Thank God 2011 is over! Let's hope 2012 brings everyone (particularly moi) better things.
Elisa (Who intends to be far more fabulous in the coming year)
Elisa (Who intends to be far more fabulous in the coming year)
Pascal Dangin is the premier retoucher of fashion photographs. Art
directors and admen call him when they want someone who looks less than great to
look great, someone who looks great to look amazing, or someone who looks
amazing already to look, as is the mode, superhuman.
...retouchers tend to practice semi-clandestinely. “It is known that everybody does it, but they protest,” Dangin said recently. I mentioned the Dove ad campaign that proudly featured lumpier-than-usual “real women” in their undergarments. It turned out that it was a Dangin job. “Do you know how much retouching was on that?” he asked. “But it was great to do, a challenge, to keep everyone’s skin and faces showing the mileage but not looking unattractive."
[During a session]...he proceeded to a shot of the actress reclining on a divan in a
diaphanous couture gown. “She looks too small, because she’s teeny,” he said. On
a drop-down menu, he selected a warping tool, a device that augments the volume
of clusters of pixels. The dress puffed up, pleasingly, as if it had been
fluffed by some helpful lady-in-waiting inside the screen.
Next, Dangin moved the mouse so that the pointer hovered near the actress’s neck. “I softened the collarbones, but then she started to get too retouched, so I put back some stuff,” he explained. He pressed a button and her neck got a little bonier. He
clicked more drop-down menus—master opacity stamp, clone stamp. ... He zoomed in so that her eyeball was the size of a fifty-cent piece. “I love all of this
little wrinkle”—laugh lines, staying put—“and the texture of skin. As you
retouch skin, you can very quickly shift the tonal value. If you put a highlight
where shadow used to be, you’re morphing the way the orbital socket is
structured. It leads to a very generic look.” Ultimately, he had minimized the
actress’s temples, which bulged a little, tightened the skin around her chin,
and excised a fleshy bump from her forehead. She had an endearingly crooked
bottom row of teeth, which Dangin knew better than to fix.
In another shot, the actress stood in the middle of a busy city street, in
front of a limestone building. Dangin blew up the segment of the screen that
showed her feet, which were traversed with ropy blue veins. Click. Gone.
“There’s a little slumpiness, and the knees look really big,” he said,
stroking a touch pad with a gray plastic stylus to contour the actress’s legs.
Source: Pixel Perfect
I urge my beloved readers to read article in its entirety. There is far more than can be conveyed in one entry. Next time you find yourself in despair because you don’t look like Anne Hathaway, bear in mind that Anne Hathaway doesn’t look like that either.
"Come here, little boy, and I'll show you my balloons."
The theme of this episode is parents. Good parents, bad parents, bad clowns who molest children parents, and Taub. I know there was supposed to be a connection to Taub's story and Dead Clown Father, as in, what's better, an absent father who molested you or a present father who doesn't touch your privates? Or something along those lines.
Taub's two illegitimate daughters are both named Sophie. Most of the episode is taken up with Taub’s—uh, Taub’s—Taub’s futzing around with the babies because the ever-annoying Rachel wants to move Sophie #1 to Portland along with her new BF. Meanwhile, Ruby, the other baby mama (be grateful she’s not named Rachel) bitches at Taub that she can’t afford a baby yada yada. I used to love Taub before his personal life became The B-Story That Ate The Show.
House isn’t around much for “Parents.” There is a passing mention of his two fathers. At last! An exploration of this pivotal shaping of House’s character and worldview. Oops. It’s a throwaway line. House wants to accompany Wilson to Atlantic City to sing ringside at a prizefight. So most of House’s storyline is devoted to getting his ankle bracelet off. Or dealing with a fat clinic patient who is convinced who has diabetes. Or randomly announcing that everyone's parents screwed them up.
Or trying to find out what Adams’s deep dark secret is. Adams, as usual, seems faintly distracted, as if worried she left her Iphone at the mall. Her big secret is that she was a good girl who ran away to see if she was a rebel, but she wasn’t. Is anyone even IN the writer’s room?
Most of my notes are along the lines of “Taub? Again?” and one notation: WILSON. Robert Sean Leonard has dropped any semblance of interest in his character—I don’t blame him—who has largely been reduced to sight gags. When one starts to feel nostalgic for the chicken bet, one is peering into the abyss. Foreman calls Wilson into his office and tells Wilson that it’s his duty as a friend to stay with House and watch the fight on television. Wilson realizes, shocked, that this is the truth as well as his higher duty (to be honest, the way RSL played it I was sure Wilson was faking) and takes the tickets out of his pocket.
