What’s Hot on TV Friday and Saturday – 2012 Pennant Race

Really? How did it get to be time for the baseball playoffs? Oh, it’s October already? Huh. Catch up with your favorite shows you may have missed at TV-Links.

Friday

1. CSI: NY. Arsonist Leonard Brook starts targeting people from his past. 7:00 PM CT CBS

2. Shark Tank. Business ideas include a party-favorite chicken dip, a spring-loaded laundry hamper, and a wireless gadget that helps track keys and cell phones. 7:00 PM CT ABC

3. America’s Next Top Model. The models take pictures of themselves during road trip pit stops, and have a photo shoot at their motel. 7:00 PM CT CW

4. Monsters Inside Me. A toddler stops eating, only wanting salt, a business exec has a ruptured colon, and an older New Mexico couple get ill on a trip to NYC. 7:00 PM CT Animal Planet

5. Paranormal Paparazzi. The “Paranormal Paparazzi” reporters uncover stories about Will Ferrell’s haunted trailer, a séance in Lizzie Borden’s House, a UFO crash in South Carolina and a paranormal investigation team who hunt in the nude. 7:00 PM CT Travel Channel

6. MLB Baseball. American League Wild Card game, Baltimore Orioles at Texas Rangers. 7:30 PM CT TBS

7. Made in Jersey Martina’s client pleaded insanity for manslaughter and was institutionalized, but now claims she’s innocent, and Bonnie’s boyfriend meets the family. 8:00 PM CT CBS

8. Grimm. Angelina arrives with bad news, Nick wants Hank’s help to keep Monroe safe, and Capt. Renard has a visit from a former acquaintance. 8:00 PM CT NBC

9. Primetime: What Would You Do? Situations include an insensitive grocery store manager’s handling of a germophbe, a cashier recommending a customer get healthier alternatives, a woman breastfeeding a toddler in public, and a dad buying liquor for his teenager. 8:00 PM CT ABC

10. Fringe. The fringe team has to get info from the Observers-controlled Harvard lab. 8:00 PM CT Fox

11. Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta. In the first half hour, Carol wants a sexy gown for her renewal ceremony, but her football star son doesn’t approve, and Gretchen’s mom disagrees on a lace-backed gown. In the second half hour, a Southern belle’s family doesn’t agree about her form-fitting modern gown, and another bride’s overbearing sister tries to relive her own wedding through her little sister. 8:00 PM CT TLC

12. Ghost Adventures. Zak Bagans, Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin head to the Great Lakes to explore the demonic activity overrunning the Palmer House Hotel in Sauk Centre, MN. The investigation gets personal when a dark spirit beckons Bagans and Goodwin, speaking their full names. 8:00 PM CT Travel Channel

13. America’s Most Wanted. 8:00 PM CT Lifetime

14. Boss. Kane gets forced into forming a tenuous alliance with Alderman Ross to try to maintain his hold over Chicago. 8:00 PM CT Starz

15. Blue Bloods. Danny and Jackie find out that a woman who recanted her abuse story is in a relationship with a councilman, and Danny experiences upheaval when Linda returns to work. 9:00 PM CT CBS

16. Dateline NBC. A woman harboring a secret is murdered. 9:00 PM CT NBC

17. 20/20. Stalker/murdered Waseem Daker’s victims discuss his conviction. 9:00 PM CT ABC

18. Haven A Boston police officer tries to link the latest body to similar cases. 9:00 PM CT Syfy

19. Secret Princes. Competition increases as the princes try to keep their cover, and one lady may have impressed two of the princes. 9:00 PM CT TLC

20. The Dead Files: Dead Files Revisited. Steve DiSchiavi and Amy Allan update their previous investigations of paranormal activity at the Mackay Mansion museum in an old Nevada mining town, and a family home in Blackshear, Georgia. In Nevada, we learn whether or not the museum’s tour guide has taken the necessary steps to exorcise a mean-spirited entity and the ghost of a mischievous little girl. In Blackshear, we’ll find out if their clients’ daughter is still being visited by the ghost of someone who burned to death in their house. 9:00 PM CT Travel Channel

21. Real Time with Bill Maher. Panelists include Will Cain, former Rep. Mark Foley, Kerry Washington, Frank Luntz, and Bill McKibben 9:00 PM CT HBO

22. Strike Back. Several AFrican nations are included in Knox’s plan for the nuclear bombs, and Dalton confront Christy Bryant regarding the CIA’s dealings in Africa. 9:00 PM CT Cinemax

23. Late Show with David Letterman. The guests tonight are Billy Crystal and The Wallflowers. 9:00 PM CT CBS

Saturday

1. College Football. Navy at Air Force. 11:00 AM CT CBS

2. College Football. Kansas at Kansas State. 11:00 AM CT FX

3. College Football. Northwestern at Penn State. 11:00 AM CT ESPN

4. College Football. Arkansas at Auburn. 11:00 AM CT ESPN 2

5. College Football. Arizona at Stanford. 2:00 PM CT Fox

6. College Football. LSU at Florida. 2:30 PM CT CBS

7. College Football. Illinois at Wisconsin. 2:30 PM CT ABC

8. College Football. Georgia Tech at Clemson. 2:30 PM CT ESPN

9. MLB Baseball. Game 1 of American League Division Series. Oakland Athletics at Detroit Tigers 5:00 PM CT TBS

10. College Football. West Virginia at Texas. 6:00 PM CT Fox

11. College Football. Georgia at South Carolina. 6:00 PM CT ESPN

12. College Football. Miami vs. Notre Dame. 6:30 PM CT NBC

13. College Football. Nebraska at Ohio State. 7:00 PM CT ABC

14. College Football. Florida State at North Carolina State. 7:00 PM CT ESPN 2

15. Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s. The Upper Crust employees are fighting, and after a meeting with Mr. Bussey, Tim feels trapped. 8:00 PM CT OWN

