Author

Rosie Narasaki
  • Prepare for Your 'Mad Men' Viewing Party with These Cocktail Recipes
    By: Rosie Narasaki Apr 11, 2014
    AMC As Mad Men's long-awaited Season 7 premiere inches ever closer, it's time to start planning that last minute Sunday night viewing soiree. Gather your ultra-fabulous vintage wear (the two Mrs. Drapers offer great inspiration), your je-ne-sais-quoi-infused cigarettes, and perhaps most importantly of all? Some really delicious cocktails – no Mad Men party is really quite complete without some classy alcohol, is it? (Though, be wary not to overindulge Don Draper style – you don't want to wake up in the local drunk tank). And speaking of Don, we all know he's an old fashioned man, in more ways than one (har-har). Here's a recipe for an old fashioned of which Don would whole-heartedly approve: Don’s Old Fashioned *Created by Bobby “G” Gleason, Beam’s Master Mixologist Ingredients:-2 parts Jim Beam Bourbon-2 dashes of aromatic bitters-1 cherry stem-1 half moon orange slice-1 - 3 sugar cubes Preparation: In an old-fashioned glass, place sugar and 2 dashes bitters dissolved in water. Fill with ice. Pour 1-1/2 parts Jim Beam® Bourbon; add cherry, orange slice and lemon wedge. What about the rest of Sterling Cooper & Partners? Well the mad men of Manhattan would surely be unable to resist the charms of this cocktail: The Mad Man Manhattan *Created by Bobby “G” Gleason, Beam’s Master Mixologist Ingredients:-1-1/2 parts Jim Beam Devil’s Cut™-Dash of bitters-3/4 part dry vermouth-1 cherry stem-Ice Preparation: Combine and stir Jim Beam Devil’s Cut™, dry vermouth, bitters and ice. Strain and pour into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry. And how about our silver fox friend, Roger Sterling? When he's not drinking vodka and milk (the milk helps his ulcer, okay?), his drink of choice is a good ol' smooth and sour. Here are the (delectable) ingredients for a drink that even Roger would be unable to scoff at: Sterling’s Smooth & Sour *Created by Bobby “G” Gleason, Beam’s Master Mixologist Ingredients-2 parts Jim Beam Black Bourbon-1 part amaretto liqueur-1 part triple sec-2 parts sour mix-2 parts lemon-lime soda Preparation:  Serve shaken in a tall glass with cracked ice. Garnish with a squeeze of lemon. Whether shaken or stirred, you've got the makings for a Mad Men celebration that would do party planning mastermind Megan Draper proud. So grab your drink of choice, pull up a chair, and buckle your metaphorical seatbelts for the premiere of Mad Men's seventh season. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @RosieNarasaki //
  • Should 'Dancing with the Stars' Get Rid of the Romance?
    By: Rosie Narasaki Apr 10, 2014
    ABC Ah, fauxmance: one of the mainstays of scripted reality TV. It's a conceit that's always had a huge presence on Dancing with the Stars – after all, if our dancers and stars can get tongues wagging, it helps viewership and the voting. But is it really the right avenue for the show to be traveling? The forced flirtation can get uncomfortable at times, and this season's milking our speculation for all it is worth with not one, not two, but three potential fauxmances: * First, we've got James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd – legend has it, they went out on a date before the show started, yet he never called (ouch). Nowadays, they talk a lot about their good chemistry, and tease us with the tidbit that they might give it another try once the mirrorball trophy is safe in their hands. * Next, we've got Cody Simpson and Witney Carson. He has a girlfriend, yet much hullabaloo was made when he deemed her moves "distracting." * And last, but not least, we've got Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who can't seem to stop singing each other's praises. And after a particularly steamy number a couple of weeks ago, Erin Andrews presented them with a rather intimate-looking screen grab, causing Davis to go scarlet and get all giggly. Even in the most recent episode, where everyone switched partners, the mixed-up pairs didn't get away scot free. Maslow jokingly tweeted at Charlie White not to get too comfortable with Murgatroyd, prompting host Erin Andrews to question their relationship status – then as Davis made the "Chmer-swap-skiy" from Maks to Val, more than a little playful banter about "incestuous adultery" ensued. The fauxmances might be a fun way to stir speculation and recruit voters, but is it really something the show needs? It's true that DWTS really comes down to the relationships between partners, but the non-romantic (and perhaps more genuine) feelings are just as, if not more, compelling. Last season's Emma Slater and Bill Engvall's father-daughter relationship got more followers than Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd's flirtatious banter, after all. What do you think? Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @RosieNarasaki //
  • 'Mad Men' Smackdown: Peggy vs. Joan
    By: Rosie Narasaki Apr 10, 2014
