Tag Archives: The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story

Best of TV 2016: The Best Songs

29 Dec

End of year lists can focus on various things – performances, costumes, episodes, overall show – and one of my favorite things to look back at is the best use of music on TV. Song can transport us to those all important standout moments or introduce us to new music; over the last few years I have compiled playlists from TV to celebrate this. Last year I focused a single show as You’re the Worst is particularly strong in the end credit department, whereas in previous years I have done a general playlist of the year in TV music.

For 2016 I have returned to the latter format going all in with 28-tracks and you can find the full breakdown and playlist over at ColliderfleabagSongs and music from 21-shows were chosen with some getting two tracks (including the above Fleabag) because I just couldn’t chose and a variety of genres feature. There are songs to dance to, induce tears and all other kinds of emotions and I’m really happy with how it turned out.

You can find instrumental pieces from Westworld and Game of Thrones, tracks that have appeared on “Music Monday” from the melancholy to fun cover versionsMr. Robot was messy in season 2, but nailed the soundtrack once again and shows like Atlanta and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend have music ingrained into the very fabric. You will find songs from The AmericansHalt and Catch FireGirlsBlack Mirror and American Crime Story as well as a literal earworm from BrainDead. Plus many, many more.

Costuming is my first love, but soundtracks is a close second and I am so glad I got to compile such an extensive playlist and discuss the best of 2016 over at Collider. Check it out here and get your dance on.

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Best of TV Costuming 2016: Work in Other Places

22 Dec

So 2016 has been bit of an emotional roller coaster on a large global scale and a personal one with moments of so much joy and immense sadness.

Writing wise this has been my best year yet as I finally got over my pitching fears (well, mostly) and have a weekly TV and Style column at The Observer where I have discussed numerous shows and costume moments beginning with Girls back in February. I have also contributed to Collider with several Americans essays and a TV themed gift guide (still time to buy!).

Here is a selection of my favorite pieces of work from 2016 including a personal essay, topics I have been obsessed with for a long time, discussing so many different shows from this year (with a dash of the ’90s) and I also got to interview two amazing costume designers.Outlander Season 2 2016Kicking off with the essay that was incredibly hard to write, but also gave me great comfort after my father passed away in July. I got married in September and in the lead up I knew it would be a very happy day tinged with sadness and writing about Outlander, my father and our shared heritage helped.

I don’t tend to be someone who is good with sharing my deepest feelings and personal essays are an uneasy prospect: however connecting to the work of Terry Dresbach and the Outlander team led to an outpouring of words.the americansI wrote about The Americans a lot in 2016 both here and other places. I spoke to costume designer Katie Irish at the start of the fourth season about Coach, the many coats and other costume design disguise secrets.

For Collider I went deep about Elizabeth Jennings and motherhood, why the teens on this show don’t fall into the usual annoying obstacle trap and looked at how the Cold War is making a comeback on TV (this was before other significant events).westworldOne of the most fulfilling experiences of 2016 was talking to Westworld costume designer Ane Crabtree after the season finale. Part of this is because I have been writing about Crabtree’s work since TV Ate My Wardrobe started with Masters of Sex and because of all the anecdotes and insight I got from this phone conversation.fleabagOne of the first pieces I wrote on TV Ate My Wardrobe was about lipstick on TV/film and I expanded upon this idea while discussing the Empire CoverGirl line and how powerful make-up can be.

Other key lipstick essays include two of my favorite shows of the year with how Fleabag paints over the cracks and the portrayal of women working in the tech industry in the ’80s on Halt and Catch Fire. And the time jump on Halt and Catch Fire allowed me to address my own nostalgia and one of my favorite style decades.img_4381In a similar vein, but at the end of the scale the build up to new Gilmore Girls was the perfect time to address all the fashion mishaps of the early ’00s.

