“Fashion is the most powerful art there is.” – Emmy Fashion 2016

Posted by Maggie

It was a long summer, devoid of major red carpets with only Louis Tomlinson’s daily trips to Starbucks to sustain us, but the Emmys are finally here. Jimmy Kimmel aside, that was a fun night, right? So many great looks, some pleasant surprises and only a few disappointments. I’m a little distressed by the amount of sheer skirts, but I can handle it. So let’s topple the patriarchy and look at some gowns!

BEST DRESSED

Kristen Bell

Source: hollywood-fashion.tumblr.com

Source: hollywood-fashion.tumblr.com

Hands down, best look of the night. Look at this pattern, you guys, I think I even see birds in it. The silhouette is amazing on her, I love that even though she’s so petite, this gown isn’t overwhelming her.

Art. Source: elserina.tumblr.com

Art. Source: elserina.tumblr.com

Sarah Paulson

Source: hollywood-fashion.tumblr.com

Source: hollywood-fashion.tumblr.com

This hits a lot of buttons for me — I love a v-neck with long sleeves, I love a well executed green look, and my god, do I love beading. Especially when someone can still move gracefully like Sarah, if she was feeling weighed down, it didn’t show. Those earrings were the perfect choice, too.

Allison Janney

National Treasure. Source: elegancia-es-el-nuevo-estilo29.tumblr.com

National Treasure. Source: elegancia-es-el-nuevo-estilo29.tumblr.com

SHUTTING. IT. DOWN. I love everything about this, bow down.

Constance Zimmer

Source: omgthatdress.tumblr.com

Source: omgthatdress.tumblr.com

I’m so into this. I love how this look could be described as romantic or very feminine, but somehow she still looks tough as nails. I feel like this was the exact right shade of pink, I’m dying over the sleeves, and I need to stop looking at this photo soon before I take it to my hair stylist.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Source: omgthatdress.tumblr.com

Source: omgthatdress.tumblr.com

Okay, THIS is how you do the sheer and black romantic look (ahem, Sophie Turner, but I’m getting ahead of myself). It shouldn’t really surprise loyal readers that I liked this very much overall, and I was especially taken with the criss-cross detail at the bust. I’m really glad that she decided to attend, given the passing of her father last week, not so I could immediately slot her in the best list but because she looked genuinely thrilled when Veep won at the end of the night. I was really moved by her acceptance speech, and I thought it was very generous of her to share it with us.

Priyanka Chopra

Source: omgthatdress.tumblr.com

Source: omgthatdress.tumblr.com

Yes, the detail at the bust bothers me too, but isn’t this gorgeous? I think this is the best she’s ever looked. I love this color on her and the way the dress moved was stunning.

Kerry Washington

Source: hollywood-fashion.tumblr.com

Source: hollywood-fashion.tumblr.com

No disrespect to the 90s, especially because they really are back (damn), but last time Kerry walked the red carpet while pregnant I thought she looked like an extra from the 10 Things I Hate About You prom. (Yes, that prom was cool as hell but it wasn’t a major awards show red carpet, okay?) But this, you guys. How is this working so well?? She looks so cool and comfortable and breezy and we know it was like a thousand degrees out on the red carpet last night. If you look closely, the boob collar’s not great? But it doesn’t detract too much from overall look.

Kate McKinnon

Source: omgthatdress.tumblr.com

Source: omgthatdress.tumblr.com

I am living for Kate in this classic red. L-i-v-i-n-g. She looks beautiful and comfortable and like a goddamn winner.

Looks like a winner, is a winner. Source: myloveholtzy.tumblr.com

Looks like a winner, is a winner. Source: myloveholtzy.tumblr.com

Kirsten Dunst

Source: hollywood-fashion.tumblr.com

Source: hollywood-fashion.tumblr.com

There was an unfortunate amount of sheer skirts on the red carpet, and Kiki’s put them all to shame. THIS is how it’s done. I wrote down “DYING I LOVE THIS CABARET HOTNESS” and I love the hair, although I think she might have pulled back too much on accessories.

Taraji P. Henson (Ceremony)

Source: People.com

Source: People.com

This second look was much more the drama that I was expecting from her. It’s sleek, it’s elegant, it’s sparkly. And I love the lighter and darker brown colors in the pattern.

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“This is a really volcanic ensemble you’re wearing.” – SAG Awards 2016 Fashion

Posted by Maggie

Bless the SAG Awards for being on a Saturday this year, my awards show hangover is much easier to deal with on a Sunday, thank you very much. This was kind of an off night in the season; not a lot of wow moments, l could only come up with seven Best looks when we usually include ten. There were lots of sleeves and textures and patterns, which was interesting, but the night was kind of whelming overall? Let’s take a look and then let me know what you thought in the comments!

BEST

Emilia Clarke

I don’t know if we’ve talked about Emilia much before but I’ve noticed she tends to go for let’s say “mature” looks on the red carpet that I don’t think always do her justice, so I basically started seal clapping when I saw her in this. I die for this bold pink and, as you may remember from the Golden Globes coverage, this neckline and skirt shape are right up my alley. Her accessories are subtle, letting the dress do most of the work, and I think the soft wavy hairstyle looks amazing. She looks age appropriate finally, and elegant and fun at the same time.

Marisa Tomei

Easily the best long-sleeved gown of the night. This style and shade of green are so flattering on her and you know I love sparkles. The belt detail really pulled it all together for me.

Amy Poehler

Look at our ginger queen, you guys. This is so good on her, it’s dramatic and yet she looks perfectly at ease and like herself. Amy can be kind of hit or miss on the red carpet but I think she knocked this one out of the park. (Apparently this was my night for subtle accessories and lowkey hairdos.)

Laura Prepon

I know, I don’t think the waist is exactly right either, but I am still here for this poetic noble land mermaid. That bodice completes me and I love the way the skirt of the dress hangs when she’s standing still or flows around her as she twirls. (We call that a ter-wully dress in my family, although I’m not sure of the spelling? due to an adorable mispronunciation of ‘twirl’ by my sister when she was four.)

Anna Faris

Am I crazy or is this so different for her? I love how sleek and elegant she looks, the short sleeves are adorable, and did you see the deep vee in the back? I’m not wild about the slit, but I’m also not really mad at it.

Naomi Watts

There were a lot of textured fabrics on the red carpet and this one was my fave. The blue is gorgeous with her complexion and I love the simplicity of the black belt. Obviously I’m into the bold lip, but I think the hair was not perfectly on point?

Helen Mirren

Take notes, ladies, this is how it’s done. She’s sparkly, sexy and classy all at the same time.

