I always feel like I need to begin one of these posts by clarifying that I think Arianne Zucker, the actress who plays Nicole, is beautiful. More importantly, from the interactions I’ve had with her, she seems to be funny, sharp, and a completely engaged and loving parent. I say this upfront to make it clear that I am not ragging on the woman’s actual looks — she could be running around in a sweatshirt and jeans with no makeup and look terrific. Which makes it all the more mystifying that Nicole always looks like flaming hot garbage these days.
Ol’ Tennis Ball Head is literally dressed like an 80s businesswoman here. I think someone actually purchased this skirt suit from a studio sale of old crap left over from Working Girl. I could almost see the blazer and blouse working with a pair of skinny black pants, but as a Pepto Bismol-colored suit, it’s so on-the-nose. I half-expected her to sit down in the living room and swap out her white Reebok sneakers for a pair of heels, or to start shouting about a run in her stockings. Meanwhile, she borrowed the worst possible version of one of Madonna’s haircuts from the early 90s. Or from the precocious child in a 70s sitcom.
I really do not get what’s going on here. I have a lot of good things to say about the show lately, but “self-aware costuming” ain’t one of them. If this were a movie, I could see them dressing a character like Nicole this way to emphasize her trashy roots — where “sexy” equals the tightest, shortest, most boob-alicious dress, and “professional” means the most outdated, atrocious suit you can find. But this is painful to watch every day. Can we please have a scene where Hope takes Nicole shopping and teaches her the value of a cute jacket and a pair of skinny jeans? Is that too much to ask?