Book review: Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

I watched the movie Devil Wears Prada before I read the original book by Lauren Weisberger. It’s always a bit of a conundrum with book adaptations, has the movie done the book justice, is the book better than the movie, and so on.

For me it was absolutely impossible not to picture Anne Hathaway as Andy when reading the “hotly anticipated” sequel from Lauren Weisberger, Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns.

For all I care Anne Hathaway is Andy, it even puzzled me for a while when I realised her character didn’t have a short pixie style hair do and she wasn’t crying whilst accepting any awards

Andy // Anne

Andy // Anne

Lauren Weisberger returns to her sassy protagonist Andy Sachs ten years after she walked away from her job on Runway screaming obscenities at her former she-devil boss, it’s the morning of her wedding day and she’s having a crazy nightmare about the Devil aka Miranda Priestley aka Meryl Streep aka Anna Wintour.

Andy is getting married to rich media mogul Max Harrsion and has a mean mother-in-law named Barbara and her BFF is no other than Emily Charlton.  They even run a wedding magazine together called The Plunge (ever watched The Inbetweeners? You know what it ryhmes with then) that they dreamed up and launched with the help of investors, namely Andy’s soon-to-be husband.

It all sounds cute and sweet and her life is all wrapped up in a little bow, with a surprise baby on the way.

And it’s interesting to hear how she became friends with her frenemy Emily as Weisberger gives us a quick recap on how they re-engaged at a cooking masterclass, how she met her new husband Max in the Hamptons whilst throwing a party for investors, and how they used Miranda’s name to secure talent for their new venture The Clunge Plunge, a high-end wedding magazine.

But I couldn’t help feeling that it was all too easy, the book is essentially a movie script, and it tellingly shows which I think damages the quality of the book and it’s characters.

Supposedly the ‘Revenge’ part of the book’s title, is the fact that Andy has launched her own magazine where her staff are happy doing what they do and she enjoys writing for the magazine, and her and Emily get to attend lots of glossy celebrity weddings. I did not get that.

I spent the whole book waiting for Andy to get her ‘revenge’ on Miranda. Miranda wants The Plunge and the girls know this is a major coup, they’ve succeeded and have a lucrative contract offered to them by Miranda’s people but there’s one condition – the whole editorial team have to remain intact for one whole year after Miranda purchases them and this is something Andy cannot fathom.

So is this where Andy gets her revenge on Miranda? No. Miranda has her own revengenda.

Not to ruin the ending completely, but instead of getting her revenge on the people she hates she gets betrayed by the people she loves. But the story is wrapped up with the usual Hollywood movie ending – everything happens for a reason and you’ll get the guy in the end. Yawn.

Worth a read just because it’s the sequel to a massively successful book, but I don’t see why Lauren Weisberger didn’t just go ahead and make the movie instead of printing a book.

Revenge Wears Prada

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Ashley Madekwe already has a new job, at Glamour magazine!

So the news broke in May that Ashley Madekwe would be leaving Revenge, her character Ashley Davenport could possibly appear in a couple of episodes to wrap up her departure at the beginning of season three, but bosses said the character has been taken as far as it can go.

I mean at the beginning of season two when it turns out Ashley had started dating Daniel after Emily ditched him was a bit of a leap, but kept her at the forefront of the storyline. Then she was forced into betraying Daniel and was outcast but still managed to claw her way back into the Grayson manor clinging on by her manicured nails.

I didn’t hate the first half of season two of Revenge but it was no where near as good as the first season, and it wasn’t until mid season we even saw the return of Emily’s infamous red marker. And after the departure of creator Mike Kelley I’m hoping for something epic for season three, otherwise the ABC show is in deep shit if it can’t keep me entertained!

But Ashley Madekwe is a girl of many talents, her blog Ring My Bell showcases her passion for mixing designer and high street and as well as being featured in Glamour UK last year her next step to fashion domination is being asked to be the new style columnist for the magazine.

I read her very first column in Glamour magazine and it was exactly what I wanted, a look behind the scenes of her and her style and beauty team getting ready for the MET Gala. She was a guest of Topshop and had a custom made gown made, I love how honest she was not simply saying I loved the dress straight away, she had reservations she even liked another dress they made for her too.

