Misogyny & Aaron Sorkin – “The West Wing,” 1.11, “Lord John Marbury”

I am using these posts to a) recap a much-beloved (by me and in general) TV show, and b) point out the misogyny in it. Because I like to combine my two favorite activities – watching TV I love, and hate-watching! Here’s what we’re looking for:

  1. Physical comedy is used to undercut a female character’s competence.
  2. A female character’s sexual appeal or sexual/romantic relationship with a male character is primary.
  3. A female character displays “feistiness”. “Feistiness” is a frequent shorthand in liberal misogyny for “See? She’s strong and independent and we find that adorable! What’s the problem?”
  4. Femininity or feminine concerns are disparaged, by male or female characters.
  5. Any character is rude to his/her female subordinate with no consequences.
  6. A male character is lauded and glorified in an unlikely way by a female character or characters.
  7. A female character screws up at her job.
  8. Anger (or other emotions/behaviors) coming from a female character is unreasonable or mysterious, either to the audience or to another character.
  9. A female character plays the Exposition Fairy. Note: Having Exposition Fairies is not in and of itself a problem. It’s necessary in most fiction. But in The West Wing, the Fairy is almost always a female character, and is almost always asking a male character for explanation, and would almost always certainly know the information she’s asking for, so that the fact that she’s asking indicates that she’s not that good at her job.
  10. An episode goes by that does not pass the Bechdel test.
  11. Lip service is paid to female power or agency or simply the existence of females in this world without, oh, say, actually casting one or giving one something cool to do.
  12. A male character or characters act(s) as white knight to a female character or characters.
  13. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! – A display of homophobia


!. When we see evidence that Toby & C.J. are doin’ it. Not misogynist, just entertaining to me personally.

Previously, on “The West Wing,” Josh was riding to Leo’s defense about a pill addiction; Charlie and Zoe met cute; C.J. obnoxiously asked Danny on date and he obnoxiously accepted.

A chyron tells us that we’re at the National Reconnaissance Office in Washington Navy Yard. A nerdy due sits in front of many computers which looked old-fashioned to me. Then I remember that this aired in 2000 and probably didn’t then. Then I realize that a) technology is moving super-fast, like, for realz, and b) I am super-old. He calls another nerdy man over to look at a map on one of his screens. They zoom in on something and the first man claims that what they are looking is “two CVEs and four destroyers.” They look like dark smudges on the screen to me, but I am not a nerdy man at the Washington Navy Yard. The second man seems to think this means they need help.

Next we are at the Pentagon in Arlington, VA. A uniformed man says some military things to another uniformed man and a sweater-vested man. I am having trouble keeping up. I do recognize the word “Pakistan.” The second uniformed man says he’s going to call the C.O.s and the sweater-vested man is going to call the White House.

You can see the Washington Monument from his office.

Now we’re in the West Wing. Josh is trying to convince Donna to caddy for him. Donna, is he going to pay you? Because that’s totes not in your job description.

A schlumpy man in the foyer (?) is there to serve Joshua with a subpoena. Josh is predictably dickish to him. Then, without even asking, he signs the subpoena on Donna’s back. The fuck? I think it’s a moment that’s supposed to illustrate how seamless their work style is, but I’m reading this as, he’s literally using her body as an object of convenience. 1. It may not be comedy but it’s physical.

They walk away and Josh says he’s become a professional hostile witness.  Oh, you’ve been professionally hostile for a long time now, Josh. Donna wants to know if she gets to drive the cart. No. No carts. And no being paid. And he wants her to start practicing with the bags right away. 5. Seriously, Aaron, are we supposed to find Josh charming?

Josh walks in to the outer office of the Oval – the Mrs. Landingham area. She expresses sympathy about his latest subpoena and offers him a cookie. I want to give this some sort of number but I kind of find it adorable. Still, in the interest of fairness, I’m going to go with 2. Because Mrs. Landingham is being put in a primarily feminine role that has little to do with her job. (Usually two is for sexual/romantic roles being at the fore, but I think the cookies in this case serve a similar function.) Josh thinks he’s coming to see the president, but the president and Leo have gone to the Situation Room.

And now so have we! The president asks Fitzwallace what’s up, and Fitzwallace tells him that the Indian army has launched an invasion of Pakistan-held Kashmir territory. The president wants to know what “army” means – “Five guys and a Humvee?” Fitzwallace invites “Mitch,” the uniformed dude next to him, to tell the president what “army” means. He uses many words I don’t understand but the take-away is, no, not five guys and a Humvee. The president is pissed that the Indian army could have moved so many people/things without them noticing that India was preparing to do so. “All I’m trying to do right now, I’m trying to avoid making eye contact with the CIA director.” The CIA director concedes that they “dropped the ball.” “Pick it up again, would you, please?” the president replies, all restrained politeness. I’m pretty much loving Martin Sheen’s delivery in this sequence.

More words I don’t understand happen, the gist of which is, the ball is being picked up.

Credits! Moving music to remind me that this is a Very Important T.V. show!

Misogyny Points Thus Far: 3

Sam and Toby pedeconference in the outdoor-hallway-thing. Sam wants to know what the Pakistani ambassador has to say. Toby asks the legit question, “Our guy there or their guy here?” question, but I do have to note that there’s no question that it’s a guy. That’s probably accurate. But I’m in a mood so I think I’ll give it a 5. Because it’s rude to your female employees not to promote them. (Yes, I know that’s not how ambassadorship appointments work, but I don’t care.)

Turns out we don’t have one there.

Sam and Toby enter the Mrs. Landingham area as Sam notes it’s been over a year of not having an ambassador in Pakistan. Maybe that’s why they got invaded, Sam suggests. Toby infuses his “Yeah” with all the sarcasm I love him for.

Leo is explaining things to the president, Josh, Toby, and Sam. Not C.J., I’m noting. Josh is pissed about the CIA. The president informs them that the U.N. Security Council is having an emergency session to get a ceasefire. Toby seems to have little faith in the U.N. Security Council. Since I understand little about foreign relations and less about military stuff, I am focusing on grammar. Why is it CIA but U.N.? What determines whether a set of initials gets periods or not? Is this something I learned in 10th grade and forgot?

Anyway, the U.N. Security Council sucks, the CIA sucks, and a war between India and Pakistan would probably, eventually, go nuclear, which would suck.

C.J. enters. In a pink coat. Yeah, gonna give that a 2, too. Maybe I need a new number for “stereotypical femininity” but I’ll think about that later. They all turn and look at her like she caught them watching porn. Leo says she can tell the room there’s a full lid, and when she leaves, he promises to brief her in the morning.

And before you go all, “What do you have against pink?” let’s note that, obviously, in real life, a woman may or may not be wearing a pink coat at any given moment, and it would not say anything about her or her performance at her job or the perception of her performance at her job. But this is a television show, and they can control for all these details, and they do. This isn’t just the first clean coat C.J. found this morning, this is a decision made by the show runner, Aaron Sorkin, the costume designer, and possibly a bunch of other people. The decision to put her in pink at a moment when she’s very obviously not being trusted at her job – when she is the girl standing on the outside of a group of guys – was deliberate.

Zoe enters the outer office and smiles flirtatiously at Charlie. Then she totally asks him out and he is adorably awkward about it. Even I am not in a bad enough mood to give this exchange a 2.

The boys leave the Oval, and Josh tells Sam he’s been subpoenaed for the paperwork related to his non-investigation of drug use at the White House. Sam thinks he should bring a lawyer. Josh says he is a lawyer. Sam thinks he should bring a real lawyer. Teehee.

Mandy comes up behind them and asks to speak to Sam in his office. She wants to take on a “moderate-to-liberal” Republican as a client. So cute! The year 2000 – when our computers were enormously bulky and there was such a thing as a “moderate” Republican! She thinks Sam can help smooth this idea over with Josh and Toby because she feels Sam is the one of them that is more focused on getting the job done than beating the other guys. Hey, now. I think that’s way more true of Josh than it is of Toby. It’s a little true of Toby, but with Toby, it’s because of his lefty idealism. With Josh, it really is just because he wants to clobber them. Anyway, Sam says he admires her “pluck” 3 and she’d owe him one. She scoffs and he says, fine, they’ll be even. She still scoffs and he says that he’ll do this and many more favors until they are even. This was a fairly light scene in terms of 3s when it comes to Mandy, but I still have to give this last exchange a and an 8. The 8 especially because it is never explained what Mandy did for Sam that he would have this huge backlog of favors. So I’m just chalking it up to, “She’s a woman and women are irrational like that!”


Rob Lowe is crazy good-looking, btw.

C.J. is trying to send the press home but a journalist named Bruce says his source at the Pentagon told him about India. C.J., who doesn’t know about this, laughs it off. Toby, off to the side, looks guilty. As well he should.

Fitzwallace stands in front of a screen in the Sit Room, explaining things I don’t understand. Another guy reports on India’s prime minister’s speech about Pakistan’s thuggery and how they’re not going to take it. And a third guy says Pakistan basically feels the same way. They’ll get the nuclear briefings at 1500, or 3:00 pm.

Donna and Toby are pedeconferencing about Josh’s deposition. Toby also thinks Josh should bring a lawyer. He breaks from Donna and is escorted into Leo’s office by Margaret. C.J. is already there. In a pink shirt. Just saying. 2. C.J. asks if he knows what this is about. He says he does and tells her he stopped by her office. I guess he’s trying to set up that he was totes *going* to tell her. Because he’s her secret lover. ! Leo comes in and tells C.J. what’s going on. He’s very casual about it but C.J. looks crushed. She reminds him that he told her the lid was on just when this was all happening. Leo is unapologetic, even when C.J. tells him she got the question. He tells her to just tell the press she didn’t know and seems oblivious to, or at least uncaring about, the fact that the press thinking she didn’t know about is precisely the problem. Toby is not oblivious, though.

I am going to assign a 5 to this whole thing, but I also want to point out that, while the show seems to be supporting the idea that sometimes the press secretary has to not be told things and hey, bitches just shouldn’t get mad about that, it is also very much acknowledging the gendered imbalance here and the way C.J. has to swallow what is obviously a bullshit situation. So just one 5 instead of the barrage of numbers this storyline would be getting if they were not, in fact, trying to point out how fucked up it is.

A shot of city streets with the Washington Monument in the background indicates that we’re not at the White House. We are, in fact, at the deposition. Josh is being smug and unpleasant. So, you know, same old, same old. He insists his investigation was not serious and that there are no records. The guy questioning Josh asks if he told anyone he was coming to this deposition today and acts like it’s weird that Josh did. Wouldn’t he . . . have to? Because they’d ordinarily expect him to be at work? Also, isn’t it a deposition a matter of public record? Anyway, Josh is mad about this whole thing.

Two communications guys who I think we’ve seen before are giving C.J., Toby, and Sam the least helpful briefing possible, in that it contains information from a 5th grader’s report on India. C.J. is pissed and storms out.

Sam pedeconferences out of the room with Toby and brings up the Mandy thing. Toby is not pleased. They enter the Oval, where what I assume is the nuclear briefing is happening. A dude is talking about whatever systems India and Pakistan have. He says he’s getting to the truly terrible part, and Toby says, “Good. ‘Cause we were waiting for the truly terrible part.” That might be the line of the night. I also want to note that there has been this woman in the Sit Room both times and now here, wearing a truly hideous blazer, and she has yet to say a word. 11.

The people who are not senior staffers leave the room and the president says he wants to bring in an India expert. Leo asks who, the president doesn’t answer, and Leo, drawing the correct conclusion about who the president means, is not at all pleased, calling him a certifiable lunatic. He is, as you may have gathered, our titular character, Lord John Marbury, former British ambassador to India. “You’re really going to let him loose in the White House, where there’s liquor and women?” Leo asks. Ugh, Leo. 1 for women-as-objects. “We can hide the women, Leo, but the man deserves a drink,” answers the president. WTF? What on earth am I watching? How did this bit of dialogue get into a show written at the turn of the millennium? It’s something Spencer Tracy should be saying to a fuming Katherine Hepburn. 1 and and 5 and a giant Blech.

MPTF: 15

Then there is a kind of absurdly long and awkward shot of Toby and Sam leaving the Oval. I don’t usually notice things like that, but it’s pretty weird in a show that’s renowned for its on-point camerawork and pacing.

Sam still wants to talk to Toby about Mandy representing a moderate Republican. Toby is not interested. Toby wants to apologize to C.J. but Sam thinks that would be patronizing, and that not saying anything would show C.J. that Toby thinks of her as a professional. Oh, Sam. Toby ignores him. Rightly. But also because Toby isn’t (only) trying to mend their professional relationship. !

C.J. calls Carol in to her office to complain about a typo. I’m pretty sure this episode has just passed the Bechdel test. -10. Toby comes in and says, “I was warned that coming to talk to you might be insulting to your professionalism.” C.J. sarcastics, “Well, you wouldn’t want to do that.” Toby says it wasn’t ready for the press and C.J. rightly points out that they still should have told her because it undermines her credibility with the press when they know that she is not told important information. Toby says there’s a concern that she’s too friendly with the press. You know what? 2. Because they showed us in the previouslies about her asking Danny out. And they’ve showed us Danny scoffing at her reservations about dating him specifically because of their jobs, AND Josh gave Danny advice on how to get with C.J., EVEN THOUGH JOSH IS APPARENTLY CONCERNED ABOUT C.J. BEING TOO FRIENDLY WITH THE PRESS. Let’s give this another 2. What the hell, one more. 2. That’s one for the previouslies, one for Danny scoffing righteously, and another for the Josh thing. Blergh!

C.J. is pissed. “You sent me in there uninformed so that I would lie to the press.” Toby corrects her. “We sent you in there uninformed because we thought there was a chance you couldn’t.” BLERGH! I don’t have enough numbers. 11. And 7. And 5. And another 2 for implying that her flirtation with Danny would interfere with her ability to do her job.

MPTF: 21

C.J. is silent for a long, and really well-done moment, and she pretty much dismisses Toby.