BrainDead is one of my favorite shows of the year for being fun, weird, having so much flames chemistry and rethinking how to do a “previously on.” Plus it gave me so many outfit goals and I got to expand on this further heregame-of-thronesAnd now for my most viewed article, which also happens to be one of my favorite costume moments of the year when Sansa made sure Jon knew he was family by making him a very Ned fur.

Also on the subject of Game of Thrones I previewed the “Battle of the Bastards” with a ‘Who wore it better?’ competition and went all in on Cersei’s power move ensemble.

On the pieces I have wanted to write about forever track; Angela singing on Mr. Robot let me go all in on the sadness karaoke essay that has been itching to come out since Eliza sang “Chandelier” on Selfie.

The second season of Mr. Robot was messy in places, but the women delivered and it gave me plenty to write about from a costuming perspective. Oh and everyone looks hotter in sunglasses as the Fug Girls always say.felicity-and-marciaA tale of two haircuts and I am very proud of finding a very strong link between Keri Russell’s infamous Felicity haircut and Marcia Clark’s mid-trial makeover. American Crime Story’s “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” is one of my favorite episodes of TV this year and exploring the legacies of a style change was incredibly fulfilling.

I binged the first season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend the week after my dad died and it was a much needed distraction so I will forever be grateful for Rachel Bloom and Rebecca Bunch. Season 2 has also provided some very interesting talking points including portrayals of lady friendships and makeovers. Plus Rebecca’s imagination delivers on plenty of fun costume changes.

Here’s to more in 2017 and for my author pages at The Observer and Collider head here and here.

For individual costume highlights check out Best of the Rest Parts 1 and 2.

 

 

 

2016 Emmy Nominations Quick Take – Costumes (Updated with Winners)

14 Jul

This intro is usually where I would complain about the lack of nominations for The Americans, but this is an Emmy miracle as Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys and the show all received nods today and I maybe blacked out after this so I’m catching up on everything else still.

It wouldn’t be the Emmys without some grumbles and only about half of my wish list made the cut – no Leftovers, Rachel Bloom, Aya Cash and more – but I am so surprised/amazed/happy about The Americans finally breaking through in its forth season that it somehow softens the blow of the other snubs.OutlanderI’m here not to talk acting nominations, instead I want to take a quick look at the costume design nominees. There are three different categories for costume; contemporary, period/fantasy and variety/non-fiction/reality. Specific episodes are chosen to submit and some of my favorite costume moments from this year are featured including the incredible red gown designed by Terry Dresbach for Claire Fraser to wear to the fanciest of fancy parties on Outlander, the jaw dropping revenge/mourning/coronation outfits as worn by Cersei in the Game of Thrones season finale, everyone in white at the wedding that turned disaster on Transparent and Lady Gaga’s stunning American Horror Story purple number.

As with every category there are some notable omissions including Katie Irish taking us further into the 80s on The Americans with Elizabeth’s cover Patty, all the many covering up coats and the Princess Di inspired maternity wear. The Knick picked up some technical nominations, but I am disappointed this isn’t one of them.

In the contemporary category I am thrilled to see Daniel Lawson recognized for his Good Wife costumes particularly after this one of my snubs from last year. As with last year I am sad to see some of the bold wardrobes from comedy not among the nominees with Salvador Perez for The Mindy Project and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s Tina Nigro missing the cut. Girls had a stunning season and for Marnie’s red dress alone I would have loved to see Jenn Rogien on here.

The full list of costume design nominations are here and congratulations to all on this list!

