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Project Runway is back for it’s seventeenth season and while the format is mostly the same, the absence of familiar faces brings about big changes in the design competition show that (mostly) bring a freshness to the long running series.
So what’s different? Former host Heidi Klum and mentor favorite Tim Gunn, two names synonymous with Project Runway, have jumped ship to start their own show on Amazon Prime Video. Hosting duties have now been passed over to model Karlie Kloss while mentorship is now with former Project Runway contestant Christian Siriano (who also takes a judges chair) who has built a rather reputable name within the industry since his stint on the show.
Two new judges are also joining the fold, journalist and Teen Vogue editor Elaine Welteroth along with fashion designer Brandon Maxwell. Thankfully, Nina Garcia has stuck around to keep a familiar face on the show though it feels like she keeps looking around hoping Heidi and Tim will pop out and surprise them all.
The work room has also been given a makeover with the familiar white room now replaced with a more industrial NYC loft feel.
Aside from that, Project Runway moves quickly into its rhythm, contestants jumping quickly into their first challenge, a trip to Mood, a tearful breakdown and designers shining while others fail to micro manage their time well enough to put a garment down the runway. The models, like more recent seasons, are of all shapes, colors and sizes and includes the shows first ever trans model Mimi who has a touching moment with her designer Kovid.
The new workroom and new faces help freshen up Project Runway but the first episode really does suffer from any lack of chemistry between the the judges. That spark between Heidi and Tim just isn’t there with Karlie and Christian, but then again, this is something that could develop over time.
Arena are fast tracking episodes from the USA with express screenings on Fridays at 1:35pm and then again at 8:30pm. Episode one (which has already aired) is available on repeats with episode two hitting our screens this coming Friday, March 22nd.
The magazine may be a slowly dwindling media format thanks to the internet and its ability to provide up-to-the-minute breaking news easily shared through various social media channels, but throwback to pre-world wide web, where prime time television shows like Friends and Melrose Place were bringing in 20 million viewers weekly and magazines were selling just as many copies of issues where exclusive interviews with A-listers would be accompanied by ‘that’ magazine cover photo.
Whether it be scandalous, beautiful or emotive, magazines in the 90’s provided some of the most iconic covers that still could go toe-to-toe with the likes of Kim K on Paper Magazine or Caitlin Jenner on Vanity Fair. Take a look below at some of the most iconic magazine covers from the 90’s.
Such uproar occurred from this photo of a 28 year old Demi Moore, naked and heavily pregnant on the cover of Vanity Fair’s August 1991 issue that some supermarket’s pulled it from shelves while others hid it, treating it like an issue of Playboy. The pose however would be later recreated by such stars as Natalie Portman, Britney Spears and Serena Williams
It was a mere twelves months later when Demi Moore returned to create another iconic cover for Vanity Fair, once again shot by Annie Leibovitz, once again naked, this time however, covered in a painted on three piece suit.
Magazine: Vanity Fair | Date: August 1993 Issue | Cover Star: K.D Lang and Cindy Crawford.
Cindy Crawford clad in a tight black swimsuit shaving a suited up K.D Lang who is happily nuzzled into the cleavage of the supermodel. In 1993, the controversy writes itself with the two women, photographed by Herb Ritz, causing a stir with the gender bending image of Lang who had recently come out as a Lesbian.
Magazine: Rolling Stone | Date: May 19th 1994 Issue | Cover Star: Laura Leighton, Heather Locklear and Josie Bissett
The Melrose Place ‘bod squad’ featuring Laura Leighton, Josie Bissett and Heather Locklear, all clad in night-times whites, tousled hair and alluring stares. The cover was hot but caused a stir when it was revealed the other two stars Daphne Zuniga and Courtney Thorne-Smith were hidden under a flap. This shoot and resulting cover was brought up in the Unofficial Melrose Place Story created by Lifetime that mentioned Leighton contacting her agent with her concern about her co-stars not making the cover.