Ashley Madekwe in custom Topshop at the MET Gala 2013

Ashley Madekwe in custom Topshop at the MET Gala 2013

The process of getting ready took a good few weeks and the end look at the Met Gala 2013 Punk: Chaos to Couture as we all saw was gorgeous, I loved that wig a great way to change your look without it being permanent!

If you are as obsessed with Ashley Madekwe as much as I am I would definitely suggest picking up the August issue of Glamour.

Ashley Madekwe in an amazing red blazer and shorts set from BEC and Saint Laurent sandals with a Topshop cami.

Ashley Madekwe in an amazing red blazer and shorts set from BEC and Saint Laurent sandals with a Topshop cami.

US Television: Spot the Hollyoaks cast

It turns out that Hollyoaks is the perfect launch pad for someone wanting to succeed in America, specifically Amercan television.

I love playing the game ‘spot the Hollyoaks cast’ because it is too fun remembering who they played on the Channel 4 soap.

First up Roxanne McKee aka Louise Summers:

Roxanne McKee in Game of Thrones

Roxanne McKee in Game of Thrones

Roxanne joined the cast of Hollyoaks after an open casting call back in 2005, forgive me if I can’t remember all of her storylines but she was involved in a fair few major ones including getting married to bad boy Warren (Jamie Lomas) and him killing her on their wedding day.

I’m pretty sure that I’m not alone when I say she wasn’t the best actress, but apparently she has a great American agent who managed to land her a role as Doreah in season one of the super popular Game of Thrones on HBO. She starred as a handmaiden to Daenerys Targaryen, after she was married off to Khal Drogo. She has appeared in several episodes, and although not yet to appear in season three of GoT I don’t think she’s been killed off just yet.

Next up Barry Sloane aka killer Niall Rafferty:

Barry Sloane as Aiden Mathis in Revenge

Barry Sloane as Aiden Mathis in Revenge

I have to admit Niall Rafferty was a great character, I suppose mysterious killers in soapland always are. He joined Hollyoaks in 2007 and was found out to be the secret – and abandoned – son of Myra McQueen, he definitely had some anger issues and ended up kidnapping the whole family and blowing up a church killing Tina McQueen. He was even inadvertantly responsible for killing stalwart of the show Max Cunningham, which was so sad (at the time).

Now Barry Sloane can be seen starring in a recurring role on ABC’s Revenge as Aiden Mathis. He knows Emily’s secret and was with her when she trained with Takaeda her revenge master, she helped him find his sister and he is helping her in her quest for revenge against those who put her father on the path to being murdered. Definitely the most successful out of this lot, and he better not be getting killed off Revenge anytime soon I love my weekly dose of Bazza!

Finally Nathalie Emmanuel aka Sasha Valentine:

Nathalie Emmanuel in Game of Thrones

Nathalie Emmanuel in Game of Thrones

Now do we think Roxanne McKee put in a good word for Nathalie Emmanuel? As the first episode of the new season of Game of Thrones saw Daenerys Targaryen barter for some kind of crazy soldiers call the Unsullied that happen to feel no pain to build up her army, Nathalie Emmanuel plays the translator for the slave trader.

Nathalie Emmanuel was cast as Sasha Valentine and appeared in the soap back in 2006, alongside the ever handsome Ricky Whittle (who just so happens to be trying to crack America, shame your TV sister and a TV killer beat you to it) playing her brother Calvin Valentine. She had plenty of storylines, all along the lines of tried drugs, became a heroin addict, became a prostitute, slept with the aforementioned Warren, and I can’t remember what happened but I think her contract just ended and she left the show.

Just announced, Emma Rigby as The Red Queen in Once Upon a Time In Wonderland, aka Hannah Ashworth

Emma Rigby has joined the cast of new ABC show Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

Emma Rigby has joined the cast of new ABC show Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

Emma Rigby joined Hollyoaks back in 2005 and left the soap after five years. Her most recognisable storyline was that of her suffering from an eating disorder triggered by the break down of her relationship with the gay character John Paul McQueen. It was powerful stuff for a soap and the death of one of Hannah Ashworth’s friends directly linked to anorexia was a first for any British soap. As well as suffering through the death-by-parachute of Sarah Barnes and her half-sister Beth Clement who was having an incestual relationship with her brother Rhys, she also had a relationship with Justin Barton who rescued her from a fire that killed Warren.

