Thursday, 30 October 2008

Melrose Place Reloaded

I think we can agree that the weather has been lousy this week so what better than to curl up on the sofa with a mug of tea and settle down watching a fun show on the TV. That is the saving grace of the winter; all the cool shows come back and it is like being reunited with a bunch of old friends. Right now I am spending quality time with Gossip Girl, The Hills, 90210, Lipstick Jungle and The Starter Wife and it is fantastic. Like having a ladies night out except it is at home in your living room. It looks like Melrose Place will be joining us this time next year. 90210 has proved so successful that the powers that be at CW Network have decided to spread the spin-off project to the popular 1990s drama. Premiering in 1992, Melrose Place featured the lives of sophisticated twenty-somethings who lived in an apartment complex and we saw them live, work and play together. As we can expect in a typical soap drama we had the usual emotional storylines such as infidelity, homophobia, divorce, prostitution, domestic abuse and many others. The show bowed out in 1999 after a period of low ratings and as well as making a star out of Heather Locklear who went onto Spin City and Scrubs, it will also be remembered for launching the careers of the stars below:

Kristin Davies
She played the scheming Brooke Armstrong and later found fame and many pairs of Jimmy Choos as Charlotte York in Sex and the City.

Marcia Cross
She played Dr Kimberly Shaw, the total nut job and is now famous as house proud Bree Van de Kamp Hodge in Desperate Housewives.

Doug Savant
He played Matt Fielding, the token gay guy and is now best known as Lynette's hubby, Tom Scavo in Desperate Housewives.

Courtney Thorne-Smith
She played the annoying Alison Parker who had a long relationship with Billy and became an alcoholic. She went on to star in Ally McBeal as Georgia Thomas, wife of Billy Thomas who was the ex love of Ally.

Kelly Rutherford
She played Megan Lewis a high class call girl who is hired by Dr Kimberly Shaw to seduce her partner. She is now in Gossip Girl playing the snooty Lily van der Woodsen, mother of lead character Serena van der Woodsen.

Rob Estes
He played restaurateur, Kyle McBride and can be currently seen in the all new 90210 as head of school Harry Wilson and father of Annie and Dixon.

Alyssa Milano
She played spoiled brat Jennifer Mancini and went on to play Phoebe Halliwell in the hit series, Charmed.

Wow what a load of talent that show produced. Roll on the remake.

Friday, 24 October 2008

The Selby

I am obsessed with interior design and I love checking out other people's homes. Whether in magazines, on TV shows or waltzing down the street - yes if you must leave your curtains wide open then it would be rude not to peep. There might be a credit crunch on but making your pad look beautiful is still top priority. They say that your home is your castle, your domain and sanctuary and I agree totally. My home to me is where I can relax, read while on the toilet, do silly little dances and watch whatever I like when I like. It is indeed a document of my life which is illustrated by my clothes, books, magazines, furniture and film collection. Your personal space reflects you and your life. So I was pretty chuffed when I came across The Selby which is a blog that features creative people in their personal spaces. It is created by photographer, Todd Selby and his mantra is to show gorgeous and quirky homes with their delightful owners in them. So you have artists' nesting in their studios in Long Island Queens, film producers flexing in their funky loft apartment in Greenwich Village, NYC, DJs hob knobbing in their cute mews' in Islington, London and fashion designers posing in their apartments in LA. What is interesting about these images is that they also focus on the work of the home owners and mixes them up so they form a fantastic collection.

If you are looking for some ideas for doing up your place or simply fancy looking at some beautiful and unusual homes then check out The Selby.

Picture taken from The Selby.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

It's a 'magazines' life

Working on a magazine is glamorous. Sorry, let me correct that; the idea of working on a magazine can appear to be glamorous. However throw in the low pay, job insecurity, tight deadlines and long hours not to mention being amongst volatile characters and the industry starts to lose it's appeal. The perks can be high though such as free entry to practically any event in the land and abroad as well free goodies landing on your desk each day. So it is no wonder that people are so fascinated by mag land which has culminated to the huge success of The Devil Wears Prada and Ugly Betty. The concept went one stage further with the introduction of a reality show called, The Paper where a bunch of college kids put together a student publication. Now we have Stylista, upon us where we join Elle's Fashion News Director, Anne Slowey on her search for an assistant.

Today saw the airing of Peaches: Disappear Here on MTV One, a documentary that followed Peaches Geldof while she edits a glossy magazine called, Disappear Here. The publication is supposed to reflect Ms Geldof herself in that it is edgy, arty, trendy and covers arts and pop culture. As well as a mentor in magazine supremo, James Brown who founded lads mag, Loaded, Peaches was granted with a team of six writers, designers and advertising execs. The comments leading up to the programme about Madame le Geldof have not been good. To be blunt she has been described as a monster and beastly by media aficionados. and there have been complaints about her arrogant manner to her team. For those who don't know, Peaches Geldof is the second daughter of Sir Bob Geldof (a rock artist but more famous for being the founder of Band Aid and Live Aid) and the late TV presenter Paula Yates. After the tragic death of her mother, the Geldof daughters have kept a very low profile till a few years back when Peaches began to be papped out and about at glittery events. She was granted a column in Elle Girl (read editor, Claire Irvin's hilarious article on Peaches here) and NYLON TV and became known for her outspoken views. So it was no surprise to anyone when she expressed a desire to be a journalist and pretty soon she was approached to present a variety of TV documentaries. However, along the way Peaches has managed to rub people up the wrong way and make a few enemies. There is also a notion that she has only been given these wonderful opportunities due to her name rather than her talent.