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The Best Performances of 2015

Posted by Kim and Sage

Sure, it’s 2016 now, but I’m still writing 2015 on my checks and I am still digesting all the great pop culture I took in over the past year, so we’re still allowed to talk about what blew us away in 2015.  We’ve already discussed our favorite moments on television for 2015 (find those posts here and here) and now it’s time to turn our attention to our favorite performances of the year. These are the characters who got under our skin. These are the actors who we would squeal in delight upon seeing their names in the credits. These are the performances that we’ll still be talking about when 2015 is but a distant twinkle in our eye. Who made the cut? Read on to find out! –Kim

1) Taraji P. Henson – Empire

On paper, Cookie Lyon was ALWAYS going to be an amazing character. While the story of Empire may be about her sons, it’s Cookie who has the redemption arc. She has the deep well of rage and the overwhelming to desire to take back what is rightfully hers and she has the razor-sharp wit to make every word that comes out of her mouth a catchphrase. Cookie was ALWAYS going to be great…but in the hands of Taraji P. Henson, Cookie Lyon became an instant icon. In every aspect of her performance, it is clear that Taraji has been waiting for Cookie her whole life. Watching Empire every week is like taking a masterclass in swagger. There is nothing more joyful to me than seeing an actor RELISH their role and Taraji does just that. It would be very easy to crossover into scenery chewing caricature with a character as LARGE as Cookie but Taraji never does. You always see the hint of vulnerability in her eyes behind the hurricane force bluster. Cookie is, after all, a woman who sacrificed everything for a man who turned out to be a shit. What’s not relatable about that? You tell ’em, Boo Boo Kitty. –Kim

2) Michelle Gomez – Doctor Who

When it comes to Doctor Who, I usually prefer that ingredients like classic, recurring villains are sprinkled in with a light hand. But Michelle Gomez’s “ba-na-naaaas!” interpretation of The Master, the Doctor’s long-haul BFF (Best Frenemy Forever) has me singing a different tune. The series 9 opening two-parter, “The Magician’s Apprentice”/”The Witch’s Familiar,” left me longing for Missy to take up residence in the TARDIS permanently. It’s to Michelle’s immense credit that much of the silly chatter following the Master’s change in gender died down soon after she sunk her teeth into the part. And sink her teeth in, she did. Michelle makes the Missy/Master her own with controlled mania and scathing one-liners. (“Murdering a Dalek. I’m a Time Lady; it’s our golf.”) I’m always, always happy to see her, even if the Doctor feels a little more conflicted. –Sage

3) Sam Heughan – Outlander

When his costars Caitriona Balfe and Tobias Menzies scored Golden Globe nominations for their work on Outlander, I was FLABBERGASTED that Sam Heughan didn’t. Perhaps the Leading Actor in a Drama field was too crowded (the likely culprit) or perhaps the voting body was just threatened by the fact that someone THAT PRETTY could be a damn good actor too (less likely but still probable). Jamie Fraser is unabashedly the stuff of fantasy and the fact that Sam Heughan LOOKS like he just stepped out of the pages of a romance novel, with the muscles and the chiseled cheekbones and the ginger curls and the ACCENT, just amps up the fantasy factor even more. It would have been easy for Outlander to just rest on Sam’s looks and let him spout lines like “Does it ever stop? The wanting you?” or “I said I was a virgin, not a monk” and let us all swoon. But nope. Outlander is way better than that. Sam had already shown incredible depth as an actor in all of Jamie’s flashbacks (who DIDN’T recoil when he was flogged until he passed out?) but he took it to an entirely different level when Jamie was tortured by Black Jack Randall. His single tear STILL haunts me. –Kim

4) Matt DamonThe Martian

Matt has always been my favorite, okay? (He needs to double-down on checking that privilege, but I believe in him.) He’s my little Will Hunting, with the tight t-shirts and the “equations and shit.” He’s my shameless Owen, Jack’s fiercest (and straightest) competition for the open spot in the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus, in the most outstanding episode of Will & Grace ever produced. And he’s my Jason Bourne, soon to return to the HQ spy franchise that doesn’t name its female characters after their own vaginas. He surprised me again in Ridley Scott’s The Martian as stranded astronaut/botanist Mark Watney. The Martian is Matt’s Castaway moment. He’s sans scene partner for the majority of the film. Even when he’s engaging with an actual person, it’s through some kind of device. And yet, Mark is flesh and blood to the audience, defined by his own determination and the humor he holds on to like a life preserver. The movie’s thesis is that any human life is worth preserving, even in the face of preposterous odds. But consider that his crew, the entire space program, and the whole planet may have rallied around Mark Watney just because Matt Damon made him such a deadass great guy. –Sage

5) Bill Hader – Trainwreck

God, I want to live in a world where the Adam Scotts and the Joel McHales and the Bill Haders are our romantic leads ALL THE TIME. I was so glad I was surrounded by girlfriends on either side of me when we saw Trainwreck in theatres because I made dying animal noises every time Bill Hader’s Aaron Conners was onscreen.  I had always been a fan of Bill’s (Stefon for LYFE) but his performance in Trainwreck made me see him in an entirely new light. Aaron is devastatingly sexy yet adorably awkward. He’s confident but not afraid to make himself vulnerable. He watches Downton Abbey with LeBron James. He sees through Amy’s bullshit and is not afraid to call her on it. He’s so REAL it almost hurts. But the best thing about him is that he says what he WANTS, for God’s sake.  There are no pretenses with him. Observe and imagine my very vocal reaction to this exchange…

AARON: Off the record, do you want to go grab some dinner?
AMY: Yeah, Aaron I think you are so great. But I’m a writer, I’m your writer and you’re my subject. From now on we need to keep it professional. You know?
AARON: No. I think we really like each other and we should start dating.
AMY: No. I’m saying– I’m confused. Am I not communicating this right?
AARON: No, I hear you. I’m saying I disagree. Do you like me?
AMY: Yes.
AARON: I really like you, so we should be a couple. 

DREAM MAN. May 2016 bring us ALL the Romantic Leading Men like Aaron Conners. The world will be a better place. –Kim

6) Krysten Ritter – Jessica Jones

Nothing about Jessica Jones is comfortable. There are no reminders that everything’s going to be okay, and even the people you want to trust can be turned against you in as little time it takes Kilgrave to grind out a few words. Krysten Ritter stands in the middle of that fire, leather jacket collar turned up against the flames and defiance dialed to 11. And even when she’s scared out of her mind and second-guessing her every action, she makes you want to stand there with her. I can’t imagine anyone but Krysten in this part; the rest of the ensemble is fearsomely well-cast and the writing and directing are tops, but this performance is the lynchpin. Krysten does Jessica justice, not just as a sloppy recluse turned low-key superhero, but as a rape survivor and a real, live, functioning adult dealing with mental health issues. One season in, and she’s already an icon. –Sage

7) Gina Rodriguez – Jane the Virgin

I can’t emphasize enough what a treasure both Gina Rodriguez and Jane the Virgin are. JTV swept the Feelies for a reason and it’s not just because Jaime Camil plugged us, though it certainly helped. (Thanks for the love, Ro!) It swept because Jane the Virgin is the most heartfelt, warm, outrageous, and FUNNY show on TV right now. It has helped fill the giant hole that Parks and Recreation left in my heart. Jane the Virgin would absolutely not work without the terrific performances of its cast and Gina’s Jane is the anchor. Her performance is one of the most fully realized on television right now and I feel sorry for anyone who HASN’T experienced it. Jane is spirited and Jane is funny and Jane is strong and Jane is brave. Gina breathes such LIFE into her from the sparkle in her eyes to her delightful cackle to her gleeful dance moves. But she also brings a beautiful vulnerability to the role (please to see the above gif). Gina can go from laughing to having tears in her eyes in a matter of seconds and she takes the viewers on that journey with her. You root for Jane and you want her to succeed in all areas of her life. It’s all just real and warm and I want Jane/Gina to be my best friend. If she’s not nominated for an Emmy this year, I’ll be leading the riots. –Kim

