Faceoff: Mellie (Cuckold) vs. Olivia (Mistress) … Ramble

Gladiators rally every week on Twitter to dissect and live tweet opinions, quotes and shock for ABC’s Scandal. If you don’t watch it, the basic premise is Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), a Washington Power Player who’s clients messes (from murder to terrorism) she spins into a positive light, is having an affair with the President of the United States, aka Fitz (Tony Goldwyn). Olivia met Fitz on the campaign trail, hired by his Chief of Staff, Cyrus, to help him win the presidential election.

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Fitz’s wife, Mellie, is fully aware of the affair. She wanted Fitz to give up Olivia or she would go on national TV and tell everyone the image of them as a happy family, even with a newborn baby, was a sham. When Fitz didn’t cower because he had a fantasy of confessing the affair, getting a divorce and moving Olivia into The White House, Mellie carried out her threat. This season kicked off with Olivia’s name being leaked to the press as the one having the affair. However, Mellie & Cyrus found a scape goat on staff, who, after a small amount of convincing, went along with the whole thing.

Last week Olivia was almost blown up by one of her clients, along with a senator, who strapped a bomb to her chest. In the end (SPOILER), Olivia was fine, but traumatized and Mellie was celebrating her survival. Fitz was confused why Mellie would do that.  Mellie, drunk on ‘hooch’ pointed out that Olivia is his weak spot, one she can use over and over as a weapon as long as Olivia is alive. If Olivia had died, there would be no way for Mellie to compete with her memory. Powerful speech. It got me to thinking and talking with a  lot of friends whether it is better to be the lover, like Olivia, or the wife, like Mellie.

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PASSION:  Despite Mellie knowing that she no longer has Fitz’s heart, she wants him to want her. While drunk she asks if he’ll screw her right on the dining room table. Mellie is tough, she is ruthless or as Cyrus said “evil” to which she responded “You’re welcome.” At the end of the day, she still wants to be loved and held or given some kind of rough sex war in the sheets so she can feel like a woman.

Olivia felt Fitz’s wrath when he first, froze her out, ending their affair after he realized Olivia was part of rigging his presidential election. Then he pulled her into an electrical outlet closet in The White House having a bit of rough sex with her last season. It was hot, it was degrading, it was over for him. There is a razor thin line between love and hate when that amount of passion is involved. Liv has had other relationships. First she almost married, for the second time, a senator, and secondly, she dated Jake, (Noel always gets the girl by default, disguarded by her true love am I right here Felicity fans!?) only to find out he is part of a black ops organization run by Liv’s own father.

WINNER: Olivia. The mistress is always going to win out on passion. Her ardor is run down by having to attend press ops, change baby nappies, do his laundry, put down the toilet seat or attend those tedious, and often, tension-filled family barbeques.

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FACE TIME:This one is not a slam dunk. Though Mellie lives in the same place as Fitz, she has to manipulate staff members to find out Fitz’s schedule, who he is meeting and turn it into her advantage. When the tough decisions are made, like how to handle the exposure of the affair, she is called into the private bunker with Fitz & Olivia to give her approval of the details- how many times did they sleep together, when, how she forgives him, etc. Mellie’s QT with Fitz is often forced, obtained through subterfuge and full of rage. Cyrus informed Mellie & Fitz, they would be going to Camp David together in order to put on a show for America, of forgiveness. They were both incredibly belligerent, but escaped such a circus of affection when Olivia’s client showed up with a bomb on Capitol Hill. Oh hurrah, saved by the bomb.

Olivia is never sure when she is actually going to see Fitz. She no longer works in the White House. It isn’t as easy for her to roam the halls, especially if she is out of favor with Fitz, Mellie or Cyrus. Many of their conversations take place over a cellphone carried by one of Fitz’s Secret Serviceman.

WINNER: Mellie. Wifey is going to win on this one in general, but the quality of that face time, and the happiness is somewhat of a fantasy. Maybe it’s better a man marries a woman better for his career. According to Facebook executive, Sheryl Sandberg’s book ‘Lean In’, women should be just as strategic when picking their life partner. Sandberg started her career in Washington and is now married to her second husband, Dave Goldberg. Full disclosure Dave was my bosses’ boss when I worked at Yahoo! and I have big affection for both of them. I think Sheryl is right though, if you are a power couple. We can’t always chose who we fall in love with, but we do chose who we date, we can chose who we target right? Is that any different than a political marriage? How about a royal marriage made to keep two countries as allies? Or Prince Charles & Lady Diana, who clearly didn’t love each other, but it was seen as an advantageous marriage for both. Haven’t their offspring revived most people’s love for the future of the monarchy? You can’t tell me you don’t admire Kate Middleton on some level.

