The perks of reality TV and old classics -- Why ''Project Runway,'' ''90210,'' and ''American Gladiators'' are worth watching

The perks of reality TV and old classics

Get Ready to Audition for Project Runway 10

After the first season of Project Runway inspired me to hone my not-so-mad stitching skillz, I took a bunch of classes at Manhattan’s fun, laid-back Sew Fast Sew Easy — and I’ve got the stylin’ dresses to prove it. So how about it, Runway fans? You could become the next Jay McCarroll, Chloe Dao, or (if you’re kind of mean) Jeffrey Sebelia by taking up the needle and thread now. Those here in NYC can visit the holy grails of fashion education, Parsons and FIT, which offer non-degree courses to us laypeople. Inquire at your local fabric shop, or check out such online options as “” “_new”]. Sure, you won’t master bias cuts and ruching overnight, but Runway should still be going strong when the strike is over (season 4 is currently averaging 2.9 million viewers), which leaves you plenty of time to build a rockin’ portfolio. — Missy Schwartz

Rediscover 90210

Farewell, Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf. I’ll miss you both in these upcoming Gossip Girl-deprived months. But thanks to SOAPnet and my DVR, I’ve found an equally bitchy heroine to welcome back into my life: Brenda Walsh (Shannen Doherty) of Beverly Hills, 90210 (Mon.-Fri., 5-7 p.m.). 90210 has everything a GG fan could want: forward-thinking fashions (hey, multicolored vests used to be totally cool), high drama (who can forget when poor Scott shot himself?), and sexy scandal (like when Andrea pushed for condom distribution at West Bev). It may seem tame today, but a daily dose of charming 90210 nostalgia will tide me over while I wait patiently to see if GG‘s Blair can ever reclaim her Queen Bee crown. — Tim Stack

Embrace the New Reality

With the current writers’ strike, the TV schedule has turned into absolute Mayhem. As in Mayhem, the dreadlocked, bicep-bulging American Gladiator. Snicker all you want, but Gladiators has turned into a ratings juggernaut among the all-important 18-to-49-year-old set. And why shouldn’t it? There are people attacking each other with giant Q-tips, for crying out loud! Some naysayers whine that the strike is letting reality shows like Gladiators, Celebrity Apprentice, and something called Farmer Wants a Wife take over television, but honestly, is that any worse than having Big Shots, Cavemen, and Ghost Whisperer back on the air? So sit back and embrace what strike TV does have to offer. But if you still insist on fighting the reality tide, do yourself a favor: Make sure you have a giant Q-tip handy. — Dalton Ross

American Gladiators
  • TV Show