Last night, compelled by the need to stave off Bravo withdrawal following the end of Top Chef, I watched an episode of Shear Genius, the hair-obsessed third cousin twice removed of Project Runway that Bravo keeps hidden under the stairs in its reality competition house.
This was a mistake. No one should watch this show. Evidently, though someone somewhere is watching this show, because this is Shear Genius's second season. I imagine that the show's audience is made up almost entirely of hair stylists, shampoo girls, and others who have developed an immunity to Barbacide fumes, because unlike watching people plate three fresh pork dishes, or watching people make a dress using only items from a garden supply store, both of which can appeal to many viewers regardless of professional background, watching people cut and style hair is really only interesting to people who cut and style hair for a living. You don't have to be a chef to get wrapped up in Top Chef or a seamstress to enjoy Project Runway, but you definitely have to be a hairdresser in order to find the concept of a "signature" lowlight compelling, or to listen to someone describe their special bob technique–when, really, it looks like every other bob in the world, so who cares?–without falling asleep.
That said, I still learned a lot from watching Shear Genius, namely:
1. Hair stylists must have superior Eurotrash comprehension skills. How else can you explain their ability to understand Rene's Porky-Pig-talking-through-a-mouthful-of-syrup accent:
2. People on Bravo reality shows are extraordinarily excited to meet people from other Bravo reality shows, which is why the cast of Shear Genius 2 was screaming in the above clip when they were shown the walking orange husks of women who are The Real Housewives Of Orange County.
3. Despite the fact that they're exactly the same, one of the following is a good haircut, while the other is a bad enough haircut to get the contestant eliminated:
I bet you can't tell which one is which!
4. Jaclyn Smith is a homeless man's poor man's Heidi Klum.
So, wait, I have to "condition" my hair now? Sounds complicated. Usually I just wait for a rainstorm and stand outside.
5. Kim Vo is not a freakish, life-size Ken doll, he's a "master colorist" and judge who looks like a freakish life-size Ken doll and who also spouts convoluted platitudes about orchids.
6. Haircuts that look like swimming caps trimmed with leftover Annie wig clippings are praiseworthy.