In addition to fabulous fashion and delicious drama, this pioneer in Reality-TV-Land provides valuable "real life" lessons weekly.
by Amanda Louise Miller, grad student (who procrastinates doing her homework via reality television more times than she should probably admit on the interwebs)
Ok, yes. It's true: I love reality TV.
Even the really horrible kind. (Think Tila Tequila or Honey Boo Boo -- or, even better yet, think of them in a mashup, just for fun...)
But, even more than those train wrecks, I particularly love a certain breed of reality TV show. A breed I'm calling the "Creative Contest" (or CC for short).
Top Chef, Platinum Hit, and Shear Genius are/were all examples of the CC genre - a televised competition in which people have to make artsy stuff--and make it better than everybody else--to win a fabulous prize package from some liberally-mentioned company like Kenmore, Sony, or Loreal-Paris.
At their best, CCs combine all the cattiness, drama, and beautiful people of a Real Housewives episode with the intriguing behind-the-scenes-of-the-creative-process-ness of Inside the Actor's Studio. At their worst, they're America's Next Top Model...which is still pretty damn entertaining.
(Wanna play a fun drinking game? Watch an episode of ANTM, and drink every time Tyra turns the conversation back to herself.)
But, of course, the veritable granddaddy of all CCs is my personal favorite: Project Runway.
- amazing (and at times, borderline-nutjob) creative work...
- personal drama...
- And, most importantly...
I'm serious: Everything one needs to know about art (and life) has probably already been summed up in a pithy soundbyte by someone on this show, usually Tim-Gunn-the-Amazing himself.
You can find a great article on this very topic, written by the friend of a former contestant, HERE, but here are my personal favorite "Top Ten Project Runway 'Isms' for a Happy and Creative Life":
Number 10: "OK bitches - let's go! We've got to find out what our next challenge is." - Christian Siriano, Season 4 Contestant
PS. I want to get a recording of Christian saying this and use it as my alarm clock ringtone!
Number 8: “Simple dresses are hard to make. You can’t hide your mistakes behind the ruffles and drapes and details.” -Dmitiry Sholokhov (Season 10 Contestant -- #teamdmitry)
5. “When you’re expressing yourself, the joy and the love has to come through - not the anger. Because that’s what people are going to buy.” --Anna Sui (Season 10 Guest Judge)
Number 3: "We are fabulous. We don't have to meet anyone fabulous." - Tim Gunn
Number 2: "Go Go Go!" - Tim Gunn
and, of course...