Did you watch "Project Runway" last night? I did, but very late -- via TiVo -- and I was way too tired to absorb all the subtleties. Yesterday was another Trash Eve, and, though I'm down to the end of the amazing 20-years of junk, I still had to work to the limit of my (pathetic) physical capacity to get bags, recyclables, and large items out to the curb. This house project is the most difficult physical task I've ever undertaken. It's just absurd. But once started, it has to be done. And there is so much to do. I've had to put time into it every day, with Trash Eve day being the peak time of each week, the chance to move things out of the house.
And then there was another "American Idol" to get through -- 90 minutes of the damned thing, plus the necessary blogging. That was a slog of a different kind. So, I could barely watch "Project Runway," and I certainly couldn't blog about it. Anything you'd like to say about it? I'm going to have to watch it again to actually absorb it, but I'll just say:
• Santino became some sort of a tragic figure, but I can't remember exactly why, other than that he was a terribly ugly little boy. That one photograph! Yeeeshhh! I'm influenced here by how Jay McCarroll (on "Project Jay") psychoanalyzed Santino, and maybe the "Project Runway" editors themselves adopted Jay's characterization of Santino. We see Santino with his friend's family. The cute little daughter seems to love him a lot, so he can't be a monster, right? He tells us that whole monster thing he was doing is a big overcompensation for the poor little Santino inside.
• Oh, and Santino said he's read all the blogs about him! Did you read my blog, Santino?
• Chloe has seven sisters, and we see her at her family home, the walls of which are festooned with drawings and photos of the eight daughters. We learn that the family began in Laos, where they all endured a year -- or was it more? -- in family prison. In classic immigrant fashion, she doesn't dwell on the sufferings. She states the facts and moves on. Those facts speak for themselves. (Contrast the way Santino told his story -- American style, including the internal psychology, with pleas to feel for him.)
• Daniel is the one with the perfectly comfortable middle class American life with perfect parents. Notably, they are perfectly fine with the fact that he's gay. I guess we're not supposed to root for him!
• We see some of the designs they have done for Fashion Week, and this is edited to make us think Santino has the jump on the others. He's got a muddily colored billowy dress with a lot of ruffles over the abdominal area, which for some reason Tim gushes over. Chloe is made to feel all nervous because she does not work by sketching. So what? She has her methods that got her this far. Why view them as defective now? Daniel has some tightly constructed black-and-white jacket and another piece with elaborate folds in the back, but for some reason, we're supposed to think he hasn't gotten very far.
• Obviously, the editors are trying to manufacture suspense and direct our expectations. I should be better at predicting what this means about who will win. Am I supposed to think Santino is getting the "winner's edit"? I forget how that works. Don't they misdirect too?
• They spring a new task on them. They must make one more piece, which none of them is hot to do. It throws them back into the style of working that they had to put up with before they made it to the final three. It's so demeaning, but we need to wrest some good TV out of them. The best part is that it provides an opportunity to bring back all the old contestants. They file in. Did you have one that you loved the most and felt especially happy to see? For me, it's Daniel Franco. He's adorable!
• Santino, Chloe, and Daniel V. must each pick one of the eliminated contestants to work with on the final task. Daniel goes first, and I predict that he will pick Nick, and he does. Too obvious! Wouldn't you pick Nick if you went first? He's got skills, and he's a nice person. Santino is next and, as I predict, he picks Andrae. He uses his Tim Gunn voice to express his desire for Andrae. Now, Chloe must pick, and she really should pick Kara, because it's just bad that Kara has been overlooked up to this point, but Chloe goes with Diana, the sweet geek -- who left the show early on. It's nice to have her back. Santino was very mean to her, saying, behind her back, that he hated her voice. She's seen the show now and knows he said it. And we know from the reunion show that she was hurt.
• So now Diana's back, with her newly empowered voice, which I hope irritates the hell out of Santino and throws him off during the final task. Or will he actually become a good person somehow and redeem himself?
Well, I remembered more of the show than I thought I did. It's funny how writing draws things out of the recesses of the mind. What did I miss? What did I get wrong?
It's pouring snow now, here in Madison, Wisconsin. Not enough to cancel class again. It will take another 20 years before it snows that way again. My trash is looking better out there layered in white.