Set your DVRs, friends: Tim Gunn has a new show premiering next January called Under the Gunn. It's reportedly going to be some sort of reality show in which up-and-coming designers compete against one another in a series of challenges and are judged by fashion industry insiders. The designers will be guided by mentors who show them what it takes to be successful in the fashion industry.
Wait... that sounds vaguely familiar. Oh yeah: that's the exact same premise of Project Runway (which weirdly enough, is still on air). As much as I love Tim Gunn, I'm a little confused as to why producers have decided to give him a show that so obviously mimics one that already exists, one that also happens to star Tim Gunn. Perhaps producers think the success of Project Runway will guarantee the success of Under the Gunn, but come on. Are we really going to tune in to watch another formulaic fashion reality show? Probably not.
However, if the show can offer something new and innovative, I might watch it. I don't think the range of possibilities open to the fashion genre of TV has been thoroughly explored, and I believe that with a little creativity, Tim Gunn's show could be less dull. Here are some ideas I have for what could would do the trick.
1. Make it 100 percent about plus-size fashion. Gunn himself has lamented the inability of designers to make quality plus size garments, and has basically called them idiots of not tapping into the plus-size market. If his show focused on this, it could be an amazing platform for change, and could rock the industry.
2. Make it more like Chopped. Fact: Chopped is way better than Top Chef. With timely challenges, a constantly rotating cast of characters, weird ingredients, a competitive show styled like Chopped style would be more engaging than seeing the same handful of designers every week.
3. Tim Gunn is the model. I'm just saying, if Tim Gunn had to wear all the designs, I'd be really into it. Plus, when you think about it, how can you really judge a garment until you know how comfortable it is?
4. Menswear. Remember when Gunn was in How I Met Your Mother as Barney's personal tailor? The show should involve more suits. And Neil Patrick Harris.
5. Have better prizes. A fashion spread in Marie Claire? Whoop-de-doo. A bunch of money? Whatever. I want prizes like: Going on a safari with Anna Wintour. Getting to be in the A$AP Mob. Shaving off the hair of the Victoria Secret model of your choice. The prizes make the show, so Under the Gunn needs to up the ante if they really want the competition to be fierce.