WASHINGTON, March 8, 2013 —With “Project Runway” on Lifetime now in its eleventh successful season, it comes as no surprise that one of the major networks would take their proven concept and “pimp’ it up for prime time TV. That effort is called “Fashion Star,” and it airs its second season premiere tonight at 8 p.m. on NBC.
But, unlike Lifetime Network, NBC has taken the concept to another level by offering up the winning designs for purchase at Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue or Express immediately following the show. This may seem like the ultimate dream for budding designers, but make no mistake, their success as a designer is second to the bottom line profits of the show’s sponsors.
It’s quite brilliant from a marketing stand point, but as entertainment, not so much. “Fashion Star” is nothing more than an hour-long commercial for its sponsors, wearing the thinly veiled disguise of a reality competition show.
“Fashion Star” has the feel of that late night infomercial that insists to the viewer their life will be an empty and pointless existence if they don’t immediately purchase the product in question. Add to this pressure the assurance of famous fashionistas that the garment in question is a must-have for hip wardrobes, and it sounds like a recipe for buyer’s remorse on a national level.
“Fashion Star” reinforces the consumer ignorance that compels people to believe there are experts to consult for everything from clothes to breast size. It sells the idea that to succeed in this country, one has to fit into a manufactured look decided by experts with way too much time on their hands.
The majority of Americans are just trying to keep their head above water these days. If merchandisers insist on occupying TV programming by blatantly pushing their products, at least make it something useful and practical.
Design a pair of shoes that is comfortable enough to make it through a ten hour work day without leg pain. Then show us where to buy these shoes at a good price. Stop wasting our time with lofty goals of fashion immortality and focus on real ways to improve the quality of our lives.
If networks can’t do this, at least stop trying to sell us something and just entertain us. The last thing we need is yet another reminder of the tacky consumerism in this country that insists we trade individuality for conformity.
All times are EST:
ABC: Last Man Standing: (New) When Mike hires a private soccer coach in hope of helping Eve land a scholarship, the ladies of the Baxter household are charmed by the young man.
CBS: Undercover Boss: (New) Andy Wirth, President and CEO of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, two ski resorts located in Lake Tahoe, ventures to the top of an unsafe cliff to post warning signs while training with a ski patrol. Olympic Gold Medalist Jonny Moseley joins Wirth in a ruse to help protect his true identity in the small ski town.
FOX: Kitchen Nightmares: (New) Chef Ramsay’s quest to help a tyrannical bistro owner continues.
NBC: Fashion Star: (New) A chance to win a multi-million dollar prize - and launch collections at Express, Macy’s and Saks!
CW: Nikita: (New) n order to gain control of the black box, Amanda makes plans to kidnap Ari’s son Stefan to use him as leverage. Still in Division’s protective custody, Ari begs Nikita for help. However, Stefan’s bodyguard Krieg manages to capture both Nikita and Amanda and the two must work together to escape.
ABC: Malibu Country: (New) Kim’s husband greets Reba with an overly friendly kiss; Lillie Mae gets a full-body sunburn after a visit to a nude beach; June decides to test Reba’s boundaries.
ABC: Shark Tank: (New) A workout program that teaches people how to exercise in their heart rate zone; throwing dance parties for kids with a traveling disco van; a damage-proof cell phone case; an update on The Painted Pretzel.
CBS: Golden Boy: (New) Clark and Owen investigate the murder of a gang member at a housing development, where a teen was also injured; and Arroyo threatens to go public with evidence that Clark gave a criminal informant confiscated money.
FOX: Touch: (New) Lucy is offered an unthinkable deal for Amelia’s return.
NBC: Grimm: (New) Nick and Renard finally go head-to-head in light of Nick’s discovery, while Juliette and Renard’s magnetic attraction reaches dangerous new heights.
CW: Cult: (New) Jeff finds a surprise visitor in Nate’s apartment who tells him about a dangerous on-campus game that Nate had been hosting known as “Being Billy,” which involves role-playing scenes from past “Cult” episodes. Jeff and Skye follow clues that might explain the next scene the players will try to recreate.
ABC: 20/20: (New) Housing threats and problems; unexpected homes; realtor tricks; famous homes; bad neighbors.
CBS: Blue Bloods: (New) When an off-duty cop tries to stop a bank robbery, he is disarmed by the “Bonnie and Clyde” robbers who take his gun and wound an innocent bystander. Meanwhile, Frank considers getting romantically involved with a woman from the ACLU who happens to be Erin’s acquaintance.
NBC: Rock Center with Brian Williams: (New) Brian Williams explores poverty in the U.S. by visiting Camden, N.J.; Richard Engel interviews author Gianluigi Nuzzi, who casts light on the secrets and inner workings of the Catholic Church. Also: a portrait of Kevin Plank, CEO of the Under Armour sports-apparel company.
New episodes of:
Four Weddings at 8 p.m. on TLC
Ghost Ships of the Black Sea at 8 p.m. on NGC
Best Ever: Log Homes at 8 p.m. on HGTV
Gold Rush: The Dirt - Porcupine Boys at 8 p.m. on DSC
Yukon Men at 9 p.m. on DSC
Extreme Homes at 9 p.m. on HGTV
Gold Rush Ghost Ships at 9 p.m. on NGC
Ghost Adventures at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel
Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on TLC
Bering Sea Gold at 10 p.m. on DSC
Out There at 10 p.m. on IFC
Something Borrowed, Something New at 10 p.m. on TLC
The Dead Files at 10 p.m. on Travel Channel
House Hunters International at 10:30 p.m. on HGTV
For movie lovers
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance on ENC
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life on FLIX
X2 on FMC
Wanderlust on HBO
Open City on TCM
Inglourious Basterds on TNT
Robin Hood: Men in Tights on BBC
One Day on HBO
Spartacus: War of the Damned on STARZ
Failure to Launch on TBS
Hotel California on TMC
The Samaritan at 9:25 on SHO
Full Metal Jacket at 9:40 p.m. on ENC
Next Day Air at 10 p.m. on BET
The Others at 10 p.m. on FLIX
Paisan at 10 p.m. on TCM
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