It has recently come to my attention that quite a few people who's intelligence I respect greatly are fans of "Project Runway" on Bravo. This is not the kind of show I generally drift toward (not political enough, for one thing), but I decided to give it a go and to share my reflections.
The Good: My initial reaction to the idea of the show was to think how I really don't care that much about fashion. Yet this show reminded me that everything I put on my body on a daily basis was crafted by some creative person who thought long and hard about what this shirt should look like, and what these shoes should express. There is a lot of giftedness that goes into providing humanity with clothes that protect our bodies from the elements as well as allow us to express ourselves. The show helped me to think about that. The characters (contestants?) were memorable, and less annoying than on most reality tv shows. Some of the quotes were hysterical (Christian: "I am going to die of barfness").
The Bad: The show did on more than one occasion drift into using some of the cliches that make reality television more often than not unbearable. Cheesy music to create emotion. Certain catch phrases that are over repeated ("Make it work" x 7). The silly moment of suspense at the end when you don't know who is going to get voted off. None of this is original. I felt like if they had cut some of the cliche out, there would have been more room for more of the interesting material (For example, how does a designer even come up with an idea?? That part of the show was only about thirty seconds long! You have me captive, teach me something I would not otherwise learn!).
The Verdict: An interesting, relatively well put together show. I would watch it again were I in front of the television. It's cool to watch genuinely talented people be creative.
Below are the notes that I took during the show. Some might find them amusing...
Project Runway 1/30/08
-None of the participants seem happy to go on a field trip.
-They all seem pretty pooped out and unexcited about life.
-Lots of jeans.
-The butler is creepy.
-"the skirt I am going to make shows the Levi's can be a little more. Refined, yet hip." -Israeli guy. Ronnie. PRETENTIOUS.
-fat guy and hair guy (Christian) don't get along.
-"I'm going to die of barfness" -Christian
-Sweet P is making a wedding dress. Right now that is the idea that jumps out to me. Risky, yet there's potential.
-Lingerie guy "knows for a fact" that he is a great designer. Good for him. Ricky.
-Fat guy is making a "little blue dress" and talking to it.
-The butler can't be a real person. To surreal.
-I like the "coat with the futuristic edge" by gillian? julianne? But I don't think she'll be able to do it.
-"Hippy hands at home Granny circle" about wedding dress. ha ha ha
-"Make it work"-the butler (Tim)
-This place reminds me of a sweat shop.
-Emotions are running high as time ticks down.
-William Shatner commercials = awesome
-Apparently I can get the butler on my cell phone if I so desire (commercial). That makes me happy.
-Future girl is grumpy.
-"Make it work" (third time)
-The models creep me out.
-"Make it work" in the background! (4th time)
-Hairboy is a drama queen.
-Lady in a glittery dress seems to use almost as many cliches as the butler.
-"It was innovative, and it worked out really cool and really hot"-Christian. How is something both cool and hot?
-Every single one of them says "I think I did a great job"
-Few of the designers seem to understand the notion of being "iconic"
-"Impeccable" is the judge's favorite adjective.
-"the lingerie experience" ha ha ha
-Glitter lady is a heck of a harsh judge. She kisses people goodbye after she fires them!! Being a designer seems like scary work...