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STYLE:
Mellie, as First Lady, is stuck in frump-a-licious, conservative, garb with some old school 80’s hair that sometimes calls to mind “The higher the hair, the closer to God.” Oh yeah, Mellie is a mom of three, she dresses well, but it’s a bit dated and rarely sexy.

Olivia Pope is the new Jackie Kennedy. Her fabulous coats and high-end power suits with silk shirts is being emulated by American women all over the country. The white Burberry coat, Olivia wore on the premiere, retails at just under $2600 and is sold out everywhere.

WINNER: Olivia. And of course, the costume designed on Scandal, Lyn Paolo. A mistress doesn’t have to look slutty, she looks sexy and classy. She may be have to wear a suit, but she is able to pick out one with more sex appeal dealing in the private sector of power players instead of constantly in front of the press or the PTA, playing a role that doesn’t welcome such hotness, FLOTUS, being an exception to this in real life. Of course, love the fashion of FLOTUS, however I don’t necessarily find her sexy, just modern and classy. Olivia is sexy on a stick.

CAREER:Mellie has kids, gets the public recognition, but her power plays are done behind closed doors and usually unrecognized. For the public, she has her charity work, but her attempts for more, like going out on the White House lawn or revealing Fitz has been having an affair, have made her look weak and quite frankly, like a desperate housewife. She’s a figurehead with questionable likeability.

When Olivia‘s father was trying to get her out of Washington to avoid her name being dragged through the mud at the exposure of her affair with Fitz, he told he was disappointed in her. He taught her to always be the best and aiming for being First Lady? Liv, how could you be so mediocre? OUCH! Olivia stood up to Papa after a quick chat with Cyrus, and said she would fix it. She is, after all a fixer. That’s what she does for her clients and she could just as easily do it for herself.

WINNER: Olivia. Smart, sexy and sought after, her intelligence has never been in question.

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Now, to the roles in general of cuckold vs. mistress.

PROS AND CONS:

Cuckold, maybe he loves her on some level. There is a fondness, duty and certainly his own ego is flattered by the image he presents to the world by putting a ring on that finger. The wife gets the house, the kids and the bank account. Perhaps, two can play at that game. I’m waiting for Mellie to have an affair of her own on Scandal. Cons, she knows her husband has broken vows, she isn’t enough, endless lies and what they had once, is forever changed (and this list could go on but it’s a blog, not a book).

The Mistress may not have the ring, but she gets the passion, free time, the choice to date other men and an element of danger that is kind of hot. The mistress also holds the power, despite what the man thinks, however careful he might have been to separate ‘church and state’, it has never been easier than this technological age to connect digitally, despite any distance. There has to be a trust in that relationship, that no matter what, the mistress will not poison the well. Unfortunately, she probably gets cancelled on a lot, he can’t always take her call, and he may end the affair at any moment because he is scared of getting caught and shove her out the door abruptly, hardly flattering.

Who’s the winner? When it comes to Scandal it’s Olivia and the audience, but in real life, who am I to judge? You have to do what makes you happy.

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Face-off: Mila Kunis vs. Rachel Bilson…Ramble

It seems like everywhere you look these days, two pint-sized brunettes are popping up as cute as can be and post-Black Swan- Mila Kunis is getting sexier by the minute which has lead to some double takes. Both were born in the 80’s and now they are coming into their own as headliners in the show biz world.

SITCOM STARTS:

MILA played the spoiled rich brat, Jackie Burkhart, on ‘That 70’s Show’ on Fox. She was the annoying, vein girlfriend of Michael (Ashton Kutcher) til he cheated on her and then she moved onto the cranky outsider, Steven Hyde (Danny Masterson.)

RACHEL was cast at the spoiled rich brat, Summer Roberts on “The O.C.” also on Fox. Rachel’s character was originally only supposed to be in a few episodes, but she managed to become a regular cast member. She also winds up dating also rich, but not-as-hot-as-the-rest-of-the-cast-rich-outsider Seth Cohen (Adam Brody). Brody and Bilson became a real life couple for a while.

WINNER: MILA as the spunky Jackie she was able to dance, be silly, torment the boys and tackle the 70’s with pluck. ‘That 70’s Show’ also laster 201 vs. “The O.C.” clocking in at 92. For the record I prefer ‘That 70’s Show’s open- way more fun!

LEADING MEN:

MILA dated Home Alone star Macauly Culkin for nine years. This was during the time when he feared leaving the house. (Being a childstar can have that affect!) She eventually spilt up with him in 2011 just as ‘Black Swan’ pushed her into the public eye in a huge way again.