Emma will hopefully be on screen later this year playing the Red Queen in the new spinoff show Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. The show will centre on Wonderland pre-curse and post-curse that has been played out in original drama Once Upon a Time. The cast will be filming a teaser and pilot after OUaT wraps up its current series, set to revolve around Alice (played by Sophie Lowe) who ‘has a big heart but carries the scars of a long hard life’ we will see Emma playing the Red Queen who is known to cut off people’s heads.

UPDATED – Wonderland has been cancelled although apparently it was always scheduled for just one season. Emma Rigby has already had bit parts in Endless Love alongside Alex Pettyfer and The Counselor with Cameron Diaz, Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt, maybe we’ll see her on television in the near future.

It’s September… again. Television time!

I think its just the way I’m wired, or the fact my mum is a teacher, but September still feels like the beginning of a new year.

It always was when you were at school, college and then university. Now, even though I am *regretfully* not at any of these institutions anymore, my brain still works in school years.

It also helps that in the television world September is the beginning of new pilots and returning shows after the summer hiatus. Even though in this hiatus we were very gratefully given two of the best continuing television shows ever – Pretty Little Liars (PLL) and Teen Wolf (TW).

Tyler Hoechlin as Derek in Teen Wolf. Check out the hilarious recaps from Price Peterson over at TV.com

I will miss these shows until 2013, although the highly-anticipated PLL Halloween episode is just around the corner, and in their place comes some of my favourite returning shows and those new pilots that the American television channels hope will capture the right audience and keep those all important ratings.

Last year I listed my shows in an ingenious way and of course I’ll do that again with an update of those shows that failed to make my grade (or got cancelled)…

Wouldn’t miss if my life depended on it:

  • Fringe – sadly this is the fifth and final season for my favourite show. Pacey will rise again.
  • Revenge – this show has been bumped from ‘Could fall at the first hurdle’ to an absolute must-watch. Last year I felt that this might not do well because it had no big names, I couldn’t have been more wrong. This show ranks in my top five shows throughout the year. Solid storylines, fantastic acting from Madeleine Stowe as Emily VanCamp’s arch nemesis Victoria Grayson, top fashion in the form of Brit actress and my new style/life crush Ashley Madekwe, the boys and scandal. (Currently airing in the UK on E4)
  • Awkward – coming to its summer season finale soon this is just a funny funny show. #TeamMatty all the way.
  • Teen Wolf  – as mentioned above it is one of the best television shows MTV has come out with seriously worth a watch if not for all the abs and nakedness… Returns in summer 2013 😦
  • Pretty Little Liars – Just had its mid-season finale which was mind-blowing, jaw-drop to the floor, oh my god so good. Please watch from the beginning. (Airs on UK Really channel on Freeview, not sure when its returning)

Must-watch:

  • Supernatural – This show has been downgraded I’m afraid. I do love the show and have been a faithful Jared/Jensen fan for many years now, but this show is coming into its 8th season and it lost its juice way back in season five. I still watch it and every now and again there is a really good episode but I think it needs to be let go, gently.
  • The Vampire Diaries (TVD) – Towards the end of the last season I was seriously lacking in love for this show. I mean I still liked it but there were way too many filler episodes and not enough action episodes. There were poignant episodes that worked with the overall arc, but it fell flat until that finale. I’ve seen the season four promo trailer and with Elena *SPOILER* now nearing the undead kind of life there is hope yet! Will she or won’t she? Of course she will! Drink the blood Elena, drink it!

