plenty of last minute ideas if you’re thinking of going as a TV character especially if you take the Nick Miller approach.

Win Some, Lose SomeThe Carrie Diaries returns tonight for season 2 and I’m looking forward to discussing the way they depict ’80s fashion; a fusion of pieces that are on sale now with authentic items. Carrie gets a new friend this season and it’s someone from the Sex and the City universe; that’s right Samantha Jones is entering Carrie’s life and she’s doing so in a lace jumpsuit (because of course).

I really enjoyed the first season of The Carrie Diaries and found both the show and AnnaSophia Robb to be incredibly charming. That’s a whole lot of bold color and patterns in the shot above and a flash of Carrie’s bra through her blouse is probably a nod to the many times we saw SJP’s in Sex and the City. This could also be Samantha’s influence as she is the more provocative, even at this age. She’s not pictured here but the person I am most looking forward to seeing in all her ’80s glory is Donna, as she was a constant source of sartorial joy last season.

April perfect outfitParks and Recreation has been bumped around the schedule this week and so this feels like a good opportunity to talk about April’s outfit from the end of the last episode. It’s typically April and for those who frequently read “Out of the Box” you will know by now that April’s wardrobe is one that I covet. With April her clothes are pretty similar to my own personal style and something like the outfit above is within my budget (the bag and skirt are both from Urban Outfitters). With a character like Olivia Pope I can but dream of owning something from her closet (and I’ve talked about my spilling issue before that prevents me from wearing white).

Elsbeth TascioniWhile I have already focused on the incredible Diane costume design on this week’s episode of The Good Wife I also want to highlight Elsbeth Tascioni’s blue velvet suit and frill blouse. This could have been a pure Austin Powers looking disaster, instead it’s lends to Elsbeth’s charms as she demonstrates why Alicia and Will trust her inherently; just because she looks and behaves a certain way doesn’t mean you should underestimate her. I wonder who will get Elsbeth in the impending firm breakup?

New Girl Halloween Costumes

It’s that time of year for Halloween themed episodes which means costumes! New GirlHalloween party featured a couple of lesser known costumes including  Paper Mountain Trash King (otherwise known as trash from Nick’s car) and Joey Ramona Quimby (a hybrid of Joey Ramone and Ramona Quimby). Not featured in the shot above but also just as random is Schmidt’s public serpent. Winston opts for a real life person and dresses as David Letterman after a misunderstanding at work, Schmidt thinks he is Maya Angelou instead.

Jess looks pretty great with a bob and the striped top would go on my wish list if I didn’t already have more striped tops than any person ever needs. Later on Jess does get to dress as a more familiar character as she pretends to be Michael Keaton in his Batman costume. Even when doing a popular character there is a weird edge to it. At The AV Club Erik Adams discusses how for these characters every day is Halloween as they are constantly adopting pseudonyms on New Girl and with this in mind it makes complete sense that their costumes are this bizarre.

Trophy Wife

It wasn’t Halloween on Trophy Wife but there is still an opportunity for dressing up with a ’80s themed school fundraiser. Trophy Wife is one my favorites from the new fall shows and it has impressed me with how it balances such a big cast and all of the different family dynamics. This part of the episode was all about Pete saying no to Diane and the Billy Idol/Pat Benatar costumes could ruin the impact of Pete’s big moment; even though things end on a slightly awkward note for Pete, his point has been made and acknowledged. Kate’s Working Girl costume is effective because it would be easy to make a gag out something more revealing, but this show is a lot smarter and subversive than the title suggests. I’m glad more episodes have been ordered and despite low ratings I’m remaining optimistic that good word of mouth will help this charming new sitcom stay on the air.

TV Costume Designers and Impacting Fashion

19 Sep

TV Ate My Wardrobe isn’t surprised to read that TV costume designers are having an impact on fashion at the moment, as The New York Times proposes in an article today. This site was born out of an interest and passion for costuming on TV and while other avenues are explored on a daily basis this is still at the heart of what we do here. Costuming can aid the storytelling process, but we also look at trends on the runway that filter through to stores. What is featured in magazine editorials can impact what we see on screen, but as we have seen with shows like Sex and the City and Mad Men they can have just as much influence on style as the fashion houses themselves.

Olivia Pope leather gloves

One aspect this article from The New York Times discusses comes from Pretty Little Liars costume designer Mandi Line as she explains that in her interview she stated “If you let me make fashion the fifth character on this show, people will watch it just for the clothes.” This is something that can probably be said about a show like Gossip Girl which I have recently realized that I miss purely for the clothes. The way costuming can appeal can be dependent on the target demographic and with something like Pretty Little Liars Instagram reveals how fans of the show compare their clothes to the ones they see on screen. Costuming can help create buzz and a show like Scandal has benefited from these types of discussions, especially now that star Kerry Washington is covering major fashion magazines and landing on every best dressed list. Lyn Paolo has done an excellent job not only with Olivia Pope’s wardrobe, but with each character’s clearly defined look. In the pilot episode of Scandal the notion that they are “Gladiators in suits” was repeated and now both Olivia’s team and fans of the show use this moniker.

