Mandy Moore Monday: This Is Us

Have you guys heard about This Is Us? It’s like, really good.

But you already know that. Or someone has told you it’s really good. And today, I’m going to not only tell you about how good the show is, but how spectacular Mandy Moore is as the family matriarch. Why? Because it’s Mandy Moore Monday, of course!

A while back I kicked off the Mandy Moore Monday series, and by series, I mean this is only the second installment (did you miss my revisit to her severely underrated album Coverage?!). So why not shine a light on Mandy’s most recent star turn as Rebecca Pearson in this past TV season’s hit drama? Plus in full disclosure, we’re in the middle of Emmy nominations voting, so I figure we could at least give Mandy a little push for a nomination.

I think that it was easy for critics to brush Mandy off as not as serious actress back when she was younger, due to the whole pop star/Candy-ness of it all. I thought she was fantastic in A Walk To Remember, but that’s just a “movie for teenagers”. She got some street cred as a bitchy Christian school girl in Saved!, and perhaps the most successful film (and the one that’s gotten her the most residuals) is Tangled, and that just featured her voice. But with her first major TV drama (besides a fantastic/heartbreaking arc on Grey’s Anatomy), Mandy’s finally getting to show off her legit acting chops, and I could not be more proud. In This Is Us, she’s been able to prove she’s a dynamic actor, one who can let us watch Rebecca start off as a young woman not interested in kids, to a devoted mother, to a wife who wants to see what life would be like if she chased her dreams, to a widow just trying to stay connected with her kids.

Here are just a few reasons why Mandy Moore  should not only be praised on this MMM (Mandy Moore Monday), but hopefully come Emmy time, too.

When She Looked Good In Every Decade

Aging a young person isn’t easy, and if done wrong, it can look unbelievable. Perhaps most importantly, bad makeup takes the viewer out of the fictional world and into reality & endless criticism (def not talking about you, Deathly Hallows). Moreover, This Is Us requires a lot of emotional scenes, so if she’s put in makeup that doesn’t allow her to show every face acting emotion, it’s a maj fail. But Mandy’s makeup artist Zoe Hays made sure the goal wasn’t for Rebecca to just look old, but for her to simply look 30 years older. Helen Mirren, 71, served as Zoe’s inspiration for Rebecca’s sixty-something look, since she’s a “sexy, mature woman and there’s never any doubt that she exudes that.” And together with Zoe, Mandy has done an excellent job in acting as Rebecca in her 30s, 40s, 50s & 60s, something that only a classic beauty and talented actress can pull off.

When She Finally Got To Sing

As someone who greatly enjoys Mandy’s voice and music career, obviously I was waiting for the writers to incorporate her singing into the show. And they did it in a smart way, by having Rebecca be an aspiring singer when she’s younger, but have put those dreams aside once the triplets come along. Of course, Mandy hits it out of the park when she takes the mic, and it means even more in the story when we find out that her voice is literally what brings her and Jack together in the first place.

When She Had Romantic Scenes With Milo

Ross and Rachel. Jim and Pam. Luke and Lorelai. Jack and Rebecca. These two will go down in TV history as one of the most beloved yet complex couples ever. And that has a lot to do with Mandy and Milo’s chemistry. When they were first announced as the co-stars in this show, I thought it was a no-brainer – so much so that I thought that they surely must’ve worked together before. Nope. In my head, it was Jess Mariano married to Jamie Sullivan and somehow that works. You can tell just by watching them in every scene that there’s an ease to their back-and-forth, and it particularly shows in their romantic scenes. There’s a real love there, not just Jack and Rebecca, but a mutual love and respect between Milo and Mandy that makes it so enjoyable to watch.

I stand in awe of this friend of mine. He is the ultimate partner in crime and he absolutely knocked it out of the park on every level in last night's finale. I am the luckiest. Can't believe we have 18 behind us and atleast 36 ahead, Mi. Wow. And for those somehow frustrated with the finale not revealing how Jack passed, I would encourage patience. Otherwise you might be watching the wrong show. Last night was fundamental to the bigger picture. The story deviated and ultimately landed on (I think) a more compelling question… what was the state of this relationship in the end? And as Milo so eloquently stated, let's focus on how the man lived! Stay tuned cause it's all leading somewhere and we're just getting started.

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When She Had Not-So-Romantic Scenes With Milo

And that chemistry works just as well when we see Jack and Rebecca hit their rough patch in the later years. I’m no actress, but I imagine the best comes out when you wholeheartedly trust your acting partner. Mandy and Milo not only have this connection as friends IRL, but they each have a personal relationship with their fictional personas. So in combining those two factors, you’re left with two humans who aren’t afraid to go all out and lay it all on the table in these heated scenes, adding that extra level of realness that can sometimes feel like we’re intruding on this couple’s intense arguments.

