THE SHOW "Project Runway," Season 6
WHEN | WHERE Thursday night at 10 on Lifetime
REASON TO WATCH You haven't seen your dear old friend for more than a year, and she's changed her hair color - from brunette to platinum blond - and you're worried she won't be the same great girl. But after an hour with her, you realize she's as fabulous as ever and maybe even a little prettier.
This is the story with "Project Runway," which, after a nasty, network legal battle that kept it off the air, finally returns on Lifetime. Team Heidi (as in Klum) is intact, with judges Michael Kors and Nina Garcia (now at Marie Claire) onboard. Mentor Tim Gunn is still the formal yet lovable guy who doles out hugs, hard questions and good advice. Production values are superb, though gritty NYC has been replaced by sunny, apparently smogless L.A., and living quarters and sewing rooms (these at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) appear to be huge and mod.
As for the contestants? Nutty and colorful - drama queens, pretties and eccentrics. The first episode where designers are challenged to create a signature dress for the red carpet has it all: Weeping (Jimmy Sakalis, a former drug addict, loses his confidence), weirdness (Ari Fish doesn't know how to sketch so she does a headstand instead), a gossip-worthy judge - Lindsay Lohan - and what may be the first see-through dress in the history of "Project Runway."
WHAT IT'S ABOUT A grueling design/sewing competition in which 16 designers compete to launch their fashion careers and win the grand prize of $100,000, a fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine, a trip to Paris and the ultimate - a show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York. This already occurred last season, though the three finalists were not identified.
BOTTOM LINE "Project Runway" Season 6 is definitely still "in," fun as ever and perhaps a bit more glamorous. If you loved it before, you'll love it again. "Auf"-ully good.
BONUSES! If you're jonesing for a major "Project Runway" fix, you can start watching at 8 p.m. for "Project Runway: All-Star Challenge," where eight of the show's most memorable designers are reunited for a sew-off. Following the season's premiere, at 11 p.m., there's "Models of the Runway," a companion series about the models. Sew many PR spinoffs, sew little time!