NG_Neighbors-Sc9_0017 The time between when a TV show is made and when it airs is often relatively short and so this immediacy means that the clothes we see on screen are still often in stores. While you might not be able to afford the Prada purse that Olivia Pope uses, the J Crew sweater that Jess wears on New Girl could be a more affordable option. Websites such as What Would Zooey Deschanel Wear? and its broader ranging sister site Worn on TV not only find where to buy the clothes you see on screen, but also cheaper similar looking alternatives.

Elementary costume designer Rebecca Hofherr talks about how “TV deals with realistic issues and more realistic clothing” as opposed to film which might deal with more fantastical subjects. While I’m not a proponent of any TV vs. film debates I think TV can have a bigger impact on personal tastes because shows air on a weekly basis and so we see style evolution over a period of time. Characters become familiar to us and so as viewers it can be easier to identify with them and their look. There’s also a variety so one week I might see Joan Watson wear a scarf I really like and another will have me adding an April Ludgate shirt to my always growing wish list. You can sample many different looks across many different shows.

banana-republic-mad-men

This also covers period costuming and as I’ve mentioned Mad Men has influenced fashion in a major way and costume designer Janie Bryant has managed to create a brand thanks to her excellent work on Mad Men. Bryant has developed pieces with Maidenform (also a client of Sterling Cooper), Banana Republic and Brooks Brothers. There is also a reality show on the way from Janie Bryant that will give aspiring designers a chance to show off their skills by recreating classic Hollywood film costumes and celebrity signature styles.  Having just finished watching the Masters of Sex pilot I can confirm that there was a high amount of sweater and coat envy; as the colder season approaches I’m sure this will have some impact on forthcoming purchases even though it is set in the mid 1950s.

It’s not surprising to read that Good Wife designer Daniel Lawson is developing a line of clothes for professional women, or that Lyn Paolo is contemplating a book that will include Scandal related tips. Eric Daman whose previous credits include Sex and the City and Gossip Girl is now the costume designer for The Carrie Diaries and one of his non-TV related projects is a prom collection for Charlotte Russe. Girls and Orange is the New Black’s Jenn Rogien is currently one of Gap’s “Styled By” experts producing a series of style tutorials. For these costume designers they are diversifying their work and using their expertise on projects that relate to the TV work that we are familiar with. We have seen what these designers can do on screen so we know where their strengths lie and so there is already implied trust that they can produce excellent work outside of the TV show they design for.

A costume designer isn’t there to simply make the characters look good or to sell clothes; they help add another layer to the storytelling process and can inform the viewer to certain characteristics without a single word being said.

Summer Rewind: The Comeback

25 Jun

Here at TV Ate My Wardrobe we wanted to check in with some old shows over the break and I am joined by my Mad Men chat partner in crime Kerensa Cadenas for this Summer Rewind project. First up we have HBO’s The Comeback and this discussion focuses on the pilot episode.

The-Comeback

Emma: So my knowledge of The Comeback was pretty minimal before I watched the pilot – I knew it starred Lisa Kudrow and was created by Michael Patrick King and that it features on a lot of cancelled too soon/one season wonders lists. That’s it. See I said it was minimal, I didn’t even know about the reality show format.

The first thing I did after watching it was I checked when Friends and Sex and the City ended (both 2004) and to see when Keeping up with the Kardashians premiered (2007). The Comeback aired in 2006 and it nails so much about reality show TV that has continued long after (hence why I looked up the Kardashian air date).

We meet Valerie Cherish after she has had a hit show (like Kudrow) and she has had a lull in her career since that show (it all gets pretty meta from here) and as part of her comeback she is filming a reality show at the same time as a new sitcom that she thought she was going to be the star of. Valerie has an ego like most people in this profession but l like that they don’t make her mean, she’s oblivious at times but she is never cruel. She clearly has confidence issues at times and the scene in which she is practicing the same line over and over while eating cake (filmed from the fixed camera in the kitchen, the one that she probably forgets is there and so this is Valerie at her most natural). This line becomes a moment of contention throughout the pilot; it is the reason Valerie’s character changes from career woman to dowdy aunt and it’s also the point of Valerie’s rebellion in front of the live studio audience.

