I can't honestly say I've been a steady follower of Project Runway before now, but in case you missed the news, there's a writers' strike on, and the debut of anything that's going to give us new episodes for another three months is worth shouting about. Bravo's flagship reality show returned for a fourth season Wednesday, after a 13-month hiatus, with no real changes to the formula that has made it a cult hit.
The new group of 15 designers was introduced. As with any reality show, some made a stronger initial impression than others. Jerusalem-born Rami already appears to have a solid career, and has even dressed Jessica Alba for an awards show appearance. Christian is young, looks like a character, and has obvious, if undisciplined, talent. New-agey Elisa is the sort who takes material and grinds it into the grass to give it a "natural" pattern.
The first challenge was straightforward: the designers had a few minutes to run towards some tents and gather as much fabric as they could, in order to create whatever they wanted in a few hours. When the smoke cleared, Rami was the first winner and the posh-looking Simone, whose mismatched ensemble looked disastrous even to an eye as untrained as mine, will always be remembered (or not) as the first off of season four. [Tifaux]
Pushing Daisies: The case of the week involved a dog breeder found poisoned and impaled on a grooming brush. The reanimated breeder blamed his wife. But as he had four wives, Ned and crew had to discover which one was responsible. The motive for murder was that said wife did not want to give a valuable dog to a cloner. Ned had a dream in which he touched Chuck, but Chuck turned out to be Olive, as the dream was inspired by their recent kiss. Chuck pondered if it was possible for Ned to really hold onto her as his one true love considering they can't touch, and considering that there's another woman around who's more than willing to deliver that touch. [Televisionary]
Kid Nation: The four council leaders had the opportunity to switch a few players, a decision that was unpopular with almost everyone, even though only three kids got moved. Anjay, leader of the red district, was particularly targeted for criticism. Laurel was resented for opposing any change in the membership of her green district. The challenge called on the teams to pile rocks in a cart and drag it down a path, which required them to balance their own district's interests (the fewer rocks, the faster you can go) with the group interest (a ton of rocks in all had to be moved to win a reward). The kids failed to win a reward for a second straight week, sparking more bad feelings. A girl named Randi became the third person to bail on Bonanza City; she was yet another victim of homesickness. Blaine, who continued to work despite getting his team switched, won the gold star. The disgruntled kids called for new elections. [RealSuperGirl]
America's Next Top Model: The models' assignment this week was to pair up with design students, who took ordinary dresses and transformed them into runway wear to reflect each model's own personality. Saleisha won the challenge, while Heather had understandable problems communicating. The photo shoot found the models posing as if they were lost in the desert. Ambreal, who was saved a few weeks ago when Ebony chose to quit, had no such luck this time as the numbers fell to six. [I'm Bringing Blogging Back]
Gossip Girl: Blair's 17th birthday was at hand, and she spent the run-up to it dealing with having slept with Chuck, about whom she's still ambivalent. Nate wasn't around to say happy birthday to Blair, but Chuck was, with the gift of a necklace. Vanessa tagged along at Blair's party and got to know Serena better. Jenny brought her mother back home for a hoped-for reconciliation with Rufus. Serena found out that Blair and Chuck have something going.
Criminal Minds: A part of a woman's body was found in south Florida, and a postmortem exam showed she was fed the fingertips of several previous murder victims. Rossi (Joe Mantegna), more assertive now in his third episode, is convinced the serial killer was once in a mental institution. Morgan was confrontational with the local priest, a stance related to his old grievances with religion. Hotchner figured out that the killer is cannibalizing his victims. The team found the killer at home with his latest kidnap victim still alive, and eventually realized he was disposing of his victims by feeding them to the members of the team searching for the missing women. Garcia met a nice guy at the coffee shop, much to the surprise of her colleagues, but he ended their first date by shooting her in the chest. The writers for this show must be a barrel of laughs on the picket line. [The Hathor Legacy]
Dirty Sexy Money: It was time for Karen's next wedding, although she confessed that she was bummed to be tying the knot with lame golf pro Freddy and not Nick. When Freddy admitted after the ceremony that he now loved her for real, Karen responded by saying it was time for a divorce. Tish told Karen that she would help her daughter land Nick, never mind Nick's current marriage. Patrick continued to fall under the influence of Simon Elder, telling a furious Tripp that he will be suing Tripp's developer friends. The mother of Brian Jr. came back to claim him. Patrick told Ellen about Carmelita, who Ellen would now like to meet in order to clarify their arrangement. [South Dakota Dark]