The Art of Reality Television

Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, Season 1

From the creators of Project Runway comes the newest reality competition on Bravo, Work of Art: The Next Great Artist. I am in love with this show. It is already 8 or 9 episodes in but I really hope they renew this show for another season.

There was one episode in particular where the competitors were to create a work of art with children’s materials based on their very own childhood. I found myself so inspired and a little teary-eyed by the end of the episode. A lot of the artists had similar experiences of Art saving them from a life unlived, and a life as an outcast. I remembered that same feeling when I was in elementary school and later in high school, that Art was my way of being accepted but also a great source of escape into my thoughts that I could not get out as a shy young girl. It reminded me of my original passion for Art and particularly the beauty and escape that art can provide.

For a reality television show to allow me to think that deeply into my own life is something very special and different. I’ve heard people speak this way about Fashion with Project Runway but it still never quite connected with me on the same level that this show has. I highly recommend this show. Even if it doesn’t hit you on that gut level, the art is interesting enough to look at on a base level.

Project Runway, Season 8

Project Runway is back and now airs for an hour and a half (a half hour longer than previous seasons). It’s bigger, badder, and better than ever. I’m particularly loving their colour choices for the rooms at Parsons this year. The sewing room is beautiful and inspiring. This is a reality show done right in a realm filled with the trashy and wrong.
This show over the years has helped me to understand the beauty, creativity, and I would even say significance of the fashion industry as a whole.

BAD: Big Brother, Season 12

I have watched Big Brother since the very first season as it was a favourite among my family during the summer months but I must say that the house/set is among the worst production design I have ever seen air on television. It’s like a bad Cosby sweater come to life. Where interiors come to die. I thought last years Big Brother set was ugly but this one tops the cake. Now while the video below doesn’t look so bad except the appallingly bad Palm Room and Sunset Room, if you watch the show as I do you will find the background so god awful and distracting it is hard to watch sometimes. Over decorated and over designed. Less is more people. Ugh…

SIDE NOTE: You may be asking yourself, “If she hates it why does she watch it? “

I have a secret affinity for trash television which includes the following: Big Brother, Survivor, The Hills, and Jersey Shore. I can’t get enough of the dumb and dramatic. It’s perfect after a long day of overthinking things.

I hope you are all enjoying your summer and catching the good, the bad, and the ugly of what television and film have to offer.

Rose Lagace | @artdepartmental

Posted by Rose Lagacé

Rose Lagacé is a production designer for film & television by day and an emerging filmmaker by night. Rose is also the creator and editor of Art Departmental where she celebrates the art and craft of production design.

  1. Hi! How are you? I loved your preview post of the best/worst on reality TV this summer. I haven’t been able to catch Project Runway this season and all I can say is thank goodness Mad Men is on!!

    Hope you’ll have a lovely end of August!


  2. One more comment (!)- thank you for featuring Bravo’s Work of Art: The Next Great Artist. I hadn’t even heard of this show and it looks sensational!

    I’m looking forward to digging up the episodes I missed and going on this art ride!


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