The Comeback ep 1 talking head

The fixed camera in the kitchen is just one of several reality show filming techniques there is also the general film crew following her around with the producer suggesting statements for Valerie starting with “I feel…” The producer also wants Valerie to be more animated in her one on one piece with the camera – this is probably the most common set up in all reality TV where they talk about an event as if they are living in that moment, it’s also when these reality shows feel at their most false (an oxymoron I know). There is also a personal video diary which is where the person if probably meant to be at their most natural and don’t have the producer to manipulate the situation but these are also rather contrived (except for the delightful toilet sound in the background from her husband). It doesn’t really matter how authentic any of this is as the producer tells Valerie that they will edit parts.

Valerie complains that “This is supposed to be reality” and so it is clear that Valerie is unaware of how reality TV works; there are two different types of reality star those who know how it works and manipulate it to their advantage and those who trust the makers of the show and end up being portrayed in a manner they didn’t expect. I don’t think that people necessarily remain in either camp and you can move between the two. With SO many reality shows from competitions such as Top Model or Idol to family reality shows like Duck Dynasty and everything in between there is as much chance that the people involved will become a star as much as they will fade into obscurity. The idea of fame and keeping relevant is important and we see this repeated throughout The Comeback pilot.

What are your first impressions of The Comeback?

The Comback ep 1 award

Kerensa: I have actually seen the pilot episode of The Comeback several times. The first time I remember was in college and I went over to a friend’s place to drink or something and they were watching the pilot and shouting “I DON’T NEED TO SEE THAT.” And then I saw it randomly a couple other times. But I never have seen beyond that.

Watching it this time around made it SO apparent what a groundbreaking show The Comeback was when it aired. Like you mentioned it aired in a weird transitory time when it came to reality television (The Hills also started in 2006) right before it really exploded. And like you said about Valerie complaining about reality television and not understanding how it works–I think that seems super relevant for the time that she wouldn’t understand what she should have been doing. I feel like at that point maybe understanding how reality television worked, in the ways we know now, wasn’t something that would have even registered?

But like you said this idea of fame and being relevant (and especially being an aging actress) is obviously an idea that will continue to be important.

I also have some thoughts about Valerie Cherish–but I want to know what do you think of Valerie first.

The Comeback ep 1 Leno

Emma: I felt mostly sad for Valerie and her attempts to claw back the fame she once had. The “I’m It” wall of photos and its destruction later in the episode is the perfect representation of Valerie; this is her achievements and by the end of the episode they are on the floor and water damaged, she is no longer “It”. Her prize photo is a monkey shitting on her head on Leno because of how much attention it got, but it just feels embarrassing.

I’m really intrigued by her relationship with her husband as he doesn’t appear to be that invested in her latest project or her career. Valerie mentions that he isn’t in show business and this conflict is likely to be repeated, but rather than have an argument Valerie tries to put a brave face on it. This is her tactic for most situations and we see this when she is told about the character change and at her wardrobe fitting; she is good at acting fine but it’s obvious that she’s crying on the inside. I was half expecting Valerie to be a tantrum throwing diva; instead she is a people pleaser and just wants to be loved by everyone, so she’ll put on the awful ill-fitting tracksuit even though she hates it. Basically Valerie makes me feel sad at the moment.

What are your Valerie thoughts?

Ep 1 tracksuit

Kerensa: I agree with you entirely about her husband seeming completely uninterested in her career. And Valerie makes me feel really sad too. I know that this is preemptively judging a character that we don’t fully know yet but Valerie feels like a precursor to a lot of the female characters we have now–like an Amy Jellicoe, etc. Basically a messy, selfish and deeply insecure female character who just also wants to please everyone like you said. And like with Enlightened a lot of people couldn’t deal with Amy. I can’t tell whether or not she’ll fit into Emily Nussbaum’s Hummingbird Theory or not just yet.

I’m also curious how this will go throughout the season cause now I could see Valerie being pretty polarizing and right on the heels of Carrie Bradshaw–that not working well with viewers. Although of course, after rewatches, we all know that Carrie is (at least I think) a super problematic character.

What else stood out for you in the pilot? We have some weirdly familiar faces.

Ep 1 wardobe fitting

Emma: You’ve reminded me that I still need to watch Enlightened (I know) but I did find Emily Nussbaum’s Hummingbird Theory intriguing so we’ll have to keep this is mind as we watch. I do think Carrie was always problematic in SATC and even though she was the lead, I hated how everything was always about her (and it’s something I think The Carrie Diaries has avoided so far).

So many familiar faces – Kellan Lutz is playing another meathead (no surprise) and Malin Akerman plays the hot young actress Juna. As with Valerie I’m glad that they don’t make Juna mean, she’s hot and takes her clothes off in front of people (it’s HBO so I figured there would be some nudity) but it doesn’t feel false or like she’s doing it for the cameras. Juna also does the thing where she mentions how young she was when Valerie’s show was on and once again I don’t think it’s intentional (say like when Juliette Barnes does it to Rayna in the Nashville pilot which feels calculated). Juna doesn’t want to make Valerie feel bad but does so regardless.

