Because this show stars Hot Neighbor Wade and involves period costumes, which means it is right in my wheelhouse. That said: I have my doubts that this was widely watched by Fug Nation, so we’ll see if these recaps have a life. Having noted that, boy do I have a lot of notes. This show — which is based on the Lily Koppel book of the same name — was apparently slated for last summer, was then pushed by ABC, and has all the hallmarks of being noted to death by the network. I didn’t wholly dislike it — the outfits are good, and some of the performances were appealing, and you have to give a pilot a LOT of leeway — but (a) it has way too many characters in it (which I understand is historically accurate, but look to Wolf Hall as a brilliant way to weave a casts of hundreds in and out of several one hour episodes) and (b) like TWO YEARS of NASA drama (astronaut selection/training) get telescoped into this one pilot. Which seems…like an insane story-telling decision. If you want to start your story at the moment where this episode ends, start there and use flashbacks, because we were asked in this episode to feel a LOT of feelings that you really only feel if you’ve gotten to know a character for more than 20 minutes. ANYWAY. Let’s get into it. I warn you that Hot Neighbor Wade (of Hart of Dixie fame) has literally one line tonight.
Fug File: Fugs
This whole Primates of Park Avenue thing is fascinating. The book is being presented as a non-fiction piece of social anthropology by “Wednesday Martin Ph.D.,” but it’s turned out to be — per some journalists who did a little digging — a potentially largely fictionalized work by a person whose doctorate is in literature and whose given name is actually Wendy (which… what’s the point? It’s barely different! You are not fooling anyone!). Why not just write a novel, if you want to take expansive liberties? It was well-reviewed before people started poking around into its timelines and finding problems, and Simon & Schuster is reportedly putting a disclaimer on it in future printings claiming any divorce from reality is simply a memoirist’s narrative technique, even though it was initially presented as a more studied and researched project. Regardless, straight-up fiction wouldn’t have had that issue. The whole thing is bizarre.
At any rate, there was a book party, and for reasons I don’t entirely understand, actress Leven Rambin (True Detective 2, All My Children) showed up:
And she went EXTREMELY thematic. It’s as if Lilly Pulitzer had been asked to do an urban jungle collection for an Upper East Side tea party. I keep expecting Marcel the Monkey to swing in and land on her shoulder, just to be as obvious as possible.
I just hope ONE of these people won big/foiled criminals/found love whilst spending a bit of June in Monte Carlo.
Very excited to bring you this giveaway today! And not just because the cover is so pretty:
“Ori’s dead because of what happened out behind the theater, in the tunnel made out of trees. She’s dead because she got sent to that place upstate, locked up with those monsters. And she got sent there because of me.”
The Walls Around Us is a ghostly story of suspense told in two voices—one still living and one dead. On the outside, there’s Violet, an eighteen-year-old dancer days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement. On the inside, within the walls of a girls’ juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom. Tying these two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls’ darkest mysteries.
We hear Amber’s story and Violet’s, and through them Orianna’s, first from one angle, then from another, until gradually we begin to get the whole picture—which is not necessarily the one that either Amber or Violet wants us to see.
Nova Ren Suma tells a supernatural tale of guilt and innocence, and what happens when one is mistaken for the other.
THE TASK: We have three signed copies to give away! I will be picking the winner at random, but in order to enter please comment and tell us your favorite ghost story. (I mean, you don’t have to tell the entire story. You can just tell us what it’s about. Or you CAN tell us the entire story if you want. I don’t know your life.)
THE RULES: All entries must be posted in the comments of this post by 9 p.m. Pacific time on Wednesday FYI, if this is the first time you’ve commented here, the system will automatically kick you into comment moderation, but don’t worry, I will rescue you.
Friday at last! Have a successful weekend, Fug Nation, and while you’re waiting for it to get started, enjoy:
– If you’ve read The Royal We – AND YOU SHOULD! — you might enjoy this deep dive into how Heather and I fiddled with actual history to create our fictional Lyons dynasty while still preserving a lot of Britain’s past. Contains a very detailed family tree from Victoria (Queen Victoria I, in our world) to the current Queen Eleanor and chatting about how we killed off a variety of people. (The Lyons men tend to klutziness.)
– Should I watch Poldark? Tara Ariano at Previously.TV makes a strong/pervy case for YES.
