Tuning In to Tune Out: On not taking my own advice

This week, after I urged you to take a break from screens, I have reinvested all my free time in two amazing shows, so if you want, go ahead, call me a hypocrite. I did finish the Language of Flowers and still highly recommend it, more so now even than last week. I obviously won’t give away the ending, but if you haven’t given the book a shot, you’re missing out.

For the first show, we’re taking a trip down memory lane, to the revamped version of Project Runway. Making the Cut is the fashion show resurrection we were all waiting for, and by we I mean my mom and I, but I digress. Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum take this season’s group of designers all over the world, from New York to Paris to Tokyo in search of the next great global brand. The difference between the two shows is small, but makes a difference. Sadly, there is no Mood fabric trip where the designers desperately try to stay on budget, and the competition is stressed as a design show, rather than a sewing one. The designers have seamstresses that work through the night to finish their designs, so each designer produces more looks per challenge than the original Project Runway.

The bone I have to pick with the show is that it’s inextricably tied to Amazon, and the winning looks get sold immediately on the site, which brings up obvious fast fashion, quality, and sustainability issues. Also, my pro tip is to AVOID the Making the Cut store for the winning looks at all costs, it has so many spoilers and gives you a big banner of the finale winner right off the back, so stay away. I don’t know why they thought to broadcast the winner like that, because I was only half way through when I found out who would be taking home the MILLION dollar prize.

For show number 2, I recommend Never Have I Ever, the high school show that brings you back to your most relatable, embarrassing roots. Featuring main character Devi Vishwakumar, Never Have I Ever follows many expected high school tropes, but in the best, most heart warming of ways. Her and her friends, labelled the “UN,” try to navigate their way through the classroom, college applications, boys, girls, and more. This is a feel good show mostly, even though some of it is quite sad as Devi’s dad suddenly passed away, but don’t worry, that’s just the backstory from the beginning and not a spoiler. Through navigating her relationship with her mom, friends, and the golden boy Paxton Hall-Yoshita, you will be able to relate to Devi in one way or another.

I was trying to see the likeness in what I was watching this week, and I think the similarity lies in the emotional investment I put in the characters and competitors. With Making the Cut, you’re always rooting for someone while simultaneously becoming fashion’s greatest critic. In Never Have I Ever, if it isn’t Devi you resonate with, it will be one of the many archetype fitting high school students that strikes a chord with you. It can be nice to relate to a make believe universe, whether it’s one where you’re critiquing fashion, or one where you’re teleporting back to your sophomore year of high school, however cringe that might have been. Wherever you find a little reprieve from what you’re currently going through, I encourage you to indulge for longer than you might normally. Try to relate to a part of yourself that wasn’t concerned with the fate of the world for an hour or so. These recommendations don’t come with an urge to forget the state of the world, but rather to protect your mental state and not take it on entirely. Happy viewing!