Award Show Season

Thoughts on… “The Affair”

*Just an FYI, there are some spoilers if you have not watched all the way through!*

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From the get-go, I’d done nothing but talk shit about the show The Affair. Before it was even on, I just couldn’t say enough about how sick I am of the romanticizing and glorification of something that is so morally wrong. I am not as prude as this sounds, but was brought up in Catholic school and I just don’t think infidelity should be this glamorized. From Scandal, to nearly every other drama on TV, sex sells and it seems like AFFAIRS really sell. So for the entire premise of a show to be focused on the *very exciting and romantic* betrayal and ruining of a marriage, I just couldn’t have been more disgusted.

Then I found out Joshua Jackson was in it. And I quite literally can’t resist Pacey Witter, affair or not. So, since it was coming on after Homeland anyway, I decided to give it a shot.

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I have to admit I was very intrigued, even though I didn’t like what I knew what would happen (hello, it’s in the name). Each episode plays out the same event – in the story, and in their relationship – but the first half from Noah Solloway, the male’s perspective, then the second 25 minutes from Allison Lockhart, the female’s perspective. This is something I’d never seen before in a TV show, and I loved the concept, so I hung on. The writing was just too cool – how they made the stories overlap, how their clothes changed, how what they said and who did what changed based on who’s point of view we were seeing. There were also True Detective-type interviews happening with each main character – they are recounting the events of the story as they remember them to a detective, so this implied there was some sort of criminal storyline that we don’t know about, in play as well.

One other thing to mention is the theme song/intro is IN-CREDIBLE. Just, fucking, awesome. It’s a new original song written and performed by Fiona Apple specifically for the show, called “Container,” and I wish to God it was longer than a minute! It starts out a cappella, and then a drum beat comes in… It’s haunting, and beautiful and just totally perfect for the show. Take a listen here

 

THE AFFAIRAnyway, despite the opening theme that truly kept me hanging on, by the fourth episode of the show, I was over it. That episode surrounded ONLY the two leads, those having the affair… and when it was just the two of them, I just couldn’t keep watching it.

I felt dirty, guilty; like I was the one having the affair, or something.

 

Much later, “The Affair” won two Golden Globes. I didn’t really understand why, (other than it’s salacious nature, and because it’s a new show), but a friend told me she caught the season finale without watching the others and it was VERY entertaining. I decided to give it another go, and I’m glad I did… sort of.

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The first season, at only 10 episodes long, definitely packs a lot of nail biting drama. After the episode I quit on, several other interesting characters and plot points came into play that somewhat made me feel okay about the dirtiness of the adultery – drug dealing, a murder case, Noah’s crazy teenage daughter, Allison’s crazy mother, small town family feuds, a lost child, and in general the deep roots of the character’s personalities and motives (which are perfectly executed by the actors). Plus, more Joshua Jackson (albeit a sad, angry Joshua Jackson).

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The last two episodes especially were so entertaining I found myself yelling at the TV. It’s really rare that a show (or film) is satisfyingly, totally put together and feeling complete, in terms of continuity, storylines, character motives, all really coming together, and it’s even rarer when you’re seeing it from two points of view the entire time. But as well written, well directed, and well produced the show is, there’s a few plot holes I am so disappointed about and can’t ignore, so I’d like to put this out there and maybe some other fans can enlighten me:

