September 06, 2007

Tim Gunn's Guide to Style

So, in case you didn't know, Tim Gunn is one of the hosts of the Bravo show, Project Runway. He's the guy who walks around while the designers are working and gives them some feedback.

He's always wearing a suit and, frankly, he's a great looking older gentleman. It's all because he presents himself well.

He's a moron with regard to his personal philosophy -- he believes in psychics and whatnot -- but he has a great look.

ANYWAY, he's getting his own show, which was to premier tomorrow night. Well, Bravo, in their infinite sneakiness, actually premiered the show tonight.

I've been really interested to see how this show turns out because, frankly, it doesn't sound very different from TLC's What Not to Wear.

In TLC's What Not to Wear, they find someone who isn't dressing themselves properly, go through their clothes, throw everything out, tell them what they should be wearing, and then give them a little shopping spree. The show is hosted by a man and a woman who proclaim that they are fashion experts.

In Tim Gunn's Guide to Style, someone who isn't dressing properly finds them and then they go through their clothes, keep some things, get rid of some things, tell them what they should be wearing, and then send them on a little shopping trip. The show is hosted by Tim Gun and supermodel, Veronica Webb.

Not very different.

The show is presented as being TOTALLY DIFFERENT because Tim isn't trying to change his subject. He's trying to teach them to find their own style.

Watching it, I have to say that I am not impressed. I hate saying that, because I want this show to be as fun and fabulous as Project Runway.

Veronica Webb is overly tan and I hate her haircut. Can someone talk to her about proportion with regard to the size of her head on camera? I can tell she's beautiful, but her head looks very small and her shoulders look very broad. Also, am I mistaken or is she eleven feet tall? She looks like a maniac, but I think I kind of like her. She might be a little too normal for television. (Also, Ronnie. You don't mind if I call you 'Ronnie,' do you? Baby, stop pursing your lips like that.)

How can I describe this show? It's dull and unfocused.

They do too many things! This woman has seen a life stylist and a clothing designer. She got a surprise handbag from Coach. She visited Tim Gunn's office where they looked at her on a computer. They went to her house. They talked to her sister. They went through her clothes. They went shopping. They went for a bra fitting. They had some surprise woman show up -- I think it was her mom. They're doing her hair and make up. And I still have another 15 minutes to go in the show!

And amid this FRENZY of activity, we get these strange, gossipy interludes of Tim and Veronica sitting in front of a blue screen talking about the show as we're watching it. Unlike the people on What Not to Wear who talk to one another and are participating in the show when they make comments, Tim and Veronica are talking to us or someone sitting in the living room with us. It's disjointed and distracting.

This show -- again I hate saying this -- is like a college production of What Not to Wear. They're trying too much and they don't seem to know what they're trying to accomplish.

They just gave her a string of black Tahitian pearls and now she's putting on a surprise fashion show. TOO MUCH! TOO MUCH!

My suggestions:
- Make the show a lot simpler. Cut out some of the activities. Focus on a few, essential few. I suggest the clothes sorting, the life stylist, the hair and make-up transformation, and the fashion show. These are personal and different from TLC's version of this show.

- Let us get to know the 'characters' a little more instead of trying to dazzle us with activities.

- Don't get rid of the Tim & Veronica chats, but try to integrate them better. These are the most informative and insightful parts of the show and spell out for us things that we might not be able to pick up on by ourselves, for example, I didn't realize the lady was as upset as she was until you told me. Just make these better.

The biggest challenges with shows like this are the limited number of characters and the extremely simple plot covering a huge arc. There are really only three people in the show and two of them are on the same "team," so conflict is difficult. Tim and Veronica are supposed to be helping them, so the conflict can't get too heated or else they will fail. And fail at what? Fail at teaching this woman how to dress herself. Not too complicated.

So, I get that.

But this show needs help.

I've got it in my DVR, so I will continue to follow it, but if it doesn't improve, they're going to have to take it off the air.

Final remarks now that I've seen the whole show.

- Love the follow-up. That could be a lot more robust. Why not show us a new week of reformed clothing to compare to the week of bad clothes we saw at the beginning?

- Veronica, love you in a fedora and a tank top even if the look is a bit too hipster for you sitting next to Tim Gunn. But it makes your head look bigger and your shoulders narrower. Much better.

Update: I forgot to mention the INSANE amount of product placement in the show. Bravo always does this, though, and I love marketing, so I'm not hating on them for it, but it's getting a little bit like The Truman Show with some of the placements.

Update 2: I am informed by Buddhista that Veronica Webb does not have a bad tan. She says, "Veronica Webb is not overly tan, she is black or of mixed racial background with bad foundation." Wikipedia alleges, "She is of African-American, German & Iroquois descent."

Buddhista also said that Veronica is very cool in person, which makes me happy. I'm glad she's a nice person, but my point is that she looked like a freak on teevee last night. Make it work!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at September 6, 2007 12:02 AM | TrackBack

MEOW! retract your claws and just enjoy the show. Way too critical of this show. Are you a writer or fashion designer. Either way your article is freakish and needs to be trashed.

Posted by: MPVaught at September 16, 2007 05:45 PM

That's the problem, MBVaught. It's a bad show. I can't enjoy it.

My profession is not relevant to the discussion and your comments provide no counterpoints to the arguments I've made.

If anything is freakish, it's your grammar and punctuation.

Posted by: Flibbert at September 16, 2007 07:48 PM
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