Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Stylista: Tools For Fashion

I’m willing to admit I was perhaps a little hasty when I said Red Eye might be the worst show on television. I’d forgotten all about Stylista. Stylista is a reality show on the CW by the masterminds behind America’s Next Top Model. It airs tonight at 9 p.m. if you’re feeling masochistic (though your time would be better spent watching one of the last ever episodes of Pushing Daisies at 8, and then re-watching it again at 9). The prize is a job at Elle magazine, a paid New York apartment for one year, and a clothing allowance at H&M. The judges are Elle’s Anne Slowey doing her best Streep-as-Wintour and Joe Zee doing his best...whatever. The contestants are pretty much universally the worst people in the world.

Each week viewers get to watch the wannabe fashionistas stumble through lame challenges ripped off from The Devil Wears Prada, and it would probably be an innocuous enough show in brighter economic times. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the earlier SOAPNet flop, The Fashionista Diaries, except that Diaries had no "prize" and Stylista manages to be even more staged. But in case you haven’t heard, all media everywhere is curled up, sobbing and shivering, trying to stave off death by gulping down gin and thinking of happier times in a very Dickensian manner. So it’s an extra special little knife-twist to know that one of these twits will land a job that most of the unemployed media-types would sell their left kidney for. In related news, I am willing to barter a kidney in exchange for an editorial assistant position at a New York magazine or publishing house - e-mail me for details (and include your blood type)!

To say that every one of the contestants is unfit for the job might be an exaggeration – the first few were booted off before we could survey the extent of what I presume is, judging by the performances of their peers, their general unworthiness to lay grubby fingers on a mouse and click on InDesign. So hey, maybe the cute Columbia guy with the funky hair isn’t a total tool, but we’ll never know because he got booted off first and instead we were left with DyShaun, who nimbly worked every gay male fashionista cliché but included the unwelcome addition of being a petty, misogynistic hosebag with no sense of style. And Megan, who might actually be Rosemary’s baby. And Johanna, who takes herself way too seriously for the insane, inane world of fashion.

The only contestant I was rooting for, Kate, was booted last week. (Before her, I was rooting for the guy who dressed like a character out of A Cockwork Orange, because his faux British accent amused me, as did his ascot.) Kate quickly made enemies of everyone in the house because of her inexperience, large and uncontainable chest, and...nope, that’s just about it. It was a pretty grisly show of girl-on-girl crimes week after week. Kate had limited fashion experience but good instincts, and she seemed genial enough. A little annoying, willing to throw everyone in arm’s reach under a bus and then find another bus to throw that bus under, sure, but compared to the other harpies she was stuck working with, she at least had something resembling manners. It was brutal and uncomfortable to watch DyShaun and Megan snipe after her week after week, so at least her elimination will spare us those shenanigans in these last few episodes. Never have I seen so many inept, ill-mannered morons bleating together in one place. None of the Stylista nimrods deserve a job at Elle – they deserve to have their faces chewed off by the very wolves that raised them. The knowledge that one of these ninnies might take this job, rise through the ranks, and be in a position to oversee me one day is enough to make me curl up into a sobbing, shivering ball and gulp down a bottle of gin. And I don’t even like gin.

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