    AMC Now, before I get in trouble for pitting two women against each other, I just want to point out that Peggy and Joan are the most oft-mentioned favorite characters on Mad Men, male or female. As such, we must know which of the top-rating Sterling Cooper & Partners mainstays really takes the crown. Here, we've got two equally awesome characters, with two equally vocal fan factions: so who will walk out of this cage match alive? Let's take a look at the categories: Level of Badassery Well, when it really comes down to it, let's remember that Joan broke a vase over her rapist husband's head, and Peggy stabbed her soon-to-be-ex boyfriend with a makeshift spear. B**chface They're certainly formidable opponents in this category, but it's important to remember that Peggy learned from the very best. Fashion Is this even a question? Though to be fair, with Joan's recent shift into more menswear-inspired looks (think vests, suits, etc) she's faltered more, just as Peggy's shift into swingy A-line minis is a vast improvement over the unsightly plaid of yore. So, we're effectively on a more even playing field these days. Taste in Men This one's another tough category, though not in a good way. When you look at their dating history, you've basically got Dr. Rapist vs. Pete Campbell (gosh, they're both so horrible in their own unique way), and Roger Sterling vs. Ted Chaough (better, but still generally untrustworthy). Oh well – best of luck in future romantic endeavors! Professional success Now, this is truly tough. Joan just signed Sterling Cooper & Partners' biggest account, but when we last saw Peggy she was interim Creative Director, literally wearing the pants as she enjoyed her view from her corner office. I guess what I'm saying is, I'm all for that Peggy-and-Joan-open-their-own-agency spin-off. I'll always have pro-Peggy leanings, but I can't deny the awesomeness that is Joan either.  What do you think? Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @RosieNarasaki //
  • An Appreciation for Noel Fisher on 'Shameless'
    By: Rosie Narasaki Apr 10, 2014
    Showtime You got us, Noel Fisher. You got us right in the heart. It's been quite a season for Fisher, who portrays Mickey Milkovich on the vastly underrated Shameless. Over the past several weeks, we saw Mickey and Ian's relationship take center stage, offering quite an evolution for Fisher's character. He has taken Mickey from ultra-closeted thug to the man in the most fiercely committed relationship on the show. There's no denying the magnitude of his series arc – his Season 4 story alone is nothing to sneeze at. The audience was in Mickey's thrall from the moment he first butted heads with his Russian prostitute wife and began not-so-subtly pining for Ian. We drew in further once Ian was back on the scene: fans cheered when Mickey finally relented on his self-hate enough to admit that he and Ian were together. His coming out brawl was even better – Mickey regaling his father with details from his love life, all while the pair was handcuffed on the hoods of adjacent police cars, was a scene for the ages. In fact, the scene was only topped by the ensuing head-kiss/profane banter with Ian, which was plentiful in "aww" factor. And to think this time last season, he was brutally beating Ian to a pulp. That's some character development, y'all. Shameless is a show of highs and lows. Of juxtaposition – more specifically, of how much awfulness you can temper with just a little sweetness. And Fisher's Mickey has become the embodiment of that contrast that the show has so carefully created. It's not a balance easily maintained, but Fisher does it masterfully. It's generally the big stars like William H. Macy and Joan Cusack that tend to pick up the accolades, but Fisher has more than earned his place among the greats: his Mickey is fascinating, from everything from what has become an endearing capacity for violence and foul language, right down to the way he haphazardly swings his arms as he walks.   We can't wait to see how he weathers Ian's bipolar disorder in Season 5. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @RosieNarasaki //
  • Mr. Darcy vs. Mr. Knightley: Pemberley Digital Edition
    By: Rosie Narasaki Apr 07, 2014
    Pemberley Digital/Emma Approved/The Lizzie Bennet Diaries Ah, the age old question: Mr. Darcy or Mr. Knightley? For the non-literate, we are referring to the debate between which of Jane Austen's dreamboat characters — Fitzwilliam "Mister" Darcy from Pride and Prejudice or George Knightley from Emma — is the superior male specimen and ideal romantic partner. Though both are intelligent, brooding Austen heroes, they're really like apples and oranges. While Darcy makes some pretty grand gestures (to the tune of £10,000, in fact), there's no denying the power of Knightley and Emma's history – they've known each other their whole lives (or, at least, Emma has known him all of hers). And while Darcy and Elizabeth share obvious attraction and mutual respect, there's just something special about the combative camaraderie between Knightley and Emma. Pemberley Digital's delightful modern takes brings the difference between these two love stories into light: in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Darcy (played by Daniel Vincent Gordh) doesn't actually appear in person until episode 59 – before that, he's only a presence in Lizzie's costume theater, where Jane (Laura Spencer) does a particularly hilarious impression of him. It's also worth pointing out that he only ever appears in nine episodes out of a hundred. Emma Approved, on the other hand, features Knightley (played by Brent Bailey) in almost every episode, giving the two leads more time to interact – add that to the fact that the characters often reference their history together, and you've got the basis for a more compelling love story. I think it can be safely said that Knightley has a bit of an advantage here in terms of screentime, which is generally spent creating a witty rapport with his yet-unacknowledged true love. Don't get me wrong; I love Darcy as much as the next gal, but Emma Approved (along with Brent Bailey, of course) is making a Knightley convert out of me. Though I suppose in the end, it really comes down to, "You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you," or, "If I loved you less I might be able to talk about it more." (Though, based on the image above, it should really be "Whose b**chface is better?") Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @RosieNarasaki //
  • 'Shameless' Season Finale Recap: Fiona Goes Down a Good Road, Frank Goes Down a Bad One
    By: Rosie Narasaki Apr 07, 2014
    Showtime After a fantastic season, Shameless delivers a (mostly) fantastic finale. Let's take a look: Surprise, surprise! I thought Fiona was going to stay in prison until next season, but she gets out early due to over-crowding. Her parole officer gives her a firm talking to, and sets her up with a waitressing job with Jeffrey Dean Morgan (whoa!), as well as the nearest NA and AA support groups. Fiona returns home late to a silent house (a conceit that's quickly becoming all too familiar) – but after yet another chilly homecoming, she wakes up to the hero's welcome she always wanted. Unfortunately, the happy reunion is somewhat tempered with news of Ian's bipolar disorder. As she talks it over with Lip, we get another heart-to-heart between them: she finally admits that she is the one driving the bus that is her life, and vows to take responsibility for her actions from here on out. And with that, character growth and a light at the end of a long tunnel finally come to be. Here's to Season 5! And guess who else is back on track? Frank... and unfortunately not in a good way. He manages to sneak out right under Sheila and Sammi's bickering noses, and appears to be off the wagon once more. He has Carl (his one remaining enabler) wheel him out over a frozen Lake Michigan, where he proceeds to cuss out God ("I'M STILL HERE, YOU F**KER!"). Sure, it makes sense for the character, but watching him take that first blissful gulp of booze was shades of heartwrenching and disappointing. Guess Frank is back to square one. Now, after the events of last week, Mickey comes back to the Alibi Room, fully armed and ready to brawl again – and he's surprised to find, with the notable exception of his incarcerated father, nobody cares that he's gay. The Alibi regulars return his volley of, "If anyone's got anything to f**kin' say, then f**kin' say it!" with a laundry list of all of their favorite gay celebrities – Mickey's still reeling a little when Kev pours him a beer on the house and toasts to "butt buddies." But alas, it's not happily ever after for Ian and Mickey, just as we expected. First, Mickey's wife rather convincingly threatens to stab them both in the heart with screwdrivers if he doesn't take on his fair share of parenting. And then things take a serious turn for the worse when it becomes clear that Ian has finally crashed into the depressive stage of manic depression. Mickey's flummoxed, but the Gallaghers spot what's going on right away. When Fiona informs him that Ian will need medical attention, maybe even a stint in the psych ward, Mickey insists that he be the one to personally nurse Ian back to health. Which is sweet, if ill-informed – here's hoping that the two of them can weather it together. Oh, and they just had to end the season on a cliffhanger: it turns out that Jimmy/Steve (now known as "Jack," ugh) is still alive. To which, I say, "Meh." I was never a huge fan of Justin Chatwin's, and honestly wasn't too bothered that he was gone, especially since he had such an outlandish offing. But, grumblings aside, I'm already counting down the days until Season 5. Stray observations: * How come we never got closure on Debbie/Matt? * Also, what's going on with Lip and Amanda? The music swelled romantically when they kissed at her creepy sorority event, but then he's quite shaken at the sight of Mandy (someone I never thought he seriously cared for) at the local diner. Guess we'll have to wait until next season. * Ah, poor Carl. The first heartbreak of many. * Speaking of heartbreak, Sheila broke mine when the council refused her petition to adopt, though I'm honestly glad we're not going down that road. * Also: hello, Dichen Lachman! Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @RosieNarasaki //
  • Why the 'Dancing With The Stars' Switch-up Is a Bad Idea
    By: Rosie Narasaki Apr 02, 2014
