Thursday, August 27, 2009

Project Runway, Season Six, Episode Two: Are you awake?

Tim: "Did you notice something different about this episode, Heidi?"

Heidi: "Yes, but I can't put my finger on it."

Tim: "Let me help. This episode really stood out for me because absolutely nothing interesting happened."

Heidi: "Ah, yes. That's it."

Don't get me wrong. I thought the challenge this week was great and I thought the clothes were much better than in the first episode. But I'm having trouble writing about it because it feels like nothing happened. The thing is, there actually was quite a bit of drama going on. We just didn't see it. They saved that for the Models of the Runway show. I do like the Rashomon effect of that show. Since it is really just the same show shot from a different angle, I'm just going to include some of it at the end of my recap.

Previously on Project Runway, Christopher won and Ari learned a very important lesson about how to be a total freak in a more responsible way.

We start with shots of the designers in their pointlessly unisex apartments. Apparently, Logan will be this season's shirtless designer. I'm fine with that. Malvin will spend his remaining time hiding behind window treatments asking passersby for apples. I could live without that.

We learn that Mitchell is rekindling his dream. Apparently, after his formal education in smocking techniques (and possibly making bustles), he took some time off from fashion. So while the other designers are still kindling their dreams, he is rekindling his.

The designers meet this week's guest judge. They will be designing for her. It's Alexis Meade, the transsexual heir to the Meade Publishing empire, just back from France, where she was somehow impregnated with twins! It's a miracle! It's just like that time there was the pregnant man, remember? Except then it turned out it was a man who had a uterus so it really wasn't as amazing as they tried to make it sound. Anyway, Alexis is back and she is carrying twins from fertilized eggs that she stole from Wilhelmina Slater! What could this mean to Meade Publishing? Does anyone care?

Alexis wants some chic pregnancy looks that really show off her new curves. The designers head back to the design room and attach pregnancy pillows to the dress forms. Ra'mon, who was pre-med, gives us his professional medical opinion:

Ra'mon: "I would estimate that she is in her early second semester and she is probably dilated to about two kilometers."

Tim enters the design room and totally screws everything up. He says that Alexis had one main request: that the looks be form-fitting. She did not say that. What she said is that she wanted a beautiful silhouette and she wanted to show off her curves. Obviously, she could have said it off camera but, if that was her main request, why wouldn't she have mentioned it to the designers? Because you can get a beautiful silhouette and you can show off curves without making something form-fitting. I really feel like that comment adversely affected some of the designs. Bad Tim.

Tim: "Oh, she also requested gigantic shoulder pads and she wants her legs to look like chicken drumsticks. And please incorporate fuchsia leopard-print somewhere in your design."

Stop that!

We learn that babies are not Logan's "thing." He is more into cars and being a man's man. We learn that Malvin thinks he understands what the judges want now: women who look like chickens. We learn that Qristyl cannot enter a fabric store without freaking out.

This week Mitchell decides to be the center of attention in the design room by being WAY too dramatic about how stupid his giant granny panties are. We all agree: they're ridiculous. So why not make something better?

Ra'mon realizes that his dress is looking a little weird, probably because some mentor, who shall remain nameless, told him the look had to be form-fitting. Mitchell tells him the dress looks better from really far away, partially blocked by a table. Especially if you don't look directly at the dress. Yeah, it's not so bad then.

On to the runway:

Logan made a cute white jersey top over black leggings. It's not exciting but it's pretty.

Shirin made a dark red dress with beautiful braiding detail under the bust and paired it with a lovely coat.

Nicolas made a tight black and grey dress that did not fit well. It looked stupid but it isn't really his fault because he actually followed the ridiculous instruction to make it form-fitting.

Christopher made a puffy purple top over black leggings. I don't like it.

Mitchell made gathered shorts with a white tank and a cream sweater. It's not a bad look but the shorts look really messy. I would not describe this look as "chic."

Qristyl made a draped salmon silk dress layered over darker fabric and wrapped around the neck. I really like it.

Epperson made a full jacket over a cream silk jumpsuit. Interesting.

Louise made a burgundy nightgown with hand-dyed lace.

Gordana made a long black top with leggings and a sweater. It's a little boring but it's fine.

Johnny made a long black form-fitting dress with white trim. It's pretty but I just think the fit over the baby bump is too tight.

Malvin made something that looks like a Baby Bjorn carrier over a black outfit. It looks terrible. And it's such a shame because his earlier draping attempts in the design room were really pretty. If he hadn't been so caught up in making his stupid "ham and eggs" costume, or whatever he was trying to do, he could have made something very structural and interesting.

