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Friday, January 15, 2010

Bobby's Reality Check: A night of priorities

click to enlarge The guidos and guidettes needed a break from the JERSEY SHORE, so they drove south to Atlantic City ... still on the shore
  • The guidos and guidettes needed a break from the JERSEY SHORE, so they drove south to Atlantic City ... still on the shore

Last night was a night of choices, of realizing priorities at this crucial stage of my life. After quickly ruling out "The Real Housewives of Orange County" (and a sneak peak of the upcoming New York season), I was left to decide between "Jersey Shore," the surprisingly good "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew" and the debut of "Project Runway." Why do these networks have to torture us, filling up the rest of the week with re-runs of "Teen Mom" and stuffing all that is good into two hours on Thursday? While I've found myself newly obsessed with Heidi Fleiss's stretched skeletor face on "Celeb Rehab," it had just been too long since "Project Runway" was in New York, and I needed a Tim Gunn fix.

Pouring myself a glass of red wine Doing research for CL, I flipped over to the Lifetime for the debut of the seventh season. "Project Runway" had visibly suffered since moving to Lifetime, with a slew of stand-in guest judges for Michael Kors and Nina Gah-cee-uh, along with maternity-inspired and breast-cancer awareness challenges, but as the show opened up with the contestants entering Atlas, it felt like a well-needed homecoming. Like the halcyon days of Bravo again! What is a debut of "Project Runway" without Heidi (Klum) and Tim giving the new designers a champagne toast on the roof of the Atlas (though Heidi opted for sparkling cider since she's continually in a state of pregnancy). This was still Lifetime after all, so the show's intro, the workroom and even Tim's tie was bright pink.

It's always a struggle between who has actual designing talent and who is TV-ready on "Project Runway," and last night's stand-out personality Anthony Williams walks that fine line. Williams hails from Atlanta — you know, where we live! — and dreams of red carpet and pageant dresses, but any frequent PR watcher knows that pageant dresses are out. (Remember that overgrown leprechaun Kayne?) Anthony quipped, "It is hell being black, gay and in the ghet-to." We feel ya, Ant. On my third glass of wine Halfway through the show, while the other anorexic queens compared their low weights (don't you know, that's what alpha-males do to size up their competition in the jungle), Anthony just rolled his eyes. There's also Janeane who was in New York for the first time. Everything made her cry and she talked to herself in the confessional interviews. Thank god for Janeane who brought the alcoholic-like self-talking banter since I missed this week's "Intervention."

Typecasting is always found in reality shows, and we had the young and precocious upstarts; the washed-up, Avril Lavigne-copying Jeffrey Sebelia one; the African trying to make it in America's fashion industry; and the weird one (Ping). Though Ping wasn't as weird as Season 4's Elisa, there seems to be a common thread between being bat-shit crazy and draping the fabrics on your own body rather than a dress form. All the designers showed similar trendy designs (highly structured, precisely cut) except Ping, who works in physical therapy as a day job and understands movement. I'm not discounting Ping yet.

Nicole Richie was the guest judge, and they all had a little chat, and in the end it was Christiane from the Ivory Coast who got cut because of her poorly executed design (it's the worst to be the first out), just after Heidi snapped at Anthony to cut the dramatics and get off the stage. It's good to be back.

Just a skip away from Manhattan, needing a break from the demanding life at Seaside Heights, our favorite guidos and guidettes hightailed it to Atlantic City, better known as AC, on the "Jersey Shore." It reminds me of my first time to Atlantic City ... My roommate and I took the casino bus from New York's Penn Station to NJ for a fun getaway, much like our orange heroes and heroines. While the bus ride was only a few hours, the passengers ranged from the senile to the freaky, with quite a few men of differing races having unusually rainbow-died fur jackets. Which brings us to the word of last night's episode: diversity. Usually the shore is confined to Italian-Americans in all their glory, but last night Shnickers Snookie fell head-over heals for an Irish-American muscled farm boy and Prince Albert Pauly D was intrigued by exotic Israeli Danielle. Lesson to guidos: don't mess with Israeli girls. They have been trained with firearms from the time they were 18 and they will shoot a bullet through your gel-armored hair. Danielle eerily stalked Pauly D's "life." Though Pauly D won't admit it, he likes this different bird. But poor Shnooks, her life is one big cockblock: "We made out, but not sex," she said. "I don't know why." She also said, "I'm not trashy -- just when I'm drunk." I'm waiting for her future talk-show.

But last night was also about punching. The Situation. Smack dab in his face. When JWOWW punched the fat-faced guido in the jaw, it was like all of America collective slapped him ... if we all had acid green acrylic nails. Earlier in the night at dinner, when Shnooks asked for dinner rolls, the Sitch replied, "You already have some," referring to her luscious lady rolls. MTV tackled this issue of women's body issues and how boys just don't talk about girl's weight earlier in the week as well on the Real World: Suburban Wasteland DC when annoying Ty told annoying Callie she wasn't skinny enough to model in Playboy. Callie cried to her mom on the phone about the remark because it was true! But just like when Ronnie said he had been at the club since midnight and it was 4 a.m., and "five hours is enough," it was enough "Jersey Shore" for me.

This week I also stumbled upon "Let's Talk about Pep," staring one half of ’80s female rap pioneers Salt'n'Pepa. Pep (who had a off-putting nose job) hasn't had sex for four years and with her three girlfriends' help, she's ready on the hunt again for a "good man." But what all the old white male TV execs couldn't do trying to capitalize on "Sex and the City," Pep has done. Where "Cashmere Mafia" and "Lipstick Jungle" were trite hour-long dramas, Pep is a half-hour brunch with flashbacks to the girl's unusually sexy and funny dates that week. All the characters are exactly the same as SATC, but affluent and African-American! And of course Pep is the Carrie. We all want to be the Carrie ...

I end this post with a salute to Tabatha Coffey, whose ingenious "Salon Takeover" came to an end this week. She enriched my life this last season and made me realize the importance of a quality hair-cut. Check back next week for more on your favorite shows, including "Teen Mom," "Millionaire Matchmaker" and "Keeping Up with the Kardashians."

(Photo Courtesy Flickr)

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