Archive for category TV
I like to think I don’t watch all that much television– that I read and watch films more than I watch TV programs. And it’s true particularly with television seasons starting several times throughout the year. At times I can be watching several shows and at other times only a couple. Then there’s Netflix of course and either binge-watching or watching at-will. I also don’t get any cable channels so I couldn’t watch season two of The Knick (which I adore), the most recent season of Homeland and have yet to check out The Affair. I did manage to watch the final season of Nurse Jackie during a free preview weekend and I think it ended perfectly. Other perfect series endings included Justified and Mad Men.
[listed in alphabetical order]
Being Mary Jane [BET]
created by: Mara Brock Akil
starring: Gabrielle Union, Lisa Vidal
Call the Midwife [PBS]
created by: Heidi Thomas
starring: Helen George, Jenny Agutter, Laura Main, Judy Parfitt, Pam Ferris, Miranda Hart
Getting On [HBO]
created by: Jo Brand, Mark V. Olsen, Vicki Pepperdine
starring: Laurie Metcalf, Alex Borstein, Niecy Nash
Halt and Catch Fire [AMC]
created by: Christopher Cantwell, Christopher C. Rogers
starring: Lee Pace, Scoot McNairy, Mackenzie Davis, Kerry Bishe
Jessica Jones [Netflix]
created by: Melissa Rosenberg
starring: Krysten Ritter, Rachael Taylor, Eka Darville
created by: Graham Yost
starring: Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter, Walton Goggins, Jacob Pitts
created by: Hunt Baldwin, John Coveny
starring: Robert Taylor, Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips
Mad Men [AMC]
created by: Matthew Weiner
starring: Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, January Jones, Christina Hendricks, Kiernan Shipka, Aaron Staton, John Slattery, Jessica Pare
Master of None [Netflix]
created by: Aziz Ansari, Alan Yang
starring: Aziz Ansari, Noël Wells, Lena Waithe, Kelvin Yu, Eric Wareheim
Nurse Jackie [Showtime]
created by: Liz Brixius, Evan Dunsky, Linda Wallem
starring: Edie Falco, Merritt Wever, Paul Schulze, Dominic Fumusa, Anna Deavere Smith, Peter Facinelli, Ruby Jerins
Orange is the New Black [Netflix]
created by: Jenji Cohen
starring: Taylor Schilling, Danielle Brooks, Taryn Manning, Laura Prepon, Kate Mulgrew, Uzo Aduba, Dascha Polanco, Samira Wiley
Orphan Black [BBC America]
created by: John Fawcett, Graeme Manson, Alex Levine
starring: Tatiana Maslany, Dylan Bruce, Jordan Gavaris
created by: Ray McKinnon
starring: Aden Young, Abigail Spencer, J. Smith-Cameron, Adelaide Clemens, Luke Kirby, J.D. Evermore
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt [Netflix]
created by: Robert Carlock, Tina Fey
starring: Ellie Kemper, Jane Krakowski, Tituss Burgess
Taped last week in New York and hosted by Savannah Guthrie and Tamron Hall, Billboard Women in Music 2015 honored six-time Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and actress Lady Gaga as Woman of the Year; Missy Elliott as Innovator; Loretta Lynn as Legend; Selena Gomez as Chart-Topper; Kelsea Ballerini as Rising Star; Tori Kelly as Breakthrough Artist; Fifth Harmony as Group of the Year, Demi Lovato as Rulebreaker, Brittany Howard as Powerhouse; and Lana Del Rey as Trailblazer.
The two-hour special features performances by Lady Gaga, Brittany Howard, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Fifth Harmony, Tori Kelly, and Kelsea Ballerini.
Presenters included Ciara, Alicia Keys, Martina McBride, Paul Rudd, Hoda Kotb, Hilary Scott (Lady Antebellum), Jussie Smollett, Hailee Steinfeld, Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy) and presenting Billboard’s Woman of the Year honors to Lady Gaga, her mother Cynthia Germanotta.
