So either one would have made a deserving winner. As I said, this was not the disappointment.
Following Project Runway, the natural thing to do was to watch Project Runway: Threads. I was genuinely excited for this show -- Project Runway! With adorable kids! Hell, we'd already seen this exact formula work great with Masterchef Junior! What could possibly go wrong?
Well, for starters, the show doesn't follow the Project Runway model. It's not one season-long competition, it's a series of self-contained episodes featuring three new kids each week. Which means I don't have time to get to know any of them, or care about any of them. The presence of their parents as "assistants" adds a lovely dimension of additional awkwardness (and giving the winner of the first challenge the right to use her opponents' mom as a helper couldn't possibly backfire). But all of that perhaps could have been forgiven were it not for the host: Vanessa Simmons. I don't know if I've ever grown to hate a television personality as quickly as her. Seriously -- it took about a sentence, two at the most. Even Zanna Roberts Rassi lasted longer. She's infantalizing and patronizing and just generally horrible. And the real victim here is Christian Siriano, who I think really could excel at hosting a show like this were it not just an all-around catastrophe.
So we turned off Threads after about 20 minutes and went on the prowl for something else to watch. How about the remake of
Next came Call the Midwife. A few folks had recommended this to us, and since all British shows are interchangeable to me I'm like "1950s Downton Abbey! Sure, sign me up!" Now, Call the Midwife gets some credit in that we made it through the entire episode. And Jill actually liked the show on its merits, so there's that too. But for me, none of the characters left any imprint whatsoever. There's the main nurse, whose entire personality and emotional range can be summed up as "somewhat shocked middle class". There's, um, the crazy nun. And some other nuns. And some other nurses. I did love the bilingual family in the first episode, but I can't imagine they'll be too recurrent. Other than that, I could not tell you anything about anyone, including the main character.
So finally, I decided to play some Shadow of Mordor. I had beaten the main quest before leaving for DC, but I figured I could still clean-up on some side quests. And I'd now like to supplement my flash review. Nothing I said there is false, per se, but this is a very short game. It can be beaten quickly, and without much effort, and after that there is not all that much to do. By the time you win the game, your ranger is ludicrously overpowered -- there really weren't any opportunities to engage in the back and forth rivalries with orc captain and warchiefs that made the middle of the game so fun. So basically, I'm left with an Xbox One and nothing to do on it, at least until Assassin's Creed comes out.
* While this mistake is itself illustrative, I will point out that As You Like It was one of the few plays I recall semi-enjoying during the death march through the Shakespeare canon that characterized my middle and high school English education. So if anything, I was spotting them a few extra points.