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Kill Your TV: Project Runway: Junior 

Wednesday, Dec 9 2015

Have you ever seen model Hannah Davis, the host of Project Runway: Junior? She is engaged to Derek Jeter, although I'm sure whatever snickering that causes is along the lines of, "She is so out of his league." (Get it? League!)

Good God, this woman is hot. Vapid and distant, but hot. Yes, she performs better in front of the camera than Cindy Crawford did on House of Style, but then again, so would a slime mold. Davis, the Sports Illustrated model who basically let the world peek at her (shaved) bush as she pulled down her bikini bottom, is goddamn beautiful. I cannot stop staring at her body, and I am — heretofore, anyway — a straight woman.

The question is, Why does Project Runway keep thinking that any offshoot has to have some straight-male eye candy? (As if any straight man watches this show? No.) Lifetime has made many mistakes in this franchise. However, in Junior, it has finally created a Project Runway spinoff that doesn't suck — huzzah! (Threads sucked, Project Accessory sucked, and Under The Gunn sucked.) Project Runway: Junior is good because it's basically a straight copy of the original. I'd like to say that I would be in favor of anything starring Tim Gunn but dang, Tim Gunn's Guide to Style sucked too. D'oh!

But enough with the negativity. In a world where subpar reality television rules, one must champion Project Runway. This show is what reality TV was created for: competition, the slow whittling away of cast members, and beauty. Yes, beauty. Because Project Runway is the only reality TV show to champion creativity that has survived for 14 seasons. It needed a kick-start, however. All reality TV does, as it slouches towards the Bethlehem of its Lifetime.

The answer seems to be little kids. This, gentle reader, is the shark-jumping of reality TV. Like Cousin Oliver on The Brady Bunch, or Nicky and Alex Katsopolis on Full House, reality television has dialed up the cute factor to resuscitate something with dwindling numbers. The sad thing is, it works. I loved The Brady Bunch after the producers brought Oliver on, some 10 years before my actual birth. But that shit persevered, people, and I love Project Runway: Junior. Bring on The Apprentice: Junior and The Bachelor: Junior. (Oh good God yes, please — please! — bring us The Bachelor: Junior.)

Who knew that little kids could be so talented? Gordon Ramsay did, who started the trend with MasterChef Junior. I don't trust those little kids on MasterChef. They have got to be coached, and certainly someone is styling them. No little kid has a sense of fashion like that.

Overall, though, I'm sincerely shocked at how talented people under 20 can be. Tim Gunn hasn't yet had to comment, "This looks like student work" on PR: Jr, even though the youngest kid on the show is 13. Ignoring for a moment the casting of dullard Christian Siriano and the aforementioned Davis, it's the only show I look forward to watching each week.

Still, the bell tolls for thee, reality TV. When Fonzie strapped on those water skis and literally jumped a shark, the writing was on the wall. Hell, when Mork showed up, it was on the wall. The water sports were a sad coda.

So what is next? In the short term, I predict a ton of Junior-everything. And I'm down for it. But beyond that, I have no idea what's on the horizon. We have always had some sort of reality show on television, beginning with game shows like Queen For A Day. The Loud Family was PBS' version of The Real World. We have always wanted to peer into the lives of others. I have faith in the powers of production. Make it work, Lifetime.

About The Author

Katy St. Clair


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