Therefore you would be right in saying that this documentary would be a perfect way for her to dispel all these theories and show what a talented journo she is if not a fantastic person. Sadly, Peaches fails on both counts. She is rude and disparaging to her staff directly and during her voice overs. I almost winch when I hear her comments when she is describing their abilities. Her professionalism leaves a lot to be desired as she decides to leave midway through production to go to the States for a festival. Her argument being that she is covering the event for another magazine. Right! Well in the magazine game timing is everything so it might have been a good idea to inform her editor about the impending documentary so he or she could ask someone else to cover it. It is all rather bizarre considering that the programme is produced by her Dad's production company. Peaches: Disappear Here is very entertaining and extremely well made and shows a knowledgeable and passionate magazine team who are keen to learn and I loved watching it. The show would just be so much better without Peaches in it.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

The Starter Wife

I remember watching one of those celebrity shows where a journalist described Jennifer Aniston as sporting a crushed look on her face after the duo called Brangelina was created. However, no one carries the crushed look better than Debra Messing who is known as the chipper Grace from the hit comedy Will and Grace. Messing has made a name for herself in rom coms and in the brit romance, The Wedding Date she was screwed over by her sister and boyfriend. She also played the emaciated estranged bride of Ben Stiller in Along Came Polly and now she is back in The Starter Wife, a TV series where she plays an abandoned wife. Debra's character, Molly Kagan is the wife of a top Hollywood studio boss and lives the life of complete luxury, totally sheltered from the real world, her life is spent whirling out of control when she is dumped by her husband for a younger woman. There are starter jobs, starter cars, starter houses and now starter wives. It takes the support of her close friends as well as a dose of strong will that makes Molly take stock and get her life back on track.

The Starter Wife is based on the book by Gigi Levangie Grazer who penned the script for the film, Stepmom which starred Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon. The mini series was aired last year and was nominated for ten Emmy Awards as well as a Golden Globe Award. In fact it was so popular that the show was recommissioned as a proper series and made it's return in the US last Friday. I have not had a chance to catch the second series yet but if it is anything like the mini series then it will be cracking. The show has all the elements; witty script, great lead characters, a few twists and turns and a rites of passage theme. Debra is really convincing here as the down trodden Molly but with just the right spark not to lose the respect of the audience. The supporting cast is stellar along with the black humour. This story is not about revenge but more about a lady who has lost herself setting on a journey to find out who she is and what makes her tick. All sorts of social issues are tackled here such as infidelity, alcoholism, homelessness and suicide but the over riding issue is about the strength of friendship. I spent all of Sunday watching the mini series and did not come up for air and I cannot wait to see the second series.

The Starter Wife is on Fridays.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

The City

Hooray, my favourite Hiller, Whitney Port has at last been granted her own fly on the wall show. Next year we will see the LA native move from her home town to the Big Apple after landing a job with iconic designer, Diane Von Furstenberg where she will pursue a brand new life with love and friends thrown into the mix. The show is titled, The City and Whitney will be able to offer more than the predicted pre-emptive questions to Lauren Conrad about her dramatic life as we have seen in the last four series of The Hills. Smart, sassy and classy, Ms Port really has all the attributes that are needed to front a fantastic reality series. She may be regarded as the quiet and steady one in a show that is full with drama queens and a great friend to Lauren but there is something about her that is so intriguing. So it will be interesting to see the angle that MTV take on the show we all know that The Hills is scripted but Whitney does not have the volatile nature of Lauren or her drama fueled lifestyle. Therefore there is a danger that The City may not get the huge ratings of The Hills but if the producers play it right they could have a slick and savvy show on their hands. With Philip Lim, Marchesa and Valentino down as her favourite designers, we expect to see Whitney boasting a stellar wardrobe and rocking that amazing NYC lifestyle combined with living in a stunning loft. Her stints at Teen Vogue and fashion PR company, People's Revolution will certainly hold her in good stead.

The City will be aired on MTV in early 2009.

Check it Out
If you are doubtful as to whether Ms Port has what it takes to rock her own reality show then check out this trailer below.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Frock Me

On the eve before the BBC launches the fashion extravaganza, British Style Genius, Channel 4 in the shape of T4 get in there with their new kid on the block, Frock Me. Fronted by (yawn) Alexa Chung and wonder boy designer, Henry Holland, Frock Me prides itself on being more irreverent and aimed at a younger crowd - well according to Alexa anyway. To sum it up, T4's latest focuses on the relationship between fashion and music which is kind of cool as that is something that fascinates me a lot. It is also a theme that the media find fascinating hence the creation of the starry event, Fashion Rocks combined with the amount of music artists who have ventured into the fashion business.

I am not sure what I was expecting from this show but as it is on T4, which is Channel 4's younger and cooler sister, I had high hopes. However, I was left feeling very disappointed, yes the show has a lot in it such as tips on how to customise your own clothes, interviews with celebs and heading to a different city each week to find Britain's wannabee stylist. Each show has a different theme and this week's one was rock and roll jeans and how to wear them. However, it all seemed so samey and very much like a rejigged form of The Clothes Show in fact if it wasn't on Channel 4, I would have thought I was watching The Fashion Show with a new line up. There was nothing cutting edge about it at all; what show about fashion does not feature celebs sharing style tips and show a roving reporter hounding people on the street? A big fat zero for originality. Even the concept is old hat as we all know that the Frock Me brand was created four years ago as a vintage fashion event where all the top vintage dealers in the country sell their wares. Taking place in London and Brighton, it is now one of the hottest events in the calender. If you are lounging around on a Sunday morning with nothing to do then I would say tune in but other than that I wouldn't bother. They don't call T4 hangover TV for nothing.