When She And Milo Made-Up

Back to the romantic thing because, honestly? OTP: I’m gonna be a 12 for you baby. #IShipJabecca

When She Had To Cry In Prosthetics

The situation Rebecca knowingly but herself in is a tricky one, and I feel like there’s no “right” way to go about telling your adopted son about his drugged out father. In this confrontation scene, Mandy has an excellent scene partner in Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown, but it’s Mandy’s silent remorse realization she may have fucked up big time is what is the most impressive.

When Her Acting Partner Was A Fake Pregnant Stomach

Having a one-sided conversation with three babies is normal for pregnant women, but having a one-sided conversation with a large, prosthetic belly is a whole other thing. Mandy killed this monologue as a loving, regretful, hopeful, uncertain mom-to-be, who promised to do right by her kids. It’s not easy to convey all those different feelings in one monologue, but she delivers it in a subtle and moving way that as a viewer you can relate to, no matter if you’re a parent or not.

When She Was A Queen This Entire Episode

If she’s nominated, this better be the episode they submit. But in the meantime, just watch this again. The walk to the corner store though!

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Golden Globes 2017 – Best Dressed

Annddd we’re back! Not only with new content for 2017, but content that includes our annual kick off to awards season with the Golden Globes! Last night saw some good times (Meryl Streep! Donald Glover!) and bad times (y’all see Hidden Fences?), but as always, we kept an eye on the fashion. Here are some of our faves from the 2017 Golden Globes.

Best Dressed

Molly’s Picks

Emma Stone in Valentino Haute Couture

Every year, we debate over contributing our true top picks and making sure that we don't have any repeats because there are plenty of gorgeous gowns to go around. And just about every year, we end up with one gown that neither of us can, in good conscience, leave off of our list. This time it's Emma Stone, a city of stars unto herself. I love the soft champagne color, the crenelated skirt (so 20s and 30s! so perfect for this role, in particular), and the understated hair, makeup and jewelry. Emma almost always makes our best list, and I'm thrilled she'll be on every red carpet this year because I think she's positively refreshing, both in her exquisite fashion picks and in her laid-back but kind personality.

Every year, we debate whether to contribute our true top picks or make sure that we don’t have any repeats, because there are plenty of gorgeous gowns to go around. And just about every year, we end up with one gown that neither of us can, in good conscience, leave off of our list. This time it’s Emma Stone, a city of stars unto herself. I love the soft champagne color, the crenelated skirt (so 20s and 30s! so perfect for this role, in particular), and the understated hair, makeup and jewelry. Emma almost always makes our best list, and I’m thrilled she’ll be on every red carpet this year because I think she’s positively refreshing, both in her exquisite fashion picks and in her laid-back but kind personality.

 

Natalie Portman in Prada

While my picks after Emma Stone follow in no particular order, I had to make sure Natalie Portman was on my best dressed list somewhere, if only because I was a bit confused by the dislike for this gown. Maternity fashion is tricky: go to bulky and you'll just look oddly shaped instead of pregnant; some go all the way the other direction but I always find skin-tight or crop-tops on pregnant woman to look uncomfortable. I like that Natalie chose a middle approach: tailored, crisp and cheerful, with a 60s boatneck vibe as a tribute to the one and only Jackie O. The feathery beading and midi sleeves made this feel like something I'd imagine a pregnant Audrey Hepburn wearing - or Jackie, of course.

While my picks after Emma Stone follow in no particular order, I had to make sure Natalie Portman was on my best dressed list somewhere, if only because I was a bit confused by the distaste for this gown. Maternity fashion is tricky: go too bulky and you’ll just look oddly shaped instead of pregnant; some go all the way the other direction but I always find skin-tight or crop-tops on pregnant woman to look uncomfortable. I like that Natalie chose a middle approach: tailored, crisp and cheerful, with a 60s-style boatneck as a tribute to the one and only Jackie O. The feathery beading and midi sleeves made this feel like something I’d imagine a pregnant Audrey Hepburn wearing – or Jackie, of course.

 

Donald Glover in Gucci

What I love: the brown velvet is such a beautifully smooth color that you could almost dive into it like melted chocolate. Also, Donald manages - at the same time - to look both like an old-school debonair gentleman, and a walking huggable teddy bear. This suit is a reminder that you don't have to go all the way to patterns or beading to explore a statement beyond the classic black tux. Plus that burgandy bow tie?! This is one of the biggest nights in Donald's career, and I just love that he is dressed for it.

What I love: the brown velvet is such a beautifully smooth color that you could almost dive into it like melted chocolate. Also, Donald manages – at the same time – to look both like an old-school debonair gentleman, and a walking huggable teddy bear. This suit is a reminder that you don’t have to go all the way to patterns or beading to explore a statement beyond the classic black tux. Plus that burgundy bow tie?! This is one of the biggest nights in Donald’s career, and I just love that he is dressed for it.

