Sunday, March 21, 2010

WWEPW Interviews Tom and Lorenzo

One word: Kittens.

If that word instantly conjures thoughts of the "fabulous & opinonated" Tom and Lorenzo, you’re in the right place.

The incredible blog Project Rungay has become a household name among the throngs of people who rush to the computer to read Tom and Lorenzo’s take on each episode of Project Runway. The show’s hopeful designers cannot escape the watchful eyes of Klum, Kors, Garcia - and TLo.

If you like to frequent the TLounge, you’re going to love their Faculty Room. Yes, Tom and Lorenzo are blogging Glee, and they’re bringing all the sass and wit you’ve come to expect. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to chat with them recently about the appeal, the music - and of course, the fashion - of Glee.

I absolutely adore you and your blog.

Well, thank you.

You’re very well-known for your Project Runway-focused blog, but you’re also amazing television bloggers in general. What makes a show blog-worthy, versus a show that you just enjoy watching?

Well first off, every show we blog about is a show we enjoy watching. We often tell people, “Believe it or not, we don’t watch as much TV as people think we watch.” Basically, every show we watch, we blog about. It’s our way to have a conversation about whatever it is that captures our attention that week. It started because there wasn’t any blog out there, at the time, with the voice we had – something with a snarky, funny, gay take on things. So that’s how we started.

Let’s talk about Glee, specifically. What is it about this show that appeals to such a wide audience?

Oh god, that’s such a broad question – what is it about Glee that we love? We love that it cannot be pinned down. It is not any one genre. It’s a comedy, it’s a drama, it’s a musical. It can be very romantic and optimistic and then it can turn around and be very cynical and very funny.

What do you think it is about Glee that appeals to such a wide audience?

I think that goes back to what I was saying, about how it’s just not one genre. It encompasses not just all these different genres, but all these different emotional ways of looking at the world. Like I said, sometimes it can be very, very cynical, and then the next thing, it’s ripping your heart out and you’re crying. Or they’re singing so beautifully that you can’t help but want to sing along. It casts a really wide net. The adults get the more cynical parts of the humor, and the teenagers get the more romantic parts of the show – the songs and the various love stories.

What are your thoughts on the show’s costuming, under the direction of Lou Eyrich?

I think they do a fantastic job costuming because each character has a very definable look. That look tells you quite a bit about that character, and yet they don’t lapse into cliché too much. And when they do cliché, they’re kind of doing it on purpose, like when the cheerleaders constantly wear their cheerleading outfits in every single scene. That’s done on purpose. That’s an actual joke, a little wink at the audience.

And then you have someone like Emma’s character. If the show lasts - and let’s hope the show lasts – her look will be considered iconic, one of those iconic television women looks, up there with Mary Tyler Moore or even Joan Collins, one of those looks that is so definable. Her hair is perfect, the makeup, the clothes, everything – it’s just perfect.

What do you think of her style?

It varies. I think her style is great for television because it is very unifying. She rarely has more than two colors on the same outfit. Everything matches perfectly. That isn’t always easy to pull off in the real world, but she looks great on television. And I think she’s got one of those wardrobes that you can take a lot of picking and choosing as a viewer, as a woman. I think you can learn things from the way she dresses and look at certain items that she’s wearing. I think her look can be stylish if you take it from a retro perspective. She’s very vintage looking. If you’re young, you can pull that off easily and not look ridiculous.

You said that you loved Emma’s solo on I Could Have Danced All Night because “it was the perfect blend of character, costume and song.” What’s the importance of the costume-character connection on television?

I think it depends on the depth of the show and the complexity of the characters, which is why I hold a higher standard to shows like Mad Men and Glee because those characters are complex, and the show is unusual in comparison to what else is on television. So in cases like that, I think the costuming is incredibly important. On your basic generic TV show that isn’t even in the top 20, I don’t think it matters that much. But on shows like these high-quality shows with ensemble casts – genre-busting TV shows – then, having a strong costuming aesthetic is really, really important to the success of the show.

Do you think this aesthetic is influencing real-world fashion in any way?

Oh absolutely, I think so. I think people, when they watch a show or see a movie – those clothes or costumes, they always becomes trends. Or a certain item, a certain accessory – people look at it. Even designers get inspiration. We see that happening all the time, designers being inspired by movies and shows and so on. You saw the Michael Kors collection entirely inspired by Mad Men and it was a huge success.

Do you think the fashion industry is paying attention to television shows and mirroring what they see in their collections?

I think so. I also think the fashion industry is becoming more cooperative with television productions and lending out items for different characters to wear. There’s a lot of crossover there, just because as a culture more and more we look towards celebrities to show us what to wear more than we look to models or fashion magazines. It’s sort of a symbiotic relationship. What you see on TV can influence designers and designers can influence what you see on TV. And it’s kind of because designers have been inspired lately by so many decades, like the 80s, and the 60s, and the 50s. If you get a character like Emma, I’m sure there is a designer out there, right now, producing a collection that would fit her style perfectly.

Fans of your blog know about your hilarious Musical Monday feature, and you’ve said that “you know from musicals.” What musical numbers would you like to see on Glee and who would perform them?

Oh, god! Oh, that’s such a tough question, I don’t even know if I can answer that! I will say this – as someone who loves the classic MGM musicals, it’s always fun to watch them do a number like that, like when Rachel sang “Don’t Rain On My Parade.” But I actually think the show is at its best when they’re doing pop numbers. My favorite numbers in the history of the show tend to be the pop songs, not so much the musical theater songs. So as much as I love classic musicals, I don’t necessarily have any specific number from a classic musical that I wish they would sing. But they could do modern musicals, like if they did Hair or Grease, that would be fantastic.

