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Summer TV To Watch: Chris Gethard, 'The Gong Show,' 'Project Runway'


It has been really, really hard for me not to mention "Game Of Thrones" every single week on this show. Sorry. So this week, I'm asking people what to watch in between Sundays. Linda Holmes is NPR's pop culture correspondent, and she joins me now. Hi, Linda.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: What have you brought us today that's in between Sundays?

HOLMES: OK. So I have two things that I want to recommend. And neither one of them is, strictly speaking, a new show. They are returns of existing shows that I'm excited about.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I'm skeptical. But go on.

HOLMES: Right. So the first one - do you know who Chris Gethard is?


HOLMES: So Chris Gethard is a comedian who had for a long time a public access show, a public access TV show where he would take calls. He's just a really interesting, sensitive guy. He's talked a lot about mental health. But he's also really funny and weird.


CHRIS GETHARD: This is as straight as my elbows get. And check it out. I got weird, little claw hands. Hi. My name's Chris Gethard.


GETHARD: And welcome to the series debut of "The Chris Gethard Show" on Fusion. Now, having these crazy elbows and these tiny, little claw hands don't affect me all that much. I can't do pushups. That's one thing. My gym teachers used to yell at me about that. But they were going to yell about me anyway because I'm weak and unenthusiastic about gym.


HOLMES: And he has a show called "The Chris Gethard Show"...


HOLMES: ...Which is similar to the work he's done before. He has guests and takes...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Kind of like a talk show thing?

HOLMES: Yeah. Yeah. And it used to be on Fusion TV. But it's now going to be on truTV.


HOLMES: It's going to be on the truTV channel. It's coming, beginning on August 3. And I really like watching him. He's a smart, thoughtful, funny - he's really an empath in a great way for a talk show host.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Great. All right. And what else?

HOLMES: My other one is a classic. My other one is the return of "Project Runway." Are you a "Project Runway" person?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh. Oh, yes. No, this - see, now you've got me.

HOLMES: Right. So "Project Runway" is coming back on August 17. And one of the things that we've learned recently about "Project Runway" is they're changing one thing fairly significantly this season, which is they're going to use models of a variety of sizes.


HOLMES: They've typically only done that with specific challenges, where it's been, like, the real woman challenge, where it'll be people's mothers or friends.


HOLMES: Now it's going to be the models that they use throughout the season are going to be a variety of sizes up to size 22. And they're going to rotate them so that each designer works with people of different sizes.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And this has been something that's been happening anyway in the fashion world writ large, where there's been a lot of discussion, a lot of pressure put on about seeing women of different sizes looking like the kind of people that you'd meet, you know, for coffee, as opposed to on the pages of a magazine.

HOLMES: Right. And that's one - that may be one reason why they're doing it. But I think for a show like this, it's also really smart to do it just because people need to see something different. They need to see you ask something different of the people who are cooking on "Top Chef," the people who are designing on "Project Runway." It's just going to add another element for the designers to deal with. It's going to be something that's legitimately different.


HOLMES: And it doesn't feel exploitative.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And we have been asking all the critics that have been coming on this, what is the thing that you would binge on if you had to been done something right now? What should people be sitting on the sofa and watching if they, you know, have the time?

HOLMES: If you haven't seen the Netflix revival of "One Day At A Time," which came back this past year, it is absolutely wonderful. It has - it features a Cuban-American family. Rita Moreno is the grandmother. It is a fabulous, fabulous show. It's a traditional, multi-camera comedy in a way that a lot of people aren't excited about anymore. But I was super excited about this. It's on Netflix. If you have not already watched it, it sort of just got robbed of probably some Emmy nominations it should've had. But it's a wonderful watch. I could not recommend it more highly.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Linda Holmes writes NPR's pop culture blog Monkey See. And she's the host of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. Thanks so much.

HOLMES: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.