Friday, October 10, 2014

Project Runway and Second Chances

I realize the gist of most of my "project Runway" posts is do your homework and stop being an idiot.  This one is not really that different.  But here we go.  Oh, Ms. Korina.  So, anyone who has watched any of the last few seasons would have seen two things happen that happened again in the most recent episode.  The remaining five designers were given their initial challenge and what seemed like a lot of time to complete it.  (Oh, you naive designers.  I know.  You are tired at this point in the run.  Haven't eaten real food or slept a full night in some time.  That's probably why you weren't suspicious.) Then they asked the designers to pick an outfit that had sent a prior designer home, and in some clear producer drama creation, only had the last five outfits to choose from (thereby taking away the idea that Charketa would pull a Justin and remake her own outfit).  And then, because they had limited time, they offered them help (something, that btw, has been happening since season 1) in the form of the eliminated designers and clearly, given the drama between Charketa and Korina, since Charketa had picked Korina's outfit, they wanted the designers to work with the person that picked their outfit.  Now let's face it.  Sure, the other designers had had more days (though honestly we are probably looking at ten max, here, the show moves fast) to ponder and come to terms with their elimination than Korina who had basically had a day. But, as Amanda pointed out, it sucks for everyone who has been eliminated equally.  It didn't suck more for Korina. And it was just as awkward for all the designers who had to watch, and assist, a designer tear apart this outfit they had put together and remake it.  But Korina basically refused to even try.  And I suppose we could argue that in some ways her demonstrative refusal to try was slightly better than the time Richard 'helped' Patricia in a way that was less helpful than she had hoped for.* So, Korina just walked right out and Charketa got another helper.
But, "Project Runway", like all reality shows loves some mean designer drama, but it also loves a redemption story.  And sure, there will be other shots, but not if you can't even be counted on to play the game.  Because, let's be honest, this is a reality competition, and you may be here to show off your designer stuff, but it is ultimately a game.  And your refusal to play along means they they might think twice the next time All-Stars or even the next season comes along.  And look, Korina might just be ready to put all this "Project Runway" behind her.  She may have a non-TV related plan for how she will succeed and if that's the case I wish her the best.  But as Amanda has demonstrated this season, as Kate demonstrated the season before, there are all kinds of other opportunities if you are willing to put yourself back through this again.  It's a strange and unrealistic opportunity, and it does not operate like the other paths towards success in fashion, but the reason people keep signing up for this show is not just for the money fashion show prize at the end, although that helps, but also the unique opportunity for exposure.  And, look, some people like a mean designer, or a snarky designer with a clear aesthetic, but a lot less people like a poor sport. 
Emily, on the other hand, handled her elimination with grace this week, and hit that "Project Runway" sweet spot for me, where I get why her stuff wasn't going to make her the winner, and yet, I want that hoodie.  Want. 

*In Richard's defense, his issue was lack of, er, terminology rather than desire.