Pop Style Opinionfest: Music, Fashion & Red Carpets

Posted on February 19, 2016

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The cast of HBO’s “Vinyl.”


Kittens, this week, we went OFF on HBO’s new series “Vinyl.” Set in New York City just two years after Mad Men ended (a comparison we’re making for very deliberate reasons), Vinyl’s about the people in and around the music industry of the day; specifically from the East Coast perspective. We could not WAIT for this show to come out.

And we hated it.

Okay, Tom hated it. Lorenzo spends some time defending it but even he admits it has some serious flaws, all of which is disappointing to us, since the creative team behind the series is Martin Fucking Scorsese and Mick Fucking Jagger. Is it so wrong that our expectations were high with a pedigree like that behind it?

We also do a bit of a dive on the Grammys red carpet and why it is, by necessity, quite different from the acting-based awards show red carpets. Deep thoughts: Musicians are different from actors.

And finally, we continue our Oscars-ology feature, by examining the recent red carpet styles of two Oscar nominees, Best Actress Nom Brie Larson

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And Best Supporting Actress Nom, Kate Winslet:

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Conclusions are drawn and predictions are made. SPOILER: Kate will wear something body-con.




It’s all there, darlings. Seventy-nine minutes of us sipping coffee and telling the world what it’s all about.

Thanks once again for all your support, kittens! And if you are so inclined, you can download/subscribe to the podcast here.


[Photo Credit: Getty Images, INFPhoto.com, HBO – Video Credit: CBS Radio/Play it]

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  • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

    I’m sorry to hear this about “Vinyl.” As you say, with something from Scorsese and Jagger you would expect something awesome.

  • Kate

    I hated Vinyl too. I didn’t even make it through the first episode. Now 11.22.63 – that is a show that I am pretty sure will hold my interest for the coming weeks – so I’ll get my retro fix from that.

  • Kara Keenan

    The 2 hour premier of “Vinyl” didn’t do much for me. I’ll give it another few weeks. It LOOKS good, but it’s just boring.

  • Rhonda Shore

    YES! I was hoping you guys would do something on “Vinyl”!

  • Gatto Nero

    I had been looking forward to “Vinyl” and also felt let down. So obvious and in-your-face (even considering the usual Scorsese violence and ironic backing track), like a lesson on the ’70s music industry for idiots. Anxious to hear your take, T Lo.
    I’ll give it another week or two. James Jagger’s not bad to look at.

  • Tanya Wade

    I really didn’t like it either. I think it was the Dice Clay. I was just repulsed by his character. If that was the goal, mission accomplished. And I found no one to really root for. Love Juno’s natural curls and her styling, but some of the costumes felt more mishmash than period specific. The trash talking at the expense of England Dan and John Ford Coley struck me as less funny than a cop out. I don’t know. The whole thing just felt off. I’ll give it one more episode.

  • oh vienna

    “Ask your health care professional about Pilot-itis — that bloated feeling of telling a story without knowing if the network will pick up the series or not. Symptoms can include on-the-nose dialogue, plot points that strain credulity, hair styles that are too artfully scraggly to truly be period-accurate, and a British proto-punk band that could not possibly have existed in New York in 1973. Some cases of Pilot-itis resolve on their own once the series is underway, or are at least mitigated by the use of Humble Pie on the soundtrack, so give it a couple more episodes.”

  • Shawn EH

    The Brie/Kate comparison is beautiful: Brie only looks good in gowns, and Kate only has one gown she thinks she looks good in.

  • paginatrix

    Add me to the Unimpressed List. I didn’t really like any of the characters. And the Art v. Commerce thing has been done so many times, there has to be something else to grab me. The costuming was annoying, too. Granted, I was in grade school in 1973, but I don’t remember EVERYONE having uniquely spectacular facial hair and crazy plaid. I mean, go back and look at “Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1972) or the first season of SNL (1975) or even an old TV show like All in the Family. Everyone didn’t look like a 1970s Dress-Up Doll. Also: as one of my friends said, “It was shouty and testosterone-y.”

