Archive for October, 2009

Cheap last-minute Halloween costume ideas

Halloween Costumes on the Cheap

For Halloween this year, I am dressing up as Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island. My costume is a checkered shirt, denim shorts and plain Keds. The total cost of my outfit was $4—I just had to grab a $4 shirt from Goodwill to complete the look. The key is to think of costumes you can create from basic closet essentials. Here are some great costume ideas for little (or no!) cost.

  1. Blair from Gossip Girl: She’s the epitome of Upper East Side prep. Channel back to her days at Constance Billard School for Girls and start with a navy skirt. Wear a white button-up shirt tucked in and a string of pearls (faux will do). Top with a flashy headband. Finish the look with knee socks and high heeled shoes of your choice.
  2. Little Red Riding Hood: Go to any costume store and get a red cape (just because it’s red doesn’t mean it’s only meant for superheroes). Wear a white shirt and a gray skirt with flats. It’s easier and cheaper than buying a complete costume.
  3. Angel. Walmart sells cute Halloween T-shirt costumes for less than $15, and the angel one is my favorite. The angel “costume” is a T-shirt with angel wings drawn on the back. The shirt comes with a halo.

-MaryAnn Barone

Haunted harmonies

Throwing a Halloween party this year or just want to get pumped before walking to Franklin Street? This playlist will get you in a frenzied, frightful mood.

  1. Rob Zombie: Dragula
  2. Gnarls Barkley: The Boogie Monster
  3. Iron Maiden: The Number of the Beast
  4. Michael Jackson: Thriller
  5. Iron Maiden: Fear of the Dark
  6. The Misfits: Astro Zombies
  7. Meat Loaf: Bat Out of Hell
  8. Radiohead: Creep
  9. Puddle of Mudd: Psycho
  10. Korn: Freak on a Leash

-MaryAnn Barone

Carving the perfect pumpkin


pumpkin 1

Photo and pumpkin design by Brittany bass


Autumn is my favorite time of year. The weather is finally cooling off, the leaves are all changing into gorgeous reds and oranges, and best of all, HALLOWEEN! One of my fondest memories of autumn is carving pumpkins with my family. We’d all go to our local produce farm, pick out the biggest and baddest pumpkins we could find, buy way too much apple cider and head home to carve the pumpkins.

When it comes to picking pumpkins, though, looking for the biggest is not always the best approach. According to the Pumpkin Masters, when selecting a pumpkin you should look for an unbruised pumpkin that is the shape of your design. It should be reasonably smooth for easy design transfer and have a flat bottom to prevent it from tipping over and possibly catching on fire. Also, beware carrying your pumpkin by the stem because that cute little topper might just break off.

OK, so you have your great, healthy pumpkin; you’re rocking out to Monster Mash and sipping apple cider. Now what? If you have not chosen a carving design you should do so now. Maybe a simple spider, or a cool cat, or a ghost with gravestones in the background? You want something creepy and fun, and simple if you’re a newbie carver.

pumpkin 2

Photo and pumpkin design by Brittany Bass

First, cut the lid off the top of your pumpkin. You can trace a small bowl around the top to get a clean circle, and then add a “tooth” to easily get your lid back in place. Use a knife to angle inward toward the center of the pumpkin so the lid can sit on top.

Time to use your handy dandy Seed Scooper (a spoon). Go ahead and scrape out all the gunk, guts and seeds in the pumpkin. You don’t have to get rid of those seeds either! Just rinse, add some melted butter and salt and throw them in the oven for a delicious snack later.

Finally, you are ready to carve your pumpkin. Tape your pattern to the pumpkin and “poke” along all the lines till the whole pattern is transferred like a connect the dots. Now hold the pumpkin in your lap (hopefully you’re wearing your pumpkin proof pants) and hold the miniature saw at a 90-degree angle to the pumpkin, and gently go ahead and cut out your pattern.

Stick a tea light in the center and enjoy your masterpiece! Sit back, pop some pumpkin seeds and watch your neighbors gape at your gorgeous creation.

-Brittany Bass

Get your sci-fi fix with “Supernatural”

Tuesday: Sci Fi Exploration

After years of attempting to debut a successful science fiction pilot, the Big 5 networks seem to have accepted defeat at the hands of cable television. Viewers proved they are not interested in the sci fi fare offered by broadcast networks – “Reaper,” “Journeyman,” “Bionic Woman,” “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” and “Day Break” are among the sci fi shows that failed to make more than two seasons in the past three years. Instead, sci fi diehards turn to SyFy and BBC America to get their fix.