  • What exactly happened around episode 6 or 7, where Noah goes from realizing pursuing anything else with Allison is “completely crazy,” he goes back to having sex with his wife (a fantastic Maura Tierney), he goes through marital therapy with her, and seems to be completely regretful of his actions and confident in his marriage – to telling Allison he loves her?? Part of me thought this was something that only happened in her POV, but then later it’s said in his too. This seemed like sort of a 180 that just didn’t add up. Noah was believable in his attempts at apologizing and searching for forgiveness for an episode or two. But suddenly he’s thrown into a situation where he sees Allison again, and that is a time that the L-word is realized? I can’t wrap my mind around this. There wasn’t a lead up where he was thinking about her, or having issues with his wife regularly, or anything. Even if the idea is “he’s around her again, he sees her again after some time, and they can’t deny their love for each other” their actions before saying these words did not really indicate their sudden profession of love. Maybe it’s a move to keep the audience on their toes, but I found it frustrating and just did not at all add up.
  • How could there possibly be two interpretations of the events of the last episode? This involves a gun, a lot of yelling, and some very angry Solloways and Lockharts. It just seems to me that when there is a gun in play and it’s pointed at you, you aren’t forgetting what exactly played out in this scene, but somehow Noah and Allison’s memory of these events are very 
  • In general, much of Allison’s side seems to be slightly more in “love” in “The Affair” than Noah is. Noah seems very  much in lust, and then in guilt. Yet suddenly in the last two episodes, Noah is the first to tell his wife he is “in love” with someone else, and makes the moves to leave and be with her (this might actually just harken back to my first point).
  • Chemistry – I didn’t feel it beyond the intimate scenes. It seemed like they had chemistry when it came to sex and being physical, etc. but that’s not hard to do – everyone looks sexy and connected when they’re having sex. In the scenes where they are just spending time together or talking, or Noah is trying to make Allison feel better about something… I just didn’t see it. I didn’t buy that they had this crazy, deep connection, or “love” that would absolutely have to lead to them ruining their marriage and lives.

 

What did anyone else think?? Did I completely miss something or did you have the questions? Let me know!

Thanks for reading!

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EMMY 2014 highlights (for me anyway)

I’m riding the Emmy’s train all week this week and I wanted to post about my favorite moments, so here we go!

1. Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Brian Cranston – This bit was AWESOME. There’s not a time that I watch that episode of Seinfield with Bryan and I don’t think about whether the two of them are friendly now. They both really went for it, and it was worth it, one of the best moments of the night.

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2. Seth Myers as host – Because I am a complete nerd for and lover of Saturday Night Live, I do love Seth Myers. However, following Jimmy Fallon’s late show hasn’t been great for him, and the show has been sort of lacking and VERY slow IMHO. It’s getting better but still – eh. So I was very nervous for how he would do as the Emmy’s host, but he knocked it out of the park. His monologue was really funny, and not uncomfortably mean to anyone in the audience. His bits with his friends in the audience – Jon Hamm, Melissa McCarthy, Fred Armisan and of course Amy Poehler – were really funny worked well. And his introductions were great, especially the MESSING PARSONS joke. Overall, I think a job REALLY well done.

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3. Matthew McConaughy and Woody Harrelson – Even if they look like they just stepped out of the Roxbury, they were charming and adorable, and who cares about the pot jokes?? They were perfect together and it made me so happy and then furious that A) They won’t be in season 2 of True Detective and B) TRUE DETECTIVE DIDN’T WIN ANYTHING, considering it was SO much better than the stupid finale episodes of Breaking Bad, which were just more and more of the same.matthew-mcconaughey-woody-harrelson-night-at-the-roxbury

4. Billy Eichner’s on the street with Seth – I usually don’t find “Billy on the Street” that funny, but this was really great.

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5. And of course, Andy Samberg just in general, making that face, as the poisoned King Joffrey.

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Some other thoughts – 

What was with all the wins for Sherlock?? And none of those people were even there!

I’ve ranted about Breaking Bad before – and how I found it to be very misogynistic, repetitive, and overhyped – but were they just giving it awards because it was the last season? Because realistically, it wasn’t all that great or different from the other seasons and on top of that, True Detective was SO much better!

Won’t even get in to “Modern Family‘s Reign of Terror” (as NY MAG Matt Zoller Seitz so affably coined it), but it’s getting ridiculous. It’s good, but it’s not THAT MUCH BETTER than everyone other show nominated, 5 years in a row.

Anyway what did you think? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

Emmy Dresses 2014

My 2nd favorite award show of the year has come and gone, but not without that great deja-vu feeling you can only get from seeing the same dumb, undeserving shit win the same award year after year (no, I’m not bitter that Modern Family won, AGAIN, beating out 5 other excellent and more deserving comedies)!  And lest we forget, not without some beautiful dresses. A TON of RED on that carpet of the same name this year, which is to be expected for Fall, but also a ton of white and several halters? The 90’s really are back, huh? Here are some of my favorites! (HINT: My top two picks are two gorgeous Julias, and not some of the young twits who get invited to these things… Like a fine wine, these two are getting better with age!)

