Tag Archives: entertainment

MUST WATCH TV: being Mary Jane

I am a TV connoisseur.  I have a delicate palate for programming that has me shying away from most of what the general viewing public likes. I am not really a fan of reality TV. You’ll never hear me talk about Real Housewives of Anywhere, The Bachelor/rette, and Big Brother, Love & Hip Hop or any of the other favorites of virtually anyone else. According to my significant other, I like high-brow television (whatever that means). I like psychological dramas/thrillers (Criminal Minds is a fave), crime dramas (SVU, NCIS LA, Castle) and a bit of “trashy TV” with those teen “soaps” (yeah, I remember Drake from his days as Jimmy on Degrassi—so much for coming from the bottom…).

Recently, I’ve fallen for shows with women in high powered roles. As I said a few weeks ago here on the blog, I love Scandal (one of the few programs the rest of the viewing world and I seem to agree on). I love Kerry Washington’s character, Olivia Pope, with her take-charge no-nonsense attitude mixed in with a little vulnerability. As a woman of color, it’s refreshing to see someone like Kerry Washington in a starring role that is a character who is not relegated to a stereotypical life (let me not comment on Devious Maids). It’s been a while since we had a show like that. In the 80s we had Phylicia Rashad as Claire Huxtable (lawyer, wife, mom and all around fab woman) and shows like Girlfriends touched on it. But Scandal kind has lead the way for more actresses of color to get lead roles as highly successful, incredibly smart, beautiful, and stylish women in prime-time TV. Yes, they are somewhat flawed. It wouldn’t make for good TV if they weren’t.

Kerry Washington & Gabrielle Union (courtesy Zaput)

With Scandal on hiatus until the fall, there’s another show waiting in the proverbial wings.  Enter…being Mary Jane. Starring Gabrielle Union, the new series, debuting tonight, premieres in the form of a 2-hour movie on BET. Yes! BET. Why is this such a big deal? Well, it is the network’s first original drama series (created by the Mara Brock Akil, the producer of other hit series like Girlfriends and The Game). It is also marks Ms. Union’s return to the small screen.

The show centers around Mary Jane Paul, a successful TV anchor and well established woman who is the backbone to her family who don’t necessarily share her drive and ambition.  BET assembled an all-star supporting cast (Margaret Avery, Lisa Vidal and Richard Roundtree) to bring this drama to life that touches on major themes of love and family that should be easily identifiable with many of the viewership.  “I think you’ll see yourself or somebody that you know. If not Mary Jane, then one of the other characters,” Gabrielle Union said in a telephone interview with the Wall Street Journal.

I have high hopes for being Mary Jane.

Check out the trailer for tonight’s premier. The movie will become a series, expected to air in January.

MY STYLE CRUSH: Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington has been on my radar for a few years now with great roles in films like Ray (playing Ray Charles’ wife, Della Bea Robinson) and Last King of Scotland (playing Idi Amin‘s wife, Kay). However,  I think for me — like everyone else– she has been propelled to the forefront of everyone’s mind in her new role as Olivia Pope in ABC’s Scandal. Who doesn’t love seeing a highly successful, incredibly smart, beautiful (and yet so vulnerable) woman– and woman of color at that– getting it done and doing it looking with a stylish swagger to boot? I have to admit, part of the appeal for me is that Olivia Pope is the ultimate PR maven (as many of you may know, I am a PR Diva myself– I’m the woman behind the integrated communications firm Siena Media Group and the PR incubator, NY PR Diva).  And of course, practically every woman in America covets her style. Kerry Washington’s status has landed her on the cover of this month’s Elle Magazine.

The multi-page feature (comprised of a beautifully shot spread and dynamic interview) gives the readers of Elle a  glimpse into who the woman behind the “gladiators” really is. Kerry Washington dons Marc Jacobs, Giorgio Armani, Tom Ford and more in an ode to denim couture.

Not to give too much of the article away (seriously you should make sure you get a copy for yourself), Elle delved into this native New Yorker’s (she was born in the Bronx) past to show that Washington is much more than a pretty face in movies and on television. A product of one of the city’s most prestigious preparatory academies, the Spence School, and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from George Washington University (she gave the commencement address to the Class of 2013), Kerry talks about her journey of self discovery, how she found her happiness and who she is when she’s not on camera.

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Ms. Washington has been making the rounds in the press a lot recently. In addition to  the Elle feature, she also graced the covered and interviewed for the LA Times Magazine.  Recently, she sat down with fellow actor Don Cheadle for a candid interview with Variety Magazine about life in Hollywood, race, gender and activism. Watching the video gave me a renewed respect for both of these amazing people. Both talked about education, how they view race and gender in Hollywood and how they have affected their careers, why activism important and so much more.  Here’s the video for your viewing pleasure.

I can’t wait until the new season of Scandal starts in the fall– more drama, more style. more Kerry!

RED CARPET STYLE: 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards

During awards season, another weekend means another awards show. This past weekend, Hollywood feted their shining stars at the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.

So who scored big in the style department?

