Mildly entertaining despite itself (or, more specifically, a pair of hosts that couldn't be more annoying or full of themselves), "What Not To Wear" is a makeover series on the cable channel TLC where people who thought they were happy being themselves are told that their ways are not proper, and that they need to be like everyone else. They are nominated by their nosy friends, who believe it's their business to "improve" their friend or family member.
All goofing aside, the series does star former fashion editors Stacey London and Clinton Kelly, who start each episode reviewing footage of the "fashionably awkward" person and making comments that could be viewed as rather snide. The reward for the contestant is a $5,000 Visa card that can be used to go on a shopping spree in New York City to buy a whole new wardrobe. The contestant's current wardrobe is surrendered and the hosts give them various "rules" to follow for when they are shopping and for the future.
The cameras follow along as they shop at various stores and the hosts provide catty comments about their choices (the first episode in this set has the contestants imitating the kind of comments she thinks the hosts will make) as well as what the contestants are saying about the shopping experience. The hosts make sure to check that the contestants are following the "rules" that were set forth earlier in the program.
After the shopping experience, the contestants go through a hair and make-up make-over, as well as another meeting with the hosts to discuss the results of their make-over and to show new outfits. Finally, the family and/or friends and others gather together to see results. The series has a few key flaws - the hosts are too smug and the fact that the series could devote a little more time to the shopping segments.
However, the show's biggest issue is actually why I find it as watchable as it is. While fashion is subjective, I've been surprised with the show's inconsistency when it comes to putting together outfits. While they occasionally just about get it right, there's instances where the series puts together outfits that are either too vanilla or occasionally just look tacky. I admittedly know altogether not much about fashion and it is subjective, but some of the color choices for the outfits on this series can be unfortunate and unflattering. Other shows can take a person's "style" and work around it and enhance it, but this series has its subjects completely throw out their style and while the results can be reasonably decent, the show's most interesting moments for me are when the results are questionable.
VIDEO: Genius Products presents "What Not To Wear" episodes in their original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio. Image quality isn't without a few minor concerns - some shimmering here, some minor artifacting there. However, the picture is mostly crisp and smooth. Colors remained bright and warm, with nice saturation and no smearing.
SOUND: Crisp, clear stereo soundtrack with no distortion or other issues.
EXTRAS: "Wear Are They Now?" bonus episode.
Final Thoughts: "What Not To Wear" is supposed to be an educational series about dressing and fashion, but the hosts may want to focus on being informative instead of making comments that could be considered cruel. The results of the "makeover" are interesting - at least in my opinion - in that they can be pretty uneven. The DVD presentation offers fine audio/video quality, as well as a bonus episode. Recommended for fans.