Toby runs into Josh and advises Josh to take Sam with him the next time. Josh wants to know if C.J. is pissed and Toby confirms that she is. I’m giving this an 8. Of course she’s pissed, Josh. You guys don’t trust her to do her job.

Charlie announces to the president that the Chinese ambassador will be in the Mural Room in a few moments. Then Charlie asks the president if he can go out with his daughter. The president does not want to talk about it. I know that it might be considered incredibly sexist to ask a girl’s father if you can date her, but he’s also asking his boss if he can date his daughter, so I’m giving it a pass. Charlie leaves and the president mutters to Leo, “He wants to date my daughter.” Leo says nothing, but says it loudly. The president tells him to shut up. It’s kind of cute, even if I do hate the trope of fathers not wanting their daughters to date.

On further thought, I do in fact have to give this a 2 for that very dynamic.

The president and Leo enter the Mural Room and greet the Chinese ambassador. The president says they’ve got to work out a ceasefire and a pullback. The Chinese ambassador is like, yeah, totes, except we’re not letting India get away with this. The president and Leo make “Oh, shit” faces.

Monument. White House. Sam and Toby section. Mandy asks Sam if he talked to Toby and Sam is like, yeah, there’s no way. Josh comes to get Sam and Mandy asks Sam to talk to Josh. Josh is similarly not having this shit.

A Hey! It’s That Guy! is greeted by Leo and the president as Mr. Ambassador. They’re not in the Mural Room. It might be Leo’s outer office. This guy is the Pakistani ambassador. He’s got the coolest accent. Also, he’s pissed. He wanted the president to condemn India’s action more strongly. Other things are said that I’m not sure I’m totally following. I know that the president wants there to be peace, and this dude ain’t trying hear that.

The ambassador and his people leave, and the president tells Charlie he’ll take the Indian ambassador in the Oval Office. Is this seriously how foreign relations are conducted? The president going from room to room, exchanging a few unhelpful words with various diplomats? Charlie Yes, sirs at the president, and then the president says, “Then, if you could, ask the Secret Service to step in and kill me, please.” I know it’s kind of trite, but I love it when Jed complains about his job. Also, Martin Sheen continues to kill it.

The president complains again to Leo about his daughter asking Charlie out, and accuses Leo of “trying to cover up the fact that you’re enjoying this.” Leo says, “I’m not trying to cover it up at all.” Again, I hate the trope, but I love these actors and this banter is kind of fun. I gave it a number before; I’m going to leave it alone now. Leo asks if this is a racial thing and the president is offended. He claims he’s Spencer Tracy at the end of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. You all appear to be Spencer Tracy in this episode, Jed.

The Indian ambassador comes in. My first response is that he’s another Hey! It’s That Guy! and then I realize he is, in fact, Principal Figgins of “Glee”! “Kee-dollar-sign-ha!” Hi, Principal Figgins!

Anyway, the president tells the ambassador he’s a little pissed about them trying to invade Kashmir.

Then we’re with Josh and Sam at the deposition. There continue to be no records of Josh’s non-investigation. The guy doing the questioning brings it around to Leo, and Josh refuses to answer. Sam backs him up. The guy brings out a document about Leo that Josh insists was obtained illegally. Sam gets them out of there, saying they’re postponing the deposition. The guy insults Leo and Josh almost punches him. Sam stops him but calls the guy a cheap hack and threatens to “bust you like a piñata.” Okay, Sam. That is convincing. You are very tough and scary.

The Indian ambassador is kind of taunting the president, saying that India can’t be controlled by economic sanctions anymore. The president says India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons and “a tendency to get cranky.” Whoa, talk about patronizing. The Indian guy is basically, “We are determined to remain POST-colonial.” Then he leaves.

Seriously, two sentences with each ambassador, full of posturing and bullshit, and then that’s it. For real now, is this the way we conduct foreign relations?

The president tells Leo that he feels like telling the Indian prime minister that America is also a former colony of Britain that “threw off its colonial masters”. Yeah, dude. Totes the same circumstances.

Charlie announces Lord John Marbury, another Hey! It’s That Guy! But not the guy who was in Showgirls and played Charlotte’s first husband on Sex and the City, like I always think he is. Lord John Marbury is soused, as we had been prepared to expect, and doesn’t remember who Leo is, despite having met him several times. This seems to be sticking in Leo’s craw. Lord Marbury calls Leo the butler and asks for a light, then gets shirty when Leo tells him he can’t smoke.

Lord Marbury promises that if he can help, he will. The president says “the world is coming apart at the seams,” and Lord Marbury says, “Well, then. Thank God you sent for me.” Leo and I fail to find this charming.

We switch to C.J.’s office, where she is for some reason sitting on the wrong side of her desk (with her back to the door), explaining to someone on the phone who Lord John Marbury is. She is no longer wearing pink, btw. She says it all sounds like a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. A) True, b) Sorkin loves him some Gilbert and Sullivan, and c) personal anecdote blathering time! When my dad and I went to London back in 2003, with the purpose of being either in a theater or an art museum at any given moment (a purpose we fulfilled with vigor), one of the shows we saw was H.M.S. Pinafore, which we chose because neither of us had ever seen a Gilbert and Sullivan musical. We enjoyed it thoroughly. I especially enjoyed the chorus guys in sailor suits. I keep trying to get Jason to bring a sailor suit home with him from work, but apparently stealing a uniform is, like, a federal offense, and they might hang him.

So Carol comes by with Toby. C.J. is not particularly thrilled to see him. Toby wants to apologize without apologizing, but C.J. says, “Either I’m a trusted member of the communications staff or I’m not. Which is it?” You go, girl. Hold him to the sticking plate. (What in the hell is a sticking plate?) C.J. crosses her arms and waits for the actual apology and Toby does, badly. C.J. asks whose idea it was to leave her out and Toby confesses that it was his.

Josh comes back and is greeted by a sympathetic Donna, who takes his coat. Then Josh ushers Toby and C.J. into his office and closes the door. I forgot until this moment that they hadn’t been informed yet what documents Lillienfield has that could get Leo into trouble.

Hey, is this supposed to be some sort of, “See? There’s stuff we don’t tell Toby, too! It’s not just ’cause you’re a girl!” moment? Because if so, :-P and also nope.

A weird shot of one of those TVs that hangs from a ceiling of war footage, and then Sam sighing heavily, although whether it’s about the war or about Leo is unclear. Mandy stops by and asks Sam if he talked to Josh. Sam isn’t trying to hear her, because of the Leo stuff. “You’re a political consultant,” he tells her. “You’re job isn’t to stop the fight; it’s to win it.” I’m pretty sure this should get a 7, even though the screw-up hasn’t actually been made yet.

Josh comes by and calls Sam away.

Leo tells Lord Marbury that whatever Lord Marbury says is ridiculous. Lord Marbury patronizes at Leo some more, and patronizes the U.S., and also patronizes India and Pakistan. “It is about religion,” he claims and also, “They do not share your fear of the bomb.” If I were dealing with race/ethnicity/nationality, this would get numbers. But I’m not.

Lord Marbury gets a telegram and goes somewhere else to answer it. I am reminded of a joke about prestige, but I fear that to tell it here would strain your patience. If you want to hear it, message me or ask in the comments. While he’s gone, the president informs Leo that Lord Marbury will be staying a while. Leo complains that Lord Marbury thinks Leo is the butler. “For the first few weeks, so did I,” says the president. Rude, Mr. President. Rude enough to get a -5, as it’s a man being rude to his male subordinate.

Margaret comes in and whispers in Leo’s ear, and Leo excuses himself. Turns out Toby, Sam, C.J., and Josh Anyway, Josh is basically warning Leo that this is all about to become public, like, now, and also vows his ongoing loyalty.

The president and Charlie are chatting. The president is trying to think of a quote from Revelations about horses. Charlie doesn’t know it. The president assures Charlie that his hesitation about Charlie and Zoe dating is not because Charlie is black. But Charlie already understood that it was just about Charlie being a male human being. The president gives his blessing to the relationship, which is nice, but still 2, but not another 2, just the same old 2 as above. The president also warns him that, although he’s fine with Charlie being black and dating Zoe, other people will not be. “You know what to do with the mail, right?” he says. “Yes, sir,” says Charlie. But I don’t! Mr. President, what should he do with the mail?!

The president asks Charlie to look for that Revelations quote and sends him off. The senior staff enter from Leo’s office and Leo tells the president what all is going on with him and drugs and the shit that’s about to hit the fan. (I never think about that expression without thinking about 10 Things I Hate About You, by the way, and adding Shakespearean “-eth”s to the ends of the words.) The president also pledges his loyalty to Leo. Lord Marbury enters and reports that a two-week ceasefire has been worked out at the U.N. Which is not a lot, but it’s two weeks more than zero. The president asks Lord Marbury to stick around, and he agrees to stay as long as they need him. Then Lord Marbury pontificates to the room about the backwards, medieval, psychotic attitudes towards religion that these stupid brown people have half a world away. The music swells so I guess I’m supposed to think this is intelligent or inspiring. Lord Marbury also already knows the Revelations quote, about horses and death and the end of the world. He says he thinks they can stop this war but he’s going to need a light (for his cigarette) and the president smiles.

I’m going to be straight with you all. A) I don’t know enough about anything to know why what Lord Marbury says about India and Pakistan is so offensive and wrong. I only know it makes my skin crawl. B) The first time I watched this episode, I went to sleep immediately afterward, and I woke up in a dead panic. India and Pakistan were on the brink of nuclear war! It took me a little while to remember that this was fiction.

Total Misogyny Points: 23

Misogyny & Aaron Sorkin – “The West Wing,” 1.10, “In Excelsis Deo”

There are many things I should be doing right now (like going to bed) but I am choosing this instead.

To remind you, I am using these posts to a) recap a much-beloved (by me and in general) TV show, and b) point out the misogyny in it. Because I like to combine my two favorite activities – watching TV I love, and hate-watching! Here’s what we’re looking for:

  1. Physical comedy is used to undercut a female character’s competence.
  2. A female character’s sexual appeal or sexual/romantic relationship with a male character is primary.
  3. A female character displays “feistiness”. “Feistiness” is a frequent shorthand in liberal misogyny for “See? She’s strong and independent and we find that adorable! What’s the problem?”
  4. Femininity or feminine concerns are disparaged, by male or female characters.
  5. Any character is rude to his/her female subordinate with no consequences.
  6. A male character is lauded and glorified in an unlikely way by a female character or characters.
  7. A female character screws up at her job.
  8. Anger (or other emotions/behaviors) coming from a female character is unreasonable or mysterious, either to the audience or to another character.
  9. A female character plays the Exposition Fairy. Note: Having Exposition Fairies is not in and of itself a problem. It’s necessary in most fiction. But in The West Wing, the Fairy is almost always a female character, and is almost always asking a male character for explanation, and would almost always certainly know the information she’s asking for, so that the fact that she’s asking indicates that she’s not that good at her job.
  10. An episode goes by that does not pass the Bechdel test.
  11. Lip service is paid to female power or agency or simply the existence of females in this world without, oh, say, actually casting one or giving one something cool to do.
  12. A male character or characters act(s) as white knight to a female character or characters.
  13. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! – A display of homophobia


!. When we see evidence that Toby & C.J. are doin’ it. Not misogynist, just entertaining to me personally.

Previously, on “The West Wing,” Danny brought C.J. a goldfish; Sam tried to save his escort friend from her degrading lifestyle; and Leo revealed to Josh, after a Congressman named Lillienfield started talking about drugs at the White House, that not only is he addicted to alcohol, he has also gone through addiction to prescription medication.

It’s Thursday, December 23 at 7:30 am. Oh, shit, it’s the Christmas episode. You guys, I have to warn you, I have . . . allergies, okay? Hay fever.

Anyway, we’re in the foyer and there’s Christmas decorations and Mandy is telling C.J. something to do with Christmas media event plans. Dickensian costumes and Santa hats. Yeah, I’m agreeing with C.J. that they will, in fact, clash. But already we passed the Bechdel test! Go episode! -10!

And then Toby grouses about why he has to be there because caring about Christmas stuff is for girls. 4. 

Sam seems significantly less cranky about Christmas planning than Toby. Then Sam and Toby get into a stupid fight about the year 2000 not being the actual start of the new millennium. I didn’t care in 1999 and I’m certainly not going to care now. Toby is adorably grumpy, though.

As they are pede-arguing, one of the assistants – Bonnie, I think? – stops Toby because she’s got the D.C. police on the line. Shit. It is this episode. I have a dust in my eyes, people! Dust!

Toby peels off and Sam tries to get C.J. to care about when the millennium starts. She does a decent job of seeming like she cares, until she informs a Secret Service agent that she’s on her way to the Oval Office and the Secret Service agents says into his wrist-thingie, “Flamingo is on her way.” I’m giving a 1 to this Flamingo-as-C.J.’s-code-name thing. It’s not exactly slapstick but it’s using her body for comedy.


Misogyny Points Thus Far: 1 

Park. Park bench. Dude sleeping on park bench. Toby approaches a total “Hey, it’s that Guy!” I know he was the dude in “Fringe,” the, like, head of their department or something? And other stuff but I don’t remember what right now. Anyway, he is the D.C. police guy, and he reveals that it was not a dude sleeping on a park bench. It was a dude dead on a park bench. A dude by the name of Walter Hufnagle. Because Aaron Sorkin loves his names. Toby doesn’t know the guy, but apparently he had Toby’s business card in his jacket pocket. Because Toby gave a coat to Goodwill and the coat had his business card in it.

Toby is sort of horrified that the dead body is still there, and is also disgusted that the guy, despite being a veteran (as evidenced by a tattoo on his forearm), isn’t receiving a whole lot of respect.

We’re back at the White House, in Josh’s section, where Donna has greeted Josh. Donna has apparently prepared a list of things she’d like Josh to buy her, all ski-related, despite the fact that she doesn’t ski. Because girls, right? 8. Then Josh tells Donna he has to meet with Leo to talk about Donna’s Christmas present and Donna goes, “Really?”, all hopeful, like she believes him. 8. Then he promises Donna to think about the skis and, as soon as her back is turned, he throws her list in the trash. 5.