There were a few “blue belles” making grand entrances in navy including Amanda Seyfried in Zac Posen, Nicole Kidman in Vivienne Westwood and Jennifer Lawrence (now infamous) and Marion Cotillard both in Dior Couture.

Looking chic and sophisticated in classic black were Claire Danes in Givenchy, Naya Rivera in Donna Karan Atelier and making an artistic statement on the carpet, January Jones in Prabal Gurung.

Someone once said a redhead shouldn’t wear red. We’re glad the ginger haired Jessica Chastain didn’t take that advice. She looked ravishing in a red Alexander McQueen.

Kerry Washington (in Rodarte) and Sofia Vegara in Donna Karan were beautiful in winter white.

Other red carpet notables… Viola Davis in a teal Monique Lhuillier and Olympic Gold Medalist Gabrielle Douglas in a cute blue cocktail dress.

Amanda Seyfried in Zac Posen (Getty Images)

Amanda Seyfried in Zac Posen (Getty Images)

Nicole Kidman in Vivienne Westwood (Getty Images)

Nicole Kidman in Vivienne Westwood (Getty Images)

Jennifer Lawrence in the infamous Dior Couture gown (Getty Images)

Marion Cotillard in Dior Couture (Getty Images)

Claire Danes in Givenchy (Getty Images)

Naya Rivera in Donna Karan Atelier (Getty Images)

January Jones in Prabal Gurung (Getty Images)

Jessica Chastain in Alexander McQueen (Getty Images)

Kerry Washington in Rodarte (Getty Images)

Sofia Vergara in Donna Karan (Getty Images)

Viola Davis in Monique Lhuillier (Getty Images)

Gabrielle Douglas (Getty Images)

RED CARPET TRENDS: 2013 Golden Globe Awards

Last week’s People’s Choice Awards saw a debut of an emerging trend on the red carpet. But the 2013 Golden Globes Awards brought a new trend and a resurgence of an oldie but goodie.

So who was a red carpet stunner tonight?

The stars were seeing red. The favorite starlet in scarlet had to be Zooey Deschanel who looked exquisite in an Oscar de la Renta gown.

A trend that will always be…is classic black. This evening’s co-host Amy Poehler looked tres chic in her menswear inspired tuxedo along with beauties in black Sarah Hyland and new mommy (and first time winner) Adele showcased her curves in Burberry.

Nude and flesh toned dresses were back, but this time with a whole lot of bling. Favorites in the blush colors tonight were Hayden Penettiere in Roberto Cavalli and Megan Fox in Dolce and Gabbana.

White seems to be making it presence known as we glimpsed at the awards season opener earlier this month. Looking lovely tonight in white , Golden Globe winner Anne Hathaway in Chanel.

These were just a taste of my faves. For my full commentary from tonight’s red carpet, see my article on the Examiner.

70th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

Zooey Deschanel in Oscar de la Renta (Images courtesy of Getty Images)

70th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

Sarah Hyland (Image Courtesy of Getty Images)

70th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

Megan Fox in Dolce and Gabbana (Image Courtesy of Getty Images)

70th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

Anne Hathaway in Chanel (Image Courtesy of Getty Images)

70th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

Hayden Panettiere in Roberto Cavalli (Image Courtesy of Getty Images)

AWARDS STYLE: 2013 People’s Choice Awards

Last night’s People’s Choice Awards served as the official kick-off to the 2013 Awards season. It also gave us a glimpse of possible trends for this year’s red carpet fashion.

So what were some of the popular trends from last night?

White proved to be the most popular color last night eclipsing traditional black and the recent trend of brighter palettes. Notable standouts included Taylor Swift in a beautiful Ralph Lauren gown with a deep plunging neckline, Morena Baccarin in Donna Karan Atelier, Regina King and Nikki Deloach.

taylor swift

Taylor Swift in Ralph Lauren (Courtesy of Getty Images/Huffington Post)

jennifer lawrence

Hunger Games’ Jennifer Lawrence in Valentino Couture (Courtesy of Getty Images/Huffington Post)

regina king

Regina King (Courtesy of Getty Images/Huffington Post)

 

Valentino was also a popular choice at this year’s awards with the Hunger Games’ Jennifer Lawrence and Katy Perry opting for the famed fashion houses creations.

For more images and my full commentary on the red carpet fashion from the 2013 People’s Choice Awards, check out my article on the Examiner.

 

Introducing….THE CURVY SOCIALITE

Many of you have gotten used to getting your fix for New York Fashion Week and other city happenings from me over at NY PR Diva. Well, over the past few months I’ve decided to change the focus of NY PR Diva and keep it primarily as a place for news about my clients. But a lot of people are still interested in the news from the runways, parties and other social events around New York City. Have no fear. I’m still out and about, but this time, I’m bringing my adventures as a social butterfly to you in the form of a new online presence…THE CURVY SOCIALITE.

I’ve been thinking about launching this blog/e-zine for a long time now but the time never felt right. But here we are on the cusp of another Fashion Week in New York. IMG/Mercedes Benz debuted a new location for the shows (now fashion’s being feted at Lincoln Center), so why not debut my new “home?” So folks, here I am, Tamara Walker, the Curvy Socialite. Welcome and Enjoy!