When you think about Sundance, you think about things alternative, so if the Sundance Channel is going to do a makeover show, it better not be run of the mill.
Thankfully "Unleashed By Garo" (9 tonight, Sundance Channel) isn't like every other makeover show. For one, the people coming to see couture designer Garo Sparo aren't sad sacks in bad clothes. Mostly, they are folks looking for something to wear to a special event.
Garo does do a little transformational work though. In the first episode, for instance, he brings out one woman's inner vixen and raises her self-esteem by squeezing her waist down five inches or so in her new corseted dress.
Yes, the corset is Garo's signature, which makes things kind of interesting. Corsets are both a tool of female objectification (gotta have that thin waist and bulging breasts) and a very sexy piece of clothing. So what exactly is Garo unleashing?
Maybe that's too academic for what's happening here. Garo clearly sees his work as beautification and adores the women and drag queens he works with. Customers aren't allowed to see their purchases until they are completed, so while he comes off as a caring, thoughtful man, he's also got a little swagger. He's also kind of creepy, in that sweet, harmless John Waters kind of way. And his designs are lovely.
Although it is different, I can't say I'm obsessed with "Unleashed by Garo," but it's a fun watch. There's a great funky downtown NY East Village feel. And saying Hedda Lettuce (that's the drag queen) makes me happy.