What does this mean for Doc Sonya’s recommendations to you? Since we’re exploring strictly broadcast shows, this means there are only a handful of sci fi shows even on the air, and of those, only one gets my recommendation.

Time to break up with…

  • “Heroes”
    “Heroes” is a classic example of a show that debuted a phenomenal first season, became too hyped, and suddenly failed to live up to its expectations. While it is somewhat expected for shows to experience a sophomore slump, “Heroes” never climbed out of the pitiful ditch it dug itself into. Now in season four, “Heroes” is exploring Claire’s sexuality (yawn), killing off/bringing back to life Nathan and Hiro (like they’re really going to kill off series regulars), and failing to capitalize on its breakout star, Zachary Quinto.

Bottom Line: Grab season one on DVD; skip the rest.

Flings: Don’t require a whole lot of commitment from you. If it’s on, watch it. If you get distracted by something shiny, you probably won’t miss too much.

  • “Flash Forward”

Flash Forward is ABC’s follow-up to megahit “Lost.” While it lacks the flair, intrigue, and mythology of Lost, “Flash Forward” has a fascinating premise – the issue is whether the execution is good so far.
The concept is that for two minutes and 17 seconds, everyone in the entire world blacked out and caught a glimpse of their lives six months in the future. Some premonitions were good, others bad, some intriguing, and some nonexistent. This show reminds me of CBS fan-favorite “Jericho” (2006-2008), which chronicled an isolated town dealing with a nuclear terrorist attack in America.

Bottom line: “FlashForward” would make for a fun disaster/action movie, but as a TV serial, it needs to pick up the pace and make the characters into people we actually care about, or it’ll meet “Jericho”’s demise.

Casual dating: These shows are not the crème de la crème of the genre, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have the potential. These are campy and/or guilty pleasures, just short of appointment TV but good enough that you’ll stick around to see the end of the episode. Feel free to indulge if you like what you see.

  • “The Vampire Diaries”
    This show is the CW’s response to the vampire trend, and for once, it seems like the CW actually made a decent creative decision. Based on the ’90s novels of the same name,”The Vampire Diaries” follows Elena, a teenager whose parents recently died in a car crash, as she navigates high school – with a vampire (no one knows, of course). Oh, and the vamp’s devious older brother spooks the town too.I like Ian Somerhalder (Boone from “Lost”) as older brother Damon. The rest of the characters, however, are written poorly and stereotypically; I wouldn’t be surprised if the character’s name on the script reads Best Friend or Main Character or Good Vampire. We don’t get a sense of a three-dimensional person on the show. We just see how an undeveloped personality reacts to events.Bottom Line: I won’t deny it’s a good choice for those into the vampire thing. However, for a similar premise but better characters/plots/actors, check out the WB’s “Roswell” on DVD. You won’t regret it

  • “Fringe”
    “Fringe” was a huge critical accolade when it debuted last fall, but the furor seems to have died down a bit since then. The show is about a team that investigates (you guessed it) the paranormal. “Fringe” does well with the mythology, meaning the overarching storyline is strong, sensational, and sometimes surprising. However, given that “Fringe” comes from “Alias” and “Lost” creator J.J. Abrams, I don’t think it is living up to its potential.Bottom Line: It’s a slightly more difficult show to get into than, say, “The Vampire Diaries. It’s also got a more serious overtone. Not bad for a show in its sophomore season, but it certainly has yet to find what it is creatively capable of.

Long-term dating: Arguably the best show currently on television…

  • “Supernatural”
    “Supernatural” debuted on The WB in 2005, the WB’s final year as a network. It stars my future husband Jensen Ackles Dean and Jared Padalecki as Sam, brothers who hunt things that go bump in the night. In a nutshell, Dean and Sam lost their mother to an evil demon when they were kids, causing their father to delve into the world of the paranormal and raise his sons as hunters.What started out as a procedural premise quickly turned into the most campy, addictive show on TV. While the standalone episodes are fun, witty and often scary, “Supernatural” creator Eric Kripke’s true mastery is the show’s mythology. There is more to Dean and Sam than the show ever let on during the first season, and now that “Supernatural” is in its fifth (and potentially final) season, viewers can see the threads that were sewn nearly four years ago. The show is unafraid to throw certain stereotypes on their heads. For instance, this season the mythology is stopping God’s angels (they’re the antagonists) from unleashing the Apocalypse – oh, and while Sam and Dean are at it, they need to locate God and stop Lucifer from rising.Whatever the season’s mythology, “Supernatural”’s strength is undoubtedly the bond between Sam and Dean, which is unlike any portrayal I’ve ever seen on TV. One second, the brothers are pulling a prank on each another, and the next, they’re making deals with demons to save each other’s lives.