Ra'mon's model looks like she has a purple race car sticking out of her stomach. I can't imagine anyone wearing that. But, again, he was just following the "form-fitting" instruction.

Carol Hannah made a cute green dress with a sash draped under the baby bump and a ruffled brown jacket.

Althea made a lovely long navy dress.

Irina made a cute babydoll dress in blue with satin trim. I like the color. The shape is not very exciting.

Louise, Althea, and Shirin are the top three and Shirin wins! Congratulations, Shirin!

Mitchell, Malvin, and Ra'mon are the bottom three and Malvin is out. Sorry, Malvin. I got a glimpse of talent but he needs to spend less time focused on what a genius he is and instead concentrate on designing.

Malvin: "I'm a designer and a philosopher and a person."

See? That's what I'm talking about. Maybe that's one too many things to be.

Malvin: "Fine. I'll drop 'person.'"

OK, so now that the show is over, the drama can finally begin. Apparently, the models are like a Greek chorus commenting on all the action during the show but we don't get to see any of it unless we stay up past our bedtime. Seriously, 11:30 is really late. I'm in a total Lunesta fog by that point in the evening.

The designers seem completely fine with the judging but the models are the design experts and they think the judges are crazy for keeping Mitchell. And we learn that Mitchell is a "model jumper," which is the worst insult in the modeling world. Apparently, he blamed his model for his near loss last week, even though his model saved him by making his non-dress almost look elegant. So he stole Qristyl's model this week, which got everyone's panties in a twist. None of the models want to work with Mitchell. He is pure evil. And he can't sew.

In other news, Logan is being stalked by one of the models.

Next week it looks like teams. I hate teams but maybe it will be a little more exciting than this episode was.
RNC Chairman Michael Steele doesn't know the meaning of the word "nuanced"

Literally, he doesn't know what it means. He thought it was an insult when an interviewer mentioned that his new position on Medicare seemed nuanced. In fairness, "nuanced" doesn't begin to describe his position. "Batshit crazy" might be a little more accurate.

You can link to the Morning Edition interview on NPR here.

In case you didn't understand Steele's arguments for and/or against Medicare, I've outlined his talking points for you:

1) Medicare is a sacred institution and we can't allow the Democrats to mess it up.

2) Medicare is a total mess and we need to fix it.

3) Medicare just is. It isn't bad or good or indifferent. It just exists. Whoo, I just blew my own mind.

4) Medicare is bad.

5) We must protect Medicare from the Democrats.

6) The government needs to fix Medicare.

7) We absolutely can't let the government touch Medicare.

8) Medicare is very popular. So I love it. Even though it is terrible and I hate it.

9) You can see Russia from parts of Alaska.

10) Death panels.

I hope this has helped.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pride and Prejudice and Project Runway!

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the Weinsteins in possession of a hit show will be in want of a new network.

Welcome to the new season of Project Runway on Lifetime: Television for Women who find the Hallmark Channel too edgy!

Tim Gunn: "Wow, Heidi, look at that view! Nothing but Reba reruns as far as the eye can see!"

Heidi Klum: "How the hell did we get here?"

Tim: "Well, this change is upsetting but I don't think we should be dissuaded from our goals."

Heidi: "I don't know the meaning of the word dissuaded!"

Tim: "That's the spirit!"

Heidi: "No, really. I don't know what that word means."

So we start the story with Tim and Heidi and their sixteen designers, living on the family estate at FIDM in Los Angeles. The PR girls are famed throughout the Southland for their beauty but they possess neither fortune nor connections so Tim and Heidi need to marry them off because Project Runway has been entailed to Andy Cohen, who could kick them all out an any moment:

Tim: "Oh, pray do not speak of that odious little man! I'm sure he is dreaming of the day when he takes possession of this show. What am I to do with all these designers? Heidi, you have no compassion on my nerves!"

Heidi: "I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these past five seasons."

Let's meet the PR girls:

Althea is blond and claims to be 24.
Ari has short hair and claims to be from Kansas City.
Carol is trying hard to be "the spacey one."
Christopher is looking a little Jeffryish and has not had formal training.
Epperson has long dreads and adult children.
Gordana is going to kick your potato-eating ass.
Irina has long black hair and makes bags.
Johnny is going to spend the season telling us he was a drug addict.
Logan is a real man's man because he likes cars.
Louise likes vintagy crap.
Malvin has the group's required mohawk and is leading the pack in the race to be this season's most annoying designer.
Mitchell is kind of a walking disaster.
Nicolas is known as the feather queen.
Qristyl does "plus-sexy" clothes. I like her. I hope she stays a while.
Ra'mon could be a great neurosurgeon but he wants to do something more rewarding.
Shirin is completely unmemorable.
Lydia is the youngest and she's basically a big tramp.

