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Review: House, 8×12, "Chase" vs. God

DAHLINGS –

The plot of “Chase” can be summed up in one phrase: boy gets nun; boy sleeps with nun; God gets nun.

Watching this knowing that the show has been cancelled fills one with an odd combination of sadness and relief. The slackness of tone gives one the impression the writers were already looking for new jobs.

Like “Wilson” and “5 to 9”, “Chase” focuses on a single character. Jesse Spencer is one of the strongest actors in the cast, but he’s working with weak material. The episode attempts to tackle the subject of faith from a different angle than House’s impenetrable atheism. Chase was sent to seminary school, as has been mentioned over the years. The reason for his leaving? Crisis of faith? Disillusionment? No, being a horny teenage boy and having an affair with the groundskeeper’s wife. We’ve been waiting eight seasons for this?

Naturally, Almost-Nun is a blonde babe, like the “asexual” woman a few episodes back. Your faithful correspondent is not certain whether she is a noviate or a postulant, but honestly, who cares? She is going full-on Catholic, becoming a cloistered Carmelite nun, forbidden to speak, and presumably, stop dying her hair blonde and wearing underwire bras.

Chase and Blonde Not-Virgin-Mary have a number of dreary conversations about faith. These are eerily similar to the debates House had in “Unfaithful” or countless other episodes where he stumbled across some poor sap who believed in God.

If Chase is not sure he wants to return to PPTH, why is he hanging around? He’s on crutches from being stabbed in the heart last week (don’t ask). Somehow being stabbed in the heart doesn’t seem to have slowed Chase down. Including the inevitable scene where Chase and Not-Virgin-Mary tumble into bed and make sweet, sweet love. He even opens the tiny bandage for a reason that escapes me and we get to see the near-fatal, traumatic…pencil-sized wound.

After Wilson donated part of his liver to a friend in “Wilson”, he winced whenever he moved. Even after he left the hospital. But it clearly doesn’t impair Chase from cavorting with Not-Virgin-Mary.


“So, do you like to swing?”

But God has Other Plans for Not-Virgin-Mary. Post-coital in Chase’s bed, her neck swells up. She’s rushed off to PPTH for surgery! Which Chase performs! Huh? Hadn’t he decided he didn’t work there anymore? Did I miss something?

Not-Virgin-Mary has a vision during surgery that God is calling her. Somehow one night of sweet, sweet love has convinced Chase he loves her. But no. She’s going to put on the habit and leave our corrupt world behind. I’d care if they had bothered to give Not-Virgin-Mary a personality, but the writers forgot. They were too busy writing YET ANOTHER PRANK WAR, this time between House and Taub. Although it was a pleasure to see Taub without those dreadful twins, the prank war…it’s so tedious that describing it will set off my narcolepsy.

“Ha! I win!”

Chase goes weeping to House, who gives him a fatherly talk about Chase reassessing his life after his mistakes. No, don’t ask me what that means. It didn’t stop Chase in Season Two when he killed a patient in “The Mistake.” (Maybe he reassessed his life that time during the commercial breaks?) Perhaps one of my darling readers can explain the to me in the comments.

The upside of all of this is that Adams and Park have virtually nothing to do. The downside is that Wilson appears for a blink-and-you’ll-miss-him scene.

Feel free to respond in the comments. And yes, the show was canceled. All the talk of “deciding to come to an end” sounds suspiciously like public relations hooey. Let’s hope the series finale leaves the cast alive—most of them, anyway. When you comment, remember, I am always right.

Ciao,
Elisa & Fletcher

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Taking A Partial Hiatus…

DAHLINGS –

After giving the matter much thought, your faithful correspondent shall be taking a partial hiatus from her blog-thing. There shall still be recapping television shows, perhaps reviewing some films, and as always, writing about plus-size issues.

Please do not worry that this means anything significant. Merely that if I can’t be as fabulous as necessary, I need to slow down.

I am not able to attend Mercedes Benz Fashion Week this year, so there will be no coverage. It is strongly suggested that you read one of the fine blogs listed on the right.

Ciao,

Elisa & Fletcher

How Planned Parenthood Saved Me

In the wake of the Komen Foundation’s baffling decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood, I decided to reprint this entry from May 2011.

