Sep 4, 2010

Zipper-dee-doo-dah and Hallelujah! Or the Revival of Project Runway

Project Runway is back! The gods have accepted my offerings of clothes from the 80s in exchange for a return of the PR of old ... and, praise and hallelujah, they have listened! Forget good clothes. Forget great design. It was the bitchiness I was craving and that had been sorely missing ...

Let's face it, the last two episodes of Project Runway Season 8 had nothing to do with the dresses. My assessment of the two collections and altered bridesmaids dresses can be summed up with simple phrases: Butt ugly. Pedestrian. WTF!? Seen that/done that. Grandmother's closet. Anemic. Trash/no class. And zipper-dee-doo-dah!

My discards from my 1980s closet

I suspect that even Lerners and J.C. Penny would balk at hanging most of these outfits on their discount racks.

I have been a devoted fan for all eight of Project Runway seasons, and in the first two years of this blog's existence behaved like a Bravo groupie. Then, like the Mets leaving New York, and the Colts bolting from Baltimore, Heidi took her show to Lifetime.

LIFETIME!? Isn't that the channel where actresses whose careers have tanked, or never took off, make movies for stay-at-home moms and blue-haired old ladies? My PR loyalty was sorely tested.

These past two PR seasons I've merely schlepped along, watching the show from the corner of my eye while performing tasks around the house, like cleaning toilets. It's a sad indictment when Models of the Runway provided more excitement than the Main Event.

Season 8 contestants haven't displayed anywhere near the level of creativity that past PR designers have shown (ENOUGH with the zippers already!), yet my interest in this show has suddenly been rejuvenated. Why is that?

Wendy Pepper's designs proved that good taste is not necessarily entertaining

Perhaps the writers, editors and directors suddenly SAW the LIGHT. With blinding clarity someone must have realized that viewers are not as much drawn to the clothes or designs, as to the personalities of the designers.

We will tune in to watch no-name and struggling designers if we are presented with color, drama, conflict, clashing personalities, bitchery, back-stabbing, and two-faced cussedness. Vanilla boring clothes are fine. So is a lack of talent. Just as long as sparks fly. How else can we explain Wendy Pepper's wild popularity as the premier PR bitch against whom all other PR bitches are still compared?

Watching PR last season was like counting drips from a faucet. There's no drama or tension when designers like and respect each other. Last week we watched the judges toy with the losing team like a cat with five mouses - each one playfully reminding them that someone had to leave. Oh, the back stabbing! The bitchery. The absolute delight Heidi took in forcing the team to choose one of their own kind for slaughter. Then good old Gretched stepped up to the plate and delivered. BIG TIME. Fashionistas across the land raised their martinis in awe.

United we stand. A Gift from the Gods moment.

This season, Lifetime was offered GIFTS FROM THE GODS in the forms of Gretched, Ivy, Casanova, Mondo, Peach, April, Valerie, and Michael C. What a motley and entertaining crew!

Let's look into the personality disorders of the major players a little more closely, shall we?

Gretched (I know, I know - Gretchen)

Motto: A force to be reckoned with.
Talent-o-meter: Creative, can style and sew. Makes the same well-sewn outfits over and over.
Scale of Self-delusion: Off the charts. Confuses bossiness and pre-emptive interference with being helpful.
Personality quirk: Suffers from a superiority complex. Addicted to tall Piperlime boots.
Gift from the Gods rating: Five platinum bars.


Motto: I dunno what happen wit my taste!
Talent-o-meter: Breathtaking sewing skills; can create complicated, well-constructed gowns in no time. Taste level is wobbly. Some outfits are awesome, others laughably bad.
Scale of Self-delusion: Moving towards the center. He is listening closely to Tim and it shows.
Personality quirk: Unafraid to showcase his nipples and pointy-toed shoes.
Gift from the Gods rating: Five gold bars.


Motto: Execute it beautifully.
Talent-o-meter: Her insipid, anemic, and uninspired designs resemble the outfits she wears. Can execute and sew.
Scale of Self-delusion: Off the charts. Regards herself as a top notch designer, but has received absolutely no confirmation from the judges to back up her claim.
Personality quirk: Gretched's mini me, and irritating, like a gnat.
Gift from the Gods rating: Five gold bars

Michael C.

Motto: I'm gonna win (and show up you bitches)
Talent-o-meter: Designs but can't sew. Mostly talented at hiding his true personality from the viewing audience. (See Peach's exit interview with Tom and Lorenzo)
Scale of self-delusion: Off the charts. Actually thinks his Carmen Miranda dresses are fashion.
Personality quirk: His naked ambition and false “poor me” stance irritated the bejeesuz out of the other designers, turning them into a pack of raving, clawing wolves.
Gift from the Gods rating: Five platinum bars

Let's not forget Valerie's cray-cray comments and rubber-faced expressions, April's cool, bitchy assessments of the competition, and Mondo's bouffant hair and quirky talent.

With such over the top players on this year's PR stage, how can viewers not be mesmerized? I do hope that next year, Lifetime won't toss out great designers in favor of the "characters", but that they'll find a nice balance of both, the way Bravo did.

I admit being turned off for a while by what I perceived to be bullying and a ganging up on Michael C, until Peach, that lovely, likable designer for the country club set, revealed the following delicious tidbit in her interview with Tom and Lorenzo:
“Michael Costello … wants his own reality show and he’s creating this character that you see. There were two sides of Michael Costello and one of them did not have the nicest language; not just curse words, subject matter too. I don’t know how to put it, but he is not the victim that they’re painting him to be.”
Apparently A.J. agreed, tweeting that Michael C. was acting for the cameras. If this is so, then the little crying jag we were treated to was all for show. Way to go, Michael! The editors must have been whooping for joy!

I hope Lifetime gives Michael C. the reality show he so craves. Perhaps they could title it A Douchebag Designs Duds for Divas, in which he creates outfits for Brigitte Nielsen, Bristol Palin, Octomom, Kate Gosslin, Wendy Pepper, Jan Brewer, Ann Coulter, Michelle Duggar, Sharron Angle, and Heidi Montag, just to name a few.

As for next week's show, I am already salivating in anticipation. Aren't you?

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Of Life, Education, E-bay, Travel & Books said...

Laughed so hard I almost spit coffee on my keyboard!

eric3000 said...

Welcome back to Project Runway!

Meredith R. said...

You're BAACK!!

Bwahhahahah! I wish you'd captioned April and Mondo as well, but I rocked with laughter. So true about Michael C. I wondered what made everyone hate him. Now I know.