Magazine: Rolling Stone | Date: May 16th 1996 Issue | Cover Star: David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson
HOT. HOT. HOT. No other words to describe this Rolling Stone magazine cover that sent a million X-Files nerds into boner frenzy. A topless Gillian Anderson offering some side-boob, draped over a topless David Duchovny, arms wrapped tightly around each other. The image played heavily on the public’s want of their on-screen alter ego’s FBI Agents Mulder and Scully to hook up.
Magazine: Rolling Stone | Date: April 15th 1999 Issue | Cover Star: Britney Spears
Coming off the back of her number one hit “Hit Me Baby One More Time”, 17 year old Spears, wound up on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine wearing not much at all. The photos, shot by David LaChapelle caused outrage from the parents of her tween fans while In 2008, the singer’s mother, Lynne, explained how her daughter ended up posing for the controversial photos. “We were in shock at what was going on, and we were in awe. We didn’t have any choice in the pictures. We had no one that could tell us what we were supposed to be doing.”
Magazine: TIME| Date: April 14th 1997 Issue | Cover Star: Ellen Degeneres
42 million people in the USA alone watched Ellen’s alter-ego Ellen Morgan, come out as a lesbian. It was unheard of and the moment became an iconic one in television history. TIME’s magazine cover featuring Degeneres, herself, coming out as a lesbian proved too much for America in 97′ which eventually saw Ellen lose her show and become an unwanted talent in Hollywood.
Magazines were feeding into the public frenzy that was the untimely death of Princess Diana in 1997. Covers showing grainy paparazzi snaps of the crash scene or of Diana pre death were everywhere. People’s tribute issue featured a touching black and white photo of the peoples princess, smiling brightly, allowing us to remember the woman so loved by the public. The issue became the magazine’s highest selling issue (3.1 million) until the 2001 9/11 attacks.
For anyone who was pop-culture loving teenager in the 90’s, the name George Lange might not sound that familiar, but his work as a photographer should be more than burned into your teen psyche as Lange’s photographs graced not only the covers of major magazines world wide but also many a teenage bedroom wall (certainly mine) with his iconic photos with the casts of Seinfeld, Melrose Place, Dawson’s Creek, The X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer – just to name a few.
Those iconic photos featured the cast of Friends all dressed in black and white, perching precariously in white shadow boxes on a red backdrop, the cast of Seinfeld, dressed in their character garb, posing under an umbrella with pigeons, X-Files star Gillian Anderson perched high on co-star David Duchovny’s shoulders and Merlose’s Marcia Cross and Thomas Calabro playing in copious amounts of feathers while Laura Leighton shot out of a television dressed in a slinky silver mini.
While these photos iconic and a flashback to the heights of prime time television that was the mid 90’s, these images slowly faded into fond memories perhaps found years later on a dusty Entertainment Weekly cover found in the attic and as Lange even notes on one of his Instagram posts, they become buried under the weight of history.
For 2019, Lange though, is taking a new positive approach to his archives with a new collection of his classic prints and embracing the work that he was once afraid to look into for fear of being unable to move forward. The collection, titled ‘First Run ReRuns’ offers a look at the never before printed images from some of Lange’s most memorable work. The photos that didn’t make the cover or included in the photo spread.
‘First Run ReRuns’ opens on March 7th at The Dairy for the Arts in Boulder, Los Angeles and runs until April 14th. For those wanting to know more about the images, sessions and Lange’s process can attend an evening with George Lange on March 20th where you can check out scenes from actual photo shoots, hear from those who admire his work and get an inside look at his dynamic process.
For most people, living a life of lies and deceit isn’t a lasting one but for John Meehan, he turns it into a house on the waterfront, access to copious amounts of money and a lifestyle he could only have ever dreamed of.
