Archive | April, 2012

In praise of Fringe’s wardrobe department

Spoiler status: this post is about Season 4, Episode 18. I don’t think it’s spoiler-y for anyone past episode 2 of this season but YMMV so, please, proceed with caution if you haven’t been watching recently.

There were a couple of moments that led to my favourite scene in this season’s Fringe. First, Walter packing a case to cross to the other side, even though he wasn’t meant to stay for more than a few hours –

[Olivia] Walter, you do realize that we’re just walking through a door.

Then, when the investigation did indeed involve staying for a few days, his acceptance of Faux-livia’s invitation to stay at her place –

[Walter]  I’d appreciate that, thank you. I shall refrain from sleeping naked.

These little moments led to the vision that was Walter, padding through the house in the middle of the night, dressed in a silky, glittery dressing gown which the wardrobe department should totally get a prize for.

You might assume it belongs to Olivia – it is certainly feminine, and he is staying in her house – but it fits him just fine, and he’s a man who’s middle belies his sweet tooth. I very much doubt that a gown belonging to buff Agent Dunham would cover enough of Walter to spare his decency. Or our eyes. No, I’m sure the gown is his, and he packed it himself, and it suits his character so wonderfully that I’m still thinking about it a few days later. It’s a genius detail that reflects something we love about Walter –  how he’ll always chooses pleasure over convention, and usually not realise there was any other choice to make.

I bet it’s a real thrill to be a wardrobe person and come across an item which is perfect for your character. How does it work? Do they get a budget to go shopping specifically for the cast, or do they keep an eye out when shopping for themselves? Like, they’re out buying ordinary things for themselves, maybe a vest or a new pair of jeans, when in the corner of their eye they see it – the perfect gown for brilliant, tragic Walter, or a sexy black jacket that cocky, futuristic Agent Lee would love.

Comparing the doubles is one of my favourite things about this series – I’m always watching to see how the writers and wardrobe differentiate between the characters. It’s more than the ear-pieces that the alternates wear, or the blimps in the sky overhead. It’s more than the classic ‘Rebel wears hair gel, Nerd wears glasses’ trope, though that’s definitely in play. It’s their expressions, the way they walk, how they look at each other. Anna Torv has played at least three different women this season – all Olivia, all different enough that I reckon I could tell them apart just by listening to how they spoke. There must be something there I can steal and use in my writing.

In many ways, Walter is the TV character I’d most like to be. He’s self indulgent, blasting his favourite music from stacked-up speakers with no care for the neighbours, eating whatever he craves, whenever he likes. He’s usually crammed full of psychedelic drugs, while either padding around naked or in slinky robes shot through with shimmer. He’s dearly loved and well respected, indulged by the government because he is a genius. He has a pet cow and he sees Joshua Jackson every day. All of these things would make me very happy indeed.

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Things I have done since I realised I could finish writing my novel in one week

Cleaned the bathroom, including inside the cupboards

Eaten a whole cake

Finished three knitting projects

Decided it’s important to watch all of The Walking Dead immediately

Decided it’s important to learn how to use the knitting machine I’ve owned for eight years

Googled the lyrics for ‘Reproduction’ from Grease 2

Gone through the 600+ books on my Kindle, organising them into folders and reading all the samples

Listened to all the extras for Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater and wondered if I should learn to play an instrument too

Organised all of my toiletries into separate bags

Read about the difference between bourbon and whisky

Learned how to make an Old Fashioned

Washed four loads of laundry

Pinned 200 pins

Gone to the beach

Watched a whole series of Bones

Replaced the lightbulbs in all the things in the house that needed new lightbulbs

Replaced the batteries in all the things in the house that needed new batteries

Learned how to make bracelets from shoelaces

Updated my blog.

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A kingdom to rule. No one to trust.

Bitterblue trailer squee!

Right, now it’s time for Project Re-read Graceling.

Step One: be thankful that you bought your beautiful, book-hungry mother her own copy, so you don’t have to wait for her to give this one back.

Step Two: try to remember who borrowed Fire.

Step Three: place Bittterblue pre-order.

(If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s an explanation. Graceling is one of my favourite books ever so, yes, you should read it. Read it now).

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Fades to Black

the fades

Oh no – found out that The Fades, a programme I raved about here, has not been commissioned for a second series.  Stupid budget cuts. Stupid BBC.

Apparently it was that or a new series of Being Human. No fair! I don’t watch Being Human (loved the pilot, underwhelmed by first series, will retry someday), but I’m not suggesting it should have been sacrificed for The Fades – I just want more than one genre programme. Too much to ask, huh?

Budget cuts already mean I’m dressed in rags* and can’t afford a pint – now I don’t get decent telly, either? As Den of Geek puts it so nicely, at least “there’s always plenty of Don’t Tell the Bride and Snog, Marry or Avoid to be going on with…”


*Luckily, rags suit me. My grunge teen years are finally paying off.

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