Monday, October 06, 2014

Project Runway: Karma and Feedback

Well, I had been keeping quiet in general on the "Project Runway" front, because there are patterns.  (Heh, patterns.) But just as "The Real World" often had a fresh faced small town member and a tough talking city cast member, "Project Runway" often has folks who are new to life, reality shows, and feedback.  People who are constantly astounded that their stuff isn't the best (beyond the normal creative haze where you hope that your stuff is adored and they can see the genius inside but when they start mentioning the hem, or the seam or the this or that you start to go, right, yes, that part is less good).  There are people who have watched the show and people who clearly never have.  There are people who think the snarky things they say to the camera will have people chuckling along, and think that telling others that you hate their stuff is just being honest. Some of this certainly can be attributed to limited life experience.  And hey, there are lovely people too.  Certainly the pressure cooker can get to folks who always thought they were the strong, impervious one. 
The Tim Gunn save has already been used, and it was used on a designer that not all of the designers totally understand.  And that's fine.  Again, anyone who's watched the show knows that Tim often has useful things to say, but he is not always in alignment with the judges and so there's a balance between listening carefully and making your own best choice. 
Neil Gaiman often says that people are always right about the things they tell you need fixing and they are almost always wrong about how you should fix it.  Now, like any generalization, this works some but not always.  But people will often tell you something because they want to provide context for their concerns and sometimes trying to see through the issue they've raised instead of focusing on the fix can be useful.  And sometimes you just need time to rant first.  That's also a valid process even if not super endearing to the TV audience. 
So, at the end of this episode there were two designers who just hadn't performed up to par in the opinion of the judges.  They were given an hour to run back and try to make something else to change the judges minds.  One appeared (because sure, there could very well be some helpful editing going on) to take it in stride, and just be focused on grabbing her helper and getting something done.  The other appeared to spend much more time ranting about how it was ridiculous that she was in the position of having to defend her work when she was clearly the more talented of the two and this was stupid because the other person had already been eliminated once so clearly they should eliminate her and the comment about how she liked a certain (oh, the judges were clearly dancing around trying to figure out what the most politically correct way of saying her designs had a Native American Indian or Southwest or Navajo or, ugh, ethnic feel) aesthetic but she had done it before and this wasn't a good example of it.  And here's where I think she, Korina,  was focusing on the wrong part of the comment as she ranted that she had done it once before and won.  She had and she had.  But the point Nina was making was not, you did this once before so you can never do it again, but you did this once before well, this time you did it badly so it looks both bad and as if you have no new ideas.  I'm not saying people will never call you on repeating yourself, but if you repeat yourself well, you are much more likely to get a response of, oh this looked like you when it walked down the runway. 
And well, in the end, some combination of ranting and planning led to Korina not even having a finished garment and Charketa did.  So, while I know technically karma is supposed to be about the long term, sometimes it's nice when reality TV appears to provide it quickly.