Bottom line: Still not convinced? TV Guide magazine critic Matt Roush recently wrote, “My decision to get busy and catch up on (the previous seasons of) Supernatural was the best call I made all year.”

-Sonya Chudgar

Watching TV: Procedural Dramas

In October 2000, CBS debuted the pilot of a show called “CSI,” and from there the modern procedural drama bracket was born. Any TV show that solves a case on a per-episode basis – be it a medical anomaly, a legal scuffle or a postmortem analysis – is considered a “procedural drama.” Cases are opened and shut in the span of an hour and the audience goes to sleep happy.

CBS bases 14 out of its 19 primetime hours on procedural dramas, or a whopping 74 percent of its original programming. While every procedural drama on CBS is magically successful, most of them are bland in their premises, dry in the fact that most are spin-offs of each other, and ultimately repetitive.

So why not mix it up a little? Here’s an analysis of which procedural dramas deserve the boot, which you should romance for at least a few episodes, and which deserve your unwavering devotion.

First of all, don’t even waste your time with

“Trauma” and “Mercy.” NBC is trying, it really is, but these are not the procedurals you should even sample. Boring dialogue, tired plot lines, and two-dimensional characters are a greater waste of your time than “CSI” (a show you’ll quickly find out I’m strongly opposed to).

Time to break up with… the quintessential procedural crime drama, “CSI”

Now in its tenth (!) season, “CSI” is showing its age. Grissom (William Petersen) left the show last season, and the crime show’s methodical formula grows more tedious with each episode. While Laurence Fishburne is trying his hardest to step into Peterson’s mighty shoes, and the show’s producers wrote old favorite Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox) back into new episodes, these are both signs the show is wobbling on its creative legs.

Bottom line: NYPD’s dark, gritty overtone gave it the balls to last 12 seasons; “Murder, She Wrote” stayed on air just as long by becoming a cornerstone of late ’80s-early ’90s pop culture; after nearly a decade on air, however, “CSI” lacks the foundations of these “greats” of procedural dramas, and the fact that its audience has declined by almost 6 million viewers this season means the rest of America is slowly keying in to this reality.

Also dump “CSI” offspring CSI: NY” and “CSI: Miami” while you’re at it. Sure, “Miami” star David Caruso’s attempts at serious acting makes for a comedic hour, but if Caruso is the sole reason you watch a show, you know it’s time to change the channel.

Flings: If you’re ready to come out of the long-term relationship with “CSI,” but not quite prepared to jump back into the pool of serious dating, I’d suggest you try:

  • “Numbers”
    “Numbers” has been a consistent procedural since its 2005 debut, thanks primarily to the strong rapport between David Krumholtz and Rob Morrow, who play brothers Charlie and Don Eppes. Charlie, using his mathematical genius, often helps to solve the cases handled by Don’s police team.

    Bottom line: Somewhat boring, but at least it’s reliably so. Would not require a weekly tune-in because of the lack of an in-depth season-long arch, but it’s a fundamental change from “CSI” and a perfect fit for fans of the low-key, open-and-shut cases.

  • “Criminal Minds” / “Lie to Me”
    Both of these procedural dramas focus on the mind of the offender: “Criminal Minds” tries to scrutinize the felon’s actions before he can strike again, while “Lie to Me” determines whether the offender is telling the truth.

    Bottom Line: I’d give the edge to “Lie to Me” and its star Tim Roth, whose Dr. Lightman is someone with a talent we’re actually interested in.

  • “The Forgotten”
    ABC simultaneously attempts Christian Slater’s comeback alongside a try at the procedural drama. It’s actually not a bad idea, but…

    Bottom line: Despite the semi-original premise of having “the forgotten” (the unseen voice of a body about to be buried) narrate each episode, this show fails to stand out – and in a world that already includes CBS’s 7,248 procedural dramas, this one will most likely be (excuse the pun) forgotten.