JLD in Carolina Herrera FTW

JLD FTW

1. Julia Louis Dreyfus in Carolina Herrera – Are you kidding me? How can she look (AND BE) this amazing all the time? I’ve mentioned before how much I love her and basically everything she does, not to mention she has played debate-ably two of the absolute best comedic roles written for a woman in the past 20 years. BUT SHE ALWAYS LOOKS FABULOUS TOO. I mean it’s insane, but I can’t think of a better person to have such talent, beauty and style – she seems like such a kind, genuine and hilarious person IRL (and if the opposite is true I refuse to believe it). One of the ladies in red (and the best IMO), she worked it on the carpet and all through the ceremony (CAN WE TALK ABOUT THAT KISS? i’ll get to that later).

If this Elie Saab is wrong, I DON’T WANT TO BE RIGHT.

2. Julia Roberts in Elie Saab – TRULY, truly can’t get over the negative reviews when it comes to this dress. I want to say “Are you kidding??” for this pick, for a completely different reason. Not only does she look amazing even outside of the dress, that dress itself IS SICK! Who gives a shit about the hemline, are we all suddenly our grandmothers? Since when does a short hem automatically mean bad dress? I mean she looked millions of times better than some of the ladies wearing the traditional ball gown! (*ahem* Sarah Silverman, January Jones, *ahem*). And I’m sorry, but the pearl and stone embroidery in the midnight blue made up for anything anyone could say about it not being quite dressy or formal enough. This dress is badass, and looks exquisite on her – that neckline, those legs!

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Janis? Is that you?

3. Lizzy Caplan in Donna Karan Atelier – UH… Can we reflect how far Janis Ian has come?? The cut outs, the open back – just CHIC as hell and so sexy! As Huffpo noted – this dress makes it hard to believe she ever played this anigif_enhanced-buzz-7961-1383248660-42 fred-armisen-carrie-brownstein-emmys-2014-emmy-awards 4. Carrie Brownstein in Halston Heritage – I am usually anti-one shoulder dresses, and black is chic but sorta boring. However, this dress is beautiful and looks incredible on her! When I saw her post a pic on Instagram I literally said “Holy s—” out loud to myself. Especially since we’re used to seeing her in such not-formalwear (if you watch and adore Portlandia like I do) this was a wonderful surprise.

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Halle Berry WOW-ing in Elie Saab

5. Halle Berry in Elie Saab – LOVE it. Love the mauve, I love the cut, the halter the waist… When she came on stage I actually said “WOW.” She looked incredible and this dress is just gorgeous. Elie Saab was killing the red carpet last night. HONORABLE MENTIONS la-ig-lena-dunham-fashion-20140820-006 Lena Dunham in Giambattista Valli – This skirt is incredible, and like a cotton candy dream. Not that that necessarily makes attractive formalwear, but this is an beautiful creation and suited to her personality. My only issue is the top. I don’t really understand that choice, as it seems like there has to have been a better, and certainly more flattering top combination for this skirt. And I know this is another one that the critics have torn apart (as are most of Lena’s dress picks), but the only reason she doesn’t look great in all the pictures is her posture! She always seems to be slumping, and doesn’t seem to have that actress-red-carpet-strut down. If she was standing up straight, and had changed that top with something that looked a little smoother, this would have been a top pick of the night. What were some of your favorites?? Let me know! Thanks for reading!

Emmy Noms 2014!!

I may have mentioned this before but I LOVE TV. In the past few years, TV shows have surpassed movies for me in terms of what is most entertaining and worth spending my time watching. I love all award shows as I know I’ve talked about, but I especially love the (Primetime) Emmy’s. And the fact that they aren’t the same time of year as the other major award shows is like a big mid-year bonus!

Apparently there were tons of gripes and jeers from various press outlets on this year’s nominations and snubs, but I’ll recap my own thoughts on the matter.

66th Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations

First of all, can we please acknowledge Mindy Kaling? For anyone who saw the Emmy nom announcements as they cut in to whatever ridiculous thing Lara Spencer was talking about on Good Morning America, you know that Mindy Kaling and Carson Daly were the ones bringing us the big news. And Mindy, read both categories that snubbed her and her show – best actress in a comedy and best comedy series. THEY COULDN’T HAVE WORKED THAT OUT BETTER?? I mean she wasn’t visibly angry or anything, but what poise in acting like she was not phased.

