GOOD NEWS! The repentant bosses of Bravo’s reality show factory have conspired to right their wrongs! After a messy fight between the network and the creators of Project Runway the Bravodians have picked out almost all of the most common gripes I’ve heard about Project Runway and tried something new to address them. It’s it kinda cool!
Too many “established” industry professionals are robbing The Regs of their right to have on-air tantrums and film Saturn commercials. Fashion Show is full of nobodies! The obvious downside to this is that the overall quality of their work doesn’t always measure up to what we’ve grown accustomed to on Project Runway. The first few episodes were difficult to watch, and included the “I’m a designer, not a seamstress” diva fit which the contestants on Runway are seasoned enough not to try.
The challenges were turning into stale, product placement opportunities. Introducing a mini challenge at the beginning of the show, you get a whole extra competition that takes away from the unfortunate fact that after five seasons of Project Runway (plus two in Canada and one in Australia) just about every idea is going to at least be reminiscent of a PR challenge. BUT ITS OK TO BRING BACK THE CANDY DRESS CHALLENGE!
An shadowy judging process gave the impression that drama queens could be saved by annoying the other contestants. Every episode culminates in a fashion show attended by fifty to a hundred people. It gives us the feeling that the process is more fair. By restricting the judges role to picking a winner from the top three, and a loser from the bottom two, we can remain swaddled in the illusion that most of the contestants are getting by based on merit.
The end result is a Project Runway emerging from cultural bankruptcy: leaner and more competition based. The human touch was the most difficult thing for Project Runway to recapture season after season. By playing it down, Fashion Show could deliver a decent reality show season after season, but it may never be able to hit the high notes of genuinely good Project Runway seasons