The 2021 Cringe-binge Line-up

I’m so, so pleased to see that other people are starting their October viewing early this year, and that the networks are providing what we need.

Every year, the horror, harvest, and hazy-evening programming seems to edge back a little more into September, thus lengthening the Blogtoberfest season by a few more degrees. To keep everyone abreast, I’ve compiled an early guide to the best binges television currently has to threaten.

Let’s ghoul.

Freeform’s 31 Nights of Halloween Highlights include Hocus Pocus, Decorating Disney: Halloween Magic, The Craft, and more.

Shudder’s 61 Days of Halloween Highlights include the premiere of V/H/S/94, the fourth installment in the franchise; Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Carrie, and more.

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) October Horror Highlights include The Bad Seed, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, Freaks, and more black-and-white psychological terror.

AMC Fearfest Highlights include the month-long ability to watch the Halloween, Scream, and Final Destination franchises in their entirety, and a Stephen King marathon on October 9.

Netflix and Chills Highlights include the premier of a new installment to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Jaws 1-4, newly released There’s Someone Inside Your House, and more.

Huluween Highlights include the Into the Dark holiday-themed horror anthology, new Nic Cage romp Willy’s Wonderland, and horror-shorts Bite-sized Halloween.

SyFy’s 31 Days of Halloween Highlights include a new 10-episode run of Day of the Dead, inspired by George A. Romero; a Slumber Party Massacre remake, and a new Chucky tv show.

Emmys Style Wrap-up 2015

Chartreuse is the new black, but black is still all right.

The Emmys have wrapped, awards season is here, the 2015 fall television has begun, and it’s time for my traditional wrap-up post of my favorite Emmy looks.

This year there was some wacky stuff happening on the red carpet, so thanks for that, TV stars and moguls. The big style directive seemed to be ‘wear black; or instead, don every color discernible to the human eye –or chartreuse, which amounts to the same thing as far as effect on the retina.’

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 10.11.10 PMBut there were also countless Grammy-awards-level splashes of florals, stripes, mixed fabrics, seventies throwbacks, and serious hardware…Kerry Washington in mesh. Regina King in some very stiff sequins. Claire Danes in chains.

All in all, it made for exciting dress-peeping. Except, why is that promtastic off-the-shoulders sleeve back in style? Blegh. It looks like sausage casing on even the most willowy of actresses and in general I’m not a fan.

image1That said, here were the style stand-outs for me, with only the briefest of defenses for each.

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The first ensemble to catch my eye was Jamie Lee Curtis’ long sleeved black number by Stella McCartney, paired with a filigree cuff by Cathy Waterman. Next, Kiernan Shipka in a yellow patterned top and leggings by Dior. This look got mixed reviews but I thought it was cute and age appropriate; Ariel Winter, proving structure works in a geometrically cut red Romona Kevesa;  Zoe Kasan in striped Miu Miu — I’m a sucker for prints when worn right, even if this dress was a tad casual — and Ellie Klemper in Naeem Khan. Christina Hendricks got more attention for her Khan, but I thought the colors, pattern, and metallic sheen gave Ellie the edge.

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Finally, Alan Cumming wore my favorite menswear look, arriving looking Chaplinesque.

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Share your own favorites in the comments!

The Cosby Effect: Bastardizing my Childhood and Fouling up the Future

Photo via Ted Eytan / flickr

I wasn’t going to throw my hat into this ring, but the Bill Cosby cluster currently in the news is messing with my nostalgic head.

I’m 37 years old … I mention that because, as a young Gen Xer, I was a spectator during what were arguably Cosby’s most active years. We played Picture Pages together first, then I spent a few years imitating Fat Albert’s signature Hey, Hey, Hey greeting.

When The Cosby Show first aired, I was too young to stay up and watch it, so I would creep out of bed and crouch on the stairs where I could see the TV through a small window in the kitchen. When I did graduate to an 8:30 bedtime, I’d watch in my parents room, sitting on the floor with my knees tucked under my chin. I got a special treat once, being allowed to watch his comedy special Bill Cosby: Himself with my parents and cousins… I didn’t understand all of the jokes, but his impressions of his wife breathing through labor and after Novocaine at the dentist had me in hysterics. And even after a first taste proved I didn’t really like them, I still asked my mum for Jell-o Pudding Pops every week.

Cosby’s influence continued into my pre-teen years with A Different World, a spin-off that took place at the fictional Hillman College. In thinking about it today, I realized that the show might not be why I went to college, but it was one reason why I was excited about the prospect from middle school right on up to graduation.

I don’t know if the allegations we’re hearing now are true, or if some are true and some are false, or if Cosby’s silence is an attempt at refusing to dignify lies or avoiding an admission of guilt. Some of the stories we’re hearing have a disturbingly true ring to them, others don’t.

What’s most notable to me, though, is any other public figure from my past probably wouldn’t have me thinking about it so much. If we were hearing about Ron Howard, John Cusak, or another champion of the eighties, I’d probably absorb the headline and wait to see how the story panned out. This one just has me feeling alternately sick and sad. If Cliff Huxtable is an inescapable sod, how will we be able to rein in our cynicism and suspicion of others moving forward? Is this the tipping point at which we enter a world where every celebrity, role model, or influential figure is viewed with a raised eyebrow?

Moreover, will every explosive accusation from now on be analyzed to death by a slew of talking heads who pore over every clip, every interview, and every article looking for something inflammatory, whether it’s the truth or not? Yes, we see this kind of ‘reporting’ already, but the Cosby Circus really has me ruminating on what our media coverage is turning into. In my eyes, the women coming forward are being turned into a side show. If they are telling the truth, that’s another assault on them. If they — or some of them — are lying, they’re positioning themselves as the next permutation of low-rent reality TV. We’re in a world now where a CNN anchor has been given a platform to tell women they should just bite the penis of the man forcing them to perform oral sex. I won’t even get started on how ludicrous that is, but what’s next — a demonstration?

For decades, Bill Cosby has been synonymous with World’s Greatest Dad. I used to put him up on a shelf with the best dads I knew, including my own. I can’t do that anymore, whether it’s the result of his own actions or those of damaging stories spinning out of control. It’s getting too hard to tell… and we need to change the channel. Quick.

Top TV Stations for your #blogtoberfest Viewing

10. The Travel Channel, which takes on this particular season with shows like Halloween Crazy and the even more creatively titled Halloween Crazier.

9. FX, for the premier of American Horror Story: Freakshow on Oct. 8, and maybe the network’s new show, The Strain.

8. Lifetime… If you really, really like Hocus Pocus.

7. Fox, specifically on October 19, for the 25th installment of The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror.

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6. Turner Classic Movies, the only place to find 1959’s The Mummy and Roman Polanski’s Repulsion before 3 a.m.

5. Disney Channel, kicking off Monstober on Oct. 2. Oddly, formerly known as Wiztober. Monstober is better.

4. ABC Family, offering up 13 nights of kid-friendly programming including some old Gen X favorites like The Nightmare Before Christmas and Beetlejuice.

3. The Food Network, home of Halloween Wars, where contestants whip up giant undead zombies made out of Rice Krispie treats and stuff. TFN also has great Halloween content at their website.

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2. SyFy, coming up close on AMC with a few more tricks in their bag: there are 31 Days of Halloween instead of 15, and a nifty Ghost Hunters reunion this year.

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1. AMC, the stand-by. FearFest has been going strong for more than a decade and is the go-to channel for all things Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees. This year AMC is also hosting a Stephen King marathon and a ‘Chucky-thon.’

Excellent Halloween movie listings here and here.