Saturday, November 09, 2013

Project Runway All Stars Season Three, Episode Three: The Great Jay-Z!

[The Episode opens with Alyssa Milano talking to her doctor in a well-appointed room of a psychiatric hospital]

Alyssa Milano: In my younger and more vulnerable years, my father gave me some advice. "Always try to see the best in people," he would say. As a consequence, I'm inclined to reserve all judgments. But even I have limits. Back then ...

Doctor: Back when?

Alyssa Milano: Oh, sorry. I’m narrating this story. It all happened Thursday but I’m going to make it sound like it happened a long time ago. And there will be breaks in the narration in which the characters will be speaking. I know it’s a really annoying way to tell a story, but you’re just going to have to deal with it. Now, where was I? Oh, yes. Back then, all of the designers drank too much, except for Jeffrey and Elena, who ordered virgin cocktails. But the rest of them drank too much. And flirted pathetically with the bartender. The more in tune with the times they were, the more they drank. And none of them contributed anything new. I was disgusted. Disgusted with everyone and everything. Only one man was exempt from my disgust. Jay-Z. He was the single most hopeful person I've ever met and I'm ever likely to meet again. There was something about him -- a sensitivity. He was like one of those machines that register earthquakes 10,000 miles away. 

Doctor: Where did you meet him?

Alyssa Milano: We met at his 40/40 club in West Egg, Long Island. In the autumn of 2013 the tempo of the country approached hysteria. Stocks reached record peaks. The parties were bigger. The shows were broader. The buildings were higher. The accessory walls were sadder. And the ban on alcohol had backfired, making the liquor cheaper. 

This week, at Parsons
Doctor: Soooo ... you’re saying this challenge had something to do with cocktail parties?

Alyssa Milano: Cocktail parties ... Yeah. When I think about it, the history of this challenge really began that night I drove over to my cousin Beyoncé's for dinner. She lived across the bay in old money East Egg. Beyoncé, The Golden Girl. A breathless warmth flowed from her. A promise that there was no one else in the world she so wanted to see.

[break from narration to live action]

Beyoncé: Did they miss me in Chicago?

Alyssa Milano: Were you supposed to be in that movie?

Beyoncé: No, dummy. The city. You were just in Chicago.

Alyssa Milano: Oh, right. Yes, they’re absolutely in mourning. They’re crying “Beyonce, we can’t live without you!”

Beyoncé: I'm paralyzed with happiness!

Beyoncé in Christopher's cocktail dress
[back to narration]

Alyssa Milano: I had been drunk just twice in my life. And the second time was during this episode’s runway show. That night in the Project Runway studio we were buoyed by a sort of chemical madness. A willingness of the heart that burst thunderously upon us all. And suddenly, I began to like Viktor’s look and Christopher’s look and also Elena’s look, but not enough to want to wear it. So Viktor won the challenge and Christopher also sort of won the challenge but not really. High over the city, our windows must have contributed their share of human secrets to the casual viewer of the show. And I was the viewer too, looking up and wondering ... I was within ... and without ... enchanted and repelled ... by the inexhaustible variety of crap on the runway. I have no clue how I got home. But I do know that I awoke with the distinctly uneasy feeling that Jay-Z was watching me.

Doctor: Watching you?

Alyssa Milano: Yes. Jay-Z was always watching me. I got an invitation. I was the only one. By which I mean no one except me ever received an actual invitation to Jay-Z’s. You see, the rest of New York simply came uninvited. The whole city packed into automobiles and all weekend, every weekend, ended up at Jay-Z’s. I mean, everyone from every walk of life and every corner of New York city. This kaleidoscopic carnival spilled in Jay-Z’s door. Caravans of billionaire playboys, publishers and their blond nurses, Rebecca Minkoff and Nate Berkus comparing accessories on Jay-Z’s beach, Georgina Chapman losing money at the roulette tables, gossip columnists alongside gangsters and governors exchanging telephone numbers. Film stars, Broadway directors, morality protectors, high school defectors, and Isaac Mizrahi, dubious descendant of Beethoven. 

[break from narration to live action]

Alyssa Milano: Do you know where I might find the host, Mr. Jay-Z?

Beyoncé: Jay-Z? What Jay-Z?

Isaac Mizrahi: I've never seen Mr. Jay-Z. No one has.