Leo is at Margaret’s desk, signing Christmas cards with Margaret and being irritable with her 5 despite the fact that Margaret is no happier about this activity than he is. Leo sends Margaret out of the room so that he and Josh can talk about Lillienfield having the information about Leo and his pill addiction. Josh speculates that Lillienfield is going to wait until after Christmas, when people are paying attention, to drop the other shoe. So he wants to go on a preemptive strike – using Sam’s escort friend. Ugh, Josh. Just ugh. Let’s give this a 2 and see if there are any other numbers we can use as this plot line progresses.

Leo is against this plan, because “we don’t do these things”. Good for you, Leo.

Josh is about to leave when Leo fills him in on a recent hate crime against a gay teen. I’m assuming this is the fictional version of Matthew Shephard. Although Matthew Shephard’s assailants were not thirteen years old, as these fictional assailants are. So, Leo tells Josh, they are going to have to talk about hate crimes legislation, and C.J. is going to send up a “test balloon” at her briefing to get a feel for where the public is on this.

Josh goes and Leo bitches at Margaret some more. 5.

C.J. is giving the press the president’s holiday schedule, with a cute line about how he’s leaving at 5 a.m., no delays, so that means probably noon. One of the journalists brings up not-Matthew Shephard – whose name is Lowell Lydell – and C.J. confirms his condition and, in response to a question about whether this will bring up hate crimes legislation, C.J. says she supposes it would have been better to bring it up before Lowell Lydell was assaulted.

Toby is on the phone trying to get information about Walter Hufnagle. It’s not going well. Mandy is knocking on his door. Toby tries to explain what’s going on and Mandy doesn’t care because she’s soulless. 8? Apparently she wants to talk about the Dickensian costumes/Santa hats issue. Toby mocks her. 4 & 5. Not because he’s wrong, but because what function does this exchange serve other than to illustrate that Man Toby is dealing with Sensitive, Important Things like Homeless Vets whereas Stupid Girl Mandy is dealing with Stupid Girl Stuff. Toby goes back to his phone call.

MPTF: 10

Josh is walking and Donna joins him for a pedeconference. Only they actually stop walking because Donna does not, as Josh assumes, want to talk about her Christmas list, but instead wants to know what’s going on with Leo. Josh closes the door to his office and gets a little pissy that Donna was talking to Margaret about this but Donna does not feel bad and Josh doesn’t really look that surprised or angry. Donna is disappointed that Josh isn’t doing anything about it. Josh feels bad about that. It’s the first exchange EVER between Donna and Josh that hasn’t set off my Misogyny Meter.

C.J. is leading a group of kids into the foyer with all the Christmas stuff and instructing them on how to talk to the president. The president enters and the kids, as instructed, give a hale and hearty, “Good Morning, Mr. President!” The president makes dad jokes at them and it’s adorable. C.J. smiles and is also adorable. But then Charlie gestures and C.J. escorts him away so that Charlie can inform them that Lowell Lydell has died of his injuries. Everyone is sad. Then the president has to go back and make some more dad jokes at the kids.

In a hallway, C.J. is walking when Sam joins her. He feels she didn’t so much send up a test balloon as a test firework. She doesn’t see why that’s bad, and Sam says they’re not sure where they stand on this. C.J. knows exactly where she stands on people throwing rocks at the heads of gay teenagers. Sam tells her to pull back anyway.

C.J. wants to know what Sam’s new Secret Service nickname is. It’s “Princeton.” C.J.’s is, as you may recall, “Flamingo.” Yeah, I’m keeping the going for this. Sam is trying to extricate himself from this conversation because 8 and they peel away from each other.

MPTF: 12

Another assistant – who is actually maybe Bonnie and the other one from before is Nancy? – asks Sam how he’s doing. Sam claims he is 27 hours from Bermuda and therefore doing fine. I, having watched TV before, am going to bet a whole lot of money that he will not, in fact, be in Bermuda in 27 hours.

Josh approaches Sam and follows him into his office. Josh wants Sam to introduce him to Laurie, his escort friend, so that he can get information from her. Sam initially protests, but then Josh reveals the thing about the pills and that it happened while Leo was Secretary of Labor. Josh reminds Sam that they “owe Leo everything,” and Sam agrees to call her and go see her with them.

In the office that’s right outside the Oval Office, Mrs. Landingham reminds Charlie to remind the president that the president is allergic to eggnog. Charlie agrees, and comments on how festive the White House looks. Mrs. Landingham looks disinterested, which is, of course, why Charlie brought this up. He notes that she seems a little down this week.

You guys. Allergies. Mrs. Landingham reveals that her twin sons chose not to defer when they were drafted for Vietnam, instead joining as medics (as they were in medical school at the time). Then they were killed in battle on Christmas Eve. “It’s hard when that happens so far away, you know, because, with the noises and the shooting, they must have been so scared. It’s hard not to think that, right then, they needed their mother.” ALLERGIES, YOU GUYS. IT IS SO DUSTY IN HERE. I cannot praise Kathryn Joosten (Mrs. Landingham) enough for her work in this scene. She’s so matter-of-fact, so plainspoken in her description. It’s spare and quiet and I’m going to be crying all night now.

Toby is at a memorial – I think the Vietnam one? But then it must be the Korea one because that was where Walter Hufnagle fought? There is a Korean War memorial, right? Toby talks to a vendor about Walter to get more information. The vendor tells Toby that Walter had a community that hangs out at “Capital and P”. Toby asks if the vendor is a veteran and, when he says yes, Toby introduces himself and shakes his hand. God, his puppy eyes in this storyline break my heart.

Mandy is in the Oval Office yelling at the president for not letting her send a couple of (press) guys to photograph him shopping at a rare books store. 3 for her general demeanor and 4 and for the president’s dismissiveness towards her for trying to do her job. Josh comes in and the president asks him to come along. Josh is astounded that the president manages to sneak out for excursions like this every once in a while. The president asks Josh if he knows about the underground tunnels out of the White House. Josh does. The president says he hasn’t found them, even though he looks almost every day. Hee. Josh for some reason is hesitant to go because these people I guess don’t want to write books or have any fun. I’ll go with you to a rare books store, Mr. President. Josh asks if he can be dropped off the Washington Monument instead. The president gets in the line of the night when he says, “It’s Christmas, Josh! No reason we can’t do both!”

C.J. is pulled into a pedeconference by Danny, who knows all about the president’s secret excursions, because of course he does. He’s like the opposite of 9 in that he’s a male character who should actually be kept in the dark about many things but of course knows them anyway. So any time he does that I think I’m going to give it a reverse 9. It’s my system and I can do what I want, that’s why.

MPTF: 16

Anyway, Danny didn’t want to talk to C.J. about work, of course. He wants to talk to C.J. about the list he put together on why they should date. C.J. tells him to give her a few hours to put a list together of why they shouldn’t and complains again about the code name “Flamingo” 1. Danny goes and Sam comes up and C.J. asks what Sam and Josh have going on tonight. Sam assumes she knows about their plans with Laurie but in fact C.J. was inviting them over for dinner. This is stupid. Why wouldn’t she ask Josh separately if that were the case? I mean, why would she assume that Sam would know what Josh’s plans were for dinner? And now, because Sam is acting suspicious, C.J. knows something is, in fact, up. Sam is not super-quick. But Sam insists that it’s nothing, again, and the scene ends.

At the rare book store. The president is very excited about a book he’s found and Leo is not really entertained. Mandy complains to Josh that they couldn’t bring some press, and Josh complains about how boring the selections here are, while describing what sounds to me like a perfectly interesting book.

The president wants Leo to come up to Manchester with him for Christmas, but Leo wants to stay back and work. Then Leo tells the president that after the holidays, they’ll have to deal with his Lillienfield situation, but the president ain’t tryin’ to hear that. Charlie ushers the president out while very politely making fun of the president’s gift of choice for Zoe. Leo reminds Josh not to talk to Sam’s escort friend and they go.

Toby walks down to Capital & 9, where bunch of homeless guys are in line for soup. One of the homeless guys points out Walter Hufnagle’s brother and tells Toby he’s a little slow.

Toby finds the brother under a bridge or overpass or something, where George Hufnagle identifies himself. Toby tells him his brother is dead and George Hufnagle reacts like a slow, sad man in a Frank Capra film. Toby very awkwardly tries to explain what he’s doing while George Hufnagle focuses on the northeasterly winds off the Chesapeake and does not understand at all what it means that his brother was a veteran who got a purple heart. (Purple Heart?) George also reveals that he slept at the shelter to avoid the winds but there weren’t enough beds for Walter.

Toby decides to tell George that Walter deserves a proper funeral and very uncomfortably tells George he is very influential and wants to make sure Walter gets that funeral. One of the other guys – the guy who pointed George out to Toby – assures Toby he’ll make sure George is there to be picked up for the funeral the next day and then refuses to take Toby’s money.

We’re in C.J.’s office with Danny and C.J. is reading her list. Danny, it turns out, only made a mental list. Danny gives C.J. fish food as a Christmas present and tells C.J. that he’s going to ignore her list because he thinks it’s ridiculous (his words!) and because he has a crush on her. Blergh. Argh. Danny, it’s not even remotely within the vicinity of “ridiculous” that the press secretary doesn’t think she should date a White House reporter. 4. And calling her “ridiculous” is rude. 8. Also, you have a crush on her and that’s supposed to make your total disrespect for her professional and personal boundaries okay? 12 and STFU! (I’m using 12 for now but I may need another number for Nice Guy phenomena. We’ll see.)

Leo comes in to C.J.’s office (wouldn’t she normally be called in to his) to tell her to dial down the hate crimes talk. He doesn’t know what side they’re on when it comes to hate crimes. C.J. continues to know what side she’s on. Leo understands her argument – that this was a crime of entertainment, fueled by pathological homophobia – but isn’t sure we should legislate how people think.

You guys, when I first saw this episode, I thought this was a valid argument on both sides. Now I know it’s kindergarten stuff. The issue with hate crime legislation is not “legislating how people think,” it’s about whose jurisdiction the crime is in, since a community with citizens that hold virulent enough homophobia (or racism, or sexism, or anti-Semitism, or what have you) may also have police, judges, lawyers, and jury members that hold virulent homophobia and therefore they may not be able to be trusted to investigate and prosecute the case fairly. And it annoys me when this show, with all its pretensions of high-minded debate and intellectual rigor, goes this immature on important and substantial issues.

But this is not about misogyny. Although now two men who are higher on the totem pole than C.J. have told her to sit down, shut up, and keep her opinions to herself. So maybe I think it’s time for an 8.

MPTF: 21

C.J. is also dismayed that Leo has no plans for Christmas and offers to come cook him something. What? And Leo is dismissive of this. 4.

Oh, good, the boys are at Laurie’s place. She looks suspicious. As well she should be. Sam explains the situation condescendingly and Laurie, who gets more than he thought she would, is fucking pissed, as well she should be. Then Josh gets really rude and threatening and Sam tries to defend him and then Josh tries to pretend he didn’t mean to be rude. Then he actually does apologize and Laurie tells him they’re the good guys and they should act like it.

I don’t even have enough numbers to throw at this scene. A 6 for her calling them the good guys. A 2 for the entire plan and maybe an 8 for how Josh talked to her and a 4 for Sam being surprised that she understood what was going on and an extra for when Josh said he didn’t want to take civics lessons from a hooker. Good God, y’all, that was bad.

C.J. is arguing with Leo some more about hate crimes legislation and it continues to be the junior high debate team version of this issue. Then Sam and Josh come in and Leo sends C.J. out and then hollers at the boys for going to Laurie. Which is great but I’m also giving this a 7 because this should be two guys who screwed up at their jobs by doing something boneheaded and stupid and mean and awful that their boss told them not to do. But of course, they are valiant, noble guys who were only doing it to protect Leo. Josh says they meant well. Leo asks, “Is that supposed to mean something to me?” Josh says, “No,” but then Leo says, “It does.” They proved their loyalty. A screw-up but for a good reason.

Sam leaves but Josh stays to talk more to Leo about how miserable this is all going to be. But Leo knows. And Josh will be working through Christmas.

C.J. says Merry Christmas to the press corps then pulls Danny over. She is looking for him to agree with her on hate crimes, in exchange for which she will go on a date with him. Ugh. 2. He does not agree, even more vehemently than Leo didn’t agree. For some reason, C.J. wants to go on a date with him anyway. 2 again. And then she fixates on the Flamingo thing again and glares at him. Women who have interest in men in Aaron Sorkin scripts behave in the oddest ways towards them. 1. For the Flamingo thing.

Josh is right outside C.J.’s office and asks how Danny is doing. Danny doesn’t know. Because women, they are so confusing. 8. Donna opens her present from Josh, which is a rare book about skiing. He tells Donna he wrote a note inside. He wrote on the inside cover of a rare book?! The fuck, Josh?!

Anyway, Donna starts to read the note and she gets weepy because it’s sweet, even as Josh tells her not to get weepy. 4. “You see? You spend most of your time being, you know, you, 3 and then you right something like this to me.” And she goes in for a big hug and then says, “Skis would have killed you?” 8.

MPTF: 35

The president comes in to some room where there are Christmas decorations and a choir and people clapping.

Mrs. Landingham wishes Toby a good morning and says the president would like to see him. She asks if he used the president’s name to arrange a funeral with a homeless veteran. Yes, in fact, he did. Mrs. Landingham tells him he shouldn’t have done that but I think the looks that pass between them indicate that she’s really glad he did.

As they listen to the choir sing “Little Drummer Boy” (which, incidentally, is Zoe’s favorite Christmas carol. I myself prefer Bruce Springsteen Christmas – although I am also fond of my sister’s fiancé making fun of Bruce Springsteen Christmas – but of the traditional carols, “Little Drummer Boy” is my favorite, too.), Mandy continues to natter on about the rare book shopping excursion and the PR opportunity the president is forcing her to miss and he’s telling her to can it. A 3 and a 5, I should think.

