Thursday, July 17, 2008

Project Runway: Bad Mood Rising

Well, this recap is dedicated to fellow blogger FishWithoutBicycle, without whose Comment in my previous post, pointing out my goofball scheduling error, I would not have seen the show in real time! Thanks again, Fish!

Truly, I wanted to be able to stand up and say "Yeah!" in support of this show's last season on Bravo. The bizarro-world move to Lifetime I think is setting this show off its rails and I'm afraid that already, the shark has been jumped. Let me count the ways...
  1. Another supermarket challenge to kick things off? Yawn. You will simply not be able to keep the audience excited over something where they already know the inherent risks. We know food is a problem and that tablecloths end up kitschy. All right, already!
  2. Trotting out - literally - Austin Scarlett to introduce the challenge and judge? Isn't this guy's 15 minutes long gone? He so clearly tries to channel Yves St. Laurent whenever he shows up anywhere that it is just Annoying. Capital A.
  3. The Safety Dance: As you'd assume, the designers took one of two approaches: Use a fabric substitute and play it safe or go so far out on a limb that you can barely recover. Overall effect? Bo-ring.
  4. Saving Grace: Kelli, the Vacuum-cleaner bag savant. Spotting the full-sleeve tattoo-age I thought, Sweet P Part B? Then I saw her doing the dippity-do in a vat of dye or whatever she used with the bleach to paint her "fabric." "Oh here we go, another outer-space, artsy-craftsy Elisa," I thought to myself... And so she surprised the hell out of me when she pulled out the resulting marbelized skirt design! The browns and the greens were lovely together! The top was atrocious, those two snowflakey doilies at the chest? Blech. But that hook-and-eye closure in the back made of spiral notebook springs? Damn! What a way to lace up a corseted back! Creative in the extreme.
  5. Stellllllaaaa! Oy, if I had a dollar for every time Mr. Spandrel yelped this from the office, I'd be able to purchase a Louis Vuitton bag without feeling guilty. The girl's outfitted Blondie and Joan Jett and Sebastian yet she couldn't twist, wrap, slice, dice, twirl, tweak or otherwise beat into submission some trashy garbage bags? Shame on you, Stella! You strike me as a scrapper, and scrappers make do.
  6. The Yang to Siriano's Yin. Seattle's Blayne is the Season Four Boy Wonder's opposite in so many ways. First, there's the obvious West Coast/East Coast parallel universe. Then, where Christian had talent, Blayne is just a pretender. While Christian's patented catch-phrase generator helped establish his character from Day 1 (even I have mumbled "Looks like a hot tranny mess" from time to time over the past year, although Amy Poehler does it best), Blayne is just a me-too wannabe also-ran. Christian's pasty complexion belied his spending way too much time hunched over a sewing machine, while Blayne works on turning his skin into the consistency of tumbled leather. Don't get me started on his design. You rip up a few sweatshirts, splash 'em with paint and call yourself a streetwear designer? Please.
  7. In the "Oh my God, what have I done?" camp: Solo-cup boy (aka, Daniel, the sensitive Bird-Man) created something utterly unwearable. I mean, how on earth would this woman sit? Bend? Breathe? Jump on a bus--let alone slide into a cab?! He was saved only by the curvy silhouette and the model's dark hair, which looked fabulous against the royal-blue color of the dress, which, really, was more like plastic armor. There is no way this should have been considered a brush with greatness: the fact that it was one of the two best speaks more about the low-calibre of competition than its inherent goodness as a design.
  8. Give those girls a cookie. Is it me, or are too many of these designers "camera ready?" Too many lanky-limbed, coltish girls all look like they themselves were strutting down a runway a season or two ago.
  9. Enough with the quirky characters, already. The blue faux-hawked Suede? The Salt Lake City dude (Keith?) whose bio says he just sort of decided to be a designer one day after doing artwork for a shoot? The mysteriously bland-seeming Jennifer, who does embroidery for Blumarine in Italy?
  10. The Onion. Jerry's haircut was just distracting from the first time he appeared on camera onward. I once worked in PR for a client whose coworker was described as looking "Like an onion." This guy was a blond version of Jerry.

To be continued...


Kitty said...

I wasn't too impressed by these kids, either, and I thought the wrong guy went home. Blayne's whatever-it-was dress was pretty crude and ugly.

Reality competition shows definitely changes as times go on and gain more exposure. The competitors aren't so prepared. The candid 'confessional' snippets from each contestant sounded staged.

Mark just walks away when he sees this show on. He finds the whole thing ridiculous! I watch it when he's off sleeping.

Spandrel Studios said...

Yes, my husband is within earshot of the tv, so whenever I'm watching this, I get some commentary on whatever craziness is going on.

The first season of all of these shows is always the purest... it's such a shame that everyone comes into these shows with "a strategy" and can't just be real, even when they purport to be.

I guess it's the situations the producers put them into, too, that adds to the unnaturalness of the drama. The most exciting parts of Project Runway happen when the field is whittle down to 6 or so. Until then, it's kind of a free-for-all!

Kitty said...

True, true, we'll have to wait a while, then.

Where did I hear that one of the tendencies for the reality producers was to limit the contestants' sleep? So that the contestants are edgier, crazier, and then more interesting?

Maybe it was in regard to Top Model?

Spandrel Studios said...

Ha! That certainly sounds like Top Model - and can you imagine? With those contestants being judged so critically for their looks, so whoever recovers best from a bad night's sleep ends up with the edge!


Hi from Paris Stylish friend,

as i noticed through your comments that you like stylish people, i just wanted to warn you before i go to bed (it's late in Paris) : my last street style photos could make you fall in love with Paris and the stylish parisian girls ! lol

i wish you a pleasant evening and hope that my com is not intrusive

cheers from Paris


fishwithoutbicycle said...

Oooh a post dedicated to me :-) Thanks honey bunch. I was disappointed by the show too, but I think I need to give it time to get going.

Spandrel Studios said...

Hi, Fish! Well, it's the least I could do when you saved me from a boring Wednesday night, nearly missing my favorite show!! Shows exactly how brain-drained I was last week...

These early episodes where the field is so crowded you hardly get a glimpse of what each designer is capable of, can be annoying. I think they start with too many contestants. They should winnow it down to 10 and really make a jam-packed season that lets the designers truly show their stuff. Throw in a few double-episodes (to be continue...) to fill out the season and really let the drama unfold!

Spandrel Studios said...

Hey, SATC - how lucky for you, to live in the world capital of fashion! Paris is my all-time favorite city, bar none!