Friday, September 22, 2017

Project Runway: Models are Clients

This one was hard. Heidi came out to tell the designers their next challenge and in a completely natural and not at all staged entirely for the cameras moment, a producer interrupts to tell Heidi that Tim is blowing up Heidi's phone with selfies.  So, basically, the designers discover the models are their clients this week and they will need to come up with a non-work outfit for their model that also selfies well.  
There's an interesting shift in the way that Shawn and Claire are edited this week.  I generally think you get what you get when you sign up for a reality competition show, but I feel like the producers aren't as settled on their proposed viewpoint of Shawn and Claire so the fingerprints are a little more obvious.  We're distilling 2-3 days into an hour, and even eliminating the time that they are sleeping that's still a lot.  But this week, a few of the designers note that it is less that Shawn and Claire help each other a lot and more that Shawn asks Claire for help and critique a lot.  
Kenya, who is feeling very unsettled after Tim suggests that the matching vest and pants on her slim model might make one think stringbean, says she doesn't have a sister on the show she can ask.  She appears to get some help from Amy, but a lot of it seems to be the some look at this and tell me I'm not crazy help, which we all need sometimes.  But Kenya did hit on an important point.  The designers can help each other.  But arriving with someone who has to go to Thansksgiving dinner with you is different.  It's much easier to ask them.  And also, much harder to say no.  
I discovered when I became a telecommuter no one wandered by my desk and saw me muttering at the screen and asked if I needed help.  I couldn't stop by someone's cube after I got more tea from the break room.  I had to actually call, or email, and say, I can't figure this out.  Alternatively you often find people start asking you questions when you become a person who reliably understands things, but there are days when the things I've actually been tasked with have to take priority over assisting fellow co-workers hit their own deadlines.  It's a tricky balance - for Shawn, for Claire, and for others who are thinking well I'd be done by now if someone had fixed my pants for me. 
While Brendan makes very much the same thing, he is safe but we're going to mention that Samantha, in that careful tone one adopts when one is simply saying something, notes that his is a look that references Rey in "Star Wars" and that kind of nerd chic...will provide a lot of clients for him.  Also, because so many (3) models have confessed crushes on Brendan the producers ask him if he has crushes and he says, I have a girlfriend. 
One to the top and bottom.  Shawn is in the top, with a ruffled crop top and cropped pants.  It is a better tailored version of what she's been doing (and yeah her sister made the pants) and it looks good.  
Kentaro is paired up with his model who knows Japanese and he created an awesome Japanese inspired yet modern outfit that pairs a folded crop top (there were a lot of crop tops, folks) over an architectural skirt and pants that just looks great both still and walking. 
Kenya is in the top.  The green vest was cropped enough to tone down the dalmatian-esque print of the top, and the petal necked top, and slim pants are beautifully made. 
Claire is in the bottom for an oversized sweatshirt that she says is paired with tailored shorts but who can tell, because they are so short the models butt cheeks are showing.  She knew they'd want color so stuck a teal ribbon along the zipper.  Nina is basically like I have seen this too many times, and it's boring, next. 
Margarita went all in on her model's vision for a 90's esque bomber jacket, baggy pants, and crop top.  She seems to realize on the runway that she is not in the top so mentions that she had concerns but really wanted to please her model, which was a complete surprise to her model.  (We get the first and hopefully not last models backroom, and trust me, this came up.) I'd argue surprising your model on the runway is not good protocol when she returns next week. 
Samantha is in the bottom for a better made version of what she made last week, but it's again black over a pattern so most of the detail is lost in still and in motion.  She is wearing a version of it herself that of course shines in gold, so they tell her she keeps outshining what she made, which I'm sure is partly time, but I think she was also trying to do a more runway version, and thought that meant black. 
Tim makes sure the judges know that Claire did Shawn's pants and while they have concerns, they mostly feel like if Claire hurts herself for Shawn's success, well, that's a lesson.
In what I thought had to be a misdirect, they judges say they think Margarita has more things to show them and Samantha doesn't right now. Bye Samantha, I enjoyed you a lot. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Three Interesting Things

1. It's been a week for natural disasters.  I recognize that power outages are part of it, but my morning news talked more about Hurricane Maria yesterday than today, so just a reminder that these things go on and sometimes people are too busy digging out of the rubble, or tending to basic things, to do the on the spot reports you might be used to.  I think there will be more resources as people get ready, and no I have not forgotten the earthquake in Mexico City, or the other floods and disasters in other parts of the world.  This ABC post has some recommendations for Mexico as does this one from Bustle
2. A deaf man was killed by police after he failed to follow their verbal instructions. Neighbors who witnessed it were trying to alert police that he was deaf. 
3. This story behind the story of the greatest recipe comment of all time is intriguing and, dare I say it, delicious. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Co-workers vs. Team Members