8) Charlize Theron – Mad Max: Fury Road

I love Mad Max: Fury Road so much? Like, a straight-up action movie has never meant so much to me, a connoisseur of Hugh Grant rom-coms and corseted literary adaptations. But then again, no other action movie has given me Charlize Theron sporting a buzz cut and a metal arm, driving the getaway “car” for a harem of freed sex slaves. The movie treats Imperator Furiosa like it would any male hero, except when it doesn’t. She’s stoic and dogged, and has no problem barking out orders to Max. But this fight is personal for her in a way that she knows it can’t be for him. I’d love to see Charlize get an Oscar nomination for this, actually, in the hopes of creating more Amazonian warrior roles for women in the future. (Please.) But I suppose I can settle for seeing Mad Max on the top of so many critics’ end-of-year lists and some fierce Furiosa cosplays at Comic Con. –Sage

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The Top 20 Television Moments of 2015 – Part Two

Posted by Kim and Sage

Another year of television in the books. We’ve laughed and we’ve cried and we’ve flailed. We’ve fallen madly in love and we’ve had our hearts broken. We’ve said goodbye to beloved shows and embraced new ones. It’s the ciiiiiiiiiiiircle of liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiife and it mooooooooooooves us allllllllll.

We’ve already posted the first half of our annual year-end celebration of all the hours we spent in front of the telly this year. What else made the list? Read on to find out! –Kim

11) Patricia Arquette wins an Oscar, demands equality for women. 

Patricia Arquette ran the table during Awards Season, picking up every single award there was for her performance in Boyhood.  Her speeches for most of the season were typical. She always pulled out a written speech, which drove me bananas, because GURL at this point you know you are going to win. Memorize your speech. (Says the girl who has never won a major award and had to get up and talk in front of thousands of her peers, so you do you Patricia.)  However all the sub-par speeches were forgiven at The Academy Awards, when Patricia got up in her black and white gown, reading glasses, and fierce red lippy and closed out her speech with this:

“To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”

Cue Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lopez, and every other woman in the audience losing their shit. Does anyone have more fun at awards shows than Meryl? I think not.

Bless you, Patricia, for using entertainment’s biggest stage to stand up for your fellow women. GENDER EQUALITY? What a concept.  –Kim

12) “Buddy” – Parks and Recreation

When NBC decided to burn off the final season of Parks and Recreation by airing back-to-back episodes every week, Kim offered to share my Pawnee recapping duties to lighten the workload. Tag-teaming season 7 kept me sane (and I loved getting to read what my brilliant co-blogstress wrote about Leslie and the gang), but it wasn’t easy to let my baby go. I didn’t get to recap “Leslie & Ron” for the site, and I admit: I was a little bitter about it.

Because this episode was the heart hug that Parks fans had been aching for since the show’s victory lap began. It was disconcerting and friggin’ scary to time-warp to 2017 and learn that Ron Swanson and Leslie Knope were no longer speaking. Every couple is an odd-couple on Parks, but Leslie and her former boss had been a testament to the power of putting friendship and respect over side-of-the-aisle debates. They’d overcome so many differences in all the years they’d known each other; it was their similarities that had pulled them apart. Leslie and Ron are the most stubborn characters on the series (and probably in the fictional midwest in general); and the length of their feud reflected it. Fed up, Ben and their friends lock their Ron and Leslie in the Parks office to work their out their shit. And work it out, they do. After Leslie systematically tries to wear Ron down with jeers about wood (“You guys, Ron loves plastic!”), a friendship flow chart, and her own batshit version of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire” (“Peter Piper, pee-pee poopy, Daddy ate a squirrel!”), the former work proximity associates finally get down to brass tacks. Pride is everything to Ron. He swallowed it and got burned. And he closed right up for a while.

Leslie: Ron, you were going–
Ron: I was gonna ask you for a job. In the federal government. Just saying it out loud feels dirty.
Leslie: You missed your friends, and you wanted to come up to the third floor and work with us again. I can’t even imagine how hard that must have been for you. God, why didn’t I see that? Ron, I am so sorry. I should’ve been a better friend to you.
Ron: Honestly, Leslie, it’s fine. It was a punctuation mark on a sentence that had already been written. My time in government work was over. Sure, I loved shutting things down and bleeding the rotting beast from the inside.
Leslie: Your metaphors are so beautiful.
Ron: But it was time for me to leave, and I didn’t feel like explaining why to you or anyone. Everything that happened after– the fight we had, not giving you a heads-up when my company took on the Morningstar development and bulldozed the nurse’s old house– I do regret that.
Leslie: I had a good run here.
Ron: But after you and Tom and Donna and April and Terry left, when I looked around this office, nothing was the same.
Leslie: Yeah, well, there’s a way to fix that.

As the sun comes up in Pawnee, Leslie and Ron bury the hatchet in the office where their hard-won friendship was forged, over a bottle of Lagavulin with Willie Nelson’s “Buddy” (Ron’s contribution to the Parks Department BBQ Mix) scoring the montage. There’s a distinct sense of making up for lost time as they give in to their silliest impulses. Parks always takes care of its audience’s emotional needs, and those brilliant fuckers knew that they couldn’t end the Leslie and Ron reunion on an apology and a handshake. Instead, we get to see them having stupid, ridiculous fun together, and we know that their relationship is now even stronger for what it’s been through. –Sage

13) Amber’s baby shower – Parenthood

 The 100th episode of Parenthood was a humdinger. The Bravermans gathered in the hospital as Zeek endured another heart episode. Hank proposed to Sarah in the hospital parking lot and (naturally) she went running, telling him she’d think about it. The Luncheonette was robbed, putting Crosby and Adam at odds regarding its future. Joel and Julia eased their way back to each other after some much-needed make-up sex. But the emotional gut-punch came when the Braverman women threw Amber an impromptu baby shower in the hospital cafeteria. No silly games or outrageous presents. Just Amber’s mother, her grandmother, and her aunts imparting what they’ve learned about being a mom. So simple, yet so unbelievably heart-warming and emotional.

God, the women of Parenthood were amazing. They were all vastly different but all incredibly strong and their advice reflects their characters so perfectly. “Drink wine.” “Embrace and own life’s curveballs.” “Do right by yourself. Don’t ever give up on your dreams.” “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it all. You can.” “Don’t be too proud to ask for help.” The best part about this is that it’s not just MOM advice, it’s life advice. These words can apply to anyone and what was so beautiful about the women of this show is they all refused to be seen as only mothers.  They have so much love for each other and their bond is unbreakable. (Sarah: “No matter what, I’ll always have your back.” Amber: “I know.”) Then Camille, lovely, strong, elegant Camille, who has presided over all these amazing women as the family matriarch brings it home. “Amber I would say to you that life is short. You cannot know how impossibly fast it goes by. So just enjoy this baby. Cherish this time. Cherish every minute of it.” I’m not crying, it’s just raining on my face. –Kim

14) Lily shows her cards – Penny Dreadful

Ah, Penny Dreadful. The feminist literary horror masterpiece of my dreams.