    ABC As a show in its 18th (!) season, it makes sense that Dancing with the Stars decides to revamp and retool as it goes along. In fact, just this season, they replaced host Brooke Burke-Charvet with Erin Andrews – a change welcomed by many fans, who had taken to referring to the former co-host as the "Brooke-bot." Among other changes new to Season eighteen, DWTS has also decided to add a fairly revolutionary twist: with the advent of the "Switch-Up," fans were able to cast their votes via Twitter for new pairings – in other words, they're choosing the dancing partners for Episode 4. Now, DWTS has always been a show that relies heavily on fan input – it's one of the reasons the show is filmed live, unlike other reality competitions like America's Next Top Model, or Project Runway. When it comes to judging and eliminations, fan vote makes up a whopping 50 percent of the final decision, which allows technically less gifted dancers to progress quite far in the season. It's a great way to keep viewers on their toes, and give them a real input into the season – and now they have even more. Which should be good, right? Making fans more invested should be a good thing! But there's something else to consider: dance competition though it may be, DWTS is really all about the chemistry. And we don't just mean physical or romantic chemistry, either – using last season as an example, Bill Engvall and Emma Slater's charming father/daughter feelings helped them get almost all the way to the finals (and Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke's brotherly/sisterly relationship wasn't too bad either). Already this season, there's a flirtation (scripted or otherwise) between a few of the pairs (most notably between Maks Chemerkovskiy and Meryl Davis), and is that really something we want to tamper with? They say no – in this week's episode, Maks said, "The worst thing that could happen is the switch." He said it with a twinkle in his eye, but there could be more than a grain of truth in that comment.   What do you think?  Will the switch-up liven things up, or grind things to a halt?  Vote below: Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @RosieNarasaki //
  • 'Shameless' Recap: Emily
    By: Rosie Narasaki Mar 31, 2014
    Showtime Even by Shameless standards, this episode has a lot going on. To recap the recap: Frank gets a new liver, Fiona goes to jail, Lip cons a cool $10,000, Debbie gets Carried by Matt's girlfriend, and Mickey comes out and a full-out brawl ensues. Whew. With Fiona in the "pokey," it's all up to Lip to keep the family running – and with their sole breadwinner gone, they're in a bit of a jam. So Lip bails on meeting Amanda's parents – and she's correspondingly angry at him, until they come up with the perfect solution: since she wants to use him to scare her parents, they decide to all have dinner at Chez Gallagher, for maximum scare-factor. It works – especially seeing as Bonnie's entire cadre of homeless siblings are screaming in the living room, whilst a put-upon social worker surveys the whole scene. It works so well, in fact, that Amanda's dad pulls Lip aside and offers him 10 grand in cash. What's a Gallagher to do? He takes it. Amanda storms out, smug father in tow. Things aren't looking good, until it turns out that the whole thing was a set up. Apparently, Amanda's dad has a habit of bribing her boyfriends – so voila! The Gallaghers are golden for Fiona's remaining 80+ days in the clink, and Lip might just have a real girlfriend for once. Lip's not the only Gallagher headed for a happy ending (pun intended): the Ian/Mickey romance has building all season to stunning (and gory) heights. Tired of being blackmailed by his wife, and faced with an ultimatum from Ian, Mickey reaches boiling point at his father's jail-release party. He comes out to the entire Alibi Room, and subsequently gets attacked by Terry. Ian in turn attacks Terry and the whole thing has to get broken up by the cops. Luckily, one of the gay cops gives Mickey a free pass, while Terry gets hauled back to jail for violating parole. Bloody and beat up, Mickey and Ian engage is some profane witty banter (as only they can), and the scene might just be their sweetest to date. The whole episode is delightfully framed with its titular character Emily. She's a little wisp of a girl who's hoping for a heart transplant. Oddly enough, when Frank wakes up with his brain "screwed on backwards" (in the ever-eloquent words of Carl), he mistakes her for a decades-younger Fiona. He gives her what must be a long-awaited apology, and she, thinking of her own abandoning father, forgives him in Fiona's place. In an ultra sweet moment (Shameless is a show of contrast, isn't it?), they even hold hands across hospital beds. It's not a surprise when her flat-lining gurney is carted away, but she serves to create a beautiful tableau for Shameless' least beautiful character. Stray observations * Poor Debbie. Matt's girlfriend employs her half-brother to seduce her and humiliate her in front of the whole school. Upside? Matt dumps aforementioned girlfriend, and agrees to take Debbie to the dance. Yay? * I laughed for a full minute when Carl suggested that the Asian-American social worker might be Amanda's real mom (not only was she far too young for a college-age daughter, it had just been established that Amanda was "bought" from a whorehouse). * Also, Lip and Amanda's celebratory kiss after seeing his stellar report card was adorable, especially as we pan out to very disapproving looks from both of her parents. * Frank offering to take "Fiona" to Claire's to get her ears pierced: aww! * Mickey taunting his dad with tidbits from his sex life while both of them were facedown on the hoods of squad cars getting handcuffed was kind of epic. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @RosieNarasaki //
  • Why Aren't More People Watching 'Shameless'?
