Fug the Show: How To Get Away With Murder series premiere


Or as I call this show, Pretty Little Lawyers. Why? Because it feels EXACTLY like embattled ABC chief Paul Lee taking his biggest hit at ABC Family and greenlighting a grown-up version. Right down to the cluster of liars being at the mercy of a person whose initial is A. One of them is even sleeping with a direct supervisor, just like Aria and Ezra, except without the whole statutory rape thing that ABC Family seems to think is super romantic.

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The episode begins with the Pretty Little Lawyers discussing a dead body they found somewhere, and whether/how to hide it. Someone just might get away with MUUUURDER.  If he/she does not, that person should sue Annalise Keating for misrepresenting the content of her own class. Half the group wants to ignore it, half wants to clean it up, and they decide exactly the way all important non-homicidal choices are made at GFY HQ: They flip a coin. I can’t even tell you how many times Intern “Rosencrantz” George has had to clean out the lint traps.

As the coin is flipped up into the air, we rewind three months to the group’s first day at Middleton University…

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… where the law school is housed in a building whose only name is Middleton Law School. Not, say, The Fitzgerald Grant Building that houses the law school, or even The Robert Kardashian Law School at Middleton University. Just Middleton. Middleton everywhere. I know Carole and Michael’s party business does well, but this is a LOT of donor dollars.

The professor our intrepid youths got is Annalise Keating, played of course by Viola Davis in oxblood:

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It’s red leather because MUUUURDER. She even wrote the damn sentence on the blackboard and capitalized the M. Rather than teach them the theory of law, she’s essentially teaching them to bend it to their wills. She also wants to get her students doing her work for her – think Legally Blonde, but meaner — and so she has them break down her current case and try to come up with a defense that’s better than the one they’re strategizing. She’ll pick the four most promising kids, and let them work at her firm helping people get away with MUUUURDER.

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Fugs and Fabs: The New York Gone Girl Screening


If early buzz is any indication, we may be seeing a lot of these people doing the rounds in January and February.

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Fug the Huh: Ben Affleck


It’s not even that he looks sartorially bad. But… seriously, what is Ben Affleck doing in these photos? I think he’s pranking us. Maybe. I hope?

[Photos: Fame/Flynet, Pacific Coast News]

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GFY Giveaway: MADEMOISELLE: Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History, by Rhonda Garelick


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Ooh, this is a good one! I am looking at my copy of today’s (special Monday!) giveaway, and it’s really gorgeous. May I introduce you?

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THE PRIZE: This book sounds fascinating, and it’s getting great notices. Let’s virtually flip it over and read the back. From Barnes and Noble:

Certain lives are at once so exceptional, and yet so in step with their historical moments, that they illuminate cultural forces far beyond the scope of a single person. Such is the case with Coco Chanel, whose life offers one of the most fascinating tales of the twentieth century—throwing into dramatic relief an era of war, fashion, ardent nationalism, and earth-shaking change—here brilliantly treated, for the first time, with wide-ranging and incisive historical scrutiny.

Coco Chanel transformed forever the way women dressed. Her influence remains so pervasive that to this day we can see her afterimage a dozen times while just walking down a single street: in all the little black dresses, flat shoes, costume jewelry, cardigan sweaters, and tortoiseshell eyeglasses on women of every age and background. A bottle of Chanel No. 5 perfume is sold every three seconds. Arguably, no other individual has had a deeper impact on the visual aesthetic of the world. But how did a poor orphan become a global icon of both luxury and everyday style? How did she develop such vast, undying influence? And what does our ongoing love of all things Chanel tell us about ourselves? These are the mysteries that Rhonda K. Garelick unravels in Mademoiselle.

Raised in rural poverty and orphaned early, the young Chanel supported herself as best she could. Then, as an uneducated nineteen-year-old café singer, she attracted the attention of a wealthy and powerful admirer and parlayed his support into her own hat design business. For the rest of Chanel’s life, the professional, personal, and political were interwoven; her lovers included diplomat Boy Capel; composer Igor Stravinsky; Romanov heir Grand Duke Dmitri; Hugh Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster; poet Pierre Reverdy; a Nazi officer; and several women as well. For all that, she was profoundly alone, her romantic life relentlessly plagued by abandonment and tragedy.

Chanel’s ambitions and accomplishments were unparalleled. Her hat shop evolved into a clothing empire. She became a noted theatrical and film costume designer, collaborating with the likes of Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau, and Luchino Visconti. The genius of Coco Chanel, Garelick shows, lay in the way she absorbed the zeitgeist, reflecting it back to the world in her designs and in what Garelick calls “wearable personality”—the irresistible and contagious style infused with both world history and Chanel’s nearly unbelievable life saga. By age forty, Chanel had become a multimillionaire and a household name, and her Chanel Corporation is still the highest-earning privately owned luxury goods manufacturer in the world.

In Mademoiselle, Garelick delivers the most probing, well-researched, and insightful biography to date on this seemingly familiar but endlessly surprising figure—a work that is truly both a heady intellectual study and a literary page-turner.

THE TASK: We have five copies to give away today! I am going to pick our winners at random from the comments. To keep it fun, please tell us what you would choose to take home if you were magically transported to the best Chanel store in the world, and told you could have one item. (I’d get a purse. Classic. Or maybe a suit. Those are ALSO classic. Hmm. I’ll need to percolate this.)

THE RULES: All entries must be posted in the comments of this post by 9 p.m. Pacific time on Wednesday. (US and Canada residents only, unfortunately.) FYI, if this is the first time you’ve commented here, (a) I’m very glad you’re here and (b) the system will automatically kick you into comment moderation, but don’t worry, I will rescue you

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Well Played, George and Amal’s Civil Ceremony


Well, now we know what was in that hat box.

[Photos: AKM/GSI]

 

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Fugs and Fabs: Cate Blanchett


Cate is at the Zurich Film Festival for a screening of Blue Jasmine. How is that possible? She’s been there, done that, and won an Oscar that’s already collecting dust on her mantel.

[Photos: Getty]

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