Lifetime tries again to find Project Runway’s soul

After the limp and unmemorable sixth season of Project Runway that concluded last fall, Lifetime tries again. Season six proved Lifetime and Bunim-Murray can get the look and feel down, but can they find the show’s soul, the part that makes it more than just a visual experience?

For the first time in its history, the designers, their creations, and Tim Gunn will be shot and broadcast in high definition. But HD won’t mean much if the 16 designers don’t bring talent and personality, and the challenges don’t challenge them, and the judges–Michael and Nina judge the whole season–don’t just seem to be going through the motions.

Marketing for the new season seems to be along the lines of, “Oops! Screwed that one up. But now we’re back, baby!” It emphasizes the return to New York, which is definitely one step in the right direction. In one promo, the announcer says the new season has “unprecedented talent, unthinkable challenges, and the most memorable designers we’ve ever met.” At least the bar wasn’t set too high by last season.

The marketing isn’t above lying a little, either. In a promo about Michael Kors return, the YouTube video’s description says, “You’ve asked for it and we’ve listened, Michael Kors is back for every episode.” That suggests viewer response to his absence last season brought him back, but in reality, season seven filmed before anyone watched season six. Nice try.

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.

Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.