Sunday, April 26, 2020

Should I PlagueWatch It?: Making the Cut

As many of you know, I've been a Project Runway fan for years. The show made Tim Gunn a household name and elevated Heidi Klum to perhaps an unprecedented level of international stardom. But in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal (Project Runway was in his portfolio -- recall Georgina Chapman's presence on the All-Stars seasons), they decided to leap to a new project. The result was Amazon Prime's own take on the fashion design challenge show Making the Cut, which just wrapped its first season (meanwhile, Karlie Kloss has made for a surprisingly strong Heidi replacement on the OG PR).

If you're a Project Runway loyalist, the show won't be anything too groundbreaking. The main differences are:

Ultimately, the show is entertaining but still groping a bit for its identity. Certain elements -- like having the judges come to preliminary decisions on eliminations but be open to changing their minds after "a conversation" -- felt forced (and rarely resulted in any changes). The focus on building a brand was harped on in rhetoric but wasn't always made clear in practice. And they had to replace all their catchphrases --  as an aside, how awkward must it be for Heidi that "goodbye" in German is now apparently off-limits for her? (Even sadder: no more "make it work" from Tim!).

On the other hand, the Heid and Tim segments were great, and Nicole Richie stood out as a really incisive judge -- so good on her.

Should you PlagueWatch it? If you like Project Runway, you'll definitely enjoy this show. But it offers nothing new for those who aren't already onboard. Think of it as the wealthier spin-off of Project Runway that it effectively is -- if that idea appeals to you, go for it. If not, skip.

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