Taking shockingly brutal and unbelievably incredible tales of true crime and turning them into binge-worthy documentaries really is the flavor of the moment. From Making a Murderer to The Keepers, The Staircase and Evil Genius there seems to be a story for everything. And it’s only been recently where those stories have been glossed over for scripted television and and sometimes it’s good (The People vs OJ Simpson) and sometimes it’s not so good (The Assassination of Gianni Versace – unpopular opinion I know)
The next ‘glossed over for TV’ story is Netflix’s Dirty John (via a full season run on America’s Bravo channel) based off the hugely popular L.A Times Podcast of the same name that follows well-off but unlucky in love interior designer Debra Newell (played by Connie Britton and her fabulous hair) who, with four failed marriages to her name, decides to get back on the online dating train and after a slew of disastrous dates, John Meehan (Eric Bana) with his cargo shorts, sweet demeanor and good looks arrive at the perfect moment in her dwindling love life to sweep her off her feet.
Though red flags begin to appear by the end of the first date, that doesn’t stop Deb and we watch as she dives very quickly into a new relationship with the mysterious John and it’s not long before the people in her life, including her children, start to realize he may not be the perfect man he is making himself out to be resulting in a devastating attack that threatens to destroy the lives of everyone Deb loves.
Netflix, in either a cruel joke (or delight for those who hate the day) are dropping the entire eight episodes of Dirty John for us to binge on Valentine’s Day aka February 14th. Check out the trailer below.
Mego Corp have been keeping very tight lipped about a major announcement they were to make, causing fans of the vintage toy company to ponder just what was in store. From international distribution news to possible new licenses that involved everything from Gilligan’s Island to Melrose Place, Bionic Woman to Star Wars, we were all wondering what it could be.
And while we were repeatedly informed it was NOT a deal with Marvel (as fans were hoping for) what we did not see coming was a deal with Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment. In an announcement made today via Mego Corps social media channels, the new licensing deal allows Mego Corp to delve into the secret vault of the late Stan Lee – an untapped reservoir of never-before-seen characters created by Lee and introduce these creations to fans in the form of either 8″ or 14″ collectible action figures.
From today’s press release, “With Stan’s vision, I always told him that I’d follow him anywhere,” says Marty Abrams, co-founder and CEO of Mego Corporation. “It’s with great responsibility that I can carry on his one-of-a-kind creations and reveal the characters that he had envisioned. I have tremendous pride in showcasing the work of a long-time friend. Our nostalgic action figures of Lee’s conceptions will now introduce new memories with more characters originated by Stan.”
The news however has had a very mixed reaction from Mego Corp fans from those excited to see new characters from the mind of Stan Lee to those confused as to why Mego would risk on such a license, just as they make their comeback, on characters that no one has heard of or have the backing of a cult following / fan base.
Mind you, this is not the first time Mego Corp have delved into left-of-the-middle licenses that left fans scratching their heads. Last month, among the announcements of new Star Trek, DC and Pop Culture Legends figures, they announced a new line of Impractical Jokers 8″ figures based on the hidden camera reality comedy series that airs on TruTV.
That said, new Mego, in whatever format is still welcome!
Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment is a multimedia company founded in 2001 by Stan with his friend and business partner Gill Champion, its president. The company has been and will continue to be the guardian of Stan Lee’s legacy, and is excited to roll out new projects and adventures Stan had been working on.
The toy company that ruled the toy isle in the late 70’s with their lines of 8″ Star Trek and DC superheroes action figures along with their iconic 12″ dolls of Farrah Fawcett and Cher is making their way back into Australian stores this year after almost four decades.
Mego was one of the hottest toy companies way back when to the point that in 1976, their first release Cher doll became the highest selling doll that year beating out Mattel’s powerhouse Barbie, but all the glory came crashing down when the company passed on an offer to nab the licence to (a then unknown) Star Wars and followed that up with a shift towards electronic and robotic toys that saw the company sadly file for chapter 11 Bankruptcy in 1982.
In the years between, prices for vintage Mego items have soared with collectors forking out huge bucks to fill in the gaps of their Mego collection. Vintage boxed dolls of Charlie’s Angels star Jaclyn Smith can rise as high as $400aud while those 8″ DC Heroes, in mint boxed condition, can see prices rise into the high thousands.