 

  • Dexter – I gave up on this show not so long ago, got back into it and the season six finale had my jaw firmly on the floor. Going into season seven Dexter’s dark passenger is possibly in danger of been uncovered by his sister. What will he do?
  • New Girl – I love this show, it’s so laugh out loud funny that I can’t get enough. I don’t watch many comedy/sitcom shows so this more than fills my quota. I love Zooey Deschanel. Jess and Nick need to be together.
  • Homeland – Woah. Double woah. Argh *hair pulling*. I’m looking forward to seeing how this show moves forward as the end of the first season saw Carrie possibly losing a vital piece of information.
  • Once Upon a Time – This show is a way of escape, and with a little wish that the fairy tale world really does exist. The introduction of Hook, Mulan, Sleeping Beauty, Jack (of Beanstalk) and a possible new prince in the form of  Julian Morris hopping over from PLL has me yearning for its return.
  • The Newsroom – I’ll add this onto my list even though it’s on hiatus now until next summer. It took me until episode four to like this, the first few episodes were horribly shouty and a bit jumbled. The turning point was that episode and it defined what the show was about and how each episode was going to work, episode five was brilliant and gave our very own Brit actor Dev Patel the chance to shine because lets face it I DO NOT LIKE MAC. Emily Mortimer’s charcter is annoying to say the least, and don’t even get me started on Maggie (shouty, SHOUTY, and weak). The love quadrangle between Maggie/Don/Jim/Sloane is irritating and sometimes distracts from the news element that is at the forefront of the show and it wasn’t until the season finale that I even noticed Sloane liked Don(!) she doesn’t need a man she is too smart. Aaron Sorkin deserved GQ’s Writer of the Year!

Olivia Munn was on hand to award Aaron Sorkin with GQ Writer of the Year.

Returning shows:

  • Hart of Dixie – I have to admit I’m a huge OC fan and so watch this for Rachel Bilson, oh and Wilson Bethel’s abs.
  • Apartment 23 – Another comedy, with the best hook of them all James van der Beek plays an over the top version of himself. The. Best. Character. Ever. And also the possibility of a Dawson’s Creek reunion… well Busy Philips at least.
  • Glee – I don’t like Glee. I don’t like the singing, and I am really not a fan of the character Rachel, and Finchel (hopefully that will be ending in the new season). I do however love Santana and Brittany S. Pearce because they are funny. I still watch it for some reason.
  • Nikita – This show feels hit and miss sometimes, like it’s really good but then it’s just not. I’m not sure if it will get past season three, we’ll see as it managed to nab a renewal.
  • Gossip Girl – Thank god this is the final season. If I had written this three years ago I would have this show on the ‘Wouldn’t miss if my life depended on it’ list, now it sits down in the shows I will watch just to see what happens. The last season was such a ridiculous let down that I’m hoping the 10-episode final season will go out with a big bang.
  • 90210 – I’m not sure why I watch this because looking at AnnaLynne McCord’s body every episode makes me stupid jealous.
  • Surburgatory – This show is another funny one, and I loved the Clueless reunion with Alicia Silverstone and Jeremy Sisto in the first season. I like it actually but it’s got a way to go before it gets bumped up a list.

Wilson Bethel as Wade in Hart of Dixie

 

New picks:

  • 666 Park Avenue – I’m going to give this a couple of episodes, but by the sound of it the plot doesn’t sound strong enough. This could ‘fall at the first hurdle’.
  • Cult – I like the meta feature of this show, and I like Alaric Matt Davis. The idea is that journalist Jeff (Davis) is on the hunt for his missing brother who just before his disappearance became obsessed with a CW show called Cult. There’s lots of mystery around the show as it is believed it sends out subliminal messages and has a huge fanbase related to this, but as it has been pointed out, the show has apparently only aired a few episodes and in this day and age television shows don’t get a massive fanbase that quickly. I can put the errors aside if the show is good though.
  • The Carrie Diaries – This was going to happen in some form or another, the CW have placed an unknown fresh face as the centre of the show and are hoping for the best. AnnaSophia Robb plays a young Carrie in 1984, who when offered a internship at a law firm in New York snaps up the chance to get away from her Conneticut home life. She meets (Brit actress Freema Agyeman, Doctor Who) Larissa Loughton style editor at Interview Magazine and can’t get enough of her life and the life Carrie could have. There are plenty of issues that this show could throw up, especially the 80s dress code, and surprisingly Freema is probably one of the few mixed race actresses in a lead/supporting role on the CW…
  • Beauty and the Beast (2012) – Lending my support to a Smallville alumni, Kristin Kreuk stars as the beauty in this CW show, what I’m more interested in is how ugly an gruesome they will make the beast? Of course it’s the CW so probably not so much if the promo poster is anything to go by… (See below)
  • Arrow – Another CW show, and if you were a Smallville fan you’ll recognise the back story to the character of Oliver McQueen the billionaire playboy former orphan who goes missing presumed dead after a shipwreck and returns as some kind of vigilante. Green Arrow worked in Smallville as a support/sidekick/Justice Leage team member, but I do not feel ‘Arrow’ can carry a whole show by himself. Plus it’s not even the real Green Arrow, Justin Hartley has been replaced by a younger pretty brunette Stephen Amell.
  • Partners – Sophia Bush (of One Tree Hill fame) returns to television in what sounds like a fun show, don’t know if I’ll stick with it though.
  • The Following -Kevin Bacon on the small screen as a retired FBI profiler, tracking down a serial killer who has created his own cult of murderers. The premise sounds interesting, but some reviews of the Comic-Con screeners say there are major holes in the dialogue and that it’s basically “a Xerox of a copy of every serial killer movie, TV show, or novel of the last 20 years“.