The creatives behind the Showtime drama were smart enough to cast Doctor Who alum and my future wife Billie Piper, but she didn’t have much to do in season 1 besides cough up blood, be Irish, and look sad. When Brona Croft succumbed to TB and Piper was still on the call sheet for season 2, her future as a “bride of Frankenstein” figure seemed set. HERE’S WHERE IT GETS GOOD.

John Clare aka Caliban aka Mr. Nice Creature forces Victor to make him a mate. Lily, as Brona is known in her second life, is the fantasy of both men: a malleable, amiable flower – innocent and eager to please. They’re both too busy projecting onto her to see her as she really is. They make it so easy to play them, don’t they? Men always do.

In an X-Files episodes about some suburban Satanists under siege by a demon, Mulder asks, “Did you really think you could call up the devil and ask him to behave?” Lily has literally been to hell and back, but Victor and his creature don’t give a thought to the side effects of man-made resurrection. (Though they’ve both lived those consequences.) The audience knows that something’s up though. Lily’s simplicity and purity are too absolute to be genuine. Her motives become clear when she seduces a man and snaps his neck mid-tryst. Lily/Brona has been used by men in life and in death, and she. Has. HAD IT. There’s coldness in this diatribe, but there’s life too. It’s a seering performance, and I believe I stood up and clapped when it was done.

Lily: How can you imagine that I could care for you? Does that face belong alongside this? Doesn’t the world smile on us? Don’t we make a beautiful couple, “thee and me”? Shall we wander the pastures and recite your fucking poetry to the fucking cows? You are blind. Like all other men.
Clare: And you are unlike all other women.
Lily: You tell me how. We flatter our men with our pain. We bow before them. We make ourselves dolls for their amusement. We lose our dignity in corsets and high shoes and gossip and the slavery of marriage! And our reward for this service? The back of the hand. The face turned to the pillow. The bloody, aching cunt as you force us onto your beds to take your fat, heaving bodies! You drag us into the alleys, my lad, and cram yourselves into our mouths for two bob when you’re not beating us senseless! When we’re not bloody from the eyes, and the mouth, and the ass and the cunt! Never again will I kneel to any man. Now they shall kneel to me.

Billie Piper growling at men to kneel is 100% my aesthetic.

Later, Lily asks the same prostration from Dorian Gray.  (Is “kneel, boy” her catchphrase? I think sooooo…) But him, she has use for. Dorian has no more illusions about his humanity. He lives to take, but at least he’s up front about it. Lily is so done with men who simper to her face, but want only to possess her body (those grody old men she takes to bed) or her soul too (her creators). Dorian can be her partner in honest depravity – a soulmate who also sees the vice and malevolence simmering just under the surface of polite society. What WILL they get up to next season? I can’t wait to find out. –Sage

 15) Team SharNick dances to “Backstreet’s Back” – Dancing With the Stars

Everyone knows that I am Backstreet Boys Trash for LIFE, so needless to say I was ecstatic when Dancing With The Stars FINALLY booked one of the boys. Nick Carter proved to be the perfect type of DWTS contestant. He was naturally talented but still struggled learning some of the specific styles. He was a showman but was not afraid to make himself vulnerable as he opened up about his marriage and their struggles with fertility. But the best part about Nick was that he was completely willing to milk his status as a Backstreet Boy. He knew EXACTLY why people were voting for him and he gave the people what they wanted. Week 4 of the competition was the ALWAYS great theme week of “My Most Memorable Year” (I famously made all my friends watch this night after the HIMYM finale and we all ended up weeping over Amy Purdy).  Naturally, Nick chose the year he joined the Backstreet Boys and he opened up about just how much the boys saved him. All of his boys were part of the interview package, with AJ even showing up for rehearsal.  Nick danced to “Backstreet’s Back” recreating the iconic choreography and basically being just hot as hell with his partner Sharna Burgess (a goddess in her own right).

My favorite thing is how Nick just soaks it all in when it’s done. This man has been through hell and back and it warms my heart to see him in such a good place. I DIE over AJ in the audience screaming for his little bro. I die over Joey Fatone cheering him on because boy banders support other boy banders (HEY GUYS CAN YOU ADOPT ONE DIRECTION TOO, IT’S ALL I WANT). Nick ended up finishing in second place (I blame them returning to the BSB well for their freestyle) but he was always first in my heart. –Kim

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“It’s like a totally important designer.” – Emmy Fashion 2015

Posted by Maggie

This time last year, Sage and I were delighted to get an email from our friend Maggie in which she broke down every single look from the 2014 Emmys.  We did not ask her for this email, she did it because she needed to talk to someone about all her fashion feels.  Thus, a beautiful blogging friendship was born. Here we are a year later and for the first time, Maggie is recapping the awards show that started it all.  We love you, Marshmallow.  Thanks for gifting us with your presence.  NOW GET TO WORK. 

–Kim

BEST DRESSED

Laverne Cox

 

Look at this COLOR. It is gorgeous on her, and the fiiiiiiiiiiiit you guys. I don’t even like a cutout but I love this. I don’t even know what else to say. I just.

Kerry Washington

I think this is my favorite look of hers ever. I flailed so hard when I saw it. Metallic game strong, hair flawless, makeup great. She looks effortless. I was surprised to see it isn’t full length, but it works for me.

Kim: I have to butt in and say that Sage’s first reaction when Kerry hit the red carpet was to shout “OH MY GOD FINALLY”.  I couldn’t agree more.

Viola Davis

LOOK AT THIS. I’m dying for the black laurel pattern on the white paired with my favorite, a red lip. It’s like she’s trying to hit all of my buttons.

Sarah Paulsen

Is it me or is this fairly unexpected for her? It’s more of a straightforward red carpet gown than she usually goes for? Anyway, it’s sleek and classy and I just want to stare at this forever. Is it black and black? Black and blue? (I know it’s not white and gold, ahahaha I’m hilarious.) Anyway, beautiful sparkles, great earrings, love the red lip.

Lady Gaga

YOU GUYS. LADY GAGA LOOKED CLASSY AS SHIT. In the words of Jimmy Fallon, she’s a glamorous gorgeous movie star from 50s.

Elisabeth Moss

Holy god do I love her in this hot pink. And that black detail at bust is love. There was a lot of pink last night and this is definitely one of my favorites.

Laura Prepon

I said out loud “oh my fucking god” when she showed up on the E! red carpet coverage. This metallic top over the most beautiful RED, I can’t. The red on its own is gorgeous but the gold top just kills me. And the earrings she chose were perfect to complement the metallic, not compete with it. I don’t know about you, but I’m not really about the raven hair on her? But her updo looks amazing and I barely even miss her ginger hair and have totally forgotten how cute she is blonde.

