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With the coronavirus pandemic showing no signs of stopping, there’s never been a better time to bond over entertainment. Here at Mashable, we’re recommending , , and left and right to whittle away your time (and ours) while everyone’s stuck at home.
Checks all the boxes for phenomenal socially distanced content.
Among our latest social distancing suggestions? A long-awaited reality reunion with a remarkably well-timed premiere date: Amazon Prime Video’s Making the Cut.
Yes, it’s the return of former Project Runway icons Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum in a new week-to-week fashion competition aimed at finding the next global design brand. Backed by that sweet, sweet Jeff Bezos money, the legendary fashionistas re-entered the TV scene on March 27 with episodes 1 and 2 of their new show.
For those already watching, congratulations on beating me to the punch! Hope your faves make it though this week. For anyone not caught up? I’m pleased to inform you that Making the Cut is the show you’ll be obsessing about over the coming weeks and months. It checks all the boxes for phenomenal socially distanced content that demands not only your attention, but the attention of anyone you’re texting and Zooming on the reg.
As in Project Runway, each week Making the Cut’s gaggle of ambitious designers are tasked with themes and style criteria their ensembles must meet for the final runway show. But aside from that format — and Klum and Gunn’s participation, of course — the two series are remarkably different.
Gone are the days of unconventional material challenges and stitching critiques. Now is the time for international jet-setting, major label collaborations, and the chance to sell winning garments on Amazon.com the week of each episode premiere. (Also, there are these bizarre vignettes where Klum and Gunn go sightseeing because they had they time, and evidently Amazon had the money?)
The fight to win is more intense between competitors, and audience opinions are even more charged.
Casting already successful designers from across the globe, instead of amateurs largely from New York and Los Angeles, Making the Cut insists that this “isn’t a sewing competition.” It’s an entrepreneurial design competition with an artistic focus on merchandising and marketing.
As such, each competitor is required to produce multiple looks per challenge, typically at least one “runway” outfit and one “accessible” outfit, both of which must meet the high standard the platform demands. To ease contestant workload, Making the Cut provides each creator with an overnight seamstress, eliminating some time constraints but presenting new obstacles of communication and sewing capability.
Should a contestant win, their accessible design is manufactured and sold online to the series’ burgeoning fanbase. (FWIW, despite Amazon’s in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, Making the Cut’s clothing production does not seem to have been slowed. The show also to the WHO and other charitable organizations on the premiere day.)
With the stakes raised this much, the fight to win is even more intense between competitors — and audience opinions even more charged. For Project Runway-turned-Making the Cut fans, it’s no longer a question of if you would wear a hypothetical garment, but whether you’ll be putting your money where your mouth is. Thus far, this reporter hasn’t purchased anything from the show, but a spirited debate about silhouettes and a promising LA Times fashion review almost got me there.
What’s more, Project Runway‘s polite “auf wiedersehen” elimination format has been replaced with a brutal back-and-forth between the panel of judges and their potential eliminatees. As Klum tells the designers each week, “a conversation change can everything.” So they must vouch for their work as judges like supermodel Naomi Campbell, world-famous designer Joseph Altuzarra, and legendary fashion editor Carine Roitfeld metaphorically pick ensembles apart stitch-by-stitch.
Combining undeniable watchability with the promise of viewer conversation, weekly plans, and (for some) the excitement of an IRL package delivery, Making the Cut delivers everything a good social distancing show requires. Tune in each Friday, call up your best binging buddy, and make it work — because if this is how we’ll be hanging from now on, we might as well do it in style.
Making the Cut streams new episodes Fridays on Amazon Prime Video.