But, jump forward to 2018 and Mego Corporation is alive and well with Marty Abrams back at the helm announcing an exclusive deal with Target US that would see Mego figures back on the shelves for the first time since the late 70’s with licences for classic pop culture favorites including an I Dream of Jeanie double pack, Charlie’s Angels, Charmed, Cheers, a Full House Stephanie and DJ Tanner double pack and various original series Star Trek characters along with releases of classic monsters such as Frankenstein and Dracula. Add to this a brand new 14″ line with DC hero action figures for Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman and Mego Corp are well and truly back in the market leaving fans of classic pop culture wanting more!
With the Target/Mego deal ending this year, it allows for Mego Corporation to begin looking for worldwide distributors with Mego confirming that they are in fact hammering out a deal with an Australian distributor meaning we will finally see Mego in Australia in 2019.
Their recently announced fourth wave of figures includes an 8″ ‘legends’ series that sees Muhammad Ali, Farrah Fawcett and Marilyn Monroe (among others) immortalized in plastic along with a retooling of their 14″ DC superheroes which will see Wonder Woman and Batman in alternate costumes.
There’s no official word of yet as to whom will be stocking Mego, when we will see them or the price point but watch this space as Mego hinted at a huge announcement coming Wednesday (Thursday our time) that may reveal more. Watch this space!
The next installment of the long running (and ever popular) Mortal Kombat series saw a new game play trailer released today for the upcoming Mortal Kombat 11 and it is gorier and more brutal than ever before.
The blood soaked trailer offers glimpses of returning characters such as Sonya Blade (voiced by Ronda Rousey and even has some of Rousey’s signature moves including a rolling armbar with soaked in Motal Kombat gore ), Baraka, Sub-Zero, Raiden and Scorpion along with MK9 DLC fighter Skarlet, as well as new entrant to the series, a character named Geras.
Character Customization returns to the series with players able to collect numerous alternate skins for their characters but no word yet on the ability to create custom characters and play them in the game.
Check out the trailer below.
Mortal Kombat fans won’t have too long to wait to get their hands on this game as MK11 drops April 23rd on all platforms while those who have pre-ordered will get beta access in March.
Netflix is starting the year off with a bang (literally) with the release of their new gawky teen sex comedy series Sex Education that brings in elements of Freaks and Geeks, Dawson’s Creek and Porky’s to create one of the year’s brightest and funniest series that shows regardless of sexual experience, sex is never the cut and paste answer to any problem that may arise.
Otis Milburn (Asa Butterfield) is living a semi-complicated life. At 16, he’s found himself in the middle of a sexual awakening but it’s just not his…which is partly in fault thanks to his mother Jean (Gillian Anderson) who’s profession as a sex therapist muddles itself between what’s appropriate to talk about at work and home causing Otis to be more sexually repressed than his school friends. Though, being the son of a sex therapist does have it’s own rewards when school outcast Maeve (Emma Mackey), looking to make a quick buck, talks Otis into giving out the advice he has learnt at home to the sexually active and confused students at his school. The beauty here is the diversity within the students at the school and the problems they are needing help with. A popular girl with a touchy gag reflex to a lesbian couple having trouble with sex to a shy and awkward teen with an almost stalkerish crush on a girl all find themselves in the presence of Otis who doles out sage advice all the while knowing full well, he’s still yet to experience anything of the like.
Along with Otis and Maeve, there’s Otis’ best friend Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) who doesn’t struggle with his sexuality but with how difficult it is to find someone when there’s only one other openly gay student at the school. He’s also become the target of the school bully Adam (Connor Swindells) who spends most of the season making Eric’s life a living hell – and being a major disappointment to his father, the head master of the school and as the season progresses, there’s little snippets into Adam’s life that reveal why he does what he does.
Gillian Anderson as Jean is just one of the standouts from this series but singling out her performance as the sexually open therapist is a must as this role feels so….un Gillian Anderson that it’s perfect. We’re used to seeing Anderson in constricted, quiet and closed in roles (X-Files, Bleak House, Hannibal) that it feels like a breath of fresh air watching her character smoke a joint and get high with one of her son’s classmates or don a red shag wig and grope and stroke an over sized phallic shaped eggplant.