Casual Dating: The following shows could be keepers, if you decide you like them. If not, tune in from time to time and their feelings won’t be hurt.

  • “Law & Order”, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”
    L&O and its progeny, “Special Victims Unit,” lack the flair of the CBS crime dramas (don’t expect techno music underlying the scenes where crime technicians sleuth clues in their labs). However, for those who prefer a focus on the case rather than the team solving the case, L&O is the show.

    Bottom line: There’s a reason this show has survived since 1990. For anyone willing to trade in bad “CSI” one-liners for more humanized characters and an in-depth look at justice, this is the way to go.

  • “Medium” / “Ghost Whisperer” / “The Good Wife”
    All three of these shows are targeted heavily at women. Their respective stars (Patricia Arquette, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Julianna Margulies) fit the appeal and target demographic that CBS aims for.

    Bottom line: Because these shows skew toward older audiences, they lack the playful fancy of “Desperate Housewives” and the promiscuous residents of “Grey’s Anatomy,” but they work well as alternatives to the abundant number of male-led procedural dramas. Try watching a show led by a girl, for a change, and see if you like it.

  • “Castle”
    ABC’s “Castle” is quirky and enjoyable thanks to its lead, Nathan Fillion. Fillion’s got a devoted following, thanks to turns on “Buffy” and “Firefly,” and he makes use of his fan base, treating them to a likeably pretentious portrayal of murder-mystery writer Richard Castle. Castle works with Detective Kate Beckett to solve crimes.

    Bottom line: A pretty decent procedural. Watch from time to time and you may actually enjoy.

  • “House”
    The reason I consider “House” more of a casual boyfriend than an exclusive one is because the show ruined its own formula three years ago and has since lost my devotion. “House” is special in that it is the most character-driven procedural drama on air right now. Viewers don’t really tune in to watch the medical cases or debate whether Thirteen or Cutthroat Bitch should be on House’s team; viewers tune in to watch Hugh Laurie magnificently portray a self-centered bastard of a doctor. And you know what? For three years, it worked. Laurie was backed up by Doctors Foreman, Chase and Cameron; supported by best friend Wilson; and occasionally hassled by hospital head Cuddy.

    At the end of season three, however, executive producer David Shore decided to shake up the show’s formula by firing House’s team and replacing them with a dragged-out competition between actors. I appreciate a showrunner willing to toy with a winning recipe, because, as in the case of “CSI,” the same routine gets boring after a while. However, Shore’s solution to shunt Foreman, Chase, and Cameron into opposite ends of the hospital and feature them in minimal scenes per episode throughout season four was a poor choice.

    Bottom line: “House” was worthy of the buzz when it first debuted. Now in season six, the show is showing its age. Most of the plot developments (the did-they-didn’t-they sexual tension between House and Cuddy is just wrong, and I could care less whether House is in a psychiatric ward) feel too contrived. Most importantly, “House” seems to have forgotten why viewers fell in love with the show in the first place. Case in point: Cameron is being written out of the show in November.

  • “The Mentalist”
    I actually enjoy watching “The Mentalist.” This is primarily due to the fact that Simon Baker is absolutely compelling as Patrick Jane, a man who solves cases by pretending he’s a psychic. Baker makes the show fun and more whimsical than the average procedural drama – too bad the same can’t be said for the supporting cast: Robin Tunney’s single, default facial expression can hardly be considered acting, and the fact that I can’t remember who else is on the show should say enough.

    Bottom line: You should be watching USA Network’s “Psych, the golden charm that “The Mentalist” rips off.

The Keepers: I know by this point you’re thinking all procedural dramas are the devil and I’ll never recommend a single one you should watch. Wrong.

  • “NCIS”
    “NCIS” stars Mark Harmon, who heads up a team of agents in D.C.’s Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The premise certainly doesn’t sound enticing, at least no more than any other procedural drama on the air. Why, then, does “NCIS” stand out as one of the best procedural dramas? Its ensemble cast (including Michael Weatherly, formerly of Fox’s “Dark Angel,” and Cote de Pablo), the quick wit and the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it playful rapport between Harmon’s character and his team make this the standout of CBS’s procedurals.

    Bottom line: Hey, there’s a reason it’s currently the highest-rated show on television. (Sidenote: cross your fingers that an upcoming storyline kills off Abby. She’s unbearable. EDIT 12/9: Can I take this back? After watching nonstop repeats on USA, the girl has grown on me.)