— On that tip, at The Cut: It’s Totally Fine to Objectify This Hunk’s Butt
– I also think you will enjoy this: The James Spader Bangability Index. (Pajiba)
– You guys HAVE TO READ the Channing Tatum AMA. JUST TRUST ME, OKAY? (Reddit)
– The first photos of Lady Ghostbusters are out (not the real title, THANK GOD), and they look pretty good. (Lainey)
– None of this surprises me: Kim Kardashian used to provide dirt on Paris Hilton to In Touch Weekly (Celebitchy)
– All Things Georgian examines the original “waist trainer” — stays.
– This seems pertinent to our interests: What Did Rory Read After The Gilmore Girls ended? (Book Riot)
– The Los Angeles Times wonders what went wrong at The Gap? I present my own exhibit A: they were selling PALE WASH DENIM HIGH-WAISTED GAUCHOS. No one NO ONE goes to the Gap for those.
– SWINTON has opened a school. Cannot we all attend the school of Swinton? (The Guardian)
– Finally, to end on a sober but important note, in the wake of the horrifying, terrible, heartbreaking shooting in Charleston this week, you may have seen this essay from Esquire. It’s called Speaking the Unspeakable, Thinking the Unthinkable, and it’s worth your reading.
What a WEEK! We had A LOT of Royal Events this week, and still plenty of stuff you haven’t yet eyeballed in the slideshow. Pour another Pimms and let’s get it on. I bring you turbans and George and tiaras and the deepest Wiki deep-dive ever, which somehow brings us new knowledge about the world’s biggest yachts and also Putin? I don’t know. These things just happen.
Here at GFY:
- We had Prince Carl Philip and Sofia’s wedding!
- We also covered their guests, the Wiki-details of which were as diverting as usual.
- It was Trooping the Colour over in London, and all the Brits seemed mildly cranky, EXCEPT for Prince George, who is a treasure
- Kate took George out the next day for polo, and it was adorable.
- Then Ascot began! Here’s our coverage of Days One and Two
- And our coverage of Day Three, AKA Ladies Day
- And finally, if you read The Royal We, you might be interested in reading about how Heather and I tinkered with British history to shove the current group off to the side, and place our fictional Lyons dynasty on the throne, while still maintaining a giant chunk of history as we know it. We get very detailed about it — down to a family tree stretching back to Victoria — over on our book blog.
And elsewhere of interest:
- I’ve mentioned here before that Netflix is making a series about Queen Elizabeth and her many prime ministers (starring Claire Foy, who was recently Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall, which should be…interesting) and they’ve got more casting news: John Lithgow as Churchill (???) and Matt Smith was Prince Philip, which….. I feel like a lot of my reactions to the casting of this series is just punctuation. I am not a Doctor Who watcher, but I feel like Young Prince Philip was REALLY HOT and Smith doesn’t really ring my bell, so…we’ll see. (Hypeable)
- Hard times when you are a princess who’s ALLEGEDLY committed tax fraud: Spanish Princess Sells Mansion To Pay Bail (Sky News)
- Hello! has loads of details about Princess Madeleine’s new baby, wee Prince Nicolas (which we’re taking as a shout-out to The Royal We.) This story also has perhaps the jauntiest thumbs-up I’ve seen in weeks.
- The outfit George wore at Trooping the Colour on Saturday was previously worn by Wills AND by Chaz, and People‘s got all the details. I want an interview with the person in charge of Heirloom Baby Clothes Maintenance!
- People really KNOWS ME, you guys: Kate and Her Striped Shirts: A Love Story
- Per The Mirror, everyone went out and celebrated QE2′s birthday last week at…a wine bar. ALL OF THEM. Philip, too. At 94, dear God, PLEASE let me be tottering out to the wine bar.
- People says Pips has been out buying presents for Charlotte.
- They’ve also got good scoop on the ins and outs of Royal Ascot’s dress code.
- So does The New York Times!
- Today was Harry’s last day in the Army, which actually is very possibly why he seemed so glum this week. He’s off to Africa for three months to work on conservations projects. (Hello!)
- That said, the rumor that he and Jenna Coleman are dating (or possibly just banging) IS picking up steam. That should cheer you up, Harry! At least until you leave for three months. (Town and Country)