At only eight episodes long, this first season does not feel rushed or have things swept under the rug to deal with later – though – no spoilers – there is a lot of stuff set up if (fingers crossed) the show comes back for a second outing.
Check out the trailer below:
At the heart of all this though are the three relationships that are either existing or formed throughout the season and how they stretch and break and mend with each passing day. Otis and his mother Jean. Otis and Maeve. Otis and Eric.
Sex Education Season One is now streaming on Netflix.
Another year, another mixed bag of television that saw everything from The Walking Dead and it’s spin-off Fear The Walking Dead kill off some of their main characters, a Bachelor walk away without choosing anyone to love, cooking show My Kitchen Rules run for almost half of the year, A former Olympian win Survivor, the return of classics Roseanne (now re-branded as The Conner‘s) and Murphy Brown in present day reboots, not a single episode of Game of Thrones air on our screens, and a handmaiden give birth solo in the snow.
Check out my list of the shows that I could not get enough of in 2018.
Fear The Walking Dead – FOXTEL
Time jump! Yay! Nick (Frank Dillane) and Madison (Kim Dickens) killed off! Boo! New survivors! Yay! The June (Jenna Elfman) and John Dorrie (Garret Dillahunt) budding romance! Yay! Morgan! Boo! A lot of ups and downs this year for Fear but this fourth season proved the be the one of the shows best to date.
American Horror Story: Apocalypse – FOXTEL
They literally shoved almost every past AHS season into this single season and yeah, the time jumping between pre and post apocalypse made things hard to follow but getting our witches back, including swamp witch Misty Day (Lily Rabe) AND Jessica Lange returning as Constance Langdon…ahh, it was a good season. Honorable mention goes to the haircuts Evan Peters (as Jeff Pfister) and Billy Eichner (as Mutt Nutter) sported.
Playing for Keeps – Network Ten
So yeah, the ratings for Network 10’s new AFL drama Playing for Keeps were a bit shit but that said, this little Aussie Footballers Wives-esque show was scandalously steamy enough to keep me coming back week after week. A dead football player, cheating, lies, scandals, paparazzi’s and closeted AFL player were just some of the juicy story-lines for Playing’s premiere season.
Sharp Objects – FOXTEL
There’s slow paced television and then there’s HBO’s dark and dreary Sharp Objects that REALLY pushed the limits of just how minimalist with information each episode could be as it propelled itself forward to its conclusion. Thankfully there was ridiculously strong performances from Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson to make the whole thing work
The X-Files – Network Ten
It took me a while to make my way through all ten episodes of The X-Files‘ eleventh season, not because it was a hard watch, but because there has been just too much to watch this year! That said, season eleven provided some of the best stand alone episodes the show has seen for some time with episodes like Plus One, Rm9sbG93ZXJz and Familiar which showcased the literal best of The X-Files and the unusual and frankly…oddball cases they investigate.
Greys Anatomy – 7Flix
Seriously, season fifteen has been all about Levi Schmitt (Jake Borelli) and his journey of self discovery that is leading him to a sweet romance with ortho doc Nico Kim (Alex Landi). The whole thing, including Borelli is just too cute. Plus, Levi’s sun sword speech in the fall finale was like the one single moment this year in television that caused me to bawl like a baby. Uber feels.
Bodyguard – Netflix
‘Edge of your seat’ is the ONLY way to this fantastic terror-drama that follows police officer David Budd (Richard Madden) as he finds himself delving deeper and deeper into a widening web of political drama where bomb threats and assassination attempts become daily fare. You’ll be hooked within the first ten minutes.
Big Mouth – Netflix
Season one was so wonderfully vulgar and downright crude it wasn’t possible for this very adult animated comedy to go any further, then season two dropped. It was just as brash and ridiculous and even more shockingly funny.