Aubrey Plaza

Kim texted me that she would fight me if I left Aubrey out and she was totally right. This is a clear personal best for her and I love it. If you asked me to describe her personal style, I don’t know if I would have said sexy sparkles but she’s totally slaying it in them. And the hair is ADORABLE.

Kim: This dress is everything. Maggie would have been fired if she hadn’t picked this for the post. I need it in my closet.

Kristen Schaal

Ahhhhhh she looks so CUTE, you guys! I love the color and the shape of this dress and it fits her like a dream. Also, if you want a primer on how to do less formal hair on the red carpet, look no further. And the simple accessories just clinch it for me. I don’t know, she may be an unexpected choice? But I wasn’t sure what to expect from her and I LOVE this. Just a lovely surprise.

Tina Fey

I know, I’m sorry I’m such a slut for black and white, but I straight up GASPED when I saw Tina on screen. To me, the blocking reads like a black tuxedo with white shirt and I am just incredibly down for it. I’m always into a tiny sleeve and eyeglasses on stage. Hair and makeup were subtle but on point, and I really liked the earrings.

WORST DRESSED

Jaimie Alexander

Oh no, Jaimie. First, I don’t get the hair. Why does she look like she just got out of the pool? Well, okay, maybe she did because everyone and their mother was talking about how hot it was in L.A. last night. But then why the long sleeve?? And I feel like I’m betraying my love of a horizontal stripe, but I just hate this pattern.

Kim: She told Seacrest (or Giuliana, I can’t remember which, they are basically the same) that the long sleeves were because she has a hard time getting all the tattoo make-up for Blindspot off, so the sleeves were covering it up. IDK maybe don’t sign up for a sure to be shitty series where you have to be tattooed then.

Maggie: Or find something that’s not so ugly.

Anna Chlumsky

Literally nothing about this works for me. We just. There must be no overlap in our tastes whatsoever, it pains me that I never like her red carpet looks because I love her.

Kathryn Hahn

Okay, but this is really the one that pains me. But I have to be honest and say I just hate this. It’s like she repurposed a carpet. Badly. And I LOVE HER. At least her hair looks amazing.

Tracee Ellis Ross

I’m so not into this. It just looks altogether phoned in to me.

Taylor Schilling

I don’t like the top and I hate the detail at the bottom and just call me Ron Swanson because I love nothing.

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“These people, in this room.” – Sage’s Top 15 Episodes of Parks and Recreation, Part 1

parks ice rink

Posted by Sage

Thought I’d run out of things to say about Parks and Recreation? You thought wrong. This show is a gift, and I find something new every time I watch it.

I’ve been ruminating on a best-of Parks list since we found out that season seven would be the last. It’s a show that has several low-key phases: the female Michael Scott era; the pre-Ben and Chris era; the Beslie build-up era, etc. I did my best to treat all those stages fairly in my rankings. I’m happy with the mix I ended up with. I tried to include an Honorable Mention or two, but ended up with an set of extra picks that was 6-episodes long and growing. So I cut it, and limited myself to a flat 15. It was a tough task, but ruthlessness is the name of the game. Or, as Leslie might say: go big, or go home.

Read on for episodes 15-8, and look out for Part 2 early next week.

15. “Pie-Mary” (Season 7, Episode 9)

parks trying to have it all

I don’t know if there’s ever been a piece of television that feels as specifically created for me than this one. During Ben’s run for Congress, he and Leslie decide to skip a traditional bake-off between the candidates wives. Thanks to Marsha Langman and the “Male Men,” their logistical call sets off a ridiculous “family values” debate, wherein Leslie’s commitment to her husband and children is publicly questioned. I’m always here for it when Parks comes into a timely (and in this case, ETERNAL) political issue through a side door. Though the pie-baking competition is a piece of fiction (unless it isn’t – if you’ve got this in your town, let me know so I can come picket it), the uproar that the Knope-Wyatt’s “boycott” of it causes is too, too real. (“Can we have one conversation about feminism where the men are in charge?” – the entire Internet.) In addition to the spectacular takedowns both of our heroes give to “meninists” and the gender roles police, the Pie-Mary competition also loops in old friends and running jokes like Elise Yarktin of the Indiana Organization for Women and Ben’s calzone obsession, which, in my opinion, is the real insult to the pie-making housewives of Pawnee. Stay in your Cal-zone Zone, Ben. Pies are delicious, and this is not their fault.

male men parks

Elsewhere in the episode, Parks did what it did best in the final season, putting sentimental caps on the relationships between its characters. April has always been the cold, distant daughter Ron never had, so of course the news that she and Andy are leaving town would be hard on him. Instead of mourning her loss, Ron loops April in on one last quest – a scavenger hunt for a key that doesn’t even unlock any doors. (The hunt does, however, remind everyone what a giant crush April had on Andy. Woof woof.) I remember writing in some recap or other that Ron always enjoys the doing, and solving a puzzle that offers no reward would seem pointless to so many who need a reason to get out of their chairs and engage their brains. April claims she doesn’t care for feelings, but what she really hates is people who magnify theirs for attention and who pull other people into their problems. Ron is the opposite of that. He wouldn’t dream of making April feel guilty for moving on.

And finally, the unsung BrOTP of Jerry Gergich and Donna Meagle get their moment. Donna notices things about her coworker that the other’s don’t, and she’s got a big, ol’ soft spot for him. And though she takes pleasure in watching him stumble through his days, she knows that Jerry’s perfectly content in his small, bumbling life. And it least she takes the time to thank him for the entertainment. “You’re one of a kind, Garry,” is a pitch-perfect compliment for him. He’s not the smartest or the strongest or the most confident or even the kindest (that honor goes to Ann, I think); to say that he is would be a lie. What he means to me as a character is that it’s okay if the only superlative you can boast among your friends is that you’re the biggest mess. You’re still unique, and you still have value. And there are people who will recognize that, even if they don’t mention it at the time.

Favorite Quote:

Leslie: You’re ridiculous, and men’s rights is nothing.

14. “Woman Of The Year” (Season 2, Episode 17)

awards are stupid parks

Ron and Leslie became such good pals over the course of the show that it’s kind of a treat to go back and remember what an antagonistic relationship they had in the early years. Leslie was the padawan in those days; begrudgingly receiving Ron’s advice on life, work, and being true to herself no matter how he chose to dish it out. In this season two episode, he can’t resist tormenting her with his Dorothy Every Time Smurf Woman of the Year award, even though he thinks it’s worthless. As was usually the case then, Ron isn’t as right as he first assumes, which hints at the mutual mentor/mentee thing he and Leslie would get going later.