Lily Collins in Zuhair Murad Couture

We all love a simple black dress, but I also love when celebs take the red carpet invitation to seriously go for it. Stunning embroidery, piles of fabric, and an almost Victorian feel that's modernized by that fantastic neckline. Pair it with Lily's signature bold eyebrows and a red lip, and the look keep from going to

We all like a simple black dress, but I also love when celebs take the red carpet invitation to seriously go for it. Stunning embroidery, piles of fabric, and an almost Victorian feel that’s modernized by that fantastic neckline. Pair it with Lily’s signature bold eyebrows and a red lip, and the look keep from going to “80s bridesmaid” and lands in “coolest modern debutante on the block.”

Viola Davis in Michael Kors Collection

Viola Davis is flawless in everything, from Fences (SEE IT), to introductory speeches (I repeat my request that she make radio speeches weekly for the next 4 years to keep us steady), to this one-shoulder canary yellow gown. You can seldom go wrong pairing a vibrant color with a streamlined style and beautiful - but minimal - accessories. Also it would be a crime to cover up those arms.

Viola Davis is flawless in everything, from Fences (SEE IT), to introductory speeches (I repeat my request that she make radio speeches weekly for the next 4 years to keep us steady), to this one-shoulder canary yellow gown. You can seldom go wrong pairing a vibrant color with a streamlined style and beautiful – but minimal – accessories. Also it would be a crime to cover up those arms.

Millie Bobby Brown in Jenny Packham

This makes my list because it's fun, it's glitzy, it fits perfectly, and it's wonderfully age-appropriate. I'm dying a bit over the sheer layer at the hemline and all that beading, not to mention the sweet sandal-style heels. I'm typically not into tea length dresses on adults on the red carpet (though there are exceptions), but it's the perfect way for a child to look dressed up without looking like they're, well, playing dress-up as an adult.

This makes my list because it’s fun, it’s glitzy, it fits perfectly, and it’s wonderfully age-appropriate. I’m dying a bit over the sheer layer at the hemline and all that beading, not to mention the sweet sandal-style heels. I’m typically not into tea length dresses on adults on the red carpet (though there are exceptions), but it’s the perfect way for a child to look dressed up without looking like they’re, well, playing dress-up as an adult.

Traci’s Picks

Emma Stone in Valentino Haute Couture

For the first major awards show of the season, it’s only fitting the La La Land star picked a gown that features silver stars, since, ya know City of Stars and whatnot. Love the light pink color too – the stars are enough ‘bling’, and any other bright color would’ve been too much.

Mandy Moore in Naeem Kahn

God I am so glad Mandy Moore is back looking glam on red carpets where she belongs. Despite the fact she didn’t go home with a trophy, she’s still dressed like a winner in this gorgeous dress. Plunging necklines were a trend this year, and Mandy killed it. I also love the faux cape and sheer material that gives it another sexy edge for a full length gown.

Gina Rodriguez in Naeem Kahn

If I were Gina Rodriguez, I would spend the entire night shimmying left and right to get those beads movin like a 1920s flapper. She looks amazing from head to toe, and is working it like the true star she is.

Felicity Huffman in Georges Chakra

You can't really tell in this photo, but those are pants. And Felicity gave a simple explanation as to why she skipped a gown this year, and it's why she deserves a spot on the best dressed list (it's also v pretty).

If you can’t really tell in this photo, those are pants. And Felicity gave a simple explanation as to why she skipped a gown this year, and it’s why she deserves a spot on the best dressed list (it’s also v pretty). “I got a pantsuit in honor of Hillary. Love you, Hillary. I’m with her.” {x}

Issa Rae in Christian Siriano

Insecure is still on my To Watch list, but I really like Issa Rae based on interviews alone. And as a first-time nominee, she fits right in with this sleek Christian Siriano gown. Also, please note her flawless skin. It’s unreal.

Milo Ventimiglia in Ralph Lauren

That is Milo Ventimiglia and this is us saying goodbye to the #GoldenGlobes. ✨👋

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MILO. VENTIMIGLIA. IS. A. SMOKESHOW.

Sterling K. Brown in Kenneth Cole and Ryan Michelle Bathe in David Meister

photo-jan-08-11-34-37-pmDo yourself a favor and follow Sterling K. Brown on social media if you don’t already. Today’s Insta story featured him getting ready with his wife (also on This Is Us!) and they are #couplegoals AF. I mean look at these two hotties – his blue suit and her amazing pink sequined gown?! This is a screenshot of a boomerang and it doesn’t even do them justice. Neither does the screenshot below of Sterling’s time lapse of him putting his clothes on…
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