January 6, 2006

I need a new reality show.

Now that the two "Apprentices" are over, I need a new reality show to while away the occasional evening hour. If I were in the Czech Republic, I could watch this reality show about gorillas:
Their every move is covered from a mobile studio, housed in a container outside the enclosure, where producers track and edit the action around the clock.

Highlights are shown twice every morning on the breakfast TV show, with further action available on cable. There is also live screening available online.

Viewers text in votes for their favourite animal - but the winner does not get to return to the jungle.

Instead, once the series is over, the gorilla with the most votes will receive 12 melons - a favourite fruit. It is also a play on words for the KCs11m (£256,055; 379,268 euros) prize for the rival human Big Brother show.
That's not much of a show! And those puns from other languages? Well, you'll just have to try to imagine people finding that entertaining.

Anyway, I've decided to become a fan of "Project Runway." I've watched three episodes of the new season, up through the lingerie episode, which made me cry! I'd become ridiculously attached to Daniel Franco. The show is extremely well done, with genuinely interesting and challenging tasks about designing, shopping for fabric, sewing, attaching these sewn things to the models, and verbally defending your work. The contestants come across as nicely individualized characters. As a character, Santino is better than Evil Jim of "Martha's Apprentice." It's fun reading the Television Without Pity recaps too. The recapper, Jeff, has a touching affection for the dorky Diana and a rage to reveal the meanest quotes that come out of Santino:
Emmett asks Santino what he wants on the bustier that he is making, and Santino says, "Just finish it." Elsewhere, in an interview, Santino says that he got "a sack of potatoes" when he chose Emmett to be on his team. He calls Emmett "dead weight." Just like this show isn't The Apprentice or Survivor and it's unnecessary to be all "strategy" and "alliances" and shit, I also wouldn't feel the need to clean the slate after every challenge. I'd be like, "You were rude to me on the runway. Do NOT fucking talk to me at the fabric store." I'd hold a grudge. But that's just me. Santino continues in his interview that, when he saw the look that Emmett was working on, it was incomplete and looked like a "Christmas elf's" outfit. We see Santino cover his eyes and just generally start to wig as Emmett tries to comfort him. Tim enters and tells everyone that it is time for everyone to leave for the day. Santino falls to the floor. Emmett, of course not realizing that Santino is talking all kinds of shit about him, says to Santino, "You are a very good designer. You have Nick and I [sic] dealing with it. We believed it from the first minute that we sat down together to talk about it. This is not the time to be second-guessing your vision." Nice little pep talk, huh? Santino still has his eyes covered. I wonder if he's trying to keep himself from telling Emmett that this is all his fault.
Ha ha. The comedy and drama are sublime!

UPDATE: So is the first season of the show available on DVD? Ah, yes! It is! I buy it immediately.


angieoh! said...

I too was a Daniel F fan and disappointed to see him go. I can't believe how gracious Emmet chose to be, far better than I would have been. Interesting show except for my one peeve - the Divine Heidi Klum is gorgeous yes but does she need that chirpy voice?

TidalPoet said...

I hear they are going to edit out her chirpy voice for a more seductive one next season.. (haha!)

The wife and I adore this show and the first season was also fantastic. The entire emotional breakdown while standing in front of a group of people just amazes me. Grow a spine!

Eric said...

When I read your first paragraph of this post, I thought, Oh, I am definitely going to recommend Project Runway. Perhaps I was the only person in the country on New Year's Eve flipping back and forth between the Project Runway marathon and the Giants/Oakland game.

I liked Santino at first, and I think he's very talented, but his lack of graciousness and maturity have become very grating. He's still the favorite to win, I think, followed by Nick. Naturally, I would prefer it if the sweet underdogs pulled it out -- Daniel V, or Diana. I'm not getting my hopes up.

(My word verification is "SKZHDB" -- didn't I once see that in a Don Martin cartoon?)

Eric Berlin

me said...

Dancing with the Stars, or the Ice Staking version on Fox :)

price said...

I love Marla is such a sad old lady! She's becoming my favorite character, just for her squirm-inducing sadness. It's completely brutal that the producers keep allowing her to stick around when her eyes say it all: please, please send me home.

PatCA said...

I like the real estate reality shows, like Flip this House on TLC and A&E!


Janet Rae Montgomery said...

Ann, if you start watching Project Runway you will join The Manolo who blogs about it weekly. It is his favorite show on the television, although the Manolo he spends the blog post picking apart the choices of the judges.

Jen Bradford said...

Marla's delusions are hard to take - again with the "wicketty-wak" trim, thinking that would make the black dress vividly her own. I thought it was a hoot when she finally finishes the ripoff dress, then tells the hair and make-up person to copy Diana: "do a variation of that". Oh brother.

I love Nick.

Adam said...

We also cover Project Runway on ALOTT5MA all the time.

It's got the highest level of talent + effort out of any of the Who Wants To Be The Next [X]? reality shows -- and anyone could go at any week.

knoxgirl said...


A girl I work with taped the first half of season 1 for me during a PR marathon and when she gave me the tape I think I watched like 5 episodes in a row, it's so addicting.

I think Season 2 is all about Nick. I adored his design for Barbie. I think Daniel V could be a dark horse too. His dress for Nicki Hilton was great.

(I'll be interested to hear what Ann thinks about Daniel F.'s performance in season 1!)

knoxgirl said...

oh, yeah, and when Diana got out on the dancefloor and quite unexpectedly started bumping and grinding and they started calling her "Dirty Diana".... well, THAT was a moment for Reality Show history, it was so funny.

(And season 1 has a great villain too!)

Robin said...

You've definitely got to check out Blogging Project Runway. It is an excellent site and I'm not just saying that because the author quoted one of my posts about the lingerie challenge! ;o) I, too, immediately ordered Season One on DVD after seeing the first couple of episodes. I was thinking, at the time that I could marathon it over my Christmas break. Alas, Amazon was unusually slow to deliver which made the wait for the new episode on January 4th all the more interminable. I can't believe I hadn't heard about this one last year, but better late than never.

brylin said...

American Idol begins its new season on January 17th.

JimK said...

Try "Beauty & The Geek." Not a bad little show for what it is.

miklos rosza said...

I can understand a low taste for reality shows. They can be appalling, voyeuristically amusing in a creepy way, but life is short.

Ann Althouse said...

Miklos: "I can understand a low taste for reality shows. They can be appalling, voyeuristically amusing in a creepy way, but life is short."

That's the way I feel about most of the prestige product coming out of Hollywood. When I just want to relax and watch something at night, I like a nice reality show. For one thing, there are actual people, not actors. I find that appealing -- and fun to talk/blog about.

Bob Mitze said...

Sorry to divert away from people oriented reality shows, but your first few lines about the gorilla reality show reminded me of a BBC event I saw when I lived in London. They planted over a dozen hidden cameras around the UK pointed at bird's nests that were due for egg hatching. During the course of 24 hours they would stick a five minute view of some nest somewhere with little bird beaks poking through and excited commentators describing the action. Sounds weird, but it was quite fascinating to have a 5 minute break in a detective show in order to watch a nuthatch hatch. They even got a stray family of badgers to take a bow.