16. My Fair Wedding: Unveiled. Wedding planner David Tutera’s bride Melanie thinks her groom, Dominic is heaven-sent. David finds her heaven-and earth theme to be tacky. Melanie wants cotton balls strewn down the aisle and thinks her groom would look divine in an all-white tux. To top it off, the bride’s mom insists that her daughter wear her old wedding dress – or else! To blow off steam before the wedding showdown, David decides to get a wild tattoo. 8:00 PM CT WE

17. The Muppets. The Muppets and their fans join together to raise $10 million to save Muppet Studios from a greedy man who only wants to knock down the building and drill for oil. 8:00 PM CT Starz

18. MLB Baseball. Game 1 of National League Division Series, Cincinnati Reds at San Francisco Giants. 8:15 PM CT TBS

19. 48 Hours Mystery. Suspicions arise on a wife and her best friend when an unfaithful husband is murdered. 9:00 PM CT CBS

20. Iyanla, Fix My Life. Popular bloggers’ friendship ends due to jealousy and backstabbing. 9:00 PM CT OWN

21. Pit Bulls and Parolees. Season premiere. Tia is convinced after issues with the local community and government to move the Villalobos Rescue Center from California to New Orleans. 9:00 PM CT Animal Planet

22. Beyond the Headlines: The Carolina White Story. Carlina White tells her kidnapping story, and her birth parents and her kidnapper’s family gives their own perspectives. 9:00 PM CT Lifetime

23. College Football. Washington at Oregon. 9:30 PM CT ESPN

24. Saturday Night Live. Daniel Craig is the guest host, and Muse the musical guest. 10:30 PM CT NBC

 

Another Project Runway All-Stars Already?!

Has Lifetime lost its collective mind?!  They’re premiering another Project Runway:  All-Stars on Oct. 25.  The first All-Stars, which resulted in Mondo Guerra winning, had premiered on Jan. 5, 2012.  Carolyn Murphy will replace Angela Lindval as the host, while Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman will return as judges, and Joanna Coles will play mentor.  So far, so good.  Isaac and Joanna in particular had done good jobs with their respective roles.

The problem is the cast:  Wendy Pepper (S1, 3rd place), Andrae Gonzalo (S2, 6th place), Uli Herzner (2nd place), Kayne Gillaspie (S3, 5th place), Althea Harper (S6, 2nd place), Emilio Sosa (S7, 2nd place), Peach Carr (S8, 11th place), Casanova (S8, 10th place), Ivy Higa (S8, 8th place), Anthony Ryan Auld (S9, 7th place), Laura Kathleen (S9, 5th place), Joshua McKinley (S9, 2nd place).

See the problem?  In my not-so-humble opinion, someone called an “All-Star” should be extraordinarily good at their craft.  In this context, an All-Star designer should be somebody who had either made the finals or just missed them.  In other words, they should not have finished any lower than fifth place.  The first Project Runway:  All-Stars had met this criterion:  Everybody except Elisa Jimenez (S4) had come in fifth place or higher.

In All-Stars 2, we’ve got five designers who all finished below that.  All three of the Season 8 designers had placed blow fifth place in their season.  Andrae and Anthony Ryan had also finished below fifth place.  Likable as some of these people might be, they are not All-Stars material.  (And why are there so many designers from Season 8, anyway?  They’d used up all the good or interesting ones in the first All-Stars!)

Seriously, the talent pool is simply not deep enough to have two All-Stars shows in one year.  Project Runway is or should be about skill and creativity, not “big” personalities.  Casting people because of their personalities might work on shows like Survivor or Big Brother, but it shouldn’t happen on a show supposedly intended to find the best new fashion designer.  The fact that the casting department seems to like designers with obnoxious personalities only makes it worse.  Does anybody really want to see Ivy or Joshua again? They were insufferable enough the first time around, thank you very much.

Another related problem is the fact that these people supposedly earn their living as designers, which means some Project Runway alumnae doubtless had other commitments that kept them from being on All-Stars.  Where all the winners, for example?  They’re probably working.  Project Runway gave them a leg-up and they’ve moved on since then.  Why are Peach and Casanova back?  Probably because people like Jillian Lewis (S4, 3rd place) and Korto Momolu (S5, 2nd place) said “No, thanks.”   Why are Wendy, Ivy, and Joshua back?  Probably because nobody sane wants to hire them or otherwise work with them.  I’ll grant you that Joshua did place second in his season, so he is a legitimate contender.  That doesn’t change the fact that he acted like a complete jackass during his stint on the show.

The designers’ likely commitment issues may explain why so many of the contestants are from the later seasons.  The designers from the later seasons have had less time to establish their careers and may therefore feel more need for the exposure that Project Runway can give them.  They may therefore be more available or at least more willing to come back for another shot.  The first season, by contrast, wrapped up in February 2005– over seven years ago.  Most designers from the first season are probably either established designers with a niche and corresponding clientele, or they couldn’t make a go of it and have moved on to something else.  In any case, they are probably not willing or able to participate in All-Stars.

On top of all that, having two All-Stars in one year cheapens All-Stars.  The first All-Stars, for all its flaws, felt special.  One of the prizes, for instance, was an internship at Marie Claire.  The guest judges were mostly people within the fashion industry, as opposed to the usual actresses.  The smaller than usual cast made it seem as if the chosen designers were truly an elite group.  All-Stars 2 doesn’t feel special at all.  It feels more like Lifetime is trying to cash in on the success of the first  All-Stars by cranking out another as quick as they can.

It is simply too soon for another Project Runway:  All-Stars.