    By: Rosie Narasaki Mar 27, 2014
    Showtime At a distance, Shameless looks like it's got all it needs to be a smash hit/critics' darling: superb acting (performed by a cast of fresh talent, with a few seasoned pros leading the way), a down-and-out underdog family, expertly written black humor, and sensitivity to delicate subjects like drug abuse (and people abuse), alcoholism, and mental health. In short, it's got the makings to sweep some major awards, in addition to being a prime watercooler topic. But is it? Don't get us wrong, its ratings are more than respectable, and it's also critically well-received: it's just that it doesn't have that same sort of buzz that surrounds its more popular contemporaries, nor the awards that generally follow. Joan Cusack received guest star Emmy nods, and William H. Macy scored a Critics' Choice nomination, but other than that, it's shockingly under-decorated. Perhaps moving over to the comedy category can help the show, but then again, it's an increasingly dark hour of TV (though it should be mentioned that John Wells is the man who deemed his shockingly unfunny adaptation of August: Osage County a comedy). So why isn't Shameless getting the recognition it deserves? Well, first off, there's the gross-out factor (some of my friends who are fans joke that they can't watch the show over dinner; still others claim they can smell Frank's Pigpen-esque filth through the screen) – and, on a less superficial level, there's also the fact that it can be very disturbing. In Season 2, Frank tricked a "friend" out of a desperately-needed heart transplant in hopes of inheriting her pension. In a more recent episode, Fiona's cocaine-fueled partying led to her baby brother's near death (and possible brain damage). These people are intensely flawed, to say the least. Shameless lives in the uncomfortable gray area between the feel-good aura of a show like The Mindy Project and the glamorous (by comparison, anyway) anti-heroism of shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad. Frank Gallagher is a character you very rarely root for, not even as he inches his way towards death. Plus, unlike the more streamlined programs that follow careful A-story/B-story/C-story structures, it's, well, kind of mess. The threads of the story get tangled easily. Though its frenetic structure may seem untidy at first glance, it's one of the things viewers who stick with it come to love most: the frenzied, overlapping plotlines mirror and represent its characters' own hectic lifestyles. Shameless continues to turn many of our preconceived notions about TV storytelling on their heads, even as we blaze through this "golden era" of television, where it seems every show and its brother are revolutionaries. It pushes envelopes and breaks down barriers, juggles a sprawling ensemble cast, and perhaps most importantly of all, brings heart to its heartless depiction of Chicago's South Side. In other words? If you're not watching, you should be. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @RosieNarasaki //
  • Steven Moffat and the Strong Female Character Problem
    By: Rosie Narasaki Mar 27, 2014
    BBC When it was announced earlier this month that Keeley Hawes would be joining Season 8 of Doctor Who , the fan reaction was generally positive. But the fans' hearts collectively sunk upon perusal of her promo images. Look, I'm a fan of Hawes' (she was great in Death at a Funeral, wasn't she?). And I think she looks fabulous in character as guest role Ms. Delphox on the sci-fi series. There's just one fly in the ointment. And that fly is the fact that she looks dangerously close to fitting Steven Moffat's ready-made sexy older vixen trickster mold. Will Ms. Delphox follow in the footsteps of River Song, Tasha Lem, Liz 10, et al? Back when the Christmas special aired, Tasha Lem was the source of great debate: her similarities to River (the flirtatious banter seemed tailor-made for the Doctor's Wife) were so striking that fans weren't sure if she was a casualty of lazy writing or yet another enigma to follow (and let's not get started on female enigmas in Doctor Who, shall we?) Unfortunately, signs seem to indicate that Ms. Delphox, like River-doppelganger Tasha Lem before her, will be another coin in Moffat's Strong Female Character trope jar. Behold her character description: a "powerful out-of-this-world character with a dark secret." Add that to her sassy cat-eye glasses and red lipstick, and it looks like we've got ourselves another River Song on our hands. Now, don't get me wrong: I love River (and Alex Kingston). I certainly do not have a problem with bad-ass, gun-totin', wise-crackin' ladies (Buffy, anyone?) It's more the fact that Moffat seems to think he can get away with recycling what's essentially the same character time and time again. Oh, Moffat, you sexist writer you. When will you learn? Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @RosieNarasaki //