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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Will Bravo's "Fashion Show" give us our "Runway" fix?

Should we be offended that Bravo isn't trying harder to conceal the fact that its newest competition show "Fashion Show" is basically the designer knockoff to its now ex-flagship "Project Runway?" The show, slated to premiere tonight, pits aspiring fashion designers against each other for the chance to break out in the fashion world with hosts Kelly Rowland (of Destiny's Child fame -- we kid you not) and designer Isaac Mizrahi as the Heidi Klum/Tim Gunn duo in charge.

But Bravo insists that "Fashion Show" isn't just "Runway" lite. The show will feature a short challenge at the beginning of each episode, much like the quickfire challenges in "Top Chef," and a live studio audience will weigh in on each judging decision. With "Project Runway" moving to Lifetime and a summer's wait before the first episode airs in August, "Fashion Show" could fill the void of sewing-slash-bitching-slash-Papa-Gunn that we love, but is it a reason to watch or just treason?

"Project Runway" fans Malavika Jagannathan and Sara Boyd take you down a pro-con list of why you should or shouldn't watch this runway ripoff.

Why You Should Watch

1. Aug. 20 -- the current date for "Project Runway"'s premiere on Lifetime -- seems a lifetime away.
2. Fashion + egos + gays = We're there.
3. The idea of a "Top Chef"-esque quickfire challenge sure whets our appetite.
4. Isaac Mizrahi is like Papa Gunn except more judgmental and cattier-- who doesn't love that?
5. The winning designs each week will be on sale on the Bravo Web site, which means even more audience/fan interaction.
6. The contestants, at least based on bios and a preview, seem similar to the types we've seen on "Runway" before. As long as there's a Christian to every Kenley, we're happy to watch them!

Why You Shouldn't Tune In

1. It's not "Project Runway."
2. Remember the CW show "Stylista?" Yeah, probably not because "PR" ripoffs are never successful.
3. When did Kelly Rowland become a fashion icon? Couldn't they at least get another model-turned-fashionista to play the Heidi role?
4. Everyone knows the public has no fashion sense. Involving a "live studio audience" to weigh in on the judging is a bad call -- who wants to hear what Joe Blow thinks when he's watching the show in coveralls, black socks and flip flops?
5. Mizrahi has been quoted as saying that the show's "drama" separates it from "Project Runway," so this could be like "The Apprentice" with sewing machines.

"Fashion Show" airs tonight at 9 p.m. on Bravo. Watch, then come back and tell us what you think -- are they in or are they out?

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Drama's right. Looks like they made it a requirement for the casting call rather than, oh, design talent. The one thing I like and respect about PR is that it isn't contrived (minus the product placement, that is). There is drama, but it's genuine, somewhat normal people reacting to being in a vaccum. Not characters looking to get 15 seconds in the spotlight.

My verdict on FS is thumbs down.

Sadly, I don't know if that will keep me from watching it because I'm such a tool for PR, and will take anything remotely close to it.

By Blogger Ms. Quarter, At May 11, 2009 at 8:55 AM  

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