If this is your first time here, I recommend starting from the first episode and working your way forward. Of course, that's entirely your call.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Season 6, Episode 17: Not Everybody Loves the Blues

Elvin takes Theo to a blues club. It's unclear exactly why, other than because the producers found out they could get B.B. King to be a guest star. He plays essentially a fictional version of himself, named Riley Jackson, who happens to be a friend of the Huxtable family in addition to a legendary performer. Over the course of the day, Theo struggles with whether he wants to marry Justine while everyone around him learns to appreciate blues music.

Star power.

Here's the man himself. He's wearing a suit. When I first saw it, I thought it was a snappy beige, but as I look now, I think it's actually a gray that comes across different under the bright golden stage lights. I like my imaginary version of this suit better than the real thing, I guess. Love the wide tie, though. Not everyone can pull off a wide tie, but he's a broader man, so it works.

He could teach Clair a thing or two about no-nonsense face.

His second appearance involves lots of blues. GET IT?!?! Also a thinner tie, which is fine but I prefer the former option. Another thing: he performs in this suit later in the night, and I'm not sure I can condone having dinner in your stage clothes. This house is full of children. Accidents happen.

Despite the show's focus on gender equality, we never see male servers.

Robin Townsend ends her short television career with this role as a server at the club. I don't like her uniform, particularly the color of the shirt, but I can't blame her for that.

You again?

This emcee (played by Danielle Burgio, the same woman who worked at the cafe two weeks ago) was likely allowed to choose her attire, and how she landed on this is beyond me. The yellow does nothing for her, and everything is obnoxiously wide. This is a fast food restaurant costume. Not a restaurant worker: the actual restaurant.

This says "Liza Minnelli" to me somehow.

Justine appears near the end of the episode to remind us that though Theo has doubts, he still has genuine affection for his girlfriend. (Even though mostly in the past he's acted like a jerk to her and she should have kicked him to the curb forever ago.) Her presentation here is nothing special: the mostly-black situation is fine, but the details don't gel for me. Executing the shirt-over-shirt look is a delicate process, and though she matches the tones well, she doesn't reach any sort of higher plane by employing this baggy, shimmery number. I'm also confused as to why her earrings are 5s. What's that about?

This child.

Kenny comes over and "sings" the blues. Also wearing blues! Some intern was working overtime this week.

There are a lot of children around these days.

Seriously, they buy Olivia too many clothes. Let the girl rewear something once in a while. (I mean, the yellow leggings are episode #6.15 repeats, but still. Another rainbow patchwork creation?)

See you in a Tyler Perry movie, kid.

I'm really starting to feel for Rudy. Everyone gets more to do than her. Even Kenny! At least her sweater has an aspirational foreign locale on it. Go out and see the world, little lady: they don't appreciate you here.

Loving that big, more-than-Whitney-less-than-Chaka hair.

To begin, Vanessa repeats her episode #4.21 onesie with a t-shirt underneath. Her look is casual because, unlike the rest of the family, she intends to skip the blues club performance.

Why does she do this? What does she know of pain?

Once there, however, she goes embarrassingly wild for the music. I wish I could see more of the black and gold detailing on this red coat. I might like it, but it might be a very Michael Jackson experience. (In reference to fashion, that's not typically a compliment.)

Sigh.

Honestly, Theo, a different lilac turtleneck than last week? This time with some sort of logo on it? And a shoddy ochre vest? This looks like the uniform for an airline run by colorblind hippies. It's called, "Let's Just Walk There, Man. See the World!"

Better only because it couldn't get worse.

He does well with purples, particularly when paired with sharp, yellowy greens. So this is at least a step in the right direction. But check that '80s hair! Yes, there are horizontal lines shaved into one side of his head. And it's not in the picture, but you can bet that rat tail is still there.

His thinking face is a pooping face.

You know, the print down the front of the shirt that implies complex fasteners isn't half bad. But even with the overcoat to hide how large it is, he still should have tucked it in. The jeans to make the look more casual are decent, though he could have done more. Of course, by this point I've long since ceased to expect more from Theo.

Mom bangs.

We don't get the usual fabulousness from Denise, but she's just having an evening in. Khaki top with some light texture at the neckline, striped loose pants. I'll take it, though I'd steer her away from fabrics that so closely match her skin tone in the future.

Cue the "Martin" theme song.

Martin wears these gray slacks a lot. He can buy his child new clothes every day and only has two pairs of pants for himself? I mean, they're solid trousers, but you need options besides these and some mom jeans, dude.

Everyone in this family likes the same music. This is not true of my family.

Sometimes I just don't get Elvin's fashion perspective. Like, I don't dislike this shirt, necessarily, but it feels a little strange coming from him. I guess he was attracted to the leafy pattern down the front? I don't know. He's never been afraid of a pastel, but this still seems funkier than his usual options. I wish he hadn't buttoned it all the way to the top; that looks terrible.

Look waaaaay to the right.

He and Sondra have a blink-and-you'll-miss-it part as part of the club audience, but they're so sidelined that I won't even bother to comment on the parts of their clothing that we can see.

Yes, she is singing the blues. Yes, it is perfect.

I sort of appreciate Clair's single-fabric drapey creation, but it's straddling the line between "luxurious" and "bathrobe." I have concerns.

VIP.

Is anyone else surprised when Cliff looks put together? Like, he pulls out those suspenders all the time, but never with this kind of panache. They match the slacks and bow tie perfectly, and the accessories are offset so well by that... cornflower? Is that what we call that color? And other than the stripe in the tie, he's avoiding the bold, sometimes ridiculous patterns for which he's been known. I really like this side of him. Everything fits, everything matches, everything makes sense. Approve.

I'm on this new kick where I'm trying to get entries up on time for a change; let's hope it sticks. If not, enjoy the motivation while it lasts!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Season 6, Episode 16: The Birthday Party

This is gonna be a short one, but at least I made my Monday morning deadline for once. I'm not sure what possessed the writers to do another "children at a party" show after Rudy's sleepover, but they did. This time it's Olivia's birthday that prompts the gathering. Nothing much happens, honestly. Let's just get this over with.

A sign? On an easel? I feel like a banner would have been more appropriate.

Lots of kids show up. We will not be exploring their fashion choices.

Where do you even buy something like this?

Except, of course, for Olivia, since she's a series regular. Her presentation has a real "child royalty" vibe to it, complete with crown. It's all intense pink and volume and extreme scalloped edges and thick borders. She's just turning all the usual party dress expectations up to eleven. I applaud her commitment.

Snore.

Rudy and Vanessa are absent this week, and Theo appears for just one short scene, wearing his episode #5.10 turtleneck and some nondescript jeans.

She's making tofu cake because she's craaaaaaaazy.

Poor Denise has succumbed to the curse of the shoulder pad. In a turtleneck? Is that necessary? The aubergine shade is great on her, though, and the wild wrap skirt is fab. Maybe not with chunky shoes and ankle socks, though.

He's too bland for her.

Gray sweater, gray slacks. Diamonds to prevent you from falling asleep. Martin is as stalwart and dependable as ever.

You couldn't even give me a new look from my favorite fashion icon?

Clair repeats her episode #6.5 outfit.

Yeah, no.

I realize that the lighting at the bottom of the stairs isn't ideal, but that wide shot still illustrates the key problem with this sweater, and honestly many of Cliff's pieces. From far away, these deep, low-contrast colors all blend together. Then, once you get up close, they don't match particularly well. This garment isn't the usual good-ugly we expect from the doctor; this is just ugly-ugly. He can, and should, aspire to more.

And that's it! Seriously, nothing happened this week.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Season 6, Episode 15: Denise Kendall, Singles Counselor

Sorry about not posting last week, guys. I have no excuse.

This episode is all about the difficulties of teenage romance. Denise, seeing that Vanessa has a crush on a boy at the cafe, urges her sister to talk to him and even coaches her on lines she can use to win his favor. Unfortunately, when things go sour, Denise finds herself the recipient of heaping helpings of blame and responsibility for the process of setting everything right. It's a mess, but like any good sitcom mess, it's fixed by the end of the day.

That haircut says "starship ensign" to me.

Danielle Burgio appears briefly as a server. She wears this. I'd love to read this place's written guidelines for staff attire.

Dem cheekbones do.

Elliot, the object of Vanessa's misplaced affection, is played by Garland Whitt. Though admittedly handsome, he's working with some impeded fashion skills. He's trying to hide that fact with his deplorable jacket, but I can see that his sweater and pants are the same damn color. Part of the t-shirt underneath is also grayish olive. He's just way, way committed to that shade. As for the outerwear, I don't care if he earned each one of those patches himself by being the best Boy Scout ever: it's too busy. (And let's be real: he didn't earn those patches, they came with the coat.)

She mean.

His girlfriend Shana is bad news. Back in episode #3.17, she was known as Althea Logan and caused all sorts of trouble by smoking in Vanessa's room. Now she's pretending like she's never seen these people before and treating her romantic partner like a servant. It's possible that she requires medication. I can't really hate on her all-black, heavily accessorized presentation, though. The studded cap might be a bit bold, but she owns it.

OK, enough with the cute kid thing. We get it.

Olivia's leggings and shoes are repeated from episode #6.13, but the sea foam top half is brand new. She maybe has too many clothes for someone her age.

Cute kid cautionary tale.

It's odd that Rudy was included in this week's episode at all, given that she has only one line and so little screen time that I couldn't even find an isolated shot of her. This is the best we get. Blue apron, magenta shirt. Done.

