Episode 602: "Help Wanted" - July 19, 2010
What do Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball and Marilyn Monroe have to do with the Diskin Family? They all lived in that fabulous hill top home, in this episode of The Closer! That's what is so amazing about working in Hollywood, not only meeting up and coming and well known actors, and working with creative crew members but having exclusive access to incredible historic locations, be it a hill top eclectic family home or a graffiti riddled neighborhood where Brenda nearly got shot!
"Help Wanted" was perhaps one of the most breath taking episodes in a long time. Watching the screening today on the big screen we were all on the edge of our seats when Brenda and her squad leapt into action to find the ICE agent responsible for the nanny murders and seeing Sanchez with tears in his eyes as Marisol was interviewed caused mist to form on our own peepers and then of course, "ohhhh that woman" Raydor in her lilac Armani jacket against Brenda in her chartruese vintage Irene, well, my little Closer Cupcakes...what's more contrast than that?
Cohesively this episode was a dream to pull together, the costumes a flurry of colors and styles, steaming out the wrinkles from "historic" Brenda all the way back to Season 1. It was sublime to see Brenda be bombarded by intimate questions from Raydor, wearing her good 'ol Ralph Lauren cashmere cardigan from the pilot while Raydor looked so professional jotting down every word in her rule book then juxtaposing Raydor against Brenda in the aforementioned green Irene and the little pink and fuschia chiffon skirt and her feet shod in a couple seasons ago lime green Kate Spade's.
Arriving at the Sintatra/Ball house where Marilyn was photographed in the swimming pool and being introduced to the Diskin's, Melissa, Gregory, Avery, Violet and the twins...as I explained to the actors playing the Diskins, you all have too much money and too much time on your hands. It was fun to create the "cliche Los Feliz family of excess" from parents to kids! Melissa, played by Catherine Dent ( who I profile in Hem-ming and Haw-ing this week) had one idea in her head and when I brought out the BCBG Missoni style maxi dress and the fabu We the Free olive jacket with floral peplum and all the fun jewelry and accessories and shoes, well, she couldn't resist becoming the working wife and mother who trusts her kids to a nanny. Gregory, perfectly disgustingly smug and self righteous brought to life by Tytus Welliver, in too tight t-shirts, Japanese Premium jeans and an incredible Marni sportcoat...way too expensive but perfect for the character, Tom's and colorful Converse shoes and that too-young-for-a-middle-aged-man leather cuff bracelet, I mean, come on, where does he shop? Abercrombie...uh, yeah!?! And then little Violet in little girls avante garde designer wear from Neiman's, Fred Segal and Nordstrom, all gray and black blouse and ruffled chiffon skirt and leopard print leggings, for an 8 year old, well, of course it IS Los Feliz after all. The young lad, Avery seemed more adult than his parents in button downs and khakis...ahhhh L.A.
Brenda is very astute and observant and when Raydor one-upped her by looking pulled together perfect in Armani, she dressed up the next day in the most gorgeous shade of teal, a perfectly fitting sheath dress with a vintage vibe and matching cashmere bolero sweater from the holiday collection of Michael Kors couture bought while we were on hiatus AND on sale at NM in December...thank god The Closer accounting department knows I literally shop 24/7 for Brenda Lee Johnson Howard...no she hasn't taken his name, I just liked the sound of it.
I don't think there's a character on t.v. that wears a flirty, swingy little jersey dress better than Brenda and her last change of the episode was a chocolate brown and white floral print number by American Living at J C Penney. Shoes were before Labor Day White from Nordstrom. Vintage. Current Couture and JC Penney, just like a real person not a reel person! I added a new summer squash cashmere cardigan that kind of competed with the one wall at the new Police Building, but so what, Brenda is frustrated by the building and this kind of brought the two together metaphorically.
As for a little comic relief, Buzz painting the walls a new color in an orange prison jumpsuit and a bandana do-rag was a brilliant piece of costume cliche thanks to Buzz/Phillip Keene suggesting the head wrap!
The final show of force from the squad and FBI to confront ICE Agent Joe Meyers actually made me stop breathing till the shot fired by Fritz, a shot heard round the world saving Brenda from that maniac! And seeing how much Fritz really loves and cares for his wife, scared to death and shaking her from the adrenaline induced frenzy. WOW! What writing. What acting. What costumes. What hair and make-up. And, what a location high up on a hilltop. In the mid eighties I was able to costume Frank Sinatra, really just making sure his tuxedo was pressed and perfect, but he was so polite and professional with no entourage and then the next year I got to meet Lucille Ball and make sure her Nudie designed western rhinestone cowboy suit was pressed and perfect. She was what you've heard about, not the mad cap funny gal off stage, but again polite and professional. And as far as Marilyn Monroe goes, I was just a wee designer in the making when she died, I have however, driven by her Brentwood home that is now up for sale, visited her gravesight in Westwood and witnessed the red roses Joe Dimagio sent and the lip stick kisses on the bronze plaque marking her final resting place and had my photo once snapped by the photographer that shot the pics at that hill top swimming pool...WOW, Hollywood a place of realized hope and broken dreams, too much money and too much time, fate and persistence and luck...one day will someone write and remember a show called The Closer and have a great memory and story about a lady named Kyra, the character she created and the clothes she wore...yeah, I think that fate is sealed thanks to all of us who toil on this very special TNT t.v. show.