Isn't it just wonderful when a TV show is inspiring? When it reminds us that no dream is too big? That we must never give up on our aspirations because there's a good chance five cracked-out judges will deem someone else an even bigger f---up than you? That, even if you phone in your design on the equivalent of a tin can with string and present a garment that is literally half-assed, then invent some ridonkulous excuse about how you didn't want to make just another dress, those very same judges will buy all your hooey and send you to safety? Oh friends, isn't it just positively soul-touching to witness such a triumph of the human spirit?
I know it's easy to say, ''Well sheeeeeee-it, I could have strung together some washers with Silly String and made that jank bikini myself.'' And do you know why it's easy to say that? Because it's true, people! Runway season 8, here I come! I'll be there, just as soon as I make a quick pit stop in Darwin, Minnesota to stealthe world's largest ball of twine. I mean, that and a handful of metal from our household toolbox are pretty much all I'll need to make it to the top 9, right?
After a week off (during which I hope you all watched Kim Yu-Na skate her heart out to a golden victory up in Vancouver), Runway returned last night with the much-anticipated unconventional materials episode. Yes, we had the potato-party-county-fair burlap sack challenge (miss you, Ping!) in week two, but that was a breezy walk in Central Park compared to what awaited the top 10 designers this time: a hardware store! From the likes of nails, screws, and caulk, they'd have to make not just an outfit, but a rad accessory to go with it. Amy and Maya were psyched by the idea, but Emilio, not so much. ''I don't make crafty things,'' he said. ''I make very sophisticated dresses.'' Except, you know, when he doesn't.
On to Scheman & Grant Hardware the designers went, armed with a hot 150 big ones in their pockets. For Emilio, the trouble began almost as soon as he set foot in the place. He had three filled-to-the-brim buckets, but soon discovered he was way over budget and had to put about half of it back. Whoops. Meanwhile, Jay made me shake my head in disbelief when he announced he'd be turning some trash bags into leather. ''Jay!'' I said to myself, pumping an imaginary fist. ''Did Stella Leathah teach you nothing when she tanked the very first challenge in season 5 with her sad pleathah dress made of garbage sacks?'' Of course, I was totally wrong to doubt him, as we soon found out.
Back at Parsons, there was a whole helluva lot of bang-bang-BANGing going on, especially in Seth Aaron's corner, where last week's winner looked like he was working on Sir Galahad's dagger-proof chest armor. But three other boys bought sheets of metal too, which caused even more noise (as well as bloody, nicked digits) and lead Tim to wonder, ''What is it with you guys and this copper?'' An excellent question for Uncle Freud.
NEXT: Emilio begins to unravel