'What The HELL Do You Want Me To Say To This?'
It's Ashley who said it on the Runway reunion, but Swapnil's clearly drinki-- er, thinking it. Should you bother watching?
Ashley's unconvincing and canned about how fantastic it feels to have won Season 14 and how she's grateful to have grown a thicker skin -- but she's the ambassador to Fashionistan compared with Tim Gunn, who's by turns malaproppy ("blow smoke back up their own asses!" ...henh?) and downright stupid. "You were so close to winning. How does that feel?" he asks Kelly. That's the kind of dumbshit question that lands sideline reporters on AwfulAnnouncing.com. Let's assume it feels assy, Tim Gunn! Doy!
The "evolution" of Kelly and Nina's relationship -- which is at least 80 percent down to Nina not wanting to seem like an old/lose out on controlling the narrative, IMO -- is also kind of a snoozer, and you probably already heard that Edmond tried out for the show a squillion times because you aren't a newborn, but the segment's worth it for all the non-top-sixers getting up to graze the crafty table and refill their champerses when Candice is talking. (And for Blake's fantastic sportswear.)
Lindsey's dismissal of Candice as full of shit seems maaaaaybe a little more heated than is warranted at first, but when we cut to some Cansplaining about how "women have insecurities, and it's a very beautiful thing," I realized that the home audience only saw the tip of the unearned-superiority-berg.
In The Matter Of Shinde V. Gunn
This is the money segment, but I really can't recommend you bother with it, despite Swapnil's charming pronunciation of "pe-DEST-al." You've seen the entire exchange in the teaser, except for Swapnil saying that Tim's validation meant "everything" to him, but then there's a pile-on about Swapnil's "safe safe safe, win win win" strategy (which I don't see a problem with) and how he didn't want it badly enough (an issue Tim Gunn's figurative dunce-capping probably created in the first place) and I guess nobody's going to grow a pair and point out that, if the purpose of the show is to select a talented designer and Swapnil's designs keep him in the middle long enough to thin the herd, the percentage of effort he's putting in is none of Tim's goddamn business.
...Ugh. Seriously, skip this bit. It'll just rile you up all over again.
It Was The Editing: A Story In Umpteen Parts
Joseph's laughable claim that he and Merline actually worked together not that badly is...laughable. Like, I laughed. But Lindsey and Candice make a few interesting points about the awkwardness of seeing yourself and your mediocre behavior...and seeing what others said about you behind your back. Candice notes that, if anyone's going to play the editing card, it is she, but there's only so far editing can go.
Then Tim bleats that the editing, if anything, is "kind to everyone," and I giggled some more, like, you think you got a GOOD edit this year, Smithers? I was almost too busy snarfing lime seltzer to note that Swapnil and Blake have squashed it and nobody thinks Blake's a racist, just a moonbeam.
A couple of thought-provoking needles in this horseshit haystack, starting with how sincerely offended Kelly is that she's getting tagged with the mean-girl label. She also points out that the boys could have picked Ashley, and Joseph reveals that, in fact, the dudes had a strategy in the event that a team challenge came up, namely that they'd make sure it turned into boys vs. girls.
Amanda's protests that she only picked Ashley to go home based on the garment ring about as true as you'd expect, and then Blake says (or this is my interpretation of it) that, while he doesn't think any of them is a mean girl individually, he did see an attack happening on Ashley. Candice snaps, "You mean me," and Blake kind of steps around that comment while making "see what she's like?" faces that I took to mean she tends to make things about herself.
I also enjoyed Ashley finally getting a bee in her box pleat about having to accept these non-apology revisions of what we saw: "What the HELL do you want me to say to this?" Well, seriously. None of y'all have to hang out anymore; if you don't want to let them off the hook, don't.
Hanmiao And Blake: "Say It With Alcohol"
Hanmiao pairs her earlier "life is all about drink" koan with a classily shrugged conclusion about her ouster, namely that she thinks it's only fair, because they were the only team who couldn't work together. Then she goes back to getting ripshit and canoodling with Blake, which is really the only reasonable policy for getting through these reunions if you weren't top three.
A Superfluous And Mean Crying Montage Is Saved By Mary (Twenty-Five) Kay
Here's everyone having meltdowns because they've had no sleep, the challenges are kookola, and Tim is playing favorites! Here's Tim asking why they got so emotional! Here's me facepalming myself so grimly at the vacuity of that question that I had a stroke in my right ring finger!
Here's me admiring Merline's thoughtful answer about creative people.
Here's Kelly getting a fat check from Mary Kay for winning the most challenges. This is a good thing, net, but is at the same time a non-denial-denial reality retcon of Survivor Rupert, Fan Favorite proportions.
Sum Up The Season In One Sentence
Whatever snarky thing you grumbled at the TV is more entertaining than anyone's actual answers, especially Tim's. (Mine was "past the sell-by.")
It's mostly a pointless and tone-deaf irritant, but for frustrated fans of the franchise whom S14 pushed to the limit, it's a worthwhile postmortem and/or confirmation that you should stop watching now, and Blake's cardi is everything.