E: Ah, Project Runway and Models of the Runway. What a sterling season it’s been. How will I ever live without you? Whatever will I do?
Its seems I’m going to have to find something else to ETV about, because this is the end of PR’s dreaded, dreadful season 6 and lackluster side kick show, and Grey’s Anatomy shoved the entire holiday season into one episode starting with Thanksgiving and ending with New Years Eve. No new episodes until January! Yikes!
I’m thinking maybe a mystery duo of Bones and The Mentalist, what do you say?
Meanwhile, click below for the last discussion of any of these shows we’re getting until 2010.
In honor of the Grey’s Anatomy writing staff, today’s recaps will take a different tack – they’ll be less recappy and more discursive – much more impressionistic than precise.
Grey’s Anatomy – “Holidaze”: On the writer’s blog, Greyswriters.com, we’ve been told that this season the staff has decided to shake the episode formats up – not that we needed telling. Well, this episode was a more normal Greys in many sense, other than the odd decision for it to span 6 weeks. I’m honestly not sure the entire first season spanned 6 weeks. Seriously, look back into it. It was amazingly compressed. And that was kind of awesome. I don’t know how I feel about them losing all this time. I think they tried to cram way too much into one episode, with not enough happening on too many fronts to make it plausible. No Mercy Westers (except one deliciously juvenile scene with a jealous Jackson), no mention of holiday-crazy Izzie and her work and marriage issues. I mean, they drop a bomb like Mark having a kid, who is not much younger than Lexie, who doesn’t just want a relationship, she needs a place to live, and we get what, 4 little scenes about it? That should have carried a whole episode on it’s own! Think of the emotional impact it could have had if we’d gotten more than one snitty line from daughter Sloan (long after she appeared looking hopeful) to prepare us for the fact that she was damaged and putting up an emotional wall? Not to mention the bombshell that she put up said wall not because she was abandoned by her father, but because she’s pregnant?
BTW, if you were a teenager whose boyfriend, upon finding out you were pregnant, gave you a couple hundred dollars to get an abortion and skipped town, how likely do you think you’d be to name the baby after him? Assuming you’re not a Bella Swan, of course.
Speaking of Twilight (as one must), I really liked the main patient plot. Hayley collapses in the middle of a very promising 4th date and Teddy has to take out her heart. “Like a vampire?” asks the bewildered date. Which, huh? I mean, I get that she’s pale and has no heart-beat, which is neat and freaky and yes, vampirish, but having no heart isn’t part of the mythology. Trying to tap into that market a little too thickly, no? At any rate, the story was a nice one. I especially loved the moment where Teddy, Jackson and a disapproving Cristina rolled her out so she could see snow. I also adored Teddy’s glowing story about Owen faking snow for the troops in Iraq and the jealous Jackson snarks “”Oh Hunt. Hunt’s so delicious when he’s tending the bloody soliders. Love me some Hunt.” Hee hee! I had to rewind that a few times. If you’ve only got one real line all episode, that’s the way to milk it! And what a completely gorgeous image that was, as Hayley stood, arms opened wide, and received a joyful gift from the universe? Before she collapsed from a dead bowel, anyway, which necessitated Bailey getting all creative and repairing her under on a local anesthetic (since she was too weak to survive putting under). Later, Bailey catches hell from her Dad for mentioning said bowel over Derek and Meredith’s Christmas dinner. As if you could gross out a table full of surgeons just by mentioning a bowel? Oh please.
And I liked the little Nicholas’s plot, as well, even though that was much more about the doctor’s reacting to it and not about him or his family. They used to be so good about compressing patient personality into a very few lines of dialog! Okay, maybe you used a lot of cliches, but they were so enjoyably vivid! Whatever happened to that skill, writers? I can certainly imagine my way into what his parents might be feeling – I do have a son around the same age, and to be told that his nose bleeds were a brain condition that first, would require surgery to save his life, and then was inoperable because no instruments existing were small enough? That’s enough to make my whole body start shaking in sympathy. But it’s important for them to find ways of making their families particular, so that it’s not just our imaginations showing us their grief and inner struggle, it’s the actors and the writing. Usually this show is better at that, but not lately. But what an adorable moment we got when the Chief told Mark and Derek he couldn’t fund their tiny instrument experimentation anymore, and Derek offers to pay for it out of his Christmas bonus. We’re not getting any bonuses, are we, he says into Richard’s glare. He and Arizona volunteer to come up with the money out of pocket, and wait pointedly for Mark to join them. “I have a teenager!” he says, by way of excuse, “maybe she wants to go to college.” “Have you met her?” Arizona wants to know. “I’m in,” he groans, taking the point.