Leslie becomes much more discerning; but as a younger woman, she gives honors and traditions more value than she should. She’s the ultimate sentimentalist. If something has been on her bucket list since the age of 9 (when she became a dues-paying member of the I.O.W.), then it’s damn sure going to stay there and she’s damn sure going to get it. (“Winning is every little girl’s dream, but it’s my destiny.”) Before I rewatched this episode, I was primarily remembering Ron’s justified dismissal of awards in general, but I’d forgotten how “Woman of the Year” also boldly calls out false feminism. The I.O.W. doesn’t much care that Leslie is the actually brains and brawn behind Camp Athena; choosing a male recipient will bring them more press. The politicizing of an “ism” so near and dear to Leslie’s heart is unconscionable. When she learns that the organization is more concerned with raising their own profile than doing the work that they claim to be doing, Leslie mentally snatches the membership card out of her past self’s little hands. (“The I.O.W. is a bunch of sexist jerks who need to get back in the kitchen where they belong and leave the real feminist work to actual feminists like Ron Swanson. Oh my god, what is happening?”)

Leslie isn’t the only Pawneean with big dreams in this episode. Tom has an opportunity to buy into the Snake Hole Lounge, the town’s “hottest” club. (And there’s a fun Easter Egg in one of his talking heads, wherein Tom christens his imaginary future hotspot “Tom’s Bistro,” because “the word ‘bistro’ is classy as shit.”) This entrepreneurial ambition leads to what is, in my opinion, the iconic Jean Ralphio scene. We’d met him once before, when he interviewed to be Ron’s new assistant. But JR, we didn’t truly know you until this moment:

What up, Big Teeeeeee…stop. This must be the lovely Donna. Enchanté. Listen beautiful, let’s cut the bull, alright? You want this. I definitely want this. T.H. wants this. Let’s seal this devil’s threeway right here, right now.

jean ralphio donna parks

Mike Schur said once that the peripheral characters in Parks were inspired by the The Simpsons stable of enemies, friends, and neighbors. And while there are dozens of Pawneeans who I’m pleased to see in every one of their cameos, Jean Ralphio is the crown prince of all of them. He’s the most despicably lovable and adorably clueless; plus, his friendship with Tom gave the audience a baseline for Tom’s future development as a person who could be realistic and upstanding, while not giving up his dreams of fame and fortune. There’s also an interesting contrast between Jean Ralphio and Andy in this episode. Those two don’t share the screen much, but we see the stark difference between their worldviews when it comes to helping a brother out. Jean Ralphio invests more in Tom’s share of the club, but he also wants more out of it. (Lest he be forced to stand in the street and wait to be hit by another Lexus.) Andy gives up his aspiration of moving into his own apartment without a second thought, because his thousand dollars would be better spent making Tom happy. We live in a world where people who don’t regularly act in their own self interest are assumed to be stupid. Fortunately, April doesn’t buy into that. This selfless act is pretty much the last straw for her in terms of falling for her human golden retriever of a future-husband, and who among us could ever blame her?

Best Line:

Tom: Jay-Z. Rihanna. Audrina Patridge. Jon Gosselin. Lady Gaga. Snooki….
Jerry: Are these real people?
Tom: …Cash Warren. And Dennis Rodman. These are just a few of the celebrities that wish they could invest in Pawnee’s hottest club. But they caaaaan’t! And you can for the small price of only [echoing] $1,000. The only question is, who’s gonna be my partner? [singing] Mark, I’m talking to you. Donna, I’m talking to you. Jerry, I’m talking to you. Mark, I’m talking to you….

13. “Halloween Surprise” (Season 5, Episode 5)

leslie ben proposal parks

As I put my shortlist together for this post, I got frustrated with myself for picking so many “event” episodes. But hey, it’s not my fault that Parks nails these milestones so hard. I didn’t choose “Halloween Surprise” because Ben proposes to Leslie in the final act; I chose “Halloween Surprise” because all of Ben’s character development leading up to that point made proposing the only reasonable action he could take in that moment. And it happens after Leslie’s made peace with the idea of an extended separation. At least Jerry’s near-death experience was good for something.

parks fart attack

Poor Jerry…scared into a fart attack by his boss and loving, capable nurse.

Anyway,  the Beslie relationship has been wrapped up in career, basically from day one. It was their devotion to their individual callings that first drew Ben and Leslie to each other, or rather, how both of them used their positions to better lives. (Even when Ben was cutting budgets, he was doing it in the name of saving entire towns.) They’re so in tune with each other; it’s usually outside circumstances that threaten their happiness bubble. In this case, it’s opportunity that Leslie would never – not for a billion dates with Ann Perkins, the most beautiful woman in the world – ask Ben to turn down.

ann date auction

For Leslie, it’s never been a question of trusting Ben. It’s a question of missing, and of putting their life on hold. I love the Jen Barkley character so incredibly much – not just because Kathryn Hahn is a treasure, but because this is a couple with potential who need to be pushed. Jen eventually adopts them both; and her ruthlessness and straight-talk deserve a lot of the credit for where Leslie and Ben end up professionally by the series end.

“Leslie, you don’t have to plan your future,” Jerry tells her. And Jerry is the patron saint of rolling with the punches. Several characters end up facing physical manifestations of their fears in this episode; and they embrace them, like Chris does his paunchy, older self. Leslie’s fear is loss of control. It’s a beautiful, empty house that’s waiting for life to fill it up. Ann’s is her “ex” boxes lined up next to each other, and the thought that she might have let her own interests go unexplored in favor of being a good girlfriend. And Ron’s is a pair of shrieking children that drive him way outside of his comfort zone but are part of the package if he wants to be with Diane. Donna’s, like mine, is pesky Twitter trolls accosting her in person.

donna live tweeting parks

Leslie stops Ben before he can pop the question so that she can take a mental picture of a perfect moment. Those perfect moments are few, but holding on to them can offer a lot more stability than a daydream of what comes next. In conclusion, Adam Scott’s face will be the death of me. Mark my words.

Favorite Line

Donna: Getcha foot outta the water, dumbass. It’s BLOOD LAKE.

12. “Road Trip” (Season 3, Episode 14)

ben and leslie kiss parks

Ben and Leslie are sent by Chris on a work field trip and subsequently hit their breaking point. The sexual tension is so real, I’m sure it’s about to sprout legs and start walking at any minute. Ann is a pathetic obstacle to their getting together, being more pro-Beslie than lit-rally anyone in the state of Indiana and in the dorms at Johns Hopkins University, probably. I truly hope that everyone reading has been in a situation like this, where time is perpetually in slow motion as you wait for the other shoe to drop and every innocent conversation is as stupidly electric as Leslie-min and Benjamin’s on the couch in Chris’s condo.