Beauty and the Beast promo shot… I can just see a scar.

Cancelled:

  • Ringer – Poor SMG, she may be preggo with another baby but her show got cancelled. I admit I stopped watching it after about 9 episodes so it’s no loss, I just hope she finds something else to keep her on the tv!
  • The Secret Circle – Naaaawww I really liked this show and I really really really like Price Peterson’s recaps, as hilarious as the Teen Wolf ones. I was surprised it got cancelled, but it just didn’t get the ratings it needed to get renewed. Sad because the background story was intriguing, as well as the idea of killing off nearly all the adult characters.
  • Terra Nova – This was just so bad. I feel sorry for Steven Speilberg as a producer of the show, because it was his name attached to it that made me watch it in the first place. I had this idea that it would basically be a television series of Jurassic Park because it was set 85million years in the past. Obviously not.
  • Alcatraz – Gutted this got cancelled, I think the history of the show was so interesting even if the rest of the show was slightly predictable.
  • Pan Am – Think I watched two episodes before I got bored, I don’t think I’m suited to period television. Hence the reason I do not watch Downton Abbey.
  • Awake – I was going to give this a chance but then just forgot to watch it. I like Jason Isaacs and I would have liked to have found out which of his two worlds was the real one.
  • Charlie’s Angels – Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. WWTT?!Gl

Maybe…

Ashley Madekwe

I’ve got a massive new girl crush on Ashley Madekwe. Aside from being in Revenge, one of the best new TV shows around, she has impeccable fashion taste and style.

I just recently discovered her blog Ring My Bell and duly follow her on Twitter @smashleybell. There are plenty of looks of hers that I am ridiculously jealous of, and all those shoes absolute heaven!

I cannot help but want the Chanel lipstick in Rouge Allure #38 from the below image, it is fabulous dah-ling.

Boots: Courtesy of Kandee shoes. Skirt: Courtesy of Storets. Shirt: Equipment. Clutch Bag: Charlotte Olympia. Watch: Michael Kors.

Love the red and cream. And this is my new hair-spiration! Blazer: Courtesy of Storets. Bag: Balenciaga. Watch: Michael Kors. Dress: LF. Boots: Courtesy of Kandee.

The easiest way to wear sequin & shine I've ever seen! Skirt: Haute Hippie. Sweat Shirt & Boots: TopShop. Bag: Balenciaga.

It’s September already?

Those are the words falling miserably out of mouths up and down the country, and really we shouldn’t be surprised. It happens nearly every year, we sit on the edges of our seats waiting for that moment when the sun will burst through the seemingly never ending run of clouds so we can spend more than a mere minute outside with our loving friend vitamin D.

It never happens and September rolls around with us feeling even more glum than the beginning of the year when we promised we’d give up that thing we LOVE to make us lose weight or to pretend we feel better about ourselves (just remember that time is coming again soon, 17 weeks, don’t hate on me for pointing this out I loathe that time of the year).

BUT, what comes with September, is the start of the television season. You may think I’m crazy but autumn (or fall) is when the country is supposed to retire in front of the box snuggled up on the couch with no sun to distract them, no more balmy evenings but cold and rain to keep them inside to watch the latest offerings on the tele.