Billboard Women in Music 2015 airs Friday, December 18 at 8pm ET/PT on Lifetime.
I suppose we shouldn’t mention Project Runway: Threads. I liked it because I like seeing young creative people. Guess it was a dry run for this new show. Project Runway: Threads was quite disjointed. The surprise challenge didn’t make much sense and Vanessa Simmons too low-key as host. So now there’s Project Runway Junior (#ProjectRunwayJunior) which features aspiring designers ages 13 to 17. Emmy® Award winner Tim Gunn will mentor the designers as well as co-host alongside supermodel Hannah Davis. Judges are: Kelly Osbourne, designer Christian Siriano and executive fashion editor at Cosmopolitan and Seventeen Magazine Aya Kanai.
The December 10th episode will feature a special video appearance by First Lady Michelle Obama to announce a challenge with Lands’ End that will support Let Girls Learn, a Presidential Initiative which includes a collaboration with the Peace Corps that helps adolescent girls around the world go to school and stay in school. The Project Runway Junior designers will create a design that will be used and sold on LandsEnd.com.
The winner of Project Runway Junior will receive a full scholarship to the prestigious FIDM in California, a complete home sewing and crafting studio provided by Brother, a feature in Seventeen Magazine and a $25,000 cash prize to help launch their line.
In the first episode of Project Runway Junior the challenge is a “First Impressions” challenge where the designers sketch and take photos from a roof deck with New York as inspiration. The show now reminds me of Master Chef Jr. with similar challenges to adult versions of the show. These competitors all excel at what they do for their ages. it’s toned down a bit but it’s still as entertaining. Kelly Osbourne and Aya Kanai contribute quite a bit as judges. Christian Siriano doesn’t appeal to me but apparently the Project Runway family loves him because he keeps getting brought on to judge shows. I just don’t find he has all that much personality. I can think of many other previous Project Runway designers I’d like to see as judges. Tim Gunn comes in to provide constructive feedback. He’s a positive influence. Project Runway: Threads tried to be its own show and didn’t model itself too much on Project Runway and that didn’t work. Here the show sticks to what works. All these kids are in the know about the show, the designers and current celebrities.
Project Runway Junior designers are:
Hometown: Brockton, MA
Favorite Designers: The Blonds, Preen Fall
Design Aesthetic: Outrageous Glam
Hometown: Minneapolis, KS
Favorite Designers: Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, Christian Siriano, Louis Vuitton
Design Aesthetic: Vibrant and Playful
Hometown: Swampscott, MA
Favorite Designers: Alexander McQueen, Tome, Christopher Kane, Proenza Schouler, Vivienne Westwood, Valentino, Emilio Pucci
Design Aesthetic: Polished and Modern
Hometown: Manhattan Beach, CA
Favorite Designers: Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier, Versace
Design Aesthetic: Upscale and Sassy
Hometown: Toledo, OH
Favorite Designers: Carolina Herrera, Michael Kors
Design Aesthetic: Edgy & Eccentric
Hometown: Carlsbad, CA
Favorite Designers: Anna Sui
Design Aesthetic: California Lifestyle
Hometown: Queens, NY
Favorite Designers: Paula Gerbase, Stella Ishii, Jonathan Simkhai
Design Aesthetic: Sleek Streetwear
Hometown: Westlake Village, CA
Favorite Designers: Zac Posen, Elie Saab, Paolo Sebastian, Ralph & Russo
Design Aesthetic: Feminine and Elegant
Hometown: Cleveland, OH
Favorite Designers: Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen
Design Aesthetic: British-Inspired Punk
Hometown: Cerritos, CA
Favorite Designers: Alexander Wang, Jeremy Scott, Samantha Plasencia
Design Aesthetic: Street Chic
Hometown: Berkeley, CA
Favorite Designers: Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Valentino, Iris Van Herpen, On Aura Tout Vu
Design Aesthetic: The Darker Side of Elegance
–previously appeared on Project Runway: Threads
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Favorite Designers: Zuhair Murad, Elie Saab, Vera Wang
Design Aesthetic: Feminine Hollywood Glam
Project Runway Junior premieres Thursday, November 12, at 9pm ET/PT on Lifetime.