I found the whole debate about why Valerie’s character shouldn’t have a job to be interesting, the writers clearly aren’t interested in Valerie and she’s there to serve the other characters so they don’t need to flesh out her story. Oh and the Juicy Couture mention gave me flashbacks to 2004 and mostly JLo and Britney. Do people still wear this brand?

The producer is someone I hope we see more of because she is really just focused on the job at hand; I wonder if she’ll remain this detached from Valerie as a person?

What are your other thoughts about this pilot?

Kerensa: I’m glad they don’t make Juna mean either and I hope that continues to stick. I’m liking the seeming mentor-y relationship the two could potentially have. And how trite would it be if there ended up being an All About Eve situation–beyond uninterested in that.

All I can say about Kellan Lutz is LOL.

Agreed on the Valerie thing. I feel like the writers are uninterested in her but know that this reality show will give their show leverage so they have to somewhat be vaguely interested.

People do still wear Juicy Couture and I personally think it’s one of the tragedies of our time. (JK that’s SO dramatic).

Kerensa Cadenas is a writer living in Los Angeles. She is a staff writer for Women and Hollywood. She also writes for This Was TelevisionForever Young Adult, and Bitch magazine. She was the Research Editor for Tomorrow magazine. You can follow her on Twitter and read her ridiculous thoughts about teen television at her website.

 

TV Ate My House: The Double Life of a TV Home

23 Apr

Buildings can be famous for a number of reasons and a TV character’s home can take on a double life as it plays a role in fiction and in reality. In a city like New York pretty much every street seems as if it has featured on either the small or big screen and that’s probably because it has. There are certain places that take on a larger than life iconic status and become instantly recognizable to legions of fans. Exterior shots of locations such as the Friends building that housed all six characters at one time or another and Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment (that in reality is 5-bedroom brownstone) in Sex and the City are ones that immediately spring to mind.

For the people who live in these buildings made famous by these TV characters, their home is not just theirs but also forever belongs to Carrie, Monica, Chandler, Rachel, Ross, Phoebe and Joey. Last year the brownstone used in Sex and the City sold for a whopping $9.85 million and with that price tag comes a beautiful abode but also plenty of people who want their photograph taken on those steps. A small price to pay perhaps for a beautiful home located in Manhattan’s West Village (featured in the photo below).

SATC apartment

John Jeremiah Sullivan provides an account of what living in a famous TV house is like in his book Pulphead: Dispatches from the Other Side of America. Both the exterior and several rooms inside his house were used for the character of Peyton on One Tree Hill all while Sullivan, his wife and their young daughter lived there. This show was shot in Wilmington, North Carolina a place that has been used for multiple movie and TV shoots (I automatically think of Dawson’s Creek when I hear this location). There was already an agreement in place with the previous owners of the house and when Sullivan saw how much they were willing to pay to use the space it felt like a good financial decision for his family.

At first there were assurances that they would only be using two rooms inside the house, rooms which were decorated and furnished by the studio and Sullivan says that essentially “it meant that we lived on a TV set.” By all accounts they were treated well by the crew (Sullivan calls them “hyperprofessional”) and he is especially complimentary of Hilarie Burton (who played Peyton on One Tree Hill) saying “You could see Hilarie’s sweetness in the way she humored our families.”

Peyton's house OTH

Having fans turning up daily and from all over the world wasn’t the biggest issue Sullivan encountered with his house featuring on a TV show, as the fans were always polite and generally just wanted their photo taken in front of Peyton’s home. In reality it isn’t Peyton’s home; it belongs to the Sullivan’s and this is where the lines begin to blur. In a hotel room in Wilmington that they got put up in whenever extensive scenes were being filmed, Sullivan started watching the show and he explains that “We formed memories of our house that weren’t memories; we’d experienced them solely through television. We hadn’t been there for them, yet they’d occurred while we lived there.”

This kind of association took a turn for the disturbing when a storyline was introduced with “Psycho Derek” and this character did some truly terrible things to Peyton and her best friend Brooke in the basement of her/Sullivan’s house. Inevitably there came a time when it all became too much, especially as their young daughter was getting old enough to figure out that this wasn’t a normal set up for a family home and despite the offer of more money this was the end of Sullivan’s house being Peyton’s house.

This isn’t where the story ends for this house being recognized as a piece of One Tree Hill’s history (although it was also used in one episode of Dawson’s Creek) as they still get visitors wanting their photo taken. Thanks to reruns and DVDs this means that someone can experience a show for the first time long after it initially aired and so this house will always in some way be Peyton’s place. It’s very easy with the aid of the Internet to find the address of many homes that have been used on TV shows and so once a property has belonged to a beloved (and sometimes not so beloved) character there will always be a duel history; the fictitious and the real.

Julie Hammerle

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