The Good Wife 7.22 Alicia and Diane

OUTSTANDING COSTUMES FOR A CONTEMPORARY SERIES, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

Winner! American Horror Story: Hotel, “Chutes and Ladders” – Lou Eyrich, Helen Huang, Marisa Aboitiz

Empire, “Past is Prologue” – Paolo Nieddu, Jennifer Salim, Mary Lane

The Good Wife, “End” – Daniel Lawson, David Brooks, Daniele Hollywood, Angel Peart

Grace and Frankie, “The Party” – Allyson B. Fanger, Lori DeLapp

Transparent, “Kina Hora” – Marie Schley, Mark A. Summers

Cersei

OUTSTANDING COSTUMES FOR A PERIOD/FANTASY SERIES, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

Downton Abbey, “Episode 8” – Anna Mary Scott Robbins, Michael Weldon, Kathryn Tart

Winner! Game of Thrones, “The Winds of Winter” –  Michele Clapton, Chloe Aubry, Sheena Wichary

Outlander, “Not in Scotland Anymore” – Terry Dresbach, Elle Wilson, Nadine Powell, Anna Lau

The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” – Hala Bahmet, Marina Ray, Elinor Bardach

Roots, “Night One” – Ruth E. Carter, Diane Cilliers, Meagan ‘Bijou’ Coates

GREASE: LIVE: (L-R) Julianne Hough and Aaron Tveit rehearse for GREASE: LIVE airing LIVE Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016 (7:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), on FOX. © 2016 Fox Broadcasting CO. Cr: Kevin Estrada/FOXOUTSTANDING COSTUMES FOR A VARIETY, NONFICTION OR REALITY PROGRAM

Dancing with the Stars, “Disney Night” – Daniela Gschwendtner, Steven Lee, Polina Roytman, Karina Torrico, Howard Sussman

Grease: Live -William Ivey Long, Paul Spadone, Nanrose Buchman, Gail Fitzgibbons, Tom Beall

RuPaul’s Drag Race, “Keeping it 100!” – Zaldy Goco

Saturday Night Live, Host Ryan Gosling – Tom Broecker, Eric Justian

Winner! The Wiz Live! Paul Tazewell, Rachel Attridge, Rory Powers

 

For all Emmy nominations head here and excuse me while I go celebrate The Americans finally breaking into the main categories

2016 Emmy Nomination Acting Wish List

13 Jul

Emmy nominations will be announced tomorrow (Thursday, July 14) and that means it is time to offer up some quick thoughts regarding who I would like to see on the shortlist. I’ve split my list into drama, mini-series and comedy with some shows getting multiple nomination hopes. These are all actors who have submitted their work for Emmy consideration and some of these are repeats from last year’s wish list.

A mix of certain locks, potential first timers and complete outsiders make up these choices and while I am sure there are some amazing performances that are not included below this is the list of actors I have gone for.

Dramathe americansMatthew Rhys and Keri Russell

Every year The Americans tops its previous season with Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell taking levels of soul crushing heartache to new heights. It was hard not to spend half of any review I wrote praising the leads for how much they manage to convey with just a look and the number of ways they manage to devastate, but I get to repeat myself here for those that missed that.

They’re not the only Americans actors who deserve a nod this year with Alison Wright turning Poor Martha into something so much more than a tragic lovelorn figure. I would like to this show reap all the awards this year and have my usual gif lined up for when this doesn’t happen. Again. The Leftovers TCAJustin Theroux, Carrie Coon, Regina King

The Leftovers hit new highs in season 2 and relocating to Texas was a huge part of this. Three scenes really stand out; the first is when Nora wonders if there’s been a second departure when she wakes up to find Kevin is gone. A desperate phone call to emergency service is followed by a desperate hug when Kevin walks in through the door which quickly shifts to anger that he put her through this. The second comes when Nora gets Erika to take the questionnaire she has given to countless others and as the camera pushes in on both actresses we get to see the best of both Carrie Coon and Regina King. The third and final scene I want to highlight comes from the season finale and when I heard this clip on a recent Vulture podcast it made me cry; when Justin Theroux sings “Homeward Bound” the tears and snot flows freely and it tops off an incredible season.Krystal Orphan BlackTatiana Maslany

Even in this fourth season of Orphan Black I still manage to forget that Tatiana Maslany tends to be a least 50% of the characters in any one scene and that she can break my heart in an instant. Caitriona BalfeCaitriona Balfe

