Project Runway’s Truancy Problem

By Drew Magary
|  Monday, Oct 19, 2009  |  Updated 10:53 AM PDT
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I’m a big fan of disliking things, and “Project Runway” is the perfect show for people who like to dislike things. Not only do you get to hate on the contestants, you also get to hate on the horrible, horrible outfits they often send down the runway. It’s a delight.

Best of all, until this new season came along, the show had two judges always on hand – designer Michael Kors and fashion editor Nina Garcia (be sure to use an overpronounced Spanish accent when you say it) – to perfectly express your disgust for the contestants and brutally crush their spirits. Kors and Garcia, when they are together, are haters on par with Silky Johnson.

Every jackass contestant on that show sends something down the runway and gushes about what they’ve done. “I’m am SO happy with my piece. When my model came out wearing it, I just SOARED!” Whatever. Your outfit blew, and Kors and Garcia will bring the thunder down on you for it.

But this season, Kors and Garcia have been practically MIA from the show, almost certainly as a result from the show’s move to Los Angeles. Previews show the two will be together for this week’s episode. But for the past several weeks, one or both have always been absent, with some sub filling the gap, usually an annoying lady with an English accent.

This will not stand. You listen to me, "Project Runway" people. You think you can take away my precious Nina and Michael and get away with it? You think you can just throw anyone in there, including possibly a bear, and have the show be the same? You think we didn’t notice? Well, we did. And they’re needed more than ever this season, given the uninspired challenges (Design something blue for Macy’s? Really? That’s exciting?), the general crumminess of the designs, and the need for someone to tell Irina that she’s a total shrew.

Garcia explained to the LA Times that work interfered with their ability to be there every week. Well, people at Marie Claire magazine, given that your in an industry that is DYING, perhaps it would be wise to allow Ms. Garcia more time to participate in a show that millions of people watch, so that they might hear of your magazine, which no one buys? I’m stunned, STUNNED, to learn that your industry is struggling in light of such bold decision-making.

The Internet is noticing these glaring absences, and is becoming less than pleased. It all seems so unnecessary, given that Lifetime pledged to keep the show exactly the same once they acquired the rights to air it. But they moved it to LA for no good reason, and now we don’t get two of the show’s main attractions on a weekly basis because of it. Knock it off, “Project Runway,” Or else I’ll send a smoking hot German lady to come and dismiss you in a very curt and unpleasant manner.

Drew Magary is a co-founder of Kissing Suzy Kolber, a writer for Blue Star and Deadspin, and author of Men With Balls, now in bookstores.

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