Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Project Lifetime

I know I'm a little late in getting to the much-delayed and (to some) highly-anticipated Project Runway season premiere, but I guess it wasn't high on my to watch list (still haven't seen the All-Stars special). I was one of those people who said I wouldn't watch it on Lifetime, cause clearly the move signified a desire to lose all straight male viewers (yes, there are some of us), yet somehow, here I am. All I can say is I'm glad I have a DVR. I don't know what kind of commercials they were showing, but I never intend to find out.

The main thing everyone wanted to know going into the season is: would we notice the changes? What changes am I talking about? 3 biggies: 1. LA instead of New York. 2. Lifetime instead of Bravo. And the most worrisome of all: the team behind Real World producing instead of Magical Elves (who also do Top Chef). As for the answer: mixed bag. It still definitely felt like Project Runway. The same format, the same music, the same Tim Gunn. This was no Fashion Show level wannabe.

Yet I can't say it was quite the same. The LA switch didn't cause any major differences, but the whole thing felt just a little....brighter. And seeing that different Mood store was a little jarring. As for the producers, they've said they have no intention of fixing what isn't broken, and that we won't be seeing any hot tub confessionals. Yet I can't help but noting that half the cast seems to be 23, and the general level of attractiveness is higher than in the average season. So did they mix up audition tapes between PR and Real World? Hard to say.

Getting past all the changes, the premiere still did what all reality show premieres do: give us a first look at who the players are this season and let us start guessing who's going to come up on top. So far...I got nothing. I wasn't particularly impressed by anyone from the premiere. I doubt this week's winner will go the distance. Maybe the neurosurgeon will. I can't in any way tell apart the multiple anonymously attractive 23-year-old blond girls. And the third guy in the top 3 was the one who started crying 10 minutes into the show, so I'm already rooting for him to leave.

So...not a great start, but I was prepared for it to be much, much worse. And hey, at least there's no Blaynes this season. I got less of a vibe that everyone was just imitating people from seasons past than season 5 gave me, so maybe all the changes will give the show the fresh start it needs. I just wish they concentrated more on talent than looks when they were casting. Wow, I guess it really did go LA.

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