Schitt’s Creek – Netlix
It’s virtually impossible to pick one single standout thing from this years season of the hilariously funny creation from stars Eugene and Dan Levy. From Patrick (Noah Reid) serenading David (Dan Levy) with an acoustic version of Simply the Best to Alexis (Annie Francis) reuniting with former bae Ted (Dustin Mulligan) to the weekly hi-jinks Moira (Catherine O’Hara), Johnny (Eugene Levy) and Stevie (Emily Hampshire) would get get into there is always something to laugh at, feel for and literally love.
Killing Eve – SBS
A beautiful, soulless assassin who travels the globe while being hunted down by Sandra Oh?! Count me in! Killing Eve‘s classic cat and mouse tale re-imagined with female leads offered up powerhouse performances from both Sandra Oh as MI5 security agent Eve Polastri and Jodie Comer as restless assassin Villanelle. While Eve slowed a bit in the middle episodes of the season, the tension between Eve and Villanelle is just too good to look past.
Survivor : Champions Vs Contenders (Network Ten) and David Vs Goliath 9GO!
Our very own version of Survivor pitted every day Aussies against a bunch of *mostly* well known Australians which created another great season of the show that was never short of shocks. Survivor Benji however takes the cake for creating two of the most gasp worthy moments – his blindside of Sharn, convincing her to play her idol for herself, resulting in big player Matt Dyson’s exit and, well I only need to say one word – NACHOS.
Meanwhile American Survivor (currently airing as of writing) has brought forth some unlikely big players such as socially awkward robotics scientist Christian and Kentucky based public defender Nick though it was the tribal council that involved publishing CEO Natalie Cole’s exit that has provided one of the most iconic low-key exists in recent Survivor history. “Natalie….can I have your jacket?”
Black Mirror: Netflix
Technically, Black Mirror’s fourth season dropped in 2017 but like two days prior to the new year so i’m placing it in this 2018 list. And once again, the anthology series put forth a selection of mind bending and truly intriguing episodes including the very very very excellent USS Callister, the highly terrifying Metalhead and this season’s answer to the ultimate episode Black Mirror episode San Junipero – Hang The DJ
The Handmaids Tale (SBS), Insatiable (Netflix), How to Get Away with Murder (7Flix), 911 (Channel 7), Wentworth (Foxtel)
Can Roseanne survive without Roseanne? That’s the one big question on everyone’s tongues when it comes to the Roseanne rehash titled The Conners. When Roseanne returned to screens earlier this year, it did so with a major political vengeance and brought in millions of viewers. That version of the show retained its original biting humor and comedic look at working class living and offered a touching nod to the original.
Then Roseanne went on a ambien induced twitter tirade that saw her make offence and racist comments about former Obama administration adviser Valerie Jarrett and suddenly ABC cancelled the show and cut all ties with its namesake thus leaving an entire staff of cast and crew suddenly out of a job.
The news also meant that here in Australia, Channel Ten pulled any unaired episodes off its schedule.
So as it goes, that didn’t last very long and show made a quick return to our screens, now titled ‘The Conners’ and did so without Roseanne allowing instead the series to land safely on the shoulders of John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf and Sara Gilbert. Yes, Roseanne is gone and without adding spoilers, how she goes and the ripples it causes, continue throughout the first four episodes. But don’t assume that’s the new tone of the show. Roseanne’s absence causes the first episode to go to some dark places as Dan comes to terms with just what happened, how it happened and who was responsible but the overall tone remains the same blue collar family comedy, just with less political/pro trump propaganda that littered Roseanne’s reboot season.
As noted, Goodman, Metcalf and Gilbert come front and centre to take charge while Lecy Goranson (Becky) continues to improve with each and every episode. It’s just a shame that Michael Fishman’s DJ Connor is kind of tossed to the side like an unwanted salad that came with your parma. As a staple from the original series, he kind of had to be there but aside from his war veteran wife and daughter, Fishman retains the least amount of scenes of the core cast per episode.
So long story short….The Conners works incredibly well without Roseanne. There is an absence though you’re not distracted by it. No beat was missed from Roseanne to The Conners and it’s a testament to the entire returning cast and crew who became unemployed off the back of one single cast member.
Premieres Thursday, 22 November From 7.30pm with a Double Episode on Network TEN