It turns out that a big part of the plot was a producer and writer of this episode justifying her own impending divorce. I know you’re supposed to write what you know, but that makes me a little ill. I mean, I’ve read this woman blogging about her pregnancy and happy love life, first of all, so this all makes me really sad, and – as far as the show goes – I also kind of agree with Bailey’s Dad. I agree with her that the surgeries she performs are “God’s work”, that they’re wonderful and laudable and miraculous, but why get married if you can’t also devote time to your family? If, when times get tough, you’ll just work more because at least that’s still satisfying, and abandon that which isn’t going so well? She didn’t make time for her family when the chips were down. And no, I don’t think Tucker’s ultimatums were a good idea, but it doesn’t make me respect her, either. And I love Bailey, so that hurts.
I suppose they gave Bailey a divorce so she wouldn’t be perfect, but you know, I just feel like Bailey is too smart and too upstanding to never be able to set boundaries between her work life and her family. And hearing her saying she’d outgrown her marriage? Uck. That’s the part that really hurts. I don’t see her being such a coward that she can’t tell her parents, either. I guess it’s easier to talk the talk than walk the walk, which must be what the writers think is consistent (and we’ve certainly seen that she doesn’t like messy emotional entanglements and tries to avoid them). I guess it’s also easier to use your characters to make yourself feel better about a crappy situation and a potentially crappy decision. Sorry, I know, judgmental. IT was brave of the writer to put it out there on her blog that those words were for herself. I’m just not comfortable responding to that with the expected “you go, girl!”. It’s just too – obvious, what the writer’s trying to do, that’s she’s feeling judged (if only by herself) and wants to make it sound like some sort of triumphal thing instead of what it is.
Um. Sorry about that. Least favorite part of the episode.
Here’s a nice tidbit gleaned from the writer’s blog: it’s Sara Ramirez, the actress who plays Callie, singing Silent Night during Christmas dinner. Too bad we didn’t get to just listen to that and not the dialog! Anyway.
The stuff about the Chief’s alcoholism, and Meredith protecting him, is an enormously rich plotline. You can see it’s all going to go somewhere big an awful, and I’m not sure I get Meredith protecting him, and I know Derek isn’t going to, either. I don’t really see her buying his “I was never an alcoholic, I was just depressed” story – when have we ever seen her give an authority figure the benefit of the doubt? Witness Thatcher bringing it up and her brutal shutdown. “Were you drinking when you abandoned me? …. I guess we can’t blame all the world’s evil on alcohol, then.” Ouch. That was below the belt. Geez – offer to be Meredith’s surgerical mentor and all her gripes against you are forgiven, is that it?
Loved lots of little moments, though – chief among them Arizona and the Chief singing together while Owen played guitar and Teddy watched him longingly. Not to mention THE big scene of the night, for me. On New Years Eve, Cristina catches Owen staring at Teddy. Owen, embarrassed, pulls Teddy into an empty room and demands she tell him why (in last week’s ep) she confessed her love to him. Why know, he wants to know, when all that time they worked together in Iraq, she never gave him a hint. You were engaged, she says, and why does it even matter? You never felt the same way. “Of COURSE I did,” he grinds out painfully, “of course I did. I had all those feelings for you for years.” He’s pacing and panting and they get right in each other’s faces. “”I have loved you forever,” she whispers, ” I have loved you when I was single. I have loved you when I was coupled up. I have loved you every second of every day. I love you. I am in love with you.” Their forheads are touching, they’re practically gasping, and he respond “I love Cristina.” Ouuuuuuch. Wow. His world has been shaken, and he runs away. At that point a gleeful Cristina pages Teddy, letting her know that they have the heart of an 18 year old car crash victim, there in the er, for Hayley. “This is why New Years Eve is my favorite holiday,” Cristina enthuses, practically bouncing. Teddy drags her down to see the girl’s grieving father, because in this moment she cannot stand Yang’s gloating. I get that, I totally do, but Cristina has been telling Hayley to hang on for weeks because New Years Eve is her best bet at getting a heart, and she’s allowed to be happy to have her word redeemed, right? Even a little?
