Surprise Resemblances: JWOWW and Nina Dobrev

A refreshed JWOWW on left and Nina Dobrev of the Vampire Diaries on the right

Speaking of high brow TV (eh hem), I also took this weekend to catch up on the season premiere of the Jersey Shore and the Teen Choice Awards on Sunday night. I actually took the Jersey Shore off my DVR last season because I was totally over the Ronnie-Sammi dramz, but this whole Florence-setting has sucked me back in.

Anyway. So as people grow fame-wise, they tend to shrink frame-wise and, wow, JWOWW. Seriously, what happened? I hope she enjoyed some pasta carb-loading during her Firenze sojourn because she’s looking rather thin. But with the more chiseled face and mono-toned hair—it hit me the other day. JWOWW kind of looks like a bustier, more intimidating and less, shall we say, refined version of Nina Dobrev from the Vampire Diaries. See what I’m saying?

Gossip Girl: Real Estate Indicator?

Alison Humphrey must have gotten a jump on that Hudson real estate.

The Metropolitan section of the Sunday New York Times explores this phenomenon called the “Brooklynization of the Hudson Valley” (or as Gothamist more alarmingly/amusingly puts it, “Brooklyn Hipster Virus Spreads to Hudson Valley”). Basically, all the artsy-hipster folks either who can’t afford the city/want more rustic open-space/aim to explore their art, blah blah. are decamping for the quieter back-roads of the historic region of the state. Can’t blame them, really. It’s is beautiful up there, plus there are tons of wineries (go with the whites and ices) and the Dia: Beacon.

But my point here isn’t to make fun of hipsters or the Times. Remember in Season One of Gossip Girl—in 2007 (like FOUR years ago)—when Brooklyn-dwelling Dan and Jenny Humphey’s arty-vintage shopping mom/estranged wife to Rufus was living in Hudson? That Josh Schwartz. Finger—right on the pulse.

Idina Menzel Returning to Glee

While Gleeks are still reeling over news of the impending departure of Lea Michele (Rachel), Cory Monteith (Finn) and Golden Globe winner Chris Colfer (Kurt)—the heart of the show, really—the latest news is that Idina Menzel (Shelby Corcoran) will be returning for a a few episodes in season three. Last we saw of Shelby, she left things unresolved with biological daughter Rachel and took off for show choir retirement after adopting Quinn and Puck’s just-born daughter, Beth.

Since the nefariously hilarious Cheyenne Jackson (Dustin Goolsby) is heading up nemesis team Vocal Adrenaline, we’re wondering just how Shelby will return to Lima after her brief sabbatical. We’re hoping for more killer Broadway duets with Rachel—nothing like a dramatic show tune to work through any mother-daughter issues—and a heated sing-off with Goolsby. We wonder if they aged little Beth soap opera-style to kindergarten status. Speaking of the offspring of McKinley High’s resident bad boy, with the exit of soon-to-be seniors, where does that leave Puck? Not that we mind an extra year of Noah Puckerman and his tight t-shirts and one-liners, but did his stint in juvie result in a year of supersenior-itis?

Getting My Brit-TV Fix Tonight: Zen

With Luther and Downton Abbey in the off-season, I am jonesing for some British tee-vee. So thank goodness Masterpiece Mystery (yeah, yeah, along with Real Housewives and Pretty Little Liars, I love me some snooty Sunday night PBS) is premiering Zen, one of those high-brow BBC-produced detective shows. Granted, the series is about a Venetian detective named Aurelio Zen and is set in Rome—like how Kenneth Branagh’s Wallander is cast with all British actors complete with their British accents, but we’re supposed to accept that they’re Swedes in Sweden. Whatever—disbelief, you are suspended.

The lead actor Rufus Sewell is a respected English actor (for some reason, I get him confused with Charlize Theron’s ex, Stuart Townsend, who is actually Irish, but again, whatever.) and I maybe recognize him from a canceled show Eleventh Hour, or most likely I just know his name because I’m such an Anglophile. Anyway, the New York Times gave it a very literate and positive review and Entertainment Weekly put it on their “Must List“, but I would have watched it regardless. Don’t be calling me at 9pm tonight. I’ll be busy.

Pretty Little Liars: Somber Style

A funeral isn’t exactly the best place for a girl to showcase her sense of style—especially when it’s her best friend’s alleged killer who recently expired. But leave it to Aria (Luch Hale), Emily (Shay Mitchell), Hanna (Ashley Benson) and Spencer (Troian Bellisario) to somehow channel their own sartorial preferences in a pre-fab 90s girl band sort of way at Ian’s supremely awkward funeral.

Even if her hair isn’t streaked in neon pink, Aria still works her punk-tinged style with a mini-pouf dress layered under a breezily tied wrap-sweater. Her hair in a messy updo just adds to her heroine in distress look to further torment Ezra…er, Mr. Fitz (Ian Harding), while attracting a borderline flirt session with a sketchy Jason DiLaurentis (Drew Van Acker). Sporty Emily keeps it conservative with a button-front cardie over a simple high-neck tunic dress—although, the body-con fit does show off her swimming-toned physique. Spencer—in a bit of a metaphorical self statement—combines a country club-ready A-line-skirted frock with a bad girl mesh shrug. And Hanna, oh, Hanna. While at her larcenous mom’s request, she left the hot pink, body-hugging Hervé Leger number at home, the appropriateness of her final choice remains questionable. But props for bringing the drams with her revealing, draped-front cocktail dress and Kate Middleton-worthy veiled chapeau.

Here are a few ways of channeling cemetery chic, like the lying foursome, but hopefully for a more festive occasion.

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Separated at Birth?

It’s been bothering me for the past couple episodes and last night, it finally hit me. The new Jason DiLaurentis on Pretty Little Liars looks like a frattier, beefed-up version of Julian Casablancas, the lead singer of the Strokes. The two did like to party back in the day…

The Wire Redux on The Good Wife

Nick Sobotka: From the docks to the board room

This week’s episode of The Good Wife is titled “Ham Sandwich”, but I like to think of it was The Wire Reunion Part Deux. Part one would be the episode last year when we were introduced to a born-again Chris Partlow (Gbenga Akinnagbe) as Pastor Isiah Easton and Police Commissioner Ervin Burrell (Frankie Faison) popped-up to play Isiah’s dad. Plus, last season, corrupt longshoreman Frank Sobotka (Chris Bauer) appeared on the (semi) right side of the law as a corporate lawyer and Bodie (J.D. Williams) continued on the same career path under employ of yet another drug kingpin, but in a different zip code.

Speaking of Sobotkas, we received the memo that Nick Sobotka (Pablo Schreiber—currently on Lights Out and also Liev Schreiber’s half-brother, what?) would make an appearance on “Ham Sandwich” as a lawyer opposing Lockhardt Gardner, but as the episode rolled on, it just got better and better. Chris Partlow, I mean Pastor Isiah, finally materialized after what seemed like a long absence. And hello, does Chris Partlow clean up well—Pastor Isiah was looking extremely dapper in his perfectly tailored Italian suit and super-natty wool coat.

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