Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The monster has been unleashed

A couple of factors had me worried about the season premiere of "Dexter," my most beloved Showtime program (especially after the incredibly groundbreaking last season ... I heart John Lithgow).

For one -- although completely unrelated -- "True Blood," my most beloved HBO program, SUCKED. Awful, awful season of loose story lines, uninteresting character development and the ever-unfolding "everybody is something" syndrome, i.e., fairies and werewolves and werepanthers, oh my! Because of this letdown, I didn't want to get my hopes too high that "Dexter" would be able to make Sunday nights exciting for me again. (When you're my age, kids, you will start to find good TV exciting, OK? Back off.)

Secondly, the trailers weren't well done. For whatever reason, creators thought it a good idea to make the previews sound and look over-the-top dramatic, in one case even having Don LaFontaine, or someone who does a damn good impression, do voiceover work. (He's the voice of most movie previews, in case you did not know.)

I was concerned. "Dexter" took a step into a whole new level of sophistication last season. It wasn't just a good, juicy serial killer show anymore. It was nuanced. The acting better than ever. The storyline bold and unpredictable! The previews looked dumbed down. Quite predictable. Dex looked as if the murder hadn't sank in, saying things like "But I've always been a very neat monster." Um, yeah, we know that already.

I kept thinking back to my questions and expectations after last season. There was so very much room for this to unleash the monster in Dexter. For the organized, methodical serial killer to unveil his darker self. I was so hoping the writers would take the next step, be brave and show us a whole new side of our favorite murderer. A scarier side.

And you know what? I shouldn't have been worried. I won't say much for those who didn't see Sunday night's premiere yet, but I think we're in for a great ride this season. The acting, writing -- just as smart. And Dexter, I think the leash is coming off.

Friday, September 24, 2010



That pretty much sums up my thoughts on last night's "Runway." And that is because: Everybody in the top of Thursday night's judging, I would have put on the bottom. And a couple of people on the bottom? Yeah, I totally would have put them in the top.

What the hell?! I'm so sick of this year's judging. Drives me nuts.

So, the challenge was to design a couture garment using a style of fabric: metallic, velvet, etc. They're told they're given two days, so like idiots, a lot of them were lollygagging around the work room as if they'd never seen the show before. And then all of a sudden, Tim comes in on the second day and says "Designers, you have to design a second look," a ready to wear companion piece to the couture. OF COURSE THEY DO. THIS IS "PROJECT RUNWAY," DUMMIES. So they get all shocked and horrified and boo hoo and whatever. But they all manage to pull it off in time.

So, here's the break down. Gretchen, Andy and Mondo make it into the top. Michael C., Valerie and Ivy are on the bottom.

Where to begin ...

How about with Gretchen, who made a matronly, velvet dressing gown that would have been too dowdy for a lady 500 years ago (see photo). Her companion dress, aside from the slutty slits up the side, would sell well at the Dress Barn. And the judges just lapped it up like kittens. Loved it! Trust me, I was watching on High Def and got a good up-close look at every bead and feather, and I can honestly tell you, there was NOTHING couture about that monstrosity. My jaw dropped.

Mondo won. His was OK. His style always reminds me of traffic signs and police tape, though. Jarring, geometric, structured, off-putting.

And Andy ... All I can say is that his model looked like a Chinese dragon. That's as clear as I can make it.

Michael C., on the other hand, who everybody hates but who has never been in the bottom until last night, made GORGEOUS companion dresses out of bordeaux material that was to die for (see photo). His train on his couture was a little long and too structured, sure. But the bones of the dress were wonderful. A couple of minor alterations, and they would have been perfect.

I liked Valerie's white dress, too, which was her couture. Her black companion dress was totally last minute and not cute, but her white was striking. Hated it -- they just hated it. Uhh, whatever.

My only nice surprise of the evening was watching Ivy go home. She's so very mean, and last night, her couture dress was just a train wreck. Imagine an aqua mermaid got roughed up in a car accident and that's what her dress looked like (see photo). A raggedy mess of aqua and blue chiffon. Despite the fact that her companion dress was a cute little cocktail number, her meanness outweighs her slight bit of talent in my eyes. I would choose Valerie to stay over her a thousand times. Good riddance!

The judges better put their contacts in next week. Getting a little tired of having to come on here and school them. ; )

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Do rich people have an entirely different wardrobe for vacations?

Notes from the "Runway" is back! ...
A pet-peeve to start ...
Michael Kors: Every designer, no matter who they are, he says, will make a resort collection. ... What? Did anyone else think to themselves when Heidi was issuing the challenge tonight "What the hell are resort clothes?" Maybe we're Minnesotan, Midwestern salt-of-the-Earth types who don't do resorts. But hey, I'm betting the majority of "Runway's" viewership doesn't hit the "resorts" on the weekends. Where are these places? Southern California? The Hamptons? And are there seriously specific kinds of clothes people wear to resorts? What makes them "resort clothes" instead of, say, Sunday afternoon garden party clothes, or, say, just plain vacation clothes? Weirdest challenge. Just weird.

One more pet-peeve: I'm tired of the finky finks this season. Gretchen and Ivy need to shut it. Even after poor Michael C. wins TWO challenges, they're sure they're right that he sucks and the judges are wrong. And the abuse continues tonight as Mondo, on the bottom this challenge, explains to the judges how proud he is to have had the opportunity to "guide" Michael C. through this challenge. Ummm, Michael C. was passed through to the next round, Mondo. You're the idiot standing on the runway next to your sailor-inspired adolescent bikini. Ivy committed a similar offense by blaming Christopher for her own shoddy and boring white pants and grey top. That's a design problem, not a construction problem.

I should back up. Thursday night's challenge was to partner up with another designer and have that designer execute your design. So, Ivy sketched an outfit, and Christopher cut and sewed it, for example. The idea is that most designers don't construct their own work in the real world. They outsource. I get that. But in the real world, I must point out, DESIGNERS GET TO PICK WHO THEY WANT TO TAILOR THEIR CLOTHES.

Anyway, my favorites tonight included April, who won the challenge (her first). She made a see-through babydoll dress that was black, with a solid black bra top and black boy shorts underneath. It was really cute and edgy at the same time.

I also liked Andy's, which was a silver and purple bathing suit with a flowy wrap over it. Although I thought it was crap that guest judge Kristen Bell liked how "versatile" the garment was because someone size "12 or 2" could wear it. Well, let's see, the bathing suit showed more skin than Playboy, so I don't know a size 12 who would go there, Kristen Bell, size pre-teen.

Who did we hate ... Ivy, for being rude and boring. Gretchen, because her garment was gold, purple and Old Lady. And Michael C., actually, because I almost saw boob under those thin halter straps.

I actually didn't hate Casanova's tonight, even though he went home. The top was interesting. I liked the belt. I get what they mean about it being old. It was. But it was sophisticated, which is more than I can say for some of those pieces.