A chastened Cristina preps Hayley for surgery, and as she does, the four date boyfriend pops out a ring. “What are you doing?” says Hayley. “Yeah, what ARE you doing,” Cristina echoes. The guy proposes with Cristina leaning over Hayley. “I know it hasn’t been long, but we’ve gone through a war together. If we can get through this, we can do anything.” “Of course I will,” Hayley replies. Her surgery is a success, by the way. Also sweet and lovely? The surgical staff kissing lightly through their masks as midnight strikes and they save little Nicholas’ life. Hurrah! No patients were harmed in the making of this episode!
Since 4 date guy has dropped the Grey’s anvil on Cristina, she finds Hunt and offers to step out of the way for Teddy. “I’m insensitive, sometimes, but I’m not oblivious. You’ve been through a war together,” she says, perhaps not sufficiently valuing the PTSD she helped Owen work through – which considering he almost killed her could be considered a war of its own. He throws her up against the wall and kisses her passionately. They confess their love. Which ought to make me happy, right? I was such a fan of theirs pre-choking, but I’m ficklely intrigued by Jackson and Teddy. Does that make me a bad person? What, nobody’s married here. Sigh.
Project Runway – Finale Part 2: Sigh. Big sigh. Bigger sigh.
I don’t want to be mean. I don’t want to say that there was anything wrong with Althea, Carol Hannah or Irina, even if the vowel queens have yet to be introduced to the concept of color. It’s not that I don’t like their clothes. It’s not them. It’s you, Project Runway producers! It’s you, for moving the show to LA where Nina and Michael couldn’t show up for most of the show. It’s you for the lame challenges, the inconsistent judging, and the sheer boredom. Big ole BLAH. Not even Tim Gunn threatening to lose it (over disorganized, late running back stage preparations for the show) could save this season. You can see it when he brings them in for their last “gather round”, though; he doesn’t cry, and he doesn’t tell them how very proud he is of each and every one of them. Heidi’s shiny pink Bryant Park pant suit certainly isn’t going to save anything, either. Not to mention her slicked back, “Addicted to Love” hair and make up. Things that you didn’t get to see on air – Heidi commenting on the lawsuit and the delay of the season. What you got to see that the runway show audience didn’t; the three ladies introducing their collections to a select, smaller audience of family and Bravo people. Perhaps that’s why all three of them couldn’t stop giggling, even Irina (who alone was able to articulate something about inspiration); they “introduced” their collections to the camera and a mostly empty hall. I’m sorry you didn’t get your moment of glory, ladies! (Didn’t stop their castmates from knowing who produced what, though.) We meet the judges, Nina, Michael, and a British fashion writer named Suzy Menkes, who looks like a glammed up Dolores Umbridge with There’s Something About Mary bangs. Let’s start the show!
Now, I never agree with the person who wins this show. I can see how some of them do – Christian, obviously, and Leanne, and even Jeffrey – but I’ve always prefered the work of a different contestant. Kara Saun, Santino, Laura (or Uli), Jillian and Korto – it’s gotten to the point where I know that if I like your clothes, then you can’t possibly win. So it will come as no surprise that the horse I was backing was vomitty Carol Hannah and her floaty, lovely, colorful collection. I thought her draping was terrific, and enjoyed the way she played with volume (looks like Christopher was the perfect helper for her). I thought it was romantic and sexy (and, can I say, I loved the hair stylist’s “oh” when she explained that her collection was inspired by gothic architecture and fairy tales). And I like that Logan was so impressed with her work ethic. (Speaking of Logan, how embarrassing must this whole thing be for him? Everyone panting over him, from the models to the judges? Maybe that just rolls off you when you’re super hot – maybe someone who is can tell me – but I do wonder how the little CH flirtation must seem to both participants in retrospect. Is that weird, do you think, or must he have known anyway that she found him distractingly attractive?
