“Project Runway”: Always in fashion

This strike is a real momentum killer.

Three of my season pass shows of the new season continue to earn my love week after week — “Dirty Sexy Money,” “Big Bang Theory” and “Pushing Daisies.” (“Reaper,” while still enjoyable, has not lived up to the promise of its pilot, but I’m still watching. And “Gossip Girl” is a little too “Cruel Intentions” for me.)

And several of my returning favorites are peaking creatively, in my opinion: “Ugly Betty” has never been cuter and funnier and the sublime “Friday Night Lights” still takes my breath away every week, despite the questionable and shaky murder storyline. And “House” continues to be one of the more entertaining procedurals out there. Even “Desperate Housewives,” which had been on shaky ground for me for a while, seems to be back on track.

But with holiday preemptions upon us and original episodes dwindling due to the strike, there are fewer and fewer shows to watch. That’s why I’m so thankful for the return of “Project Runway,” which you can catch almost any time of the day or night on Bravo. Episode 3 is tomorrow and I can’t wait. They had me at episode 1.

RunwayI haven’t bothered to learn their names yet but I’m loving (and fans of the show will know who I mean) the portly fellow (left), the former runway model stuck in the 80s, the bald guy and the French Stewart look-alike who enunciates perfectly. And I’m loving to hate the cocky kid with the Flock of Seagulls haircut and the spitter (both pictured at left). You just know the producers will hang on to that duo for a while. The other contestants are one big blur so far.

The judges, Michael Kors and Nina Garcia, are as sharp as ever and host/judge Heidi Klum gets better every year. I nearly died laughing when she said the spitter’s dress in challenge one made the “model look like she was poo’ing fabric.” And while Tim Gunn has lost a bit of his charm, due to overexposure, the show wouldn’t be quite the same without him.

Thank God for top-notch reality shows like this one and CBS’ “The Amazing Race.” At least we have something to look forward to for the next couple of months if the strike drags on. Just don’t expect me to embrace “Big Brother.”

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