While I’m on the subject of heartbreak which is a common theme among all my picks; Caitriona Balfe delivered a raw and emotionally devastating performance when Claire experienced a huge loss midway through season 2. “Faith” is the ideal Emmy showcase episode, but Balfe has delivered on a number of levels this year showcasing Claire’s strengths and vulnerability in equal measure.UnREALShiri Appleby

On UnREAL Shiri Appleby as Rachel teeters on the edge of falling apart at every turn; she is fantastic at her job but that means a whole lot of questionable actions and Appleby conveys both the conflict and excitement in the manipulation of the Everlasting contestants that she gets off on.

Mini-Series

THE PEOPLE v. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" Episode 106 (Airs Tuesday, March 8, 10:00 pm/ep) -- Pictured: (l-r) Sarah Paulson a Marcia Clark, Sterling K. Brown as Christopher Darden. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FXThe mini-series category is stacked this year and I’m hoping that both Sarah Paulson and Sterling K. Brown will have their names called out on tomorrow. Paulson is pretty much a lock for her incredible portrayal of Marcia Clark and while Brown is more of an outside chance I will be disappointed if someone like John Travolta (because he is a movie star) gets nominated ahead of him. For the chemistry between Brown and Paulson alone they deserve an Emmy nod with late night office intimate dancing and a look in the hotel corridor that had me screaming KISS HIM; I did not expect American Crime Story to result in shipping of any kind. Fargo - Peggy in stripesKirsten Dunst

On Fargo this season Peggy Blumquist became a new TV style icon and Kirsten Dunst took a character who could have felt incredibly cartoony and delivered something a lot more nuanced. Wanting something better than the life she has and ending up in a murdery cat and mouse game, Dunst makes Peggy a tragic figure we root for and shake our head at while also giving me a good reason why I have kept so many magazines.

Oscar Isaac

I’m not just picking Oscar Isaac because I want to see him in a tux come September, but because Show Me a Hero is still something that almost a year later feels like a gut punch when I think about it. Isaac also manages to work that mustache and is delightful in the moments where he fixes up the house in dad jeans while listening to Bruce Springsteen.

ComedyGretchen You're the Worst 2.04Aya Cash

A lot of the performances I have chosen have involved some element of crushing heartbreak and this isn’t just relegated to drama; Aya Cash and You’re the Worst took the comedies that make me cry to new levels this year and this exploration of depression was an unexpected and welcome turn from one of my favorite shows on TV.

Crazy Ex GirlfriendRachel Bloom

I am late to the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend party having only started (and finished) the show last week and Rachel Bloom is doing such a wide range of things both in front and behind the camera. There are the song performances (and I have a number of these swirling through my head) coupled with the range of emotions from the funny to the agonizing and I think we have found a common theme among my nomination choices.

Aziz AnsariAziz Ansari

Another creator/star that stands out this year is Aziz Ansari with his Netflix series Master of None and for things that get stuck in my head I have been saying “The Sickening… It’s happening!” a lot this year. Also for getting in my favorite passage from The Bell Jar into the season finale in such an interesting way and gifting us with amazing weekend date ideas, showing the difference between experiences walking home if your are a dude or a woman and highlighting diversity on TV/film issues. I hope to see multiple nominations for Ansari.