”]. She also won the Unconventional Challenge which puts her at three wins overall and in a solid spot at this point in the competition. Her style is edgy
blending street chic and vintage. I’ve been rooting for her from the first episode and not just because she’s from Boston like me. Her infectious positive attitude makes her such a delightful person. Like many cool Bostonians, Kelly balances her independence and outspokenness with a sweet caring spirit. I recently interviewed Kelly by phone where we bonded over our love of thrifting and The Middle East Club in Cambridge, Mass.
Amy Steele: How did you get into fashion designing?
Kelly Dempsey: Growing up my mom had a craft store in our house she was a very crafty woman and she made a lot of stuff and I kind of grew up watching her design I feel like a lot of clothes we had were second hand clothes like I kind of wanted to be different it was a small town and I didn’t want people to know I was wearing old clothes so I began designing my own things at 8 or 9 (years old)
Amy Steele: You haven’t had training or gone to school for fashion design?
Kelly Dempsey: I went to Mass College of Art for one year. I wanted to try all the avenues. I ended up not finishing because I had already gone so far and I continued on my own to get things moving.
Amy Steele: Where did you learn how to sew and develop techniques?
Kelly Dempsey: A lot of trial and error. I am always learning and you kind of teach yourself whatever you want to learn to mold yourself as a designer. Whatever I am curious about learning I do research on the internet and practice.
Amy Steele: Do you have your own company or line?
Kelly Dempsey: I do. It was Kelly Couture for a while and I was making a lot of one of a kind designs. I wanted to do my new brand which is Rack Addik — a ready-to-wear urban street glam line . . . and fanny packs.
Amy Steele: Why do you like fashion and fashion designing?
Kelly Dempsey: I feel like I’m a super creative individual. My mind is always going a million miles a second I do like all different kinds of art. I think fashion is the one I get the most excited about. A painting you just hang it on your wall and look at it and no one sees it. When you see people it’s your first impression of someone. I’m just very outgoing and like to embrace that and add it into my clothesAmy Steele: What inspires your designs?
Kelly Dempsey: It’s the hardest question people ask and I don’t really have an answer. Anything and everything inspires me. I just feel it comes from within and I’m super motivated with fashion design and I love it. Seeing different perspectives from different designers I just love the whole process of it.
Amy Steele: Who are some designers you admire?
Kelly Dempsey: Alexander McQueen. Jeremy Scott. Betsey Johnson.
Amy Steele: Who are you designing for?
Kelly Dempsey: I feel like my market is not 90% of the people…it’s very youthful…the girl is young and she wants to stand out and look amazing all at the same time …demographically I’d say 15 to 35.
Amy Steele: How would you describe yourself as a designer?
Kelly Dempsey: I think as a designer I definitely have that craft store/thrift store embedded in me. I design very eclectic/ in your face but sexy and fun all at the same time.
Amy Steele: What’s it like being a designer in Boston? How does it affect you being a designer in Boston versus New York or LA?
Kelly Dempsey: If I was in Kansas it would suck because you have to go so far to get to any fashion capital…being in Boston it’s so easy to get to New York I could drive there right now…Boston is great because Boston needs me to launch my brand here. It needs more edgy designs. That’s my goal.
When you’re sifting through dollar bins you see things to put together that don’t necessarily belong together. I think it is part of my brain to see things differently. I’d rather be myself and have some people not like me than to be someone I’m not happy with.
Amy Steele: You’re tough.Amy Steele: What have you learned being on Project Runway?
Kelly Dempsey: I have learned so much being on Project Runway. I think the experience of working with people who have been in the industry and talking with the other designers I have learned so much. I got more information here in one second than I did in my entire life. You talk to people who live it. Being on the show I had no idea of how I would do. That was like the most crazy thing where I am at this point– I feel being myself is what got me through. I didn’t conform. I took what the judges said and I added it to me. When I get out of here I’m going to need a market.
