If you loved watching Tim Gunn encourage designers to “make it work” as a mentor on Project Runway, you’re going to love his new series Under the Gunn. The Lifetime competition series premiered last Thursday, January 16, and we have to admit that we’re already in love with it.
This series has everything that Project Runway has, and then some. In fact, we feel so strongly about this show that we feel inclined to give you a few reasons to tune in and watch the drama unfold. Check it out:
1. It’s a hybrid of The Voice and Project Runway.
Seriously, if we could add these shows together, Under the Gunn is definitely the sum of their equal parts. We have three mentors: Mondo Guerra, Anya Ayoung-Chee, and Nick Verreos — all Project Runway alums. In order for the show to really start, the mentors are picking four designers each to fill up their teams, which is exactly what the mentors do on The Voice during the blind auditions. The designers are auditioning in two challenges to help determine the teams, and those who aren’t picked for a team are sent home. It’s the fashion version of The Voice, for sure.
2. Tim Gunn is an amazing person.
Seriously, there isn’t anyone else on Earth that is as kind as Tim Gunn. He, more than any other judge or mentor on a reality competition show, wants to see people succeed and really gets caught up in seeing them grow as people throughout the series. Just take his reaction to Natalia Fedner’s breakdown in the premiere. When she almost got sent home, the designer opened up about her struggle to start her career as a designer and talked so passionately about how much she appreciated Tim’s guidance while at Parsons. You could tell he was proud of her and wanted to see her grow as a designer. It was touching.
3. Instead of knocking people when they’re down, this show is about growth.
Sure, it’s fun to laugh at people when they can’t sing or dance, but watching someone put themselves into a garment and put their work out there to be judged, it’s more of an emotional moment. We’re not looking for a superstar on Under the Gunn, we’re looking for someone who is able to express themselves and connect with people in a very personal, very creative way. Singing covers of songs just can’t compete. Yes, you want to beat the other competitors, but you’re in this competition to learn from your mentor (and Tim) in order to advance yourself as a designer.
4. These mentors know exactly what the contestants are going through.
Since Under the Gun has turned to Project Runway to supply the mentors for the competition, the mentors are much more inclined to know what is going through the designers’ minds throughout the show. And each mentor brings their own strength to their mentoring roles: Mondo is a beast at patterns, Anya creates gorgeous clothes effortlessly, and Nick is glamtastic. These mentors have been given crazy deadlines, pushed to grow as a designer, and know what being critiqued by judges is like. With shows like The Voice and American Idol, it’s all about name recognition when it comes to the mentors, not about picking talented people who can empathize with the struggle of those they are coaching.
5. It’s not all about the glitz and the glam.
These designers aren’t being put on a huge stage to show their work, they’re filming the competition at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. This is set in a school for design because it’s about teaching and mentoring, not fighting it out to the death. There’s definitely a competitive factor to the show, but it’s more low-key and relaxed so far. These designers are getting the chance to experience new things and learn from mentors that could help them learn new techniques and practices — and we think that’s awesome.
Will you be watching Under the Gunn? Hit the comments and let us know if we convinced you!
Under the Gunn airs Thursday nights at 9 p.m. ET on Lifetime.