Were you surprised that you loved the pop numbers so much?

Yes, very much so. We wrote on the blog that we got hooked watching the very first episode when they managed to make us really believe in “Don’t Stop Believin’.” That song, prior to that episode of Glee, had sort of lapsed into becoming something of a musical joke, but they just turned it back into this anthem, much to our surprise. And they’ve done that over and over again on the show. A friend of ours said that “Glee is like sitting and watching a really good karaoke night,” because of all these cheesy songs performed really, really well. I think that sums it up.

What about the guest stars?

Well, you are probably far more well-read on what’s coming up, but I understand Kristen Chenoweth is coming back, and that’s fantastic news. I wish that girl had a recurring role. I also read that Idina Menzel is coming in.

She is.

That’s true?

That’s true. She’s going to play the director of Vocal Adrenaline, the opposing team, and she’ll have a little tryst with Will. (slight spoiler!)

That’s perfect. Those two would probably be at the top of my list of who I’d want to see on the show, and they’re answering my wishes, so I’m just happy to hear that.

Fans have mixed reactions to the guest stars. What do you think of the various guest stars they’ve had on the show?

I like the guest stars. I especially like the guest stars if they have some sort of musical chops themselves, if they give them a number to do. I think it adds something to the show. As much as I love the kids on the show, if it was just choir numbers week after week, I might get a little bored with that. So when they can bring in new characters and give them solo numbers, it just shakes it up a little bit. As long as they’re talented, and as long as they fit in with the show, I’m all for it.

Did you know that Neil Patrick Harris will be appearing?

Yes. That’s also perfect casting.

What about someone like JLo, who may appear?

I would only want to see her on this show if she could - NO! - make fun of herself. NO! See, Lorenzo is saying no. NO! NO! If she came in there all diva and took it too seriously, it would be no fun, but if she went in there poking fun at herself, that could be a lot of fun. Oh god, NO! I’ll repeat - NO! But you don’t want it to be like the final season of Will & Grace where every week they have these major guest stars and it got really, really cheesy after a while, so you wouldn’t want to see them overdo it. It’s like what happened with Ugly Betty. You don’t want that to happen. It got to the point where it was all about guest stars.

What are you hoping to see happen in the back 9?

You know, I hope they don’t rush into the Emma/Will romance too quickly. I think there’s stuff to be resolved in his marriage before they rush into a relationship. And that could just be because we love Jessalyn Gilsig and we think she’s really funny. Oh my god, she’s hysterical. We interviewed her and she is so funny. Aside from that, I’ll take it as it comes. I trust the creators to entertain me and that’s all I really ask of them.

I agree with you about Jessalyn’s character. I don’t understand why people hate her so much. I think she plays Terri brilliantly. She’s so layered.

Right, I don’t get it. And we asked her about that. When we interviewed her we asked her, is it hard reading all these terrible, terrible things being written about you on the internet? And she admitted that it was. It was difficult. And she felt that just taking time for the audience to come to realize the value of that character, that she wasn’t just a selfish, crazy bitch. There was more to her than that. And there’s real comedic value in her performance. I honestly think she is one of the most gifted comic actors on the show. We laugh just looking at her. Yeah, she’s brilliant. She really is.

What do you think Glee’s future holds, in terms of it being set in a high school, with high school-aged characters as the focus?

I think they could rotate the cast out if they wanted to. They could graduate some of these characters and bring in new characters to keep it interesting, as long as they can sustain story lines. I think the fear with Glee is, there’s really only one story to tell. Do they end up with the big prize at the end? There’s only so many seasons you can tell that story over and over again. I’m not making any predictions but I don’t see Glee as a show that’s going to last more than five or six seasons at its best. It’s not a show that’s going to go ten or eleven seasons or something like that. Whatever they need to do – as long as they can keep it fresh, they can still tell funny stories, and still come up with great musical numbers, keep it going as long as they can!

I hope so! What upcoming projects and features on Tom and Lorenzo can we look forward to?

We’ll be blogging the heck out of Glee when it comes back on the air. We’re currently blogging television shows like Lost, and we’ll be blogging V when it comes back on the air. Mad Men, Project Runway, any of the fashion shows/reality shows that are coming out, we’re still doing that.

We have interview features every month in Metrosource Magazine. We just interviewed Miss J from America’s Next Top Model, that’s in the next issue of Metrosource.

Just blogging along, day after day like we always do! Whatever pops into our head comes out on the blog!

Many thanks to Tom and Lorenzo for a wonderful interview. J'adore.

Follow @tomandlorenzo on Twitter.
Become a fan of Tom and Lorenzo/Project Rungay on Facebook.


Teresa said...

WOW! What a great interview!! And I agree about Jessalyn as Terri---I am WEMMA ALL THE WAY but OMG I love Terri! Ever since she asked if her baby fell out at the OB's office! I hope she sticks around too (just not as Mrs. Schuester!)

And is it just me, or am I seeing more and more pieces in stores that are SO Emma? Maybe I'm paying more attention now...hmmm...

AmyJo said...

Great job Danielle. I love them and cannot wait for their GLEE blog.. I want to know what the spoiler is! I think I might know, but I want to know what you know!

Jennifer said...

You did a fantastic job, Danielle! I'm really impressed. You may have missed your calling as a journalist!

Sarah said...

Right now, I am such a happy bitter kitten.