Pop Style Opinionfest: Oscars Disappointments, Lady Heroes & Boy Clothes

Posted on January 22, 2016

Pop-Style-Opinionfest-Oscars-Lady-Heroes-Menswear-1222016-Tom-Lorenzo-Site (1)

Is that a header image or what? We only spend part of this week’s podcast talking about what we called “the rise of the lady hero” going on in pop culture this year, but we couldn’t help making it the illustration for this week’s podcast just for being so kickass.

No, what actually dominated the first half of the show was our spirited chat about the Oscar nominations and the poor job the entire Academy does when it comes to reflecting the cultural zeitgeist; not just the appalling lack of diversity in terms of who gets recognized, but also the way in which the Oscars as a cultural institution become less relevant with each passing year as the entire process reflects less and less of what the public is interested in.

After that weighty topic, we move on to a brief discussion of the luscious War & Peace mini-series now airing on A&E (and Lifetime and The History Channel, in a massive bit of overkill programming):


And then, spurred on partially by the premiere of season 2 of Agent Carter and the release of footage from the upcoming Wonder Woman movie, which briefly lit the twitters on fire, we spend some time discussing the cultural shift toward superheroic women.

Not just the aforementioned, but also the Supergirl and Jessica Jones series, both of which we’ve covered because we’re just all about the lady heroes ’round these parts.

And then, because we’re on a roll, we head straight into discussing the weird and wild of the Fall 2016 menswear collections.

So it’s a full blast of T Lo coming at you for an hour-plus. Can you handle it, darlings?

Thank you again for your support and if you’re so inclined, you can download/subscribe to the podcast here.

[Photo Credit: Warner Bros., Netflix, ABC, CBS – Video Credit: CBS Radio/Play it]

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  • Rhonda Shore

    Daisy Ridley’s character in the new “Star Wars” is also a good example of this.

  • I think Michelle Dockery’s fiance getting sick and dying may have slowed down her work over the last year or so. And she has committed the sin of hitting her mid 30s of course.

  • GeoDiva

    Well according to IMBD, they did film War & Peace in Lithuania, Latvia and Russia. I’m now excited for Wonder Woman, but I will probably pass on Batman vs Superman. The first Superman (of this remake) was so painful.

  • AndieJay

    The Oscars are one big narcissist-fest, which of course the public is invited to watch, it being a narcissist-fest and all. But they don’t actually CARE what anyone else thinks of them. They only care what they think of them.

  • MilaXX

    Here we go! My podcast impressions; I think T & Lo are my new Woke Bae’s.

    IIRC AMPAS voting board is 94 % white. @MarkHarrisNYC on twitter give a lovely breakdown of the issues with the Oscars & really Hollywood in general.

    Wait, roasted cauliflower & chickpea tacos? That sounds delicious!

    Loud American for Sicaro? I’d have loved to see someone unexpected like Sandra Oh (yes I know she’s Canadian), Sara Ramirez, or even Taraji P Henson.

    OMG! – Totally agree with you on Matt Damon. His behavior this year is one of the main reasons why I didn’t see The Martian.

    The sad thing is people still want to deny that institutional racism exist! Diversity means we should have more than 1 Best Director award in the entire history of the show being given to a women.

    Tangerine was a hoot. I’ve changed my movie viewing habits this year. Instead of trying to see all the Oscar nominated films, I’m going to focus on the diverse stories like Carol, Tangerine, Beast of No Nation. I like JLaw and DiCaprio, but I’m not going to waste my time in bloated, overwrought films that get promoted just because they are Hollywood’s favorite. JLaw in Winter Bones, or even Hunger Games? Yes. JLaw in pretty much anything by David O. Russell? Nope!

    I may have to skip the comments section on The Outlander. Those fans are bat shit! I also hate book people who post spoilers or start any post with “well in the books….”

    Kitana is played by Karen Fukuhara

    • Nicole

      I read an article recently where a woman made a point last year to ONLY read books by female authors, and this year read books by minority authors to expand her POV since she realized most books she read were by white men. Although the poor thing was railed on Twitter about this, she did say it helped strengthen her empathy muscles. Going to try to make that conscious effort this year. Sadly, you HAVE to make that effort to diversify your media.

      • MilaXX

        ARRAY by Ava DuVernay is a good place to find stories by POC. I also sort by foreign films on Netflixs. I often look for diverse stories, I’m now just prioritizing them over mainstream.

        • Nicole

          Thanks for the rec – I plan on doing the same. I also used to feel guilty about not watching the Oscar Best Picture noms since they must be important pieces of culture I’d miss out on. No more!

      • Bethany Joy

        What a fantastic idea. I already read a lot of female authors already but I am going to make a concerted efforts to widen my scope. Thank you.

      • marlie

        My book club is doing that this year. We’re focusing on books (science-fiction) by female authors and/or with female protagonists. I’m really excited about some of the suggestions that have been made so far!

        • Nicole

          Ooh, do share on the forum!

