Archive for category TV
TV show based on Tom Perrotta’s novel The Leftovers
Peter Berg will direct and executive produce an HBO show based on the Tom Perrotta’s best-selling 2011 novel The Leftovers. LOST co-creator Damon Lindelof will co-author the script with Perrotta as part of his three-year deal with Warner Bros. Television. If the show moves past development stage, Lindelof will serve as showrunner. The Leftovers centers on a group of people left behind after a mysterious world-wide disappearance. I interviewed Tom Perrotta about The Leftovers for The L Magazine in 2011.
Casting for This is Where I Leave You
Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Corey Stoll and Adam Driver [GIRLS] will play siblings in This is Where I Leave You based on Jonathan Tropper’s 2010 novel about four siblings who spend a week sitting Shiva at their childhood home. Jane Fonda plays their widowed mother. Connie Britton [Nashville, Friday Night Lights] has been cast as his girlfriend.
Timothy Olyphant [Justified] plays Fey’s character’s high school sweetheart. Kathryn Hahn has been cast as Stoll’s wife. Rose Byrne will play Bateman’s love interest and Abigail Spencer his ex-wife. Ben Schwartz, best known as Jean Ralphio on Parks and Recreation, will play the family’s non-traditional rabbi.
Shawn Levy will direct This is Where I Leave You and co-produce with Paula Weinstein. Filming is expected to begin next month.
Constantly dismissed by the boys club and the judicial system’s indifference toward stalking cases, ADA Julia Winston [Jodi Lyn O’Keefe] sets out to establish a task force to track and prosecute predators before they hurt or kill their victims. A newly hired detective Diane Harkin [a bold Drea de Matteo], hiding her own domestic abuse trauma, finds herself facing similar resistance among detectives in her squad. When the two women cross paths on a case involving a woman named Jane [Lela Loren] stalked by her former lover [Mena Suvari] they join forces.
Kudos to Lifetime for showing a movie about a woman stalking another woman. There can be plenty of dangerous women out there, former lovers scorned. We’ve seen more about husbands and boyfriends in the news plenty of time, particularly using children as pawns as children for their power plays to grow stronger.
At the start of the film, someone says to Harkin’s partner [Henry Simmons]: “Your partner’s a real peach, is she always like this?” What a super sexist way to start. She rough handled the suspect and said, “Wipe that smirk off your face.” Her partner then begins a little lecture to Harkin with “Maybe your daddy wasn’t nice to you . . .”
Pretty sure women watch Lifetime films alone. Let’s not have these sexist jokes or comments in them. Not necessary. Although Lifetime films have gotten much better and attract quality casts, they’d be even stronger if screenwriters and directors were women. They’re films about women on a network for women so why not be written by and directed by women all the time. Am I asking too much?
Drea de Matteo turns in quite a solid and credible performance as Detective Harkin. Viewers aren’t immediately sure why she’s so edgy and personally motivated by the stalker case [besides being a woman] although that’s revealed soon enough. de Matteo and Suvari volley against each other exultantly. A bit more about the actual legal ramifications for this case would’ve been appreciated. The inspiration for this movie is Whisper of Fear: The True Story of the Prosecutor Who Stalks the Stalkers by Rhonda Saunders, a criminal prosecutor, who wrote the law on stalking in California.
STALKERS airs on Saturday night, April 13 at 8pm on Lifetime
CHALLENGE: CREATE A FASHION LOOK INSPIRED BY AN INTERNATIONAL FASHION CAPITOL
They have fashion assistants [and travel companions] again.
Stanley & Richard
Inspired by architecture.
Stanley’s never wavered from the confidence in his abilities and his basic frontrunner status.
“I’ve always gravitated toward things that are dark. I’ve decided to do something that’s very Stanley.”
Daniel & Amanda
The Berlin wall brings Daniel to tears.
He also loves all the architecture. Amanda is a good match for Daniel because she’s helping him to design for a younger client. She encourages him to design a dress with a jacket.
They face some difficulties at the fabric store. No leather or silk. They end up with white vinyl. So a white jacket and dress.
Layana & Samantha
Layana also loves the architecture. She decides to do a leather jacket and skinny pants.