  • “Bones”
    If “NCIS” is the best of CBS’s procedural dramas, “Bones” is the best procedural, period. Like “NCIS,” “Bones” has found that success lies in capitalizing on the supporting cast. The audience can appreciate every character on “Bones” because they are well written and amusing, and somehow manage to make terms like “calcium hydroxylapatite” pertinent to us. By focusing on the characters and their relationships, the hour feels more personable than any that CBS brings us. Plus, there’s always the guarantee of gross-out shots of decaying bodies!

    The main draw of the show, however, is the sexual tension between Brennan (Emily Deschenal) and Booth (David Boreanaz), both of whom work the longing stare and hidden smiles well enough to create the best will-they-won’t-they dynamic this side of Ross and Rachel.

    Bottom line: If you watch one procedural this season, let it be “Bones. (Just don’t watch while eating dinner. You will lose your appetite.)

-Sonya Chudgar

A message from Doc Sonya, your resident TV guru.

Dear readers,

Last month, I expressed my concern that television is failing our entertainment demands. I may have outlined a few suggestions to reinvigorate it… with vampires. However, ignorant TV insiders chose to ignore my inspired suggestions. The imbeciles leave me little choice but to break away from the pack.

Thus, do not feel sadness or embarrassment when I tell you that the time has come to break up with some of your favorite shows. I know, I know – you’ve been watching “Grey’s Lobotomy” for five seasons; you can’t stop now!

But addictions are a messy business, and must be dealt with promptly. Sure, Meredith’s whiny narrations were sufferable in the beginning, and Patrick Dempsey’s unkempt hair and puppy dog eyes melted your susceptible heart – but now? Seattle Grace has become Seattle Waste, and the romantic entanglements are about as titillating as a volume of “The Boxcar Children.” Let’s be frank: Some of our favorite TV shows have gone south, and watching TV out of habit rather than enjoyment is unacceptable.

I repeat: Unacceptable.

But before you pull out the break-up chocolate, wait! I’m here to help you through this rough, vulnerable time. I’ll make sure your rebound relationship occurs with healthy, quality shows.

Even better, the advent of November Sweeps is among us! For the uninitiated, November sweeps is a yearly ritual when the “Big 5” networks – CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC, and the CW – ring every bell and whistle available to entice us, the viewers, to tune in. Return of a favorite character? Check. Huge revelation concerning a secret we’ve been itching to know for weeks? Check. Guest stars galore? Check and check.

For every night of the week, I’ll bring you a round-up of which shows deserve the boot and which deserve a first date. We’ll explore all of your options; whether you’re looking for a one-night stand, a temporary rebound, or a long-term commitment, I’ll guide you toward the keepers, the casual daters and the flings.

Stay tuned to find out what hook-ups lie in your future.

-Sonya Chudgar

As a journalist, I interview people with diverse opinions. Opinions I do not always agree with. But regardless of whether I agree, my job is to listen to and record those opinions without interjecting my own. I think more people should take this approach, allowing different groups and individuals the chance to voice and defend their opinions, regardless of how unpopular those opinions may be. Instead of limiting someone’s free speech by trying to silence them, listen to their side so you can get the facts before responding.

Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, agrees.  Lukianoff gave the keynote address during UNC’s First Amendment Day. He said students are learning to silence unpopular speech as a kind of noble act, and this kind of behavior limits speech. It kills the potential to debate different views openly.

The disruptive protests at the Tom Tancredo speech prove that this phenomenon is apparent on UNC’s campus.

I encourage students to break this trend and to be more open-minded about conflicting opinions. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with everyone, or that you can’t defend your own opinion. It means respecting other opinions as well as your own and respecting the rights of others to voice those opinions. Take the time to hear other people out—you may be surprised. By hearing other opinions, you will be aware of different viewpoints and discover where you stand in relation to others.

-MaryAnn Barone

In case you missed the signs around Lenoir, you can eat from The Q Shack in Lenoir Mainstreet on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Born and raised in North Carolina, I consider myself to be somewhat of a barbecue expert. The Q Shack has quickly become one of my favorite joints.

