Category Archives: Project Runway

Project Runway Season Five – “Episode Five”

“Lipstick Jungle”

August 14th, 2008

After last week was spent pimping out NBC’s Olympics coverage, which has clearly benefitted from the attention (I’m equating its success with Project Runway, as unlikely as that is), so now NBC Universal is turning their attention into my universe: the surprise Sophomore pickup of NBC’s Lipstick Jungle, Brooke Shields’ drama series that is searching for an audience it never quite found.

The result is our first episode to separate our groups into pairs, and one of the most prevalent examples of the producers clearly influencing the celebrity client to select some designers who clearly don’t understand the aesthetic that is required. Kelli and Blayne end up in the Bottom Two for taste more than their execution (Although that was also poor), and chances are that if she had selected a few more appropriate designers we would have seen a far better challenge; but, I’m not convinced that’s what the show is really after.

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Project Runway Season Five – “Episode Four”

“Summer Olympics Wear”

August 6th, 2008

So…didja hear that the Olympics are coming up? Because I dare say that NBC wants us to know that the Olympics are coming up.

In a grasp at corporate synergy, something they won’t be able to do once the show jumps to Lifetime in the fall, it’s Olympic fever at Project Runway. While this may be thematically strong, it’s a bit of a challenge to take people used to high glamour or cocktail dresses and tasking them with creating something more akin to athletics.

And this group is no different than many others who have failed to grasp tasks that ask them to meld fashion with other interests – when Daniel has never even seen an opening ceremony in his life, is it any surprise that his garment has no relation to it?

In the end, a few designers are up to the challenge, but seeing these people so fully fail at things isn’t quite as entertaining as sometimes the show thinks it is.

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Project Runway Season Five – “Episode Three”

“New York at Night”

July 30th, 2008

One of the best things about Project Runway is that each week gives each designer a clean slate, so that they can make up for past mistakes through sheer hard work and determination.

One of the worst things about Project Runway is that each week gives each designer a clean slate, so that they can screw up completely to the point that any good will they’ve gathered will be almost entirely eradicated.

That’s really the story of Project Runway this early in the competition, as with so many contestants they’re not getting enough of a sense of each designer to really give them time to grow. So while it is possible for some people, like Leanne, to regain their footing, it’s entirely possible for a landslide to wipe out a few others in the process.

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Season Premiere: Project Runway Season Five – “Episode One”

“Episode One”

July 16th, 2008

You may have noticed that I have never quite blogged about Project Runway in the life of Cultural Learnings, which is for two main reasons. First and foremost, I’m late on the uptake, having only discovered the series in its fourth season. And, second, the strange lack of a Canadian simulcasting means that I’m always delayed in getting my hands on the more recent episodes.

But I won’t let that be a barrier to the only reality competition series to ever win a prestigious Peabody Award. There is something about Project Runway that just clicks in this genre, primarily because these people are actually capable of creating interesting fashion design for both those who know what’s good (Not me) and those who have no idea beyond their own personal taste (That’s me, FYI). It’s got just the right balance of interpersonal conflict that’s expected from reality television and, more importantly, people being outright challenged to complete the tasks at hand.

And for the show’s fifth season, there’s no surprises: it’s the same Heidi, the same Tim, the same diverse/crazy group of contenders, and the same types of challenges and editing. All of that might change for the show’s eventual shift to Lifetime in the Fall, but for now? Familiarity is a darn good thing.

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