Patricia & Kate
How many people have been there for painting, sculpting and drawing and I get to be there for the experience?” Patricia says as she sketches by the Eiffel tower. She decides that she’s going to capture the gritty beauty of Paris. She of course focuses on the textile which is “layer upon layer upon layer” inspired by graffiti.
Patricia gets teary and says she’ll stay strong and never doubt her work again.
Michelle and Tu
Michelle gets her second chance but she has to stay in New York. Tu is her assistant. She feels homesick and says she suddenly feels. She and Tu take a sightseeing tour.
“What’s inspiring me is the old buildings sandwiched in the new. I love the stains from old buildings and furnaces.”
Sketches in view of Statue of Liberty
“I’m spending $1000 on cashmere and leather. It’s the most I’ve ever spent on a garment.”
I still think Samantha shouldn’t have been kicked out.
“I love this jacket. I like very much what you did with the boots. The dress is very beautifully draped. Phenomenal.” –Nina Garcia
“I see Berlin. I think of creativity when it comes to architecture and I see that when I look at this design.” –John Legend
“I like this look too. It looks like a young modern hip girl. I see also the inspiration of Berlin. It’s quite hard and strong.” –Heidi
“He can be really good and he can be old-farty.” –Heidi
“What I loved the most was the glimpse of luxury.” –Nina
“The silhouette is simple but it’s very strong and simple.” –Heidi
“You captured the mystery of London.” –Zac
“He’s polished. He’s poised. He’s using historical references but he doesn’t feel dated.” –Zac
“You made some smart choices in the materials. When I think of Barcelona I think of tile and lace.” –Zac
“Those sleeves. Why? Why? This outfit looks so old-fashioned. Barcelona is a city full of color and full of heritage and I’m not getting that coming from this.” –Nina
“She has the most commercial taste of all of them so when she has to do something more high fashion she’s going to struggle.” –Nina
“Trash couture. I’m interested in painting with fabric but it looks collapsed and dumpy and frumpy. I’m always happier for someone to take risks than to settle in the chic banal.” –Zac
“You went to one of the most inspiring cities in the world. I’m underwhelmed. There isn’t a vibe of the city at all.” –Nina
“She’s out there and she’s done some pieces that we’ve had some question marks over our heads but I’m always intrigued.” –Heidi
“I don’t think Patricia’s ready. She needs time to grow. It could be arts and crafts horror.” –Nina
“To me this is a comeback. You captured the city spirit. I am thrilled that you turned this around.” –Nina
“I love it. The combination of the two is unexpected.” –John
“I see the New York quality to it.” –Zac
“Michelle completely pushed herself today.” –Zac
“There’s something about Michelle. She’s very scrappy. She’s a street fighter.” –Nina
Layana is OUT
Final four competing at New York Fashion Week: Stanley, Michelle, Daniel and Patricia
CHALLENGE: DESIGN AN EDITORIAL LOOK FOR JORDANA BREWSTER
–designers working alone but have sewing assistants to help them create editorial looks to be worn by actress and guest judge Jordana Brewster in the May issue of Marie Claire Magazine
Michelle– Amanda is her assistant so she’s happy.
Stanley– Tu is assistant. Think he’s sorry he left Cambodia because Stanley has him back in a sweatshop.
Patricia– Richard is her assistant. Her worst nightmare. She changes her original design concept because she’s worried about Richard’s sewing abilities. There’s lots of drama and Patricia breaks down a few times. Says that she’s been paired with a sewing assistant who “can’t sew.”
Daniel– Samantha is assistant and it seems to go fine.
Layana– Kate is assistant and Layana’s very happy.
“I am shocked how good you are with your sewing skills.” –Heidi Klum
“I do not think it is strong enough. I know I pointedly looked at all of you in the eyes and said don’t give me a t-shirt and pants. Right now I’m getting too much reality and not enough fantasy.” –Nina Garcia
“We’re getting a throwaway look a little bit.” –Zac Posen
“For me I see Victoria’s Secret. It’s almost too gimmicky.” –Heidi Klum
“I don’t think the look is working.” –Zac Posen
“I like the color. I would also like to see it with a skirt.” –Jordana Brewster
“It was smart of you to create three pieces because it gives us options.” –Nina Garcia
“It looks fresh. It looks elegant. It looks expensive.” –Heidi Klum
“It’s flirty but cool.” –Zac Posen
“You always bring an element of surprise. However I don’t think this would work for Jordana and I don’t think the shape would work. It’s almost tent-like.” –Nina Garcia
“Is it borderline Pocahontas or is it borderline cool?” –Heidi Klum
“I’m really proud of you. I like that it’s architectural.” –Zac Posen
“It’s sexy. It’s bold.” –Nina Garcia “I love that she saw the Hearst tower and took inspiration for her garment from that.”