Then the president brings Toby into the Oval. He kind of gives Toby a little shit for arranging things in the president’s name but he’s obviously not really angry. Toby explains what happened. The president says, “You don’t think if we pull strings like this every homeless veteran will come out of the woodwork?”

“I can only hope, sir,” Toby replies, quietly. I swoon a little.

Mandy comes in to tell the president his absence in the other room is conspicuous. They leave the office, and Mrs. Landingham, already in her winter gear, asks Toby if she might come along. You guys. THERE IS DUST. So much dust.

So now we cut between scenes of the military funeral, and the choir of children singing “Little Drummer Boy,” and also the rest of the senior staff gathering, lined up in profile like a Norman Rockwell painting, listening to the choir. I give it up. It’s not dust or allergies. I’m openly sobbing in front of my computer at midnight. Heartstrings? Effectively pulled.

Total Misogyny Points: 37. A pretty heavily misogynistic episode. But also a great one for Richard Schiff and Kathryn Joosten.


Oscars 2015!

Kate: It’s here it’s here it’s here!!!

Erica: Tonight, we will be joined for a few looks by my resident fashion expert, Zoe. She drew some pictures of outfits, and of the hairstyles and jewelry she thinks they ought to have worn. I will present them below, but first, since we’re not including them in the official look, here are her drawings of Kelly Osbourne’s dress:

oscars 2015 zoe kelly osbourne

Zoe: The back of her dress could use a little cut. It could just take away one frill. The shoes should be a high heel.

Erica: But they are a high heel.

Zoe. I mean like a total high heel. And less black.


Erica: – and Giuliana Rancic’s:

oscars 2015 zoe giuliana rancic

Zoe: I feel sort of weird that her body shows. I think it needs to be a little more covered up. It could be a little trimmed — a tiny bit, but not too much. Her hair should be in a bun-braid. The earrings should be a little fancier and longer.

Erica: And also Jason has a comment or two to make.

Kate: Ian does too, when he’s not having an aneurysm while watching Illinois basketball. My favorite Oscars ever is still the one Billy Crystal hosted when Titanic was nominated 30000 times.

Erica: Was that the same one that had Matt Damon and Ben Affleck nominated for Good Will Hunting and he sang, “Matt and Ben/You are so young” to the tune of Cole Porter’s “Night and Day”? Because that was my favorite, too.

Kate: I believe so.

Erica: Also, one quick question for the evening: Am I the only person in the whole wide universe who sees Bradley Cooper and goes, “Fine”? “Fine” as in, “I mean he’s nice looking and all, but does absolutely nothing for me,” not as in, “Fiiiiiine.”

Kate: Stop it, he’s sexy. And awayyyyyyyyyyy we GO!


America Ferrera

oscars 2015 america ferrera

Zoe: I think that wherever it needed to be sewed or patched, there should be a gemstone line, silver, like the middle of her dress.

oscars 2015 zoe america ferrara

Erica: I think the dress is really, really lovely. I am impressed.

Kate: Really? I don’t like it at all. I’m not completely sure why, but I don’t. Her hair looks like Katharine McPhee’s at the Grammys, a.k.a. half up and bad.


Anna Faris

oscars 2015 anna faris

Kate: Oh this is just so sparkly and pretty. She looks like a twinkly glass of champagne and stardust.

Erica: Yeah? I mean, I think she looks nice enough but I’m not enamored.

Kate: I don’t like her hair that much, but the dress is so freaking adorable I almost don’t care. (Almost.)

Erica: I like her a lot, but I feel like her hair always looks a little meh.


Anna Kendrick

oscars 2015 anna kendrick

Erica: Damn, she looks good.

Kate: GORGEOUS! Omg I love this. It’s kind of Ancient Grecian/Egyptian? Love!

Erica: I think it’s more modern than anything else, but it is really flattering on her.

Zoe: I think there should be an opal-studded belt at the middle and a silver necklace with an opal at the end, with a gold frame around it. I think there should be another opal at the top of the neck triangle.

oscars 2015 zoe anna kendrick

Kate: Too much opal, Zoe, and you know how I feel about belts. In some pictures the dress looks pink/coral, in others it looks more red/orange, and the red/orange looks better. The hair is a little more structured than I like hers to be, but she probably had to do that because of the neckline of that fabulous dress. Best dressed nominee?

Erica: I’m not actually as enamored of this. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with it (except that the color looks weird with the red carpet). It looks flawless on her. I just…I don’t know. I don’t love it.

Kate: Giuliana Rancic and Khloe Kardashian were discussing this dress on the pre-show and Khloe said it’s not an “Oscar color” and it looks like she’s “going to a dance”. DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON WHAT YOU WEAR YOU EFFING HORRENDOUS DECREPIT PIECE OF GARBAGE! I’m back on my I-want-to-kill-a-Kardashian rant.

Erica: Oh, I am fast-forwarding but I thought I heard someone say that. It sounded to me like someone looking for something negative to say.

Kate: Well I’ve got lots of negative things to say about the person who said it!


Cate Blanchett

oscars 2015 cate blanchett

Kate: Not my favorite from Ms. Blanchett, but she might be close to if not already in that “I don’t give a f*ck” category with Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep.

Erica: I kind of love the statement necklace.

Kate: The boring dress would look a lot worse without the statement necklace, but I think the necklace itself is more I’m-going-to-brunch than I’m-going-to-the-Oscars, so I’m conflicted about it. Don’t like the hair and makeup.

Erica: I think her lip gloss is flawless and I think, once you put the necklace with the dress, you’ve got Oscars.


Dakota Johnson

oscars 2015 dakota johnson

Kate: Remember Er, she didn’t write 50 Shades, and she is not actually Anastasia Steele. She just chose to be in the movie. Let’s leave that aside and be objective in our judgment of her outfit.

Erica: I can put that all aside (although, if she wanted me to put aside her 50 Shades connections, maybe she shouldn’t have worn a silver rope on her dress). I still feel like, meh.

Kate: I think this is a little too night-out-on-the-town and slinky for the Oscars. Also, that ponytail? That’s what my hair looks like when I’m in my apartment and I know no one else will see it (minus the bangs, thank God I got rid of those).

Erica: Yeah, I’m not super-excited about the hair or anything to do with the outfit.

Kate: I am overall a little bored by her, I just don’t think she’s that pretty or interesting. But her mom is Melanie Griffith, apparently?

Erica: Yeah, I know that. Her and Don Johnson. She actually looks a lot like Melanie Griffith.


Emma Stone

oscars 2015 emma stone

Erica: Oh, man.

Kate: Hate it.

Erica: I don’t hate the hair but I hate the dress A LOT. She continues to be a charming and pleasant person, though.

Kate: Hate the hair, hate the color, hate the silhouette, very upset about the downhill-ness of her red carpet looks from year to year.


Felicity Jones

oscars 2015 felicity jones

Kate: Hmmm…I don’t think I love this as much as her Globes and SAGs dresses.

Ian: She’s wearing the wedding cake from Seinfeld.

Erica: So, it’s interesting. And, like I said in our Grammys coverage, I’m into not boring lately. But…I don’t know. I don’t like it. But it is interesting.

Kate: Let’s see. I like the color on her. I think it’s a beautiful and dramatic gown that looks expertly made — very Alexander McQueen — but something about the overall look is just not doing it for me. I’m sad about having that feeling because I love her.

Erica: You know what, maybe I do like it. The more I see it, the more I think, you know, it’s glamorous and well-made and a little cutting-edge and I am looking forward to her red carpet future.


Gwyneth Paltrow

oscars 2015 gwyneth paltrow

Kate: Ewwww!

Erica: Heehee.

Kate: That was my exact reaction upon seeing the first picture of this dress: EW. You can do better, Gwyneth!

Erica: My first reaction was, Heehee!

Kate: That shade of pink looks nice against her skin and hair but it’s so yay-we’re-having-a-girl, I can’t stand it on the Oscars red carpet. And that SLEEVE? No.
Erica: I do not like it but I am massively entertained by it. She’s looking kind of orange, no?

Kate: Orange and wearing ice blue eye shadow. I canNOT with you right now, Gwyneth.


Jennifer Aniston

oscars 2015 jennifer aniston

Kate: Well this just knocks it out of the park now doesn’t it?

Erica: Very sexy.

Kate: I love it. I don’t love it enough to give her a best dressed nomination because I wish she had done something else with her hair, but I love it.

Erica: I feel like it’s a little too boring for best dressed, but I like her hair. It’s her, you know?

Kate: It must be tough to show up after getting a nomination snub. #TeamJen forever. Why is the world so out to get her?!


Jennifer Lopez

oscars 2015 jennifer lopez

Kate: Holy cow. Now that’s an Oscars dress!

Erica: For real.

Kate: I sort of wish one of the nominees had worn this — maybe Felicity Jones, or someone with flat boobs — but it looks great on J. Lo. I really like her high bouncy pony. Makeup is a little too neon.

Zoe: That’s a winner for the night, don’t you think?

Kate: I like it a lot, Zo!

Erica: Me, too. And you know, I like that she usually looks like a sex goddess, and this is more princessy (albeit with a lot of cleavage), but it also looks amazing on her. And it’s my kind of dress, you know? I like Elie Saab. Although Emma Stone is in Elie Saab, too, and I hate that.


Jessica Chastain

oscars 2015 jessica chastain

Kate: Ooooh I like. I think?

Erica: I love. I really really really love. She looks fantastic. I already love that color, and I thought I loved it best on blondes but it looks damn good with her red hair.

Kate: It’s very sexy and flattering, and yes the blue looks great on her. Very Christina Hendricks. But the hair and makeup may be a bit too casual/plain, and I do not think she needs the necklace.

Erica: No way, no way, no way. This is in the top five for me.


Julianne Moore

oscars 2015 julianne moore

Kate: There’s something about that curved strapless silhouette that is very flattering. I just wish it only had the embellishment on top and bottom and not near the hips; the one near the hips breaks up the dress in a weird way.

Erica: Oh, I think the embellishment at the hips is very flattering and glam.

Kate: I am not so into this color on her, but the sleek low bun with the deep side part might make up for that. Yeah, I think the hair is making up for the color. #Weddinghairpossibility

Erica: I totes think your hair should look like that for the wedding. I mean, except, yours should be brown.


Keira Knightley

oscars 2015 kiera knightley

Kate: Her Golden Globes gown was atrocious, then she almost redeemed herself with the SAGs frock. Now she’s back to sucking. I hate this whole entire situation.

Erica: Really? I like this one. It’s romantic and pretty. I would like it if the color were just a little more fine-tuned — it looks like Silly Putty, a bit — but I love the look. I like romance and floral and embroidery. Also, pregnancy is looking good on her.

Kate: Completely disagree.


Kerry Washington

oscars 2015 kerry washington

Kate: Oh I’m so glad the peplum is back on the red carpet, said no one ever.

Erica: The thing is, she looks great, even if the dress does not.

Kate: This dress is half mother-of-the-bride, half quilt. Hate it. I feel like Anthony Marantino on that episode of SATC when he goes wedding dress shopping with Charlotte: “HATES IT!” I like her hair, though.

Erica: Yeah. I don’t like the dress. But her hair and makeup and general personality are flawless.


Lady Gaga

oscars 2015 lady gaga

Kate: Theeerreeee’s the Gaga we all know and love. She looks quite out of her mind.

Erica: No, but for real, what is going on with her face? I know she’s never been stunningly pretty or anything, but something is happening that looks severely unhealthy.

Kate: I think she has just gained weight, she was alarmingly skinny before. Alas, I hate the gloves. Way to start a stupid trend, Amal!

Erica: Please. On Amal, they were classy and glam. Lady Gaga’s are just…Well, whatever. She’s Lady Gaga. That’s what she does. Most of the time.

Kate: I just don’t like the looseness — elbow-length gloves should fit you right.


Laura Dern

oscars 2015 laura dern

Kate: Wow! This is much more interesting than what she usually wears. We never even include her in these posts even though she is at every single award show, but I felt like we had to include her tonight because she is nominated.

Erica: That is interesting. I don’t like it, but it’s interesting.

Kate: I don’t think she needs that big necklace with so much going on all over the dress, and the clutch is too matchy-matchy. Hair also a little too casual, very Jennifer Aniston, but this is overall a good look. Not the BEST, but good.

Ian: She looks like she’s going into a joust match. She’s dressed in a medieval suit of armor.

Erica: In that case, she’s leaving a lot dangerously uncovered. I actually like her hair. I mean, yes, I guess it’s casual, but it also looks really nice.


Lupita Nyong’o

oscars 2015 lupita nyong'o

Kate: She would be the one to wear a dress made partially of pearls, and I would be the one to say I do not like it, not one bit.

Erica: I want to like it, I do. I like the concept. And I love stark white on very dark skin. And I like her. But yeah, no.

Kate: There’s a scene in the truly amazing film Burlesque during which Christina Aguilera’s character performs a sexy routine in a shorter version of this. I like the Burlesque dress better. Worst dressed nominee.

Erica: I can’t do it. I can’t give her worst dressed. I like her too much.


Margot Robbie

oscars 2015 margot robbie

Kate: Smoke show.

Erica: She looks like sex walking.

Kate: This dress could be too old-ladyish, but I think the hair, makeup, necklace and deep V actually prevent that and make it pretty hot.

Erica: Yeah, totes agree with all of your points.


Marion Cotillard

oscars 2015 marion cotillard

Kate: I think you cannot look like this if you are American. There is just something about Europeans, they have an extra layer of elegance and chicness Americans can never even hope to achieve. Maybe that’s why Audrey Hepburn was so perfect.

Erica: She looks amazing and perfect. The dress is daring and interesting and high-fashion. It looks great on her and it’s interesting and glamorous.

Kate: This dress is actually pretty extreme couture — like, it would be great on an American at the Met Ball, but on Marion Cotillard at the Oscars? Effortlessly striking perfection. Best dressed nominee!


