Thursday, March 02, 2006

I Done Been Tricked!

Maybe it's because I had such low expectations for this episode, but I actually enjoyed it. Of course, in a sort of sentimental-reality-TV, glitzy, like-eating-corn-puffs kind of way.
Seriously. This episode was not about designing, it was about designers. They pulled out every silly reality TV trick avaliable, just short of having Andrae propose to Tim Gunn.

Reality TV trick the first: Getting to Know You
The softer side of the caricatures created. The producers reveal one of the stars you thought you had figured out really have a tragic history, and, you know, multi-faceted personality. The Real World pretty much lived (lives? I seriously have no idea if it's still airing) on this tactic.

Example:
We're used to the cocky, driven, rebel Santino.
Much like this:
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This week, we find out Santino is, in blunt terms, poor. Furthermore, he tells his critics that he's more insecure than he lets on.
Also, he's cuddly.
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Man, that little girl was cute. I'm a sucker for cute kids. I would watch Project Santino if he hung out with that family some more.
I know it's designed to reach down our throat and tug our heart strings at only the appropriate moments (when it got back to the competition, they switched right back to "hey guys look at Santino's dismissive expressions! don't you love to hate him?" mode), it really made me regret calling him "Jesus/Child Molester". I also heard him mention he's "read, like, every stupid blog", and this is certainly one of those many stupid blogs. I look back at stuff I write and feel low sometimes. Hey, maybe this exactly is how Santino feels?
By the way, "Vampire Jesus" still stands. Totally. Like I said, the man is not ugly- he just looks like Jesus, if Jesus was a stylish vampire, and there ain't anything wrong with that.

Santino wasn't the only one given the tragic-history treatment. As Santino was destitute, Daniel Vosovic was a gay man in a small town, and Chloe's big family emigrated from Vietnam (edit: whoops! Chloe's family is Vietnamese, but lived, as a commenter pointer out, in Laos) when she was a child.
They didn't go over the top with this one: nobody broke down and cried on Tim Gunn's shoulder. The tears came later.

Reality TV trick the second: The Biggest of Big Twists!
Here's where the tears came. You've been waiting all damn season to see their faces when they find out the rich guy is actually broke, the entire show has been a farse or, I don't know, they have to eat each other or something. The biggest of Project Runway's increasingly ridiculous twists? The designers have to design an outfit in a short period of time!
Oh, except your entire career probably depends on this one and you have a shitload of other work to finish and WHAT A RIDICULOUS THING TO DO. Of course, it's biggest function is to lead into the third trick, the one that dropped my guard and made me putty in the producer's hands.

Reality TV trick the third: They're Baaaaack!
I should've known- they already had Daniel Franco magically reappear, not to mention milking the fan favorites from last season. Yet, when they said the words "extra set of hands", I inched forward, yearning for Kara to return. When Andrae walked in the door, my heart fluttered. When the lovely Diana Eng smiled from my screen again, my blind faith in Project Runway returned.
Of course, it was all a clever ruse. Is it any surprise that Nick, Andrae and Diana are to be featured in the finale episodes, considering they all have a pretty big, loyal fan base? Not that I'm complaining about having the lovelies back. It's fantastic, even if it is a trick to make me more invested in the finale. It's a trick that worked.
It's like we're rooting for teams for the first half of next week's show.

Santino and Andrae: Team Sexual Tension
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(No, I am not shipping Andrae/Santino, nerds. I'm being silly and taking an Andrae quote out of context, with hilarious/sexy results.)

Daniel V and Nick: Team Just Plain Sexual
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(Bravo had no pictures of them together. They're falling behind on the Danservice. Maybe they'll ask the pair to make out when they're done designing. By the way, for whatever reason, the half of John Wade's head in the background is kind of freaky. Also, in the "things I regret writing" category, I would not actually do John Wade. Just an initial reaction. If you don't skip over the entries about my personal life, you'd see I prefer my boy with meat on his bones.)

Chloe and Diana: Team Sweatshop
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(Ok, I am very aware that that's probably the most offensive joke I've ever made. I hesitated to write. It'll probably end up in the regret pile, but I only thought of it because Chloe Dao once referred to herself as a one-woman Asian sweatshop.)

I'm almost conflicted- I like Santino's aesthetic more than Chloe's, but do I treasure Diana more than Andrae? Which psuedo-team do I hope will do something remotely worthwhile? Luckily, it will only matter for fifteen minutes, and then I will be sucked in for rest of the episode, because I done been tricked.


Oh, and of course, when all else fails, Product Placement. Project Runway knows this one intimately. Why are the designers winning a car again? Oh right. Saturn, Saturn, Saturn. Once again, I don't have a picture of it, but I don't believe that Tim Gunn actually drove his suave looking, brand new, bright red Saturn from New York to Los Angeles.

3 comments:

Tbone said...

I LOVE the Team Sweatshop joke! Does that make me a bad person?

Thursday Next said...

Actually, Chloe's from Laos, Cambodia.

Anonymous said...

I hate to nitpick but Laos and Camboida are separate countries. Chloe is from Laos.