Amy Steele: What’s the best part of being on the show?
Kelly Dempsey: I feel like I’ve been struggling and trying to make this work for so long that I needed this in my life to take it to the next level. This is the best opportunity I could have gotten. Being here and making it to the final four is a dream to me. I feel like I have a lot of confidence but this has pushed me to a whole other level.Amy Steele: What are your favorite places in Boston?
Kelly Dempsey: I’m a huge baseball fan– I love Fenway Park. I really like the Charles River on Storrow Drive. There’s a path there by the water…it’s somewhere I can go and center myself. For the last thing I have to say the Middle East in Cambridge Downstairs because I’m a huge hip-hop fan.
Amy Steele: Thank you Kelly and best of luck! We’ll have to go thrifting. I’ll see you on twitter and Instagram.
Kelly Dempsey: Thank you.
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In January 2016, Lifetime, A&E Network and HISTORY will air the limited series event based on Leo Tolstoy’s novel War and Peace. The series features an all-star cast including SAG Award® and Film Independent Spirit Award winner Paul Dano (12 Years a Slave, Little Miss Sunshine), Lily James (Cinderella, Downton Abbey), James Norton (Happy Valley), Golden Globe® winner Gillian Anderson (The X Files, Hannibal), Oscar®, Golden Globe and BAFTA winner Jim Broadbent (Moulin Rouge!, Iris), Stephen Rea (The Crying Game, V for Vendetta) and others.
Set against the backdrop of Napoleon’s 1812 invasion of Russia, War and Peace is a story of passion, romance, scandal and deceit surrounding the rising and falling fortunes of five aristocratic families – the Bezukhovs, Bolkonskys, Drubetskoys, Kuragins and Rostovs – in the waning days of imperial Russia.
Produced by BBC Cymru Wales Drama, in partnership with The Weinstein Company, BBC Worldwide/Lookout Point and Lifetime, War and Peace was written by Emmy and BAFTA winner Andrew Davies (House of Cards, Mr. Selfridge, Pride and Prejudice) and directed by BAFTA nominee Tom Harper (Peaky Blinders, The Scouting Book for Boys, Woman in Black: Angel of Death). Principal photography took place in Russia, Lithuania and Latvia.
Host and judge Heidi Klum returns for the 14th season of Project Runway along with judges Nina Garcia and Zac Posen and mentor Tim Gunn.
Guest judges this season include:
actress Bella Thorne [Scream]
actress Kiernan Shipka [Mad Men]
actress Tracee Ellis Ross [Black-ish]
actress Paula Patton [About Last Night]
actresses Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer [UnREAL]
singer and America’s Got Talent judge Mel B
supermodel Coco Rocha
Project Runway Season 14 premieres August 6 at 9pm ET/PT on Lifetime TV
The critically acclaimed, Emmy-nominated franchise Hoarders, premieres an all-new season on Lifetime. Titled Hoarders: Family Secrets, the program features original stories of people who obsessively hoard to the extent that it overwhelms their families and their lives. The one-hour series premiere focuses on a Massachusetts family and will feature live segments culminating in an all-live intervention. The episode will also feature the story of a second, recidivist hoarder who faces jail time if he doesn’t pass a final city inspection.
Some hoarders face eviction, divorce, ruined relationships or the removal of minor children from their homes. They reveal their hoarding to family and friends for the first time and seek help from the Hoarders experts: Dr. Suzanne Chabaud, Dr. Robin Zasio, Dr. Michael Tompkins, Dr. Scott Hannan, Dr. Melva Green and Mark Pfeffer. Cleanup and organizing team include Dorothy Breininger, Matt Paxton, Cory Chalmers, Standolyn Robertson and Darnita Payden.