Stanley is the winner.
Michelle is OUT. and I can’t believe it. she’s more talented and edgier than Patricia. She deserves to be in the final four.
Challenge: CREATE A WORK OF WEARABLE ART AND A READY-TO-WEAR COMPANION PIECE
Using Guggenheim as an inspiration for the challenge/ 30 minutes to explore the museum. They’re designing their own textiles on HP touchsmart.
Winner of challenge gets $10K and HP Intel.
Stanley and Michelle
Michelle: “We’re both in the same head space.”
Patricia and Richard
Richard: “Our aesthetics are like oil and water.”
Layana and Daniel
Layana: I don’t like that Daniel is my teammate. I feel that it’s his time to go.
Daniel: “Layana to me is trying to control too much.”
Michelle and Stanley
Heidi: “She created that print and it’s a beautiful print.”
Heidi: “I have to applaud him for using this bubble wrap. He was able to utilize that fabric in a whimsical way.”
Layana and Daniel
Rachel Roy: “It was so Southern Belle. What else do you want to put on this dress? That’s not avant-garde.”
Heidi: “I do think Layana thinks she’s the cat’s meow.”
Heidi likes Daniel’s design. She thinks it’s very flattering and sexy.
Patricia and Richard
Nina:” I didn’t care for the veil she put on.[the print] feels like a circus awning.
Heidi: “this skirt no one should be wearing.”
Richard is OUT
“He’s not reading your essay, he’s not reading you.”
“You know who ends up living their dreams are like sad messes like Charlie and the people who end up flailing behind are the people like me who have their shit together.”
–Marnie, ep. 8
“When you love someone you don’t have to be nice all the time.”
“I can’t be surrounded by your negativity while I’m trying to grow into a fully developed human being.”
–Shoshana, ep. 10
CHALLENGE: DESIGN READY-TO-WEAR LOOKS INSPIRED BY LORD & TAYLOR ROSE
Winning look will be available for sale at Lord & Taylor. Will be featured in the window of the flagship store on 5th Avenue.
Michelle and Daniel
Daniel –making shorts and a jacket
Michelle—designing a rain vest and a dress
Daniel: “I’ve never worked with Michelle before. I think she’s pretty cool.”
Michelle: “My partner Daniel is using an in-your-face Barbie’s having a 16th birthday party pink.”
Tim [about Daniel’s choice of pink]: “this is not a very sophisticated color.”
Stanley and Patricia
Stanley – a shift dress with a lower hem
Patricia –layered top and capri pants
Patricia thinks Stanley is controlling. Says he’s looking out for her. Also that he’s never had a loss yet.
Stanley: “What are you doing? Because I don’t like losing.”
Tim to Stanley: “What’s new about it? Keep thinking about other options.”
Layana, Samantha and Richard
Richard – long black dress with a pop of color
Layana—feminine long dress [rose print] with leather detail
Samantha—short color blocking dress
Layana: “Who would’ve thought we’d be sketching on the floor of Lord & Taylor.”
Tension between Layana and Richard. He’s ignoring her.
Samantha: “I’ve been shopping at Lord & Taylor since I was really young. I get it. I know it. I feel I have a slight edge over the designers.”
Layana: “I can still see that he holds a grudge but he’s been like this since I’ve been doing well in the competition. At the same time the only thing that worries me is that if you’re on a team, you should still give constructive criticism.”
Patricia and Stanley
Michelle and Daniel
Heidi: “It’s sophisticated. It’s fun. It’s young. You made it hip and modern.”
“smart and easy” –guest judge Rachel Roy
Nina Garcia: “I am happy to see that you embraced a bold color. Maybe a little more risk with the shape. Needed a little more detail.”
Heidi: “I feel that you didn’t bring anything new to the table.”
Samantha, Richard and Layana
Heidi Klum: “I have a really hard time with this dress. It looks really wilted the way it hangs.”