Meryl Streep

oscars 2015 meryl streep

Kate: Her usual flawless black-and-white, I-don’t-give-a-f*ck elegance. Could do without the belt, but Meryl does not give a f*ck about what I could do without.

Erica: She is the Grand High Duchess of Not Giving a F*ck.


Naomi Watts

oscars 2015 naomi watts

Kate: I do NOT like that it looks like she’s wearing a bandeau under her dress. I hate bandeaus. If you’re wearing one, you’re wearing a shirt you bought knowing you couldn’t wear a normal bra under it, and that’s just too silly for me to approve of. I get that the bandeau may just be part of her dress, but I still don’t like it.

Erica: Is she at all comfortable? Like, isn’t she awfully itchy in that? I was reading something regarding what to dress little ones in for weddings (for no particular reason) and it advised that a whole bodice with sparkles, while pretty, was going to itch under their arms like crazy. And that’s all I could think about looking at this.

Kate: I don’t like the dress at all, and I really don’t like the dark purple lipstick against her fair skin and light blond hair. It doesn’t even match the ugly dress!

Erica: Naomi Watts is very pretty but I hate all of this.


Nicole Kidman

oscars 2015 nicole kidman

Kate: So I still really enjoy her long bob, but I cannot help but wonder if she has worn this dress before?

Erica: I don’t know. I don’t think so. I don’t much like it.

Kate: I’m also not sure if it’s white or gold or iridescent or all three? The hideousness of that clutch is making me very angry. I blame Covet for my noticing the clutches more than I usually do.

Erica: Blame? Or thank? I really hate the color on her.



Patricia Arquette

oscars 2015 patricia arquette

Kate: This dress is nice and she looks fine, but I was really hoping for something else from her. She knows she’s going to win!

Erica: But I think her thing is to look, basically, fine. I get the sense that she just tries to look appropriate for the occasion, and not, like wildly sexy and glam and amazing. That said, her hair? Not really acceptable for the occasion.

Kate: Agree on the hair. This is actually a very Meryl dress, and Meryl she is not.

oscars 2015 zoe patricia arquette

Zoe: I think there should be better silver earrings. I want the purse replaced with a necklace and a bracelet. I think there should be a repeating frill on the higher sleeve.

Kate: I am not sure how I feel about “repeating frill”.


Reese Witherspoon

oscars 2015 reese witherspoon

Kate: The hair, the makeup, the jewelry and the dress are all so very Reese. It’s interesting that she chose to wear white to every award show this year, white is a bold choice.

Erica: She really looks flawless.

Kate: Many will say this is boring, and maybe it is a little bit, but she still just looks so good. I love her. I can’t wait to watch Wild.

Erica: I don’t know, it’s just so smooth and perfect. Her hair, her makeup. It’s not a remarkable dress, but it’s a really great look on her.


Rosamund Pike

oscars 2015 rosamund pike

Kate: I do like me some red on the red carpet.

Ian: I likes it!

Erica: Holy moly she looks AMAZING. Very, very, very tiny, but I FREAKING LOVE THIS DRESS. And this whole look. LOVE.

Kate: Agree, she looks fantastic. I like that the dress is less “out there” than most of her other choices, and her body looks hot-damn incredible. I also really like the very simple makeup and hair. Another best dressed nominee! (So far it’s Anna Kendrick, Marion Cotillard, and Rosamund Pike. Just so we’re keeping track.)

Erica: So for me, it’s Rosamund Pike, Jessica Chastain and Marion Cotillard. And maybe Jennifer Lopez, though I agree with you that the makeup is a little much. But I have to say, I feel like these ladies brought it tonight.


Scarlett Johansson

oscars 2015 scarlett johansson

Kate: The color and silhouette are fantastic on her. I cannot figure out what is happening on her neck.

Erica: The neck thing looks weird.

Kate: The neck thing is probably too much for me, and the hair is way too punk for the Oscars, but if I just focus on the dress, it’s perfection.

Erica: I don’t know. It’s a good color but the neck and the neckline just look super-weird.

Jason: She looks like an alien.

Erica: And Jason usually loves her.


Sienna Miller

oscars 2015 sienna miller

Ian: Ooooh! What’s she in?

Kate: She played Chris Kyle’s wife in American Sniper, and we like her better as a brunette, remember?

Ian: Oh yea.

Kate: I like this dress and extremely fierce makeup. The multiple bows are a little much, but it’s overall nice on her. I HATE the hair — what is this, Little House on the Prairie? When they zoomed in on it during the pre-show it was either a) still wet, b) hairsprayed within an inch of its life or c) both, and that irked me. A lot.

Erica: I’m not sure why I can’t stand her and have, like, visceral euch reactions to her every time I see her. I might be a bad person.

Kate: When do you see her besides at award shows? But that’s how I feel about all the Kardashians. And Miley Cyrus. And Rihanna and Beyonce. Hmm…

Erica: I think you are carrying a lot more anger towards all of those people than I am towards Sienna Miller. But there is something about her that just makes me go bleh.


Zoe Saldana

oscars 2015 zoe saldana

Erica: She looks amazing.

Kate: The color looks absolutely beautiful against her skin, but the detail on the hips and the necklace and the hair are extremely unflattering. The spaghetti straps make it look like lingerie.

Erica: Really? I think this is so flattering on her. She doesn’t look as twig-like. This is actually on my best-dressed list.

Kate: No, we have to remove it from that list. She is not twig-like because she just had a baby.

Erica: Oh really? Mazel Tov! The extra pounds look GREAT on you, hon!


Kate: So, Best Dressed?

Erica: Rosamund Pike! And I say this without really knowing anything about her. I didn’t see (and probably won’t see) Gone Girl and I don’t know anything else she’s done and I have never read an interview with her or anything. I just love, love, love her dress.

Kate: I am ok with that, but can Best Dressed be a tie between her and Marion Cotillard?

Erica: Yes. Absolutement.

Kate: Yay! Worst Dressed?

Erica: You know, I really feel like they all stepped up their game tonight. I’m not giving it to Lupita, partly because she has too much credit with me and partly because, yes, I don’t like the dress, but, I feel that the dress accomplished what it meant to accomplish. I don’t want to give it to Gwynnie because, as stupid-looking as it was, it made me laugh. Kerry Washington’s done worse, and her hair and make-up were perfection. I think that leaves Naomi Watts for me.

Kate: Or Emma Stone?

Erica: Yeah, but I liked Emma Stone’s hair and make-up better than I liked Naomi Watt’s hair and make-up. It should be noted, though – the credit Emma Stone has as my dream bff DOES NOT COUNT toward red carpet looks. And she has ZERO credit there.

Kate: Well then who do we give Worst Dressed to!?

Erica: I want to give it to Naomi Watts. You can give it to Emma Stone if you like. Or we can have another tie.

Kate: Ok, I can give it to Naomi Watts. That does it for us for award show season, folks — sad face! But don’t you worry, the dynamic duo will be back this summer for So You Think You Can Dance season 12 — auditions are already under way!

Erica: You guys, I’m doing Zumba now, so by May, I might think *I* can dance!


Greetings, friends! If you can’t wait until Sunday (well, Monday morning) for another dose of my wit and wisdom, head on over to Land of Lost Books, where Lynne and I have been talking first love. Book first love. http://landoflostbooks.com/portfolio/the-potential-hazards-of-re-reading/

Grammys 2015

Kate: I feel like this may be a bit prejudiced, but I care a wee bit less about the Grammys than other award shows.

Erica: It is the awards show where I go, “Who is this person?” more than any other.

Kate: I just do a better job of keeping up with movies and TV than music — I don’t even know what kids listen to these days. I took a looksee at the nominees while writing this post, though, and I hope Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran win absolutely everything because I a) actually know who they are and b) like their music very much. I also miss Adele.

Erica: Oh, Adele always dresses so pretty, too.


Anna Kendrick

grammys 2015 anna kendrick

Kate: SMOKIN’!

Erica: She most certainly is.

Kate: I have to say I’m a little over the suits-on-ladies red carpet trend, but she looks GORGEOUS. I love her hair like that. I want mine to look like that. Best dressed nominee!

Erica: I am always in favor of suits on the red carpet when they look this good. She really looks amazing.


Ariana Grande

grammys 2015 ariana grande

Kate: So does her hair just not do anything else?

Erica: I actually just saw one of those listicle things that showed her hair when she first was doing whatever it was she was doing — she’s another Disney Channel refugee, right? — and it was, you know, different. But this has been her look for a while now. I mean, she looks pretty. I don’t know if it’s just her face or she’s affecting that sexy-baby look all the time. It’s a little annoying.

Kate: I don’t think she’s Disney. She looks lovely, but I don’t love the asymmetricalness of the dress. That silver fabric thing looks like it’s stuck to the white dress because of static cling, or something.

Erica: I am not a fan of the dress, really.

Kate: What was even the point of her arriving in that dress? Her performance dress was gorgeous, much better. I kind of want it.

grammys 2015 ariana grande performance

Erica: Oh, yeah, I like those kinds of dresses on you. And it is gorgeous, and it’s not really different enough from the red carpet dress to warrant changing, you know? I mean, it’s different, obviously, but a similar shape and overall look.



grammys 2015 beyonce

Kate: I’m not even saying this because I’m a Beyonce hater, but she doesn’t look that good.

Erica: Are you a Beyonce hater? I am not particularly a Beyonce hater — I’m not a fan, but I respect and admire her talent, her self-control and her business acumen. I’m not loving this, though.

Kate: I am 100% a hater. Her hair is too long and flat, her makeup looks barely done and she has definitely already worn this dress or 20 others just like it. OVER YOU, BEYONCE!

Erica: The dress is nice but nothing special, the hair could be better, and yeah, the makeup is practically nonexistent. But also — every picture I saw of her was of her standing like this. Are her hips in danger of falling off if she doesn’t hold them in place? Is there something wrong with her elbows and she needs to keep them in exactly that position for the rest of forever? What’s going on, Bey?


Charli XCX

grammys 2015 charli xcx

Kate: Do we even have to discuss this one?

Erica: Ah, it’s my first “Who the f is this?” of the evening!

Kate: She sings songs that are currently popular, I think. This COULD work if the suit weren’t so effing wrinkled and ill-fitting, and if the bowtie were not such a vomitous shade of pink, and if the fur were a) clean and b) more of a contrast to the suit. But all of that awfulness with that gross hair gross makeup and even grosser attitude? No thank you. (Unfortunately, I do like the shoes If only her toes weren’t STICKING OUT OVER THEM.)

Erica: I would just lose the fur entirely, iron the suit, and then I think you’ve got something. Something a little whacky, a little off, but I like whacky and off at the Grammys. The hair, yes, the hair needs improvement. By which I mean shampoo.



grammys 2015 ciara

Kate: I don’t understand why Ciara is all of a sudden a fashion person — she hasn’t had a popular song since I was in high school, and she didn’t dress all that well then.

Erica: Wait, before we discuss the dress, can we discuss her arms and shoulders for a minute? Because holy hell, woman. You look good.

Kate: Ya. But this is pretty but way too over-the-top couture for the Grammys, for someone not even nominated. I would rather see Beyonce in this, even though I am a Beyonce hater.

Erica: See, I love over-the-top couture for the Grammys. And I like this and I think it looks awesome in it. And okay, yes, this is a lot of look for someone who’s not even nominated, but hey, why not look awe-inspiring anyway?


Gwen Stefani

grammys 2015 gwen stefani

Kate: What DOES she do to her face? She keeps getting prettier!

Erica: I am feeling so many things right now. Things I can’t seem to put in order.

Kate: I do not like the pants, or pantsuit, whatever it is, but I like the top of it a lot. And I love her makeup. I feel like her hair always looks like that, so that’s fine.

Erica: I don’t mean to love this. It is a jumpsuit. A capri jumpsuit. With that awkward bagginess in the hips, thighs, crotch area. As I am typing this, I recognize that these things should be vomitous. And yet…and yet. I think I love it. I think it may be the Platonic ideal of Gwen Stefani Grammy outfits. I don’t know what’s happening to me right now. I’m having some sort of existential crisis.


Iggy Azalea

grammys 2015 iggy azalea

Erica: I know who she is. And I’m not a big fan. And do we not think her face doesn’t look quite human? Is it the makeup here? Because she looks like what would happen if an alien tried to disguise itself as human and got it almost right. She is the personification of the Uncanny Valley.

Kate: I absolutely hate the hair. Really, I wish she had shaved it all off rather than done that awful braid crown thing. The dress, however, is excellent.

Erica: It is a cool dress.

Kate: It flatters her body incredibly, and I adore that color. (Have I said that enough this award show season?) It could have been a tad longer since she’s so tall and it has that mesh part on the bottom, but overall a great dress. Also, I like the very natural (but tan) makeup. Not alien-y to me.


Jennifer Hudson

grammys 2015 jennifer hudson

Kate: Remember when Jennifer Hudson was, like, THE highlight on all red carpets at all award shows for a couple of years?

Erica: Yeah, those were good times.

Kate: Unfortunately, this is way too casual. I like her edgier hair and makeup, I am even mostly ok with the choker necklace, but I really don’t like the dress. It doesn’t even look like a well-made too-casual dress.

Erica: I think she looks nice, if not remarkable. The dress is a good silhouette for her and I like her hair short. She could use a better bra.


Jessie J

grammys 2015 jessie j

Kate: I am not a fan of the slicked back hair, but this is a great Grammys dress — elegant with a little edge. Her performance dress was alarmingly similar; like, why bother with both?

Erica: This is pretty much the perfect Grammy dress. Glamourous and flashy and a bit edgy. The hair is a mistake and this picture makes her look like the joker. Also, is she wearing those talon-esque nails? A lot of them were, weren’t they? I hate those nails.

Kate: Agree.


Katharine McPhee

grammys 2015 katherine mcphee

Kate: Hmmm.. I like the color, but it’s overall a liiiiiitle too cheap prom for me.

Erica: I loathe the dress.

Kate: Also do not like the hair at all. And are the things in the middle of the cleavage gold or bronze and her earrings are silver? Come on.

