Thursday, July 25, 2013

Project Runway Seasons Ten and Eleven



I know, this is actually all old news. But I thought I should probably address this.

This blog really grew out of my desire to talk about certain aspects of Project Runway, way back in Season Two. Basically I wanted to talk about the dresses as works of art rather than fashion, and I started doing recaps. I doggedly kept with it when I could but that dropped off quite a while back, sadly, because I went to grad school and the workload was too much.

Part of me thought I'd get back to it one day, recapping each episode. That was the plan many times. Especially when I started watching season ten. To be honest, my enthusiasm for the show had started to wane, and I was just feeling like I wasn't going to have anything to say. But I dutifully watched the show each week with my best friend, and I slowly started to get excited again. All-Stars had, quite frankly, really dimmed my enthusiasm but this cast was really bringing it back. Sure, there was a bit too much classic reality tv show drama (Andrea, my goodness, Andrea) but there was also a good crop of actually interesting designers.

Even if I didn't go for her aesthetic at all, Buffi Jashanmal was fun and interesting and had a distinct point of view. Kooan Kosuke was fascinating and fun, and to be honest I don't blame him for leaving the show because the judges clearly had no idea what he was about simply because he was being a little more daring than fashion likes to be. More than once I felt like they were being culturally insensitive, but that's a long rant for another day.

Even Gunnar Deatherage, who started the season being one of the most singly obnoxious designers the show had ever seen ended up warming my cold heart and making me upset when he was auf'd. The way he treated his client for the "real women" challenge was a revelation and a lesson to all other designers that have appeared on this show (and other designers in general, and especially Ven, take some notes jerkface).

And at the end of the day, I loved Dmitry, Fabio, and Melissa and could have been happy with any of them winning the final title and I won't spoil who does, because I absolutely think that this season is one you should catch up with if you missed it. There was a lot of real talent and real skill on the part of the designers, and the "characters" that you thought you hated, you ended up loving and the favorites at the start were not so rosy by the end.

The biggest problem was the judges. By the time they started blasting Elana for designing a dress for the Rockettes that looked exactly like the dress they were given for inspiration (not saying she copied, saying she had no taste) I realized they were just done. I have no idea how they still have careers in fashion, and I got sick of hearing them talk. I watched for the designers and tried to pretend the judges weren't there.

So I was actually thrilled when they announced that Michael Kors was leaving and Zac Posen was taking his place. If they also replaced Nina, perhaps the show would be as good as it was in the beginning, before the two of them had gotten so full of their ego from being on a successful show that they forgot what they were doing. Okay, I'm a little bitter.

So I started watching season eleven. I was ready for it to get better, I was on board and ready to fangirl again. But then they failed again with selecting the designers, and every week I got more and more disgusted with this show I used to love. Nina was still ridiculous, but thankfully Zac Posen was not afraid to shoot her down (and Heidi was getting bolder too). My favorite moment was when Zac Posen pointed out that he was the only judge who had actually BEEN to an American prom and had no clue what everybody else was talking about, especially Nina, because prom is about gowns and not short skirts. Preach it, Zac Posen, I've been yelling that at my TV for years.

But the designers, oh man the designers. The team challenge thing didn't really make an impact because the actual people they chose were so poor in character and were so unlovable that I barely could tune in every week. The best example for me was when the editors took a clip of Michelle talking about how much she loathed Patricia, followed it with the two of them getting paired together, and then a clip of Patricia happily talking about how she's looking forward to working with Michelle. This is the two-face, back stabbing reality show crap that Project Runway always skirted on the edge of and usually didn't dip into.

Amanda, Layana, and Michelle formed a mean girls clique that could not be beaten for cattiness and ego and every week I deeply wished they would go home simply because they were not nice people. I know everybody likes to talk about "the editing," but listen, I know editing. I know how it works, it's actually part of my JOB to know in detail what is and isn't possible with editing. The three of them were not painted as bad guys or villains by the editors, the show actually seemed to see nothing wrong with what they were doing. They were practically shown as heroes, I'm almost positive the producers were convinced we would hate Patricia instead, and they definitely wanted Kate to be disliked even though she clearly didn't deserve it from what they were showing.

I was two weeks behind on the show when somebody spoiled me about who had won before I could watch the finale, and that was the final blow for me. I actually have not bothered to watch season twelve, and I'm pretty sure that I won't. Season eleven took a show I had loved for so long, a show I was rejuvenated about and dying to see more of, and killed everything about it. The producers, the editors, and the designers all reveled in the exact same type of person that I don't like in real life or on my television shows, and if that's what the show is about now then I'm sorry but I'm done.

It makes me so sad to say that, but basically this is me saying I hope that everybody enjoyed my PR posts before because I don't think there will be any more unless somebody I really love ends up on All-Stars next season.

I'll just stick with Top Chef then, I guess.

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