Project Catwalk

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The only must-watch TV show in our house right now is Project Runway. (Well, and The Show and The Office Webisodes. Regularly-released-internet-video counts as TV, right?) In fact, while we were in Santa Fe, the only nod we made at all to the rest of the world's schedule was to hunt down a near-empty sports bar on Wednesday night at 8:00 MDT and convince them to change one of their big screen TVs to Bravo (stupid hotel limited-cable).

But even weekly episodes, Tim Gunn's blog, Tim Gunn's podcast, and Katy Gerdes' blog where she's still doing all of the challenges even though she was kicked off only satisfy the urge so much. So when I found Project Catwalk, the UK version of Project Runway, which has already done a full season, I figured that might be a nice time-filler between Wednesday night episodes.

And a time-filler is, I think, all it's going to be for us. One of the reasons I like Project Runway is that the designer/contestants have to be actually talented and actually able to make things. Project Catwalk spends an awful lot of time on personality issues. "Show us the dresses," I was shouting at the TV, which is not something I normally find myself saying. And Ben de Lisi is no Tim Gunn, that's for sure. "And I'm absolutely not here to do your work for you," he says to the whole group, and then next thing you know he's practically designing someone's dress for them.

There's also a significant difference in the presentation of the programs. Catwalk is narrated by the host, Elizabeth Hurley. Runway uses a lot more designer interviews to convey the same sort of information. The Runway technique is probably a lot more artificial (as the designers have to be pulled out of their working process in order to do those interviews, and are probably coached and prodded by the producers to get them to say what the producers need to shape the presentation of the show) but it feels more natural, to me anyway.