Our Review of Alexa Chung's Absurd, Enjoyable 24 Hour Catwalk

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Reality shows are a dime dozen these days, but only one has the gorgeous, brassy Alexa Chung, the host of the new, wonderfully confusing game show 24 Hour Catwalk (premiering tonight at 10 p.m. on Lifetime).
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24 Hour Catwalk pits designer against designer in a race to create an entire themed collection in – you guessed it – just 24 hours. Now, the kind of speed and improvisational chutzpa required to win this Project Runway/American Idol-hybrid is not entirely relevant to producing quality fashion. That said, contestants display surprisingly adept technical and artistic proficiency along with the kind of blind courage it takes to create a soccer-mom outfit out of a football jersey in two hours or less. And that's pretty impressive — and more importantly, fun to watch
In fact, the show is thoroughly charming. The challenges are crazy, the regular sewers helping out behind the scenes are kooky nuts, Chung is – as always – radiantly, elegantly goofy, and judge Cynthia Rowley plays the “Randy” role to the hilt. And the other judges – PR powerhouse James LaForce and professional gadabout Derek Blasberg – are both straight-faced, incisive, and deliciously catty. Finally, unlike so many reality competition shows, the majority of the contestants appear to be decent, normal people who just happen to be in over their heads – there's minimal toxic drama here.
Yeah, 24 Hour Catwalk isn’t Project Runway – it could never be so formal, design-oriented, or – as in more recent seasons – boring. Nah, this one’s far less concerned with creating fashion than with creating fashionable, manic entertainment.
24 Hour Catwalk premieres tonight at 10p.m. on Lifetime.
Images: Courtesy Lifetime Entertainment.
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