Erica: Yeah, come on, Katharine McPhee. You cannot act to save your life, but you are a very pretty girl and you can sing very well. Do better.


Katy Perry

grammys 2015 katy perry

Kate: She is actually an extremely pretty girl, and I always want her to wear something a little weird that is still stunning. This dress is not that — the length paired with the shoes is not at all flattering. Maybe if it were more of a sleeveless sweeping ballgown, in that same material/color? AND THE BELT. DAMMIT WITH THE BELT.

Erica: Maybe. I feel like she makes a lot of choices that are weirdly old-lady-ish. She is very pretty, though.

Kate: The hairstyle is nice, if not a little casual, but the color? Come on. I don’t like it on Kelly Osbourne, I sure as heck don’t like it on Katy Perry. Fab makeup though.

Erica: I hate that the color has those black roots, like, on purpose.

Kate: Actually, it must have been a wig, because she had very slicked-back black hair for her performance.

Erica: I kind of thought her performance ensemble was cool.

grammys 2015 katy perry performance

Kate: I thought this was a great performance — no bells and whistles, just singing. Yay Katy!


Kim Kardashian

grammys 2015 kim kardashian

Kate: If everyone were allowed to kill one celebrity, I might choose Kim Kardashian. Or her mom, or her sister (Khloe). Truly some of the worst possible human beings on the planet.

Erica: I do not feel the rage you feel towards her. Probably because I’ve never seen her show so I don’t actually know how terrible a person she is.

Kate: She looks absolutely ridiculous. Worst dressed nominee.

Erica: Look, Kim, you wanted sexy bathrobe, but you missed it. You missed it because of those stupid pockets and the overall shapelessness and the fact that your hair looks like you might actually have recently gotten out of the shower and your makeup isn’t really helping that impression at all. But mostly you missed because J. Lo already did sexy bathrobe. She did it 15 years ago and she did it way, way better than you.

grammys 2015 grammys 2000 jennifer lopez


Erica: To my friends — yes, that was 15 years ago. Yes, we are very, very old now. Sorry.


Lady Gaga

grammys 2015 lady gaga arrivals

Kate: I miss when the Grammys were all about Gaga — what creature/machine she was going to ride in on, what type of edible product she would decorate her body with, what mindf*ck of a performance she would deliver. Did she simply just out-crazy herself?

Erica: What is happening with her face?

Kate: This is crazy in that it is so normal (for her). Probably a little too sexy, and it doesn’t need the necklace or the matching green earrings. I think I am most alarmed by the normalness of her hair.

Erica: No but what is happening to her face? This looks like a drag performer doing Lady Gaga.

Kate: Also, are she and Tony Bennett sleeping together? Very touchy-feely during their pre-show interview.

Erica: Ew, Kate. How am I supposed to sleep with that image in my head?



grammys 2015 madonna

Kate: Oy vey.

Erica: Whatever. I love it.

Kate: I’m ashamed to call her my neighbor.

Erica: It is very much not boring. You go on with your crazypants self, Madonna. You are welcome on any red carpet I’m looking at.

Kate: But it was uncomfortable to watch her perform. She looked like she was about to fall over any second.


Meghan Trainor

grammys 2015 meghan trainor

Kate: I have obviously heard her quite catchy “All About That Bass” song, but I always thought it was by a non-white girl, so whenever anyone said “Meghan Trainor”, I pictured Megan McCain, as in Senator McCain’s daughter. So there’s that.

Erica: Really? You’d never seen the video? Or heard one of her complaints about the song, that a white girl claiming to be the one who was “bringing booty back” was a bit appropriative?

Kate: Oh, and this dress is horrible.

Erica: It looks like a less attractive version of the on Jessie J is wearing.


Miley Cyrus

grammys 2015 miley cyrus

Erica: I kind of think this is perfect for her.

Kate: She looks a hair classier than usual, but the dress could do with, like, 4-6 fewer cutouts.

Erica: You know, it’s the Grammys. The dress is totally Grammys appropriate and I like that it’s simple and that she kept the hair and makeup and jewelry simple and just kept the point of interest the insane amount of cuts.

Kate: I would have liked it more with better makeup. She’s still a bag of trash.

Erica: Kate! That isn’t nice! And she isn’t a bag of trash! I really think something happens to the girls who go through the Disney mill. That is not a healthy place to be.

Kate: She brags about doing drugs and instagrams naked pictures of herself in the tub. Trash.


Miranda Lambert

grammys 2015 miranda lambert

Kate: I like how her lipstick coordinates with those pink straps, but other than that this falls a little flat for me.

Erica: It’s her hair. That’s what’s falling flat.

Kate: I like her hair shorter, but the style itself is too casual for a red carpet, even if it is “just” the Grammys.

Erica: Well, her husband wore blue jeans.

Kate: Don’t even.


Nicki Minaj

grammys 2015 nicki minaj

Kate: I am not a Nicki Minaj fan — personality or music — and I usually hate her red carpet fashion. I’ve always felt like she’s a lesser version of the old Gaga. She has, however, toned it down lately, as evident here, and I really don’t hate this dress. Her boobs and butt are OUT of control, but I really don’t hate this dress. (This is about as positive as I can get about her.)

Erica: There is something about her I find appealing. I don’t know why. This dress is not awesome, but I don’t hate it either.


Nicole Kidman

grammys 2015 nicole kidman

Kate: Another SMOKIN’!

Erica: Yeah, she’s looking pretty good.

Kate: I normally don’t like anything resembling a turtleneck on the red carpet, but somehow it works on Nicole. I love the dress and her shorter sleeker hair, and I fully acknowledge that on anyone else I would probably say this dress is too casual, but…Best dressed nominee!

Erica: She’s nominated? Oh, wait, you’re saying, she’s a nominee for Best Dressed. Now I get it.



grammys 2015 rihanna

Erica: That is a whole thing unto itself.

Kate: Borrowing from my friends’ group text message: “Rihanna looks like a froofy cupcake”. And not in a good way.

Erica: Hey, I’m not bored. And maybe we’ve been doing this for too long but Not Bored is very big with me these days.

Kate: This monstrosity took up about 3 seats during the show. I hope Fashion Police rips her a new one with this.

Erica: She didn’t show up with that dreadful accessory on her arm, so I’m happy.

Kate: He was there, though, and nominated, and there was a lot of talk/singing about domestic violence.



grammys 2015 sia

Kate: You know something, if her white-blond bob with blunt bangs were not so extremely exaggerated, I might love this outfit. Even with the pants.

Erica: I couldn’t find any pics without the sidekick.

Kate: I’m just not sure why she did this — does she have that Daft Punk thing where she doesn’t want to show her face?

Erica: I don’t think so? Don’t you see her face in music videos and the like? Anyway, I do actually kind of like the cape thing and it looks appropriate with that length of pant even though I do not favor formal capris and the shoes are great and…You know what, I’m even going to be in favor of the crazy hair. It’s a look. It’s an outlandish look, but it’s the Grammys. Why not be outlandish?

Kate: I have confirmed that she does in fact have the Daft Punk thing where she doesn’t like showing her face. She didn’t show it during her performance, either.


Taylor Swift

grammys 2015 taylor swift

Kate: I absolutely love the pop of purple on the shoes — like, really love. I want them. I don’t not love the dress, but the short part is just a little too short, and the earrings are too matchy-matchy.

Erica: I see what you mean about the earrings, and I’m not loving the structure of the top. I do flipping love the color, and I agree with you 100% on the shoes. That purple is everything.

Kate: The dress did not need the extra straps, but that’s Elie Saab’s fault not Taylor’s.

Erica: I think the straps look fine. It’s the neck and the lack of any femininity to the top that I’m not super-loving. But I think we are being nit-picky because Taylor’s red carpet game is always on fleek. (Can you tell I learned new slang this week?)

Kate: I do not even know what fleek means.



grammys 2015 zendaya

Kate: She is a very pretty person. I usually don’t like the darker purple lipsticks, but it works with her skin and hair. Right?

Erica: I also do not know this person. And I’m not loving the lipstick, not so much because it’s dark purple, but because of the dark liner-lighter lipstick look that I thought had gone quietly into that good night in the late ‘90s.

Kate: The dress is a little curtain-esque, but I think it would be pretty great if the one sleeve were shorter.

Erica: Yeah, I kind of weirdly like it, even if it does look like she just wrapped a piece of fabric around herself and tied it with a matching belt.

Kate: So, best dressed?!

Erica: Oh boy. See. The person who popped to my head first was (sigh) Gwen Stefani. Gwen Stefani. In a capri jumpsuit with baggy crotch! But there it is. That’s who I liked the best tonight. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. My saner self would go Anna Kendrick.

Kate: Then let’s go with Anna! I am ok with Gwen as runner-up. Worst dressed, also worst human?

Erica: I’m guessing the answer is Kim Kardashian?

Kate: CORRECT! Ok people, the next time you hear from us will be the morning after the mother of all red carpets, the award show we wait all year for, say it with me Er!

Both: THE OSCARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SAGs 2015

Kate: So at the end of our Golden Globes post when I said we’d be back for the Oscars, I totes forgot about the SAG Awards and the Grammys. Shame on me!

Erica: And I forgot to Tivo it. So I’m using photos to judge the outfits. Not as accurate, I’m afraid.

Kate: Let’s get right to it.


Amy Poehler

sag 2015 amy poehler

Kate: Pretty, very Amy, but hold on — is she pregnant? Were we right about that with the blue dress at the Golden Globes?

Erica: Now, I’m only looking at pictures; I missed the telecast. But I’m voting…Yes? Pregnant? Because normally she’s kinda boxy, so I can’t imagine that she’s just gaining weight in a round shape on her tummy.

Kate: If she’s not pregnant again, I feel extremely mean saying that, but it looks like a very pronounced bump (from the side) that she is purposely showing off. What are we supposed to think, Amy?!?

Erica: I honestly don’t think we’re being mean because she doesn’t look fat, she looks pregnant. And a quick Google search indicates that we’re not the only ones wondering. Either way, she looks great. Did the dress look midnight blue during the telecast? Because at first I thought it was black, and, black, this dress is lovely and more feminine and glam than her usual looks and I am in favor. In midnight blue, I am in majorly more favor.

Kate: Methinks midnight blue.


Anna Chlumksy

sag 2015 anna chlumsky

Kate: Well I guess she got rid of that baby weight, dayum Anna! …On second thought, she actually looks too skinny, way skinnier than usual. What happened, Anna?

Erica: I think her weight looks alright; I’m not loving the dress.

Kate: This is a dress I wouldn’t normally like, but it looks very good on her. Perhaps needed one more inch off the hem, though.

Erica: She kind of looks uncomfortable. That “What am I doing here?” look we sometimes see on stars who don’t know they’re stars.

Kate: I do wish she would change up the hair a little — another blowout for the red carpet? We can do better, Vada Sultenfuss.

Erica: Can I tell you, I have legit reasons for not changing my last name when I got married that having nothing to do with Anna Chlumsky, but I also have Anna Chlumsky-related reasons? Because in My Girl 2, when she’s trying to find her dead mom’s high school friends, she keeps running into walls because they got married and changed their last names. So, you know, if one of my high school friends dies and her daughter comes looking, I want her to be able to find me.


Claire Danes

 sag 2015 claire danes

Erica: Nope.

Kate: WAY better than the Golden Globes. Way. (Ignoring those scales on the sides.)

Erica: Are you also ignoring the color, the cut and the BELT? Which doesn’t even look like a belt; it looks like something you’d use to fasten the duffel bag you’re taking to sleepaway camp in 1992?

Kate: Ok I am ignoring the scales on the sides and also the belt. I like the color, and I love her hair that way.

Erica: Yeah, her hair looks nice.


Danielle Brooks

sags 2015 Danielle Brooks

Kate: Oh my gosh she looks so pretty.

Erica: Taystee? Holy moly she looks awesome.

Kate: Excellent choice for her, very elegant, I love the color and her hair and makeup and accessories. The dress was pulled a little too tight in the belly area, but otherwise perfect.

Erica: Gorgeous color, great shape, love the one-shoulder thing, and her hair and makeup are pure class.


Emilia Clarke

sags 2015 Emilia Clarke

Kate: So this looks like an extraordinarily well-made dress and nice and everything, but it’s overall just a little boring for me. I do not like the two-tonedness of it.

Erica: I really totally hate the two-toned thing. And these particular two tones? Dark blue and black? I mean, do I really need to explain what’s wrong with this? Look, people, you can mix neutrals, but you have to be careful. It’s almost never acceptable to mix two DARK neutrals, okay?

Kate: There also seems to be a kind of half-cape thing in the back, which I get is very Khaleesi, but I do not like it.

Erica: She should just dress like Khaleesi all the time. Khaleesi has style.

Kate: I have a Khaleesi bracelet!


Emma Stone

sags 2015 emma stone

Kate: No Emma. No.

Erica: I feel like, I get it. I get what this was supposed to be. It’s just…It’s not good.

Kate: I tried to get behind her Globes look, but I cannot with this. It takes “menswear” 70 steps too far. Worst dressed nominee.

Erica: I love her very much but I almost never like her red carpet looks.


Felicity Jones

sags 2015 Felicity Jones

Kate: Best dressed nominee. Amazingly chic and elegant. She is rocking her red carpet debut season.

Erica: She looks darling.

Kate: But I still need to see her movie, dangit.

Erica: Who is she again?

Kate: She plays Stephen Hawking’s wife in The Theory of Everything.


Jennifer Aniston

sags 2015 jennifer aniston

Kate: I like this green even more than I like Claire Danes’ green — yay green!

Erica: Yeah? I like neither green. Also, hello, boobs.

Kate: That necklace is very Covet IRL. (No one else knows what that means, but that’s ok.)

Erica: I need more people to know what that means. I need more closets to borrow from.

Kate: Hey loyal Fashion Police blog post readers — download Covet and let Erica and I borrow from your closets! Thanks in advance.


