Project Runway: The Straight Guy Perspective (Episode Three Recaplet)

by Andrew Osborne

So, did I mention why I’m doing these recaps?  Here’s the back story:  the A.V. Club was looking for T.V. writers for the Fall 2012 season, and I apparently made the finals but didn’t quite snag a gig.  But the powers-that-be said they’d be looking for writers again at the end of the year, so I thought I should generate some fresh, teevee-centric writing samples in the meantime.

I mention this only because if I had gotten the gig and the A.V. Club had assigned me to cover Project Runway for reals, I would be able to swap out with a guest recapper if, say, I knew I was going to be away from my regular viewing environment getting blind-ass drunk with my in-laws.

As a lone wolf blogger with barely any readers, however, a guest recapper wasn’t really an option this week.  So what follows is more of a recaplet than a full recap, pieced together from hastily scrawled, barely legible notes after drinking an unspecified number of my brother-in-law’s deadly (and possibly Rohypnol-laced) martinis while watching Episode Three live (with no TiVo-delay) surrounded by rabid PR fans in a tiny, stylish cabin in Maine.

Okay, so my first note reads:  “…nobody knows how to find the remote.  My in-laws just changed it to static…aaaaaajh!!!”

Hmm.

But apparently, the technological issues were eventually settled, because my next note indicates that somebody (Tim?  Heidi?) said the Episode Three All-Star Team Wave challenge was about “empathy for what you’re experiencing!”  (Though, unfortunately, that experience mainly consists of Lexus product placement.)

Upon learning of the team aspect of the challenge, “I don’t like to work with anyone” is the unsurprising sentiment from a designer identified only as “East Europe” in my notes (which means either the girl with the dragon tattoo or Belarusian Eeyore).

But, like it or not, working together in duos to create Lexus-y looks for past designers is precisely what’s on the menu as Buffi and Elena get thrown together in a hilariously yin-yang, Ernie-and-Bert pairing to design something for Season 3’s Laura Bennet.  And Gunnar and Kooan get each other, in a nightmare pairing of Lovecraft-ian horror inflicted on Irina from Season 6.  Meanwhile, Dmitry and Melissa get Season 8’s April, which should go well (no, seriously!), Alicia and Raul get Mila from Season 7, Christopher and the Katz Lady get Anya (last season’s “winner”), Nathan and Sonjia get Valerie (who I don’t recognize at all and may just be some passing pedestrian Tim grabbed), and the ever delightful Kenley Collins winds up with Fabio and Ven (who surprisingly claims he’s 28, though I would have bet he was more like 52).

Oh, and guess what?  The winner of this week’s challenge gets to go to the Emmys, which Buffi thinks is just mega mega mega!

Then it’s back to the work room, where everyone gets along like gangbusters!

Heh-heh, just kidding:  Kooan kinda hates Gunnar (which kinda makes me like the weird Asian muppet more than I want to).  Elena’s annoyed with Buffi.  Buffi’s annoyed with pleating.  And, according to my notes, there’s also friction between “Lesbian and Hair Strip on Forehead” (which I’m guessing means Alicia and Raul).

Ven’s not too impressed with his partner, either…perhaps because the Samoan Guyanan wasn’t paired with somebody awesome like, y’know, Ven.

Tim makes the rounds and pretends to be surprised that the nightmare match-up of Gunnar and Kooan have created something vulgar.  (Though, personally, I’m just glad it’s not contagious.)

Glancing around the workroom, Buffi makes her own assessment and thinks Team Goth will probably walk away with the runway prize, and I can’t say I disagree.  Meanwhile, Alicia and someone identified in my notes as “Hair Ick Forehead” are probably heading for the loser’s circle, with a look Mila describes as “too daytime” (whatever that means).

Then suddenly, sad music begins to play and something happens, at which point my notes only say:  “What’s going on?  What is this drama?

Drama.”

Hmm.  Unfortunately, my memories of the middle chunk of the show are just as hazy as my notes in terms of what the aforementioned drama may have been, though I do seem to recall something about Elena freaking out when her partner has the audacity to stop for a meal break (prompting Christopher to snark, “Elena escaped from the woods.  She’s from the Ukraine.  The weak ones don’t survive”).

So, rather than attempting to reconstruct everything that happened from cryptic scribbles like “Oldie doesn’t know how to sew,” “Adorrrrable,” and “Pewter!” –- let’s just skip to the runway, where Heidi must be so frickin’ sick of that part of Michael Kors’s contract that forces her to describe him as the CFA Lifetime Award-Winning blah-blah-blah in her introduction every goddamn week.

And speaking of irritating introductions, it also seems unfair for the awesome Krysten Ritter to be described as the star of the terrible sitcom Don’t Trust the Coyly Deleted Swear Word in Apartment 23 when all right-thinking people will always think of her as the evil girlfriend who threw up in her own mouth a little bit on Breaking Bad.

As for the runway show itself, I vaguely recall a bunch of bulky outfits in drab, Lexus-y colors, but I’ll have to defer to my wife’s comments for specifics:

Laura, as dressed by Elena and Buffi:  “Kinda heavy.”

Anya, as dressed by Chris and the Katz Lady:  “I hate that slit.”

Kenley, as dressed by Fabio and Ven:  “I would wear that.”

April, as dressed by Team Goth:  “I like that.”

Mila, as dressed by Team Icky Hair Strand:  “I just wanna cut that thing off his forehead!”  (Oh, wait, sorry, that was my wife’s Uncle Peter talking about Raul.  My wife’s actual comment on the dress was, “Kind of a bridesmaid’s gown.”)

I see no record in my notes of a reaction to Irina’s look by Team Horrible, which is probably for the best.  And that brings us to…

Valerie, as dressed by Sonjia and Nathan:  according to my wife:  “That’s not a good dress for her.”

Fabio, Ven and Team Horrible wind up on top, Christopher, Katz Lady and Team Greasy Strand wind up on the bottom, and everyone else is happily safe in the middle…except for Elena, who’s angry.  Sooo angry!

But not as angry as Christopher, who’s mortified to be associated with the Katz Lady’s frumpy brown poop dress and desperately throws his teammate under the bus, backs over her, climbs into another bus and then backs over her again.

The Katz Lady’s response?  “I’m just happy to be here.”  Thanks, Ringo.

In the end, though, both Chris and Mama Katz squeak through as Ven wins and Raul and his silly hair get the boot, much to everyone’s surprise…especially Raul’s.

But then, the next morning, the designers wake up to discover THE KATZ LADY IS GONE!!!  So maybe we haven’t seen the last of Icky Strand after all…to be continued!

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