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The Hershey

The Hershey


This week's Project Runway reminds the world that candy is not a material for making clothes. It's a love substitute.

Good thing this week's episode sucks so much. It'll make me feel less awful about turning in a short recap, which is what I'm about to do. That's because I'm sick right now. A chest full of mucus that I've been horking up for the past 24 hours. I can barely think of interesting things to write when I'm well. So illness is going to make me as dull as this episode was.

Which brings me to The Garbage Pail Kids Movie.

I missed that contribution to world cinema during its initial release in 1987. And I've felt a Foul Phil-shaped void in my life ever since, one I didn't even know existed. But I saw it this past week, actually projected onto an actual screen in an actual movie theater -- reason #2,647 why Los Angeles is amazing -- and now I know what that phantom ache of the soul was that I'd been experiencing all these years. And you might think that it's simply a grotesque children's film starring little people in hideous Garbage Pail Kid costumes who go around puking and pissing on everything in the moments when raw sewage isn't nearly drowning then-child-star Mackenzie Astin. But it's all that and more. Specifically, it's about fashion.

See, there's this duplicitous slut in the movie named Tangerine who's a fashion designer who makes wildly popular clothes that are so ugly that even the kids on Dance Party USA wouldn't have worn them. She has a brutal thug (by way of a late-'80s Catalina Video) boyfriend named Juice. Together they terrorize little Mackenzie Astin. Tangerine especially tries to ruin Mackenzie by enlisting him as slave labor to help design her new collection. Naturally, the helpful Garbage Pail Kids want to assist, so they all steal some sewing machines and begin slapping together nightclubbing dresses for teen whores. Because they don't know how to sew properly, Messy Tessy uses her boogers to affix buttons on garments. They all sing a song about teamwork while they create the slut-fits and Windy Winston farts on everyone. In the end, the GPKs destroy the fashion show with vomit geysers and save the day for their pal Mackenzie. So in their own special way they are very much the living embodiment of that Oscar Wilde quote about being in the gutter and looking at the stars, or however it goes. So really, without stretching the analogy much at all, this season's Project Runway designers are like the GPKs: Elisa and her spit marks, Jack and his nasal staph, Ricky and his barfy hats. And I too, sitting here on the couch, hot tea to my left, paper towels for nose-blowing to my right, wrapped up in a majorly coughed-on flannel robe that needs to be boiled, I also feel a kinship to the mucusy monster children as I pee all over the boredom that was this week's episode. We are all Garbage Pail Kids in this life. That's the message the film gifts us with.

So. The episode.

Remember when they had to use stuff from the grocery store and Austin Scarlett made that magical dress from corn husks? Remember the trash episode where fuckin' Vincent kept saying, "I'm making ART!" Well, that's what they're doing this week, except now they have a corporate sponsor. Hershey is getting tons of official product placement this week because the designers are going to the big Times Square Hershey Emporium or whatever it's called and they have to make their garments from candy or wrappers or candy-related merch. And yes, I know that I've been bitching lately about how the challenges have been so straightforward and how I wanted something weird. But this isn't weird. This is just how a show eats itself. It doesn't really deserve me to recap it. And because I'm ill, I'll be providing you some highlights and that's gonna do it for me. I seriously have to go back to bed. Here's some of the most "important" stuff:

*Ricky asks Christian what he thinks about Steven being eliminated. Christian's response: "I don't care." Rami and Chris crack up but weren't men enough to say it themselves first. Chris wears a giant blue plaid bathrobe during this scene, which reminds me that Chris actually sleeps in the same apartment as the rest of these guys. And he snores. We've witnessed this before. He snores a lot. Does PR issue earplugs to everyone? Does he have his own snoring room? I ask because my husband/partner/whatever has a little container of earplugs on his nightstand to help his ears escape the sound of my snoring. Apparently I perform this function much like an ox. I'm just wondering, is all.

*I think the blooping music that Heidi walks out to when presenting the challenge is the sound of drowning, minus the euphoria. Also, what's going on with Heidi's makeup this week? It's harsh. Like a Merle Norman makeover slapped her in the mug.

*On challenge announcement day, Tim Gunn goes and knocks on everyone's doors at 6 o'clock a.m. LOOK HOW CRISP TIM GUNN IS AT SIX IN THE MORNING. Kit, on the other hand, looks half dead and also somehow still amazing. The women are all seen appearing sleepy and dismayed that Tim's seen them in their pajamas. I want one of them to yell, "I'm Leisl and I don't need a governess!"