Joanne Froggatt

sags 2015 joanne froggatt

Kate: It takes very specifically shaped and sized boobs to pull off those pointy cup things. (Very technical fashion term.) I love the dress, and I adore her hair.

Erica: Again, is this reading as black or as midnight blue on the telecast? In black? Elegant and lovely. In midnight blue? ALL THE GOLD STARS, JOANNE FROGGATT. And I’m sorry I don’t watch your show anymore. You’re fabulous; the whole crew is fabulous. I just could not handle the emotion.

Kate: It sometimes looked black and sometimes looked very dark grey and also sometimes looked midnight blue, so I am really not sure. I may be a bit biased toward her red carpet looks now because I know Brad Goreski styles her.

Erica: Who in the what now?

Kate: Brad Goreski was Rachel Zoe’s assistant way back when and then he had his own show on Bravo and now he replaced George Kotsiopoulos on Fashion Police. Duh! (I adore him.)


Julia Roberts

sags 2015 julia roberts

Kate: Smokin’.

Erica: I love that “I’m Julia Roberts; I do not have to give a f*ck!” look. It gives her a very special glow.

Kate: THIS is how you do “menswear”, Emma Stone! Take notes!

Erica: To be fair, I think Emma Stone’s dress was going for something completely different. I feel I should mention Julia’s hair, because it looks fabu, but there’s some breaking news for you: “Julia Roberts’ Hair: Fabulous!”


Julianna Margulies

sags 2015 julianna margulies

Kate: Fab fab fab fab color. You know I love that royal blue, especially on us dark-haired ladies.

Erica: My computer screen doesn’t even know how to handle that color. It’s pixel-shocked! (That is a compliment. I love the color.)

Kate: Hairstyle is a little too casual for me, and I don’t know how I feel about the skirt in and of itself, but it works for her. Also great makeup.

Erica: I can’t see anything but that color. Good job there.


Julianne Moore

sags 2015 julianne moore Kate: She is one of very few people who can actually pull off this color.

Erica: It is a classic green for the redheaded ladies. And it’s a classic for a reason.

Kate: I do not so much love the actual dress itself, but she overall looks very good.

Erica: I think the dress is very pretty but could use some structuring in the bodice area. But she looks fantastic.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus

sags 2015 julia louis-dreyfus

Kate: Oooh she’s giving me a little Elaine Benes here!

Erica: Yeah? Because the hair?

Kate: Yes, I love that she did her hair curly. I very much like this dress, but her makeup is a tad lackluster. And it takes a lot for me to say that because I love her so much.

Erica: I like the hair. I like the dress. I agree with the makeup, but this is another event where I feel like we’re seeing a lot of too much makeup and a lot of not enough make-up. Maybe it’s just the sun? Or lack of sun? Whatever the weather is doing to the lighting in LA?

Kate: Or all these HD cameras and HD TVs picking up what people’s faces actually really look like?


Julie Bowen

sags 2015 julie bowen

Erica: I kind of like this?

Kate: This is something we have come to expect from Julie Bowen, so it’s fine, but I like how she made her hair a little edgier than usual. No?

Erica: I think this is a lot better than we usually get from her, in that it doesn’t look ill-fitting or like something a crazy person would wear and it’s not a dreadful color. And yeah, I like her hair. But I know she’s messing with me. I know she’s setting me up, giving me a false sense of security so she can really wham me over the head with whatever she’s got cooked up next.


Keira Knightley

sags 2015 keira knightley

Kate: Leaps and bounds better than her STUPID Golden Globes dress, but still not all that impressive.

Erica: Is she sporting a bump?

Kate: Yes, she is confirmed pregnant. It’s a great color, obviously one that I like, but it has weird stringy things around the sleeve area, and that half-up hairdo is how I wear my hair to work when it’s dirty or just weirdly wavy. It doesn’t look bad, it just doesn’t look red carpet-y.

Erica: I do love the color, and I love the lace, and since she is pregnant, I love the shape, but if she were not, then that front ruffle would be a little bit of a problem. But you’re right, it doesn’t look red carpet-y. If you got rid of the mesh inset and shortened the whole thing to the knee, it’d make a lovely summer frock. You could even keep the sleeve ties then. But as a red carpet gown, it is not great.

Laverne Cox

sags 2015 laverne cox

Kate: So I get this look for her, like I get it, but it’s not properly tailored. I see actual wrinkles and gaping in the material that shouldn’t be there.

Erica: Even if it were properly tailored, it would be very pageant-y. Although I guess that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Kate: Interestingly enough, I like her hair? Am I losing it?

Erica: Yes. Yes, I think you might be.

Kate: I accept that.


Maggie Gyllenhaal

sags 2015 maggie gyllenhaal

Erica: This makes her look very boxy.

Kate: I am not feeling this at all. Why are these celebrities so into squishing their boobs into submission with these dresses?

Erica: I think she has a weird relationship with her boobs. They never look right in the red carpet gowns she chooses.


Maisie Williams

sags 2015 maisie williams

Kate: Adorable!

Erica: I love love love the dress. I am not big on the gothy makeup or the messy hair.

Kate: A bit too sexy though with the boobs? How old is she IRL?

Erica: I just checked; she’ll be eighteen soon. I think this is perfectly appropriate for an almost-eighteen-year-old.


Meryl Streep

sags 2015 meryl streep

Kate: So Meryl.

Erica: Continuing to not give a f*ck.

Kate: I just love that I worry about wearing my (new) glasses to a friend’s party at her apartment, and Meryl wears her glasses to red carpet events, like, all the time.

Erica: She is a boss b*tch. She does not have to give a f*ck. Hey, look here!

sags 2015 meryl and julia

Erica: TWO boss b*tches who do not give a f*ck! One with great acting chops, the other with great hair, both with that golden glow that career security and not giving a f*ck lends to one’s skin!

Kate: When I saw that they were sitting at the same table, I was like, “Yup”.


Naomi Watts

 sags 2015 naomi watts

Kate: Eh.

Erica: Midnight or black?

Kate: Definitely midnight, this one. Boring, wrinkly. I need something else from her hair; I’m over the deep side part.

Erica: Whatever, she’s pretty and she looks fine. And if it’s midnight, I’m in favor. I love midnight, and I REALLY love midnight on the fair-haired.


Natalie Dormer

sags 2015 natalie dormer

Kate: Erm…

Erica: You know what? I like it. It’s girly and it’s silly and it’s fun and it’s not boring.

Kate: The dress is OK, but something about it just isn’t doing it for me. What’s really throwing me off is the fact that a) her hair is the same color as her face, and b) that hair looks like it was braided when it was wet the night before and the braids were taken out just before she got out of the limo.

Erica: Okay, I do not like the hair. She looks much better as a brunette and those eyes and cat-like face are better shown off in an updo.


Rashida Jones

sags 2015 rashida jones

Kate: Fun! Not my personal style, but super fun on her. She’s so tan.

Erica: Ooh cute. I really, really like it. Like Keira Knightley’s, you could cut it off at the knees and have a fun summer dress, but unlike Keira Knightley’s, it still looks red carpet-y in its current incarnation. And I love the pop of red lip!

Kate: Ian loves her.

Erica: I approve of him more and more every day.


Reese Witherspoon

sags 2015 reese witherspoon

Kate: Ooooh I love a bouncy Reese ponytail.

Erica: It does look cute. The blush is a bit much.

Kate: I loved her Golden Globes dress so much and I don’t understand why no one else did, and I love this just as much. I SEE YOU, REESE! I SEE YOU!

Erica: I feel like you and she would get along really well.

Kate: I don’t know why we’re not besties yet.


Sarah Hyland

sags 2015 sarah hyland

Kate: This is a fun sparkly young dress that I don’t hate, but her face frightens me. It was more obvious on the pre-show than in this picture, but her face is soooo heavily made up and her eyes so bugged out of her head to the point where it looked like she was about to pop a blood vessel.

Erica: I like the dress. I like the layers of translucent black over a nude underskirt. and it’s tailored well, at least as far as I can see. I’ll have to take your word for it on the makeup. In pics it looks good.


Sofia Vergara

sags 2015 sofia vergara

Erica: It’s not that I wish this dress were a different color. I just wish the carpet were a different color. But then it wouldn’t be a red carpet.

Kate: I am finally off the I-hate-Sofia-Vergara bandwagon. I’m not sure why or when it happened, but I am. I think she looks very lovely. Also I would like to borrow that dress, if only she would tell me how that left boob stayed covered and supported.

Erica: There is some serious support in that bodice. That is structured out the wazoo. Yes, she does look very nice tonight.

Kate: I do, however, prefer her hair bouncy and voluminous instead of pin-straight, and I feel like she wears the same earrings to every red carpet event. That is all!


Uzo Aduba

sags 2015 Uzo Aduba

Erica: Oh, dear.

Kate: Mmmm, nope. Not good. Crochet = inappropriate for red carpet. Yellow crochet = inappropriate for everything.

Erica: I mean, she deserves every acting award and accolade she gets. And her bod is something fierce. But this dress. This dress. Well, at least it’s not boring.


Viola Davis

sags 2015 viola davis

Kate: Beautiful dress, but not for her.

Erica: Yeah? I feel it’s a little young for her, but not too young. And I love bright white on dark skin.

Kate: I think it’s too bright, I didn’t consider the age-appropriateness of it. I do not like her hair that way, and she looked extraordinarily unhappy to be there.

Erica: Her hair I am not overly fond of. But she did? I saw a nice quote from her acceptance speech?

Kate: She looked unhappy to be on the red carpet, then she won, so I’m sure she felt better. So, best dressed?

Erica: I don’t know. I think my personal fave is Rashida, although that doesn’t mean she’s the best, it just means she’s the most appealing to me. If Joanne Froggatt’s dress is midnight and not black, then for sure her. If it’s black, she’s still a top contender. Although maybe the total preciousness of Felicity Jones should be considered? Or Danielle Brooks for being so on point and exactly what you should look like while walking the red carpet?

Kate: I was thinking Felicity Jones, but shoot let’s give it to Taystee! YAY TAYSTEE GIRL! Worst dressed?

Erica: Man. I don’t want to do this. I don’t. I love her acting and I think she deserves a ton of recognition. But Uzo. I mean. That dress is just awful. It’s just awful.

Kate: Uzo’s dress is not good, but it doesn’t offend me like Emma Stone’s, so I’m giving it to her. Ok people, catch us after the Grammys!

Golden Globes 2015

Kate: And we’re BACK with the 2015 award show season! WEEEEEE!

Erica: Oh boy oh boy oh boy.

Kate: I am a tad upset that I haven’t seen enough of the nominated films. I tried to see The Theory of Everything Saturday and it was sold out…At 2 p.m. What the h?

Erica: Me, I have become very accustomed to the notion of having seen none of the nominated movies.

Kate: And away we go!

Allison Williams

Kate: Sooo she was upset about the mess that was Peter Pan live on NBC and went straight to the nearest Christmas store and wrapped herself in red tree skirts and said, “This is what I’m wearing to the first award show this year, guys!”.

Erica: That was a serious mess, yo. The Peter Pan thing, I mean.

Kate: This dress, too. She is a lovely human being, but this is absurd. Completely absurd.

Amal Clooney

Kate: I know she’s not nominated or presenting, but we have to include the new Mrs. Clooney, right?

Erica: Absolutely.

Kate: She is related to Anne Hathaway, right?

Erica: What? Really?

Kate: I just feel like they are twinsies. She just looks freaking perfect. In addition to looking perfect, she looks completely over this whole thing, and completely over Giuliana Rancic’s crush on George. She’s so European.

Erica: Yeah, their whole thing is like a romance novel in real life. Well, real-ish life.

Amy Adams

Kate: So I actually love this dress, and I feel like it’s a surprising dress for me to love because of the color. I do not love the color against her pale skin and red hair, but the style is soooo me. Like, I have that dress in a darker blue and shorter. So that overrides the color thing.

Erica: I actually like the color on her just fine. And I like the color in general. But I don’t understand what this movie is.

Kate: Her hair could have been a bit more “wow” — she could have gone for wavier waves — but overall this is a lovely, if very safe, choice for her.

Erica: I thought it was safe from the front, but I loved it from the back when she came up to get her award. Congrats, Amy!

Amy Poehler

Kate: So I love the first dress color. I love it. Power blue, all about it. But the silhouette is so unflattering on her, and the high neckline mixed with the mini-version of Naomi Watts’ necklace (see below) is a terrible combination.

Erica: Is Amy Poehler pregnant? Because, if not, yeah, that’s a really unflattering silhouette. And even if she’s not. Because why must she wear such high necks all the time?

Kate: I thought that, too! She’s not pregnant, though. I just read her book and am filled with all sorts of love for her, and I know she has costume changes throughout the night, so I won’t completely rip this apart.

Erica: Do you have the book? Can I borrow it?

Kate: Sure. What was even the point of wearing that blue dress? Her next one, the purple one, is so much better! It looks fab on her! Keep that on, Amy!

Erica: Yeah? I like it better but I’m sort of bored. Still.

Kate: Third look is ok, second one is still winning for me.

Erica: I will go with that.

Anna Faris

Kate: Super cute! Tailored yet loose fit, good amount of sparkle, great hair and makeup and subtle jewelry.

Erica: It’s so grown up for her. Makeup is perfect.

Kate: This might be a best dressed nominee for me.

Anna Kendrick

Kate: ER this is so similar to that one Covet dress, except longer!

Erica: I so very much love this. I don’t think I’ve ever really loved her on the red carpet before. (I love her in terms of acting and singing and all.) This is dreamy.

Kate: So pretty. It’s not my favorite of the night, but she looks fantastic.

Erica: It might be mine.

Claire Danes

Kate: Angelllaaaaa.

Erica: I mean, I don’t love it, but it’s very her and in a good way. Previously she’s been very her in a bad way.

Kate: She must be over the whole Homeland/award show thing because this dress so obviously says, “I don’t care about anything happening right now”.

Erica: I think “I don’t care” looks kinda good on her.