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Second, I’m going to make a controversial statement – Orange is the New Black isn’t that good. DON’T GET ME WRONG, it’s entertaining enough, and the plethora of characters and personalities brings so much material and interesting plot lines to the table for the viewer. However, it’s just not THAT good. Taylor Schilling as Piper is so boring and sad to me, I almost stopped watching the show. It just felt like most of the first season was spent watching her staring in to the camera with dead eyes, or looking half asleep, or looking fake angry, or just generally STARING. I prayed for times when she wasn’t on screen but those are few and far between. I love all of the other characters around her (except Pensultucky, who as a character has passed just being the antagonist, and instead becomes comical in how irritating she is. It’s just TOO much). I haven’t watched a ton of the second season, but I know that I was not in any way chomping at the bit to see what happens next at the end of the first (like I was with House of Cards). At the end of the first season, I just couldn’t get over the deep hole of shit that Piper had dug for herself, so much that I just stopped caring. If they could make the show with her as a minor character, it would be great. But I feel like it gets all of this support and all of this praise because it’s another product of Netflix, when that alone does not make it good. I mean, certainly not House of Cards good, anyway.

Also, why does this continue to be categorized as a comedy? I understand that there is not a “dramedy” category and it has comedic elements. But Taylor Schilling is in no way a comedic actress in this show, and the show itself is not consistently funny enough to be calling a comedy. For god’s sake its an hour format! Are there any other hour long comedies? No, because they don’t exist and this shouldn’t either. This show should be listed for sure in dramas, and Piper above all is much more drama character than she is comedy character. And again, the fact the Mindy was snubbed for this category but Taylor Schilling gets nominated just makes no sense. Great for Kate Mulgrew though, Red is awesome and she really owns that character, so good for her! But, why are the other very central characters like Nicky, Sofia, nominated as “guest actors in a comedy” ? I mean the way these nominations are organized is just all over the place.

MOVING ON…

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Why is anyone up in arms about Brooklyn Nine-Nine not getting more nominations? The fact that it won any Golden Globes had to be a fluke, or an attempt at Fox trying to boost it’s ratings. I’ve loved and adored Andy Samberg since his pre-SNL Lonely Island days and I can still quote all of their very early videos to you right now, but I do not think he really deserved that Globe for a show that at that point in time had JUST started 4 months before. And then for the whole cast to win, it was even more bizarre. We hadn’t even seen them really BE a cast for a whole season yet! So it seems like the fact that BK99 didn’t get that much attention from the Emmy voters is what actually makes more sense. Again, don’t get me wrong, I like the show and it’s funny and all. But Andy is basically playing himself and every other character he’s been, not really breaking any molds, and the first season felt like it still needed a little bit of tweaking and improvements before being given nominations. IMHO, anyway.

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I normally love Girls, and Lena Dunham, but this past season was painful. I mean it took me a month after it aired to watch the finale, so when a big fan of the show feels that way it’s saying something. I understand that after Charlie up and left when they were about to start shooting the third season, that probably threw a few wrenches in to things. But this past season was pretty solely about Hannah and her self-centered idiocy. There were very few actual girlS, in the show Girls. It was mostly “Girl,” and it was torturous, with the exception of the Beach House episode which reached practically unheard of levels of perfection (that episode made me cry and laugh and cry again and so beautifully and wonderfully portrayed the experiences of young women and our relationships. It was just simply flawless in every way). But I do think Adam Driver really deserved some props finally and I am glad he got them. However, why no supporting guest actor whatever to Andrew Rannels?? Or Gaby Hoffman as Caroline? And why no mention whatsoever of Zosia Mamet? She was beyond a scene-stealer this season, I was basically only watching the show in the hopes that either of the three of them would have a larger part.

Instead, Joan Cusak who’s been on Shameless as a very central character for four full seasons, is given a “Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series” nomination? IT MAKES NO SENSE, and on top of that that show is DEFINITELY a drama.

Other random thoughts – So happy for Anna Chlumsky in VEEP, Reg E. Cathey as Freddy in House Of Cards, and Silicon Valley!!

What did you guys think? Favorites or mad about what was left out? I could clearly go on all day.

Thanks for reading!

Post Golden Globes Review/Excitement

Better late than never!

Award show season is basically my Superbowl (except it’s longer AND WAY BETTER), and I couldn’t be happier that it kicked off with the Golden Globes last Sunday.  I’ve been off the grid for a week as I was traveling for work, but I still wanted to recap the my favorite dresses of the Golden Globes 2014.

