I’ve heard good things about both seasons of The Sinner — although more about season two, by virtue of the presence of Carrie Coon. Still, I’m excited for Jessica Biel that she’s gotten recognition for it, given that her acting career has largely included such gems as Stealth, in which Josh Lucas’s sentient fighter jet falls in love with him; 7th Heaven and I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, which are definitely on opposite ends of the earnestness spectrum; and of course Summer Catch, a baseball movieĀ I watch every time I notice it on cable, even though it always makes me die a little inside because it’s terribly terribly terrible. “You want big rewards, you gotta take big risks,” she breathes eagerly, as Freddie Prinze Jr. reacts as if she’s the first person ever to think of this hugely original concept. And then a saxophone plays while they make out. The first listed plot keywords on IMDb are “male nudity | male rear nudity | bare chested male | season in title | sleeping shirtless,” and it also features: Brittany Murphy sticking a beer bottle between her legs and pouring it into someone’s mouth; Matthew Lillard in her thong; Wilmer Valderrama and Beverly D’Angelo copying a plot fromĀ Stealing Home; Marc B. Lucas (okay fine I know it’s “Blucas” but I prefer my version) screaming poems to and about his zaftig lover, her size being a “twist” that is treated like he has a freakish fetish, which was an awful idea then and is even more execrable now; and both John C. McGinley and Brian Dennehy both trying to pretend they are in an actual sports movie. It also uses Ronan Keating’s “Lovin’ Each Day” over the end credits, which is absolute A+ Britpop (although he’s Irish, but in terms of describing the sound, the song fits right into the Britpop genre as far as I’m concerned) and is on every running mix I have ever made, and I think that’s why I keep going back to this well. It goes out on a toe-tapping high note that makes you think, “Well okay, that wasn’t so bad.” Reader, it was.

All of which is a long way of saying that I’m glad Jessica Biel has found some critical success, and with an interesting show, and that Justin Timberlake increasingly has to be her plus-one instead of it being the other way around. (I’ve decided not to be so cynical as to assume she got nominated because the Emmys and HFPA want him there, although… the HFPA probably would do that.)

I also think this dress is superb on her. It’s reminiscent of the Oscar de la Renta patterns that made the rounds on Meghan Markle, Selena Gomez, and Constance Wu, but is in fact by Johanna Ortiz. The ONLY problem I have with it is her face. Just kidding; her actual face is perfect. But her lipstick is missing, and thus, so are her lips:

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It doesn’t need to be fire-engine red, but she needs some pigment there. It should pick up the red in the dress, not the white. Were it not for her teeth, would we know she had a mouth? WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO SEE THAT YOU HAVE A MOUTH.

She changed it up for an event at the 92nd Street Y, which I cannot see without thinking of Lauren Graham’s delightful novel.

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That’s pretty on her, right? Nice cool color, delicate but not overpowering details… I don’t even mind the shoes, and it’s hemmed well. Wins all around for La Biel! Maybe a statuette will follow. Although… she’s up against Laura Dern, Michelle Dockery, Sarah Paulson, Edie Falco, and Regina King, so that order is taller than Lebron James. For ALL of them, honestly.

[Photos: WENN, InstarImages.com]