And as I’ve mentioned countless times before US television is what matters, although as the cold months draw in UK television is good, one show I’m looking forward to is the Body Farm a spinoff from the very greatly missed Waking the Dead. And all the other thriller, killer drama’s that appear lovingly on my screen.

Every year there are double the amount of programmes on US tv, brand new shows competing with veteran shows, those that win over audiences are the successors some with devoted fans prevail others never last beyond their second or third episode after when viewing figures fail to ignite.

I happen to have a tough schedule this year, with 30* shows currently on my timetable I don’t know how I’m going to manage. My fellow US tv lover has 40, and has just discovered the wonders of a livestreaming channel, and the joy of no sleep whilst watching The Lying Game at 2am in the morning (I do not have the fortune of being able to stay awake until 2am I have to rise at 7am to get ready for work, he currently works from home on his own hours).

Here’s a run down of my list, what I will without a doubt not be missing, what I will be giving a try, and what I think will fall at the first hurdle even though it has made it to my list.

Wouldn’t miss if my life depended on it:

  • Fringe (Fox) – my love of Josh Jackson would never waver (I love you Pacey).
  • Supernatural (CW) – J-squared always have a place in my heart.
  • Vampire Diaries (CW) – Ian Somerhalder, those eyes, that body (Sorry you always play a dead guy).

Must-watch:

  • Gossip Girl (CW)
  • Nikita (CW)
  • Family Guy
  • Dexter (Showtime)
  • America’s Next Top Model (CW)
  • Glee (Fox)
  • Game of Thrones (HBO)
  • Desperate Housewives (ABC) – this is the final series (thank god).
  • One Tree Hill (CW) – just getting back into this show after ditching it when Lucas and Peyton did…

New picks:

  • Apartment 23 (Fox) – it has James van der Beek in it, as himself. Nuff said.
  • Hart of Dixie (CW) – Summer is back, sorry Rachel Bilson.
  • New Girl (Fox) – I love Zooey Deschanel.
  • Ringer (CW)- Sarah Michelle Gellar on my screen again, and with a really great show.
  • The Secret Circle (CW) – From the same author of Vampire Diaries LJ Smith, and the man behind both tv shows Kevin Williamson (Dawson’s Creek, Scream)
  • *Terra Nova (Fox) – Forgot that this finally had an air date after being pushed back a few times, big CGI production, dinasours and produced by The Speilberg, I have to give it a try at least. (Sounds a little Primeval)
  • *2 Broke Girls (CBS) – I missed this when making the list, noticed it had Kat Dennings starring who I LOVED in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.
  • *Pan Am – I don’t know why I forgot to put this show on the list, an original series following the Mad Men lead it’s set in the “Jet Age”. My only worry is I’ve never watched Mad Men because it didn’t appeal to me so I may lose interest…
  • Revenge (ABC) – the lead returns to the town she grew up in but noone recognises her… no big names. (REALLY GOOD)

    The Ringer

Could fall at the first hurdle:

  • Alcatraz (Fox) – only thing attracting me to this show its from the creators of Lost and has Hurley in it.
  • Charlie’s Angels 2011 (ABC) – I loved the originals, the movies were ho-hum, I’m not sure the gloss and glamour will work in the noughties without making it tacky but I am prepared to be swayed. AWFUL
  • Grimm (NBC) – great idea but is it strong enough to hold up for more than one season when there’s already a show like Supernatural that covers the ‘grimm’ aspects. A possible replacement if SN finishes after season 7?
  • Once Upon a Time (ABC) – same idea using fairytales, but the look of the show could be a let down.
  • Revenge (ABC) – the lead returns to the town she grew up in but noone recognises her… no big names.
  • The Finder (Fox) – this is a latecomer to my list so I’ll be applying last to join first to go if it fails to impress me.
  • Awake (NBC) – another one that I could let go, I just like the premise of living a life while you dream.

On hiatus:

  • Falling Skies (TNT)
  • Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family)
  • Teen Wolf (MTV)
  • True Blood (HBO)

If there are any other shows that you will be watching that I haven’t listed and think it would fit into my schedule then let me know. I like having US tv buddies, discussing the ins and outs of the shows are much fun and can make you go crazy (PLL ha).

*Most recent additions