Pin It
Favorite

Remote Possibilities 

by LUKE BAUMGARTEN & r & & r & Project Runway & r & & r & (Bravo, Wednesdays 10pm) & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & R & lt;/span & eality shows inevitably begin to suck. It's like a law of the universe. No matter how great they are to begin with, they all suck by Season Four or Five. It's true of most things left in a vacuum, and there's a clear antecedent in history. You get a king on the throne who comes to power through some great military or political coup, and he's a hero. Five generations of unchecked dynastic power later, though, and your empire is a shambles. From Caesar Augustus to Nero in four moves. Game over.





Project Runway isn't quite at Nero levels of ineffectiveness yet, but it's close. (It's more like Emperor Claudius, for my ladies in the house with a love for Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire).





Historically my favorite contest-based reality show, for its sharp, lean, bitchy mix of attitude and design prowess, Project Runway -- Season Four -- feels all soft and flabby. Season One threw everything into a pot and the result, while unrefined, was fresh and creatively honest. It's been clear for the last two seasons that the producers are tinkering with the formula, looking for exactly the right cast chemistry to yield haute fashion but also haute tension. They choose some contestants for raw chops (Mychael Knight, Season Three; Daniel Vosovic, Season Two). They choose others for their sass and bravado -- occasionally finding someone with all those characteristics (Santino, Season Two).





This season, methinks they doth tinker too much. Christian is a fop who hasn't, in his young life, developed a strong personal style (other than aping the '80s at every turn). Victorya's an autocrat whose most creative flourish was taking one of the i's in her name and making it a y. Sweet P is so skittish she must have been abused as a child. Ricky's an idiot and Steven ... Steven just looks like French Stewart. A quarter of the way through the season, no designs have really leapt to the fore and -- with the exception of Eliza, who licks her designs and grass-stains her fabrics -- no personalities have, either. The result is a reality TV muumuu, formless and hard to look at.





In Episode Four, each designer was given a way-out-of-date fashion trend. The designers were then grouped in threes and told to combine and update the styles. What resulted was a train wreck: The only decent collection -- Jillian, Rami and Kevin's -- was pretty awesome, despite actually looking inspired by train conductors. They're the frontrunners, I guess; it's just hard to care.





TiVo-Worthy





ER


The show turned 300 last week. Yeah. 300 episodes. I stopped watching when Anthony Edwards' arm got chopped off by that helicopter rotor -- so, like, Episode 120? Out of curiosity about what could possibly be happening in Season 14, I went to the Website and was like, "Damn, what's Mekhi Phifer doing on there?... John Stamos?!" Guess it's been a while. Still it's as bland and formless as Season 8, and that's comforting. (NBC, Thursdays, 10 pm)





Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe


In a BBC Four series unavailable in most of the United States except through YouTube, the Guardian TV critic alternates between erudite examinations of TV form and screaming obscenities at the TV. It's awesome. (YouTube, any time)





Life


If you've slept on Life, the cop show that's as much about Buddhism as scofflaws -- featuring the brilliant Damian Lewis (of Band of Brothers) -- you have a month to catch up before new episodes stop airing (NBC.com, whenever).

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • An Eye for Every Storm
  • An Eye for Every Storm

    After losing out to Idaho Falls, Coeur d'Alene gets its crisis center; now the city has to prove it works
    • Feb 4, 2016
  • 'Evil Intent'
  • 'Evil Intent'

    Monique Cotton resigns from Spokane's parks division; plus, Washington state lawmakers take up the issue of police violence
    • Feb 4, 2016
  • The Macy's Plan
  • The Macy's Plan

    Council President Ben Stuckart doesn't just want to sit back and let the market decide what happens to the Macy's building
    • Feb 4, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
Treasure!

Treasure! @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through May 15

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Sacred Mt. Spokane

    Economic possibility is not a good enough reason to destroy the Spokane Tribe's holy land
    • Jan 14, 2016
  • White Men With Guns

    The illegal occupation in eastern Oregon is the epitome of white privilege
    • Jan 7, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

ELECTION 2016


Comment


Briefs


Marijuana


trail mix


Readers also liked…

  • The Last of the Herd
  • The Last of the Herd

    Idaho's fight over endangered caribou, property rights and the role of federal government.
    • Apr 25, 2012
  • The Meat Grinder
  • The Meat Grinder

    When the debt-collection machine comes for its pound of flesh
    • Jul 25, 2012

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation