On the Road Again
Posted 8 October, 10on:
When he was on Project Runway, I found Santino Rice to loud and obnoxious. Nonetheless, I could not resist watching his new show, On the Road with Austin and Santino. It is about fashion design, so I had to give it a chance. Also, I figured Austin Scarlet was adorable enough to make it tolerable for at least one show. I am now a Santino fan. He is entirely different than he was on Project Runway. Is it the absence of the competition? Is it due to no longer being sleep deprived? Is it the influence of the dearest Austin? He and Austin have this lovely chemistry that is a joy to watch. Austin and Santino travel to very small towns to design for women who have not had many luxuries. Many of them have not worn a dress or make up in years because they have been too busy dealing with life. Austin and Santino usually share a meal with the family in their home. The homes and meals are modest. No one dresses up or puts on airs. It is a family dinner. I am quite certain, at this point in their careers, Austin and Santino have had their share of fine dining. However, they never act they act like "STARS!!!" They seem genuinely happy to meet these families. Santino's sharp wit still shines through. His relationship with Austin is adorable. They tease each other, but you can tell there is a genuine friendship. When Austin got a nasty gash in his leg, Santino scooped him up to carry him to the car. If it was staged, Santino should get an Oscar for his performance. They tease, but it never gets nasty. No matter how small the town, Austin and Santino find something to love. They shop for fabric in local stores. However, I believe they smuggle in a bit of fabric because some of these local stores seem to carry only quilt fabric, yet Austin & Santino manage to "find" fabrics suitable for a cocktail dress. I am willing to allow that little plot manipulation because the tone of the show is so positive and heart warming. In a time when television shows are all about the uber-luxurious or people behaving badly, it is a relief to watch a show that celebrates people who live simple lives. No one is seeking celebrity or competing for a million dollars. These are hard working women who want to feel special for one night. Austin and Santino give them that by doing more than making a dress. They listen to their stories with earnestness and compassion. It is not riveting TV. I suspect the series will not be renewed because the American public wants outrageous and over the top. On the Road with Austin and Santino is sweet. It is thirty minutes of no screaming, no backstabbing, no bickering. It is thirty minutes of people being nice to each other, while designing a really pretty dress.