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Archive for the ‘Strangers With Candy’ Category

Clip: The Trip Back PSA

Moment: You should just really watch the whole thing. See if it reminds you of any of our Worst Dresser winners…

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The Wardrobe Department of a television series has an Important Job. After all, “clothes make the man.” In this case, they could very well make the character. The character’s outfits provide us with an immediate impression of the person behind the clothes. Sometimes, that is a very, very, bad, seriously, oh my God, so bad impression. Take Kate Harper from West Wing.

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She’s a former spook who now works for the White House and she is dressed EXACTLY how you would imagine a military chick, constantly surrounded by men and with way more important things to worry about than what she should purchase at Barney’s next week at a sample sale. (Not that those things aren’t important, to each his or her own. But you get my point.)

Her costume person did a perfect job. Does that mean she looks good? Oh, Lord, no. This whole situation is just awful. It actually distracts me while I’m watching her WW reruns. “This situation in China sounds just terrible. MOTHER OF GOD, KATE. SHOULDER PADS?” is a constant refrain in my house.

With that, I give you television’s Top Five Worst Dressers, characters whose personal style is so mind-numbingly awful that it’s actually physically distracting to watch them on the TV lest your eyes burst into flames. Fun!

5. Miranda Hobbes from Sex & the City (Seasons 1 – 3)

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Long before Sex & The City became this kind of massive fashion icon, thanks to Patricia Field’s zaniness and Sarah Jessica Parker’s penchant for drooling over Manolo Blahniks, Miranda Hobbes’ wardrobe kind of made me want to end my own life.

Sure, yes. She just screams New York lawyer. But, unless you’re ready to sue your dry cleaner, that is not a good thing.  Miranda is abrasive, funny and brilliant. She’s also the most awkward of the foursome, at least in the first few seasons. Not only was her string of suits bad (bad BAD. And hair. Hair bad.) but everything fit her oddly, like Patricia Field and SJP were sipping cocktails and laughing over pinning a ginormous flower to her lapel and then Pat would turn to Cynthia Nixon, slouched nervously off to the side of the dressing room, and go, “Oh. Erm. Here.” And toss her a turtleneck that actually succeeded in making her look stumpy, if that’s at all possible.

4. Donna Martin from Beverly Hills 90210

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Jesus. Yes. You’d better cry.

In the beginning, Donna Martin was actually kind of mousy in a Valley sort of way. Which is strange, considering how uber-rich she’s supposed to be. Put it this way- if the high school girls of the new 90210 ran into high school Donna, they would not hang out with her. They might even pull a few Amish/ deranged Blossom/Walk to Remember jokes. Oh, that’s right. They’re not me. I digress.

And then. And THEN. Lord. I imagine the conversation with the producers went like this.

“The flower bonnets aren’t working for us. They just don’t measure up to Kelly’s bicycle shorts and flower print dresses.”

“I hear you.” Executive producer taps finger-tips together. “How about we whore it up?”

“How exactly? She’s a virgin. How do we turn a virgin into a whore? Without, you know, her having sex?”

“Good question.” Executive taps a finger to goateed chin. “Do we have any belly shirts? With suspenders?”

Anyone who thinks of Donna Martin remembers the awkward dress ball gown she wore on Halloween, the floppy hats from the first season and then the horrible, God-awful ’90s nightmare of tight pants, short skirts, an endless collection of teeny baby T-‘s and plunging scoop necks that told us way too much information about her breast implants. And then she’d wear a button-up blouse with suspenders (see tears above) or a denim tuxedo and try to distract us with dying her hair in obnoxiously vibrant colors.

3. Denise Huxtable from The Cosby Show (Season 1 & 2)

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Oh, DENISE. A part of me thinks you might be some kind of avante-garde genius. The Rihanna hair, the shoulder pads, the COLORS. Do you know how many times I had to adjust the color settings on my TV when you’d saunter through the Huxtable living room? SO MANY TIMES. The jewelery, the Hammer pants. Some of those jumpers- I just- I didn’t- WHERE DID YOU FIND THEM? I could just stare at the construction for hours. Why isn’t your wardobe something studied on Project Runway? All I want is for Tim Gunn to enter the bathroom while you all are saying good-bye to Rudy’s fish, give you and your neon jumpsuit a once over and say, “Denise. I’m concerned.”

Seriously, someone look at this outfit and send me a diagram or something about how it was made. I have to know.

2. Kimmy Gibler from Full House

kimmy4Sometimes, I watch old episodes of Full House and think, “How did they get away with dressing this fourteen-year-old as an elderly prostitute?” And then I wonder if their sticking Andrea Barber in leggings and bicycle shorts pretty much for her entire childhood hindered her ability to have children as an adult. Or scarred her against wearing, well, anything ever again. Or anything with a pattern anyway. If I were her, I’d stick with solid colors for, oh, the rest of my natural life.

1. Jerri Blank from Strangers With Candy

Poor Jerri Blank. Cursed not only with booze, pills, and being a total loser (her words, not mine), she also destined to be the homeliest person on Earth. Her lipstick-smudged teeth, her Mom haircut, her woeful expressions, her lumpy body and her late ’70s after-school special meets Grandma’s handbag wardrobe… It’s a good thing it all adds up to her being such a hysterically funny icon for forty-six-year-old high school freshmen everywhere.

