What Not to Wear Changes Format

What Not to Wear got a makeover this season. The new season premiered this past Tuesday with a live studio audience. This completely changed the feel of the show and not for the better. Someone at TLC fixed what wasn’t broken. 

The show used to be sort of a documentary about one woman’s clothing journey. Clinton Kelly and Stacy London would throw out all of the woman’s old clothes and spend the week boosting her confidence and giving her a new look. Now with the live studio audience, What Not to Wear has turned into a highbrow point-and-laugh show.

While the part of What Not to Wear where a secret camera follows the unwitting participant was always creepy, the show never went into cruel and unusual punishment territory until this season. Even though the first person made over, Ana, looked like a teenaged hooker with her sort skirts and dead Muppet vests, she did not deserve the meanness that comes with the new format. You could hear the audience laughing at her as soon as she walked through the door. With the old format, you might have been laughing at the badly dressed woman at home, but at least it wasn’t to her face.

The worst part about it was that Ana was completely surprised that Stacy and Clinton were behind the door. Ana thought she was trying out for an unnamed reality show. Instead, she got ambushed by Stacy, Clinton, and over 200 other people who were ready to make fun of her. At least with Jerry Springer, the guests know the show and its reputation.

It’s also hard to buy that the show is “live” at the time it airs. Stacy and Clinton constantly make references to the audience at home and its ability to vote on outfits or a hairstyle for the make over. However, I don’t think anyone at home is actually voting. It’s too contrived that they tell the audience to vote and during the two minute commercial break 1,500 people have already voted.

The last problem with the show is that the shopping is done in studio, while Stacy and Clinton talk to uninteresting and annoying audience members for a few minutes. The best part of What Not to Wear used to be the day that the makeover-ee would wander around Manhattan trying to find clothing that fit “the rules” and make mistakes that Stacy and Clinton would fix the next day. The new format makes it appear that the woman being made over managed to pick out a couple of new outfits in 3 minutes. Is it possible? Yes. Plausible? No.

Hopefully, TLC reverts back the old format soon. Otherwise, this will probably be the last season of What Not to Wear. If Stacy and Clinton are too busy with their other projects to do What Not to Wear, they should have resigned and TLC would have either had to end the show or find replacement stylists. Instead, TLC is killing the show quickly and not exactly painlessly.

About Allison Lips

I am the editor and founder of "Wait! What's a Dial?". I graduated from Rowan University with degrees in both Radio/TV/Film and Journalism.

Posted on June 1, 2012, in Primetime, Reality TV, TLC and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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