Fug File: Fug The Cover

Fug and Fab the Cover: A Variety of International Vogues

As usual, so many of these are more eye-catching than the covers we see here in the United States. Also: this might be Kim Kardashian’s best cover ever. I’m serious. Katy Perry does not fare quite as well.

[Photos: respective Vogues]


Fab the Cover/Your Morning Man: Charlie Hunnam on Entertainment Weekly

This photo is great, but also bittersweet.

Charlie Hunnam entertainment weekly king arthur

Great, because Charlie looks extremely gritty-foxy — like, if you can still really get me with your gaze when the rest of you is dirty and scraped up and maybe a little sweaty, well, that’s some hotness (it makes me almost wish I’d watched Sons of Anarchy, even though I know absolutely that it isn’t my thing).There’s a vulnerability and a pleading in his eyes, not just shrouded in all the manliness but also somehow enhancing it. Seeing this, I understand how he got cast initially as Christian Grey; what seemed a little incongruous at the time makes more sense here somehow. It’s apparent he’d have brought some depth and darkness to that role with a skill that perhaps eluded poor Jamie Dornan.  I am not big on dirty fingernails, but sir, I will scrub those for you all day if you need me. How’s THAT for romantic.

But, this is bittersweet because it reminds me of something: Eons ago, I recapped Judd Apatow’s Undeclared for Television Without Pity, and I referred to Charlie’s character as “Heath” because he looked SO MUCH like a stand-in for Heath Ledger, who had entered his blond period. Over the years that’s dissipated somewhat, but it’s back in FULL force here. Maybe it’s just because Heath Ledger ALSO played a knight and so there’s a weak parallel. I don’t know. I can see him so strongly: in the eyes, in the jaw, in the furrow. To the point where if I were Michelle Williams, I would maybe never see this movie and also give this magazine to my dentist’s office the second it arrived. None of that is anyone’s fault, and actually, it’s a nice compliment, even if it pulls at ye olde heartstrings.

Mostly, though, I am preparing for this cover to be the Mona Lisa of my coffee table. Everywhere I go, he will be watching. I can deal with that.


Weirdly Played Cover: Olivia Munn on Good Housekeeping

Olivia Munn, Good Housekeeping, August 2015

“Ha ha ha! Hilarious! A pineapple! That was the creative for this shoot! Me standing here with some random-ass pineapple with pink plumage! Like it’s f’ing Paris Hilton’s house from 2005 and everything has to look like Barbie vomited on it! And like why I am I on Good Housekeeping talking about X-Men! Shouldn’t I be on Marie Claire or Glamour or something!!! Cosmo!!! Anyone! Hello! Joining a franchise! Dating a quarterback! Having it all! Oh yeah, ha ha ha, and HOLDING A F*CKING PINEAPPLE! It’s the ‘I carried a watermelon’ of 2015! SO HAPPY TO BE HERE HOLDING THIS PEPTO FRUIT!!!!”


Fug or Funny the Cover: Amy Schumer on GQ

Oh, this photo shoot. I don’t have a problem with provocative humor, but I prefer it when it’s got a clever spin to it – something beyond a basic Beavis-like chortle: Heh-heh, droid three-way — and my beef is that I can’t really find that here in this package. This is just… Star Wars fever meets Trainwreck meets people’s incessant fascination with whether Amy Schumer is a trainwreck, with the smallest drizzle of that feeling you get when you watch Showgirls and realize Elizabeth Berkeley is not on everyone else’s page. Like, is Amy Schumer still controlling whatever this joke is, or is she — however unintentionally — becoming the butt of it? Some of the pics are at least benign in their semi-pointlessness, like the cantina recast as something out of Coyote Ugly, or Princess Leia in a cab with her iPhone and her entourage, but they’re just the filling in a club sandwich where the bread is made of EYEROLL.

The cover itself is fine — dumb, sure, but it doesn’t bother me quite like some of the inside pics. Can’t Amy Schumer be the funniest person in the galaxy without fellating a light sabre? Please? Her sketches are incisive and insightful. Is this? I don’t really think so. It’s more like something an editor was yearning for an excuse to do because he grew up with a poster of Leia in that bikini on his bedroom ceiling, and once wrote a Listicle about how C-3P0 experiences pleasure. I know Amy built her career on the back of a certain fearless raunch, with jokes about sex and all manner of other things, and she did a mock version of this at GQ’s behest with saucy cover lines that appear to poke fun at the lad-mag genre (in which the Trainwreck Amy works). So maybe you could argue the art direction itself is an affectionate mockery of the medium. The problem is, if that was the case, it didn’t translate. It doesn’t really FEEL like parody. Rather, it transmits as a wannabe-titillating stunt that undercuts the compliment they’re paying her. I wish the validity of a woman’s comedy resume didn’t so often hinge on her readiness to pander to this crowd. Amy obviously may not care, of course; she’s doing fine for herself, and if this is genuinely her jam, then great, live your bliss. But I wonder if it’s ever EXHAUSTING. And the risk is that this box becomes the only place anyone wants to put you. I get that playing into it has gotten her this far, but sometimes when you pile on, all you get is clutter.