Rachel Roy: “You did something quite youthful. I appreciate the design element you brought into it.”
Nina Garcia: “It’s an attempt to show us that you can take risks. Sadly for this challenge your client might now need for this type of risk.”
Heidi: “It’s easy. It’s a no-brainer dress for me.”
Nina: “it’s very generic.”
Rachel: “I’d like you to push yourself on the styling. No woman should match her handbag to her shoes.”
Nina: “I’m not crazy about the print you chose. It’s a bit of an old-lady fabric.”
Rachel: “The lines and the cut are quite modern and yet still very wearable. Overall I really like your design.”
Heidi: “I think it’s a hot dress with a horrible print.”
SAMANTHA is OUT.
I’m not sure why. she takes way more risks than Richard, who tends to lean towards outdated styles and has questionable taste. Samantha’s made some really fierce outfits.
“My mom’s just a little bit impulsive. She has these ideas about things and then we move and start over.”
Six months after his father’s death, Norman Bates [Freddie Highmore] and his mother Norma [Vera Farmiga] move from Arizona to a valley town with plans to run a motel. Norma Bates bought the motel on foreclosure and wants to start over. Yet what is she starting over from? The death of her husband or something darker than that? In the opening scene when Norman finds his father and runs to get his mother she doesn’t seem at all shocked that her husband’s dead. Creepy moment number one.
Bates Motel serves as a precursor to PSYCHO yet it’s updated. The brilliant aspect to this is that the motel setting remains dated. The music that play, how his mom dresses and acts and treats Norman all seems terribly old-fashioned. When Norman goes to school everything’s fresh with cool music. Interestingly only girls befriend Norman—a popular group headed by Bradley [Nicola Peltz] and the chronically ill, geeky Emma [Olivia Cooke], who tells him “You’re kind weird. Weird good.”
At school in his language arts class (what kind of subject is that by the way?) his teacher asks Norman if he plans to become involved in some extracurricular activities. She suggests he try out for track. When Norman arrives home his mother’s waiting for him like a stereotypical, bitter 60s housewife. Creepy moment number two. The table set, candles lit, wine poured. Immediately she starts attacking Norman and guilt-tripping him [an ongoing thing] about why he’s late and that she’s been working on dinner all day long. He explains he be involved in school. We just bought a motel? How can I do this myself? she demands then exclaims she’s lost her appetite.
The show’s filled with creepy moments, unsettling moments and also touching moments between mother and son. The true bonding moment between mother and son– after Norma bludgeons her rapist and her son helps her clean up the kitchen– she says, “Go wash up a little. Put your bloody clothes in the trash bag.”
A supremely talented actress, Farmiga [Up in the Air, The Departed] convincingly portrays a range of emotions as Norma. Highmore is great at being awkward and insular. See Toast, Finding Netherland.
Norman: “It’s you and me. It’s always been you and me.”
Monday, March 18 at 10 pm. on A&E
CHALLENGE: THREE FULL LOOKS FOR THE MALE REVUE OF THUNDER FROM DOWN UNDER
Despite designing for some hunks from Australia, this is definitely one of the dullest episodes of Project Runway. Zero pizazz or creativity. How do any of these designers expect to stand out?
New teams of four as chosen by the judges:
Team Shades of Gray
Michelle wanted to do a bike messenger but Stanley nixed it and they’re going to make three suit looks.
Stanley: “I just made a tear away suit for a commercial I did a few months ago so it’s all in my head.”
Team Slick and Hip
Amanda: “I worry that Richard’s aesthetic can be a bit dated.”
Richard: “I’m trying to stay upbeat but I’m upset I can’t express myself as a designer.” Richard feels like he’s on the outside. He calls a galpal from home and breaks down a bit.
Tim says that the team’s incongruent, not working well together.
Layana goes over to the other team to ask Stanley for advice on making men’s pants because Richard isn’t that helpful to her.
Amanda: “I think I have a frequency of voice that Richard never hears. I always have to repeat things twice.”
Heidi expresses her disappointment with everyone. Played it safe and lacked creativity.
Team Shades of Gray
Heidi Klum: “I have a potholder at home that looks similar to this.” (about the woven shirt that Patricia made)
Nina Garcia: “This is the moment to be tongue in cheek. To have fun. Why not be creative?”
