A gal at Chix with Stix is really into this “reality” show. I pooh-poohed it for a while, since I generally find reality shows icky. Most of them involve eating bugs, entrails, or dung, and if they don’t involve ingesting revolting substances, then the contestants either have to play very mean tricks on one another or jump from great heights. In addition to being a nice person who eats ordinary food, I am acrophobic, so I guess you can see why the usual run of reality shows is not my main TV fodder.
I asked my Chix friend why she liked Project Runway. Turns out, she was a theater major in college and worked mainly in costume design, so she really enjoys that aspect of it. Also, she told me, it shows more of the real aspects of being involved in the design industry, as she interprets it – short deadlines, projects you don’t really have any interest in, stupid or strange models, financial limitations, rivalries, and lots and lots and lots of sewing.
I’m not good at sewing. Well, I might be good at sewing, but I do not care for ironing, and all the seamstresses, tailors, and home ec. classes I’ve ever known or been involved in or with insist that ironing is even more essential than setting stitches. So, I steer clear of it. I do admire people who sew well and with confidence, but I don’t want to be one of them.
So, after listening to and sometimes tuning out my friend at Chix, I finally gave in last week and watched Project Runway. Now I’m hooked. I got my husband hooked, too. He actually does sew, although he would probably not admit to it in front of a group of men. He sews better than I do, which isn’t saying much.
I think he just thought he was being magnanimous with the remote control at first on a Saturday afternoon. After all, he does watch an awful whole lot of bang-clang men’s TV – you know the stuff, Do It Yourself shows with power tools, This Old Ramshackle House Owned By People With Far More Money Than Sense, History’s Biggest Mechanical Items, Dirty Jobs (which always seem to involve machinery), that kind of guy stuff. So, we tuned into Project Runway.
We laughed, we were amazed at some of the creativity and vision, we were appalled at some of the dreadful items produced and paraded down the runway, we listened to critiques from the fashion gurus, and we chose favorites and least favorites. Neither of us cares for the very affected female host, who really needs to lose touch with her inner Hooker, but we like the design house overlord (or whatever the heck he is) who comes in and tells people, as politely as he can, that their work is either boring, crap, or boring crap. He is also quick to hand out praise and to admit that even if he doesn’t like something, it is in style and could sell well. Good management, I think.
Anyway, last night, there we were, a middle-aged Midwestern couple, sitting around in our comfies, watching the high fashion wannabees sew, iron, and strut their stuff. During commercials, we talked about what had just happened, and I said to my husband, “who’d have thought we’d wind up enjoying this show so much?” He got me right smack dab in the funny bone when he said, “Where else am I going to see three men sitting at sewing machines, bitching about pushy women?”
He’s got a point. It's always the human drama and foibles that are the attraction in TV shows. Plot, settings, fashions, props may vary, but the value in any show, let alone reality shows, has to do with the quality of human interactions and perceptions. So, press on, PR, for as long as it works.