Guess we all know how Mac would’ve taken the break up:


Well, good hearted-low-key Mila likes to keep her private life private but she still went to a Marine Corp Ball in 2011 because a Marine asked her out via YouTube. She even got buddy Justin Timberlake to do the same for a female solidier.

RACHEL likes to date her co-stars. During The O.C. years she dated co-star hipster Adam Brody. The series lasted one year longer than their romance. Rachel was cast in the movie Jumper and got cozy with none other than the young Darth Vader, Hayden Christensen.

WINNER: Rachel cause despite a brief break, she is still with her man. But seriously love how both of these ladies like to keep their romances on the DL and fairly scandel-free.

POST SITCOM FILM SUCCESS:

MILA has starred across leading men like Jason Segal in ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ to Marky Mark in the unfortunate film ‘Max Payne.’ She has always been the voice of Meg on ‘Family Guy’ adding a little spice to that nerdy character. Mila put herself into the A-list category as Natalie Portman’s rival-slash-fantasy in “Black Swan”. The red carpet was won by Mila who unfortunately followed it with the throw-away Rom-Com “Friends with Benefits” oppositie Justin Timberlake.

RACHEL was of course in ‘Jumper’ which was a pretty cool and buzzworthy film at the time. She followed it up with this wretched indie movie called ‘Waiting For Forever’ – which is how I felt about the plot. It was pretty awful and I will save all you Bilson fans- skip this one and go straight to her adorable weekly stint as a doctor on ‘The Hart of Dixie.’ For an actor with less charm, this CW show would have tanked but Bilson has proven she can carry a show and has grown up.

WINNER: Golden Globe & SAG nominated Mila Kunis has to take this round.

STYLE
MILA: While her character Jackie was obsessed with flaunting it and being a model, in real life Kunis is a casual kind of lady. Her red carpet moments for ‘Black Swan’ premieres and award season put Natalie Portman to shame.

RACHEL is known as a fashionista. She is always in the mags as a trendsetter and recently launched her own line of shoes. I want some!

WINNER: RACHEL

OVERALL WINNER: MILA KUNIS. Both actresses have thriving, great careers and continue to grow in their roles, but Mila has more of an edge and has chosen more diverse roles.

Human League vs. Gotye…Ramble

It’s a new year, but some themes don’t change, they just get better over time.

I have a debate with a friend over the Gotye ‘Somebody I Used To Know’ is a modern version of Human League’s ‘Don’t You Want Me’. Since this is my blog, I’m going to run with my theme.

DUDE PERSPECTIVE:

GOTYE: Dude feels slighted, tells the girl even though they broke up it was rough that she changed her number and had her girlfriends pick up her shit.

HUMAN LEAGUE: Dude meets a waitress and upgrades her life. Now he’s pissed she won’t see him.

THE GIRL’s PERSPECTIVE:
GOTYE: Turns out the Dude was a gameplayer. She changed her number cause she knew he was toxic to her.

HUMAN LEAGUE: Girl has outgrown him. He’s twisted the truth, time to move on boy.

WINNER: THE LADIES in both songs although Human League lady is slightly ahead cause this dude is more pathetically asking ‘don’t you want me?’

IMHO: I prefer the Human League video because while Gotye is a brilliant muso, I don’t want to see his scrawny man parts covered in artwork.

Face-off: Black Swan vs. Blue Valentine…Ramble

January means the start of hard campaigning for Oscars! There is so much buzz flying about one might get knocked out by it in confusion. Two petite actresses have been noted for their performances, Natalie Portman (yeah Long Island) and Michelle Williams (yeah Brooklyn!). Let’s see why our movie experience has turned Black and Blue (oh yes, I went there.)

SELF LOATHING:

BLACK- Portman’s character Nina Sayers “just wants to be perfect” no matter what that means. She is a cutter and beulemic, but most of all she is a ballerina.

BLUE: William’s character, Cindy is a loose girl with a high IQ. She grew up in a household of a bad marriage and then gets knocked up by a guy she semi-loathes only to marry the next guy who comes along despite his lack of a high school degree.

Winner: Black Swan. Nina Sayer takes it to an extreme whereas Cindy takes it to a cheap sex motel where she abandons her husband.

SEXUAL BOUNDARIES:

BLACK: Lust is a running theme as everyone knows that the lead choreographer, Thomas Leroy (played by Vincent Cassel) likes to sleep with his leading ladies. Nina Sayers also must inhibit the qualities of letting go in order to become the “black swan” dark, alluring and capable of seduction. She takes a dip in the “lady pond” (as Bravo host/SVP of Programming Andy Cohen likes to say.)

