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'Launch My Line' stressed for success

A shot from the opening show of Bravo's

A shot from the opening show of Bravo's "Launch My Line." Photo Credit: Bravo

If you like the anxiety level, of say, going to a critical final exam in college and having forgotten to study, then this may be the show for you. There is much tension in this sometimes unsettling "Project Runway" wannabe, not to mention the overwhelming feeling that many of the contestants have absolutely no idea what they are doing.

This is another attempt by Bravo to fill the void left by "Project Runway," which, after a lengthy legal dispute, ended up on Lifetime. Last season, the network tried out Isaac Mizrahi and Kelly Rowland as hosts of the mediocre "The Fashion Show."

"Launch My Line" is a more complicated take on the formula.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Hosted by Canadian twin brothers, Dean and Dan Caten, the design duo behind the successful DSQUARED label. Ten "professionals," such as an architect, a jewelry designer, a choreographer or a self-proclaimed fashion writer-dandy - with aspirations of becoming fashion designers - are thrown together with 10 designer types, as in people who can sew. Their common, um, thread, is a passion for fashion, and the winner gets a clothing line launch and a spread in Lucky magazine. Their teammate-designer wins $50,000. The teams compete in challenges each week, show their duds to a live audience and are judged. The kiss-off line? "Your line has been dropped."

MY SAY After watching just one episode, you will fall in love with one professional - Marilyn Crawford, a CEO who looks uncannily like Queen Latifah - and despise at least two of the designers. Evoking strong emotions is the stuff of good TV. And some of the clothes are surprisingly fab. That said, there's a problem: The playing field for both the professionals and the designers is way too uneven.

BOTTOM LINE "Launch My Line" is a more complicated take on the "Project Runway" formula. Reality-show junkies who like fashion may find it compelling.

GRADE B-

>>See video previews for "Launch My Line"

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