Why Are We Still Watching: "The Fashion Show"
Clearly, this is not the case in Green Bay. With rain, 50-degree weather and only peaks of sunshine, it seems this year good television left too early. What's left is re-runs, mediocre summer series (with the exception of "So You Think You Can Dance," natch) and bad remakes of show's we've already seen.
Which is probably why Channel Surfing bloggers Malavika Jagannathan and Sara Boyd are asking themselves, "Why are we still watching 'The Fashion Show'?" When we first heard of the show's arrival, we were already unsure if it could fill the big shoes of "Project Runway" -- who was on its way to Lifetime. Now, episodes later, we're still unsure but for some reason we just can't seem to stop watching.
Sara: I'll be the first to admit, as much as I didn't want to watch "The Fashion Show" (as I felt like it was a betrayal to my loyal "Project Runway" viewings) that show sucked me in anyway. Before I knew it, I was listening to Kelly Rowland tell designers to fix their 'tude and watching a man named Merlin wear what can only be described as chipmunk fur.
It's not nearly as good as "PR" -- perhaps because they don't have Papa Gunn "making it work" or Heidi Klum giving designers the Deutsch-style boot. But even so, there's something intriguing enough about this fashion show that I continue tuning in. I haven't gotten to a point where it's made my DVR list but thanks to Bravo's re-run style, it seems I'm always able to catch an episode. Perhaps my slight distaste for the show comes from the designers, who remind me more of "Top Design" drama than "PR" drama. Or perhaps it's because there's such an emphasis on everyday fashion, rather than "PR's" high fashion. Though, that's also quite apparent through the designers. It seems the level of sophistication isn't as strong, nor is the talent.
I do, however, have a few standouts that bring me back to the show. First of all, I love Reco. I know I shouldn't because he's a giant egomaniac but I do. And I know if I were a contestant, there's no way I'd like him -- but as an outsider, I find him hilarious. He's like a gay, bitchy Dave Chappelle -- or at least what I would imagine Dave Chappelle acting like if he was playing a queen. Also, I like Daniella's designs and Angel's designs but I cannot stand either of them personally. So there's that.
MJ, you've been a quasi-nay-sayer from the start. What keeps you watching this show?
Malavika: I wish I knew. Just last Thursday, when I tuned into the latest episode (read: shoe debacle) after the finale of the Spelling Bee (read: nerd), I had to ask myself why on earth I was still watching. Every fiber in my body screams "this is sacrilege!" and I want to maim, if not mutilate, more than half of the contestants. But I continue to watch -- and let me try to reason out why without repeating too much of what Sara has already said.
One, it's the summer and I don't want to be reduced to watching Lifetime movies like "Mother, May I Sleep With Danger," which I watched on Tuesday night out of sheer desperation. If you're wondering, the movie does feature a post-90210 Tori Spelling.
Two, it's a reality show but it doesn't totally suck. Sure, it's not "Project Runway" level of class, but it's not "Survivor." Most reality shows on Bravo, with a few exceptions, are well above the vomitricious level of most reality television.
Three. Well, I've run out of reasons. But here's what I like about the show. Many of the dresses featured last night were totally things I'd wear if I had money to shop and so I think the show fulfils one of its core promises: focussing on saleability of clothes. There's the usual contestant-upon-contestant drama, including last week's episode where the underwear designer who got kicked off this week stole an idea from another contestant, but as you can tell, I can only really remember three of four of their names (one being the vile Merlin and the other is the aforementioned gay-Dave Chapelle Reco).
I think the "quickfire" challenges add a nice speed element to the show that I'd argue is missing from "Project Runway," which tends to focus a lot of time on revealing the main challenge. Overall, the designers aren't terrible, even if they don't seem to be the same caliber as we're used to seeing on "PR."
Kelly Rowland's bland hosting skills and Merlin's over-the-top costumes alone should make me flee, but I simply can't quit now. Besides, what else am I going to watch?
"The Fashion Show" airs on Bravo on Thursdays at 9 p.m.
--Sara Boyd, firstname.lastname@example.org and Malavika Jagannathan, email@example.com