They serve three different types of barbecue: pork, chicken and beef – and I’ve tried all three. The pork barbecue is like traditional southern barbecue with a vinegar flavor. It was a little dry, but most pork barbecue is. I thought the beef barbecue would be my least favorite, but I actually liked it better than the pork. It’s a deep brown color and tastes like a better version of a bottled barbecue sauce – sweet, but the pepper flavor adds a kick. Plus, it’s much more tender than I expected. I tasted the pork barbecue on a separate occasion, so it’s hard for me to judge, but it’s my favorite. It’s not vinegary and it doesn’t have any spice, but it’s very tender and I ate all of it.

Q Shack barbeque pork (top) and beef (bottom). Photo by Danielle Cushing

Q Shack barbeque pork (top) and beef (bottom). Photo by Danielle Cushing

Hushpuppies are served with every meal, but the side items change daily. The hushpuppies taste – well, like hushpuppies. They are definitely best eaten hot. They’re crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside and they aren’t too greasy.

The macaroni and cheese is delicious (and I’m not a huge mac and cheese fan). It’s homemade with real cheese, not the runny Kraft kind. It’s creamy and has a little pepper flavor. The string beans are cooked to perfection – they aren’t soggy and overcooked nor are they too crispy. They have a nice smoky flavor. If you want something green on your plate, I definitely recommend these over the collard greens, which are too undercooked and a little too spicy for my liking.

Q Shack string beans, hush puppies and macaroni and cheese. Photo by Danielle Cushing

Q Shack string beans, hush puppies and macaroni and cheese. Photo by Danielle Cushing

Check out The Q Shack. The prices are good, especially considering the amount of food you get.

If you’d rather check out the restaurant, there’s one in Carrboro and one in Durham.

Lenoir Mainstreet meal choices:

Sandwich plate: sandwich, hushpuppies, one side $4.95

Barbecue plate: barbecue, hushpuppies, two sides $6.95

Double barbecue plate: two types of barbecue, hushpuppies, two sides $7.95

Vegetarian plate: three sides $4.95

-Danielle Cushing

As a college student, I think Whole Foods is a little pricey. Yes, I think its mission to sell the highest quality natural and organic products is important, but I can’t shell out $6 for a 5-ounce container of hummus.

That’s why I’d never eaten from their pay-by-pound buffet.

It was almost 4 p.m. and I hadn’t eaten yet, so when a friend asked if I wanted to tag along, my stomach overruled my wallet.

The Whole Foods buffet has variety of hot and cold foods, with something for every eater – carnivore, vegetarian, vegan, lacto-ovo vegetarian, pescatarian, frescatarian and anything else.

Some foods can be found everyday while others rotate. You can always get southern barbecue (and other types of barbecue), make your own salad, eat from the taco bar or choose from a variety of soups. International fare changes daily, as do the different items on the hot and cold bars and the dessert bar.

Here’s a sampling of what I ate:

whole foods plate

Even at 4 p.m., I was surprised at how fresh the food was. I loved the Indian food. It had great flavor and wasn’t too spicy for me. I even liked the tofu, especially the Asian marinated one (I sampled five kinds).

My pretty large plate ran me $9.45 – a little more than I would normally spend on lunch. But it was natural, organic and better than another Lean Cuisine. Plus, I was hungry.

-Danielle Cushing

The Devil Wears Prada” gave rise to speculation about how the real-life equivalent of the demanding, intimidating and successful Miranda Priestly compared.

I’m talking about Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue.

Only those working inside the fashion powerhouse would actually know the truth ‑ until now.

vogue sept 2007

The September Issue,” now in theaters, is a documentary that goes inside the process of making Vogue’s September 2007 issue – the biggest issue to date. It follows Anna Wintour and many of her employees around the office, into fashion shows and at photo shoots all the way through until the final decisions about the layout of the issue are made.

The $6 I paid to see the movie was well worth it to get to see the inner workings of the magazine often referred to as the fashion bible. You get to see into the fashion closet, around the office, into Anna Wintour’s office (more beautifully decorated than most people’s houses, but what else would you expect?), and even into Wintour’s Manhattan apartment.

The few times Wintour goes one-on-one with the camera, she’s a woman of very few words, as if reluctant to divulge too much information to the outside world about Vogue or even her own life. Wintour came from a family where her father was distant and stoic, and it becomes clear where she might have picked it up. She is incredibly decisive and knows exactly what she wants.

By the end of the movie, she creates one of the most influential publications, which weighs nearly four pounds and has over 800 pages. If you love fashion or magazines (or both), I would recommend this movie. Plus, who doesn’t like to look at beautiful shoes and clothing for an hour and a half?

-Brecken Branstrator