BLUE: Rough, sometimes just plain dirty and mean is how Cindy gets it on with her various suitors. She is leading her life as a black swan only to wind up using sex as a weapon. Cindy certainly likes to get naked as often as possible.

Winner: Black Swan. Although there isn’t full on nudity (which got it rated NC-17), the tension and the implications are far more boundary breaking especially when you are not sure what is real and what Nina Sayers is imagining.

PREPARATION:

BLACK: Natalie Portman started training a year prior to the role. She then upped it to five hours a day and swimming, adding choreography two months before for eight hour days. She lost 20 lbs off her already dimmunitive figure.

BLUE: The film has garnered a lot of press because it was a labor of love that was filmed over the course of six years. Williams and Gosling even lived together as a couple for a month to find out what pushed each other’s buttons.

Winner: Black Swan. Hello, living with Ryan Gosling for a month doesn’t sound like too bad a deal.

PLOT TWISTS:

BLACK: Director Darren Aronofsky is a master of mixing reality and fantasy until they blend seemlessly into one another. Did that scene just happen or is it just through the character’s filter?

BLUE: Avant guarde director Derek Cianfrance has created an uphappy portrait where you know the climax is this couple ending their relationship. The twists are hardly original despite the critcal acclaim. This one makes you want to never get into a relationship.

Winner: Black Swan again.

Overall, while neither of these films leaves the audience with a happy feeling, Black Swan takes us on an intense, exciting journey into the world of ballet. The sold out showing of Blue Valentine I went to at the Angelika Film Center had people leaving throughout just to get away from it. That’s right, hipster central was not enjoying it. Questions after the film included “he (Gosling’s character) didn’t even do anything that was so bad. That manipulation at the end and the co-worker saying he brainwashes her came out of nowhere.”

OVERALL WINNER: BLACK SWAN.

Face-Off: Colin Firth vs. Matthew MacFayden…Ramble

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When it comes to historical romance and embodying Jane Austen’s leading man, Mr. Darcy,  Colin Firth and Matthew MacFayden have both made women swoon. Here’s how they stack up:

1. HEIGHT:

COLIN: commands attention at 6’1″.  I guess he’ll never star opposite Tom Cruise. Most Hollywood actors tend to be on the shorter side.

MATTHEW: trumps Firth measuring up at an impressive 6’3″. Now there’s a man worth reaching up to!

WINNER: Macfayden

2. ELIZABETH BENNETTS:

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MATTHEW: won hearts for his portrayal of Darcy opposite Keira Knightly. Though addicting, Keira’s heavy eyeshadow when she meets him wandering in the fields is distracting as the final scene when she instructs him he can only call her Mrs. Darcy when he is incandescently happy.

COLIN: In the BBC more traditional version of Pride and Prejudice, he was opposite Jennifer Ehle who played Elizabeth Bennett with grace and fun. She had an air of grace about her and played the part to perfection.

CF gets a second modern day EB in the form of Bridget Jones played by Renee Zwelleger . He portrayed a modern Darcy in ‘Bridget Jones Diary.’ Renee’s role as Bridget raised eyebrows as the American took on such an English character. However, she bulked up and got her accent down so perfectly all thoughts of anyone else in the role evaporated.

WINNER: Colin Firth

3.  ACCOLADES:

Both actors have won the BAFTA for acting.

COLIN: Won the SAG award for his portrayal of Lord Wessex in ‘Shakespeare in Love.” He was also nominated for an Academy Award for his work in Tom Ford’s “A Single Man.”  He has been nominated for 21 awards globally and won  13 of them.

MATTHEW: Aside from the BAFTA he also won the Royal Television Society, UK and New Zealand Screen Award. He has been nominated for six awards and won

Winner: Colin with a 60% plus average of winning. Matthew’s 50% win rate is also impressive.

4. SEX APPEAL

COLIN: dropped his drawers most notably for Pride & Prejudice. If you watch the bonus material for Bridget Jones 2 Renee interviews Colin as Bridget:

Mmm, no wonder Colin’s co-star Jennifer Ehle didn’t let him go. The two dated for a while. Colin isn’t afraid of his appeal to both sexes. He played a gay man struggling with his sexuality in the 60’s in Tom Ford’s “A Single Man.” Go Colin, I love a man who is such a great actor a little dabbling in sexuality doesn’t scare him off from a role.

MATTHEW reads Shakespeare:

WINNER: Draw! Who wouldn’t take either one?

OVERALL WINNER: Colin by a hair. Matthew is a rising star who will be around for a long time. I’d like to see the two of them play opposite one another.

Both men are highly educated, well-travelled, married to fabulous women and provide us with enough characters to keep a girl locked away for the weekend with a box of tissues and full of romantic notions. The real winners? US!