Miss Christopher is the heroine of our little story.

Johnny: "Did someone say 'heroine?' I used to be a drug addict."

Heidi: "Yes, we know. I do believe we have 16 of the silliest designers in all the country."

Tim: "Well, we're here at FIDM. Let's get this party started. By the way, Heidi, weren't you pregnant just a few minutes ago?"

Heidi: "Yes. I gave birth during the commercial break. But I'm still not going to drink champagne because I might be pregnant again."

Tim: "My god. Can't you keep it in your pants for five minutes."

Heidi: "I'm not wearing pants."

Tim: "Yes, we can all see that, thank you very much."

The designers get to walk the red carpet at the Nokia Theater in Hollywood:

Malvin: "I don't see carpet color. I think only bigots care about carpet color."

OK, check your watches. We're ten minutes in and I'm already sick of Malvin.

Tim: "We're starting this season with the challenge that usually happens closer to the end and is always a huge disappointment! Instead of giving you some sort of limitation that would demonstrate your creativity, we are giving you complete freedom to create totally boring dresses."

The designers settle into the FIDM design room and Ari informs everyone that her model has big feet:

Tim: "Thanks for sharing that, Ari! Just keep in mind that models always brag about having big feet."

The designers start working. Johnny decides to become the center of attention:

Johnny: "I had an addiction problem so now I can't figure out what to design. I'm going to go sit out in the hall so everyone can come and tell me how great I am and give me encouragement."

Tim: "Johnny, I really want you to succeed and I say this out of love, but you aren't legislating healthcare reform or ending world hunger; you just need to go make a goddamn dress. Stop being such a drama queen."

Let's check in with the other designers:

Carol is creating something awful and is calling everyone "buddy" because she obviously doesn't know anybody's name. I hope she does that all season.

Malvin is finding old and uninteresting ways to annoy us:

Malvin: "I am so amazing and innovative. There are no words to describe my designs."

How about "crappy"?

Christopher and Gordana are bonding over their mutual lack of formal training:

Christopher: "People are using all these fancy terms but I don't think it matters that I don't possess fortune or connections or know how to make a bustle."

Mitchell's model did not fit into his dress because her feet were not as big as she had claimed. So he just hangs a piece of fabric over her and calls it a day.

Let's meet the judges:

Nina Garcia, fashion director of some magazine I haven't heard of!

Lindsay Lohan, former celebrity!

And, of course, Lady Michael De Kors. Oh, such exquisite taste, such condescension! And looking so lifelike this season! Apparently in this economy, even the affluent are having to cut back on essentials like bronzer.

On to the runway. I've included the names of the designers and a brief reaction to their designs:

Althea - blech
Gordana - ugly
Malvin - horrid
Mitchell - inexcusable
Louise - retched
Ra'mon - dull
Shirin - seriously?
Epperson - meh
Irina - oh, please
Ari - vomit-inducing
Johnny - This is why you shouldn't do drugs
Carol - eye-gaugingly bad
Qristyl - godawful
Logan - boring
Nicolas - dreadful
Christopher - cute

Wow, that was the worst bunch of dresses I've seen since Project Runway All-Stars!

Christopher wins. Congratulations, Christopher! No surprise there. His dress wasn't very original but it stood out on the runway for it's distinct quality of not completely sucking.

Qristyl, Mitchell, and Ari, are deservedly the bottom three. Ari is out. Thank goodness. I don't think I could have handled her Blayne-ness for much longer.

Time for a PSA:

Ari: "Take risks responsibly."


Later, at Rosings:

Lady Michael De Kors: "Tell me, Miss Christopher, has your design teacher left you?"

Christopher: "We never had a design teacher."

Lady Michael: "No design teacher! Sixteen designers brought up at home without a design teacher! I never heard of such a thing."

Christopher: "I'm a self-taught designer."

Lady Michael: "Are any of your other designers out, Miss Christopher?"

Christopher: "Yes, ma'am, all."

Lady Michael: "All! What, all sixteen out of the closet? Very odd! Well, I need you to promise me that you will not enter into an agreement with my nephew."

Christopher: "I don't know what you are talking about."

OK, I'm tired. Everyone gets married and is very rich and lives happily ever after. Oh, except for the zombies.