Monday, August 30, 2010

The Gunn Goes Off

Here's how it went down on "Project Runway" last week:

The designers were divided into two teams of six. Michael C, who inexplicably won the week previous, got to pick first. (And if I'm not mistaken, April, who lost, got to start the other team). Then each designer got to pick the next one until only little Peach was left. PTSD. And lo and behold, what have we here but teams evenly divided between the Underdogs and the Egos!

The challenge? Create a collection of 6 pieces which sport "on trend" looks for fall 2010. (MAB and I know all about that because at lunch time we look at Bazaar and Elle* so we can plan our shopping trips accordingly). The Gunn presents them with a board of two columns, one of looks and the other of fabrics. The Underdogs select "military" and "lace", the Egos go with "menswear" and "cashmere" (which they interpret as all things luxe).

The Underdogs waffle as they sketch, no one feeling compelled to step in and say something stirring like, "Come on, kids! My dad has a barn...let's put on a show!" Over on the Ego side, however, Saint Gretchen quickly steps in to lead, although she attempts to make it look like she's being collaborative. The Underdogs operate out of tentativeness and a little fear, the Egos are quite convinced, what with being God's gift to the design world and all, that they are going to create the most amazing clothes ever. Oh, and they are going with a different strategy than the Underdogs; the Egos are playing to all their strengths, so the drapers with drape and like that, everyone theoretically working on a little bit of each design. True collaboration. And aren't they just self-congratulatory about how well they are working together.

Well, with one exception. The only reason Michael C is on their team is because he got to pick first. But not a single one of them has the least respect for him and they are merciless in letting him know it. They make denigrating comments, Gretchen is constantly fussing over his work and inserting her critique and they are downright mean both to his face and behind his back. Ivy, it turns out, is a stone cold bitch. Hate her. Now, I don't think Michael C necessarily has the chops to make it to Bryant Park but seriously, the way they were treating him was reminiscent of the Tea Baggers and the President.

Over on the Underdog side a nice steaming dose of drama was introduced by Casanova, who cannot stand to hear "the bad words" from The Gunn and sure enough, when Tim tells heem that his look is the mother of the other looks, he spirals into a diva moment that makes my palms itch. His team mates spend entirely too much time trying to talk him in off the ledge but it is his model (moved both by Michael C and an intense interest in self-preservation) who says to heem za words that are of tha angeel and he snaps out of it and bangs out a pair of pants to freaking die for. So there's that.

The show is on. The Underdogs trot out great piece after great piece. I fell asleep during the snooze that was the show of the Egos. Seriously. What wasn't downright bad was boring as hell. The Underdogs are immediately declared the winners and the Egos are, to a person, crestfallen, distraught, numb with disbelief.

Then the fun starts. Before they must defend their work the Egos confab. Gretchen broaches the subject of "giving them a name", which is doused by all the other designers. They will, they decide, stand as one and are all Hands Across America and weepy when they finally do face the judges. The judges drill them, "Who was the weak link?" At first everyone is polite and supportive, trotting out the "we worked together" line. Under pressure though, Gretchen snaps. She goes from being "incredibly proud" of their efforts to calling it a "crappy collection". She back pedals so fast that she ends up in Chicago. And then she throws Michael C under the bus. Except, as Heidi reminds her, he has immunity. Then Ivy throws Michael C under the bus. Except, as Heidi reminds her, he has immunity. And it goes like that until Heidi is forced to tell them that MICHAEL C HAS IMMUNITY. AJ is the only one who cops to any personal failing (primarily because he made an indefensible shirt dress and it was pretty much all he did). OH, and just for fun, the only thing the judges liked much at all was a blouse by Michael C. HA!

The judges so have the number of all the Egos and Nina does a good Gretchen impersonation.

On the winning team, Diva Casanova is declared the winner (and he is remarkably modest about it). On the losing side, Michael C, who, btw, has immunity, is safe and in the green room tells the Underdogs, ever so tearfully, how mean the Egos were to him. To our delight, Gretchen is one of the bottom two, for having made most of the decisions which, the judges noted, were bad. AJ is there for the ill fitting shirtdress. And despite hoping against hope that Gretchen will go, it is AJ, the only one with a smitch of integrity, who is auf'ed.

The look that Michael C gave Gretchen when she came into the green room had pure death in it. But the best was yet to come. The Gunn came into the room for his obligatory, "Clean up your work space" speech but what we got instead was the best moment ever in the history of "Project Runway". Tim came in, impeccable and stern and said, with powerful disappointment and barely controlled anger, using all the inflection of a father who just caught his daughter and her boyfriend in the backseat of the Cadillac: "Sit down for a minute, AJ. I have a few words for Team Luxe. I fundamentally do not understand your behavior and demeanor and affect on the runway. I don't get it. I don't know why you allowed Gretchen to manipulate, control and bully you. I don't understand it. And AJ, you've taken the bullet and now I have to send you up to the workroom to clean up your space."

That moment, and the look on Gretchen's face in response, are why mommy needs a DVR. Could have watched it again and again.

* Oddly, we never find ourselves in possession of Marie Claire. Hmmmm.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Dtodd opined...

Perhaps AJ had some integrity but he went to that tired old standby excuse, which I hate, of "I lost because I wasn't true to myself!". Can't stand that one. Almost as bad as "The judges don't understand what I am doing", which is almost as bad as "I am an artist. I don't design for a commercial audience", which is almost as bad as , well you get the picture. Love the rare one who says "I lost because I did a lousy job".

August 30, 2010 9:32 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Well said, Dtodd.

August 30, 2010 10:44 AM  
Blogger Anne opined...

Another good round-up.

I had to scroll down for your footnote, because I was immediately wondering why you didn't mention Marie Claire.

Mommy does need a DVR woman, for goodness sake, get into the new millennium! How can you stand to live without one. Do you want a DVD of this episode just so you can rewatch that best Tim moment ever?

I'm glad you and Dan have met now.

August 30, 2010 1:54 PM  
Blogger jp opined...

Kind of glad I allowed my DVR to record this one. Because the only good thing about Gretchen getting to stay is the fact that we'll probably get to see another mother of all meltdowns. Soon, I hope.

August 30, 2010 3:32 PM  
Blogger Doralong opined...

The moment is even better the 4th or 5th time... Call DTV honey and get hooked up already!

August 31, 2010 3:14 PM  

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