The end of the episode shows Wilson coming to House’s place with pizza and beer, eagerly turning on the fight, only to see Foreman and House sitting ringside, toasting each other with a beer. Ruefully, Wilson eats pizza.
As my betters say, WTF?
David Shore and company are doing the artistic equivalent of leaving a flaming bag of dog poop on the audience’s collective doorstep.
POST EPISODE CONCLUSIONS:
Hugh Laurie has it in his new contract that he only has to work eight hours a day.
Robert Sean Leonard has gone even more meta than the show itself by delivering his lines as if even he can’t believe them.
Nice little anecdote about how Chase became interested in medicine.
Foreman as Dean of Medicine continues to delight—when he isn’t involved in stupid gags.
Terra Nova is on before House to make House sound like Chaucer. The strategy isn’t working.
House lectures Adams about the 99% and why they deserve to get the shaft. And why she should drive her car through her ex-husband's living room.
Oops. That was when David Shore et.al actually cared about what they were doing. My respect for Hugh Laurie drops another ten points with each episode. He practically slept through this one. (Not to mention that his hair and beard are still that bizarre ginger color.)
The bottom line: House buys stock in the company when it drops because of the news of Nouri’s ill health. He then makes a huge profit when Nouri decides to move the company to China! He urges the magnate to sign the press release, in front of the magnate’s horrified daughter. Way to go, you rascal House, you! Insider trading, ruining thousands of lives, losing thousands of American jobs, AND wrecking the magnate’s family in the process!
Pardon me, I had to pause writing the review so I could vomit.
The show has moved me, it has made me think, it has angered me, it has bored me. But except for last season’s finale, I have never felt utter DISGUST. Is this supposed to be cute? Is this “going back to the fun”?? What do they do in the writer’s room, torture kittens?
Dr. Park floats around the periphery, her disciplinary hearing won because, well, she’s just so adorable, how can you fire her? (Besides, she's signed up for the season.)
The POTW’s illness is described quickly with some medical gobbledy-gook. This season, the MagiCam has been used to (loudly) distract from whatever diagnosis House is spouting. The visuals have become as confusing as everything else. Can someone tell me what the diagnosis was? It involved a lot of spinning red discs, that much I know.
At the end, House buys back his old department with his ill-gotten gains and Wilson (who is on for a few nanoseconds) a check for $5000. I suppose this is supposed to make up for all of the money House owes Wilson, and it conveniently buys his friendship for the rest of the season as well. Which is nicely symbolic of Robert Sean Leonard keeping his job.
In the last moments, we discover that Adams is going through a divorce (gag me) that will supposedly give her character some depth. Given her age, she must have been married down South. House hands her a baseball bat and watches, grinning, as she destroys the orthopedic equipment that has occupied his “office,” as “Morning Has Broken” plays on the soundtrack. Yes, nothing says “catharsis” like trashing expensive medical equipment out of spite.
As one friend wrote to me:
The $5000 was money he stole from Wilson - he was just returning it.Crimes committed by House in this episode-
Pretty good record for a guy on parole....
* I shall be honest and admit I had to cover my eyes during this section, because I have a mild medical condition where I cannot look at flashing lights.
On the positive side…
On the positive side…
Wilson looks hot.
Foreman’s character is being fleshed out beautifully, after years of standing around looking sullen. He projects authority, intelligence, and humor.
Not to worry, House will have his minions tearing up Foreman’s office for no good reason before season 8 is over.
From left, Rhea Norman, Maddie Page (executive editrix of PMM), Tulin Reid, organizer of the event, and friend.
Most coats sell in "standardized" sizes, which change from manufacturer to manufacturer. Not only do the sizes vary wildly, there is the issue of “vanity sizing.” I strongly disapprove of this tactic. Why should I be called a Medium? In a misses size a medium might fit around one thigh.
The innovation is that Just As You Are has created a “matching system” that pairs women’s key body measurements directly with those of each coat and jacket. This gives larger lovely a nearly customized fit.