Of all the things to bring back.

Vanessa's first look is a repeat of episode #5.17, with an added hat.

I'm as surprised about my praise of this as you are, hon.

She gets some new pieces for her second look, the date outfit for a date that never happens. The top half is great, a sort of Town and Country riding jacket and white, slightly embellished blouse that exude ostentatious old money. The pants have a similar feel, with detailed stitching that suggests old tapestries or antique furniture. I don't think the upper and lower portions of the ensemble match terribly well, but I adore them individually.

Grinning like a man who doesn't know how bad this is.

Gosh, Theo, another drab, lifeless combination of oversized garments? You shouldn't have.

Oh no.

Denise's pajama pants aren't doing it for me, but I'm intrigued by this shirt. Let me be clear in stating that it's not good, I'm just intrigued. Look at the little yellow sash. It passes under and through the collar, meaning that there are holes there designed for this kind of mini-cravat. Odd, no? The whole creation is easily one of her worst, but that detail stuck out to me.

OH NO.

Has there been a contest going on to see who can get Clair into the ugliest sweater? Joke's over, guys. We've had enough. I demand a return to fabulous, fashionable Phylicia immediately.

OH REALLY VERY MUCH NO.

Want to wear a comically short tie, but can't find a comically short tie? Imply one by adding some really ugly contrasting fabric on your black long-sleeved polo. Then, pair it with some gray pants to make sure that the inch-wide strip of vomit-colored rickrack on your chest is the only thing anyone can focus on! This handy tip brought to you by Dr. Cliff Huxtable.

I know: delays suck. I am the worst. Maybe I'll get things up on time next week? History suggests otherwise, but one never knows...

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Season 6, Episode 14: Cliff's Nightmare

What the hell is going on with this entry in the Huxtable timeline? Cliff eats a sausage sandwich before bed and has an extended nightmare with puppets. It's weird, but not particularly funny. Also, Wallace Shawn provides a super explain-y narration for the whole thing even though it's really clear what's happening. Like, the show has already had a dream sequence episode, and we didn't need hand-holding last time. The whole thing is just a giant misfire, in my opinion. Oh well, I can't wholeheartedly dislike anything that has Phylicia Rashad and Jim Henson creations.

Since this episode was nonsensical, I'm going to handle the outfits in the order in which they appeared, rather than doing the usual character-by-character rundown.

Your brain is broken, doc.

Cliff falls asleep in this getup, and then envisions himself wearing it throughout his journey into the subconscious. That shirt is ugly even by his standards, and the buttoned-to-the-top look just ensures that the hideous print covers as much of him as possible. Since the slacks are too plain to comment on, we're left with just this heinous shirt to contemplate. This really is a nightmare.

PINK SAX. It makes visible notes. Visible.

His first vision is of Vanessa as the saxophonist in an all-female funk band. Other than the sunglasses, which aren't great for her face shape, this is a great look for her. Kind of costumey, but at least assertive in its outlook. If she tailored that coat a little, she'd really have something.

Great extensions, though.

Why is Olivia rocking vintage duds? Who knows? There are a number of day players in period garb as well, including writer/producer Carmen Finestra in his third trip in front of the camera for the show, but it seemed entirely unworth it to examine a bunch of sepia-toned regional theater castoffs.

This show is really into the armed forces.

And then Cliff is in a military uniform, but not the uniform he served in.

This set decoration is on point.

Theo is also in uniform, as a higher-ranking officer.

She might wear this in reality, though.

Denise appears as a firefighter, along with a couple other dudes. They're all wearing standard-issue fireproof clothing, serving function with fashion to be found. Notice, though, that she has her old hair here; the episodes were clearly not aired in the sequence they were filmed.

HANG IN THERE.

Clair is in pajamas.

Huh.

And then the Muppets start to appear.

OK.

Including a sentient version of the sandwich Cliff ate.

Sure.

And some familiar faces from The Muppet Show.

Whatever you say.

Eventually, Cliff effectively becomes a Muppet. There are a lot of other fabric friends roaming around, ranging from old stalwarts like Gonzo to creations we've never seen before. I'm not going to screencap them all.

He's already asleep, she didn't need to wear this snooze of an outfit.

Cliff eventually "wakes up" but is actually still dreaming. Still, to sell the fake-out, they put people in regular clothes. Here's Rudy wearing some pink. Whatevs.

Makes sense.

Vanessa delivers another variation on her signature combination of high-waisted pants, a t-shirt, and a vest. The silhouette is overall not bad, and I'm fine with the palette, but the pattern on that vest is total crap. Leave it to her father to dream that disaster up.

Sigh.

Cliff's brain is basically a trash fabric generator. This is a harrowing window into his psyche.

And that's that. Sorry for the slapdash entry, but I couldn't get done with this episode quick enough. (Ironic since I'm late posting yet again.)