DAHLINGS –

I do not dwell in the past, but the battles over the reproductive rights of women compel me to reveal a few pertinent facts. Planned Parenthood was the only resource when I was a young woman–a young, upper-middle class woman with a good education and family background–that helped women of every class and nationality, in confidence.Today Planned Parenthood is so often presented (not always transparently) as a program that is targeted at minorities and encourages promiscuity.

THAT IS SO IDIOTIC THAT IT DEFIES BELIEF!

Ahem.

It is not a matter of pro-life/pro-choice, it is a matter of WOMAN CONTROLLING THEIR REPRODUCTIVE DESTINIES RATHER THAN THEIR REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEMS CONTROLLING THEM. It is about women’s health, not only abortion. Contraception, family planning, prenatal care.

What, in God’s name, is so hard to understand about that? Oh, pardonnez moi, 95% of the politicians voting to cut funding are male. It’s not going to have an impact on their day to day lives. ONLY ALL OF THE WOMEN IN THEIR CONSTITUENCY!!!As the Reverend Debra Haffner writes: “Access to maternal health care, contraception and family planning services can and should be available to all women, regardless of nationality, geography, economic status or other factors. “http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-debra-haffner/celebrate-mothers-locally_b_858048.html

I am not used to being outraged, dear readers, but this is simply too much to bear. My story, in brief. When I was a young woman, I was extremely attractive to the opposite sex. (Thank goodness some things never change.)

As my dear darling Mama had taught me, I was religious about birth control. I never had unprotected sex.

At 21, I missed several periods. I was panicked. I couldn’t tell anyone. I was afraid to tell my ob/gyn. Partly because I was 21 and things like this were not supposed to happen to moi.

Pregnancy happened to careless, low-class women. Never to moi.

The only option was to go to the Planned Parenthood clinic in New York City, although I lived outside the city at the time. I was examined, and the doctor told me the most beautiful words in the world:”You’re not pregnant.”

The burden fell off my shoulders, and I resumed my life, both practical and romantic. Again, I was religious about birth control. Perhaps my taste in partners was occasionally lacking, but not my protection of myself. It happened again. This time with all of the symptoms that went along with being enciente. I was still young, unmarried, with absolutely no desire for children. What could have gone wrong? I was so careful!

Again, I sought out Planned Parenthood. Again, it was a false alarm. Faithful readers, if an abortion had been called for either time, I would have had one in a heartbeat. I was far too young, far too inexperienced, with no interest in having a child. I would have been a terrible mother. Je ne regrette rien. It happened once again, in the weeks before my marriage. We knew we couldn’t afford to have a baby. My fiance was in school. Abortion was our only option. We were devastated, but it would have been the only feasible choice. Again, Planned Parenthood. Again, a false alarm.

Years later I researched a novel (yes, your faithful correspondent has some skeletons in her past, including some unpublished novels) about a young woman whose father is an abortionist, circa 1916. The lack of women’s choices in those days, both in love and in work, fascinated me. (Also I adored the clothes, a major component in writing an historical novel. At least for moi.)For research, I went to the Planned Parenthood main office and archives. These were in the days before the loonies started destroying the material–although it had just started.

Over the weeks I read dozens of articles, personal stories, medical journals, etc. All described the horror of life before accessible birth control. Back alley abortions, suicide, women chained in unhappy marriages, women literally unable to STOP having children whether they wanted to or not. Millions of unwanted children raised by miserable or cold, uncaring mothers. Fathers trapped in jobs because they had so many mouths to feed.


“Down With The Abortion Clause” Kathe Kollwitz,1924


THERE WAS NO CHOICE. AT ALL. UNLESS YOU WANTED TO RISK DEATH.

Or join a convent, but that seems a tad extreme, don’t you think? Some members of the government dream of going back to that happy time! There is more to say upon the topic, but I shall save it for another entry. Dear readers, do not let the government slash Planned Parenthood funding. They help prevent more unwanted children coming into the world and the women without the money or too frightened to get the help they need.

Ciao,

Elisa & Fletcher

P.S. I still use birth control conscientiously. And recommend that my readers do the same. Planned Parenthood is an excellent resource.

A Valentine’s Day Special From Leading Lady Bras

DAHLINGS –

Far be it from me to withhold the gift of uplift to my fellow larger lovelies! Today I received the following press release:

This Valentine’s Day We’re Sharing the LOVE from the Intimates, Out

LEADING LADY wants women everywhere to slip into “sexy” with a new bra and a perfect fit to enhance their curves!