Georgina Chapman: I heard he was a German spy during the war!

Rebecca Minkoff: I heard he’s third cousin to the Queen of England!

Nate Burkus: I heard he stabbed someone!

Alyssa Milano: Well, I don't care! He gives large parties. And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.

Jay-Z: I'm afraid I haven't been a very good host, old sport. You see, I’m Jay-Z.

Drink up, old sport.
[back to narration]

Alyssa Milano: His smile was one of those rare smiles that you may come across four or five times in life. It seemed to understand you and believe in you, just as you would like to be understood and believed in.

Doctor: What a coincidence that Jay-Z’s 40/40 club was just across the bay from Beyoncé’s house.

Alyssa Milano: It was no coincidence. He founded that club to be near her. He agreed to do the score for this pointless Baz Luhrmann movie just so he could put her on the soundtrack. He threw all those cocktail parties and invited the All Stars, hoping she would wander in one night. And now he just wants the All Stars to design cocktail dresses and accessories? The modesty of it kind of takes the breath away, doesn't it?

Doctor: Well, I agree it’s a bit odd.

Alyssa Milano: If only it had been enough for Jay-Z just to hold Beyoncé. But he had a grand vision for his life and Beyoncé’s part in it. It wasn't until the end of that challenge, on the last night I saw Jay-Z, that he told me of the life he had dreamed for himself since he was a boy. You see, doctor, Jay-Z isn’t his real name. 

Doctor: You’re kidding.

Alyssa Milano: No. His parents were farmers from North Dakota. But in his own imagination, he was destined for future glory. Chasing this destiny, a 16 year old Jay-Z spotted a yacht in peril. He rowed out and rescued the vessel and its captain, alcoholic millionaire Michael Kors. This was his opportunity, and he seized it. He sailed the yacht out of danger and into his future. And that’s how Jay-Z became famous. If you don’t believe me, check Wikipedia. And if Wikipedia says something different, it’s because some asshole changed the entry. 

[break from narration to live action. I know. Super annoying]

Alyssa Milano: So, the bottom two are Jeffrey and Melissa.

The judges don't like the crystals on Jeffrey's dress
Jeffrey: I've been everywhere and seen everything and done everything. I had a very bad time. I'm pretty cynical about everything. I hope the judges will be fools and let me stay. That's the best thing judges in this world can be. Beautiful little fools. All the bright precious things fade so fast. And they don't come back.

Alyssa Milano: Jeffrey, I know you won before, but you can’t repeat the past.

Jeffrey: Can’t repeat the past? Why, of course you can, old sport. Of course you can.

Alyssa Milano: Well, Melissa's look is clearly better than Jeffrey's this week, but it isn’t enough for the judges to love Melissa. They have to say they never loved Jeffrey.

Judges: Never?

Alyssa Milano: Never.

Judges: Please don’t,  Alyssa! You ask too much! We did love him once. We can’t help what’s past.

[Jeffrey and Melissa drive off through the cooling twilight ... towards elimination. But who will it be?]

Jeffrey: The judges rushed out at us as if they were trying to speak to us. It all happened so quickly! She tried — I mean, I tried to turn in time, but ...

Alyssa Milano: She?!! It was Melissa?!!!

Jeffrey: Melissa was very nervous. She thought driving would calm her nerves. It was instantaneous. She didn’t feel a thing.

Melissa is out
Alyssa Milano: They're a rotten crowd, Melissa. You're worth the whole damn bunch put together.

[back to narration]

Alyssa Milano: I was always glad I said that to Melissa. It was the only compliment I ever paid her. They were careless judges, Isaac and Georgina. They smashed up things and creatures, and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made. So, once again those beautiful little fools didn’t have the balls to get rid of Jeffrey. I thought of Melissa's wonder when she first picked out the green light at the end of the runway. She had come such a long way and her dream must have seemed so close that she could hardly fail to grasp it. But she did not know that it was already behind her, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night. Melissa believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter -- For the next challenge we will sew faster, stretch our fabric farther ... And one fine morning ... So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

Can we go now?


kelly said...

Best recap ever

eric3000 said...

Thanks, Kelly!

Anonymous said...

You are my green light, Eric3000.

eric3000 said...

Ha ha! Thanks!