Saturday, October 25, 2014

Project Runway Threads S1E1: "Red Carpet"

Previously on Project Runway Behind the Scenes

Int. Lifetime Networks

Lifetime: What the hell is going on, Weinstein?

Weinstein: What do you mean? We won an Emmy!

Lifetime: You gave us Under the Gunn. That show was a bomb.

Weinstein: We admit, the ratings were a bit lackluster.

Lifetime: A BIT?! The finale had fewer viewers than reruns of Full House on Nickelodeon!

Weinstein: Well, that does have Dave Coulier, and those twins...

Lifetime: FULL HOUSE RERUNS. Fucking Pawn Stars was getting double our audience in the same damned time slot.

Weinstein: Thursdays are competitive.

Lifetime: We want something new, and we want it now.

Weinstein: Our flagship is...

Lifetime: Will we be getting more than one season this year?

Weinstein: Well...unfortunately, the Teutonic Goddess is still tied to Germany's Next Top Model...

Lifetime: When we originally signed up for this, we had agreed to year-round programming.

Weinstein: And you still have to obey our contracts.

Lifetime: *sigh* What do you have for us.

Weinstein: The cornerstone of Lifetime's reality programming is kids. Kids are HUGE in the reality programming market right now. From Dance Moms to Honey Boo Boo (*ed's note: cancelled this week*), America loves watching egotistical asshole kids butt heads with their parents.

Lifetime: Go on. I like what I'm hearing.

Weinstein: And, it's been fairly established that the best part of Project Runway is the drama...

Lifetime: And...

Weinstein: What if we knocked off Project Runway for kids! And, gave the kids assistants in the form of a parent!

Lifetime: Can kids really create fashion?

Weinstein: Please, Project Runway hasn't been about real fashion for years. Anybody who still watches this dreck watches for the drama. If we tell them something's fashion, it's fashion.

Lifetime: But, what about working laws?

Weinstein: We have to make the prize worth it, and we'll rotate out the kids so the labor laws won't get too sticky!

Lifetime: And the drama?

Weinstein: What could be jucier than watching hormonal teenagers try to work with the people they're rebelling against?

Lifetime: Brilliant! Genius!!


This week introduced us to the latest cash grab spin-off from the Project Runway empire, Project Runway: Threads. A short season of 8 episodes which combines the hormonal qualities of the various Dance Moms shows and the format of Project Runway. Each week, we're introduced to three new teenagers who are forced to compete for a weekly prize package they value at $25k for tax purposes.

The format of the first week has an introductory challenge (a la Top Chef) where the kids have to bring in an outfit from home. The winner gets an advantage, here it's the ability to steal an assistant from one of the other kids for 30 minutes. They then receive the challenge, which is, essentially, a 1-day challenge (unless they're working 15 hour days as well). There will be a twist in the middle of the episode. And, then a runway show in front of Christian Siriano, some YouTuber, host Vanessa Simmons, and a random guest judge.

Don't know who Vanessa Simmons is? Don't worry, neither did I. She's primarily known as the daughter of Rev Run from Run DMC, and was introduced to the world through Run's House. She also has a shoe line with her sister.

So, that's where we're at...hormonal tweenagers teamed with their parents, a reality show host, and a YouTuber judge. And Christian Siriano. No season-long contestants. No eliminations. Just here's the winner, here's the door. Goodbye!

The success of this show will rely on your ability to be amused by tweenagers (11-14) getting to boss their parents around, parents ranging from doting to not, and producer manipulation just to get more dwama out of the kids. Because, this isn't about fashion. As we've seen, adults can't design a great outfit in a day, nevertheless teenagers. Nevertheless two outfits in a one-day challenge. At best, this is about the process of creating, as there was a significant increase in the show's focus on the design process.

This week, we get a southern gay boy (talk about born this way) and his petulant stressed out mother who can't sew. We get a rich girl and her doting mother. And, we get a girl/father team where Dad is more just encouraging. The kids have to design a red carpet look, and then are surprised by having to design a street look.

The best part and the worst part is that the enjoyment comes from teenagers and parents. Mocking the teenager for breaking down in frustration when the producers surprise them with a twist is not nearly as fun as mocking an adult woman for hypocritically running to Tim when she feels a bit of adversity. On the other hand, the cattiness between Bradford and his mom is priceless. "I told you, I'm not a seamstress. I don't have time for that." "You don't have to be a seamstress. You just have to sew." I'd be lying if I said I couldn't relate more than a little to their back and forth.

That being said, I don't feel comfortable in critiquing the looks of teenagers who have gone on TV. Because, all of the looks have ideas that are lacking in execution, as to be expected from teenagers who are doing ONE DAY TWO-DRESS CHALLENGES!! And, apparently, the judges also don't like critiquing the designs in front of the designers, saving all their bitchiness for when the kids and their parents are safely in a green room. Not that the kids are too young to be critiqued, but because everything about this is cheap, knock-off and unfair.

I dunno, this isn't like laughing with the campy Lohanthony shaking his leg on Youtube calling "All You Basic Bitches." Or, mocking the self-made Lucas Cruikshank. Both of them were doing things their way, unlike this show where the kids are being manipulated by multi-millionaire producers for somebody else's gain. Threads feels more than a little sleazy compared to most kids game shows. But, maybe that's just me.

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