New fans can Like us on Facebook for an introductory 10% discount code. All of our fans can Tweet “I LOVE @LeadingLadyBras” TODAY and on VALENTINE’S DAY and receive a 10% discount code. The codes can be used at our e-boutique during the entire month of February. So go on — Spread the word, Share the Love!

Promotion codes are good for one per person. Cannot be combined with any other coupon offers. Discount applied at check out. Expires 02/29/12

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Disclaimer: your faithful correspondent has “road-tested” two Leading Lady bras, size 42DD. This bra was lovely and gave excellent support and (most important) projection:


Scalloped Lace Underwire Bra

The other bra was, simply, the largest bra I have ever worn. Not in bra size, but in size. The neckline almost reached my collarbone. It fit well, but let us say, that it is not exactly this writer’s preferred look. A woman who feels she needs maximum support would undoubtedly find this more to her taste.

Molded Seamless Wirefree Bra

I urge you to go to their website and browse their extensive selection of full-figure and nursing bras. You shall be pleasantly surprised.

Ciao,
Elisa

New Daily Format, Dahlings!

DAHLINGS –

After much agonizing, I made an Important Decision. Instead of waiting between posts, I shall post a diary entry every day. Do not fret. Here will still be articles, polemic, rants, fashion, all written in my inimitable style. However, I have decided that life’s petty pace should be documented.

I am writing this at my fabulous oceanfront mansion (featured in Architectural Digest). Outside the window is blowing, seagulls are flying, the ocean is…well, oceaning or whatever it does. My phone is turned off, and I am about to plow through a mountain of press releases inviting me to various unexciting events. However, it is so nice to be wanted.

Ciao,
Elisa

Hitler Finds Out That House And Cuddy Broke Up

DAHLINGS

I’m only starting to crawl out of my cave, forgive me. Every time I look around my luxurious Art Deco office, I remember Bucky having accidents there. As I stroll around its rooms, I remember Bucky biting people (most infamously, Andre Leon Talley).

But most of all, I recall the loving companionship he provided at all times and so much more. It has been impossible to be as…well…superficial as this blog-thing requires. Entirely too many Deep Thoughts have been running through my head.

So, I apologize for this being the first entry after my “hiatus,” but it made me laugh more than anything else has in a while.

Ciao,
Elisa…

Beauty From The Past: Real Women, Real Stars

DAHLINGS –

I hope you had a delicious Thanksgiving!

A dear friend sent me a link to this. It is possibly one of the EARLIEST uses of color film extant. Shot in 1922, this is a test of Kodachrome film by Kodak.

It lets you see the natural beauty of the women, how they wore their clothes and hair, how they moved their bodies. If some of it seems self-conscious, that is natural, since they being told what to do and how to move by a person behind the camera. The blonde at the end is the 1920s star Mae Murray who had an extremely popular look among women: the bobbed hair and “bee-stung” lips (lips painted into small cupids bows).

Here is some information supplied by a faithful reader:

“In these newly preserved tests, made in 1922 at the Paragon Studios in Fort Lee, New Jersey, actress Mae Murray appears almost translucent, her flesh a pale white that is reminiscent of perfectly sculpted marble, enhanced with touches of color to her lips, eyes, and hair. She is joined by actress Hope Hampton modeling costumes from The Light in the Dark (1922), which contained the first commercial use of Two-Color Kodachrome in a feature film. Ziegfeld Follies actress Mary Eaton and an unidentified woman and child also appear.”

The clothes are what the stylish young lady wore in 1922. Vintage lovers, take note! Watch and enjoy!

Along the same lines is this promotional film, also starring young actresses of the time.

And finally, from 1913 we have the reigning beauty of the 1890s, LILLIAN RUSSELL! She was past her prime, but ten years before she had been the reigning beauty of the day. Her voluptuous proportions were the ideal of the 1890s, later revived by Mae West.

Another benefit of watching old films is that you can see what earlier definitions of “beautiful bodies” were. For instance, look at Clark Gable shirtless, or the chorus girls in any Busby Berkeley musical. Speaking of the latter, a male escort and I were viewing “Golddiggers of 1933.” When the camera zoomed in for a close-up of the legendary Ginger Rogers, he exclaimed, “she has brown teeth!” No, she had natural teeth. Something that has not existed in Hollywood for many years.

Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog