PR: All Over But the Shouting

Posted on October 28, 2011


So THAT happened.

The thing about our Project Runway blogging is that it’s changed over time. It’s had to. We went from being total bystanders, no different from anyone else who watches the show, to the guys that people involved with the show read regularly, and the #1 guys for opinions about the show. We can’t, with a straight face, proclaim ourselves “important” to the show. We’re still, after all, bystanders, but now we’re bystanders with a pretty big megaphone. But when it comes to writing a post like this – a post about how disgusted and disappointed we are – it’s tough to write. Spittle-flecked fury isn’t entertaining when you give it a megaphone, you see.

But fuck that. We’re pissed. Even though there wasn’t one moment of surprise in the entire 90 minutes and the ending was exactly what we – and almost everyone else – predicted it would be, our hearts still sank at the end.

Heidi: You did it, girl!
Anya: You know I owe almost 100% of that to you.

Gross. The whole thing was just gross. And we’re sticking with what we blurted out at the end: “A low point for Project Runway.” The show has fully made the turn around that corner from being about talent to being about “stories.” Everyone was forced to dig up a dead family member this season and flog them all over the cameras just to see who was best at crying on cue. The win went to the beauty queen with a sex tape who had a collection pinned together with spit and paper clips because you can tell her story in phrases: beauty queen/sex tape/ sewing for 4 months. So basic that you don’t even need verbs. Congratulations, Project Runway fans, you may now swim with everyone else in the lowest common denominator pool. You’re not even worth the attempt to craft a semi-decent story. We’ll just have Michael, Nina, and Heidi praise the pretty girl with the exotic haircut no matter what she does. And when she does something really bad, why, we’ll just throw some money at her from off-camera and save her ass. Who cares if it’s obvious? People will love it! People love a pretty girl with a scandal! After all, as Zanna told us on that execrable after show, “Project Runway is all about the drama!!!”

Face it, it’s not our show anymore, kittens. The Lifetime people bleached out anything having to do with real talent and latched on to the idea that “characters” telling a “story” is why everyone watches the show.

And no, we’re not naive. We know that the show always had characters and always had producers making decisions as to the direction of the proceedings. But there is a marked difference between the days when talented people with extreme personalities were thrown into a fishbowl together to see what they would do and today, where mildly talented (to not talented at all ) people practically have their lines read to them by someone off-camera and the entire second half of the season is crafted to provide one person the win, no matter what she does. It’s insulting because it’s being done so badly.

The only reason they handed those designers 500 hundred bucks and a leisurely trip to Mood was because everyone could see that Anya had the weakest collection and the judges had already handed her a checklist of things she needed to do to win it. All she needed now was some money and a little time to whip up a bunch of identical looks with minimal tailoring, rendered in the appropriate judge-approved prints.

And we have zero hatred for the girl who won it. She sweeped the prizes this year so that not only did she win the main prize, she won every monetary prize, gaming the system with a publicist and some good old fashioned national pride to ensure that every penny to be handed out would be handed out to her. It’s not her fault that the system has so many flaws in it. She only served the purpose of pointing out just how flimsy the whole premise is. Take the money and run, girl. You did it. You’ll pardon us for not cheering, however.

Bottom line, for all the machinations and manipulations, the producers didn’t even do all that good a job of crafting a story to tell. It was a lackluster ending to a lackluster season. Four collections that came nowhere near the jawdropping work of previous finales because finding the best designers in the group and then giving those designers time to make something amazing is no longer part of the process. It’s about finding the most interesting characters and then giving them as little time as possible to craft something. Result: boring collections, boring finale.

The show, we’re sorry to say, has become exactly what everyone feared it would become when Bunim/Murray took over as producers. It’s The Real World with sewing. It’s about crafting as much drama out of a bunch of attention whores; it’s not about finding a talented designer. But don’t you dare tell us it was never about that. We were there. There was a time when the show really did manage to find the best 4 or 5 designers out of a group, handed them money and gave them several months to unleash their talent, and then gave the prize to the most deserving. Anyone who thinks that’s what happened this season simply wasn’t paying close enough attention.

Feh. We’re done ranting. Too disgusted to rant anymore. We’ll have the collections all run down within the week, so we can all rip apart every single half-assed look. We’ll also check in on Project Accessory, which wasn’t bad, but was awfully rough around the edges, and then we have an interview scheduled to go up on Monday with one of the T Lo favorites of season 9 giving his or her thoughts on the proceedings. But for now, we’re done. You guys do the ranting. We know you want to.



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