I didn’t find Hoarders: Family Secrets different from other seasons of Hoarders. Hoarding is always listed as the beginning as a disease/ a mental illness. I wonder what would happen if a show focused on the 60% of us fighting with mental illness. It would be a lot of lying in bed and crying. In former seasons, family members DO find out about the hoarding and in some cases lost touch with the hoarder and hadn’t been in the hoarder’s house for years. No shattering secrets were revealed in the episode I screened which airs next week. The second episode revolves around Joyce [Huntsburg, Ohio] and Kimberly.
Joyce: “My house is a mess and I’m embarrassed to show it to you.” Hoarders does exploit these awful situations. The animal hoarding disturbs me the most. I’m not sure the benefit in watching this show except that people who have piles of things think “I’ll never become a hoarder. I’ll never get that bad.” How do shows like this or Intervention benefit viewers? Joyce’s husband Wallace cleared out two rooms for herself and forbids her to enter them. He finally gives her an ultimatum, the hoarding gets cleared or the marriage ends. Dr. Green says that Joyce shows compulsive shopping tendencies, hoarding and anger and frustration toward her husband. At one point, Joyce says she doesn’t plan to remain with her husband any longer but by episode’s end they decide to remain in the same house even if it’s in more of a housemate capacity. Kimberly is an optometric tech. She works and her house looks filthy with trash. She’s not able to use the shower or bath. How does she manage to work and pay her bills if she has trash and piles of worthless things everywhere? I wish for once when there’s a working hoarder they’d show how she prepares for work in that filth and in a house where she often cannot use the bathroom or shower or tub. Every day they come in and wake Kimberly up to get to work on sorting through her hoarding mess.
Hoarders: Family Secrets premieres Thursday, May 28, at 9pm ET/PT
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Grace of Monaco premiered at Cannes Film Festival with much pomp and hype from Weinstein Films in 2013. It’s the type of film that an Oscar winner like Nicole Kidman covets: playing an Oscar-winning actress who left Hollywood to marry Monaco’s Prince Rainier [played by Tim Roth]. There’s political unrest [France wants to tax or take-over Monaco—it was honestly quite confusing so I don’t know what was going on and wasn’t therefore interested] and an unhappy new princess. Grace Kelly starred in many well-known films such as Dial M for Murder, High Noon, Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, High Society and The Country Girl for which she won an Academy Award. Grace of Monaco covers the 1962 summer in which she considers Alfred Hitchcock’s offer to star in Marnie. She misses acting. She’s not happy with her perception as an American outsider. She states: “I don’t know how I’m going to spend the rest of my life in the place where I can’t be me.”
She’d been married several years [she married Prince Rainier, who she met at Cannes, in 1956 and already had two children Caroline and Albert at this time. Incidentally her family paid a $2 million dowry for her to marry the Prince. Grace Kelly grew up in a wealthy Philadelphia family. Also in 1918, France decreed that if Prince Rainier did not produce an heir Monaco would revert to France. These are facts that weren’t included in the biopic. That would have been way more interesting. Grace Kelly is a baby maker and pretty face for Prince Rainier. Nothing more than that. Marrying a Prince doesn’t look like any happily-ever-after that any young woman should covet particularly when you’re giving up your voice and your vocation.
Parker Posey stars as the questionable assistant Madge. Is she out for Grace Kelly’s demise? Posey shines in the buttoned-up role. As she always does. Paz Vega portrays opera singer Maria Callas with flair. Nicole Kidman plays wistful and disappointed well. However Kidman plays too schmaltzy rather than radiating Kelly’s elegance and sophistication. And we just don’t get under her ennui and dissatisfaction and ultimate desire to stay in Monaco. The preposterous script by Arash Amel [Erased] falls flat with unrealistic dialogue. The direction by Olivier Dahan [La Vie en Rose] proves listless. Not enough Grace Kelly and too much politics. There’s zero chemistry between Kidman and Tim Roth. What kind of twisted business arrangement to take an Academy-Award winner away from her career at the height of its success?
Grace of Monaco premieres on Lifetime Monday, May 25 at 8pm ET/PT.
Lifetime has several movies this spring with impressive casts that fit right in with Lifetime’s roster of movies about broken women, struggling women, mentally ill women and women who give up careers. Wonder how Nicole Kidman feels about her film airing on Lifetime? Wonder if she’ll promote it.
Grace of Monaco
premieres May 25
starring: Nicole Kidman; Tim Roth; Paz Vega; Frank Langella; Parker Posey
Originally screened at Cannes Film Festival, Grace of Monaco will see a small-screen release in May. Academy Award® and Golden Globe® Award-winning actress Nicole Kidman stars as Grace Kelly. The film covers the professional and personal struggle for the former Hollywood actress as she contemplates her decision to retire from acting forever while the future of Monaco hangs in the balance.
The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe
premieres May 30 and 31
starring: Susan Sarandon; Kelli Garner; Jeffrey Dean Morgan; Emily Watson
Based on J. Randy Taraborrelli’s New York Times bestseller of the same name, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe begins with a portrait of a young Norma Jeane Mortenson as she battles a lonely and loveless existence with an absent mother. She soon reinvents herself as Marilyn Monroe to become the symbol of an era. A complex woman quite different from her public persona, Monroe faces mental illness as well as failed marriages to Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller and a complicated relationship President John F. Kennedy.
Current New York resident and Belarus native Dmitry Sholokhov and Project Runway Season 10 winner beat out fellow finalists Helen Castillo and Sonjia Williams with a final collection created in only four days.
Dmitry had several memorable quotes about being an All-Star throughout the show:
“To be an all-star you need to know exactly who you are.”
“Winning All-Stars rockets your career hopefully.”
The final three created an eight piece collection representing all four seasons.
Dmitry designed for “a collector who loves special pieces. timeless but have an edge about it. fluid and fragile.” Helen went for “a couture Wednesday Adams.” She called her collection “Coco on Wednesday.” Sonjia, whose father passed away in January, designed for herself. She called her collection “Urban Egyptian.” “She knows who she is and she owns it,” she explained.
Project Runway All-Stars S4 finale show was at Diamond Horseshoe at the Paramount Hotel. While all three collections impressed, Dmitry won over Runway All-Stars host Alyssa Milano, judges Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman, mentor Zanna Roberts and guest judges Zac Posen and Mira Sorvino.
“Amazing job. This collection shows total control of your ascetic.” –Alyssa Milano
“You are the master of technique.” –Georgina Chapman
“I love the confidence, the consistency and the strength of your looks.” –guest judge Mira Sorvino
“You understand architecture and form.” –guest judge Zac Posen
Guest judges Zac Posen and Oscar winner and all-around talented and fabulous Mira Sorvino:
“You have the ability to redefine proportions of a woman’s body.” –Isaac Mizrahi
“The was something regal.” –guest judge Mira Sorvino
“The gown didn’t have the modernity where we started. The red lace dress is market-ready.” –guest judge Zac Posen
first runner-up Helen
“I see some very contemporary looking clothing.” –guest judge Zac Posen
“I love the black. It’s very edgy. The first dress is very Chanel-y. I’d love to wear that.” –guest judge Mira Sorvino
“You can’t tell if she’s flirting or pushing you away.” –guest judge Isaac Mizrahi
As the winner of Project Runway All-Stars season four, Sholokhov receives:
–chance to create his own capsule collection with QVC and appear during QVC’s Spring Fashion Week programming
— a fashion spread in Marie Claire and a position at the magazine as Contributing Editor for one year
— CHI® Haircare will send Sholokhov to stay in a luxury spa resort as a special guest at its International conference in Cancun, Mexico, plus product and staff for entire year of runway shows
— an entire year’s worth of beauty products from Mary Kay for fashion shows and professional makeup artist services for Sholokhov’s debut show
— cash prize of $150,000
— complete custom sewing studio from Brother Sewing and Embroidery to launch his winning line.