    • alyce1213

      It’s typical not to like, or even care about any of the characters in a Scorcese opus. I hate that.

  • pherocious cake

    yes, Vinyl was absolute crap.
    (@ Tom: look for a review penned by Richard Hell)

    • alyce1213

      Richard Hell nailed it, absolutely.

  • Inspector_Gidget

    I didn’t really get Mad Men vibes from Vinyl, but Scorsese was definitely cribbing from his old work. I was disappointed that it was all about Italian palookas roughing up people and disposing of bodies. I could do without the murder plot and all the strongarm mob stuff. Surely there is plenty of 70s music industry stuff without falling back on “Goodfellas in the Recording Industry.”

    Also, two hours was wayyyy too long for the first episode. It felt so long.

    • shoofly

      I was done after an hour!

  • crash1212

    I’m thinking that Vinyl really suffered by doing a 2-hour open. Two hours of that was just TOO much. I’m hoping that in smaller doses it might be better? Having said that, watching Bobby Canavale (or whatever his name is) is always painful to me. Olivia Wilde did a great job and I loved the fashion of the era.

  • Ugh. I didn’t like Vinyl, either, and I was totally unprepared for TWO hours! I’ll give it another shot, though.

  • “This is another show about a tortured, rich, white asshole.”
    HA! Bravo, Tom! You really laid into them for those overdone cliches (and the Mad Men parallels), it was a delight to listen to. It sounds like their protagonist is quite the Gary Stu.

    Can someone tell me what they did to suggest 9/11 at the end? I understand a building collapsed, but did they do something to specifically allude to 9/11 imagery?

  • butterna

    This may be a weird kudos, but your transition into your sponsors are hilarious. I absolutely love the shameless plugs!!!

    • Shawn EH

      “Eat meaters!” Very cute.

    • Annmarie Kane

      Couldn’t agree more. Pure brilliance. The segues into Mack Weldon are my favorite.

  • boingboing

    As a fan of this particular period in gritty NY City musical history, I can see where this show is going. I’m just not sure I want to go there with it. Two hours was indulgent, could have easily been chopped and tightened to 90 minutes. And it needs to be better.

  • oneWEIRDword

    I though maybe that pic was the cast of Welcome Back, Kotter, the Musical

    • alyce1213


  • MilaXX

    Love the idea of a simple white gown & Ziggy Stardust stripe on Gaga.

    Vinyl was pretty much just “meh”. I actually watched twice thinking maybe I missed something. Honestly it’s pretty much a been there, done that show. (Then again I feel the same way about Billionaire). It’s already been renewed for a second season and I’m fairly sure it’s due to it’s pedigree. Certain events/people are loosely based on real people/events.
    BTW – Everything you say about Scorsese & Jagger producing Vinyl is a large part of the reason why #OscarsSoWhite
    If you want to see a good telling of the birth of hip hop, check out this episode of Drunk History. http://www.cc.com/video-clips/tajjk5/drunk-history-sylvia-robinson-creates-a-rap-group

    • M. K.

      Imho, Vinyl would have been much improved if it had a Sylvia-Robinson-inspired character at its core.

      • MilaXX

        I would love to see that character, but I think this show needs more youthful people in it’s cast. I’ll watch another episode or 2 but I don’t think this show is going to be must see tv for me.

        • M. K.

          I might come back if people report that it has improved, but so far it’s just not working all that well for me and I like my Scorsese in a more self-contained formats. But I was never that much interested in Vinyl, as far as music in 1970s is concerned, I’m more interested in that upcoming Netflix series – it might be a mess too, but it will probably be more entertaining mess, and the main characters are all(?) young, so there’s that.

  • Monkey Toe

    I am sure you have heard this a million times already, but it is the Aladdin Sane, not Ziggy Stardust, lightning bolt.