          • marlie

            I haven’t had time to make it over there, but I will!

        • P M

          Let us know what the list is!

    • Black Doug

      Luckily JLaw and Chris Pratt are in Passengers next year without David O. Russell, so that should be fun.

  • AC Simons

    Excellent podcast as usual. The commentary on the Oscars and the under-representation of various groups outside the Oscar-judging demographic was spot on. I haven’t taken these awards seriously in years. MiuMiu continues to give her insightful comments and catty remarks. I use Harry’s razors and gave my husband the Truman kit for Christmas. He loves them too. DO NOT ever stop opinionating!!

  • Saturnine

    I so agree about the ossified nature of the movie industry today. We used to go to movies constantly, but the quality and storytelling on TV Is light years ahead of what can be seen in the movies.

    ETA: I should qualify that blanket statement. I do think some interesting things are being done in less mainstream cinema, and I love foreign film because the narratives and story arcs are often very different from what we usually see.

  • ashtangajunkie

    That is my favourite header image of all time. So BAD ASS.

  • Nicole


    Totally agree – Martian was good but honestly not that memorable (at least for me), and Matt Damon was waaayyyy over praised. I can’t believe we’re talking about the same performance. It doesn’t bother me that it was different than the book, but I was so ON EDGE reading the book than I was during the movie. It wasn’t as thrilling or threatening than it could have been (although the scenery was beautiful). The cast was also waaayyy under-utilized. People really need to look to the Hunger Games team when translating book to movie because they were able to keep the tone if not every scene.

    And Leo is always Leo. He never transforms into anyone else, although maybe this is his best “Leo” performance ever (haven’t seen it).

    And if we’re talking about merit, CREED. Oh my Gawd. Everyone I know who has seen it fell in love with MJB… and his gf and pretty much everyone and everything about that movie. It’s all about Kristen Wiig’s “Crying in a Sweater” type movies for the Academy.

    Ok, done with my pumping break, so need to pause and head back to work 😛

    • Rhonda Shore

      Couldn’t disagree more on Leo-absolutely brilliant in the Aviator and a spot on depiction of OCD (my late husband had a terrible case and he thought so too). And he’s played it light in scenes throughout his movies. Not always “Leo” and not always intense. That said, I have no interest in The Revenant.

      • Nicole

        I’ll have to check out The Aviator – I’ve always wanted to see it but wasn’t sure if it was worth it. A Bitter Kitten rec is always a good bump 😉

        • Rhonda Shore

          I’ll be interested to know if you liked it. I honestly thought young Leo should have won the Oscar for that.

          • numenah

            My fave Leo role is Arnie in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Genius.

  • Denise Alden

    Thanks for your thoughts on the Oscars, gentlemen: I couldn’t have said it better myself. I did think, though, when you mentioned that the Academy is not going to reward a trans woman of color playing a hooker, that they would nominate the HELL out of it if the actor were a cis white male. 🙂

  • Lilyana_F

    I have ALWAYS found DiCaprio too damn intense and too full-on all the time, and you are completely right – people do mistake this for good acting… The Revenant – more of the same. Give him the freaking’ Oscar he’s been after for so long with his one trick so that maybe he’ll switch it up.

    • Sherrie

      Would love to see how he would do in a comedy. I wonder how Rooney Mara would be in a Seth Rogan comedy, too!

  • Great podcast, guys! I have to say last week’s episode was my least favorite so far, because it was just rehashing your posts that week. I even liked your analyses of Project Runway or Ru Paul’s Drag Race more, despite how I don’t watch those shows, just because it’s fun to listen to you guys talk about anything. But the new content part is key.

    Re: War and Peace — I highly recommend everyone check out the musical Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 (it’s on both YouTube and Spotify). Really fun and lively adaptation of just a slice of War and Peace, so it’s just under two hours. I particularly love the second half, as the music builds toward the climax. Also, Natasha is sung by Phillipa Soo, who plays Eliza in Hamilton!

    As ever, PREACH ON about society’s repressive standards for men’s fashion. Those need to be knocked the fuck down.

    I’m so glad you ended by talking about Bowie. I wasn’t among the class of Serious Bowie Fans, but I’ve been listening to nothing else for the past week, and your post kicked off a great deal of meditation on what he meant. I can’t get enough of looking at pictures from him, in all his different incarnations. I want to paper my bedroom with his pictures, like a teenage girl.

    • Oh, and have you heard of the movie Mustang, about young girls growing up in Turkey? I really want to see that.

      • P M

        A film rec: Wadjda. A Saudi film about a girl and her bike.

        • I saw a trailer for that!

          • Rhonda Shore

            It’s good but not a new movie, I saw it a couple of years ago.

  • GemFemme

    It was interesting to hear Leo’s acting style as intense all the time, with no light or shade. I found myself remembering the movies he’s done and I definitely see that. Even in my favorite Leo movie, Shutter Island, he’s intense and torturted throughout.