Ben and Leslie’s love is as pure as can be, so I’m so pleased that we got an episode that’s dedicated to how badly they’re dying to jump each other’s bones. We are all Ann Perkins watching the mating dance happen (“I’ve got an idea: why don’t you ask him about his penis?”); it’s gone so far that a confession is hardly necessary. But a confession we get anyway, and it happens long before the two victorious public servants sit down for their celebratory dinner. Leslie morphs into the heart-eyes emoji as she watches Ben recommend Pawnee to the Little League board. She’s so used to being this town’s sole champion and defender, and her love for it is a part of Leslie. It’s thrilling for her to find out that this outsider sees what she sees. And if Ben can understand what’s incredible and unique about Pawnee, then he must really know her. (He does.) The inevitable fireworks are delayed when Chris shows up to congratulate his dream team. But sly Ben calls Leslie in on a pointless chore later in order to make his move, and god damn, but that’s a good TV kiss. Quite worth all the build up, I’d say.

ron lauren berkus parks

One of the episode’s B-stories is a personal favorite Ron plot. A fourth grader on a City Hall field trip wanders into Ron’s office in the name of a school report, and gets the full Swanson download on the futility of government. For as little as Ron thinks he cares for children, his instant and obvious fondness for this girl is so telling. (“Don’t sass me, Berkus.”) He talks to her like an adult; she preens at the attention. And when Ron has to backtrack his Libertarian teachings, he still assumes that Lauren will hold onto those views that they agreed upon – not because he wants to be right, but because he knows after one afternoon with this kid that she’s sharper than her “cute reports,” “gold stars,” and patronizing teachers would like her to be. I have a lot of Berkus head canons, but most of them include her growing up to join Ron’s National Park staff.

Finally, Tom challenges the office to “Know Your Boo,” his new rip-off game show. Andy and April deal with newlywed growing pains and argue about Neutral Milk Hotel. The rift is so scary to April that she actually consults Ann (“I’m sorry, my instinct is to be mean to you.”) and makes up with Andy via an adorably monotone cover of “In the Pit.” And once again, Andy shows that he understands how to be with someone better than anybody else on this show: “Maybe April doesn’t think that we’re the greatest band in the world, but, man, she loves me. And I love her. So, you know, who cares?” Who cares?

Best Line:

Leslie: I’m gonna go see a man about some porcelain, you know what I mean? I’m not buying cocaine. I’m going to the bathroom. The whiz palace, as I like to call it. And I’m not calling Ann, so…

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“Any perfect day should involve crying uncontrollably.” – It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Parks and Recreation

parks and rec group hug

Parks and Recreation Season 7, Episode 12 and 13
“One Last Ride” – Producer’s Cut

Posted by Sage

When Kim and I launched Head Over Feels back in 2012, we had a title we loved, a pocketful of pop culture opinions, and enough mimosa ingredients for small brunch party. What we didn’t have was much of a concrete plan. The blog has grown organically, reflecting our changing obsessions and (hopefully) growth as writers. Think of it as the field of wildflowers that inspired Leslie’s favorite mural: a little unkempt, but still beautiful.

From the very beginning, there was one regular feature that I knew we had to include. I had to recap Parks and Recreation. It wasn’t about a defined schedule. It wasn’t about our audience – at that point, we didn’t really have one. It was about me needing to respond to this show in some way other than just grinning like a maniac at my TV screen for 22 minutes a week.

I’ve stuck with Parks since the pilot, though that qualifier only really applies to those first six shaky episodes. And there was significant value in those too. It’s just that when the show plugged into the right vein early on in season two, it became and remained one of television’s most reliable and reliably inspirational comedies. More than that: to me and so many others, Parks has been a companion and a cheerleader. Just knowing that Leslie and her team were out there taking risks and having each other’s backs made me feel more adventurous and less inclined to take my life teammates for granted. The series finale of Parks and Rec has come and gone, but the show’s goofy, optimistic spirit will live on: on Hulu and Netflix and DVD, in gifsets and Swansonisms and my JJ’s Diner t-shirt. It’s like Mike Schur and his team presented us with 125 lovingly crafted scrapbooks, each bedazzled and puffy painted in true Knope fashion.

A Reddit user recently did a cool calculation, plotting the audience response to dozens of series finales. And the proof is right there in green and red: it’s tough to stick the landing. Not for Parks (its finale was rated even higher than the average episode, thank you very much), and that’s because I’ve never watched a show that has takes such wonderful care of its characters.

I watched the finale while eating breakfast for dinner (complete with waffle bar) with Kim and Kelly of The TV Mouse. Fitting, since Parks brought the three of us together in the first place. It was Kelly and my mutual admiration of each other’s recaps that led to our meeting and a treasured friendship. And really, was there any other possible outcome of that first hang than gChat pep talks, marathon TV nights, and us dragging Kelly into the Doctor Who fandom by her adorable curly hair? As far as personality indicators go, appreciating Parks is the most solid one I know.

As sad as I was to see Parks go, I sat on Kim’s couch confident that it would get the send-off it deserved. I was a big fan of the three-year time jump to begin with; it allowed for new storylines and dynamics (Ron and Leslie’s falling out, for example) to be explored without the time it would have taken to develop a proper run-up. In “One Last Ride,” Parks co-opted the nifty trick that made Six Feet Under’s finale one of the highest rated on that Reddit list. We got flash forwards for our Pawneeans. They felt satisfying, but not final. We learned something new about everyone; they got to share some of their future with us. But there was so much more we hadn’t seen, and so many life events still to come. Let it be known that if Parks had given all its characters the FULL Six Feet Under treatment, Kim would still be trying to peel me off her floor.

teach yo self

Instead, Parks time traveled to significant moments in its characters’ lives. Most were milestones. Some, like Donna’s, were small moments of realization. We caught up with Donna and Joe in Seattle, where the former is making that paper while her boo continues to shape young lives as a teacher. Donna’s life has always been about decadence; about giving herself the best that she can offer. But what could be more decadent than getting to enjoy your life with someone who’s fully dedicated to your happiness? Donna has always been quick to accept change. And if the guy who deserves to see her in that little red thing needs something other than a dream vacation to Middle Korea, she won’t think twice about giving it to him.

make up

It’s nice to see that Donna’s maid of honor (“Call Satan’s Niece.”) is still her partner in crime. (And I’d like to request a web series about their two weeks in Venezuela. Did they visit Pawnee’s sister city and sabotage some important, cultural festival?) April already had a hell of an arc in the final season; with all the inane think pieces about the struggle and shortcomings of the millennial, only Amy Poehler and her writers can be counted on to treat a journey like April’s with respect and empathy. A few years into their new lives in D.C., Andy, already king of the kids, is dying to have one of their own. (“Babe, I wanna put a baby in you, babe.”)

"Oh, for the baby?"

“Oh, for the baby?”

April acts like nothing scares her, but the people closest to her (especially Leslie) know that her projected fearlessness is all a front. In past episodes, what panicked April the most was the thought of losing her own identity and becoming a boring adult. (As if that’s possible for any spouse of Andrew Dwyer, who will threaten your OBGYN with a Taken monologue just so your child’s birthdate can officially be Halloween.) But her private conversation with Leslie about Andy’s baby jones reveals a deeper fear: that she won’t be any good at it. And what’s the point if so many variables are up in the air? “You have kids because you and Andy are a team,” Leslie tells her. “And you want to bring in some new team members.” There’s no question that Andy will be the dad to make other kids insane with jealousy; and April is coming around to the idea that she might not fuck everything up. But I think what really helps her decide the issue is the thought of the bigger team standing behind her and Andy. Jack-O-Lantern Ludgate-Dwyer is a part of that too, now. That team gave April everything. So how bad could it possibly go?