Tulin with designer Mark
As drinks were sipped, we were treated to a fashion show of simply gorgeous coats. Glamorous Erica Watson, actress and comedian, provided an entertaining running commentary. The designer, Mark, a handsome young man whose first language is decidedly not English, read from descriptions of each garment. Listening to him stumble over words made the event even more enjoyable, for some bizarre reason. What can one say, some of us have a twisted sense of humor. Rhea Norman styled the models impeccably.
The models, all plus size, walked through the crowd, allowing us to paw at the garments. What impressed your loyal epistler the most was the construction details: extra buttons, branded metal zippers, excellent workmanship. AUI Ltd. has been designing and making women’s’ coats for over 50 years. Their expertise showed. Their laudable intention is to bring fine fashion to the great unwashed masses, and they succeeded.
Your faithful correspondent examines a coat.
The Angola coat
The Aurora coat
My personal favorite was the Angola, a zebra striped boiled wool handkerchief hem coat. Alas it is unlined, so it is not for moi. I am violently allergic to wool. However, there was a wealth of velour, down, faux fur, faux leather in various styles. My other favorite was the wool melton Aurora jacket, a modern "mixed media" coat with an assymetrical zip front. Not my usual style. But when something looks that good on moi I am willing to bend my own rules.
After viewing the coats, the designer and Ms. Watson took questions from the audience. We were a vocal lot, and I do hope we were helpful. I know I was, with my vast store of fashion knowledge and superb style of expressing myself.
By far the best part (besides the cocktails) was the racks and racks of coats for us to try on! After the presentation an absolute riot broke out as we rushed to grab our favorites from the racks. I might have body-blocked Marie Denee.
Exhausted from the day, I did not attend the roof-top afterparty. In the elevator, the teenaged operator told me I was beautiful and asked for my number. The rest is silence.
Save for one thing: please visit http://www.asure.com/ to discover their selection. Yes, I know you don’t want to take your measurements, but do so, it will be VERY worth your while.
House and Mendelson discuss medicine
Yaitanes’s style tends to be over the top: explosions, musical numbers, and of course House smashing into Cuddy's living room. One of the unexpected aspects of this episode is that it is quite tranquil. The prison setting has the feeling of a large dormitory, with worse security than PPTH. That is saying something. As the inmates mill about the two-tiered set, there is one or at most two guards to be seen. If this is a minimum security prison, why are there psychotic killers there? If it is a maximum security prison, why aren’t there more guards? Why are there female guards, nurses and doctors? None of the prisoners harass them sexually? I told you these men were well-behaved. Or the cooks put saltpeter in the chow. There are a few punches thrown, but that’s about it until House reneges on Mendelson.
House’s cellmate is a homicidal killer (Kaleti Williams). This character was my personal favorite. Williams manages a complex performance with only a handful of lines. Guest stars Jaleel White and Michael Pare’ also have a handful of lines each, the latter appearing as the prison warden in the cold open, and the former as a chipper fellow inmate.
There is the PTOW, a memorable one for a change, repeatedly misdiagnosed until the final epiphany (the reveal is the sappiest I’ve ever seen outside of a Lifetime movie). There is a Wilson substitute who provides obligatory lectures and tells House not to be House. There is Cameron 3.0 in the person of Jessica Adams, a wide-eyed pretty young doctor. Odette Annabel, who plays Adams, looks completely out of place, as if she’s wearing her mother’s lab coat. As well as a gold necklace that has magically managed never to get stolen in a prison clinic. She is further burdened with the largest amount of expositional dialogue (when House tells her he wants to study Dark Matter physics so he can avoid any more human contact, she exclaims girlishly, “You can read people! You understand them! You gotta go back to medicine!”).
There’s only so much suspension of belief one can work with. The POTW’s arm is broken in one dramatic scene then not treated or even referenced again. And House as a prison janitor? “We need a janitor—let’s get the crippled guy!” (Small note: how does he get up and down the stairs?) How is he surviving on two Vicodin a day? The show hasn’t bothered much about House’s pain problem since Season Five, so when his cane is stolen he’s able to limp about ably with his hand on his thigh. He rubs it now and again to remind us it is there.
Hugh Laurie turns in a workmanlike performance. His passion has moved on to music, and it shows. The rest of the cast is uniformly good. As for the script, as one fan put it,"All I wanted from this episode was for it to Just.Not.Suck." It doesn't.
If this premiere episode is formulaic, at least it’s a workable formula.