So, how did Bravo’s new Project Runway replacement hold up? Not too bad. It is what it is – a derivative show with a few interesting changes. I really like the runway set, and having the show in front of a live audience is a big improvement. I’m withholding judgment on Isaac and Kelly for now; it’s the first show – I want to see how things progress.

And as for the designers, the back-stage drama is not why I watch the show. If the prep stuff moves away from design process and into personal drama, I tend to tune out. I’m all about the fashion, baby! I liked the first set of challenges (nothing too wacky) but wasn’t overly impressed with the designs. Seriously, when you’re asked to design around a must-have item and you choose harem pants or bolero jackets, you’re in trouble. I totally agreed with james-Paul winning the challenge – he made a very interesting dress and managed to incorporate the jacket without ruining the look. But I have to say I was shocked that Merlin’s design was also held up as a potential winner. I thought it looked really clownish. I also agree with the loser – Jonny had no ingenuity in the design, and the fit issues were ridiculous. Kristin at least tried to do something a little more interesting, even though she failed. And the whole harem pants team – with the possible exception of Reco, the construction on those pants was atrocious!

There’s definitely room for The Fashion Show to improve, but it will help stave off the Runway withdrawals until August, and that’s good enough for me.