My favorite part is when Tim knocks on Kevin's door. "Hi, Kevin!" he says. "I nipple -- I mean, I notice -- that you're shirtless, you woofy little cub."

That didn't happen. I don't remember what exactly Tim says. But it wasn't that. Something about "Hey, wake up and put some clothes on."

*The trip to the secret challenge location is marked by an unusual amount of ugly clothing being worn by the designers. Rami's got on one of those gay cleavage shirts you buy in stores with names like N2MALE. Jillian's wearing Mork-from-Ork rainbow suspenders but neglected to go full theme with a Slim Goodbody T-shirt. Ricky's pulled a fresh new awful hat out of his bottomless bag of evil. You know he saves it for special occasions when he wants to look that little bit of "extra," posing in the mirror and announcing to himself, "Today's gonna have fucking teeth, people!"

*They wind up at Hershey. Did no one tell them that Fauchon is like 10 minutes away from there? Not that it matters. They're all clapping their dumb little hands. A Lady-Suit from Hershey is there to read a stiff greeting from a cue card, welcoming them all to "The sweetest place in New York." Lie. Fauchon. Real close by. They're given five minutes to scramble around and gather up whatever they want to use to make their outfit. It's too bad there's no chocolate river in this place for Chris to dive into. That would be groovy.

*Thanks for all the foreshadowing, editors. We get to hear a horrifying injury story from Elisa. She was hit by a car, was in a coma, and lost a deal to launch her own T-shirt line as a result. PR is her chance to step it up again. This means she's either going to win the challenge or get kicked off this week.

*Why I love Christian. Some reasons:

1. Is annoyingly talented.

2. Is annoying.

3. Has giant ego.

4. Bosses people around with advice. Kit is shown calling him "Tim." Calls Kevin's dress ugly to Kevin's face.

5. Kevin, on interview cam, says he's going to "off him."

6. Saves Sweet P's ass by telling her to dump what she's doing and start over.

*Elisa's dress is dumpy brown with silver metallic water-wings for arms. She's getting eliminated. Jillian's making a dress from Twizzlers. It looks like hell and is falling apart. Sweet P stresses out about her crap dress. Chris falls asleep on the couch. Snores.

*Everyone's clawing at everyone else's taste level. Christian calls Elisa's dress a "hot mess." Chris thinks Sweet P's design is tacky. Remember, that's Chris, the guy who was booted a few weeks ago and brought back due to the illness of another contestant, questioning Sweet P's design decisions.

*This week's text vote commercial is about what's been the best challenge -- Hershey's or Menswear or Sarah Jessica Parker. Obviously that honor goes to SJP, but Hershey is this week's sponsor. So watch it win.

*Zac Posen is this week's guest judge. I have no opinions about him, really. I'm neither hot nor cold about his clothing. But model pal Elyse wants to weigh in:

"My least favorite designer is Zac Posen," she says. "He uses the most expensive and luxurious fabrics, yet every garment looks like it came from Kmart."

That's it from Elyse this week. Short and not too sweet.

*The dresses come down the runway. I could try to explain them all one by one, but they all mostly suck and they're all made out of candy wrappers or, in Jillian's case, actual candy, and there's a dull, safe, sameness to many of the designs. Kit's looks cool. Rami's is kind of amazing, all pink metallic and constructed from York Peppermint Pattie wrappers. Elisa's is a gross, disjointed thing that looks like it was made out of dirt and aluminum baking pans. Kevin's is a brown yawn. Christian's is all texture-y and crinkly and shiny. Jillian's Twizzlers are ill-fitting and probably feel gross on the boob area. And what we learn from all this is that making a dress out of this kind of raw material means a lot of nothing. I have a desire for Garbage Pail Kid Valerie Vomit to storm the stage and unload a hot fountain of green puke all over everything to liven this shit up. Also? All that candy! Wasted! Except for when they cut to Chris popping one in his mouth, respecting the chocolate like he should instead of throwing it all in the garbage like Christian did, mocking the sweets-starved masses of the world.

*Rami wins. Elisa goes home and says something that sounds like "Ashay" to both Sweet P and Heidi by way of a parting sentiment. I don't know what language that is. Goodbye, Elisa. You were weird and interesting and your methods were entertainingly inscrutable. The world needs more blissed-out hippies like you.

*Oh, and Hershey won the text vote. So that fix was in from the start. And now I have to go back to bed. But before that I'm going to make an evening gown out of these used and sneezed-on paper towels. Go, Garbage Pail Kids!

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

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Dave White