Friday, September 18, 2009

Shop the Presses: The Project Runway recap

They say if you repeat a lie enough times, you actually believe it to be true.

And so it was with Johnny and his “the steamer ate my dress” fable. First, he told it to himself, then he told it to his model, then he told it to the judges. At some point, I think he could actually see the whole event unfolding in his mind: There was the steamer having a malfunction, leaking gallons of water all over the dress, which was now wet beyond repair. There he was, sad but brave—the first dress may have been a Dior-inspired winner, but he would make a second dress, equally fantastic! Because that’s the kind of competitor Johnny is: strong, resolute, undeterred by life’s inevitable setbacks.

In fact, as Logan so aptly put it: “He threw out the dress because Tim Gunn didn’t like it.”

Okay, so Johnny lied about the dress. So Tim Gunn did not call it a “Dior-like sensation” but a “craft project gone awry” and a “kindergarten project that had been attacked by birds.”

And maybe you’ll disagree with me on this, because clearly Tim Gunn does, but I still think Nicholas was wrong to throw Johnny under the bus. Let Johnny tell his little lie about how his first dress was the frock of the gods and contained the cure for cancer and the secret location of Osama Bin Laden. So what? Did Nicholas think that Johnny’s phantom Dior dress was actually going to affect the judging? (Then again, Logan stayed alive last week based on a pair of skinny jeans, so who knows the criteria with this ever-rotating group?). I was really surprised when Tim Gunn practically high-fived Nicholas for calling Johnny out. Apparently, Tim Gunn does not tolerate lying—not on his watch!

Generally speaking, it was a better episode than last week. But we should make up a word for dumb cattiness: Datty? Because this group is as datty as they come.

“I’m not sure what Irina is going for with that trench coat,” sniffed Althea, glancing disparagingly at Irina’s soon-to-be-triumphant coat. “I mean, it’s just a coat.”

Meanwhile, Nicholas was so concerned with Johnny’s “red mess” he forgot to notice that his own “punk” dress was neither punk nor particularly neat (or whatever the opposite of a mess is.) I loved when they showed the picture of Nicholas in his “punk years”—looking exactly the same as he does now, except with shorter hair and a few more necklaces. Oi, oi, oi, Nicholas!

Also, I totally disagree with the judges on Gordana’s dress, pictured. I loved it, and thought it was bogus when they said it looked “too wearable.” “I thought the point of the challenge was to make a newspaper dress look wearable,” said Gordana, polite but with a hint of defiance. “I must’ve misunderstood.” No Gordana, you didn’t.

In the end, it was clearly time for Johnny to go home and get back into treatment, as evidenced by this ominous statement when he lost:
“Giving up addiction was easier than this. I feel so empty.”

Paging Dr. Drew.

Probably the best thing about this episode? The fact that Project Runway may have single-handedly figured out a way to save the newspaper business. Figures my favorite show would offer up the first practical solution to the crisis in my industry. Hey, if you can’t read it, wear it!

Hilarious Lifetime programming I won’t be watching this week ™: Army Wives in the '40s.

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