[Photos: GQ]



Fug or Fab: All of Nicole Kidman’s U.S. Vogue Covers, Including August 2015

So, raise your hand if you had this in the pool. My honest first reaction to seeing Nicole on Vogue was, “Zzz.” Not because I don’t like Kidman — I do; she seems warm in interviews, and I’ve never heard a bad story about her — but because she is to me the epitome of the boring and safe choice for a magazine that desperately needs to shed its reputation as boring and safe (that Hail Mary of a Kimye cover notwithstanding, and besides, it was still somehow boring). I’m sure Vogue feels like it’s in a thankless bind between its older, more affluent readers, and the younger set it needs to entice away from the likes of Elle, but seriously, you can walk that tightrope with Mindy Kaling, whose signature style on The Mindy Project is bright and relevant. Or Rachel McAdams, who is in two gritty projects that would seem to signal a potential crossroads, or at least a turning point. Or Jada Pinkett-Smith, who stole Gotham and then Magic Mike XXL. How about Melissa McCarthy? Uzo Aduba? Coco Rocha, the new mom and arguable main supermodel of this crop? Or stick a dude on there. JUST a dude, not Dude and Bride. The point is, I don’t begrudge Kidman a cover at all, but it feels like there is so much fertile territory elsewhere that we didn’t need ANOTHER story about how Nicole is grounded and real and talented and warm and loving and embraces her simple life in Nashville and digs on Keith Urban and is really happy now. Those are all wonderful things that I’ve read before.

That said: I decided to try and rustle up Nicole’s other covers, just to see if she’d been on it as frequently as I thought; a Salon story in 2014 that said she’d been on the cover seven times, so that would put this one at eight, and that bears out with the number of images that turned up.  What’s more, it appears her most recent one before this was a group cover promoting Nine from back in late 2009. Can that be possible? Nearly six years since she graced Anna’s big book? Do we think anyone at Vogue even knew it had been that long? I picture Hamish Bowles being, “She was just on it… wait, WHAT? SIX YEARS AGO?” before pressing a giant red alarm button. So perhaps the perception that she’s a perennial favorite lingers entirely because she owned it in the Aughts (and certainly she’s filled in the empty time with Elles and foreign Vogues and probably some InStyles, so it’s not like she’s been absent).

Which is your favorite? Eight covers puts her firmly ahead of Sarah Jessica Parker (six, per that same Salon piece). Is eight enough, as the heroic TV sitcom once so tenderly posited? Were you glad to see her on here again?

And finally, after the jump, a “73 Questions” video in which Nicole Kidman comes off as a very charming hang.

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Well Played, Kristen Stewart on Marie Claire, August 2015

Marie Claire always does right by Kristen Stewart. Some of what she’s wearing inside the magazine is nuts, but her face looks AMAZING.

(PS: You can read the interview (or portions of it) over at Marie Claire.)

[Photos: TESH/Marie Claire]


Fug or Fine the Cover: Amy Schumer on Glamour, August 2015

I really want to like this cover, because it’s the first one (at least that I can recall) which has presented Amy Schumer as a person rather than as a caricature (for example, when she was mugging naked and covered with tiny booze bottles on EW). And it’s about time.

Amy Schumer, Glamour cover, August 2015

But it makes me laugh that a cover line screams, “It’s All About That Face,” right next to a photo in which Amy Schumer’s own face has been made to look like Nicole Kidman: Post-Cruise Frozen Edition. And given that Amy Schumer is someone who has made bank off of cracking wise about whether she’s hot enough to be famous, you’d best tread REALLY CAREFULLY with the Photoshop, because you want her to look a hundred percent like her own gorgeous self and not like you’re trying to fix anything. Because Amy Schumer is totally good-looking enough to be famous, and so let’s honor that and not airbrush it into generic severity. Having said that… I mean, she’s still in there. It’s not unrecognizable. But it isn’t great.

She is also wearing a dress that looks like someone tried to make a nightgown out of hospital scrubs — sigh — and then, because I’m That Person, I really am sincerely peevish about the cover quote not pluralizing “voice” into “voices” so that it matches the subject, because I don’t think the intent was to tell women to use their collective voice but rather their individual ones. I mean, plenty of people use colloquial grammar when speaking, and Amy can’t control what quotes are pulled by the magazine, but the editors can. LE SIGH. I know that’s picky. But I can’t help who I am, and so while we’re here, I would also have stuck an Oxford comma after “for day” in the fashion line about sequins and denim and stuff. Screw your style manuals! OXFORD COMMAS FOREVER.

But mostly I just wish Amy had gotten to have more glam fun, without looking so much like a post-Botox Nicole. When you want to trumpet your cover subject’s awesomeness, don’t simultaneously undercut it.

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