Non-Geek TV From The Geek Perspective: Project Runway

Gabbing Geek What We're WatchingThere’s a lot of TV out there, and some of it claims to be reality, and some sort of competition.

This week, I’m covering Project Runway.

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What’s the premise?

A group of promising fashion designers are brought to New York City to compete in a variety of design challenges for a large prize designed to boost their careers.  Finalists even get runway shows during Fashion Week.

What’s the appeal?

As reality shows go, it’s maybe one of the better ones that is both competition and fashion based.  Fashion tends to produce colorful characters, and there’s a lot of creativity involved if you’re into that sort of thing.  I’m generally not, but I don’t mind this one so much.  Reasons below.

Anything stand out?

Two words:  Tim Gunn.

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Seen here with a prominent client.

I probably have absolutely nothing in common with this man.  He’s a fashion guru.  I can barely dress myself.  He’s met Iron Man.  I have not.  He was in a Sex in the City movie.  I get down on my knees everyday and thank any cosmic or spiritual entity that may be listening that that never happened to me.

But despite all this, I think I wouldn’t mind hanging out with the guy, and not just because he once told Jon Stewart on The Daily Show that fashion really isn’t all that important.  That statement made me appreciate him more than any and every other fashion-oriented thing my wife takes in.  Gunn is just charming.  There’s really nothing more to say than that.

Furthermore, Runway is a show where even someone with complete apathy towards fashion like myself can see something of quality.  Compared to the (rather odious in my opinion) America’s Next Top Model, I can often see a difference in quality on this show.  At least enough to disagree with the judges from time to time.  Really, this competition actually makes sense to me if I can often see who actually is more talented.

The show can also whip up good, old-fashioned suspense for a show of this format, and does seem to bring in some rather memorable characters every year, based off what little I see happening when my wife is watching the show.

Any downsides?

I really don’t like reality TV, and there’s one thing I’d just assume get rid of for any such show.  That’s the confessional, where contestants sit in a room alone and discuss what’s happening.  Sometimes it’s clearly there for the blind and/or stupid who can’t tell what’s going on, but something about this particular type of program tends to bring out the cattiness in people.

And I’d be lying if I said the judging scenes haven’t lost a bit of fun when Michael Kors stopped being a regular judge.  That guy had a way with one liners.

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