1. Lupita Nyong’o in Ralph Lauren – Nupita topped every list, and for good reason. This beautiful coral/red/orange caped dress from Ralph Lauren is so elegant and chic, not to mention looks incredible with her complexion. She was a scene stealer both on screen and off.

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2. Sandra Bullock in Prabal Gurung – For some reason it seemed like this dress was panned by critics but I couldn’t disagree more. Other than a maybe-too-low neckline, I love the pink and blue color blocking on black, the style, and that it’s Prabal Gurung. She looked amazing, and thankfully distracted me from the blinding rage I felt at Jennifer Lawrence undeservingly winning the Best Supporting Actress award.

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3. Julia Roberts in Dolce & Gabbana – It’s great to know that Julia Roberts has never stopped being as classy as she’s always been. This D&G piece is so perfect, age-appropriate and chic, I loved it from the moment she stepped on the carpet. The belt, the collar, the bottom and her hair… all just gorgeous. It reminded me of something that might have been a Carolina Herrera piece as well.

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4. Margot Robbie in Gucci – Margot is a newcomer to the red carpet and the Hollywood award show season, just making her debut this year in Wolf of Wall Street. I think she will be hard to forget in the stunning Gucci dress this jewel trim and a high slit. Not only is the dress absolutely beautiful but it shows off her figure just right. Simple, elegant and again, SO chic.

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5. Tina Fey’s first dress as host in Carolina Herrera, and Amy Poehler’s Red Carpet gown in Stella McCartney – As  a fan of these two for probably the last 12 years, they can do no wrong in my eyes. This year they were both flawless and glamorous as hosts and in all of their dresses, but these two were my absolute favorites.

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I think what I LOVED about each of these picks was no one was trying too hard to shock or grab attention. No potential nip slips (maybe Sandra?), no outrageous cleavage, nothing overly trendy or trying too hard, no embarrassingly short hemlines. Just pure elegance on  six gorgeous ladies.

Anyone reading have favorites I didn’t mention? I am waiting eagerly for this weekends Screen Actors Guild awards, and after that it’s over a month til the Oscars!

SAG and Golden Globes 2014

As a frequent watcher and lover of Television and Movies, I love love love award shows. The dresses, the glitz, but especially the rooting-for-my-favorite actors, actresses, shows and films that year.

Admittedly I have not yet seen many of the films nominated for the 2014 Golden Globes or Screen Actors Guild awards, but I am definitely up on my awesome TV shows. And I have to agree with many other fans (and entertainment writers), in my shock at the Golden Globes snubs this year.

Homeland has been one of the best shows on TV the last few years (which I just recently realized), but I have to say I’m not only perplexed by their snubbing it, but very confused at which season this Golden Globes is deciding to snub. If it’s current season, which will end this Sunday 12/15, it’s even more outrageous. The performances by Claire Danes and Damian Lewis this season were pretty extreme and I would say, elevated from the past seasons. Perhaps the Hollywood Foreign Press Association were sick of giving them Golden Globes and wanted to spread the nominations, and yet, they’re not for Modern Family?? Which consistently wins everything and is funny, but is certainly not the funniest or best comedy on television for the last 5 years it’s  been winning awards.

Speaking of comedies, am I correct in that they also snubbed both the final season of 30 Rock AND Veep?? I am a fan and consistent watcher of Brooklyn Nine-Nine (and Andy Samberg for about 12 years running) but there is no way in hell that Brooklyn Nine-Nine is funnier, or better written than Veep and 30 Rock. Julia Louis-Dreyfus (who was nominated, thankfully and rightfully so) is fantastic in Veep as always, but so is the rest of that cast and the show as a whole.

I have been looking for the criteria in terms of timing of a show that gets nominated, in hopes that the “snubbing” is simply a misunderstanding, in which the cut off date for the shows nominated were earlier than Homeland could qualify for (although this wouldn’t explain 30 Rock, and considering Tina is the host, even more WTF).  Although I guess if last years Oscars are any indicator, the award shows I’ve always loved and counted on to honor the right people, are more and more often getting it wrong.

But if you have never seen any of these shows, I certainly encourage you to give all of them a try, they’re all great entertainment!