  • MilaXX

    The Academy just made a major announcement and of course people are having fits. It actually sounds like a good plan. I’m eager to see how it works out in actual practice. http://www.oscars.org/news/academy-takes-historic-action-increase-diversity

  • jorinde

    Again and again: What’s the point in having all these strong, even heroic woman’s characters as role models nowadays, when they can’t get older then 35? Where do they vanish afterwards? To another planet?
    A girl with these role models will be able to be as strong as she wants to – as long as she doesn’t grow older.

    Hollywood knows two universes. One is inhabited by all men and women (or let’s say: girls) under 40, the other one is solely for older women. These universes never seem to coexist in one movie.

  • Pamdela

    I cried over David Bowie too; so sad to think that he’s no longer on the planet. What a genius. And, so it appears, a generous, open minded spirit. I was going to say that humankind could use more like him, but there is no one like him. Thanks for talking about him a bit; his cultural influence cannot be overstated.

  • butterna

    Wow, you guys didn’t hold back in regards to the Oscars! Bravo!!!! This has been one my favorite episodes. Thank you so much for pointing up the problems with the Oscars.

  • julesj

    I am so impressed that Lorenzo watches movies 10-20 times!! Second, I love that you two don’t agree on everything and that your podcast is a conversation not a rehearsed commentary. On Sicario: I hated the movie primarily because Emily Blunt’s character was so very lame (typical woman!). Her character was on a soapbox of righteousness, but couldn’t back it up. It was hard to appreciate Bencio Del Toro’s performance because her’s was so bad. She was pouting the entire movie.

  • joything

    I’m with Lorenzo – more categories recognizing genres: comedy, action, drama. Just imagine Best Actress, Action: Charlize Theron or Daisy Ridley? … Of course, the show would go on for four days.

  • Violina23

    The whole conversation about the Oscars and its inflated sense of importance in our lives and in our culture kept making me think, as a broadway enthusiast, about the Tony awards. The thing is, even if you assume that the award is not at all political and 100% based on merit, winning said award is only a reflection of the current offerings of that current year. Especially in theater, there just aren’t that many new choices, and there are always a few obvious flops nominated each year. And then, BAM, you have a year where there are 3 amazing musicals, and they can’t all win Best Musical. I remember in 2003, it was all about Avenue Q vs. Wicked, which couldn’t have been more different. I happened to have completely loved both shows and thought each had a compelling case to win, and ultimately Avenue Q was “victorious”. But in the end I was left thinking, how was I supposed to consider Wicked to be a lesser show than “Titanic: The Musical” because only the latter could say it was a “Tony Award Winning Best Musical”?

    So, that’s my long-winded way of saying [legitimate diversity concerns aside] I don’t give the Oscars much weight personally. I half-watch the show for the fashion & hopefully some good comedic bits, and then I read this site the next morning 🙂

    • PeaceBang

      The thing that we mere mortals have to remember, though, is that the Oscars are all about $$$$. Nominations and wins are worth many large buckets of money for everyone involved.

  • egnorizk

    The exact moment I stopped caring about The Oscars? The moment Crash won for best picture. Tom, we are samsies. I watch for the dresses now and in anticipation of an ‘Adele Dazeem’ incident. AND! I too have never cried over a dead celebrity. Until Bowie. Hit me like a ton of bricks. His posters were all over my room. I found his cheekbones VERY important.

    • renad

      Yes, thank you.

    • sunnycalif

      I stopped caring about the Oscars when Gwyneth won for Shakespeare in Love. Travesty.

  • lisaepc
  • shoofly

    TLo, you are wonderful. Enjoy this podcast immensely. Hope you are safely inside from snowmageddon. I have a request (and perhaps it has already happened): can we see a photo of the vocal kitty Mew Mew? Her “radio” voice sounds like a tortie!

  • Sherrie

    Glad you mentioned the less than memorable role of Rachel McAdams in Spotlight. I can barely remember her in the movie, other than the “grandma” part of her story. She did a good solid job, but an Oscar nom? Nah

    • PeaceBang

      Not so fast. Rachel McAdams made her performance look easy, when in fact it was much more challenging than it seemed. She did a fantastic job channeling Sascha Pfeiffer’s low-key, tenacious Boston girl. In the hands of a lesser actor it could have been a total disaster. Those of us in the Boston area who love Sacha Pfeiffer thought McAdams was frickin’ brilliant.

  • Shannyn Marie

    Raw truth, good critiques, no sugar coating and this-“What are you lookin at sweetie?” Loved all of it.

  • CommentsByKatie

    So happy to hear your comments on menswear; I too was surprised by the amount of point-and-laugh comments on the men’s collections. I’m glad to hear you guys liked them!

  • Andsheewas

    Great and fair discussion of the Oscars. I loved it. You can that you two care about the medium and to see film succeed where TV has. I still have a weird interest in the Oscars, but I think that comes from my fascination with old Hollywood glamour. I hope that the proposed changes to the voting body reaps some positive benefits, but I do not hold out hope until we see the diversity of stories and roles that is so desperately needed.