Archive for the ‘Project Runway’ Category

REVIEW: ‘Project Runway Season 4’ DVD is a go during limbo

November 7, 2008

These aren’t the best of times for one of my favorite shows, Project Runway. Though its Season 6 production is well underway, some litigation has the series in limbo, dangling between Bravo and its alleged new home of Lifetime. But at least there’s a new DVD for Season 4, right, following hard on the heels of a satisfying Season 5 finale? And Season 4 produced the best Runway winner yet in Christian Siriano.

The only trouble is, if you’ve already seen the season in its entirety, as I have, you don’t get much more on these DVDS. They promise extra footage, but it’s incorporated into the episodes, so you have to watch the entire season from start to finish to pick up a few loose minutes, here and there. Ideally, the new clips also would be available separately on a single take, via the menu. But no such luck.

Beyond that, there’s a brief — under six-minute — “Where are they now?” featurette on Siriano, only it doesn’t live up to that title. Mostly it’s clips from the season you’ve already seen mixed with interview shots of Siriano talking about that season. Where is he now? Well, he’s done Ugly Betty and he’s busy in the design world, but you really don’t get much of that here.

Now, it’s true that this was one of the most entertaining seasons yet, and it’s certainly well worth preserving on DVD in full-season box sets. If only more shows did that — heck, make that all shows. One of my favorite shows ever, Rock Star INXS, came out with a season-highlights DVD, but the show was so good that I’d have cherished having the whole thing. So at least Runway delivers in that regard.

But really, with so much happening — so many characters (designers), so much dazzle, so much good and bad fashion, so many fun guest judges — you’d think this show would lend itself to more extra features.

How about an interview or profile featuring Tim Gunn? (We really don’t need to know much more about the overexposed Heidi Klum.) How about a day in the life of the judges? How about a behind-the-scenes look at the runway shows produced for each episode’s end? How about ways in which Runway influences fashion — a clear barometer of TV success since the impact of Sex and the City?

Yes, so many possibilities — and so few extras.

There. Enough carping about one of my favorite shows — and one which I’ve appreciated since day one. I remember when a clueless TV anchor in Houston, during the inane happy-talk blather to introduce a feature on Runway winner Chloe Dao of Houston, labeled the show as a “guilty pleasure.” What an idiot! Who needs to feel guilty about a reality show which does, in fact, demonstrate a demanding process and is more about the goal — the designs — than mere personality conflicts and other such nonsense. Project Runway is no guilty pleasure but a quality show. Let’s just hope all the legal wrangling doesn’t keep it in limbo indefinitely.