A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this popular reality contest includes scenes in which models are fitted into skimpy clothes. Designers drink and smoke and use mild profanity like "hell." The contestants are all motivated and creative, but they can also be two-faced and gossipy about their fellow competitors. Instead of focusing on the creative process, the show tends to highlight prima donna personalities and unprofessional behavior.
What's the story?
In PROJECT RUNWAY, more than a dozen designers -- ranging from instructors at fashion schools to small-time designers with their own businesses to very young recent grads -- compete in weekly design challenges. The finalists then create their own lines to present at New York's Fashion Week. The winner gets money, a magazine fashion spread, and other prizes. Hostess/executive producer Heidi Klum meets with the designers when their challenges are announced and on the runway when their pieces are judged by famous designers, magazine fashion editors, and other celebrity guests. Tim Gunn, head of the Parsons School for Design, is the liaison to the designers and guides them through their challenges.
Is it any good?
Watching the designers create their pieces in incredibly short amounts of time with small budgets -- and usually in the midst of hysteria a-- is awe-inspiring. Unfortunately, Project Runway doesn't really linger on the design process (sketching, selecting fabric and materials, cutting, pinning, measuring, sewing, detailing). Instead, the cameras tend to focus on the drama between the contestants' over-achieving, arrogant personalities as the designers scramble to finish their challenges (and cut each other down). Then viewers watch as the competitors' unique designs are displayed on the super-thin bodies of aspiring models. Is this what we want teens to be thinking is real?
It's easy to get sucked into this admittedly addictive show. For kids serious about design, it offers a peek into the nasty side of the fashion industry -- what's behind the glitz and glitter and bling. But beware: This show is a very slippery slope and hard to turn off once you start.
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For kids who love reality shows
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