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Green Bay Press-Gazette

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Want Drama? Style? Talent? Watch "Project Runway"

With no end in sight for the writers strike, reality TV is a surefire option to those no-new-episode blues. Be strong, remember Nancy Reagan and "just say no" to catching up on "Making Menudo" because there's hope yet. "Project Runway" returns to television on Wednesday.

Subject matter aside, "Runway" has all the trappings of a great reality show. Ambitious competitors? Check. Brutally impossible challenges? Check. A ridiculously perfect hosting duo? Check. In its four seasons, it's taken a simple concept - 15 contestants, one prize - and brilliantly executed it that even the least fashion savvy among us marvel at a couture dress made out of Coke cans. (Don't try that at home, kids, unless you've updated your tetanus shot). The show also rewards the talented, so you don't have to feel too dirty about watching week after week as host Heidi Klum sends another contestant home with a kiss on the cheek and a swift "auf wiedersehen."

This season looks promising, at least based on the contestant bios on the P.R. Web site and some early chatter on the Internet like this MSNBC article about their higher level of experience (translation: bigger egos, better catfights). Guess we'll have to wait to see who'll be this season's Santino Rice, but judging solely on the leopard print shirt and neon green tie in his mugshot, my money's on Chris.

"Runway" fans are already counting down the hours until we can hear fashion-mentor/godfather-figure Tim Gunn say those magical words ("Make it work"). But if you're a first-timer, go in with an open mind. "Runway" is not just about style - it's got substance, drama and heart.

"Project Runway" Season 4 premieres Wednesday on Bravo at 9 p.m.

-- Malavika Jagannathan,

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