Jane the Virgin 2.02 stripes

Gina Rodriguez

Another case of a comedy that makes me cry just as much as it makes me laugh and Gina Rodriguez delivers in both arenas. Season 2 saw Jane juggling motherhood, grad school and so many romantic triangle situations; it is the relationships between the women on Jane the Virgin that really hits my sweet spot and the chemistry Rodriguez has with her co-stars is a huge part of this charm.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

29 Jan

Continuing our Sundance fashion love-in with more knitwear, boots and coat treats for you to scroll through. Plus awards season keeps on keeping on, the American Crime Story red carpet delivers and another fantastic magazine cover has been unveiled. Jenna MaloneJena Malone is slaying at the Lovesong premiere in matching black and white checks in an outfit that looks super chic and cozy at the same time. Topping things off with killer red lips and boots.Maya RudolphGoing slightly more casual with checks is Maya Rudolph at the Mr Pig premiere also earning those all important red lipstick points. Sundance continues to be my fave for all things that I might actually have in my wardrobe. Elisabeth MossSparkly jumper dress, black tights and boots for Elisabeth Moss at the premiere for The Free World is the glitzy form of red carpet attire here; count me all in.Elisabeth Moss SundanceThis is just the best combination of all the things I love from Elisabeth Moss out and about at Sundance. My only concern is the lack of gloves. This calls for a good pair of fingerless chunky knits or some Carol inspired leather ones.Tegan and SaraMore Sundance red carpet excellence from Tegan and Sara with hints of #LadySuitWatch2016 on display at The Intervention premiere. Tegan’s grey boots are high on my covet list.Natasha Lyonne and Clea DuvallAll the 90s teen movie feelings are being felt as a result of The Intervention red carpet. Also boosted by Natasha Lyonne’s sweater looking like a black version of the dog on the “Odelay” cover.America FerreraPolka dots pretty (plus pockets!) for America Ferrera at the Producers Guild Awards and this Alexia Maria dress is ticking all our boxes. Ferrera has been a regular on TV Ate My Wardrobe over this busy red carpet season and she recently pointed out she is currently living in a world of clothing extremes.Anne HathawayFirst of all let’s ditch any kind of headlines that refer to a baby bump as if it is an accessory that can be removed at will (see every DM headline ever – i.e. “[insert pregnant celeb] takes baby bump to x”). Secondly the whole “unveiling their baby bump” nonsense can also go. So here is Anne Hathaway wearing a very cute Marc Jacobs dress and yes she looks radiant, but she always tends to pregnancy or not. *end of rant*Blackish kidsThe kids from Black-ish continue their style domination at the NAACP Awards Nominees’ Luncheon this week. And I still really need to get caught up on this show.Aya CashAya Cash was early to #LadySuitWatch2016 and she is keeping a solid jacket game in this gold lame number on the red carpet for The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story (a show that is very high on my most anticipated list). As someone who isn’t in the cast this is ideal attire as it is super cool without being too showy.Angel ParkerAngel Parker is playing attorney Shawn Chapman – part of OJ’s Dream Team – and she’s paired a bold red dress with an excellent array of accessories from silver pumps to a mirrored clutch (which looks a lot like this Viola Davis one). Also those all important red lipstick points.Sarah PaulsonSarah Paulson has been killing it on the red carpet of late and this is another triumph (even if as Samantha Powell mentions this Stella McCartney dress was everywhere in 2012). Such a good color.Amanda PeetAmanda Peet’s look wouldn’t be out of place in the top half of this post and as with Aya Cash this is the ideal kind of outfit for someone who is not in the project. Sweater, lipstick and casually slung coat over the shoulder yeses all around.Jussie SmollettOne of my favorite magazine covers of recent years was from Out and this Jussie Smollet shot is another case of letting a strong image do all the talking. In the interview he lays it all out including this:

“God, I’ve never had to talk about this, so I’m trying to find the words. If I had to label myself, I would label myself as a gay man. With that said, I believe that love is the only thing that matters, and I would hope that anybody would leave themselves open — not to gender, but to love. I would hope that people would not close themselves off from what could be if, lo and behold, you meet somebody that just sweeps you off your feet, and you just can’t do anything about it. If we truly believe that we are born this way, then why do we try to stifle the way we were born? If I fall in love down the road with a woman, I’m going to love that woman.”

It is worth checking out the full interview here and there are also more dreamy pictures from the editorial waiting.

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