I’m kind of loathe to write another negative post today as I generally prefer to talk about things I love rather than things I hate. Honestly – I know you don’t believe me given all the rants about comics and feminism – but I swear – I really do prefer to talk about things being awesome than things being crap – unfortunately the world does not always provide me with awesome material. And thus, here we are today.
Project Runway sucks. I cannot believe you can go from the peaks a mere year ago (and five seasons of quite frankly ground breakingly great reality television) to the valleys we are experiencing now. So why does it suck? Let me count the ways.
1. The contestants are flat out not as talented. I doubt a single designer in the top three this year could have made it to the top three in any other season. Even Carol Hannah, who I like.
2. The challenges were not only boring and dull, but um…not actually CHALLENGING. They were phone it in easy, and almost never were the designers given more than one day to finish a challenge, which I think sometimes limited their potential ambition. Where were the challenges to make things out of food, or flowers and lawn shavings? Where were the intensely specific and brutally creative challenges? Totally absent.
3. Nina Garcia and Michael Kors were almost entirely absent from judging. This makes, Heidi, who I love, but who I can also freely admit is the least qualified and least gifted judge, as the only mainstay judge getting to know the designers. More talented designers (Ra’mon and possibly Epperson and Malvin) got cut arbitrarily, while others (Johnny and especially Mitchell) were allowed to stay on without doing anything of note for far too long. It threw the entire competition into a strange kind of flux, where the bar never officially got raised on the challenges because the level of competition was so low.
4. It’s on Lifetime now instead of Bravo. Bravo is on the cutting edge (if there is one on television), they have forward thinking aggressive programming, and they have proven that they know what to do with reality television…in fact, they’re the masters. Lifetime is a rookie in this area and while I applaud their interest in changing the face of Lifetime, I hate for a brilliant show to suffer as they get over their freshman errors. And I suppose this largely includes the new production company (which I understand is no longer Magic Elves).
4a. I can’t help but think that part of the designer casting had to do with Lifetime’s “targeted demographic”. There was a disproportionately high number of attractive thin young women on the show this year (and in fact the final three are all thin attractive women). So when suddenly the talent level has dropped considerably and there are all these attractive young women…I don’t know…I have no proof…but it felt a little convenient all of a sudden.
4b. Another frustrating aspect of PR being on Lifetime is that unless you’ve recorded it – it is BRUTAL to sit through the commercials for other Lifetime programming. The ad content is so in opposition to the show you’re watching that it’s jarring and, well, horrible. I used to hate watching the Bravo ads because there was so much repetition but at least those ads were for shows I might conceivably watch.
Those are the big ones for me. Others might argue that moving the venue to Los Angeles also hurt the show. It wasn’t that big a deal to me. If you took away the other problems I listed, I think I barely would have noticed the LA change.
I’ll be finishing out this season, and my longtime love for the show will probably compel me to come back for the first few episodes of Season 7, in the hopes that they’ve learned from their freshman mistakes. But probably this show is over for me (for everyone? I’ve heard nothing but bad things from other fans as well).
It will be hard to recover from such a terrible misfire of a season. It went from must see TV for both Adam and I, to Adam dropping it and me begrudgingly watching it days later on the TIVO. Not good.
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