So, that was Carol Hannah, and of course, because I liked her, she comes in third. The judges like her color sense (Heidi wanted to wear the blue flowing Grecian gown that was her thirteenth look) and appreciate her work with volume, but didn’t find the collection cohesive. Lisa’s ruffly beige gown was not my favorite, or the judges, either. They did, however, decide that her first dress had desire. Does this mean that when you see it, you desire to own it, or that when you wear it, all mean desire you? I’m baffled. Althea was next to introduce her collection – or at least, her collection appeared next – and it’s all sportswear. (The biggest lesson I’ve learned from this show, probably, is that sportswear does not mean track suits and unitards, it means relatively casual separates.) Lot of interesting spaghetti strap tank tops (asymmetrical, if you can picture it) with big fluffy knit cardigans and ridiculously long sleeves, slim pants – very Audrey Hepburn, the pants – and a puffy butt pant (the thirteenth look) which the judges of course adore. There’s a green dress that they love, too, but it sounds like they loved it because it’s green. Tanisha is wearing a supremely fitted and supremely boring gold gown, out of something like jersey. Althea says it was inspired by 1950s science fiction, but we don’t see that at all – just a few 80s shoulder pad jackets. They love that it’s sportswear, and think that it’s cohesive, and that Althea’s “girl” is clearly recognizable. It’s not going to set the world on fire, though.
Which leaves us with the winner, Meana Irina. Her inspiration was NYC, and the warrior woman attitude it takes to survive there. It’s a very dark vision, if unoriginal, and you can see where her notion of shields and armor (as well as comfort and cocooning) comes into play. She’s got a sleeves fur hoodie (no friend of PETA, our Irina) and more chunky knit cardigans. She’s very textural – there’s shredding and crosshatching and a beige cardigan that is freakishly similar to Althea’s. The judges love the work that went into everything, they love that she made t-shirts (really?), they love that the collection seemed lux and intimate at the same time. On the other hand, it’s all black, “and we talked about that,” says Nina with her lips pinched. (What, three days before the show? Did you honestly think you could make a difference in color story at that point? Whatever. They love her silly hats (especially the one with the chin chain) and her accessories, and her sense of drama. They thought she put on the best show. Now, I get the importance of that, but I remember the days when they discussed Chloe’s business sense, and what someone’s vision was. If they did that this time, well, they didn’t let us see. And as much as Heidi wanted us to know what an impressive collection it was, well, I’m not buying it, and I don’t think Nina and Michael were either.
So Irina is crowned the winner. She and Kalyn hug out their victory, and Irina’s big bad Daddy actually cries. As unemotionally invested as I was in her win, that was still nice to see. Maybe he will believe in her now! Also nice to see? Irina says that her win was really meaningful because she had such stiff competition. That’s a new tune, but a much more melodic one. If she gets a new car, we don’t see it, although I suppose living in NYC that might be more of a hindrance than a joy.
Models of the Runway: A clip show? Are you kidding me? I was looking forward to a models eye view of Bryant Park! I wanted to see the girls families watching them walk – something Tanisha’s family in particular had never seen – and hearing what they thought, and everyone being teary, and instead, the models sit on the runway and watch a clip show while Heidi wears another hideous slim fitting shiny 80s suit? ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? At the very least I assumed we’d get to see a preview of Kalyn’s shoot for Marie Claire, and get the dirt on how hard it is to “editorialize” all black clothes and why. Or at least found out who the photographer was. It’s as if even the producers gave the show up as a complete waste of time. Like they’re not even trying to do something interesting. Like they don’t even have the sentience of baboons throwing poop at the screen. Seriously, if you gave a bunch of monkeys this much money and bunch of beautiful women, don’t you think they’d come up with something more interesting? I’m pissed off about this. I really am. What a wasted opportunity from start to finish.
What did you think? How will we survive for the next 10 plus weeks without them? (Pretty well, I’d say.)