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by Beal

5. Jerry Seinfeld on Seinfeld (1989 – 1998)

seinfeld_tv_showAt first glance, Jerry’s wardrobe isn’t that aesthetically offensive, but take a closer look. First of all, Jerry, I thought you were a native New Yorker, but nothing says “I’m Canadian and have no pride” quite like the entirely denim outfits you insist on wearing throughout the tenure of your program. And as if that weren’t awful enough, you frequently church that outfit up with a tweed jacket and tweed tie, to say nothing of the occasional sweater vest. Worse, you wear black jeans, tapered black jeans and seemingly try and pass them off as “dress” pants. But you know what accessory really ties the whole heinous get up together? The solid white cross trainers you insist on wearing with EVERYTHING. Do you have an orthopedic issue we’re not aware of? And I’m not even going to touch your early 90’s stand-up attire. The blazer with the jeans. A lot of tucking. You’re a funny guy, with his own apartment and a decent job in the entertainment industry. Enlist the help of Elaine already and get yourself some modern apparel, because like it or not, the puffy shirt was actually an improvement.

4. Dorothy Zbornak on The Golden Girls (1985 – 1992)

dorothyOh Dorothy! Words can’t even describe the crimes against fashion that you have committed. Is that a nightgown? A long dress with an oversized vest? A one-piece skirt/skort/pant/jacket/blouse? Does that zip as one somewhere in the back? And why do you insist on rolling up the sleeves on EVERYTHING that you wear? Who do you think you are? Don Johnson? And what’s with the boots? The bottom of your dress/skirt/gown/pant has never approached anything short of ankle length, so I’m unsure why you’d go the extra mile and put on any kind of boot. You’ve now forced me to consider why you’re so steadfastly preventing any glimpse of your legs and for that, I hate myself. Oh, and Pussycat, lose the bow tie!

3. Charlie Harper in Two and a Half Men (2003 – Present)

Charlie HarperWho dresses like this? And why am I supposed to think it’s cool? This is a grown ass man, who brings home REALLY ATTRACTIVE women like it’s his job, yet he spends his days clad in bowling shirts of various hideous colorways, CARGO SHORTS repeat: CARGO SHORTS,  and worst of all, mid-calf length socks and slip on shoes. Is he retarded? These get-ups sort of seem like the Garanimals of alcoholic adults–all the shirts match all the pants, match all the socks so getting dressed is simple! Perhaps the reason he never gets past the one-night stand (I’ve seen like six episodes of this show, the running theme seems to be that women swoon over him and then sleep with him hours after meeting him) is not because of his super cool fear of commitment and Peter Pan syndrome, but rather because when the girls get up to pee in the middle of the night, they catch a glimpse of his closet and realized that the just had sex with a man who wears bowling shirts, exclusively.

2. Nancy Bartlett on Roseanne (1991 – 1997)

Picture 2You’ve got to have some pretty hideous duds to stand out on Roseanne. For Christ’s sake, Rosie spent half the series in an oversized rooster/chicken T-shirt, and Aunt Jackie has some of the ugliest sweaters television has ever seen outside of the Huxtable house, however, these costumes seemed to fit the characters. That’s who they were and for that, I can forgive the fashion faux pas. Nancy on the other hand, is unforgivable. Seemingly, this bitch never met a piece of spandex or animal print (bonus if it’s both) she didn’t love. Acid washed high waisted jeans? Fantastic! They’ll look dazzling with that leopard leotard and jacket that somehow involves fur. Neon! Why not? Apparently she never got the memo that she was living in 1990’s Lanford, Illinois and working at a loose meat sandwich shop and not in early 1980’s New Jersey and working at a hair salon in the mall. I like to think that if we’d seen Kimmy Gibler all grown up, her wardrobe would have been identical.

1.  Jerri Blank on Strangers with Candy (1999 – 2000)

105ficusNo other character on television has ever or will ever have a wardrobe quite as grotesque as Jerri Blank’s. It’s wonderfully repugnant, ugly in every way–cheap, synthetic fabrics cut in the most unflattering of ways, usually featuring colors in the rust family, really and truly a more hideous look has never existed. In the first episode, we learn that Jerri shops at The Comfort Zone, (which I can only imagine went out of business sometime in the 1970’s) and in subsequent interviews with Amy Sedaris that her look was achieved when Sedaris described to the wardrobe department that she needed to look “like someone who owns a snake.” Well, mission accomplished. Not only do I believe that this woman owns a snake, I also believe that she is a delusional 46 year old high school freshman who has spent more than one late night chained to a radiator snortin’ horse and smokin’ sticks of pot.

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So nothing I say would do justice to 30 Rock. It’s the funniest show on television, and probably one of the funniest shows of all time, which is why I generally refrain from commenting on it, it’s better than me. Today I finally got to last Thursday’s episode, and who guest starred as Kenneth’s Valentine’s Day love interest? None other than Maria Thayer, also known as Tammi Littlenut from the other greatest television comedy of all time, Strangers with Candy.

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–BEAL

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