  • N

    As far as Oscars-ology goes, Kate will look gorgeous but predictable self, something form-fitting with the accent on some neckline play. For Brie my prediction – something safely light-colored and flow-y.

  • shoofly

    I want to see the Gaga performance of Heroes as described!!

  • Madgirl

    The building collapse really happened, the Mercer Arts Center collapsed in 1973. I liked Sandwich Girl’s outfits, hair and makeup.

  • alyce1213

    Vinyl was dreary and muddled — and worse, no joy, no fun. I lived in NYC in the ’70s (still do), I was there, and I even had a close friend who was a music exec — who did not take me to Plato’s, but to Lincoln Center for LaBelle, The Bottom Line many times, and of course CBGB. It was FUN, it was the scene. It’s a damn shame that Scorcese defaulted to his usual tunnel-visioned view of things, not that I expect anything more — I’m so tired of him. Maybe subsequent episodes will improve with different directors, but I’m not all that hot to watch again.

  • kittyvscupcake

    Wow, if you squint and put your finger over the shoulder area of all of Kate Winslet’s dresses, they all look the same, even nearly all the lengths!

    • M. K.

      Yeah, until you put them all together like this, it doesn’t seem so bad, but when you look at it all at once, it’s like, girl, why not choose the favourite one and wear it to every red carpet, it wouldn’t change that much, anyway.

  • Fräulein K.

    About Kate Winslet’s style: it’s dull, and it doesn’t have to be, but I think she might be sticking with the bodycon dresses because as a woman with more bust and hips than most of her peers, it’s easy to feel that you will look much bigger than you are if you wear looser, straighter silhouettes. She’s not plus-sized, but she has always had one of those bodies that are gorgeous, but on the larger end of the spectrum, you know? The spectrum here being conventionally attractive A-list Hollywood actresses, which means that the spectrum is by definition tiny and very thin.
    So. There’s no reason she couldn’t do prints, or more colours, or textures, or embellishments, she could and perhaps should. But the constant bodycon silhouette? I get that. I get why Kim K never ventures out of that particular wheelhouse either, because being able to fit in that tiny, narrow spectrum of what is considered a conventionally attractive body is part of their respective livelihoods, and I’m sure they are both extremely aware of the fact that they’re at that end of it. Better show everything, emphasize the waist and brave it out than risking looking bigger in something less fitted. Amy Schumer totally does that, too.

    • Puggermeg

      I 100% agree. Amy S. tried to wear volume at the GGs and she was panned for wearing something that looked quite unflattering. I also have always said that I just don’t think that Kate W. is that into fashion … and that is fine. She always looks so polished and professional, ready to execute her duties. That to me is a far cry better than the people who are “artistes” and dress like they don’t give a hoot.

  • BlackCatBitch

    I love it when you guys exhale in disgust at a current trend like the “Gucci dress on every cover. UGG.” ❤️

  • Puggermeg

    I finally listened this a.m. and I have to say, I disagree about what Brie will do this weekend. I think she will go FULL PRINCESS. She is going to win, right? That is a done deal at this point. She will take a cue from J. Law and Lupita and go full princess for her big moment. I think Marchesa.

  • QatBerts99

    Tom, I completely agree with you about “Vinyl.” I was ambivalent during the promotion period then totally irritated during the 2-hour premiere. Saw the second episode on Sunday and was even more annoyed after 20 minutes — for all the reasons you articulated during the podcast. I’m really disappointed in Terence Winter because he was so awesome as a writer/producer on “The Sopranos.”

  • A Shiny O’Connor

    Fashion is suffering from mass customisation. A Facebook-profile-style style.

  • Bowildhaze

    Agree with Tom- on VINYL the show had potential, and but the time jumping had me totally confused. I’ve watched it all the way through and tried a few passes and still don’t get it. Great clothes, love the music, but the story line was a blender mess of people and plot lines. Ease me into the 70s and don’t try to throw the life story and a building collapse into the first episode.