In light of even more news, I want to talk about this.  Look, I can't speak for ESPN or Jemele Hill or Michael Smith or anyone else there.  But, I am someone who's been listening to them since the "His and Hers" days.  They have talked a lot about how team solidarity can work or not work.  It's a thing that comes up when you cover team sports.  In sport, as in other jobs - let's face it, there is a complex relationship where you have teams that change and go, and front office changes, and you can decide, I want to play with you, or in this place, or not.  I was just discussing with someone that when my office decided to make us all telecommuters, I had to decide.  That wasn't the place that I had signed up for.  I went and talked to my manager about what were my options.  And I made the decision to stay since the other trappings of my co-workers, and the work I did each day remained essentially the same. 
Hill and Smith have talked about how the team that they created for "His and Hers" was them.  It wasn't any male sportscaster and any female sportscaster.  There could be guests, they weren't tied together for life, but if things shook out some way, they were not going to try to create the same thing with someone else.  Anything they did with someone else was different.  I'm not suggesting that's the only way or the right way to operate.  I'm suggesting that in a lot of employment situations, we are encouraged to think of our teammates as interchangeable cogs who operate distinctly, who get paid, promoted, and chastised distinctly.  And that's why unionizing, or things like actors on the same show gathering up to get paid the same across the board still are viewed as outliers.  Everyone's got bills to pay and that's not a small thing. We can't all afford to quit, or lose a paycheck.  But there are times where you might be willing too.  And having had the conversation with your team ahead of time, means you're ready when they show up and say, so, how about tonight we have you guys instead? 
This doesn't just apply to jobs themselves.  There are times, there are always times when management asks for something that doesn't feel right.  Sometimes you can address this as individuals.  And sometimes consulting with your team and presenting a united front can be more effective.  This is easier to do, if you've already talked to your co-workers.  
Again, I don't know what ESPN management was thinking.  But it seems like they were trying to let this blow over by removing her from eyes, which of course would have sent the message that the political figures should have a say in who talks about sports on TV.  Or talks about anything on TV.  And let's not forget, all of this is because a black woman called a person who has aligned themselves with white supremacists a white supremacist. We have seen way more free speech defense for literally every person who used an abusive or racist slur.  But we're still pretending calling racists racist is the real racism.  And it isn't. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Project Runway - Good And Evil Short Version

My computer ate my post and I was simply too sad to try to recreate my brilliance.  So, we're doing a bullet point version. 
-Shawn and Claire, aka the twins were on separate "sides" this week and I noted they did not do a combined mannequin interview, leading me to suspect the producers had been spreading out one over multiple episodes.  They still have essentially the same style, Shawn just used leather and Claire used crappy gauze so Shawn was safe and Claire was on the bottom. 
-Margarita went into a tizzy over having a large model and then it was fine. 
-Samantha fell into the classic trap of being the person who felt the most connected to the challenge and then bought bad fabric that meant her outfit just looked like an interesting idea gone wrong. Hope she rebounds. 
-Kenya on the other hand rebounded and ended up in the top. 
-Michael stayed in the top with awesomeness.  And feathers.  
-Brandon stayed in the top with something that looked like week one crossed with last week, aka, nicely made but boring.  He won.  The judges said branch out now.  We'll see if they mean it. 
-Aaron, who I had thought was coasting had just a major crisis of time management or fabric or both and sent down the runway a mess that looked worse that any of the Santino specials where he glues and stapled crap over the parts he hadn't finished and was badly hemmed at literally every hem and the strap broke so the model was holding the dress onto her boob with her arm.  
-They thrilled audience members and scared the designers breaking out the "one or more designers will go home" and then sent only Aaron.  We are now at the point where I cannot imagine one of the twins not going home next week, but we shall see.  

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Three Interesting Things

1. I was looking for kids books about consent for a friend and found this list. We tend to think of consent as to big a topic for kids since we have linked it to sexual activity, but the idea that your body is yours and that means you get to decide who hugs you even if they are an adult, that you should ask before touching classmates, is really part of the bigger idea of teaching kids that they are their own person and not something that can start too soon. 
2. I have a complicated relationship with the TV show "Younger" but one of the things it does that you don't even realize is unusual until studies like this remind you, it feature five female characters at different life stages who are not in competition with each other, but have different priorities. There are still so many kinds of characters shows usually only have one of, so you never get to see contrasts.  Anyway, here's the latest numbers on women in television
3. I'm down to one sports podcast these days, but it is SC6, from the team that brought you "His and Hers" aka Jemele Hill and Michael Smith.  It was always disingenuous to imagine that sports exist outside of race and politics.  It has become more so as players protest, as players find themselves victims of police brutality, to mention a few recent examples.  So, the idea that Jemele Hill is apologizing for creating controversy when stating on her personal platform (aka Twitter) that the president is a white supremacist, is a little ridiculous.  The president is endorsed by white supremacists, this isn't a reach or stretch or even really an opinion. And Jemele and co-hosts Michael's willingness to discuss things that directly affect the players and coaches they are covering is exactly why they are my sports podcast of choice.  And the idea that our president thinks he gets to decide who gets to be on TV is, well, that's why we're in this mess.