Zac Posen: “I think the vest is more inventive and fun. I don’t think the shirt is that bad with the texture. I think there’s some creativity.”
Team Slick and Hip
Nina: “The shirts are too long. This jacket looks like a lady’s jacket.”
Richard: “There’s been a push of Layana and Amanda against me.”
Layana: “We tend to try to stop Richard because his version of cutting edge is really over the top showy. And when we consulted to the guys they said that’s not what they go for and if you asked me who the weakest link is I’d say Richard. He makes too many excuses.”
Nina Garcia: “Just the name is cringe-worthy.”
Zac Posen: “I’m sorry for Richard that he doesn’t understand something so basic as the construction of a shirt.”
A Project Runway first: NO winning designer.
AMANDA is OUT.
Toward the end of Restless Virgins, Emily (Vanessa Marano), in recalling the event that forever changed her senior year at Sutton Academy, says: “I believed the fairytale of what Sutton should be instead of what it was.” Such true words for a mostly wise and prescient young woman challenged by fitting in and finding her place in a world that generally values looks over intellect; athleticism over compassion. As a scholarship student and local Emily stands out. She also edits the school paper where she writes feminist articles about female repression and slut shaming.
Similar to other pressure cooker boarding schools, Sutton Academy is a Boston-area prep school filled with Ivy League (or other top tier colleges) bound students, many already part of legacies. Popular senior girls are dubbed “the elites.” The jocks get the girls. On a normal class day lacrosse players judge the girls walking to class by holding up signs with numbers on them. When are boys going to realize that it’s wrong to judge girls? Maybe as soon as society/ men/ adults realize it’s not okay to judge anyone based on looks?
When Madison holds a massive party and then has some issues Emily’s the one to talk with Madison about it while her supposed peer group merely laughs and gossips in the background. At this party Emily rekindles her crush on lacrosse player Lucas (Max Lloyd-Jones), a super sweetie who transferred to Sutton from Nebraska his junior year. He recently broke up with some popular elite. His teammates, led by ultimate jock Dylan (Charlie Carver) mock him because he’s still a virgin. The lacrosse players think Emily’s ugly and taunt him about hooking up with her at the party. He secretly continues to get to know her. Compared to the rest of the lax team, Lucas is ultra-sensitive. Must be those mid-Western values. Could be that he doesn’t have much money and he values everything he gets more than his prep school classmates who’ve grown up with everything they’ve ever wanted.
Emily and Lucas proceed to have the sweetest high school romance ever. They’re having exactly what you’d want to have or exactly what you would’ve wanted to have. It’s just that perfect. Vanessa Marano and Max Lloyd-Jones have the best chemistry.
Lacrosse captain Dylan decides that this year’s senior hand-off, a Sutton tradition, will be epic. He wants to make a sex tape. Here’s where the formula: Testosterone+athletics+prep schools+privilege+peer pressure=disaster. They plan to get some girls to meet them in the athletic center. They’ll tape it and pass it to the juniors. When it happens. The five players can’t believe what this girl did to them and watch it over and over again. They blur out their faces. Then one of the players tells another and someone sends it to Emily who posts it on the newspaper site. It goes viral. She’s called in to see the Dean who threatens to suspend her.
When the lacrosse team’s questioned Dylan calls his Senator dad (Timothy Busfield) and suddenly payouts get offered. Emily and Lucas’s relationship becomes threatened. How much is it worth to keep your mouth shut or let the truth be known? Does tradition trump humanity? Does privilege override compassion and what treating someone right? [How much is it worth to stop exploiting women and to stop treating women as objects?]
Lucas: “What have they ever done to you?”
Emily: “Other than rating me based on my looks and making this a hostile environment?”
Based on the amazing and disturbing nonfiction book by Abigail Jones and Marissa Miley, Restless Virgins is based on actual events at Milton Academy during the 2004-5 academic term. The film is executive produced by Michael Roiff (Waitress–one of my all-time favorite films) and produced by Harvey Kahn (She Made Them Do It) and directed by Jason LaPeyre (I Declare War). The superb cast and compelling script by Andrew Cochran (Adult World) make it a movie well worth tuning into. The subject matter is one always worth contemplating and discussing.
RESTLESS VIRGINS premieres SATURDAY, MARCH 9 AT 8 PM ON LIFETIME.