a tom

Tom has a rockier road than most of his friends. But that’s because he refuses to settle. The most telling part of Tom’s flash-forward is the scene where he mopes in front a documentary that he made about his own business failures. That’s so Big T. He can’t stop interpreting and analyzing and creating things out of other things, even when he wishes he could. Yeah, it’s a visual gag to see Tom in suit and a wireless mic standing underneath the word “FAILURE” in bold capital letters. But it’s also kind of the story of his life, and it’s not a bad one. I mean, what’s the difference really between Tom’s list of defeats and Donna’s list of “experiences” other than the way that they frame them? Tom has too many ideas to be stuck in one industry for the rest of his life; and Failure: An American Success story will lead to many other crazy ventures, I’m sure. And every one of them will be fueled in part by a Knope-Wyatt gift basket and a Ron Swanson pep talk, because his friends aren’t giving up on him either.

ron

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The Winners of the Second Annual Feelies!

one direction what did we win

Posted by Kim and Sage

The time has come! Welcome to the prestigious (in our opinion) Feelies award ceremony, where we announce the winners of our second annual reader poll! Voting opened last Monday for several categories in TV drama and comedy. (You can check out the nominee post here.) The competition has been fierce, especially where our nominees’ official social media accounts got involved (what up, Jane the Virgin?!), and, in some cases, the leaderboards have been constantly changing. But in the end, each race could only have one winner. We’re proud to bring you those winners today.

The Feelies go to….

Best Comedy Series

The nominees were: Broad CityJane the VirginThe Mindy ProjectParks and RecreationSelfie, and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

THE WINNER IS: Jane the Virgin

Kim: Much like last year’s winner (and this year’s runner-up) Parks and RecreationJane the Virgin is a comedy that is driven by its heart.  On paper, the premise is a little ridiculous (a virgin is accidentally inseminated when going in for her annual check-up) but Jane the Virgin is so much more than its telenovela roots.  At its core, Jane the Virgin is about family, both the family we are born with and the family we choose. It’s about three generations of women being there for each other no matter what. It’s about love. It’s about the eternal struggle of balancing reality and dreams (I FEEL you and your writer dreams, Jane!). It’s about the choices we make and how they define us. It’s the most delightful show I’ve watched in a long time and I am so proud that it won.

What makes Jane the Virgin so special is the way it deftly balances the comedy and the drama.  It plays with telenovela stereotypes and fully commits to every outrageous twist and turn. It gives you the giant romantic gestures we all want to see on TV (who DOESN’T swoon when Rafael and Jane finally kiss?) and then turns around and drops truth bombs everywhere (the Immigration issues with Alba).   The show is peppered with fantastical elements like posters of Rogelio coming to life and talking to you. And yet the outlandish is always grounded in the reality of Jane’s journey.  There is not a weak link among the ensemble.  The writing is the definition of sharp.  Every character is fully realized…and has been from the very first episode.  This is clearly a show whose team knows what they are doing.

It would be so easy to make fun of Jane’s choice to save herself for marriage or to make her insufferably sanctimonious about it.  The show does neither. I love how the show doesn’t judge any of its characters.  They are just who they are and no one makes apologies for it. Jane struggles with her choices on a daily basis and that’s what makes her so REAL.  That’s really the best word to describe this crazy little telenovela that should have never translated to American audiences. REAL. That’s why it’s connected with audiences.  All the female empowerment and pretty men are just a bonus.

Best Drama Series

The nominees were: Agent CarterBroadchurchDoctor WhoThe FlashMad Men, and Masters of Sex

THE WINNER IS: Agent Carter

Sage: Everybody say, “Heeeey, Miss Carter…”

The voters have spoken, and they know Agent Carter‘s value. In eight short episodes, this freshmen Marvel series courted a devoted fanbase with tight plotting, dope period costuming, elegant ass-kickings, and true emotional beats. Peggy Carter isn’t an Avenger. There isn’t a SHIELD to speak of yet. But her story is one worth telling. Why? Because she says so.

As we reported in our SDCC posts, Agent Carter was being repped all over San Diego this July. Red fedoras were the headwear of choice. Peggy fan art was selling out all over the place. And any mention of the show received more enthusiastic Ballroom 20 cheers than its panel mate, Agents of SHIELD. The love that Agent Carter has engendered is passionate. Because this is what the people want: Hayley Atwell’s holy light, sexual tension that knows no gender, and the most feminist piece of art in Marvel’s collection.

Best Actress in a Comedy

The nominees were: Karen Gillan (Selfie), Ilana Glazer (Broad City), Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project), Ellie Kemper (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), and Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin)

THE WINNER IS: Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin

Kim: What a GIFT Gina Rodriguez is. She’s so refreshingly pure in her performance as Jane.  She just IS Jane.  We don’t see any seams in her performance.  It’s rare to see an actress know her character so thoroughly from the VERY START of a series and that’s what Gina Rodriguez did this season. It’s one of the most honest performances I’ve ever seen and I can’t WAIT to see what else she is capable of doing.

What’s amazing about Gina is her ability to deftly switch between the comedy and drama of Jane the Virgin without skipping a beat.  She’s not afraid to fully commit to her performance and that’s WHY everything about the show works. Because while the circumstances may seem ridiculous to US, they are not ridiculous to Gina (and therefore Jane), so we the audience is willing to go on the journey with her. Plus, girlfriend can cry on command and do it BEAUTIFULLY. Teach me your secrets, you wizard.

 
Like Peggy Carter, Jane Gloriana Villanueva is a character we NEED on TV right now.  She’s just so GOOD but not insufferably so.  She believes in herself and she always wants to see the good in others. She dreams of being more than she is and she struggles with her sense of responsibility.  She’s devoted to her family. She demands the best out of those around her.  She’s both sass and compassion.  She’s sunshine and rainbows.  She’s a character that you root for and a character you truly want to find happiness and success. Basically, she’s perfect.

Best Actress in a Drama

The nominees were: Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter), Caitriona Balfe (Outlander), Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex), Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who), Olivia Colman (Broadchurch), Eva Green (Penny Dreadful), and Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)

THE WINNER IS: Caitriona Balfe, Outlander

Sage: Following in the footsteps of last year’s winner (and this year’s runner-up) Tatiana Maslany, Cait Balfe is another brunette force of nature. Outlander itself is technically genre, but it doesn’t really feel like it. That’s because its leading lady (and man, we’re getting there!) deliver the material that they’re given with all the ferocity and gravity that they’d offer to the most A-list, Oscar-bait costume drama. The time travel conceit is almost beside the point; there’s so much else to know about nobility, commitment, and survival.

Cait is everything that she needs to be. And that’s a lot, since Outlander is essentially her story. She meets Claire’s challenges with courage when necessary and humor when it suits her. Claire stands up for herself and for the downtrodden, but still listens and respects her place as a newcomer to this culture and this time. There are “strong women,” composed entirely of sassy comebacks and barely concealed damseling, and then there are just women, who deal as best as they can with the shit they’re given and enjoy some good 17th-century castle oral every once in a while.

So thank you, Sassenach, for being at the forefront of one of TV most pro-lady shows. While I’m sure the paychecks and those love scenes with your costar are reward enough for your efforts, now you’ve got a Feelie to go along with them.

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