Ellie Kemper

Kate: I love! But…Have we seen this before? Like, on her?

Erica: Bra! Which I feel like I say to her a lot.

Emily Blunt


Erica: Oh excuse me, I thought someone hated braids?

Kate: Michael Kors made this for her, which is super nice, but he actually made it for me because after the show Emily is dropping it off at my apartment so that I can wear this to the wedding (as dress #2/reception dress, obviously).

Erica: Didn’t we discuss the little midriff cut-out thing with respect to bridesmaid dresses? Totes inapprops for a wedding. But she does look crazy fantastic.

Kate: The turquoise earrings are the perfect accent to the white — a bit beachy, but that’s ok because they’re in California — and her makeup is always good. Yes, I normally hate that hairstyle, on and off the red carpet, but I appreciate that it’s a nod to her Into the Woods character, even though I didn’t like the movie. Oh man I love this dress.

Emma Stone

Erica: She’s hilarious.

Kate: I love this.

Erica: I am okay with it? Her hair looks good.

Kate: Hold on, hold ON. Those are pants. I thought this was a dress. But those are pants. This is a jumpsuit on the red carpet, with a big bow on the back. Minus the bow, it is actually one of my elementary school dance costumes, so I take it back: I DO NOT LOVE THIS.

Erica: Yeah! I remember that costume! Mom was totally flummoxed about underwear. Wait, hold up, she’s in Cabaret on Broadway right now?

Kate: Yeah, where have you been, not in New York? :(

Erica: You think you’re sad? Imagine how I feel.

Felicity Jones

Kate: I am including this newcomer because I really want to see her movie, and I think her dress is extremely interesting.

Erica: What movie is she in? I like it. I like the color, I like the shape, I like that she kept the hair simple and the makeup very girlish and natural.

Kate: The Theory of Everything, about Steven Hawking, which I tried to see Saturday at 2 p.m. The color is fairly unique for the red carpet, I think, and the structure and detail is amazing — a bit 19th century, in a good way, no? I feel like this is a very you dress, Er.

Erica: Well, thank you, Kate.

Kate: I mean that in a good way!

Heidi Klum

Kate: Hot damn.

Erica: I mean, she looks hot, as always, but the dress isn’t a little pageanty?

Kate: I feel like it’s not fair to give someone like Heidi Klum best dressed, but she looks phenomenal.

Erica: Well, she started by being Heidi Klum, so that helps.

Jenna Dewan-Tatum

Kate: I wouldn’t normally include her because I’ll always hate her for marrying Channing Tatum, but — and this pains me — I like the dress too much to ignore it.

Erica: Yeah? I mean, I like the drapeyness.

Kate: It’s the right yellow, you know? And a lovely strapless swoopy silhouette.

Erica: It is a good yellow on her, although not with that hair color.

Kate: I do think her hair is too dark in general. But when they arrived on the red carpet you could see Channing help her fix her hair and blow an eyelash off her face and it was just so cute I couldn’t stand it.

Erica: I was gonna say her hair looks a little dark. I like it when stars go dark — I’m a fan of brunettes — but you have to make sure there’s, you know, tones and highlights and whatnot so it doesn’t look so flat.

Jennifer Aniston

Kate: I love that BUN! Oh my oh my I love that bun. Can that be my wedding hair bun?

Erica: It’s quite lovely. I would go a little lower. For your wedding, I mean, not for Jennifer Aniston.

Kate: The dress is nice but does slightly weird things to her boobs, and the earrings are just a touch too long for that neckline. But it’s been a while since she was at an award show because she was actually nominated, so overall I think she looks swell.

Erica: I actually think that, for that neckline, her boobs look pretty good. Did you see that slit when she walked up to the stage? Holy moly, man.

Kate: Additionally, she seemed to be in a fairly foul mood all night. Why do we think that is?

Erica: Really? I was watching her with Carson; she seemed alright.

Jennifer Lopez

Kate: Oh that is just so JLo.

Erica: Seriously.

Kate: The hair, the CAPE, the jewelry that is basically cut from the dress. So. J. Lo.

Erica: It’s almost like she is afraid we’ll forget who she is. I must say I like her hair.

Kate: Hah, me too.

Jessica Chastain

Kate: Va-va-voom, Jessica!

Erica: Holy moly. Has she ever done the Jessica Rabbit thing before?

Kate: I do feel like this is a combination of Meryl Streep’s 2012 Oscar dress and Angelina Jolie’s 2012 SAG dress, but that combination looks very good and sexy on her.

Erica: Have we been doing this too long?

Kate: Never!

Joanne Froggatt

Erica: More braids! Happy for me, sad for you?

Kate: I don’t watch Downton Abbey so I don’t know who this lady is, but I really like her dress. I like Emily’s braid better.

Erica: I don’t really watch it. Jason does. I got too emotionally invested and had to stop. But yes, I like her dress and I like her overall gratitude and obviously her accent.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Kate: My girl!

Erica: This is not my favorite on her. In general I like her better in her business suits on her show than on the red carpet.

Kate: It’s a little pageanty, but I don’t particularly care. She’s showing off that fabulous tan and that fabulous body, and rightfully so.

Erica: Her hair looks good. And her shoulders are fantastic.

Kate: Her everything is fantastic.

Julianne Moore

Kate: Ok, this is Gwyneth Paltrow’s 2011 Oscar dress re-cut with some feathers added to the bottom. Which is not to say it’s not a great dress/doesn’t look great on her, but that’s what this is.

Erica: Gwyneth’s was better. I say this while adoring Julianne Moore and not particularly feeling one way or another about Gwyneth.

Kate: Everyone seems to be doing that deep-side-parted, semi-wavy hair, though.

Kate Beckinsdale

Erica: Well, yes.

Kate: It’s just not fair that there is a human on this planet who looks like that.

Erica: It’s really not. And she gets to have that accent, too.

Kate: I also think she maybe borrowed this from JLo.

Erica: It’s definitely on the sexy end of things she wears.

Kate Hudson

Kate: Jesus H. Christ her body is absolutely insane.

Erica: She hasn’t aged at all.

Kate: I don’t even like this dress that much, but it looks so good on her, you know? She does wear white a little too often.

Erica: It does look like a very Kate Hudson dress.

Kate: When she arrived on the red carpet she ran over to Jennifer Aniston to say hi, and then they were interviewed back to back and were excited to see each other again, and I didn’t know those two were friends, so I thought that was kind of adorable.

Erica: I’m not sure why, but that makes total sense to me. That those two are friends.

Kate Mara

Kate: Hold on, are she and Kevin Spacey dating IRL? He was very handsy with her during his Ryan Seacrest interview (when he claimed to be wearing JoS. A. Bank, which was hilarious).

Erica: They cannot be dating. Can they? He’s old enough to be her grandfather.

Kate: Well, it’s a good color on her and I always love the way she does her makeup, but the hair is weird and the BELT? THE ORANGE BELT? Come on.

Erica: There is speculation on the internet right now that maybe they’re dating. So, they were not known to be dating before but everyone else is noticing the extreme not-just-friends demeanor of these two tonight. Ugh. Gross.

Katherine Heigl

Erica: Wow, she looks good.

Kate: Because it’s navy and structured it’s a bit too businessy for me, but I like how her hair is loose and sexy in contrast. Overall pretty good, Isobel Stevens! (I’m re-watching Grey’s. Terrible [wonderful] idea.)

Erica: Businessy? I feel like nothing with that neckline can be described as businessy. And I like navy, especially on blondes.

Katie Holmes

Erica: I love that color, both on her and in general.

Kate: Good, because that’s one of the wedding colors! But her side pony upsets me because it’s so obviously fake.

Erica: The side ponytail — I mean, why have a fake side ponytail when a side ponytail is not really a great formal look? Also, earrings.

Kate: Actually, she kind of looks like a bridesmaid. Which doesn’t mean she looks bad — hey, I want my bridesmaids to look fabulous — but she just doesn’t look like she’s on the red carpet.

Erica: Agreed.

Keira Knightley

Kate: Oh come on now.

Erica: Look, it’s obvious what’s happening here.

Kate: Is that a bib? And are those BIRDS on her dress? BIRDS?

Erica: No, butterflies. But come on, Kate. She’s punking us.

Kate: This is just a big fat NO for me.

Kerry Washington

Erica: I can’t make up my mind.

Kate: I can: NOPE. Not cute.

Erica: I don’t know, I think it kind of is cute? I mean, it’s not boring, and the silhouette is cool, and I’m not so in love with the side panels and it’s making complete pancakes of her boobs, but her hair and makeup look good?

Kate: Not cute at all. I am officially anti-Kerry Washington on the red carpet, and I would like everyone else to just get over her with me.

Lena Dunham

Erica: I mean, this is one of the best from her. Great color.

Kate: What she has done to her bangs makes her face look quite scary, and the too-dark makeup job doesn’t help.

Erica: I’m not disagreeing. Actually, I’d be fine with her eye makeup if she had a little bronzer or something. And I like the color of her hair right now.

Kate: The color of the dress is nicer on her skin tone than her usual choices, but the fit is not right. It looks like a tent, but not like it’s supposed to look like a tent. Can we not afford a quick alteration or two?

Erica: Yeah, there needs to be some structure in the torso there.


Kate: Hey look, there’s a human person underneath all that wacky hair!

Erica: I’m so out of it, I’m not even sure what you’re talking about with the hair.

Kate: She actually looks very nice. Separately I’m against pantsuits and midriff-baring tops, ESPECIALLY on the red carpet, but this whole thing together looks sleek and glamorous (minus the silly face she is making in this photo).

Erica: Yeah. I mean, she’s a young, alternative musician, so from her, I accept pants and midriff.

Lupita Nyong’o

Erica: Oh my goodness that is some craziness.

Kate: I feel like this dress is very her, and the purple is very fun, but it’s not WOWING me at all. I don’t really like her hair more grown out like that.

Erica: I feel like only she in the whole entire world can pull that dress off. I do not like it, but I appreciate its nuttiness and she looks very nice in it. Plus, can we talk about her arm and shoulder situation?

Kate: She actually looked adorable in her glasses when presenting!

Erica: She really did.

Maggie Gyllenhaal

Erica: She looks nice.

Kate: Great color on her, but overall a pretty boring dress.

Erica: I like the structure. I mean, I like it on her. I don’t love it as a general rule.

Melissa McCarthy

Erica: Feh.

Kate: I should hate this, but I totally don’t. She has worn the same three dresses to award shows for the past few years, and this is something fun and different and very I-wear-what-I-want. I think she looks great.

Erica: I think the dress is feh. I like her hair. I’m sort of liking the makeup.

Meryl Streep

Kate: I didn’t think Meryl was in attendance because she didn’t do the red carpet, and I don’t even have a photo for her, but she snuck in there in her fab glasses and classic black-and-white dress with a half-cape. Oh, Meryl!

Erica: I think she kind of doesn’t do red carpet.

Kate: And she was the FIRST person to stand up during the HFPA president’s speech. Oh, Meryl!

Michelle Monaghan

Kate: Ugh, I wanted more from her. This is, like, baggy and dull. Meh.

Erica: She is itsy-bitsy. This is also going to sound mean, but I’m going to say it anyway: She’s pretty in a very regular-girl way, but she doesn’t even remotely look like a movie star. Or TV star, or whatever.

Naomi Watts

Kate: I just feel like the whole snake jewelry thing, as well as the whole yellow dress thing, is so been-there-done-that.

Erica: I am with you on the dress. Yellow is not her color and I don’t know why she persists in believing it is. But I kind of like the necklace. I mean, it’s silly, but I like it.

Kate: The silhouette is very nice on her, but I think I’d like the whole thing more without the snake. It’s just too much.

Erica: I think the silhouette is boring. I will say she is aging incredibly gracefully.

Reese Witherspoon

Kate: Perfection.

Erica: I have to be honest. I’m a little…Bored.

Kate: But you’re wrong. It’s the exact right kind of sparkle, perfectly tailored to her gorgeous body, great hair and jewelry and makeup — best dressed nominee.

Erica: I mean, she looks very nice. I’m not saying she doesn’t. And I didn’t know she and Mindy Kaling were friends. That’s cool.

Kate: I also very much like the dress on Cheryl Strayed (Reese’s date) as a simple, elegant, I’m-the-author-of-a-book-that-was-turned-into-a-nominated-movie look.

Taylor Schilling

Kate: Eh…No. The top cuts her weird in some areas from some angles, and I feel like on the red carpet you need something that looks good from every angle, and the skirt is just bad. It’s also a very blah red.

Erica: Oh, I like the red, but I agree that it looks like the dress might not be cut really well.

Kate: I do love a sleek low bun, which is the other main hairstyle of the evening (or afternoon, for them).

Erica: I want yours somewhere between Jennifer Aniston’s and this one.

Kate: For the wedding, or for when I am finally nominated for a Golden Globe?

Tina Fey

Kate: Look #1 is not doing it for me — it’s a jeweled, strapless French maid outfit! Diggin’ the slightly poofed high pony, though.

Erica: That skirt is unfortunate.

Kate: I will give her the same pass I gave Amy because I know they have more than one look tonight.

Erica: Well, her second dress isn’t any better.

Kate: The second dress is just the first look just reconfigured? And I like the hair less. Come on, Tina!

Erica: Oh, I kind of like the second hair. Whatever. These ladies are hysterical. Who cares what they wear?

Kate: WE DO! The third look is silly and great, and probably my favorite of the night (for her).

Erica: Yes. I am enjoying it the most. She looks really adorable like that.

Kate: So, best dressed?

Erica: I mean, I’m really into Anna Kendricks’ princess look. I could go Emily Blunt, though.

Kate: Let’s agree on Emily Blunt, then! Worst dressed?

Erica: I mean, I’m a little inclined to give it to Keira Knightley, but I think she’s punking us, so I’m not sure we should. I might give it to Melissa McCarthy. I don’t like to, because I understand that formal wear for larger ladies is difficult, but I really hated it.

Kate: Nope, let’s go with Keira. Folks, catch us next month for the OSCARS! Yay!